Posted 8:25 a.m. Tuesday, April 20, 2021

2021 Distinguished Alumni: Anna Hatch, ’09; Mai J. Lo Lee, ’07; Scott Noet, ’90 and Margaret Van Bree, ’82.

Four selected for university’s top honors

Alumni from the ’80s through 2009 have earned top awards bestowed by the UW-La Crosse Alumni Association for 2021. All are being honored for distinguished service and successful careers.

Distinguished alumni awarded in 2020 and 2021 will be honored virtually in fall 2021 or during an in-person ceremony in 2022, if possible. When recognized, the alumni will speak with students and take part in a campus panel discussion.

A virtual ceremony for some of the recipients is set for 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Get details from the Alumni Association calendar.

The 2021 honorees include:


The Maurice O. Graff Distinguished Alumni Award

Recognizes outstanding achievement of alumni who have brought honor and distinction to the university. Long-time administrator Maurice O. Graff instituted the honor in 1977.

Margaret Van Bree, ’82

Margaret Van Bree, ’82

  • Revered health executive, educator; collaborator; mentor.
  • Recipient of Exemplary Leadership Award, Ronald McDonald House of Providence; Career Achievement Award, Providence Business News; Houston’s 50 Most Influential Women, others.
  • Retired president of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
  • Bachelor’s in community health education; master’s in hospital administration, University of Minnesota; doctorate in public health, Tulane University.
    (Will accept award in fall 2022)


Rada Distinguished Alumni Award

Recognizes alumni who have graduated within the last 20 years, achieved professional distinction and taken part in humanitarian activities. Professor emeritus Ron Rada and his wife, Jane, created the award in 2002. 

Anna Hatch, ’09

Anna Hatch, ’09

  • Renowned scientist in biomedical research, science diplomacy and science communication.
  • Recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship; P.E.O. Scholar Award.
  • Currently a Declaration on Research Assessment Program Director at the American Society for Cell Biology in Rockville, Maryland.
  • Bachelor’s in biology and chemistry; doctorate in biochemistry, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.


Parker Distinguished Multicultural Alumni Award

Recognizes outstanding alumni who have contributed significantly to the improvement of multicultural understanding on the campus and in their careers. History Professor Emeritus James Parker initiated the award in 1997.

Mai J. Lo Lee, ’07

Mai J. Lo Lee, ’07

  • Student mentor; social justice advocate.
  • Recipient of the 2020 Wisconsin’s 48 Most Influential Asian American Leaders; appointed to Governor’s Advisory Council on Equity and Inclusion, 2021.
  • Currently Diversity Director of Multi-Ethnic Students Affairs, UW-Green Bay.
  • Master’s in education; bachelor’s in mass communications and English, UW-Eau Claire.



Burt and Norma Altman Teacher Education Award

Honors and recognizes outstanding educators and the significant contributions they make to children and communities. Professor Emeritus Burt Altman and his wife, Norma, long-time supporters of teacher education, created the award in 2015.


Scott Noet, ’90

Scott Noet, ’90

  • Dedicated and respected long-time educator.
  • Recipient of the Goethe Institute American Fellow of the Year; Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History Minnesota Teacher of the Year; state and school Teacher of the Year; Transatlantic Outreach Program Fellow of the Year; others.
  • Currently a 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher at Owatonna, Minnesota, Public Schools.
  • Bachelor’s in history; master’s in education, Southwest State, Marshall, Minnesota.