The E&H Alumni Association is proud to honor alumni who serve as shining examples for their communities.
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 March).
Meet Our Alumni
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/838-matt-reedy"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,309,309/727_Matt_Reedy.rev.1506974745.png" alt="Matt Reedy E&H '00" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="309" data-max-h="309"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/838-matt-reedy"><p> We don’t often get to meet a real live hero. So, meet Matt Reedy!</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p style="text-align: left;" align="center"> Matt Reedy (’00) was one of only ten people in the country chosen as a 2017 Community Hero by the ICMA.</p><p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><br/> The award was presented by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). Matt is the Recreation Manager of Centers, Camps, Programs, and Youth Advisory Board for the City of Oak Ridge,Tennessee.</p><p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><br/> The award is part of ICMA’s “Life Well Run” initiative that intends to spotlight local government officials for outstanding work done ethically, efficiently, and effectively. </p><p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><br/> According to the press release, a member of Matt’s Youth Advisory Board had particularly great things to say about his work for the Oak Ridge community: “As a mentor, Matt believes in each board member more than they believe in themselves… he is always eager to turn the hushed, half-hearted suggestion of a quiet student into action.”<br/><br/></p><p> Matt has been with the City of Oak Ridge for 11 years, and part of his work is making sure local youth learn about governmental processes through participation and service. <br/><br/> Watch for news of a video that ICMA will be making about Matt’s work and his award. Read more about the Community Heroes and the Life, Well Run initiative at ICMA’s website: <a href="http://lifewellrun.org/lwr-recognizes-community-heroes/">lifewellrun.org/lwr-recognizes-community-heroes/</a>.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/838-matt-reedy" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1446-cathy-lowe"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1248,1251/2404_IMG_0480.rev.1516308322.jpg" alt="Cathy Lowe, E&H '11" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1248,1251/2404_IMG_0480.rev.1516308322.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,1248,1251/2404_IMG_0480.rev.1516308322.jpg 3x" data-max-w="1248" data-max-h="1251"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1446-cathy-lowe"><p> Cathy Lowe (E&H ’11) is serving as the mayor of Abingdon, Virginia.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Cathy fell into the category of “non-traditional” student while getting her E&H degree. She was already a grandmother when she walked across the stage and received her diploma. Cathy is also proof that it’s never too late to start a new project.</p><p> She is Executive Director of Virginia Highlands Small Business Incubator, and oversees all of the daily operations of the 40,000 square foot Economic Development Facility. She has served on the Abingdon Town Council since 2006, and in 2015 she was honored with a YWCA Tribute to Women Award.</p><p> In 2016 she was elected Mayor of Abingdon, Virginia. She was appointed in 2015 as a citizen member of the Virginia Tobacco Commission, and serves as the Governor’s Representative for the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Cultural Heritage Foudation.</p><p> She is a member of the Abingdon Rotary Club and has been named a Paul Harris Fellow multiple times. She also serves on numerous community boards including Barter Theatre, William King Museum, and Virginia Highlands Community College.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1446-cathy-lowe" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/670-micah-morris"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,250,250/6034_Micah_Morris.rev.1551713188.jpg" alt="E&H's Micah Morris, Class of 2009" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="250" data-max-h="250"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/670-micah-morris"><p> Micah Morris (’09) Fighting Apathy</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Micah Morris is a political and nonprofit professional with over 10 years experience raising money, coaching teams, and running programs to create a tangible difference in people’s lives.</p><p> A native of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, region Micah focused on social change work and community organizing while attending college at Emory & Henry.</p><p> After three transformational years at Planned Parenthood Federation of America on their Political & Advocacy teams, Micah struck out on the campaign trail and has worked in fundraising, operations, and field under Democratic standard bearers such as Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, Hillary for America campaign manager Robby Mook, and California US Senator Kamala Harris.</p><p> Micah was recently selected to be in the 2019 Virginia Cohort chosen by the <a href="https://www.newleaderscouncil.org/about" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">New Leaders Council (NLC)</a>. She is one of only 20 chosen for the honor in the Commonwealth.</p><p> Micah currently works remotely in Richmond, Virginia as an Account Executive for NGP VAN / EveryAction, a software platform for progressive nonprofits and Democratic campaigns. When not working, you can find her drinking IPAs, boxing, or hiking in the Shenandoahs with her husband and dog.</p><p> Micah 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> 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.”</p><p> 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. </p><p> Micah’s success as a sales executive 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. Micah has taken her opportunity for an education and created opportunities for others through stronger communities. 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-micah-morris" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2726-henri-fitzgerald"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,288,288/6519_Henri_Fitzgerald.rev.1562185295.jpg" alt="Henri Fitzgerald, E&H Class of 2000." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="288" data-max-h="288"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2726-henri-fitzgerald"><p> Henri Fitzgerald is the Director of Non-profit Solutions (Endowment and Foundation National Practice Group) at PNC bank.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Henri Fitzgerald was a Bonner Scholars student at Emory & Henry and graduated in 2000.</p><p> He is currently the Director of Non-profit Solutions (Endowment and Foundation National Practice Group) at PNC bank in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem, North Carolina Area.</p><p> Previously, he was Vice President for Philanthropic Planning and also Senior Trust and Fiduciary Specialist at Wells Fargo. And he was Vice President and Senior Planned Giving Advisor for Wachovia Wealth Management, Inc.</p><p> Henri has remained committed to the community service habits he established in college. He has served on the YMCA Board of Winston-Salem and is president of the South Fork Panthers Youth Football and Cheer Association. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Emory & Henry College.</p><p> He earned his Juris Doctor degree in Corporate Law and Planning from Wake Forest University School of Law. And he garnered a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP) designation from The American College.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2726-henri-fitzgerald" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2044-dr-beverly-clark-iii"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2273/4094_Clark-ShawLab.rev.1524861196.jpg" alt="Dr. Beverly Clark ('99) at the Clark-Shaw Lab." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2273/4094_Clark-ShawLab.rev.1524861196.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,3200,2273/4094_Clark-ShawLab.rev.1524861196.jpg 3x" data-max-w="3200" data-max-h="2273"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2044-dr-beverly-clark-iii"><p> Dr. Beverly Clark is studying the effects of microplastics on the environment.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p><strong>Dr. Beverly Clark, III </strong>is an Associate Professor of Physics at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has focused his research on combining nanoscience and microscopy. His work has focused mostly on using microscopy techniques to design methods for measuring electronic properties of nanostructures like capacitance, surface charge and resistance. </p><p> Beverly is currently doing research on the environmental impacts of microplastics. His work focuses on characterizing microplastics using microscopy and spectroscopy and the environmental impacts of microplastics on low income and minority populations. </p><p> Beverly is a native of Java, Virginia, but has lived in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area for over fifteen years. At Emory & Henry, he was a student athlete lettering in football and earned a B.S. degree in Physics. He also earned a Master’s and Doctorate in Physics from North Carolina State University. In July 2018, he left Raleigh to take the position of Dean of Instruction, Academic Education at Central Community College in Grand Island, Nebraska. In his spare time, he enjoys playing music, cooking, and gardening. </p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2044-dr-beverly-clark-iii" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2494-cortney-halsey"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/43,37,595,589/5791_IMG_1051_1.rev.1546634866.JPG" alt="Cortney Halsey (’15) and Jeremiah Jessee (’15) in full academic regalia." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="552" data-max-h="552"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2494-cortney-halsey"><p> Dr. Cortney Halsey is an occupational therapist who is serving her alma mater as a devoted career mentor.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Cortney Halsey finished at E&H with a B.S. in Biology in 2014. In 2017 she completed a doctorate of Occupational Therapy in the charter class of Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences (MDCHS) at Mary Baldwin University.</p><p> She is currently working full time as an occupational therapist embedded into the Pre-employment Readiness and Education Program (PREP) at Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center (WWRC). The position is the first of its kind. Cortney feels blessed to be in this recently created position. “ In collaboration with the OT department, we submitted a position proposal to the Department of Aging and Rehabilitation Services (DRS). The position was approved soon after I completed my doctoral experience at the center.”</p><p> Her responsibilities in the position include serving young adults with disabilities as they pursue independent living and vocational opportunities. Her special interests include sensory integration, assistive technology, and community integration. Cortney also represents WWRC in the DRS sponsored Autism Project and is a core member of the Autism Advocacy Partnership at the center. She supports academic institutions, as a project mentor for MDCHS’s Community Practicum course and precepts Level I OT Students from MDCHS and James Madison University.</p><p> She also works per diem at UVA-Encompass Health, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Charlottesville, as an occupational therapist for adults with acute neurological and orthopedic impairments.</p><p> Cortney doesn’t let being busy get in the way of supporting her alma mater. She was the Lyceum Keynote Speaker at E&H’s cognitive community team’s annual Autism event last year. In the summer of 2018, she collaborated with a current E&H student on a summer internship project at WWRC. Cortney says she loved getting to know Sarah Ingram, and the experience was also important for her as a new professional. “It is evident that servant leadership remains an Emory & Henry core value. Sarah, like most E&H students I can imagine, provide tangible and contextual resources through the understanding of place, thus she was able to provide current and future clients with tangible resources and education. Accessibility to resources, experiences, and opportunities will support potential and resiliency for all abilities. Sarah’s presence at our center and E&H’s commitment to service will provide this access to so many.”</p><p> Cortney used her E&H undergrad years to the fullest extent, not only excelling as an accomplished academic student, but also as a well-rounded athlete (she played softball) and campus leader (student director of orientation, member Delta Omicron Pi, Hope Award winner 2014, Homecoming Queen 2012). She says her E&H experience prepared her for the world of work she finds herself in now by “instilling a love for innovation, desire for life-long learning and joy in trials or barriers. Emory & Henry challenged me to be a spark and not someone’s flame. The greatest reward may be the moments someone chose to change their life with one of your tools and their unique self, rather than your gifts alone attributing to that change. I am humbled by this principle every moment as an Occupational Therapist,” says Cortney.</p><p> In 2018, Cortney married college sweetheart Dr. Jeremiah Jessee (E&H re’15, ETSU Pharmacy School ’18). Jeremiah is a pharmacy resident at Sentara Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, VA and will be taking a second year Oncology residency later this year.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2494-cortney-halsey" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/837-randall-meadows"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,360,359/726_IMG_3080_4.rev.1506973300.jpg" alt="Randy Meadows E&H ’88" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="360" data-max-h="359"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/837-randall-meadows"><p> As a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, Randall talks to a lot of people. But he finds that in many ways, people are very much the same.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Randall “Randy” Meadows LCSW (E&H ’88) talks to a lot of people during a day’s work. He’s a psychotherapist in Los Angeles, and part of his week is spent doing outpatient psychiatry Kaiser Permanente Medical Group; his role there is as a crisis therapist and he deals with things like work stress, panic attacks, and suicidal and homicidal impulses.</p><p> He also has a private practice where he does weekly therapy with individuals seeking personal internal growth. He says therapy is a “strange thing. It is a very intense relationship with a lot of boundaries.” But despite the angst he deals with daily, he doesn’t get frustrated because he has seen so many people grow and succeed past current problems. “I routinely see people overcome their challenges.”</p><p> In fact, he sees his role as a privilege. “I’m fortunate: I get to see behind the masks of janitors, lawyers, and movie stars. In one conversation, a janitor may be worried about being judged by the head janitor while a movie star is worried about being judged by Jack Nicholson. We are all pretty much the same on the inside.”</p><p> Randy majored in economics and political science at Emory & Henry. And even though he wasn’t loving the program he had nearly completed his MBA at the University of Maryland when his father died. This big life event made him realize life was short and gave him need for some time to reflect; he entered therapy. He was so impressed by the process that he decided to go into the profession.</p><p> Randy didn’t get a background in psychology at Emory & Henry, but he credits the College (particularly the political science department) for preparing him for a meaningful adult life. He loves living in the melting pot of Los Angeles, and says his E&H classes started him on the process of embracing the joys of living in a “liberal and inclusive” community. A self-declared Republican when he came to Emory & Henry, Randy recalls a day in class when Dr. Steve Fisher listened closely to what Randy was expressing and said, “You know you’re not a Republican, right?” He gave Randy a stack of books to read that paved the way for the rest of his life. He says his professors never tried to sway his thinking, but they challenged him to “make educated decisions.” </p><p> It’s not all work for Randy, and he says he plays as hard as he works. He says Los Angeles has an amazing array of cultural offerings including “theatre, concerts, museums” and more. And he takes full advantage of the California climate: “I can have breakfast at the beach, drive up the mountain to snowboard in the afternoon, and drive down the mountain for evening cocktails by the pool in the desert!” All in a day’s work.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/837-randall-meadows" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2053-mike-fintel"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,720,720/4097_image.rev.1525119131.png" alt="Mike Fintel, E&H Class of 2009." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,720,720/4097_image.rev.1525119131.png 2x" data-max-w="720" data-max-h="720"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2053-mike-fintel"><p> Mike Fintel is making a difference in higher education.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Mike Fintel wants to make a difference.</p><p> With a degree in Business Management it seemed pretty obvious what he would do after college. And when he landed a plum job with the Shelor Corporation in Montgomery County, Virginia, he was off and running.</p><p> His business background got paired with his soccer experiences as he was first given responsibilities with one of Shelor’s more athletic projects. Mike was General Manager and then Sales and Marketing Manager for the Pulaski Yankees, running historic Calfee ballpark in Pulaski and overseeing marketing for the new Jackson Park Inn hotel and Al’s on First restaurant. He increased sales revenues for the baseball park, and saw an uptick in group sales.</p><p> Soon after that, he was offered a promotion in the company with more responsibility and opportunity. Things were exactly on track!</p><p> And that’s when he walked away.</p><p> Mike said his inner voice was telling him to make a change. “It just didn’t feel like that was what I was supposed to be doing. I wanted to make a difference.”</p><p> In 2017, Mike was inspired by a fellow E&H Classmate <em>(Chris O’Connor)</em> to join Big Brothers, Big Sisters as a mentor with an elementary school in a rural town. It was through this mentorship that Mike decided to follow his heart to higher education. </p><p> He is now an Admissions Counselor at Roanoke College and Mike says work doesn’t seem like work any more. “I am driven by the thought of waking up each morning, knowing that I can help students envision the achievable dream of attending college. Work no longer seems like a chore.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2053-mike-fintel" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2042-chandler-davis"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1365/4040_Headshot.rev.1524839960.jpg" alt="E&H's Chandler Davis." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1365/4040_Headshot.rev.1524839960.jpg 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,2048,1365/4040_Headshot.rev.1524839960.jpg 3x" data-max-w="2048" data-max-h="1365"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2042-chandler-davis"><p> Chandler Davis is a “Woman to Watch” in the theatre!</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Immediately after leaving Emory & Henry, Chandler was cast in the Barter Player Program at Barter Theatre, the State Theatre of Virginia. After that, Chandler spent three years being a cowgirl at Tweetsie Railroad in Blowing Rock North Carolina.</p><p> In the Fall of 2011, Chandler moved to Roanoke, Virginia, where she had the pleasure of producing an original musical she co-wrote with E&H alumnus Will Coleman (’07). Chandler then went on to work as a stage manager and performer with Roanoke Children’s Theatre.</p><p> After moving to Wilmington, North Carolina, Chandler became the managing director for City Stage Co., a theater producing contemporary and cutting edge works. In 2015 Chandler was named a Woman to Watch in the Arts field for North Carolina by <em>Wilma Magazine</em>.</p><p> Chandler is currently the artistic director for The Thalian Association which produces five main stage shows a year at Historic Thalian Hall, five youth shows at the Hannah Block Historic USO, and runs a youth arts academy in the Fall and Spring. In early 2018, Chandler became a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2042-chandler-davis" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1751-erick-long"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,612,515/3181_Erick_Long.rev.1518214003.jpg" alt="Erick Long" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="612" data-max-h="515"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1751-erick-long"><p> Erick Long is a vice president for the Academy of Country Music in Los Angeles.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Erick Long joined the Academy of Country Music in 2009 after many years in the events industry. He currently manages Operations & Events at the Academy including several components of the Academy of Country Music Awards, ACM Party for a Cause Festival as well as ACM Honors. Long oversees the general operations of the ACM, event production, red carpet, talent logistics, sponsor fulfillment, catering, board meetings, security, transportation, the All-Star Jam (official after party), IT, as well as the internship and volunteer programs.</p><p> Prior to joining the Academy, Long spent more than six years in special events at Universal Studios Hollywood where he managed large-scale events including the MTV Movie Awards After Party, the Tahitian Noni International Conference, Lance Armstrong’s Tour of Hope, and New Year’s Eve events, among others. Before Universal, Long spent more than 10 years in event production and operations with the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, Pallotta TeamWorks - Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Up with People as well as independent contracts with the Grammys, Latin Grammys, and the Inland Valley Humane Society. A Tennessee native, Long graduated from Emory & Henry College in Virginia. He has lived in Los Angeles since 2000.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1751-erick-long" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2595-mwenda-kazadi"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,399,398/6080_mwenda.rev.1553265890.jpg" alt="Mwenda Kazadi, E&H 2010, in his community in Liberia." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="399" data-max-h="398"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2595-mwenda-kazadi"><p> Mwenda Kazadi has taken his Bonner Scholars lessons into his career – and is committed to creating opportunities for his neighbors in Liberia.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><div class="row"><div class="col-sm-12"><h1 class="profiles-page-title"> </h1></div></div><div class="row"><div class="col-xxs-12 col-xs-8"><div class="profiles-page-intro"><p> Mwenda Kazadi (E&H ’10) is living full time in Liberia now, and he is making an impact. </p><p class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-p1"><span class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-s1">“Currently, I run my own boutique advisory firm in Liberia called Impact Advisory Services, which specializes in agricultural finance, digital finance and small medium business (sme) lending & investing.”</span></p><p class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-p1"><span class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-s1">Mwenda’s work is particularly important in an area where land resources are plenteous but money is not. “Liberia despite, possessing vast amounts of natural resources and an ideal climate for agricultural production, is one of the poorest countries in the world, which suffers from rampant poverty and food insecurity. Working with Liberian farmers and agribusinesses to improve their businesses, increase their incomes and increase the overall investments in Liberia’s agricultural sector; it has the potential to deliver an enormous positive impact to improve the Liberian economy and promote stability.”</span></p><p class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-p1"><span class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-s1">Does he like the work? “I love it! I wake up every day excited about the new opportunities and challenges that I will face when I go into the office. I am doing what I love.”</span></p><p class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-p1"><span class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-s1">Mwenda transferred to Emory & Henry from Northern Virginia Community College after he brought his sister (Joy Kazadi, E&H ’10) for her first week as a freshman. He was so taken with the people and the campus he applied that day to be a transfer. “I really enjoyed my time at E&H and I know that what I learned there through my business and international studies classes, extracurricular activities and from the Bonner Scholars Community Service Program, helped prepare me for the work that I do today.”</span></p><p class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-p1"><span class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-s1">He majored in business administration and minored in middle eastern international studies, and had a close relationship with a number of faculty members including Dr. Samir Saliba and Dr. Felicia Mitchell. “We would grab meals together and I would spend time in their offices; at times discussing assignments & school work and other times we would just discuss current events and what I wanted to do upon graduation. They really went out of their way to make themselves available and I believe that those discussions helped to nurture my curiosity about how finance can positively impact the lives of individuals in developing and frontier economies.”</span></p><p class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-p1"><span class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-s1">Mwenda also learned some great lessons in community organizing as a student. He organized a group called Men of Color Alliance (MOCA) that focused on facilitating discussion and raising awareness on issues about race and gender. Mwenda is half Congolese and half Liberian. “It also provided men of color with the necessary support system for the unique issues that they at times face.” He says the group was well accepted and supported by the College administration.</span></p><p class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-p1"><span class="m-6012971385762651590gmail-s1">While Mwenda loves the work he is doing now, he also has his sights set on the future. “I plan to continue working in this field for a few years. However, in the near-term future I see myself launching a West African region-focused impact investment firm; which is an investment firm that seeks to invest in ventures that are not only profitable but have a significant positive impact on the communities they operate in.”</span></p></div><div class="profiles-page-body"><div class="profiles_field profiles_14 profiles_body_14"><h4 class="profiles_14_header profiles_body_14_header"> </h4><div class="profiles_content"/></div></div></div></div></div><a href="/live/profiles/2595-mwenda-kazadi" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/156-"><img src="/live/image/gid/2/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,400,300/29_1dee3c8e17be67fe60d501abf5d16fd1_f73851.rev.1491320868.jpg" alt="Stewart Whitmore Plein" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="400" data-max-h="300"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/156-"><p> Stewart Whitmore Plein (’82) Becomes Rare Books Specialist</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Stewart Plein (E&H ’82), Assistant Curator for West Virginia Books & Printed Resources & Rare Book Librarian at West Virginia University, has received her certification in rare book librarianship from the University of Virginia’s renowned Rare Book School (RBS), the top professional development program for rare book and special collection librarians, rare book sellers and collectors.</p><p> “Rare book librarianship isn’t for the faint of heart,” said Tom Congalton, an RBS instructor. “There is an enormous barrier to acquiring the necessary knowledge and practical experience required to be an effective special collections librarian, and it isn’t always easy to know where to start. Stewart has the energy, the motivation and the tenacity to go out and acquire that knowledge in order to master a subject that isn’t always inclined to reveal itself easily.”</p><p> Jay Cole, senior advisor to the president at WVU, applauds Plein for her dedication to the Rare Book Room and work to enhance the academic environment at WVU. “The library is the heart of any university and information circulated by the library is a university’s lifeblood. Within our wonderful Libraries, WVU is very fortunate to have an outstanding Rare Books Collection, with items from William Shakespeare to Isaac Asimov,” Cole said. “We are equally fortunate to have a rare book librarian such as Stewart Plein, whose passion is matched only by her expertise.”</p><p> Stewart’s love of books took her from reader to researcher to bookseller to librarian. She says she had a career direction change after attending a seminar for antiquarian book dealers in 2003. She decided to volunteer at the West Virginia University Library in Morgantown, and ended up an assistant to the Special Collections Librarian.</p><p> At E&H Stewart had a double major in history and religion. She then earned her degree in library science at the University of South Carolina before succeeding her mentor, Harold Forbes, as Rare Books Librarian and Assistant Curator of West Virginia Books and Printed Resources, and as Assistant University Librarian. She has duties in the Downtown Campus Library and the West Virginia & Regional History Center, both in Morgantown.</p><p> She is also extensively published. Her work covers a wide range of topics, including the impact of art and design on the marketplace and nineteenth century book manufacturing and technology; books as historical artifacts; the cultural impact of books; dissemination of ideas and rare book pedagogy as primary resources for undergraduate research; 19th- century publishers’ book binding design and manufacture; the history of Appalachian law books and newspapers; and the impact of book binding design and the development of stereotype in Appalachia.</p><p> Stewart said the most inspiring part of the RBS course came from a guest lecturer who raised the question about how to go forward with collecting rare material. “It gave me a new insight into the future of book collecting institutionally. It’s about looking ahead rather than back at things we already have.” As a result, she is focusing on materials that are now becoming rare. For example, there is a growing interest in items from the 1940s through the 1990s that already are becoming scarce despite being mass produced. For instance, WVU Libraries recently acquired a collection of magazines (or zines) that were published in San Francisco by West Virginia poet, Sutton Breiding, in the 1970s. “Zines have become quite collectible,” Plein said. “They were just things that were traded between friends, they didn’t really have a production run, they were printed off on mimeograph machines, but they documented important pop culture moments so they really need to be collected or we’ll lose them.”</p><p> She is also turning her attention to what has long been an under-represented area in the rare books collection, the works of African-American West Virginians from late 19<sup>th</sup> to early 20<sup>th</sup> century.</p><p> West Virginia was home to many of the nation’s most important African-American activists and leaders: Booker T. Washington, author and educator; Carter G. Woodson, author, historian and journalist; Anne Spencer, Harlem Renaissance poet; and J.R. Clifford, Civil War veteran, newspaper publisher, co-founder of the Niagra Movement with W.E. B. Dubois, and West Virginia’s first African-American attorney.</p><p> Stewart says introducing students to primary sources with rare books is the best part of her work day. “I never tire of seeing that moment when a student’s eyes light up when they handle a rare book for the first time!”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/156-" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2955-kyle-sensabaugh"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,0,601,601/6892_Kyle_Sensabaugh_Photo.rev.1568396666.png" alt="Kyle Sensabaugh, E&H Class of 2014" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="601" data-max-h="601"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2955-kyle-sensabaugh"><p> Kyle Sensabaugh is a Director for People, Inc. – and says he’s forever grateful to Emory & HEnry.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Kyle is a native of Columbus, Ohio and now resides in Glade Spring, Virginia. He came to E&H in 2009 as a first-year student and athlete, and eventually made Southwest Virginia his home.</p><p> Upon graduation, he accepted his first job as the Head Assistant Basketball Coach at Emory & Henry. He was then offered a position as an Assistant Store Manager at Lowe’s (home improvement) – a job he held for four years.</p><p> He is currently employed with People Incorporated of Virginia as the Director of Housing Services. He started this job in 2017, and says he owes much of his success to his E&H degree, and he loves that his career allows him to make a difference for people. “My position consists of finding affordable homes for clients, giving aid to current homeless individuals, helping to prevent individuals from becoming homeless, weatherization services for under income individuals, under income home ownership programs, and voucher programs for section 8.”</p><p> Kyle is proud of the fact that he was a Bonner Scholar at Emory & Henry. “Bonner gave me a true appreciation and respect for community service. I enjoyed all the sites I worked with and loved the rewarding feeling of helping others. That same experience drove me towards my passion for my job now. I had great relationships with several of my professors and peers, that allowed me to network within this community. Those networking opportunities, took me down numerous paths from finding employment, building stronger community relationships, and finding a place that I call home. I was never a strong student before coming to Emory & Henry College, and the atmosphere and resources there changed that for me. I never had an issue getting the help I needed, the encouragement, or someone to take the time to see my situation through. Without E&H and the Bonner Scholars program, I can honestly say I would not be working with People, Inc. today. I am forever grateful and forever an advocate for the college.”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2955-kyle-sensabaugh" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/1924-major-warner"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/43,48,449,456/3461_mwarner.rev.1520382856.JPG" alt="Major Warner, E&H 1991" class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" data-max-w="406" data-max-h="408"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/1924-major-warner"><p> Major Warner, a 1991 Emory & Henry graduate, is Associate Superintendent for Instruction with Fauquier County Schools.</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Major Warner, a 1991 Emory & Henry graduate, is Associate Superintendent for Instruction with Fauquier County Schools.<br/><br/> He is a 1987 graduate of Fauquier High School. He was a standout basketball player at Emory & Henry, and is a member of the E&H Sports Hall of Fame. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Management.<br/><br/> His work with students began when he worked as an admissions counselor for two years after graduation. His post graduate work in counseling began with a two-year program at Tennessee Tech University, where he finished ahead of schedule in 1.5 years. <br/><br/> In 1996, Warner returned to Fauquier County where he worked at Liberty High School as a guidance counselor for four years. During this time Major began his postgraduate work in Educational Leadership with the University of Virginia, that would eventually allow him to serve as assistant principal at both Parkview High School in Loudoun County and Battlefield High School in Prince William County. <br/><br/> He was selected as principal of Kettle Run High School in 2007 serving for 10 years in this capacity. He currently serves as the Associate Superintendent for Instruction with Fauquier County Schools. <br/><br/> In 2015, Warner won the The Washington’s Post Distinguished Educational Leader from Fauquier County.</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/1924-major-warner" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>
- <span class="lw_item_thumb"><a href="/live/profiles/2055-nicole-powell"><img src="/live/image/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,24,1139,1161/4101_Nicole.rev.1525361616.png" alt="Nicole Powell, E&H Class of 2016, in a photo taken during her zoo internship in St. Louis." class="lw_image" width="345" height="225" srcset="/live/image/scale/2x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,24,1139,1161/4101_Nicole.rev.1525361616.png 2x, /live/image/scale/3x/gid/68/width/345/height/225/crop/1/src_region/0,24,1139,1161/4101_Nicole.rev.1525361616.png 3x" data-max-w="1139" data-max-h="1137"/></a></span><div class="lw_widget_text"><h4 class="lw_profiles_headline"><a href="/live/profiles/2055-nicole-powell"><p> Nicole Powell’s life is a like a zoo …and she loves it that way!</p></a></h4><div class="lw_profiles_description"><p> Nicole Powell has a nose for career success; but when it comes to stinky barns, she can’t smell a thing.</p><p> Nicole is currently a “Swing Keeper” at the Memphis Zoo – which means she gets to move around from one area to another depending on where she’s needed. One day she might be bottle-feeding baby goats, and another day she’s helping African Red River Hogs take a dip in the swimming pool. Nicole says they have young visitors who won’t go into some of the places where she works because they say it smells so bad; “but honestly, I smell nothing!”</p><p> Nicole was a Biology major (Chemistry minor), and she’s known for a long time this is the kind of work she wanted to do. At the end of her junior year at Emory & Henry she did an unpaid internship at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri. But zoo work doesn’t come easily.</p><p> She has sent out 130 job applications. After graduation, she completed additional unpaid internships in Columbus, Ohio, and New Orleans. Nicole says most descriptions for job openings ask for several years of paid experience but sometimes they’ll accept unpaid work because they expect up-and-comers to do that. “Three internships is average, but some do five.”</p><p> She’s happy to have this job in Memphis, even if it is only a part-time position. She understands that this is how it works: you get in the system and then you have the chance to move around to the best zoos and bigger jobs. When the chance arises, “I have to take the opportunity.”</p><p> Nicole admits to wishing she could get back a bit closer to her home state of North Carolina, but she is willing to do what she needs to do in order to get closer to a fulltime, fulfilling career in zoo work, especially if it’s a chance to work with giraffes. “I’d move anywhere for that job!”</p></div><a href="/live/profiles/2055-nicole-powell" class="link-with-arrow gold">Keep reading</a></div>