As part of its Homecoming celebration, Winona State University will recognize the recipients of the 2012 Distinguished Awards.

Receiving the “Distinguished Alumni Award” are Charles “Barney” Fox (’54) and Dr. Timothy Meyer (’90). Frederick Foss and Fred and Sandy Olson are being recognized with “Distinguished Faculty/Staff Awards.” Echo Huang (’95) will receive the “Distinguished Young Alumni” award, and Richard Jarvinen will be posthumously honored with the “Distinguished Service” award.

A reception and dinner for the award recipients will be held Thursday, Oct. 18, on the Winona campus. Many recipients will also participate in the Homecoming parade at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in Winona.

For more information on WSU Homecoming, visit:

Brief biographies of the recipients are included below:

Barney Fox received both his bachelor’s degree in business education (1954) and master’s degree in business (1967) from WSU. He participated in music and sports programs, playing with the Rhythm Masters under band director Fred Heyer, and playing starting shortstop for the varsity baseball team. Fox would go on to teach at area high schools for 33 years, and continues to play music in various groups to this day.  He is also a member of the Enduring Flame Society at WSU.

Dr. Timothy Meyer graduated cum laude from WSU in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. While at WSU he served as president of multiple organizations, and was Homecoming King in 1987. After graduation, Dr. Meyer received his doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Michigan State in 1995.  He currently serves as Chief Medical Officer and Chief of Staff at Memorial Medical Center in Neillsville, Wis., where he also works as a physician of internal medicine and emergency care.  Dr. Meyer was recently awarded the Congressional National Leadership Award, and served on WSU’s Alumni Society Board for two terms.

Frederick Foss taught chemistry at WSU for 41 years, touching the lives of more than 17,000 students. He served on the faculty senate for 25 years, and chaired the department of chemistry for 26 years, growing the program into an American Chemistry Society accredited program graduating professional chemists. He served as faculty advisor for the local Pi Lambda Phi chapter, and has attended almost every meeting since 1992. In 1998, the chapter named him “Faculty Advisor Emeritus forever and irrevocably.”

Fred and Sandy Olson both taught mathematics for many years at WSU.  Fred joined WSU in 1965 after teaching at Farmington High School. He founded the statistics program and began the teaching of programming. He also offered quality control instruction to local industries. He served as chair to the Mathematics and Statistics department before retiring in 1993. Sandy Olson joined WSU after teaching in the St. Paul public school system and taught mathematics and statistics for 28 years before also retiring in 1993.  She started multiple courses and founded the math minor for elementary education at WSU.

Echo Huang graduated summa cum laude from WSU in 1995, just three years after coming to the U.S. from China. She received multiple scholarships, and was an active member of the International Students Club and other cross-cultural activities. Huang has quickly advanced throughout her career, and is currently partner and financial advisor at The Advocate Group in Minnetonka, where she provides financial planning and investment management to many Fortune 500 executives and their families. She also founded the China AIDS Orphan Fund, and has served on the WSU Alumni Board.

Richard Jarvinen joined the WSU Mathematics and Statistics department in 1989 and retired in 2010, teaching math and statistics virtually every semester of his WSU career. His book on finite and infinite dimensional linear space was chosen as one of the top contributions to his field. Jarvinen also worked as a research scientist consultant for NASA, where he developed statistical models that helped diagnose the cause of the Challenger disaster. He was especially proud of his work to build the original cross-country skiing and running trails in Winona, and was instrumental in starting several cross-country ski programs.