Nominate someone who has made a distinction through career or community service. Deadline for nominations is January 15.
About The Awards
There are five E&H Distinguished Alumni Awards:
The Carl and Ruth Looney Humanitarian Award
Awarded to an individual who has demonstrated special service to humanity (civic, community, church, nation, etc.); has made unusual personal sacrifice; has shown a long and dedicated commitment to service; has achieved a remarkable single accomplishment; has shown special creativity and innovation which benefits humanity; and/or deserves special consideration because of the urgency of other person’s needs being met by this person. This award is named for Rev. Carl and Ruth Looney and their family who excelled at using humble means to achieve amazing service.
The Distinguished Achievement Award
Awarded to an individual who has attained distinguished achievements in a professional or volunteer capacity; has demonstrated a sustained record of excellence in a professional or volunteer capacity; and/or has shown special creativity and ingenuity in achieving accomplishments.
The Fred Selfe Distinctive Service to Emory & Henry Award
Awarded to an individual who has provided extraordinary participation in alumni activities, admissions, development, governing boards, special projects, etc., and has had a consistent record of financial support to E&H. The award is named for Fred Selfe, E&H class of 1969, who served the Emory & Henry College Athletic Department with exceptional dedication and valor until his death in 2003.
The A.L. Mitchell Outstanding Young Alumnus Award
Awarded on the basis of any of the qualifications listed above, but the individual must have achieved such accomplishments during the first 15 years after graduation. The award bears the name of A.L. Mitchell, E&H class of 1946, who began his employment at Emory & Henry while still a very young alumnus and served students faithfully for 38 years.
The James A. Davis Faculty Award
Awarded to an E&H faculty member with a distinguished record of excellence in teaching; has shown exceptional service beyond the classroom; has made some outstanding single achievement within his/her discipline; and/or has provided distinctive service to the community, the region or beyond helping to promote the good name of Emory & Henry. This award is named for the first E&H alumnus to return to E&H as a faculty member.
Review the lists of recent E&H Distinguished Alumni Award honorees since the year 2000.
Note: Descriptions of honorees reflect accomplishments at the time of the award. Many of these individuals have added news to their biographies since receiving an award.
The E&H Distinguished Alumni Awards are presented during Founders Day (held annually on the last Thursday of May).
Meet Our Alumni
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1442-lindsey-kincaid" title="Lindsey Kincaid" aria-label="Lindsey Kincaid"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,720/2356_LIndsey_kincaid.rev.1516296175.jpg" alt="Lindsey Kincaid" title="Lindsey Kincaid" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,720/2356_LIndsey_kincaid.rev.1516296175.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1080,720/2356_LIndsey_kincaid.rev.1516296175.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1080" data-max-h="720"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1442-lindsey-kincaid"><p> Lindsey Kincaid is a custom jewelry apprentice.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Lindsey Kincaid is an apprentice at <em>Simply Unique</em> – a custom Jewelry design studio in Yorktown, VA. She’ll be studying under artist Alex Maryaskin, who has twice won the prestigious Saul Bell Award. Lindsey has been working at Emory & Henry’s McGlothlin Center for the Arts as the Arts and Marketing Coordinator and Box Office Manager.</p><p><br/> She says she is excited to “have the ability to create something new and beautiful every day.” Her ultimate goal is to someday have a sculpture studio of her own creating works in a variety of mediums.<br/><br/> Lindsey majored in Studio Art with a focus in ceramics at E&H and says her E&H education prepared her for this moment by providing her with the base knowledge, skills, support and professional development experience that has allowed her to flourish.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1442-lindsey-kincaid" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/12-" title="Jason Jones" aria-label="Jason Jones"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/20_50e7f6e024ddf954897b5c198cf66106_f51611.rev.1490707161.jpg" alt="Jason Jones" title="Jason Jones" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1000,666/20_50e7f6e024ddf954897b5c198cf66106_f51611.rev.1490707161.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/12-"><p> Jason Jones (’12) Giving Hope to At-Risk Children</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> In a school district where the failure rate is very high and the pass rate is very low, Jason Jones is making a difference.</p><p> The 2012 Emory & Henry graduate is giving hope every day to at-risk children in San Antonio, Texas, hundreds of miles from his hometown in Greeneville, Tenn., where he teaches K-5 music during the day and, after school, directs the choir and orchestra, teaches music memory, and advises the yearbook staff.</p><p> And, he’s doing it one note at a time.</p><p> Two years ago, Jones introduced orchestra music to students at Highlands Hills Elementary School, the only one among 54 schools in the district that has an orchestra program.</p><p> The results have been astounding.</p><p> “I’ve seen students who were not motivated to be in school. I’ve seen students who were making low grades and poor choices,” said Jones.</p><p> “After a fifth-grade student joined the orchestra, she got involved in school. She became a school patrol; she went on to middle school where she continued to take music. She’s taken all honor classes—just because she was in the orchestra. It changed her life, and it’s changing the lives of other students.”</p><p> Following college graduation, Jones completed a two-year position with Teach for America at Highland Hills Elementary School. When his two-year position was completed, he was asked to stay.</p><p> Jones said he was among 54,000 applicants when he applied for the Teach for America position in 2012. The organization only accepted 5,000 teachers that year and only 100 of them were placed in San Antonio.</p><p> No doubt about it, he’s making his mark on education.</p><p> Jones witnessed more affluent schools in the district enjoying generous budgets while his school did not have the money for extra music programs.</p><p> “I didn’t think it was fair that students in the richer part of the city got to learn these instruments and my students on the south side of San Antonio in a poor neighborhood didn’t have those same opportunities,” Jones said. “Nearly 100 percent of the children eat free and reduced lunches. They can’t afford instruments or music lessons. Some of their parents work as many as four jobs.”</p><p> He couldn’t help but think back to the conversations that took place in Dr. Julia Wilson’s sociology classroom when he was a student. “Fighting for the less fortunate people who don’t know how to help themselves really stuck with me.”</p><p> So, instead of complaining, he and a middle school orchestra teacher applied for a grant to receive help. Their school was awarded a $10,000 grant from San Antonio Independent School District Foundation (SAISD), which paid for 20 instruments for the students in 2012. Two years later, the school received another $500 for upkeep costs to the instruments.</p><p> “I will be applying for another grant this coming school year because I should have 35 to 40 students in orchestra,” he said.</p><p> Before Jones received the grant money, he was paying for music supplies out of his own pocket. “There’s no extra pay or stipends for running the orchestra program. I just call it a love for teaching,” said Jones, who learned Spanish on his own so that he could teach six Spanish classes at the school.</p><p> When his co-worker became ill, Jones took over the program. “I’d never taken a strings course; I don’t play violin, cello or bass. “I concentrated in voice and piano at Emory & Henry, but, I was given the music education skills at Emory & Henry to be able to teach strings.”</p><p> Jones also has organized a student choir at the school. “The first year I had 12 students in choir class, now I have 85 or more. I’m also adding a hand bells choir next year.”</p><p> Perhaps the most exciting news is that all of Jones’ orchestra students passed standardized tests this year, and 90 percent of his fifth-grade choir students passed the tests.</p><p> His work at the school seems never-ending.</p><p> Jones started after-school clubs at the school, one of which is a music memory academic club that meets once a week for third-through-fifth-grade students. “We study scores of classical pieces. They have to memorize and learn every piece, who wrote it, when they wrote it, and the names of large and small works,” he explained. His students entered a regional competition this year and nearly all of the students placed.</p><p> In addition, he received a grant to organize a year book club, allowing the school to publish its first year book in 30 years.</p><p> Jones is earning a second master’s degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio where he received the Presidential Scholarship from the College of Liberal and Fine Arts. He also received the Dashnell Endowment Scholarship for which he was the first elementary focus to receive.</p><p> He is being mentored by the nation’s leading expert on a Dalcroze Eurythmics at UTSA, a developmental approach to enhance musical expression and understanding for students of all ages.</p><p> He is an active member of the San Antonio Teachers’ Alliance (campus representative), the Texas State Teachers’ Association (regional and state delegate), the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and the Texas Music Educators’ Association. For two years, he has been a 2012 corps member for the San Antonio Region of Teach for America. </p><p> One of his best pieces of advice to future teachers:</p><blockquote> I teach my students how to be thinkers. I learned at Emory & Henry to be a thinker, not a follower or just a doer, but instead a thinker and a leader. And that’s what I want my students to learn.</blockquote></div><a href="/live/profiles/12-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1914-erin-griffin" title="Erin Griffin" aria-label="Erin Griffin"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/46,207,430,591/3448_Erin_Griffin.rev.1520282800.jpg" alt="Erin Griffin" title="Erin Griffin" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/46,207,430,591/3448_Erin_Griffin.rev.1520282800.jpg 2x" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="960"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1914-erin-griffin"><p> Erin Griffin, E&H ’13, is completing her veterinary medicine degree. </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Erin Griffin, a native of Saltville, Virginia, is in her last year of veterinary school at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. This is one of only 28 veterinary medicine colleges in the United States and is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Council on Education and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International. The school is considered a constituent college of both Virginia Tech and the University of Maryland<a title="University of Maryland, College Park" href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Maryland,_College_Park">,</a> with a main campus located on Virginia Tech’s campus in Blacksburg, and a branch on the University of Maryland’s campus in College Park. </p><p> She has passed the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination and looks forward to graduating in May of 2018. She hopes to eventually establish her own practice in Southwest Virginia.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1914-erin-griffin" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1433-toni-atkins" title="Toni Atkins" aria-label="Toni Atkins"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,56,800,857/2267_Toni_Atkins.rev.1516131104.jpg" alt="Toni Atkins" title="Toni Atkins" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,56,800,857/2267_Toni_Atkins.rev.1516131104.jpg 2x" data-max-w="800" data-max-h="1054"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1433-toni-atkins"><p> Toni Atkins is the leader of the California Senate – and is the first woman to hold this position.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Toni Atkins, E&H ’84, recently made history by becoming the first woman to serve as president pro Tempore of the California Senate. She has served as interim Mayor of San Diego, and was Governor of California for nine hours in 2014 – making her California’s first openly gay governor, and it also landed her a spot on the Jimmy Kimmel talk show.</p><p> </p><p> Below is an article by Lisa Renner written for Capitol Weekly in 2017:</p><p> State Sen. Toni Atkins has come a long way since she was a girl growing up poor without running water in rural Virginia.</p><p> This month, the San Diego lawmaker is set to replace Kevin de León as leader of the California Senate. She will be the first woman and first open lesbian to hold the position. She also will be the first person since the 19<sup>th</sup> century to hold both of the Legislature’s top jobs – Assembly speaker and Senate leader.</p><blockquote><p> “She came with a sense of wanting to make a difference but didn’t think she could make a difference because of her background.” — Stephen Fisher </p></blockquote><p> Atkins, 55, is a real coal miner’s daughter who grew up in a house without indoor plumbing or running water, and her mother cooked on a wood stove, according to her college professor and close friend Stephen Fisher. When Atkins and her family moved to the city of Roanoke, she was teased for her hillbilly accent.</p><div id="div-gpt-ad-1395717372217-22_container" class="idm_ad_unit"/><p> </p><p> Only two others have served as both Assembly speaker and Senate leader — Ransom Burnell (Assembly Speaker in 1861 and Senate pro Tem in 1864) and James T. Farley (Assembly speaker in 1856 and Senate pro Tem in 1871-1872), said Alex Vassar, author of <em>California Lawmaker: The Men and Women of the California State Legislature.</em></p><p> Fisher recalls that when she arrived at Emory and Henry College, where she ultimately majored in political science, she had a lot of “anger and shame” about her upbringing. “She came with a sense of wanting to make a difference but didn’t think she could make a difference because of her background,” he said.</p><p> But as she grew more comfortable, she became more confident in her skin. She was part of a group of students who asked Fisher to teach a course on feminism. He agreed if the students would help him create the course, including decided what texts do use and how the class would be structured. “It was a transformative experience for all of us,” he said, adding that Atkins wasn’t the only participant who went on to have great success in professional life.</p><p> Atkins also showed courage by helping arrange for a visit to campus by lesbian folk singer Holly Near in the early 1980s when the college “was not a safe place to come out in,” Fisher said.</p><blockquote><p> Atkins was elected to the state Assembly in 2010. becoming Speaker of the Assembly in 2014. </p></blockquote><p> But Fisher said he had no idea back then that Atkins would end up where she is now. “I knew that she was going to do well but I had no notion that she was going into public work.”</p><p> Atkins ended up continuing her education at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University before relocating to San Diego in 1985.</p><p> She initially served as director of clinic services of Womancare Health Center but soon began working for then San Diego City Councilmember Christine Kehoe, the city’s first openly gay elected official. Atkins’ first jump into elected office came on the San Diego City Council in 2000, when she replaced Kehoe after Kehoe moved on to the state Legislature.</p><p> Atkins was herself elected to the state Assembly in 2010. becoming Speaker of the Assembly in 2014. She set her priorities as access to health care, affordable housing and educational opportunities.</p><p> Among her achievements was getting the bipartisan support for a $7.5 billion water bond approved by voters in 2014. “That was a clear example of her leadership because folks believed it could not be done,” said Assemblymember Shirley Weber of San Diego.</p><blockquote><p> “She has that coal miner’s daughter perspective that comes out of that environment.” — Shirley Weber </p></blockquote><p> Weber also credits Atkins with getting her to run for office. Weber was recently retired after a long career as a professor of Africana studies at San Diego State University when Atkins asked her to consider running for the Assembly.</p><p> When Weber won the election and joined the Assembly in 2012, it was Atkins who opened doors for her and helped her make the transition. “She said I will help you do this and she did,” Weber said. “Other people say I’ll help you and you can’t find them. They don’t do anything for you.”</p><p> Weber said she is impressed that Atkins has been able to rise so far while keeping her dignity and maintaining her integrity.</p><p> “She has that coal miner’s daughter perspective that comes out of that environment,” she said. “You don’t get out of that environment if you don’t take what you have, make it better, learn from strengths and minimize your weaknesses.”</p><p> Atkins was elected to the state Senate in 2016 and was able to get all 12 bills she sent to the governor, signed and approved. In her December newsletter, she said she is especially proud of Senate Bill 2, which creates a permanent funding source for affordable housing and Senate Bill 179, which requires the state to legally recognize “nonbinary” as a gender for people who do not identify as male or female.</p><p> Rick Zbur, executive director for Equality California, said Atkins is one of the best advocates for the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community. He applauded her upcoming advance to leadership of the senate.</p><p> “It’s important that she has shattered yet another glass ceiling,” he said. “These kinds of achievements are important for LBGTQ people because we have been historically underrepresented in government.”</p><p> Through it all, she remembers her Virginia roots. She invited Cameron Chase, a 20-year-old Emory and Henry student, to Sacramento for a three-week internship with her earlier this year. “Sen. Atkins is literally so down to earth and so kind and generous,” he said.</p><p> In a 2014 statement to the Washington Post, Atkins reflected on her rise from poverty to high office in California. “What that says about our opportunities as Americans and our democracy is profound.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1433-toni-atkins" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1892-emily-wallace" title="Emily Wallace" aria-label="Emily Wallace"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/125,132,340,347/3398_Emily_wallace.rev.1519914812.jpg" alt="Emily Wallace" title="Emily Wallace" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="500" data-max-h="392"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1892-emily-wallace"><p> Emily Wallace is a writer, illustrator, humorist – and an expert on Duke’s Mayonnaise and Pimento Cheese. </p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Emily Wallace is a freelance writer and illustrator with a <strong><em><a href="https://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/a-brief-history-of-pimento-cheese/Content?oid=2567371" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">master’s in pimento cheese</a></em></strong>. No, really.</p><p> </p><p> She serves as deputy editor of <em><a href="http://southerncultures.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"><strong>Southern Cultures</strong></a> </em>at UNC-Chapel Hill, and has written and illustrated work for other publications including <em>The Washington Post</em>, <em>Southern Living</em>,<em> The Oxford American,</em>and<em> </em><em>GOOD</em><em>. </em> In 2015, Wallace was nominated for a James Beard Award in humor writing for her written/illustrated essay, “Ham to Ham Combat: The Tale of Two Smithfields.” She lives in Durham with her muppet (dog) Rubick.</p><p> </p><p> An English and Art double-major at Emory & Henry, she is as well-known for her art as she is for her writing. “An Elaborate Excuse for a Pun: Illustrations by Emily E. Wallace,” is currently on view at Wilson Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Feb. 2018). You can see some of her <strong><a href="http://eewallace.com/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">illustrations on her webpage</a></strong>. Don’t expect to view leftover seasonal candy the same again. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1892-emily-wallace" 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/792-bronie-reynolds" title="Bronie Reynolds" aria-label="Bronie Reynolds"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,499,543/565_bronie.rev.1505403379.jpg" alt="Bronie Reynolds" title="Bronie Reynolds" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="499" data-max-h="543"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/792-bronie-reynolds"><p> Did you ever wonder who picks the best referees in the country? Turns our Bronie Reynolds (right, E&H ’84) is one of those people.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><blockquote><p> She picks the refs who make the big calls. </p></blockquote><p> Bronie Reynolds (E&H ’84, E&H Hall of Fame basketball point guard) laughs with glee as she recalls how Dave Thomas used a dust spray around the edges of the E&H basketball court. “He took such good care of the King Center…and we all knew if you got much beyond the court lines during a game, you’d slide all over the place because he had dusted over there!”</p><p> These days Bronie is looking at basketball from a different vantage point. She is one of a handful of people who evaluate basketball referees. She works for Charlene Curtis – former basketball standout and Hall Of Famer from Radford University who selects and assigns the Women’s Basketball Officials for the ACC, Big South, Southern and Colonial Conferences. Bronie has known Ms. Curtis for a long time. “Coach Curtis, as I refer to her since I worked under her as her Graduate Assistant Coach at Radford University in 1984, is also responsible for the evaluation of the officials for those conferences. She has to hire Neutral Observers, like me, to help her fulfill the expectations of each conference to have the best officials on the floor for every game. “</p><p> During the summer, she attends a camp where new officials try to break into conferences like the ACC and current officials try to vie for a better spot on the referee totem pole. Bronie says it’s very competitive. “Every year they’re all evaluated – so they have to be on their best game. They have to stay in shape physically, they must know the rules, and they need to appear invisible on the court. There is always someone trying to get their spot.”</p><p> She has a “day job,” too. She is Business Manager for Blue Spiral Consulting and an Insurance Consultant for Blue Ridge Insurance Services. However, throughout the year she watches tapes of games and attends games, and she gets to watch a lot of her favorite sport. “I get paid to watch basketball! Who can complain about that!?”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/792-bronie-reynolds" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1229-michael-payne" title="Michael Payne" aria-label="Michael Payne"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,270,270/1710_michael_payne.rev.1513720647.jpg" alt="Michael Payne" title="Michael Payne" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="270" data-max-h="324"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1229-michael-payne"/></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Michael is a licensed and Certified Athletic Trainer (ATC) working through Doctors Hospital of Augusta, Georgia. As part of an outreach program, he works mostly with the athletes at a 6A high school in Georgia, but also work through the Physical Therapy Department with prehab patients. As an athletic trainer, he is responsible for collaborating with physicians to provide preventative services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions in the athletic setting.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1229-michael-payne" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1450-allison-mays" title="Allison Mays" aria-label="Allison Mays"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,30,673,703/2425_am.rev.1516649294.jpg" alt="Allison Mays" title="Allison Mays" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="673" data-max-h="959"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1450-allison-mays"><p> Allison Mays is Vice-Chair of the Washington County (Virginia) Board of Supervisors.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Emory & Henry is a family tradition for Allison Mays – sixteen family member have attended Emory & Henry, dating back to her grandfather’s generation. But her outstanding reputation for community service she has established is all of her own making.</p><p> Allison is a 1995 graduate of Emory & Henry College and works as the Director of Development at Healing Hands Health Center. Allison serves as Vice-Chair of the Washington County Board of Supervisors, where she is a Board representative on the Economic Development, Personnel, Community Advocacy and Long Range Courthouse Planning Committees. She is also active with the National Association of Counties, serving as Vice-Chair of the Arts and Culture Commission and on the Rural Action Caucus. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Emory & Henry College Alumni Association (Immediate Past President) and Washington County Chamber of Commerce and is a Community Ambassador for Virginia Highlands Community College.</p><p> Allison says Emory & Henry prepared her well for a life of service, and she still references some of the lessons learned in a class about the First Amendment taught by Dr. Teresa Keller. “Being a student at Emory & Henry College provided me with a solid foundation for taking an active role in community service and leadership. Even now, those Emory & Henry College experiences and connections continue enriching my life and encouraging further <em>Increase in Excellence</em>.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1450-allison-mays" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1443-israel-oquinn" title="Israel O’Quinn" aria-label="Israel O’Quinn"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,12,240,254/2357_Israel_OQuinn.rev.1516296415.png" alt="Israel O’Quinn" title="Israel O’Quinn" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="240" data-max-h="320"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1443-israel-oquinn"><p> Israel O’Quinn is a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Delegate Israel O’Quinn was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates on November 8, 2011. He represents the 5th House District which is comprised of Bristol City, Galax City, Grayson County, Smyth County (part) and Washington County (part). <br/><br/> As an advocate for Southwest Virginia, Israel works to ensure the 5th District is well-represented in Richmond. Israel serves as Deputy Majority Whip and his legislative committee assignments include Commerce and Labor, Privileges and Elections, as well as Militia, Police and Public Safety. He serves as the Chairman of Subcommittee Number Four in the Privileges and Elections Committee and he also serves as Chairman of Subcommittee Number Three in the Commerce and Labor Committee. Israel is a member of the legislative Coal and Energy Commission and he serves on the Board of Directors for the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center.</p><p> As a citizen legislator, Israel is employed by K-VA-T Food Stores, the parent company of the Food City retail supermarket chain. He currently directs the company’s Office of Strategic Initiatives, in addition to chairing the company’s Energy Conservation Committee, which has implemented a number of energy conservation measures throughout the K-VA-T distribution center and numerous stores. Prior to joining the K-VA-T team in 2006, Israel served in various roles in government and campaigns. He spent two years in the office of Attorney General Jerry Kilgore and worked on a number of political campaigns, including those for Governor, Attorney General, US Senate, House of Delegates and various local offices.</p><p> Israel is Past Chairman of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, which has Five Star accreditation from the US Chamber of Commerce. Israel is a recipient of the Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 award, as well as Emory & Henry College’s Young Alumnus of the Year award. While at Emory & Henry College, Israel played on the varsity baseball team and graduated with degrees in Political Science and History. Israel is also a graduate of Patrick Henry High School in Glade Spring, Virginia.</p><p> Israel and his wife, Emily, reside in Washington County, Virginia. Emily works as a corporate communications professional and she is an avid supporter of community organizations at both the state and local levels. Over the years, her service on a number of boards has focused on various business and philanthropic initiatives including expanding educational opportunities for children and increasing access to the arts.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1443-israel-oquinn" 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/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>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1744-melvin-dillon" title="Melvin Dillon" aria-label="Melvin Dillon"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/346,345,1076,1074/3151_dillon.rev.1518206768.jpg" alt="Melvin Dillon" title="Melvin Dillon" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/346,345,1076,1074/3151_dillon.rev.1518206768.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/346,345,1076,1074/3151_dillon.rev.1518206768.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1432" data-max-h="1074"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1744-melvin-dillon"><p> Melvin Dillon is part of the Vinyl Revival</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Melvin Dillon (E&H ’06) is a musician himself, and used to play at venues in the Emory area while a student to make a little extra money. But as he got to know the industry, there were things that bothered him about the business of music. Says Melvin, “Soul Step Records is known because of our unwillingness to do business that serves our bottom line. We do everything in service to our artists. I think that’s why we’ve grown in such a short time.”</p><p> According to the Soul Step Records website, Melvin’s goal was simple; he wanted to give artists the ability to make vinyl records (so that music can be “listened to the way music should be…”). The thing that sets him apart from other music companies is that Soul Step pays all the upfront costs, and then profits are split evenly between the company and the band. “Our number one goal with each release is to have enough to fund another record. I have yet to take a dime from sales; every profit for Soul Step goes back into building up for another release. …Our relationship with our artists is paramount to us.”</p><p> And his good intentions are resulting in good business.</p><p> One of his current artist/clients is starring in <em>Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway</em>, and most of the music he is recording is currently featured in TV and film. Another client is Holy Ghost Tent Revival, and he says getting to know them years ago, and seeing the struggles they had with traditional means of recording, served as much of the inspiration for his company.</p><p> Because he loves the artist aspect of the music business it allows him some great opportunities, including the fact that with each release they do 100 vinyl records in a special color – while the rest of the run is in the traditional black vinyl. One album garnered particularly interesting success with the cover art. “When I was releasing my third album, Matt Duncan’s <em>Soft Times</em> I saw the artwork that was done by Robert Beatty. It was this psych-tarot card freaky artwork. Truly beautiful …After seeing the tarot card artwork - I went to the pressing plant I was using and said I wanted to put a tarot card INSIDE the record. After much trial and error, and even going as far as accidentally setting a pressing machine on fire, we were able to conjure a way to make this happen. The results were stunning and we had mentions from tons of music and vinyl publications. These 100 records we made for that project will pop up on eBay – typically going over a hundred dollars. Crazy.”</p><p> </p><p> Melvin says his time at E&H helped prepare him for a business model that breaks the mold. “The big keyword is service. It’s hard to be a student of Emory and not have service of others instilled into you. The heart of this company is service. I think that Emory helps you understand the value in giving back. Many of my fellow alumni who are in position to do so find some way to give back. It’s something that I’m proud of. I’ve been very fortunate to find a job with a phenomenal company that puts me in the position to do this. I feel that it’s my duty to find a way to give back. I’m happy that Soul Step fills that need.”</p><p> </p><p> Melvin spends only part of his week with Soul Step, and is also a manager for Apple Computer.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1744-melvin-dillon" 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/811-karen-griffey-todd" title="Karen Todd" aria-label="Karen Todd"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/573_Karen_Griffey_Todd_EH_84.rev.1505494592.jpg" alt="Karen Griffey Todd" title="Karen Griffey Todd" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/573_Karen_Griffey_Todd_EH_84.rev.1505494592.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2400,3200/573_Karen_Griffey_Todd_EH_84.rev.1505494592.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2400" data-max-h="3200"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/811-karen-griffey-todd"><p> A tall tale of giraffes and philanthropy.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><blockquote><p><strong>It’s a tall tale.</strong></p></blockquote><p> When the City of Kingsport was building a carousel, they needed sponsors for the array animals that would soon be running in circles to the delight of young and old. When Karen Griffey Todd (’84) heard there was a giraffe that needed a sponsor, she was ready to step up.<br/><br/> On a trip to Africa in 2001 she fell in love with the long-necked creatures, and now she feels passionate about the real ones and the wooden one that delights children on Kingsport’s now-famous Carousel.<br/><br/><img width="500" height="750" alt="Rothschild the Giraffe stands tall on the Kingsport Carousel" src="http://www.ehc.edu/live/image/gid/68/width/500/height/750/574_Kingsport_Carousel_Giraffe.jpg" class="lw_image lw_image574 lw_align_left lw_column_width_half" data-max-w="683" data-max-h="1024"/><span class="lw_image_caption lw_column_width_half lw_align_left" style="width: 500px">Rothschild the Giraffe stands tall on the Kingsport Carousel</span>“I will never forget the very first time I saw one in the wild in Tanzania. Then I started reading & learning about them & found that no one had really studied them that much. I was lucky enough to go back to Africa in 2014 to see them in Botswana, Zambia & Zimbabwe. They are already extinct in several African countries. The giraffe is now considered a “vulnerable” species for wildlife conservation with a few of the subspecies being endangered, including the Rothschild giraffe found in Kenya.”<br/><br/> In fact, Rothschild is the name Karen gave to her Carousel giraffe. Hopefully, folks will give a second thought to the serious plight of Rothschild’s real ancestors as they take a turn for fun.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/811-karen-griffey-todd" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>