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Jesse S. Heiges Distinguished Alumnus Award 2004

Robert Ames '76
Robert took his biology degree from Ship and began using it almost immediately as he worked as a laboratory technician at Litton Bionetics, Inc. before working as a biologist at the National Cancer Institute's Laboratory of Immunodiagnosis. After two years, he moved to the surgery branch where he stayed for six years. It was during this time he earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from George Washington University. From 1986 to 1990, Robert was a postdoctoral fellow, first at the University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center, then at the department of molecular genetics for SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals.

Since 1990, Robert has settled in at SmithKline Beecham. He was an associate senior investigator in the department of molecular genetics before becoming a senior investigator for the departments of molecular immunology and molecular biology. In 1998, he was an assistant director for the department of molecular biology. And in 2001 he assumed his current position as director, department of gene expression, at GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development.

As a result of his research, he holds numerous patents and is the co-author of a number of articles appearing in professional journals that chronicle his research. Robert is involved with his church and returns to his alma mater to speak to biology majors and participate in Alumni Days activities. He is also involved in the Kresge Initiative.

Martin Babinec '77
Martin turned his experience with human resources into a thriving business called TriNet. TriNet is a single-vendor solution for outsourcing benefits, payroll and human resources support, The Inc. 500 Hall of Fame has recognized it for five consecutive years as one of the fastest-growing privately-held companies in America.

Prior to founding TriNet, Martin had a successful career in human resource management with Navy Exchanges, an international retailer. With Navy Exchanges, he lived in Japan and Italy and developed an expertise in international labor relations.

Martin frequently speaks at domestic and international conferences on topics involving entrepreneurship, technology trends, and human resources. He is an advisor and consultant to a number of organizations including the John L. Grove College of Business.

Vicki Greenleaf '81
Vicki jumped right into her career in public relations a freelance writer and a publicist, first for Kragen & Company, then Jensen Communications. She was the personal publicist for Dottie West, then Toni Tenille before taking on the associate producer position at Music News. She left there to become director of publicity for Media Home Entertainment, then senior publicist for the motion picture division of Twentieth Century Fox Film. She continued in the film industry moving to director of national publicity for New Century/Vista Film. In 1987 she took over as vice president of corporate communications and public relations for LIVE Entertainment, Inc. Here she continued working with major film releases by directing the marketing plans and responsibility for all press coverage.

In 1992 she left to found her own company, Greenleaf & Associates, Inc. a marketing and public relations firm. Vicki handles corporate image building and rebuilding, crisis management, investor relations, and other public relations concerns for entertainment companies. She is a key component in establishing a mentor program for SU alumni on the west coast and is actively involved in the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Robert E. Krebs '48
Science has been the backbone of Robert's career from his first job as a photographer and darkroom technician and his service in the U.S. Army Medical Corps in World War II to teach. With five years in public schools, he moved to the college-level in 1953. In 1961 he was a senior space science lecturer for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. From 1963 to 1968 he was with the U.S. Office of Education as a research coordinator and science specialist. From 1968 to 1984, Robert established offices of research at several universities including the Health Sciences Center at the University of Illinois where he retired an associate dean for research and associate professor of health professions education. From there, he moved to president of RK Associates, a consulting firm for academic research administration. During this time, he received a contract to develop knowledge-based expert system software for personal computers with the goal of reducing health care costs. He also became president of Sylvan Lake Associates, Inc. that created self-instructional software for professional training. In 1997, he began as series editor and author with Greenwood Press. He has authored six books, the latest of which is Groundbreaking Scientific Experiments, Inventions, and Discoveries of the Ancient World (with Carolyn Krebs) and this year a follow-up volume covering the Middle Ages will be published. He serves as series editor for the Groundbreaking series as well as the Basics of Science. Robert has been active within his community of South Padre Island, Texas and in 1984 received the Society of Research Administrators' Hartford Nicholsen Award for service.