"We are pleased to honor these two remarkable individuals with the highest commendation MSU confers," said Geoff Gamble, MSU president.
Falcon-Chandler, who lives in Harlem, is a member of the Gros Ventre tribe and grew up on the Fort Belknap Reservation. Following graduation from Haskell Institute in Kansas, and later MSU-Billings, she worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Forest Service before launching a career in higher education. She served as a counselor at Dawson Community College for 17 years before returning to Fort Belknap in 1992 as the dean of students at Fort Belknap College. She became the permanent president of the college in 2000, quickly resolving the college's financial problems and leading it into an era of prosperity, development and full accreditation. An example of her leadership includes the establishing of a Gros Ventre immersion program for kindergarten through sixth grade students as well as raising funds to build needed college facilities. She serves as a commissioner for the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities, the regional accreditation agency for institutions of higher education. She also sits on the Board of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, has served on a leadership advisory panel on the American Association of Community Colleges and has served as president and vice president of the Board of Trustees for the American Indian College Fund. Falcon-Chandler was recently named the 2009 American Indian College Fund Tribal College Leader of the Year.
Keremedjiev, of Bozeman, was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and raised in Paterson, N.J. He graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in music. However, he began his career as a technical consultant and computer support specialist. After specializing in research, laboratory management and quality control at two manufacturing firms, in 1986 he became president of Tecknow Education Services. There he continues to specialize as a technical consultant in the area of manufacturing automation with a specialization in the metalforming industry. His clients span the globe. Keremedjiev has been a columnist for 25 years for Metalforming Magazine and has presented workshops, seminars and papers as an expert on mistake-proof manufacturing for the Precision Metalforming Association and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He and his family moved to Bozeman in 1988. He founded the American Computer Museum in 1990. The non-profit museum, which has been written about in such publications as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and PC Week, is dedicated to the preservation and display of 25,000 years of computing, mathematics and communications history. Keremedjiev and the American Computer Museum frequently have partnered with MSU, including the establishment of the George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Pioneer Awards in partnership with the MSU College of Engineering and Computer Science Department. The awards have brought some of the giants of the information age to Bozeman and MSU. Keremedjiev also established The Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Awards this year, in honor of the biologist E.O. Wilson, and has brought the renowned scientist and the "Father of Biodiversity" twice to the MSU campus. Keremedjiev and his wife, Barbara, have two children, Helen and Mark.
MSU annually confers doctorates on friends of the university to honor achievements and service to the state of Montana.
John Carlsten, email@example.com or Shari McCoy, 994-2341