MCLA Alumni Association to Present Awards for 2010


NORTH ADAMS, MA - The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) Alumni Association will hold its annual alumni award ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 11 a.m. in Murdock Hall room 218. This year's recipients are James F. Holden-Rhodes '65, Anna M. Saldo-Burke M.Ed. '89 and Dennis P. Zicko '65. 

The public is invited to this event, which recognizes the achievements of past graduates of the College by presenting the following awards: the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Humanitarian Award and the Award for Outstanding Service to MCLA. Tickets to the ceremony, which includes a brunch, are $32. 

Holden-Rhodes is this year's Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Holden-Rhodes is a retired military intelligence officer of the United States Marine Corps, as well as a retired lieutenant colonel of infantry. After retiring from the military, Holden-Rhodes completed a doctorate in philosophy and political science at the University of New Mexico.   

Holden-Rhodes is a full-time technical consultant for Universal Technology Corporation at Space Countermeasures Hands-On Program (SpaceCHOP), Air Force Research Laboratory and an adjunct associate professor of intelligence studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Albuquerque, N.M. The International Association for Intelligence Education selected him as its Outstanding Teacher for 2009. 

He has written and presented papers dealing with the subject of terrorism and the pivotal role of intelligence in successful counter-terrorism operations, including his book "Sharing the Secrets: Open Source Intelligence" and "The War on Drugs." International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts presented him with an award for the work that they said made the greatest contribution to advancing the state of the art in Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysis in 1995.  

In addition, Holden-Rhodes established and served as the director of New Mexico State University's Intelligence Studies program, offering one of the nation's few university courses in intelligence.  

Saldo-Burke is the recipient of the Alumni Association's Humanitarian Award. She is a 27-year veteran teacher and currently teaches third grade at Sullivan Elementary School in North Adams. Throughout her career, she has devoted herself to improving the community and the world as a whole through projects she develops and pursues with her class.  

Saldo-Burke and her students have brought holiday cheer to our troops since 1999, an effort which began with the Operation Troop Support effort through the Berkshire County American Red Cross. Following the events of Sept. 11, 2001, she developed a number of projects to commemorate victims and their families through the "USA Points of Light" initiative. 

Also in 2001, she developed a project to collect food items as part of the "Feinstein Challenge" Food Drive. Together, Saldo-Burke and her students involved local supermarkets and the school community to raise 3,705 food items for the Northern Berkshire Community Action Food Pantry. These are just a few of the many projects she and her students have been involved in. Saldo-Burke has taught students and community members to raise awareness, take action and inspire others. 

Her work has been recognized with numerous awards including the Ladies Auxiliary to the Dr. George I. Curran VFW Post 996 Citizenship Award 2010, the Teaching for Democracy Award in 2008 for outstanding contributions in community service-learning.  

Zicko will receive the Alumni Association's Award for Outstanding Service to the College. After graduating from MCLA, Zicko enjoyed a 36-year career as a high school physics teacher. He received a Master of Natural Science in physics in 1970 from the University of South Dakota. Zicko was awarded the Plymouth County Science Educator of the Year Award in 1990 and was a finalist for the Massachusetts State Science Teacher of the Year Award for 1990-1991. 

In his role as a class agent at the College, Zicko worked to raise $10,000 for the establishment of a Class of 1965 scholarship. With help from his fellow graduates, he secured contributions from an impressive 50 percent of the class. Through this effort, he rebuilt connections between the College and alumni and created a fund to support future students. Zicko was presented with the Class Agent of the Year Award in 2009.

MCLA is honored to count this year's Alumni Award recipients among the ranks of our many distinguished alumni making a difference in the world every day. 

The Award Ceremony is open to the public. For information to purchase tickets, call the MCLA Alumni Office at 413-662-5224 or send your check for $32 to: MCLA Foundation, 375 Church St., North Adams, MA 01247.