Four alumni honored with GOLD Awards

November 2, 2006

The Indiana State University Alumni Association has announced recipients of the 2006 Graduate of the Last Decade Award. This year's G.O.L.D. Award recipients include Michelle Cronk, Joe Crowley, Douglas Dillion and Daniel Tanoos. They will be honored at festivities Nov. 10.

Michelle Cronk

Michelle Cronk has earned many honors in the teaching and business field in the short time since graduating summa cum laude in 2002 with a degree in business education and a minor in information processing.

After graduating, Cronk took a position at South Central Junior-Senior High School in Elizabeth, Ind. as the only business teacher. She has become very involved with her students through advising organizations such as the high school student council. She was also a force in developing a Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter. Under Cronk's leadership, the student council members have become very involved in service projects including Toys for Tots, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Red Cross and March of Dimes. This past year, the team was ranked the top school team in Harrison County by the March of Dimes during its annual campaign.

Cronk petitioned the school board to establish a BPA chapter. Through the BPA, she teaches the knowledge and skills that will enable them to be productive members of society and for them to further their education. Members of the BPA chapter have participated in regional and state competitions annually. This year, Cronk's students had first-place finishes at the regional level in interviewing skills, extemporaneous speaking and accounting. Her other school responsibilities include sitting on the Public Law 221 Steering Committee and the Differentiation Committee, a certified mentor teacher for the state of Indiana and serving as Webmaster for the school Web site.

Outside the classroom, Cronk is active in business, professional and educational organizations. She has served on the Indiana Business Education Association's executive board and held the posts of president, president-elect and vice president. Cronk is also a member of the National Business Education Association and the Teacher Advisory Board of the Louisville branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The Teacher Advisory Board promotes economic education in the classroom and Federal Reserve activities.

Cronk is currently working on an MBA degree and would like to earn a Ph.D. She lives in Corydon, Ind.

Joe Crowley

After graduating from ISU in May 2001 with a degree in recreation and sport management, Joe Crowley started his career in the fast lane. Crowley began working for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Racing League in the media relations department, where he served as an intern his senior year. He stayed with the IMS/IRL for three years before becoming a team and driver publicist for Bobby Labonte and Joe Gibbs and their sponsors, Interstate Batteries and ConAgra Foods.

In December 2005, Crowley joined TrueSpeed Communications, a division of Tony Stewart Racing. He is responsible for Hall of Fame Racing media relations and sponsor DLP HDTV. Hall of Fame Racing is co-owned by Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, both members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Driving duties are split between NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Terry Labonte and veteran Tony Raines.

Crowley also assists with media relations efforts for two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart and Joe Gibbs Racing.

Crowley serves on the ISU motorsports studies leadership team. A native of Valparaiso, he resides in Cornelius, N.C.

Douglas Dillion

Known for his creative curriculum and involved teaching style, Doug Dillion is joined by fewer than 600 teachers nationally as a recipient of the Walt Disney Corp's Disney Teacher of the Year award winner for 2006. He is among only 12 teachers from Indiana to be selected for this honor.

Since graduating from ISU in 1993 with an industrial technology education degree, Dillion has taught sixth through eighth grade technology courses at Honey Creek Middle School. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, he supervises lab assistants and coordinates the peer tutoring program in the technology lab. He also serves as the advisor for the Technology Student Association and shows his school spirit by lending his voice as master of ceremonies for school pep sessions.

Outside the classroom, Dillion continues to develop new ways of engaging students by coordinating the Tech Town USA curriculum which involves authoring curricula texts and supervising student displays at state and national industry related events, authoring parts of the Technology Education Curriculum Crosswalks Activities standards for middle school students. He was also appointed the middle level education representative to the technology education curriculum committee for the Indiana Department of Education.

Dillion's ability to creatively engage students lead him to found the BEST U Foundation, a national non-profit foundation that was formed in 2006 to assist middle level technology education and high school career and technology education programs. It focuses on assisting in developing creative educational activities that meet state and national standards, development, implementation and expansion of the Technology Education Curriculum Crosswalks Activities, providing motivational speakers to speak with students and teachers on being the "Best U," and developing an Internet resource for students, teachers, and parents.

Dillion is a supervisor for Project LITTER, a partnership with ISU and Terre Haute. The 10-week recycling program, taught by ISU technology education students, ended with a city-wide special recycling drive and trash clean-up day. He also participates in Bee Tree, an anonymous Christmas program that includes present delivery, shopping, fundraising and organizing student participation efforts. Dillion is actively involved with Vigo, Clay and Sullivan county 4-H fairs and assists with Honey Creek Middle School Student Council philanthropies.

In 2005, Dillion's programs were selected by the International Technology Education Association for the National Program Excellence Award. He was also the National Association of Home Builders National Associate of the Year nominee and winner of the Don C. Cassidy Sr. Associate of the Year for Indiana, and Home Builders Association of Greater Terre Haute Jack Dempsey Associate of the Year Award recipient. Dillion has also received the Technology Educators of Indiana State Program Excellence and John E. Grey Meritorious Teaching awards.

Dillion, his wife Terri and children, Olivia and Douglas, live in Terre Haute.

Daniel Tanoos

Tanoos has earned four degrees from ISU over a 20 year period. His first degree in elementary education was completed in 1979, followed by a master of education degree in 1983. In 1984, he received a degree in elementary/middle school administration and supervision, and in 1997 completed an educational specialist degree.

Currently superintendent of the Vigo County School Corp., he started his teaching career at Benjamin Franklin Elementary School. He then moved on to be principal of four other local elementary and middle schools including Greenwood, Fairbanks, Farrington Grove, and Chauncey Rose before taking his current position in 1998.

Tanoos is recognized at the local and state levels for his commitment to education. He was named district Superintendent of the Year by the Indiana Association of Public School Superintendents District IV and received the Excellence in Education Award from the Vigo County Education Foundation. Tanoos has been recognized as a Principal of the Year and a recipient of the Indiana Department of Education Award for the Integration of Students with Special Needs.

Tanoos has served on numerous boards and committees, including the Indiana State Board of Education, Indiana Education Roundtable, District VIII Principals Association, State of Indiana Leadership Team, and the boards of Terre Haute Boys and Girls Club, Greater Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce, Mental Health Association, Covered Bridge Special Education District and the Union Hospital Foundation.

Tanoos and his wife, Claudia have one son, Daniel.

Contact: Elizabeth Tuttle, ISU Alumni Affairs, (812)237-3779

Writer: Laura Smiley, ISU Communications and Marketing intern, (812) 237-3773

Story Highlights

The Indiana State University Alumni Association has announced recipients of the 2006 Graduate of the Last Decade Award. This year's GOLD Award recipients include Michelle Cronk, Joe Crowley, Douglas Dillion and Daniel Tanoos. They will be honored at festivities Nov. 10.

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