Three University of Notre Dame graduates (one posthumously) and one student will receive special awards from the Notre Dame Alumni Association during ceremonies on campus Thursday (May 3).
The James F. Armstrong Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the University by an employee, will be presented posthumously to Rex Rakow, long-time director of the Notre Dame Security Police Department (NDSP).He received his award shortly before he died of cancer
March 7, and it will be rededicated to his widow, Linda.
Appointed assistant director of NDSP in 1979, Rakow was promoted to director in 1985 and served as president of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators from 1993 to 1994.He earned his bachelors degree in police administration fromIndianaUniversity, a masters degree in institutional administration from Notre Dame in 1982, and completed theFBINationalAcademys management training program in 1983.
George Oser, a 1958 graduate, will receive the Rev. Louis J. Putz, C.S.C., Award, which recognizes the development and implementation of programs that have contributed to improving the lives of others.
The founder and first president of Citizens for Good Schools, an interest group for support of public education inHouston, Oser also is the former president, vice president, secretary and treasurer for theHoustonIndependentSchool District.Under his leadership, the board of education established the first magnet schools inHouston, as well as theHoustonCommunity College, and peacefully desegregated the fourth-largest school district in the country.In addition, Oser co-founded Volunteers in Public Schools, which helps screen pre-schoolers for learning disabilities. **
At the insistence of Father Putz, Osers long-time friend and Notre Dame professor, he joined theChristian Family Movement (CFM) and later formed the first official CFM group in the Houston Diocese.A former board member of the citys Notre Dame Club, he also has served as its coordinator for social services and continuing education.Currently, Oser is retired after spending much of his career as a professor and researcher at theUniversityofHoustonand the University of Texas Medical School atHouston.
The Young Alumni Award will be presented to Patrick Schneidau, who earned both his bachelors and master of business administration degrees in 2000, for his inspirational accomplishments since he was graduated from Notre Dame.
A former president and treasurer of the Notre Dame Club of Houston, Schneidaus dedication and leadership strengthened the clubs financial organization, doubled its membership base and expanded club activities.He received abest practicehonor during last years Alumni Senate for his support of the successful Golden Dome Mentors program, which was founded during his tenure as president.He also organized and led the 2003 Vocare Retreat for young alumni living inHouston,San AntonioandAustin.
Currently, Schneidau serves as the director of solutions consulting for PROS Pricing Solutions, which provides consulting and software solutions for companies looking to improve their pricing practices.
Sophomore Whitney Young, a political science and peace studies major fromHouston, will receive the Mike Russo Award for her achievements, service to Notre Dame and strength of character.
A member of the Notre Dame Folk Choir, Young also serves as an assistant director of the Spanish Theater Workshop and a show host on the Universitys student-run radio station, WVFI.Dedicated to campus service programs, she mentors local middle and high school students in the Take Ten program, and has participated in Center for Social Concerns projects, including the Darfur Rally, World AIDS Day and Gulu Walk.Currently, she is taking a course to prepare for an international summer service program inChennai,India, and is praised by those who know her for herwarm, caring nature and dedication to making the world a better place.