Wichita State News

WSU's Hugo Wall School to honor fire chief, revenue secretary

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Wichita fire chief and the Kansas secretary of revenue will be honored at Wichita State University's Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs' Celebration of Excellence today (Thursday, May 13).

Chief Ron Blackwell will receive the school's Alumni Award for Outstanding Public Service and Revenue Secretary Joan Wagnon will receive the Hugo Award at a dinner at WSU's Marcus Welcome Center. A reception begins at 5 p.m., followed by the dinner and program at 6 p.m. Hugo Wall School 2010-2011 fellowship recipients also will be announced and 2009-2010 graduates honored.

Blackwell was appointed the 13th fire chief of the Wichita Fire Department on Oct. 1, 2007. He manages the day-to-day operations of the largest fire department in Kansas. The department includes more than 400 commissioned and civilian personnel operating from 22 fire stations and fire headquarters. 

During his 30-plus years in the fire service, Blackwell has served in a wide variety of capacities from fire protection systems specialist in the U.S. Air Force to airport safety officer, firefighter and ultimately fire chief.

In 2009, Blackwell was also recognized as the Kansas Fire Chief of the Year by the Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs for outstanding service to the Kansas Fire Service.  

Blackwell is a graduate of Wichita State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1985, and a Master of Public Administration in 1997.

Wagnon, the winner of the Hugo Award, was appointed to the Department of Revenue on Jan. 13, 2003. She was president of Central National Bank after leaving office as mayor of Topeka in 2001. She served as mayor from 1997-2001. Wagnon also has served as executive director of Kansas Families for Kids, a legislator from Topeka for 12 years in the Kansas House of Representatives and executive director of the Topeka YWCA from 1977-1993.

Wagnon has received numerous honors and awards for her professional activities in the community. The Kansas chapter of the National Association of Social Workers cited her as Outstanding Legislator in 1989 for her work on behalf of children. The Topeka Public Schools and the Kansas Confidence in Public Education Task Force recognized her in 1990 and again in 1992 as a Friend of Education Community Leader for her work in developing a program for at-risk students and for leadership in the area of school finance.

The Hugo Award recognizes an individual for outstanding service and dedication to the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs. The award was created to honor those public servants who continuously give back to others through professional development and commitment to the next generation of public administrators.

For more information about the Celebration of Excellence, contact Misty Bruckner, community outreach coordinator, Hugo Wall School, (316) 978-6527, misty.bruckner@wichita.edu.

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Created on Thursday, May 13, 2010; Last modified on Thursday, May 13, 2010