The TRHS Foundation's Alumni Relations Committee is pleased to announce the 2023 inductees into the Roosevelt Hall of Fame. They will be honored at a special awards presentation on Wednesday, April 12th.
For more than 40 years, Mollie Cooney covered news and special assignments in both Iowa and California before retiring in 2017. A graduate of Iowa State University in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science, she has covered local elections and countless presidential caucuses since 1976; co-hosted numerous telethons including the Children’s Miracle Network for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the long-time Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. And, for more than 30 years, she anchored the annual KCCI Blood Donor Day community blood drive.
Mollie has won several journalism awards, including first place for Public Affairs at the IBNA awards for "Organ Donor Special." She also received the 1994 James Schwartz Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism from Iowa State University; won first place in the Television Division of the 1997 Iowa Health Care Media Awards and received the 1998-99 Communications Award from the American Heart Association. In 2014, Mollie and her husband, retired KCCI anchor Kevin Cooney, each received the Silver Circle Award from the National Television Academy. It is the highest honor the Academy bestows to those who have contributed to their field and their community for more than 25 years.
Cooney has served as a board member with Iowa State University's Greenlee School of Journalism; the Iowa Gold Star Military Museum; IRIS (Iowa Radio Reading Information Services); Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, Hospice of Central Iowa, the Roosevelt High School Foundation and the Salisbury House Foundation as well as emceeing numerous community fundraisers throughout the years.
She and Kevin raised three children (all Roosevelt grads) and now spoil four grandchildren.
Al Higgins has been lucky enough to be a television comedy for the last thirty years. Prior to co-creating his current show BOB HEARTS ABISHOLA for CBS, Al Higgins was best known for writing and producing the acclaimed series MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE for which he was nominated for both an Emmy and Producers Guild Award.
He is also known for his close association with Chuck Lorre; taking on the role of Showrunner for MIKE & MOLLY the last three seasons, and Executive Producing, along with Lorre and Michael Douglas, THE KOMINSKY METHOD which won them a Golden Globe for Best Comedy Series.
A native of Des Moines, Iowa, Higgins currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife Alysoun and has three wonderful daughters (one of whom is currently attending Grinnell college here in Iowa).
DR. DAU JOK
Dr. Dau Jok is an optimistic results-oriented leader with proven experience in non-profit, military, coaching, and education. A former Division I basketball captain, Dr. Jok is a 2021-2 SEL Fellow for the CASEL Fellows Academy, non-profit director, Captain in the United States Army Reserve, and a national speaker. His quest to create inclusive communities of human excellence by humanizing knowledge, leadership, and work is informed by his indigenous Dinka (South Sudan) roots. Dr. Jok currently serves as the Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for West Des Moines Community Schools in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Dr. Jok holds a BA in Philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania, a MSc in Global Leadership from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a Ph.D. in Education from Drake University. His research and praxis focus on Indigenous Knowledge Systems—Indigenous Education and Leadership—leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and social and emotional learning/emotional intelligence.
His foundation, the Dut Jok Youth Foundation has served more than 2,100 youth in three countries and is currently active in South Sudan, his motherland. He was the collegiate winner of the prestigious Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup in 2014 as well as the 2014 All-State NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) for his work on-and-off the court. Dr. Jok is an Associate of the Harambe Entrepreneurial Alliance, an international alliance of African entrepreneurs across all sectors.