2009 Honoree Suzanne Rowe Van Ort  Class of 1958

Suzanne accepting her award from Emily Kittle Morrison

Suzanne Rowe Van Ort, Ph.D. (CHS Class of '58) was selected the 2009 Alumna of the Year by the CHS Foundation for her excellence in education.  Suzanne received her B.S. in nursing from the U of A in 1962 and her M.S.  from UCLA.
"Suzy" considers herself an educator and in 1977 she earned the first Ph.D. in Higher Education from the UA College of Education.  She served as dean of the nursing school at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and then returned to the U of A and was associated with the College of Education.  During her tenure at the U of A, Suzanne received over $1 million in research and training grants. Suzanne’s teaching awards and honors are numerous. She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and the Royal Society of Health (Great Britain). She was honored as the 2004 Alumna of the Year (UA College of Nursing) and she received the 75^th Anniversary Award for Outstanding Achievement in Education (UA College of Education) as well as the YWCA “Women on the Move” award (Tucson). Suzanne was the U.S. Representative at the Nightingale Commemoration in England and she received the Award for Excellence in Nursing Education from Sigma Theta Tau International. She has written numerous peer-reviewed articles for medical and nursing journals as well as writing chapters for books.  She focused on nursing administration and curriculum.  In 1994 she accepted the deanship of the UA College of Nursing.  Upon her retirement in 2002, she was honored when the Nursing Council created two "Suzanne Van Ort Peer Awards," one for "Graduate Teaching" and the other for "Undergraduate Teaching."  Suzanne felt that the years at Catalina and its teachers had an effect which motivated her to think globally.

Suzanne was one of the founders of the CHS Foundation and she served as its first vice-president.  Photo courtesy of Fran Knowles


2007 Honoree  Dr. Eugene Seymour  Class of 1958

  The Catalina High School Foundation has presented its first outstanding alumnus award to Dr. Eugene Seymour, a physician and entrepreneur who is leading an effort to create anti-viral drugs against a wide range of viral diseases.
  Gene was selected in 2007 to receive the award after he was nominated by Sandy Tanner Elers('58). He received the Alumnus of the Year Award on January 18, 2008, at a gathering in his honor from the Foundation President Emily Kittle Morrison ('60). He has agreed to speak to Catalina students at an assembly in the near future.

  Gene is the CEO of NanoViricides, a biopharma-ceutical research company based in New Haven, Conn. The company is seeking to develop drugs to treat such human diseases as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitus B and C, Herpes, Influenza, Rabies, Asian Bird Flu, and dengue fever, which affects 100 million people yearly. "The key to the system is a broad spectrum of nanoviricide which should work against 90 percent of all viruses with minor modifications," he said. 
Gene graduated from Catalina in 1958 and from the University of Arizona. He was trained at Baylor Medical College and Columbia University College of Physicians. He did post doctoral training at UCLA and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was on the medical faculties of UCLA and USC. During the Vietnam War he was a major in the Medical Corps.

In the 1980s he created an AIDS testing lab to serve the large Hispanic population of Los Angeles. Later he founded a company that developed a rapid HIV blood test and he has conducted HIV research worldwide. He consults for the United Nations.
  Gene admits he was hardly a good student at CHS. He says he owes his success to some U of A professors who took an interest in him and inspired him to achieve. Character and persistence count. CHS students can benefit from Gene's example.   
NanoViricides, Inc.                  
By Ford Burkhart ('59)


Emily Kittle Morrison ('60) hosts reception at her home and presents the award to Dr. Seymour.  Gene receives congratulations from Pam Morris Samuels ('59) and Amanda McCoy Place ("60).



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