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NSU Alumni Association announces 2018 Distinguished Alumnae, Outstanding Young Alumnus

(Tahlequah, Oklahoma) - The Northeastern State University Alumni Association Board of Directors have selected the 2018 honorees for Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumnus to be honored during homecoming and the Emerald Ball.

Lisa Johnson Billy, Dr. Pamela Thurman and Ashley Stephens, the 2018 alumni honorees, will be formally recognized the Friday of homecoming weekend, Sept. 28, at the Alumni Association Honors Dinner and again at Emerald Ball on Saturday, Sept. 29. Both occasions are open to the public.

The NSU Alumni Association awards are presented annually to NSU alumni who, through personal achievement and service, have brought honor and distinction to both themselves and the University. The person chosen as the Outstanding Young Alumnus has the distinction of having graduated from NSU in the past 20 years.

This year’s honorees:

Lisa Johnson Billy, Distinguished Alumna

Lisa Johnson Billy was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 2004 to 2016. She was the first Native American, the first woman and the first Republican to represent her district. As an NSU student, Billy created Peacemakers, Inc., a small business designed to foster leadership skills in youth. Billy graduated from NSU in May 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in art and business.

Dr. Pamela Thurman, Distinguished Alumna

Dr. Pamela Thurman is one of four research scientists who developed the Community Readiness Model in the early 1990s. She has worked with the World Health Organization and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. She is a co-editor of “Cherokee National Treasures: In Their Own Words,” which was recognized as a silver medal award winner in the 2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards. Thurman earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1982 and a master’s degree in counseling psychology in 1983, both from NSU.

Ashley Stephens, Outstanding Young Alumnus

Ashley Stephens is a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Stephens is a Certified Explosives Specialist, an ATF Certified Fire Investigator and president of the Oklahoma Chapter of the International Association of Arson Investigators. Stephens has taught classes around the globe. Stephens graduated from NSU in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

For more information about the Alumni Association Honors Dinner and Emerald Ball, the events at which the 2018 honorees will be recognized, visit

Published: 8/22/2018 4:57:15 PM

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