E&H in the City is an annual event where alumni are encouraged to meet other alumni in their town or city. This year we had more than 40 events plus extra folks who posted photos individually from around the globe to celebrate alma mater. Check out photos from this year’s events!
Coming Up Next...
Use the Alumni and Advancement button to see upcoming events for Alumni and Friends.
Meet Our Alumni
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk" title="Brooklyn Belk" aria-label="Brooklyn Belk"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,28,347,376/3466_BrooklynSawyersBelk.rev.1520453426.jpg" alt="Brooklyn Sawyers Belk" title="Brooklyn Sawyers Belk" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="347" data-max-h="495"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk"><p> Brooklyn Sawyers Belk is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Brooklyn Sawyers Belk is an Assistant United States Attorney for the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee. Sawyers Belk was admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar in November 2015. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee (UT) College of Law, where she teaches trial practice and interviewing and counseling. Additionally, she teaches a host of undergraduate history and pre-law courses. <br/><br/> Sawyers Belk graduated from Emory & Henry College in 2002 and serves on the College’s Board of Trustees. She obtained a Master of Arts degree in history in 2004 from East Tennessee State University and is a 2006 graduate of the UT College of Law. She resides in Knoxville with her husband, Lamont Belk, who practices civil law for the Tennessee Valley Authority. They have a daughter, Tressany, and a son, Joseph Matthew. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1946-brooklyn-sawyers-belk" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1815-christina-druen" title="Christina Druen" aria-label="Christina Druen"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/233,0,1593,1361/3301_IMG_2692.rev.1518713658.JPG" alt="Christina Druen" title="Christina Druen" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/233,0,1593,1361/3301_IMG_2692.rev.1518713658.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/233,0,1593,1361/3301_IMG_2692.rev.1518713658.JPG 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1361"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1815-christina-druen"><p> And on top of all this….she can really sing!</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><div> Christina Druen currently works as a graphic designer for K-VA-T Food Stores, Inc. In this role, she creates various print materials, social media graphics, videos and other materials for the Food City stores and events they sponsor including the Food City Family Race Night, Food City 500/300, and their Annual Golf Tournament. Before coming to K-VA-T, Christina worked as a Marketing & Design Coordinator for Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems (SVCHS) where she aided in the re-branding of the organization, designed print materials and helped manage their website and social media. Right before graduation, she landed a job working for a NASCAR K&N team, Martin-McClure Racing as their Public Relations Representative. In this role, she managed the team’s social media accounts, escorted drivers to all appearances and helped manage the “Racing for 90.7 and Emory & Henry” project. Simultaneously, she worked for Dogwood Marketing located in Abingdon, Virginia, as a graphic designer and sales representative before coming to SVCHS. </div><div><br/> In her spare time, Christina works as a Marketing & Design Consultant to help smaller local businesses and non-profits with their marketing needs. She has completed work for Family Promise of Bristol, Garic Stephens and Lavelle Manufacturing, Borderline Billiards, Apple Ridge Photography, First Bank & Trust, Emory & Henry College, Clinch Valley Printing, and more. </div><div><br/> Christina also serves as a board member for the American Advertising Federation of Southwest Virginia. As the Communications Team Leader, her responsibilities include getting information out about their events, managing and updating their website, creating graphics and content for their social media platforms, writing press releases, creating email campaigns and aiding in planning events. </div><div><br/> During her time at Emory & Henry, Christina worked as an Events and Operations Intern for the Academy of Country Music in Los Angeles, California, and a Volunteer Captain for the Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Los Vegas. She also interned for a popular local band, Annabelle’s Curse, as well as Family Promise of Bristol as their Communications Intern. On campus, she was the Director of EHC-TV, President of Alpha Psi Omega, President of the E&H Choral Department, Treasurer and Founding Member of the AAF Student Chapter, Business Manager of the Whitetopper, Manager of The Sphinx, House Manager and Volunteer Coordinator for the McGlothlin Center for the Arts, Graphic Design Intern for the Admissions Office, and Writer for The Odyssey Online. </div><div><br/> Christina resides in Abingdon, VA. When she’s not working, you can catch her at Borderline Billiards bar-tending and shooting pool. </div></div><a href="/live/profiles/1815-christina-druen" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/708-" title="Mary Beth Tignor" aria-label="Mary Beth Tignor"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,300,200/358_MaryBethTignor.rev.1500388800.jpg" alt="Mary Beth Tignor" title="Mary Beth Tignor" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="300" data-max-h="200"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/708-"><p> Love for the region keeps Mary Beth Tignor’s future local </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><h1> Her love of this region and her passion for education are the fuel to her daily work. </h1><p> Mary Beth was a part of the first Emory & Henry Honors Program cohort that graduated in Spring 2013. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy and Community Service. Currently, she is working as an AmeriCorps with Appalachian Sustainable Development and pursuing a Master’s degree in Education with a focus area of Middle School Science. </p><p> Serving the community of this region has always been one of Mary Beth’s passion and love. As a student at Emory & Henry, she served as a volunteer of an on-campus after school program called Highlands Project. She said, “Through this program and some of my courses, I developed a passion for education and the children in this area.” Since then, she has created and is the current coordinator of a after school program at a local elementary school. Her most memorable experience in the Honors Program is going to New York City as an upperclassman leader with First-Year Honors Scholars. After her first trip to New York City, Mary Beth had learned a lot from her experiences and really enjoyed sharing them with the First-Year Honors Scholars. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/708-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/675-" title="Anne Driscoll" aria-label="Anne Driscoll"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,960,960/269_1912405_682582264006_8756799307793601402_n.rev.1496850332.jpg" alt="Anne Ryan Driscoll" title="Anne Ryan Driscoll" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,960,960/269_1912405_682582264006_8756799307793601402_n.rev.1496850332.jpg 2x" data-max-w="960" data-max-h="960"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/675-"><p> Anne Ryan Driscoll ’06 Honored for her Teaching and Research at Virginia Tech</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> A press release from Virginia Tech has announced the 2016 Dr. Carroll B. Shannon Excellence in Teaching Awards presented to faculty members in the College of Science and the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.</p><p> Emory & Henry’s Anne Ryan Driscoll (’06) was among the honorees for her work in the Department of Statistics.</p><p> Anne majored in Mathematics and Physics at Emory & Henry and played basketball and tennis as a student athlete, and did all this while maintaining a perfect 4.0 GPA. Anne was a 3-time ODAC All-Academic selection and a 2-time ITA Scholar Athlete. She and her tennis teammates finished 2nd in both the ODAC regular season and in the ODAC Championship tournament in her junior year, where she played #5 singles and #3 doubles. Anne was also a member of Kappa Phi Alpha sorority and Sigma Mu Honor Society.</p><p> After graduation, Anne went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Statistics and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Virginia Tech. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Practice at Virginia Tech teaching both undergraduate and graduate level courses in research and statistics. Anne has received other professional awards at Tech that honor her Outstanding Departmental Citizenship and twice was selected for an Excellence in Teaching award. She has published numerous scholarly articles related to research methodology and statistics. Additionally, Anne has collaborated on projects for the Department of Defense and with NASA.</p><p> An excerpt from the press release is listed below, and you may read the entire press release at the Virginia Tech webpage <a href="http://vtnews.vt.edu/content/vtnews_vt_edu/en/articles/2016/08/science-shannonteachingaward.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">here</a>.</p><p> August 3, 2016 – Four Virginia Tech faculty with the <a href="http://liberalarts.vt.edu/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">College of Science and College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences</a> have received the 2016 Dr. Carroll B. Shannon Excellence in Teaching Award.</p><p> The awards were presented to: Anne Ryan Driscoll, an assistant professor of practice in the Department of Statistics; Michel Pleimling, a professor with the Department of Physics and director of the Academy of Integrated Science; and Gordon Yee, an associate professor with the Department of Chemistry, all in the College of Science; and Marian Mollin, an associate professor in the Department of History, part of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.</p><p><br/> The award is made possible by an endowment established by Peter and Carroll Shannon, of Wilmington, Delaware, and is given annually to College of Science and College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences faculty members who demonstrate outstanding teaching skills, innovative methods, and dedication to learning. The colleges once formed the College of Arts and Sciences, which split in 2002.</p><p><br/> “Virginia Tech gave me the opportunity to become someone who I would never have become if it had not been for the university,” said Peter Shannon, who graduated from Virginia Tech in 1969 with a general science degree and who named the award in honor of his wife, Carroll, an educator for her entire career.</p><p><br/> “Outstanding teachers have the opportunity to be change agents in the lives of students. They inspire a love of learning, encourage students to reach their potential and discover their career path,” said Carroll Shannon, who worked in education for the state of Delaware. “Most importantly, they guide students in becoming contributing members of society who will impact positively the lives of others.”</p><p><strong>Anne Driscoll</strong><br/> Since joining Virginia Tech’s faculty in 2011, Driscoll has taught eight courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels in the <a href="http://www.stat.vt.edu" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Department of Statistics</a>. She also has collaborated on projects for the U.S. Department of Defense and with NASA, and she chairs the department’s corporate partners program, which is a cooperative outreach venture that links the department with 11 different companies.</p><p> Of Driscoll’s nomination, the college committee said, “The committee was particularly impressed with the strength of your teaching’s impact on your students and their careers.” Her research focuses on statistical process control, health care surveillance, and industrial statistics.</p><p> She earned dual bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and physics from Emory & Henry College in 2006, followed by master’s and doctoral degrees in statistics from Virginia Tech in, respectively, 2007 and 2011. Her awards won at Virginia Tech include the Jesse C. Arnold Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2010-2011, and the Rose Costain Award for Outstanding Departmental Citizenship, 2010.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/675-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1444-fred-parker" title="Fred Parker" aria-label="Fred Parker"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2125,3199/2358_Political_People_004.rev.1516296690.JPG" alt="Fred Parker" title="Fred Parker" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2125,3199/2358_Political_People_004.rev.1516296690.JPG 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2125,3199/2358_Political_People_004.rev.1516296690.JPG 3x" data-max-w="2125" data-max-h="3199"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1444-fred-parker"><p> Fred Parker serves as the Treasurer of Washington County, Virginia.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> In addition to his E&H degree, he also holds studied at Lincoln Memorial University, East Tennessee State University, and the University of Virginia.</p><p> He has served on a variety of professional boards including the Governor’s Advisory Commission on the Dillon Rule and Local Government, the Virginia Association of Locally Elected Constitutional Officers (serving as president in 2004), Served as president of the Treasurers Association of Virginia, is on the Southwest Virginia Association of Treasurer’s and Clerks, the Treasurer’s Association of VA, Virginia State SNAP Non-Arbitrage Program Advisory Board Since Inception, Southwest Virginia Regional Jail Authority, VA Government Finance Officers Association, VACo Investment Pool, and Washington County Industrial Development Authority.</p><p> He is a member of the Abingdon Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He is a former chair of the Washington County Democratic Committee and was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1996.</p><p><br/> His list of awards and involvements is long, as is his passion for serving the community.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1444-fred-parker" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1745-becky-edmondson-pretzel" title="Becky Pretzel" aria-label="Becky Pretzel"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/198,324,1490,1615/3152_edmondsonpretzel-1122.rev.1518207187.jpg" alt="Becky Edmondson Pretzel" title="Becky Edmondson Pretzel" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/198,324,1490,1615/3152_edmondsonpretzel-1122.rev.1518207187.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/198,324,1490,1615/3152_edmondsonpretzel-1122.rev.1518207187.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1500" data-max-h="2250"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1745-becky-edmondson-pretzel"><p> Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel (E&H ’82) is the Associate Director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at UNC Chapel Hill. </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Rebecca Edmondson Pretzel (E&H ’82) is the Associate Director of the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at UNC Chapel Hill. </p><p> The CIDD is a comprehensive program for services, research, and training relevant to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The CIDD provides for clinical services that range from complex interdisciplinary evaluations on-site to more limited and selected clinical services. They also provide training in all 100 counties in North Carolina. (<a href="http://www.cidd.unc.edu/">CIDD website</a>)</p><p> According to a press release, Becky is a “psychologist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at UNC. At the CIDD, she serves as the Associate Director of our federally-funded University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) program, Director of Clinical Services, and Psychology Section Head. In addition, she is an investigator on a variety of research and training grants and supervises numerous graduate students and junior faculty.</p><p> Through her longstanding experience working with many N.C. service agencies (e.g., the Department of Public Instruction, Early Intervention Branch and Division of MH/DD/SAS), Dr. Pretzel has played an important role in raising the level of care for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families in the state. Dr. Pretzel is currently serving as Act Early Ambassador in North Carolina, a program directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designed to improve early identification of young children with or at risk for developmental delays.”</p><div id="social-sharing-links" class="right clearfix"><div class="muted"/></div></div><a href="/live/profiles/1745-becky-edmondson-pretzel" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/812-beth-hudak" title="Beth Hudak" aria-label="Beth Hudak"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,824,662/575_Beth_Hudak_EH_10.rev.1505495071.jpg" alt="Beth Hudak" title="Beth Hudak" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,824,662/575_Beth_Hudak_EH_10.rev.1505495071.jpg 2x" data-max-w="824" data-max-h="662"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/812-beth-hudak"><p> Beth Hudak’s work caught the attention of the National Science Foundation.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> A press release from the University of Kentucky tries to explain the science in terms we can all understand: haven’t we all held a cell phone in our hands and noticed it getting a bit too hot? The research and discovery done by Beth Hudak just might make that sensation obsolete.</p><p> Beth earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Emory & Henry in 2010, and finished her Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky in 2017. While working with a team of researchers she has just made an exciting breakthrough in polymorphs of the inorganic compound hafnium dioxide – used commonly in optical coatings.</p><p> The results have implications for more efficient microchip technology.</p><p> The paper on the work was recently published by Nature Communications, and the work was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the U.S. Department of Energy, and NASA Kentucky. The research is getting national attention, and is currently featured as a banner headline on the website for the National Science Foundation.</p><p><a href="https://uknow.uky.edu/research/hafnia-dons-new-face">Read the press release</a> from UK explaining the work here.</p><p> Beth is now working at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.</p><p><img width="1000" height="563" alt="This screen shot shows Beth's work featured on the NSF webpage." src="/live/image/gid/68/width/1000/height/563/576_Screen_Shot_of_NSF_webpage.rev.1505495071.png" class="lw_image lw_image576 lw_align_left lw_column_width_full" data-max-w="1920" data-max-h="1080"/></p></div><a href="/live/profiles/812-beth-hudak" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1916-eric-scott" title="Eric Scott" aria-label="Eric Scott"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,11,312,323/3451_eric_scott_4.rev.1520287120.jpg" alt="Eric Scott" title="Eric Scott" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="312" data-max-h="478"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1916-eric-scott"><p> Eric Scott is an Emmy award-winning photojournalist for WJZ-TV, channel 13, a CBS owned-and-operated station in Baltimore, Maryland.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Eric Scott is an Emmy award-winning photojournalist for WJZ-TV, channel 13, a CBS owned-and-operated station in Baltimore, Maryland.</p><p> </p><p> As a photographer for the TV newsroom, Scott is prepared to shoot multiple stories each day – everything from a news conference, to a school play, to a crime scene.</p><p> “I’ve covered every kind of story you can imagine,” he said. “I cover politics, crime, riots, sports events, you name it. I’m the reporter <em>behind</em> the camera. I tell stories with video.”</p><p> Along with the day-to-day assignments, Scott has experienced many “wow moments” during his career. He’s met presidents, vice presidents, mayors and governors. In 1998, he covered the Olympics in Japan. A year later, he traveled to Havana, Cuba when the Baltimore Orioles played the Cuban All-Stars in an exhibition game.</p><p> He’s worked on assignment with the military reserves at Camp Pendleton in California.</p><p> “My job is similar to a classroom. I meet new people and learn new things every day. It gives me a completely different view of the world.”</p><p> From time to time, his video clips make it to the CBS Evening News and CNN broadcasts. “For example, if they’re doing a story on the weather throughout the country, I may see some of my work on the national news.”</p><p> Scott said he shot the footage for a reporter at the Baltimore news station who won an Emmy for her investigative reporting. “But, the best story I’ve ever done was watching a baby being born. It was for a new-age dad story. I see death a lot in my work, but seeing new life was something different for me.”</p><p> Scott knew he wanted a career in the media as early as high school. “As a basketball player, I was always interested in sports. I thought I wanted to be a sports anchor, but I had no idea the path God would lead me to,” he said.</p><p> “I fell in love with photojournalism as a student intern at WCYB-TV in Bristol, and I forgot all about being in front of the camera. The first time I saw my video air on a broadcast, I fell in love with it because everyone got to see how I created it. That hooked me.”</p><p> After graduating from Emory & Henry, Scott went to work as a manager of circulation for a newspaper in South Carolina. “I never quit anything in my life, but the job was not for me.”</p><p> Scott accepted a photographer position at WCYB-TV while visiting friends in the region. When he was offered a job at Virginia Beach more than a year later, he moved again. Known for his creative work, he later was offered a position at the TV station in Baltimore where he has worked for the past 22 years.</p><p> “And, the rest is history as they say.”</p><p> Scott said his college education taught him many things, including independence and decision-making. He’s never forgotten about making a D grade in a Mass Communications class taught by Dr. Teresa Keller.</p><p> “It was the only D I made at Emory & Henry. She said I could do better and I set out to prove her right. Dr. Keller became a mentor and friend. To this very day she still is someone I communicate with regularly and consider a member of my family,” he said.</p><p> “The late Coach Bob Johnson was another influence on my development. Discipline, detail, accountability, promptness, leadership, and love of my school and country were powerful things I learned from him.”</p><p> Scott said his greatest honor at Emory & Henry was being the co-captain for the men’s basketball team. “During my senior year we finished 16th in the nation.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1916-eric-scott" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/704-" title="Rachel Dunne" aria-label="Rachel Dunne"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,690,390/354_25f3d785419f0eb611f94ba17fd1703d_f1833.rev.1500386495.jpg" alt="Rachel Dunne" title="Rachel Dunne" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="690" data-max-h="390"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/704-"><p> Rachel Dunne Finds Unlikely Path in Alaska </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> When Rachel Dunne (’04) was a student at E&H, she pretty much set the woods on fire. Lately, she’s been busy putting out fires. This is truly a young woman who knows how to fire up a Liberal Arts degree. </p><p> This is all a corny way of saying that Rachel has been fighting wildland fires in Alaska.</p><p> A double major in Public Policy & Community Service and Psychology, Rachel was a top notch student with a heart intent on making a difference. And it comes as no surprise that she is finding such a creative means of making her way in the world. She wanted to pursue work in the area of disaster relief response after graduate school, but needed job experience. She spent 10 months in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps doing a lot of work in the Gulf region of the U.S. working on Katrina recovery efforts. She also got sent to a very small town in Arizona where her team was assigned to assistance with brush clearing to prevent wildfires. Her superiors suggested she come back after AmeriCorps for a job.</p><p> While she only intended to do the job for a year, she stayed for two and a half years honing her skills not only in firefighting and prevention but also in coordinating fire response, GIS, HAZMAT, EMT, and learned how to drive a water tender (please Google this to see how impressive this feat is).</p><p> After Arizona she found an opportunity to continue this good work and to see some of the country’s most beautiful land. She considered Big Sky country, but ended up in Alaska because of their unique challenges in fire logistics. She served as a fire logistics dispatcher for the Alaska Fire Service, which is part of the Bureau of Land Management. In this role, she helped get the people, supplies, and aircraft out to remote areas of Alaska for wildland fires.</p><p> As is wont to happen, while in Alaska, Rachel ran smack into another Emory & Henry person! Daniel Griggs (’07) was there doing similar work and putting his geography background to good use. Giving Dr. John Morgan all the credit for getting him the right start, Daniel says he finds working for the fire service very “real” in the sense that there is “immediate need for accurate geospatial information.” He ended up in Alaska because he had always wanted to visit the state, so when he got a job offer in Anchorage he jumped at the chance.</p><p> Rachel says folks in her position work seasonally—putting in 6 months of work and then filling the other half of the year with school, other work, travel, or personal projects and hobbies. While the job sounds pretty cushy, it turns out those six months are pretty demanding. On a fire assignment, dispatchers and firefighters alike usually work 14 straight days of up to 16 hour shifts. In many ways, it’s more of a lifestyle than a job.</p><p> So what happens during those long days? This season, Daniel got sent out to the field as a GIS specialist, providing custom real-time maps of fires for the incident decision-makers. Rachel moved to another dispatch center as an aircraft dispatcher, where she finds the helicopters and planes that support both fires and scientists in interior Alaska and the lower 48. “It’s not every day you get to say, ‘Yeah, I ordered a jumbo jet at work today’,” says Rachel. “The best part of the job is the constant challenge—you never know who is going to call or what they are going to need, and it’s great to be able to say, ‘Sure, I can make that happen,’ even when it means getting people or supplies into parts of Alaska your average tourist will never even think about visiting.”</p><p> With these new job demands, Rachel is less “fire fighter” and more “travel agent” – booking flights into all corners of the state. Whether they are VIPs touring Alaska before making recommendations on energy or land management policy, scientists researching animal habitats and archeological sites, or firefighters protecting Alaska’s assets, everybody knows they’ll have to fly to get to their Alaskan destination. “I may miss the smell of smoke and getting to do things with my own hands, but what I can do with a phone and a radio allows those professionals to make the difference, and I’m proud to be part of their support network.”</p><p> While Daniel will stay on with Alaska Fire Service in Fairbanks for the near future, Rachel plans to move on after this season ends. “What’s next? I don’t know, but if you’d told me I was going to be a firefighter or live in Alaska while I was at Emory, I’d have laughed. I just keep believing in the hope that people can do amazing things when we are willing to take on a challenge, even if it means leaving our comfort zones behind.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/704-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1430-becky-kurtz" title="Becky Kurtz" aria-label="Becky Kurtz"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,232,216/741_kurtz.rev.1507059839.jpg" alt="Becky Kurtz" title="Becky Kurtz" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="232" data-max-h="216"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1430-becky-kurtz"><p> Kurtz is manager of the Atlanta’s Aging & Health Resources Division.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> After a successful stint in the office of U.S. Administration for Community Living, where she served as Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program, Becky Kurtz is now back in Georgia.</p><div class="m_-8668633278848088304m_-3351044740351875199m_-7072934309234766291gmail-m_8690036448639047984gmail-formattedContent" id="m_-8668633278848088304m_-3351044740351875199m_-7072934309234766291gmail-m_8690036448639047984gmail-ctl01_formattedContent"><div class="m_-8668633278848088304m_-3351044740351875199m_-7072934309234766291gmail-m_8690036448639047984gmail-formattedContent-container" id="m_-8668633278848088304m_-3351044740351875199m_-7072934309234766291gmail-m_8690036448639047984gmail-ctl01_formattedContent_ctl00"><p> IN March, 2017, the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) named <span class="il">Becky</span> <span class="il">Kurtz</span> manager of the agency’s Aging & Health Resources Division. <span class="il">Kurtz. She </span>will also serve as the Director of the Atlanta Area Agency on Aging (AAA). <br/><br/> At ARC, <span class="il">Kurtz </span>leads a team of 50 professionals who plan and provide comprehensive services to address the needs of the Atlanta region’s rapidly growing population of older adults and individuals with disabilities. As the Atlanta AAA Director, <span class="il">Kurtz</span> manages the allocation of more than $22 million in federal, state and grant funds annually to community-based organizations and local governments that provide direct services to older adults, persons with disabilities, and their families.<br/><br/><span class="il">Kurtz</span> has been a leader in aging issues at both the federal and state levels. She went to ARC from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, where she served as Director of the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. In this role, she worked to enhance the health, safety and welfare of long-term care facility residents and helped states carry out effective ombudsman programs. <br/><br/> Previously, she spent 16 years as Georgia’s Long-Term Care Ombudsman and served on the leadership team of the Georgia Division of Aging Services. She also held leadership roles with the National Association of State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, including a term as president. <br/><br/> A native of western North Carolina, <span class="il">Becky</span> is also a graduate of Columbia University School of Law. </p><p> </p></div></div></div><a href="/live/profiles/1430-becky-kurtz" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/670-" title="Micah Morris" aria-label="Micah Morris"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,751/259_FullSizeRender-13.rev.1496842398.jpg" alt="Micah Morris" title="Micah Morris" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,750,751/259_FullSizeRender-13.rev.1496842398.jpg 2x" data-max-w="750" data-max-h="751"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/670-"><p> Micah Morris (’09) Fighting Apathy</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> A conversation with Micah Morris is energizing. She says one of the best lessons she has learned in life is that “Everyone can get together and make a difference – you don’t have to be an elected official.”</p><p> And that’s actually what Micah has been doing: making a difference.</p><p> She says at Emory & Henry she learned the value of social capital. “Everyone has the right AND the responsibility to make our communities better. You don’t have to be mayor; everyone can do this.” Her career started at the Bristol Crisis Center, where she quickly began to see that progress was dependent upon finding civic leaders and elected representatives who share your values for the community. So she reluctantly dipped her toe into the waters of politics by joining a phone bank for Creigh Deeds. She may not have imagined where this casual volunteer work would lead – but she has recently been part of Terry McAulliffe’s campaign for governor of Virginia and was instrumental in Kamala Harris’s campaign for U.S. Senator from California.</p><p> These days she’s an account executive for NPG VAN; a company that provides software for persons running for office. It basically organizes a donor base of Democratic constituents and assists with targeting information, organizing contacts, and successfully raising money.</p><p> Micah’s success as a sales executive, however, is anchored in a belief of a stronger world through good leadership. “When it comes to politics, so much is about how we see the world. I learned early on that it doesn’t work to try to tell people their point of view is wrong – or that other people needed to convert to my way of thinking. The best way to move forward is to talk about the kind of world we all wish to live in. Once we start talking about values, we’ll find common ground.”</p><p> Interestingly, one of Micah’s first glimpses of the power of a strong community came through the campus health center at Emory & Henry. “When I was growing up in Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, my family didn’t have consistent access to health care – and we used to joke, ‘Don’t get sick this month!’ At Emory & Henry I had the opportunity for preventative health care and that was a new experience. Once I saw that I could take control of my health, I understood that I could control other parts of my life, as well.” This became part of her motivation for helping get leaders elected who could shepherd good legislation and block laws that didn’t promote a strong community.</p><p> Micah was a first generation college student and says her family was thrilled to see her get a college education, but because it was all so new they “had no imagination for where I could go and what I could do.” And Micah has taken her opportunity for an education and created opportunities for others through stronger communities. It has kept her moving around to places like Washington DC, Alabama and California. But after so much traveling, she says she’s “ready to get rooted. After an election is over, we leave town; I’m ready to be in one place for awhile, build relationships, and strengthen my own community.”</p><p> Wherever Micah decides to put down roots, she is not likely to bloom into a wall flower. She likes to tell people that if they’re not happy with how things are in government to get busy. “I find that the hardest thing to fight is apathy. If you’re unhappy with things, don’t mourn: organize!”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/670-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/791-brent-treash" title="Brent Treash" aria-label="Brent Treash"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/568_brent.rev.1505410086.jpg" alt="Brent Treash" title="Brent Treash" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/568_brent.rev.1505410086.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/791-brent-treash"><p> An E&H alumnus is the top dog at Bristol’s biggest music festival this year.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p><strong>Emory & Henry</strong> has more in common with Bristol’s <strong><a href="http://www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org/festival/">Rhythm & Roots</a></strong> event than just an ampersand: we also share Brent Treash.</p><p> Brent is a 2001 Emory & Henry grad who works in the College’s communications office…AND he is the 2017 chair of the biggest music festival in the region. Bristol’s Rhythm & Roots Reunion boasts of nearly 80,000 patrons in 2016 – including the nearly 500 musicians and countless food and merchandise vendors.</p><p> Brent got involved with Rhythm & Roots because local organizers wanted to pick his brain about jambands. While the festival takes place in the city that proudly hails as the Birthplace of Country Music, the event prides itself in offering a wide range of music styles. Brent says that’s very intentional. “When The Carter Family and Jimmy Rodgers recorded those first songs at the event now called ‘The Bristol Sessions’ they were sharing a new kind of music with the world. We like to think that Rhythm & Roots does the same thing; it exposes the audience to new bands and new music styles.”</p><p> Those early Bristol Sessions are now considered the big bang of country music – <em>Keep on the Sunny Side</em> being the genesis that led to <em>Mama’s Broken Heart</em>. The big Rhythm & Roots festival celebrates all those nuances of country music (Dwight Yoakam is headlining this year) while also giving you a taste of blues, rock, folk, Americana, and more.</p><p> Brent has been on the Rhythm & Roots board for a decade so he has seen every aspect of the event: from tickets to stage set-up to cleanup. The contacts list on his phone can get you to hundreds of bands and just as many music managers. He is a walking Wikipedia of musicians, music, and music history. But in the end, he still enjoys the music. “The festival roster has no shortage of legendary musicians, but I love that our event has become a place where people come to discover new talent. We’ve been fortunate in the past to have artists like the Avett Brothers, Sturgill Simpson and St. Paul and the Broken Bones as they were just starting their careers. People come to Bristol each September looking for the next big thing. This year we have a Canadian singer-songwriter with a deep baritone voice named Colter Wall. He might be the best songwriter I’ve heard in several years.”</p><p> Brent also serves on the board of directors for the festival’s parent organization the Birthplace of Country Music.</p><p> In addition, he does a weekly radio show on WEHC 90.7 that highlights some of the great music discoverable at Rhythm & Roots. And his thoughts are never far from the event. “Every year we start planning earlier and earlier for the following year. I’m getting messages on a daily basis about bookings for 2018.”</p><p> Planning an event this huge doesn’t come without a share of disappointments and Brent occasionally has to suffer the pain of losing a band or performer he was really set on having at the event. But with a festival that features nearly 130 different acts, there will be music aplenty to console his broken heart.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/791-brent-treash" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1954-scott-sikes" title="Scott Sikes" aria-label="Scott Sikes"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,21,867,888/3489_Scott_Headshot.rev.1520632128.jpg" alt="Scott Sikes" title="Scott Sikes" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,21,867,888/3489_Scott_Headshot.rev.1520632128.jpg 2x" data-max-w="867" data-max-h="910"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1954-scott-sikes"><p> Scott Sikes is a Senior Sales Representative for W.W. Norton Publishing.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><div> Scott is a Senior Sales Representative for W.W. Norton Publishing and a PhD candidate pursuing a degree in Communication and Information at the University of Tennessee. <br/><br/> A busy community advocate, Scott is currently serving as president of the E&H Alumni Board of Directors and president of the board for Abingdon Main Street. He serves on the board for the Highlands Educational Literacy Program, and is president-elect of Washington County Rotary Club.<br/><br/> Scott takes pride in having been a Bonner Scholar and was a first-generation college student.<br/><br/> “Being active and involved in my community is definitely a value instilled in me at Emory & Henry, and my experience as a student there helped me understand that citizenship is about taking an active role; I also learned from so many of my professors the importance of simply being a good neighbor; I particularly want to give back to the College out of the tremendous appreciation for the role it played in shaping my life.”</div></div><a href="/live/profiles/1954-scott-sikes" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/155-" title="Ken Noe" aria-label="Ken Noe"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,450,490/27_abe1975e59116cf763b1821b22668003_f74661.rev.1491319536.jpg" alt="Ken Noe" title="Ken Noe" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="450" data-max-h="490"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/155-"><p> Dr. Ken Noe ’79 Writing Book on the Weather’s Impact on the American Civil War</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> When Dr. Ken Noe (’79) was growing up in Elliston he remembers that weather played a huge role in the work done on his grandfather’s farm. “If rain was coming, we dropped everything else to put up hay.” He thinks this experience planted a seed in the back of his mind about the impactful influence of weather. Later, his interest in weather grew when he took a geography course at Emory & Henry with Dr. Ed Bingham.</p><p> But even he could never have predicted that he would now be writing a two-volume book on weather’s impact on the American Civil War.</p><p> Ken is the Draughon Professor of Southern History at Auburn University. He is the author or editor of seven books, and he has published scads of articles, essays and chapters about the Civil War. He is a decorated history professor serving at West Georgia College before heading to Auburn. He was a Pulitzer Prize entrant and won the 2003 Kentucky Governor’s award, the 2002 Peter Seaborg Book Award for Civil War Non-fiction, and the 1997 Tennessee History Book Award. He has won several teaching awards, has served as president of the Alabama Historical Association, and is serving on the Advisory Board of the Society of Civil War Historians. He has even been a consultant for the NBC series <em>Who Do You Think You Are? </em></p><p> But in all his prolific writing and research and publishing even he is surprised that his biggest and most industrious work to-date will be about weather. “Meteorologists are still trying to work out why the weather during the Civil War was so unusual. They dealt with incredibly snowy and rainy winters and droughts in the summer that affected Southern food supplies. There were dust storms, flooded rivers, and only two hurricanes. It had a profound effect on many campaigns.”</p><p> His research on weather has already taken several years, and he still has a few years left before he publishes. And even he was amazed to realize just how much information he had accumulated. “Very little has been written about Civil War environmental history. It is only now becoming part of the conversation about Civil War history.” </p><p> Ken says that even in a field of study like Civil War history where so many things have been written, there is still new area for research and a lot of topics that haven’t been covered. He has grad students asking new questions about the role of religion, the prison industries during the war, the role of friendship, and one young man, who is an E&H grad, is looking into camp life.</p><p> Even though we have just passed the 150<sup>th</sup> anniversary of the American Civil War, Ken points out that this conflict still has implications for current events; and he marvels that most conversations over the past 18 months have quickly moved from history to current topics like the Confederate flag, U.S. prisons, and race relations. He says his field has gotten so tangled with politics that there is a declining interest in Civil War history among the public. “But this event still has much to teach us. It was a great turning point in American History and opened up questions that are still being answered about equality of humankind, the status of women, states’ rights. I don’t know how we can answer all these questions unless we go back to the beginning.” He consistently stresses to his students the importance of going back to primary source information rather than depending on how the stories have been told and passed down.</p><p> Ken actually majored in education at Emory & Henry and still remembers panicking when he realized he didn’t want to be a junior high school teacher. “I had a lot of electives leftover and started taking history classes late in my college experience. I realized what I wanted to be was a historian and teach at a higher level.” A conversation with Patsi Trollinger (’72) reassured him that most alumni do not stick to work within their major. And a conversation with Dr. Gene Rasor in the history department led to a phone call which ended with Dr. Rasor telling Ken he had an interview with the history department at Virginia Tech.</p><p> The rest, as they say, is history.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/155-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/3-" title="Taequan Kates" aria-label="Taequan Kates"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/8_alumni-kates-taekuan.rev.1490105709.jpg" alt="Taequan Kates" title="Taequan Kates" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/8_alumni-kates-taekuan.rev.1490105709.jpg 2x" data-max-w="1000" data-max-h="666"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/3-"><p> Taequan Kates (’16) Learns Legal Lessons While Interning With Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Summer breaks are meant to be exactly that: a break from the stress and hard work of the academic year. However, rising Emory & Henry College senior Taequan Kates has a tough time slowing down.</p><p> Kates who grew up in Dewitt, Va. spent much of the summer in Richmond completing an internship at the Office of Attorney General Mark Herring.</p><p> Kates was tasked with editing <em>Virginia Rules</em>, a book containing state laws to ensure it lined up with the current code statutes. His daily responsibilities found him working closely with attorneys in the office reviewing laws relevant to current cases.</p><h2> Work on Campus</h2><p> When not in the courtroom, Kates was making plans for his next big job – student body president. Kates along with fellow rising senior and student body vice-president Katie Beth Bordwine (who was also in Richmond, Va. for an internship) has been focused on a list of goals for the academic year.</p><p> Their first consideration: the feasibility of building an outdoor basketball court on campus.</p><p> “I’ve spoken with several colleges asking them about their program and trying to figure out a way to incorporate an outdoor court into our campus, and I hope this is something we can bring to Emory & Henry,” Kates said.</p><p> In his remaining free time, Kates spent time working as a counselor for at-risk children in his community. It’s a cause close to his heart, and he said he wants these children to become better citizens so they can grow up with the opportunities to chase their dreams.</p><p> “I’ve done a lot this summer, but I know all the hard work was worth it.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/3-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>