Alumni Profiles - Montana Tech
Alumni Profiles - Alumni - Montana Tech

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Distinguished Alumni 2020

James Fraser

James Fraser

B.S. Petroleum Engineering 1975
President & CEO of RimRock Oil and Gas


Jim has over 40 years of significant upstream experience across the USA and Canada. He has a proven track record of creating, building, and leading value-adding organizations with technical and operational expertise across conventional and unconventional assets.

Mr. Fraser began his professional career with Marathon Oil Company. He worked for several public companies, most notably over 20 years with Burlington Resources in various management, exploration, operations, and engineering roles across different Rocky Mountain basins, the San Juan Basin, and key successful exploration programs. He was V.P. of Operations for Chesapeake Energy's Southern Division encompassing Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico with major capital programs in the Barnett and Haynesville Shales and the Permian Basin. Following his time at Chesapeake, he was Senior Vice President of Talisman Inc.'s North American Shale Division, where he led the growth and expansion of four major operating areas in both the USA and Canada.

Jim turned to the private sector in 2012, starting his own consulting company working on shale projects across North America, South America, and Europe before becoming co-founder, CEO, and President of private equity-backed RimRock Oil and Gas in 2016. Starting with an entrepreneurial spirit and from ground zero, the RimRock team operates in North Dakota with a corporate office in Denver.

Jim has also served on the Board of Directors of Enerplus Corporation, U.S. Energy and private companies Amromco, Mountaineer Keystone, and Sabine Oil and Gas. 

He has been married to his wife, Amy, for over 38 years, and they have four grown children and eight grandchildren. They currently reside in the Denver area while spending as much time as possible at the family retreat on Flathead Lake in Montana. 

James TangaroJames Tangaro

B.S. Environmental Engineering 1988
Refinery Manager for Marathon Petroleum Company


James Tangaro is the Refinery Manager for Marathon Petroleum Company's refinery in Anacortes, Washington. He has 32 years of experience in the petroleum industry. Before the Anacortes assignment, James was the Vice President, Kenai Refinery, Director of Business Operations for three refineries and marketing areas. He spent 14 years at a Salt Lake City refinery, where he was an engineer, the Environmental Health and Safety Manager, and the Operations Manager. 

James grew up in Butte, Montana, attended Butte High School and Montana Tech. At Tech, he earned a bachelor's degree in Environmental Engineering in May of 1988. His degree opened the door to a job as an environmental engineer working offshore oil and gas exploration and production out of Lafayette, LA. During the next 30 years, James progressed through many assignments that led him to manage refineries for the last nine years. 

James married Michele (Riley) Tangaro 35 years ago as she was earning a degree in Accounting from Montana Tech. After they graduated in May of 1988, they moved to Lafayette, LA, to start their careers. They have moved seven times since then, but Butte will always be home. They have two daughters, Rachel and Ashley, ages 34 and 30.

Kendell V. TholstromKendell V. Tholstrom

B.S. Environmental Engineering 1968
M.S. Petroleum Engineering 1970


Kendell (Ken) V. Tholstrom graduated from Anaconda High School in 1963, where he was student body president and co-captain of the football team. After graduating from high school, he went on to Montana Tech, where he graduated with a bachelor of science degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1968 and a master of science in Petroleum Engineering in 1970. While at Tech, he was the junior class president and named All-Conference football for four years. 

Ken spent 42 years in the Petroleum Industry in various engineering and management positions with Getty Oil Company, ARCO, and Terra Resources. He was the V.P. and General Manager with Presidio Oil Company for ten years in Denver; co-founder and V.P. of American Oil and Gas Company in Denver until it sold to Hess Corporation in 2020. 

Ken is a member of the Montana Tech Athletic Hall of Fame. He is a great supporter of the university. He has served on the Petroleum Department's Advisory Board, the Montana Tech Foundation Board, and established the Tholstrom Family Endowed Scholarship for Anaconda High School student-athletes.

Ken and his wife Claudia Samuelson are retired and live near Park City, UT. They have eight children, thirty-one grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Distinguished Alumni 2019

bob morris

Robert Morris

B.S. Geophysical Engineering 1984
M.S. Engineering Science 1991
Chief Engineering Services Officer, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL)


Bob Morris is the chief engineering services officer at Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), where he leads and directs the Engineering Services global organization.

Morris received his B.S. in geophysical engineering and M.S. in engineering science from Montana Tech. He worked for Montana Power Company in substation and generation plant automation from 1987 to 1991.

In 1991, Morris joined SEL and has held multiple positions of increasing responsibility in the leadership of product design, development, marketing, and support. He has extensive experience designing, testing, and commissioning electric power system protection and control devices and systems. Morris is an expert in defining and improving engineering quality procedures and measures across multidiscipline project teams and has a track record for building successful engineering organizations and business units.

Morris received his E.I.T. registration in Montana in 1991. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and serves on the advisory boards for the University of Idaho College of Engineering and Montana Tech Electrical Engineering. He was newly appointed as a member on the Montana Tech Foundation board of directors. Morris served 9 years as a president on the board of directors for the Palouse Discovery Science Center. He is named on eight U.S. patents.

Jack McCarthy

John McCarthy

B.S. Petroleum Engineering 1973
Retired, Hunt Oil Company, Officer and Senior Vice President Drilling


John M. (Jack) McCarthy retired from Hunt Oil Company as an Officer and Senior Vice President Drilling in 2015. Over his 42-year career, he managed engineering projects and drilling operations in 18 states and 20 countries. Jack is a Butte kid. He attended St. Pat’s grade school and graduated with the last class from Boys Central High School in 1969. He earned his B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Montana Tech in 1973. Jack and his bride of 46 years, Leah (Kump), a Butte girl, have three children and six grandchildren, and currently make their home in McKinney, Texas.

Following graduation, Jack joined ARCO in Anchorage, Alaska, and progressed through engineering assignments in Cook Inlet operations and Prudhoe Bay Field development. In 1976, he joined Husky Oil, NPR Operations, Inc., as Sr. Drilling Engineer, and was appointed Drilling Manager in 1978, responsible for remote air supported year-round exploratory drilling operations on the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

Rejoining ARCO in late 1979, he served as District Drilling Engineer and District Drilling Superintendent for the Rocky Mountain District in Denver, Colorado managing 20-25 rigs in exploration and development drilling. In 1985, he transferred to Midland, Texas as District Production Superintendent to manage the newly consolidated Central District, and strategic divestiture of 2900 operated wells and facilities. Returning to Alaska in 1988 as Prudhoe Bay Maintenance Manager, he focused on safety and managed the consolidation of the Maintenance and Operations Departments. Promoted to Prudhoe Bay Operations Manager, he emphasized safely while maximizing oil production during major facility expansion and integration projects in excess of $1.5 Billion. In 1992, he was promoted to ARCO International Drilling Manager in Plano, Texas providing headquarters liaison and technical leadership for delivery of safe, cost effective worldwide drilling operations onshore and offshore, through ARCO subsidiaries in China, the United Kingdom, Dubai, and Indonesia. He directly managed New Ventures drilling programs in Ecuador, Yemen, Algeria, and Egypt, and offshore New Zealand, Tunisia, and Qatar.

In 1996, Jack formed an international consulting business, Petroleum Operations Advisors. He provided clients with many diverse engineering and management services including drilling optimization assessments in South Africa, conceptional geothermal engineering in Indonesia, facility engineering and maintenance management in Alaska, managed pressure drilling feasibility in Alaska, field SIMOPS and new facility integration in Venezuela.

Joining Hunt Oil Company in Dallas in 2000, he managed drilling operations in Yemen, and served as country manager for a semi-submersible project in Ghana. In mid-2001 he was assigned as Hunt’s technical liaison for Camisea Field Development in Peru. In 2003, Jack was assigned as Hunt Oil Company Drilling Manager providing leadership for Hunt’s worldwide drilling operations. He was appointed an Officer and Vice President in 2006, and Senior Vice President in 2013. Hunt’s scope of drilling operations included land, inland waters, and offshore operations across the US, and International exploration operations in Oman, remote helicopter operations in Peru, and exploration and development in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, and Romania. Offshore operations included semi-submersible projects offshore NW Australia, and deepwater drillship operations offshore Togo and Benin.

Throughout his career Jack has been a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the American Association of Drilling Contractors, and Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity. Jack held numerous certifications in safety and environmental management, incident investigation, and as ICS Incident Commander – Oil Spill Response.

keith macphail

Keith MacPhail

B.S. Petroleum Engineering 1984
Chairman of Bonavista Energy Corporation and Chairman of NuVista Energy Ltd.


Keith MacPhail is Chairman of Bonavista Energy Corporation and Chairman of NuVista Energy Ltd., both of which are publicly traded oil and gas companies. He also serves on the board of directors of Cenovus Energy and one other private company.

Mr. MacPhail was Executive Chairman of Bonavista Energy from 2012 to 2018, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 2008 to 2012 and President and Chief Executive Officer from 1997 to 2008. Prior to joining Bonavista, Mr. MacPhail held progressively more responsible positions with Canadian Natural Resources Limited, a publicly traded oil and gas company, where he ultimately served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer. He also served as Production Manager at Poco Petroleums Ltd.

Mr. MacPhail holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree in Petroleum Engineering from the Montana College of Mineral Science and is a member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta.


callentine, skye

Skye Callantine

B.S. Geophysical Engineering 1998
President and Chief Executive Officer, Felix Energy


Skye founded Felix Energy in 2013 and serves as the company's President and Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, Felix has built and sold numerous assets consisting of upstream projects, midstream assets and mineral interests in Texas and Oklahoma. Felix is headquartered in Denver and currently operates significant upstream and midstream assets in West Texas. In addition, Skye founded Fortis Minerals in 2016 and serves as the company’s Chairman of the Board. Fortis is one of the largest private companies in oil & gas minerals and royalties in the United States. Prior to founding Felix and Fortis, Skye worked for Chesapeake Energy, where he led the building of large-scale projects in Texas and Louisiana. Skye started his career with ConocoPhillips and served in numerous technical and leadership roles in exploration and production in North America, South America and Asia.

Raised in Belgrade, Montana, Skye enlisted in the U.S. Air Force after graduating high school. After serving the term of his enlistment, Skye returned to Montana to attend Montana Tech. He completed his B.S. degree in Geophysical Engineering in 1997 and left Montana again to join ConocoPhillips in Oklahoma. Skye earned his MBA at Oklahoma State University while working on international exploration at ConocoPhillips. His career at ConocoPhillips took him around the world including living in China and Venezuela.

Skye and his wife, Kambria, met in Belgrade in high school and have been married for 26 years. Skye’s sister and brother-in-law are both graduates of Montana Tech. Skye serves on the board of the Montana Tech Foundation. He and Kambria are avid supporters of the university.

Honorary Doctorate Recipient, 2018

John MansantiJohn Mansanti

B.S. Chemistry 1977
M.S. Mineral Dressing 1978
President C.E.O. - Crystal Peak Minerals Inc.


John Mansanti is a graduate of Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology with a B.S. in Chemistry and Masters in Mineral Processing Engineering. He has almost 40 years or mine operations experience. Mansanti began his career processing copper in Utah, soon followed by the processing of lead and zinc in Missouri.  He spent most of his career in the gold fields of Nevada.  More recently he developed and managed potash operations in Utah and New Mexico.  He is currently the President and CEO of Crystal Peak Minerals in Salt Lake City, Utah.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for Rye Patch Gold.  

Mansanti is a Professional Engineer in the state of Nevada. In 2017 he was the President of the Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME). He has received several technical awards, most notably the Richard’s Award from SME’s Mineral Processing Division.  In 2012 the Director of the Department of the Interior recognized Mansanti and his co-chair for their leadership in the collaboration between the oil and gas industry and the potash industry. This resulted in a new Order under Secretary Salazar for the co-development of resources in New Mexico. 

Mansanti has been involved in youth and educational matters for most of his adult life. He was a school board trustee for eight years, a youth group leader and has served on numerous college advisory boards, including Montana Tech’s Metallurgy and Materials Industrial Advisory Board.  He thanks the Sisters of Charity, the Butte Public Schools System and Montana Tech for the education he received.

Mansanti met his wife Margaret Melvin at Montana Tech; they are celebrating their 36th year of marriage. John & Margie have three children and six grandchildren. 

Distinguished Alumni, 2018

Brad Archibald

Brad Archibald

B.S. Environmental Engineering 1987
President and CEO, Pioneer Technical Services, Inc.


Since 2004, Brad has been President and CEO of Pioneer Technical Services, Inc., a nationally recognized leader in engineering and environmental services, particularly the remediation, restoration, and re-use ofl and and streams impacted by historic mining. During that time, he has guided the company through the strains of growth and the stresses of recession, with positive outcomes through both.

Reared in the rust belt, and all these years later an unapologetic Buckeye fan, he immediately felt at home when he arrived in Butte for college after graduating from Whitmer High School in Toledo. After graduating from Montana Tech with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering in 1987, his career took him to stints with the South Dakota Department of Water and Natural Resources and Black and Veatch. After returning to Butte and Montana Tech in 1990 for graduate school, he was fortunate to land a job at MSE, which allowed him to remain in Butte. In 1993, he became one of the inaugural environmental engineering PEs. He joined Pioneer in 1995 as an engineer and project manager, until his promotion to CEO in 2004.

Brad and his wife of 29 years, Francene (B.S., Technical Communications, 1986, see "return to Butte" above) are the proud parents of Zach (18) and Sophie (13). Besides his many avocations and community contributions, Brad has dedicated most of his efforts to Charities Through Jeremy and their support of southwest Montana youth, the Butte Soccer Club, and the Montana Tech Foundation.

Kathy Arnold Director of Environment for Hudbay Mineral’sKatherine Arnold

B.S. Mineral Processing, Computer Sciences and Mathematics 1987
M.S. Project Engineering Management 2003
Director of Environment, Hudbay Mineral’s


Kathy is the Director of Environment for Hudbay Mineral’s Arizona Business Unit, where she works on permitting, mitigation, planning, and compliance activities for the Rosemont Copper Project.  As part of her duties, she directs operations for the 30,000-acre Rosemont Ranch.  She also leads the Corporate Affairs Team that manages communications, stakeholder management, government affairs, and community giving.  Kathy graduated from Montana Tech with B.S. degrees in Mineral Processing Engineering, Computer Science, and Mathematics as well as an M.S. degree in Project and Engineering Management. 

Raised in Butte, Montana, Kathy has lived in Arizona since 1988, working in the mining industry.  She held numerous positions with Asarco at their active mining operations and in their corporate office.  During her tenure with Asarco, she worked with the Development Projects Group on projects in Bolivia, Chile, French Guiana, including an in-situ mining project in Casa Grande, Arizona.  After leaving Asarco, she worked as a Senior Environmental Project Engineer for Tetra Tech and then joined Rosemont Copper Company in February 2008.

Kathy has been a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Arizona since 2006 and is on the Industry Leadership Board for Montana Tech’s Department of Metallurgy and Materials Engineering.  She is a member of SME, is on the Environment Committee for the National Mining Association, participates in the Arizona Mining Association as well as in the American Exploration and Mining Association.  Kathy was also a Foster Care Review Board volunteer in Pima County, Arizona for the Supreme Court System for 9 years.

Dr. Ron Layton, Deputy Assistant Director, US Secret ServiceDr. Ron Layton

B.S. Engineering Science, 1989
Deputy Assistant Director, US Secret Service


Ron Layton is the Deputy Assistant Director of the United States Secret Service; Office of Protective Operations where he is responsible for the protection of all living former Presidents and former first ladies. Dr. Layton is also responsible for the protection of all foreign Heads of State who visit the United States.

A 26-year veteran of the Secret Service, Dr. Layton served in numerous supervisory assignments. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Assistant Director, Dr. Layton was the Special Agent in Charge of the White House Technical liaison section, responsible for the daily operations and long-term strategy for information systems provided to the President of the United States.

Dr. Layton began his career in the Philadelphia Field Office as Special Agent. He was subsequently assigned to several positions in Washington, D.C. to include the Presidential Protective Division, the Counter Assault Team, and Criminal Investigative Division. Dr. Layton’s supervisory career began as the Deputy Director of the National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security, the Program Director of the Secret Service Electronic crimes task forces; supervising 17 task forces across the United States. Dr. Layton also worked as a supervisor in the Special Operations Division, commanding counter assault teams in Iraq and Afghanistan, in direct support of the President. While serving in the Special Operations Division, Dr. Layton was the chief tactical architect of several National Special Security Events; to include, the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention, The Visit of the Pope to the United States and the G-20.

A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mr. Layton is a long time martial arts practitioner and competitor, holding the rank of 8th degree black belt in Karate and Jiu-Jitsu; as well as the winner of 8 AAU Gold Medals among many other awards.

Prior to his appointment with the Secret Service, Dr. Layton worked as an electrical engineer, writing software in the automation and controls industry; in addition, Dr. Layton worked as an adjunct instructor of Physics and Mathematics at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Layton holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Business Administration.

Ron is a proud Alumnus of Montana Tech….Go Diggers.

Joe MichelettiJoe Micheletti

B.S. Mineral Processing, 1987
Chief Operating Officer, Westmoreland Coal Company


Joe Micheletti is currently Chief Operating Officer of Westmoreland Coal Company.  Mr. Micheletti is the officer responsible for day to day operations of Westmoreland’s (19) mining operations across Canada and the US.  Westmoreland’s cornerstone/core value of “Uncompromised Safety” and a culture of always treating people right, are the attributes of Westmoreland that he is most proud of.  Joe joined Westmoreland in August 1998 and he overflows with great admiration and great pride in leading a committed and dedicated workforce of 3,000 employees.   From 2012 through 2016, Joe was key to growing Westmoreland’s business platform fourfold, having lead due diligence, business plan development, and overseeing integration of multiple acquisitions.

A mineral processing engineer by education, Joe graduated with honors from Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology in 1987.  Joe started his mining career in the gold mining industry, but has now spent most of his career with Westmoreland in the coal sector.  He has worked in the production, maintenance, processing, and engineering disciplines of the mining industry for 31-years.  Joe previously served as President of the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute, an association of nine western US states dedicated to the promotion of western coal through public education and youth scholarship.

Joe is a 4th generation Montanan, an Anaconda kid.  He and his beautiful wife Jenni reside in Billings Montana and are blessed with three children, Joey, Alyssa and Nico.  The Micheletti’s favorite hobbies revolve around enjoying Montana’s Big Sky, especially boating, fly fishing, water skiing, snowmobiling, and above all just spending time at the family’s Georgetown Lake cabin.

UUno Sahinen Recipient

Thomas Tad DaleThomas A. "Tad" Dale

B.S. Mining Engineering, 1973


The Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology at Montana Tech has named Thomas A. ‘Tad’ Dale as the recipient of the 2018 Uuno Sahinen Silver Medallion. The award is named after former Bureau Director, the late Uuno Sahinen, widely recognized for the Bureau’s growth. The Uuno Sahinen Award acknowledges “outstanding contributions in understanding and development of energy, mineral, or groundwater resources in Montana” and is given to an outstanding geologist each year.

Tad was born in Sheridan, Montana in 1951 and graduated from high school in Twin Bridges, Montana in 1969.  He was raised in a family that was involved in mining for 3 generations; his great uncles came to the Tobacco Root Mountains in 1900 to establish a boarding house and way-station.  Tad grew up with 5 brothers who were always tagging along with their parents on prospecting trips and gold panning adventures.

Tad earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology in 1973.  He worked in both the underground and surface mines of the Anaconda Company as a student miner while attending college.  In 1971 he married his high school sweetheart, Marilynn, who was pursuing a degree in nursing from MSU in Bozeman.

After graduation, Tad and Marilynn headed to Inspiration, Arizona, where he started his career in copper mining while Marilynn worked at the company hospital.  Tad served in several engineer-in-training positions and was promoted to Drilling and Blasting Foreman in 1975; in 1976, they left Arizona to return to their beloved state and family in Montana.  Tad accepted the position of Mine Superintendent with Pfizer Inc., at their talc operation in Dillon.  This was a very important time in their lives as they welcomed a daughter, Shannon in 1977, and son Jeremy in 1979.  In 1981, at the age of 30, he was elected President of the Montana Mining Association (MMA).  He is still a member of the MMA Board of Directors, he drafted legislation that was passed into law as part of the Metal Mine Reclamation Act, and served six years on the Environmental Quality Council. 

Tad left Pfizer in 1988 and joined Pegasus Gold Corporation as a consulting engineer living in Butte and working for the operation at Montana Tunnels near Montana City.  In 1989 he was hired as Senior Project Engineer for the construction and operation of the Pegasus Beal Mountain Mine near Anaconda.  He left Pegasus Gold in 1995, to pursue the development of his own cyanide heap leach gold mine near Norris, Montana.  In 2003, he took the position of Environmental Manager for Montana Resources LLP in Butte. He was promoted to Vice President of Human Resources in 2005 and took over the responsibilities of permitting, reclamation, human resources, and security of the mining operation. 

Tad is a Registered Professional Engineer with a 42-year career in the business of mining before his retirement in 2015.  He is also a member of the Society of Mining Engineers, holds a First-Class Blaster’s License, has been on the Executive Board of Montana Tech, the Montana Tech Foundation Board, and in 2000 received the “Distinguished Alumni” Award from Montana Tech.  He also served on the State Groundwater Assessment and Steering Committee as an Industrial user representative.  Tad has been active in support of a missionary training school, orphanage, and medical clinic in Tanzania, Africa. He is one of eight Dales to graduate from Montana Tech, all as Mining Engineers. 

Chancellor's Medallion Recipient

Daniel Joseph Bradley

Daniel Joseph Bradley - Petroleum Engineer 1982

President, Indiana State University, Retired


Daniel Bradley is a Canadian-American chemist and petroleum engineer, researcher, professor, and administrator. From July 2008 to January of 2018, he has served as president of Indiana State University. Before that, he served as president of Fairmont State University, beginning in February 2001. He was previously a professor at Montana Tech of the University of Montana where he held administrative positions as department head, dean, and vice-chancellor.

Bradley was born in Portage la PrairieManitoba, Canada. When he was seven years old, his family moved to California. Bradley became a US Citizen in 1971.  He began his college career at University of California Berkeley, from 67-70.  After serving in the United States Army from 70-71, Bradley entered Michigan State University, where in 1973, he finished his bachelors’ degree in Biochemistry.  He continued graduate studies at Michigan State, earning a doctorate in Physical Chemistry in 1978.

Bradley’s scientific research was focused on thermodynamics and the properties of electrolytes and other aqueous solutions.  It resulted in what has come to be known as the Bradley-Pitzer equation, which has been frequently used by scientists to calculate the coefficients in the Debye–Hückel equation.

In 1979, Bradley became a faculty member at Montana Tech. He studied petroleum engineering at Montana Tech, earning a bachelor’s in 1982. The following year, he obtained a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Tulsa.

In 1986, Bradley served as interim Dean of Student Affairs. In 1987, he became the director of the International Programs at Montana Tech, serving in the position until 1989, when he became head of the Petroleum Department. In 1991, he became Dean of Engineering serving until 1998. Bradley became Vice-Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Research, serving in that post from 1998 to 2001.

Beginning in 1994, he served on the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission. On the ABET board, he represented the Society of Petroleum Engineers. During his tenure, he also served as chair of the ABET Board of Directors' Finance Committee. In May 2006, he was appointed treasurer of ABET.  Bradley was named a Fellow of ABET in 2010. 

From 1991-1997, Bradley wrote or co-wrote and managed over 5 million dollars in Training Grants at Montana Tech.

In February 2001, Bradley was appointed the president of Fairmont State University where he served until June of 2008.

At FSU, Bradley oversaw significant changes to the university’s academic programs and infrastructure including offering it first graduate degrees. During his presidency, the university was involved in construction projects valued at more than $100 million. Bradley was responsible for implementing the university’s first major capital campaign and successful Strategic Plan, Defining our Future.

In July 2008, Bradley became President of Indiana State University. He was the 11th person to serve in the position since the school’s founding in 1865.

Bradley’s tenure at ISU was marked by record growth.  During the first five years of the Strategic Plan, The Pathway to Success, the University’s enrollment rose to a record high of over 13,500 students. This was a significant increase from 10,500 students at the beginning of his tenure.  The University also received national recognition for Community Service, being ranked #1 by Washington Monthly.  

ISU experienced gains in its four-year graduation rates and became known as an institution focused on student success and access.  As recently as March 2017, Bradley successfully lobbied against decreases in University funding, as proposed in the 2018–19 State budget.  Those efforts lead to a $4.7 million increase focused on improving student outcomes. 

 Bradley oversaw several university construction and renovation projects totaling more than $300 million, which included a $64 million project to improve the facilities of the College of Health and Human Services and construction/remodeling of residence halls containing more than 3000 beds.

In 2010, Bradley was among the seventy-one college administrators signing "a pledge to improve student learning." They were part of the Presidents' Alliance for Excellence in Student Learning and Accountability. 

In 2011, oil was rediscovered in Terre Haute. Two years later, Bradley celebrated a successful drilling effort on the university property by presenting jars full of crude oil to the school’s Board of Trustees. In the first year of extraction, oil production had generated about $350,000 in revenue for the University.

In April 2017, Bradley announced he would be stepping down as President of Indiana State. Although his contract was not due to expire until June 2019, he said the planned retirement was due to a desire to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests. 

Bradley is married to Cheri Bradley. Together they have three sons and four grandchildren. The Bradley’s are now enjoying a sabbatical before returning to ISU to continue with the University in phased retirement.

Distinguished Alumni, 2017

George R BurnsGeorge R. Burns

B.S. Mining Engineering, 1982
President and Chief Executive Officer, Eldorado Gold


George Burns has over 35 years of mining experience including executive, operations, development, and engineering leadership roles in gold, copper, and coal operations. He is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Eldorado Gold, headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

George has worked for several major mining companies over the years including:
• Goldcorp where he held the positions of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President Mexico Operations and Senior Vice President, Canada, and United States Operations.
• Centerra Gold where he was Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
• Asarco in various capacities including Vice President of Mining
• Cyprus Minerals in various capacities including General Manager
• Anaconda Company while attending Montana Tech.

Mr. Burns received a Bachelor of Science degree in Mining Engineering from the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology in December 1982. George is proud to have grown up in Butte, Montana and to have graduated from Montana Tech. He comes from a long family tradition in mining including his father, George Burns a geologist; brother, Tim Burns, mining engineer; sister, Liz Burns Howell, mining engineer; brother, Dan Burns, construction manager; many uncles that were mining engineers or who worked in the Butte mines to support their education; an uncle, Mel Poad, who also received the Distinguished Alumni Award; both grandfathers were underground miners in Butte and a great grandfather was a successful prospector.

George’s wife Nara, mother Dana Burns and brother Tim are joining him at the Commencement Ceremony. He has four children: Brittney, a special education teacher in Arizona; Chris, a student in Washington; Shanell and Blaze are in grade school and keep his wife Nara and him very busy.

George and his family live in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. They enjoy the beach, skiing, biking, hiking, camping, traveling and family outings.

Dennis ChorneyDennis Chorney

B.S. Petroleum Engineering, 1980
Vice Chairman and Co-Founder, Teine Energy


Dennis completed six years of post-secondary education from the University of Saskatchewan, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Montana Tech. Dennis spent the first 25 years of his career with a major Canadian exploration and production (E&P) company, PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. throughout Canada, the US and Internationally. This was a wide-ranging technical career that began on the drilling rig floor and field operations and extended to senior engineering roles, executive management and company/industry board positions.

The past 20 years, Dennis has been involved in founding, co-founding, managing and participating with teams in directing the financing, exploration, development and production operations of a number of Canadian and International public and private E&P companies: Anglo Albanian Petroleum which became Bankers Petroleum; Argonauts Group Limited which merged into Cequel which spawned Ceries and Proex and ultimately Progress Energy; Argo Energy which became Sequoia Energy Trust which then merged with Daylight Energy; Tiger Cat Energy which became RMS Systems Inc; Norquay Capital which provided the vehicle for Xtreme Coil Drilling to go public; Sandy Cove Energy (Trinidad) which became Touchstone Exploration; and Marble Point Energy which became Teine Energy Ltd.

Dennis is currently Vice Chairman and co-founder of Teine Energy, a private E&P company financially partnered with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB). Teine is exclusively focused on a Viking resource play in south western Saskatchewan controlling a million acres of land in the play with in excess of 5,000 further wells in proven inventory and current production of about 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Throughout his career, he has been involved with advanced education and both local and international charities / NGO’s through participation on various university, college and trade school advisory committees, foundation boards and SAIT’s recent $125 million campaign cabinet. He continues to support and advocate for two main nonprofits in Calgary: Wood’s Homes, originally an orphanage with a 100 year history that today provides services for some 10,000 at risk children and families per year in Alberta and Canada and, CAWST (the Center for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology), a Calgary based NGO that developed and provides a simple creative technology that has touched the lives of more than 10 million of the world’s poorest of the poor by teaching them how to provide their families with safe drinking water.

Dennis and his wife, Alexis (Lexie) have been married for 44 years and have three children: Matthew, Zachary and Natasha. Matt and Zach are also Montana Tech engineering alumni. The Chorneys call Calgary home, but can likely be found at their cottage on Lake Okanagan in the Canadian Rockies or wintering part-time in Maui or Mexico.

Jeff StibbardJeff Stibbard

B.S. Mining Engineering, 1987
Founder and CEO, JDS Energy


Jeff is the founder and CEO of JDS Energy & Mining. He is a mining engineer with over 30 years of experience in mine design, construction and operations. JDS is a mid-tier mine evaluation, design, construction and operating company with several related surrogates, employing in excess of 150 professionals. Prior to establishing JDS, Jeff served in various capacities by leading the development and operations of mining projects around the world including: Mining Manager for BHP’s Ekati Diamond Mine, General Manager of Mining for Albian Sands Energy Inc. in Fort McMurray, AB, and was a founding member of Western Oilsands Inc. – a 20% partner in the development of the Shell Muskeg River Mine in Fort McMurray. Jeff started his career in Canada at numerous mines in various positions including Production Supervisor at the Island Copper Mine in Port Hardy, BC, General Foreman at the Bell Copper Mine in Granisle, BC, and Mine Engineer at the Tartan Lake Gold Mine located in Flin Flon, MB.

Jeff holds a bachelor of science in Mining Engineering from Montana Tech. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Alberta. Since founding JDS Energy & Mining Inc., Jeff has been presented with numerous awards including AME BC’s Hugo Dennett Diamond Award (2015) and BC Export’s Top 25 Exporters Award (2012). In 2016, Jeff was appointed Honorary Colonel of 19 Wing Comox for the Royal Canadian Armed Forces.