News & Events
Young Alumni Honored By Clarkson University
Potsdam, N.Y. -- Cleighton D. Smith of Forest Park, Ill., and Stephan N. Yelenik of East Brunsick, N.J. have each received a Woodstock Award from their alma mater, Clarkson University. Given each year during Reunion Weekend, the Woodstock Award honors young alumni who have demonstrated outstanding loyalty and service to Clarkson and the Alumni Association and who have used their Clarkson experience to make a notable contribution to their careers.
Smith graduated from Clarkson in 1977 with a bachelor's degree in civil engineering and went on to complete a Clarkson master of engineering degree in 1978. Following graduation, Smith began his career at Harza Engineering, where he was employed for 17 years, including a two-year assignment in Saudi Arabia. In 1995, he joined Christopher B. Burke Engineering Ltd., where he is a senior water resources engineer. A registered professional engineer in Illinois, Indiana, and New Jersey, he was recently elected chair of the Illinois Association of Flood Plain and Storm Water Management. He is a charter member of that association, having also served as secretary and chair of the awards committee.
Smith is also active in the Illinois section of the American Society of Professional Engineers, where he is a director-at-large and has been chair of the Student Affairs Committee, the Environmental Engineering and Water Resources Technical Group, the Young Member Group and the Minority Affairs Committee. A member of the American and the International Water Resources Associations, Smith served on Chicago Mayor Richard Daley's Task Force for School Business Partnerships, developed to improve Chicago's public school system.
Since moving to Chicago in 1978, Smith has served as a Clarkson beacon in that region. He has been very active with alumni activities, having served as the annual host for Clarkson's hockey satellite telecast and host for several presidential visits, and has represented Clarkson as an alumni admissions volunteer at high-school and college fairs. A member of the Alumni Association Board of Governors, Smith has also served as his class reunion chair.
From 1988 until 1993, Yelenik was president and chief executive officer of YEA Development Inc., a company he started that provides consulting to both general businesses and health care organizations. He currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Harmony Health Plan Inc., a health maintenance organization located in West Orange, New Jersey.
Yelenik is a member of the American Association of Health Plans and the American College of Health Care Executives. In addition, he has always given generously of his time to his alma mater. Yelenik was very active in New Jersey regional chapter activities, served as a member of the board and president of that chapter, and regularly attended and served as an event coordinator. He also served as a member-at-large on Clarkson's Alumni National Executive Council, returned to campus as a speaker for Alumni Career Days, was a member of his class reunion gift committee, and assisted with student recruitment as an alumni admission volunteer.