Bemidji State University Distinguished Alumni

The Bemidji State University Alumni & Foundation has named five Bemidji State alumni as distinguished alumni for the 2022-2023 academic year. The following honorees will be officially recognized during Bemidji State University’s Honors Gala in Bemidji on September 16, 2022.

More information about the BSU Honors Gala is available here:

Bemidji State University’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni

Outstanding Alumni Award
Joseph Provost ’88, Spring Valley, Calif.
Cheri Goodwin ’11, Bemidji, Minn.
Dr. Thomas Chong ’92, Singapore
Dr. Timothy Beebe ’87, Minneapolis, Minn.

Professional Education Hall of Fame Inductee
Sally Soliday ‘78, Lakeville, Minn.

Inductee Biographies

B.S. Chemistry

A 1988 Bemidji State University chemistry graduate, Dr. Joseph Provost has been a tireless researcher, educator and mentor for hundreds of chemists and biologists during his 34-year career.

A believer in undergraduate research’s power to train the next generation of scientists, Provost was instrumental in transforming the biochemistry and biotechnology programs at Minnesota State University – Moorhead from lecture-based to research-centered departments during his tenure as a chemistry professor from 1997-2013.

Provost currently serves as professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of San Diego, where much of his research focuses on the role transport proteins play in cancer progression.

B.S. Social Work

The executive director of Red Lake Nation’s Ombimindwaa Gidinawemaaganinaadog (Uplifting Our Relatives) program since 2015, Goodwin has dedicated her career to building a healing-based social service organization anchored in traditional Ojibwe practices, culture and language.

Goodwin pioneered a dramatic shift in traditional family welfare services by leading a team that provides innovative intergenerational family services to the Red Lake Nation. By removing the stigma associated with receiving services, offering resources to strengthen families and “decolonizing” traditional family services, the Ombimindwaa Gidinawemaaganinaadog program has been one of Red Lake Nation’s greatest success stories.

B.S. Elementary Education

Dr. Thomas Chong works as Associate Director of External Relations at James Cook University in Singapore where he builds strategic partnerships with local industries, oversees charity initiatives, community engagement projects and coordinates student career placements. 

Chong’s extensive career history includes receiving multiple awards for his work with IBM’s Asian market, franchising an award-winning indoor playground business, serving as deputy director for Singapore’s Workforce Development Agency and several other tourism, education and business organizations.

The Singapore Ministry of Education recognized Chong’s long-time dedication to education and community by awarding him the ministry’s Service to Education Award three separate times. He was also recognized by the now-president of Singapore for his contributions to public engagement and community leadership in 2016.

B.S. Psychology
B.S. Biology

An expert in healthcare survey methodologies, Dr. Timothy Beebe has spent over 30 years lending his expertise to universities, public health research institutions and the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

Beebe is currently a professor and interim dean at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, deputy director for the university’s Center for Learning Health System Sciences and senior advisor for their Clinical and Translational Science Institute. Beebe is also a research affiliate and adjunct professor for Mayo Clinic and the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota, respectively.

His contributions to healthcare research are far-reaching, having authored nearly 200 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and other works over his career. Beebe has also mentored and advised over 70 graduate-level students since 2005.

B.S. Elementary Education

Sally Soliday is the director of elementary education for Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan Public Schools, Minnesota’s fourth-largest school district. Soliday oversees the district’s 19 elementary schools, provides leadership in the development and implementation of the district’s literacy and full-day Kindergarten programs and helps coordinate an early learning program for pre-school children.

A 1978 BSU elementary education graduate, Soliday has devoted 37 years in service to the Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan school district as an elementary teacher, staff mentor and principal.