Belmont College Announces Alumni Award Winners
St. Clairsville, OH (October 28, 2014) – 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 23.
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 community.
The 2014 Humanitarian Service Award winner is 2005 alumna Cherie Bronkar from Zanesville, Ohio. Cherie currently serves as the Library Director RC at Kent State University. A 2005 recipient of Belmont College’s outstanding Student Award/Library Paraprofessional, Cherie went on to Franklin University where she earned a B.S. in Information Technology/Summa Cum Laude, and then to Texas Woman’s University where she attained a Masters of Library Science/Magna Cum Laude.
“As someone who has spent most of her life in libraries, Cherie knows the power reading and books can have on a person’s life and has put her passions together to help the residents of Madagascar with the Malagasy People’s Library,” said presenter Doug Walsh, Director, Learning Commons.
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 2014 Emerging Leader Award winner is 2007 alumna Cathie Senter from Wheeling, West Virginia. She currently works as an instructor for the Belmont College Building Preservation/Restoration program and serves as a committee member on the Main Street Design in Wheeling with the West Virginia Organization, Training, Revitalization and Capacity program. Senter earned her Associate degree in Building Preservation/Restoration Technology from Belmont College and is currently working to complete a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from Ball State University. She is a “hands-on” preservationist with over twenty-four years of experience in the historic architecture field with a concentration in historic material conservation. Many of Senter’s building projects have received recognition and she has won the Historic Preservation Excellence Award from the American Institute of Architects. According to presenter Dave Mertz, Program Coordinator Building Preservation/Restoration, “Historic preservation is about people and building a more engaged and sustainable community in which to live and Cathie has gone beyond the call of duty in helping Wheeling become a better place.” He went on to say, “There is no doubt in my mind that Cathie represents the best of what Belmont College has to offer and I am proud to be her colleague and to present her with this prestigious award.” 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 2014 Distinguished Alumni Award was awarded to 1993 alumnus John Klayko from Belmont, Ohio. He graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering and then returned to Belmont in 1999 to take Networking courses. Klayko currently serves as Senior Network Administrator at Murray Energy Corporation and is a member of the Belmont College Information Technology advisory board. According to Dave McCleod, Professor and Program Chair of Information Technologies at Belmont, “When Belmont became a Cisco Networking Academy John was in the first cohort of students to take the four course sequence preparing students to sit for the Cisco Certified Networking Associate exam; he was the first Belmont student to take and pass his CCNA exam.”
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