Belmont College

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.
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 Foundation Board.

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