Lake Superior State University
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Kjolhede is the well-respected superintendent of the Ionia County Intermediate School District, which provides services and support for nine public schools, two charter schools and six non-public schools. The district spans 576 square miles and has more than 12,000 students. He is also president of the Michigan Association of School Administrators, Region IV.

His work in education has taken him from teaching and serving as a guidance counselor in several districts throughout Michigan to administrative positions for more than 20 years.

"I am truly humbled by being selected for this award," Kjolhede said. "Choosing to attend LSSC almost 40 years ago was the best decision I had made up to that point in my life. Through the LSSC guidance and influence of Paul Ripley, Bud Cooper, coaches Tom Ludwig and Ed Douma and many others, I was able grow and navigate my way to graduation.

"They and LSSC believed in me, giving me the knowledge, skills and confidence to get where I am today," Kjolhede continued. "I gladly support LSSU as repayment for their investment in me and for what they gave to me. The LSSU family has been instrumental in my life and invaluable for the lifelong connections we have made through the institution."

Kjolhede earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and minor in psychology from LSSU, as well as secondary certification in social studies before moving on to earn a master's degree in secondary guidance and counseling from Central Michigan University.

Kjolhede is married to the former Patti Ripley '77. The couple has two children, Kelly and Jamie.

Outstanding Alumnus Robert J. Kjolhede ‘76

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Brandon Gerig Fisheries and Wildlife Management

"Federal grants through the aquatic research lab let me work on an assessment of lake sturgeon in the St. Mary’s River," he says. "I've been tracking adult sturgeon by radio telemetry in hopes of identifying their spawning areas." Besides his sturgeon hydrophone telemetry work at LSSU, Brandon has studied adult Atlantic salmon, radio-tracked an elk herd in Canada, and banded migrating owls at Whitefish Point. [ more ]

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