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Clarkson University Bestows Top Award for Young Alumni

Ronald J. Ayers of Waltham, Mass., director of product and marketing at Atlantis Technology ; Sean T. Bennett of Rochester, N.Y., assistant dean in undergraduate academic affairs at the Rochester Institute of Technology College of Applied Science and Technology; Shannon L. Klabnik of Cabot, Pa., practice director at MiPro Consulting; and Todd D. White of Kanata, Ontario, Ottawa Senators game night radio analysts on Sports Radio 1200 The Team in Ottawa and a Senators alumni ambassador, have all received the Woodstock Award from their alma mater, Clarkson University.
Clarkson University President Tony Collins (left) and Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Steve Newkofsky (right) with award winners Ronald Ayers, Shannon Klabnik, and Sean Bennett. Given each year during Reunion Weekend, the Woodstock Award honors young alumni who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service to Clarkson and the Alumni Association and who have used their Clarkson experience to make a notable contribution to their careers.

Ronald J. Ayers

Ronald J. Ayers received his bachelor of science degree in management information systems from Clarkson University in 2002. While at Clarkson, he was vice president of his class, involved in the Internet Consulting Group and Admissions, a member of the Racquetball Team and Beta Gamma Sigma, and served on the School of Business Advisory Council. During his undergraduate studies, Ayers was the recipient of the Clarkson University Leadership Award, the John W. Graham Jr. Leadership Award, and the Elizabeth A. Kissel ’90 Memorial Endowed Award.

After graduation, Ayers became involved in the Internet start-up community by joining the Daily Jolt as director of advertising. He became responsible for the company’s sales operation, where he generated over $1 million in sales and managed over 100 marketing campaigns. Later, his role expanded into ownership of product development and contributed to a number of new products and feature launches.

In 2007, Ayers accepted a position at RatePoint Inc. as senior marketing manager and was promoted to product manager, overseeing the launch of three products: a social recommendation service, a social ratings environment for virtual worlds, and a SaaS-based online reputation management service for small businesses.

Today, Ayers is the director of product and marketing at Atlantis Technology. He is responsible for handling product management and marketing functions within the organization through concept, prototyping and launch of new Web and mobile applications. As part of his role at Atlantis, Ayers works with a number of rapidly growing Internet startups in San Francisco, New York City and Boston, where he helps to identify and place rising product managers and marketers.

Ayers is a dedicated member of the Clarkson Alumni Council and has served as the Boston Chapter president for the past eight years.

Ayers and his wife, Amy, who graduated from Clarkson in 2000, live in Waltham, Mass., and have two sons, Ronald and Conor.

Sean T. Bennett

Sean T. Bennett received his bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from Clarkson University in 1992 and his M.Ed. in education from SUNY Brockport in 1996. In 2002, Bennett graduated from Harvard University with an Ed.M. in administration, planning and social policy. Currently, he is working on an Ed.D. in higher education administration at the University of Pennsylvania.

In 1996, Bennett accepted the K-12 educator position for the Rochester City School District and in 2001 became the lead administrator/academy director/assistant to headmaster for Edison Schools in Boston, Buffalo and Rochester. In 2003, he returned to Clarkson University as the associate vice president for Institutional Diversity Initiatives and Pipeline Programs where he was responsible for the successful initiative to enhance the engagement of minority students with campus services and programs, such as the Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP), the Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (C-STEP), Student Support Services, and the McNair program, which prepares students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. During this time, he was selected for the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) Independent Sector’s 2007 Alumni Hall of Distinction.

Bennett returned to his hometown of Rochester in 2007 as the director of the multicultural center for academic success at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is currently the assistant dean in undergraduate academic affairs, College of Applied Science and Technology, at RIT.

As an education professional with more than 13 years of combined experience in business, K-12 education and higher education, Bennett focuses on increasing student performance and interest in science, mathematics, engineering and technology along with academic intervention and support.

Bennett is a member of the National Association for Multicultural Engineering Professionals Association, American Indian Science and Engineering Society, National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, National Society of Black Engineers and the National Association for Academic Advising.

Bennett and his wife, Susan Norris, who graduated from Clarkson in 1991, reside in Rochester, N.Y.

Shannon L. Klabnik

Shannon L. Klabnik received her bachelor of science degree in engineering & management from Clarkson University in 1992. While at Clarkson, she was a class officer, a member of the Clarkson Union Board and Clarkson Theatre, resident advisor and resident director, played on the Women’s Rugby Team, and a member of the Pi Mu Epsilon and Sigma Tau Iota honor societies. Klabnik was also a member of the Industrial Distribution Society, Society of Women Engineers, American Chemical Society, American Production and Inventory Control Society and president of Lambda Phi Delta.

Klabnik has spent her career providing consulting services in the areas of business process mapping, reengineering, strategic systems planning and implementation to clients operating in a variety of sectors. She brings 20 years of process and information systems experience focusing on organizations supported by PeopleSoft. Her experience and knowledge in the consulting arena include supply chain, financials, enterprise asset management, manufacturing and human resource management. Her most recent focus has been on Enterprise Asset and Facility Management solutions for clients in power generation, retail, public sector/higher education, health care and steel manufacturing.

Today, Klabnik is the practice director at MiPro Consulting, one of the fastest-growing and most progressive PeopleSoft and Business Intelligence consulting firms in the U.S. She is a strategic advisor for clients and directs the project delivery activities for PeopleSoft Financials, Supply Chain Management and Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) practice.

Klabnik’s commitment to Clarkson has been long-standing. She is actively involved with the Alumni Association serving as the Class of 1992 Reunion Activities Co-Chair for multiple reunions and attending several non-class reunions with her family. Klabnik has served as an alumni admissions volunteer and regularly attends alumni chapter, regional and campus events. She is proud of the continuing evolution of Clarkson’s commitment to academics and student life, particularly under the present leadership.

Klabnik and her husband, Matthew, who graduated from Clarkson in 1991, reside in Cabot, Pa., and have two children, Tyler and Sydney.

Todd D. White

Todd D. White received his bachelor of science degree in accounting and finance from Clarkson University in 1997 and upon graduation embarked on a highly successful professional hockey career.

In his first season in professional hockey, White was the International Hockey League’s Rookie of the Year while playing with the Indianapolis Ice. At the time, the IHL was the top minor professional hockey league in North America. He played two more seasons for the Chicago Blackhawk and Philadelphia Flyer organizations before settling in with his hometown team, the Ottawa Senators, in

While in Ottawa for four years, White’s NHL career took hold. He scored 50 points in 80 games in his first full season for the Senators in 2001-02 and the next year scored 25 goals and 60 points. White also helped the Senators to the 2003 NHL Eastern Conference Finals. The play-off run for Ottawa and the opportunity to play in the last game ever played at the historic Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto are among his personal career highlights.

After the NHL lockout in 2004, he signed with the Minnesota Wild and spent two years in Minneapolis before signing a free agent contract with the Atlanta Thrashers before the 2007-08 season. He scored a career high of 73 points in 2008-09. White finished his NHL career in 2010-11 with the New York Rangers.

At Clarkson University, he was the consummate student athlete. After being named
an All-American in leading Clarkson to the NCAA Quarterfinals in 1996, he followed up with an even better season as a senior. Along with being named a GTE Academic All-American in 1997, White was the NCAA’s top scorer at 2.03 points per game and was named and once again achieved All-American status. He was also a Hobey Baker Award Finalist in 1997 and he finished his Clarkson hockey career with 198 points, the third leading scorer in school history.

Last year, as ECAC Hockey celebrated its 50th year, White was named as one of the Top 50 players in ECAC Hockey history, joining six other Clarkson Golden Knights in the Top 50.

Today, White is the one of the Ottawa Senators Game Night Radio analysts on Sports Radio 1200 The Team in Ottawa and is a Senators Alumni Ambassador.

White and his wife, Sarah, live in Ottawa, Ontario, with their three children, Taylor, Avery and Ryan.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at .]

Photo caption: Four Clarkson University Alumni have received the Woodstock Award from their alma mater. Left to right: Clarkson University President Tony Collins (left) and Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Steve Newkofsky (right) with award winners Ronald Ayers, Shannon Klabnik, and Sean Bennett. Not present for photo: Todd White.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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