Belmont College Announces Alumni Award Winners
John J. Shannon Distinguished Alumni Award Winners announced at annual Honors Reception.
John J. Shannon Distinguished Alumni Award Winners Brent Yarnall; Susan Adams;
and Rebekah Karelis.
St. Clairsville, OH (November 1, 2013) – The Belmont College Alumni
Association works to celebrate the excellence of its alumni by honoring those who
have brought extraordinary credit to Belmont College. Recently, three alumni were
selected to receive the John J. Shannon Distinguished Alumni Awards.
The alumni award winners received their awards at an Honors Reception held at the
Main Campus location in St. Clairsville on October 24.
During his opening remarks at the reception R.J. Konkoleski, Director of Development
and External Affairs stated: “Through these awards, we can pay tribute to John J.
Shannon, our founding President, and Belmont College's rich tradition of successful
graduates who enjoy meaningful careers and give back to their communities.”
The following are descriptions of the award categories as well as descriptions of
the award recipients' professional accomplishments and service to their communities.
Humanitarian Service Award – The award is extended to an alumnus who has expressed
remarkable service to their local community.
The 2013 Humanitarian Service Award winner was 1985 electronics alumnus Brent Yarnall
from Zanesville, Ohio. He has served as a Boy Scout Master of Boy Scout Troop 158
for many years. Yarnall has guided and has led countless boys into young men that
contribute and will continue to contribute to their local community. His deep patriotism
is evidenced by his service to the community, such as placing flags on veterans’
gravestones for Memorial Day. His patriotism further permeates the community by
ensuring boys are available for colors at local events and arts offerings, and volunteering
for numerous service projects.
Emerging Leader Award – This award recognizes outstanding achievement in any professional
field. The Emerging Leader Award honors those alumni whose accomplishments in their
vocational fields have brought distinction to themselves, credit to the college,
and genuine benefit to their community. Nominees must be alumni who have been in
the workforce for 5-10 years since their attendance at Belmont College.
The 2013 Emerging Leader Award was awarded to 2007 Building Preservation/Restoration
(BPR) alumna Rebekah Karelis from Wheeling, West Virginia. Working with the Wheeling
National Heritage Area Corporation, on Wheeling Downtown’s Design Committee and
with the Ohio Valley Young Preservationists, over the past few years, Karelis’ name
has become synonymous with history and historic preservation in Wheeling. She was
instrumental in helping obtain permission from the City of Wheeling and other entities
for Belmont College BPR students to restore several windows last year at the Capitol
Theatre. Karelis has participated in historic reenactments and has been working
actively with other volunteers to restore sections of the Mount Wood Cemetery. Even
in the short time span of several years, Ms. Karelis is already considered a “Leader”
within the Ohio Valley and the history and preservation community state‐wide.
Distinguished Alumni Award – This award recognizes achievement of an extraordinary
nature in any field, vocational or voluntary. The Distinguished Alumni Award is
reserved for those alumni who have attained and maintained extremely high stations
in their chosen fields of endeavor and/or in their service to their community. Nominees
must be alumni who have been in the workforce for 10 years or more since their attendance
at Belmont College.
The 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award was awarded to 2002 Business Management alumna
Susan Adams from Cadiz, Ohio. Adams retired in 2010 from American Electric Power
with 41 years of service; she is a member of Beta Theta Mu and Phi Theta Kappa Society.
She is very active in the community as she serves as President of the Harrison County
Genealogical Society; President of the Woman's Civic Club of Cadiz; Trustee, Administrative
Board Member and Co-Finance Secretary at the Deersville United Methodist Church;
and Secretary/Treasurer for the Women of Mission at the Deersville United Methodist
Church. Adams is a life member of the Franklin Museum in New Athens; The Ohio Genealogical
Society; The Harrison County Historical Society; as well as member of the Harrison
County Farm Bureau; the American Electric Power Veterans Association; and Unionport
Chapter #360, Order of the Eastern Star. She also is a member of the Belmont College
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