Alumni Awarded for Years of Service to College
Friday, September 27th, 2013
Homecoming Weekend at West Virginia Wesleyan College is a time for alumni, faculty, staff, and students to rekindle old friendships and celebrate achievements. On Friday, October 11, the College will recognize eight individuals who, through their personal and professional accomplishments and commitments, exemplify the spirit, service and excellence that Wesleyan seeks to instill in those who pass through the College’s hallowed halls.
Nicholas Hamisevicz ’04, recipient of the Young Alumni Service Award, graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. He also holds a Masters of Arts degree in International Communication from American University in Washington, DC and a Masters of Arts degree in International Studies from Korea University in Seoul, South Korea. Hamisevicz is the Director of Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute of America (KEI) and is responsible for issues effecting the U.S.-South Korea alliance, especially issues related to North Korea. Hamisevicz lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife, Virginia Gum Hamisevicz, a 2004 WVWC graduate and a 2009 WVWC Young Alumni Achievement Award winner.
Amy Thornton Jones ’98 is the Young Alumni Achievement Award winner. A dietitian, speaker, and author on Celiac disease and the gluten-free diet, Jones facilitates the Logan County Celiac Support Group in Bellefontaine which she founded in May 2010 and also consults one-on-one with those with Celiac Disease and gluten intolerance. She is also the chief clinical dietitian at Mary Rutan Hospital in Bellefontaine, Ohio. In 2011, Jones was honored to be named one of “10 Dedicated Dietitians Who are Making a Difference” by Today’s Dietitian magazine. She is a popular speaker on the topics of Celiac and weight management, recently appearing as a panelist for two nationally broadcast webinars for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA). She also was the featured expert dietitian in a recent video series for the NFCA. She recently had articles published with both NFCA and Gannett Healthcare Education. Jones graduated from Wesleyan in 1998, where she was active in nutrition activities and also the music department as a member of the jazz band and concert chorale. She also holds a Master’s degree from Ball State University and has completed additional training at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. Amy lives near Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike and her 6 year-old son Ben
Chaplain (Col, Ret.) Bruce Reed ’76 is the recipient of the Alumni Achievement Award. Dr. Reed is a 1973 graduate of Parkersburg Community College , a 1976 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College , a 1979 graduate of United Theological Seminary with both a Masters of Divinity and Doctorate of Ministry degree, and Marshall University Graduate College. He holds degrees in church music, theology, counseling, and youth ministry and is presently studying in a second Doctor of Ministry program at Wesley Seminary. He has served six different United Methodist Charges in West Virginia and Ohio and is the accompanist for Morris Memorial United Methodist Church, Kanawha City, WV. April 2002, after 29 years of serving local churches, Chaplain Reed left local church ministry to become the full-time Support Chaplain of the West Virginia National Guard. With his wife, he provided pastoral support for the over 6,700 members of the West Virginia National Guard and their families. From 2003 to 2004 Chaplain Reed was deployed to Kuwait with the 111th Engineer Group, and he earned a Bronze Star during his 2007-2008 deployment to Iraq with the 111th Engineer Brigade. During the Hurricane Katrina crisis, Chaplain Reed first supported over 300 displaced persons from New Orleans, at Camp Dawson, WV, and then deployed to New Orleans to assist in the hurricane recovery. He has been the Brigade Chaplain of the 3D Brigade, 80th Training Division; the Battalion Chaplain of the 1092d Engineer Combat Battalion; the Group and Brigade Chaplain for the 111th Engineers and the Chaplain of the WV CERF-P Unit. In 2005, he was selected as the Officer of the Year for the West Virginia National Guard. He last served for two years as the Joint Forces Command Chaplain of the West Virginia National Guard, where upon military retirement he was awarded the Army Legion of Merit Medal and was granted a West Virginia state promotion to Brigadier General. He is presently the State Family Programs Director for the West Virginia National Guard. Dr. Reed’s community service includes leadership in Rotary and Lions clubs, fire and ambulance services, Boy Scouts, Walk to Emmaus, and educational tour leadership for three pilgrimages to the Holy Lands. He has also been instrumental in developing, with the West Virginia Council of Churches, the CARENET program and Partners In Care Program, providing means for Local Churches to offer support for Service Members and their Families. At the 2011 Annual Conference, Chaplain Reed was awarded the West Virginia United Methodist Bishop’s Torch Award, for his work with Scouting and youth ministries.
Senator Mike Ross received the Extra Mile/Friend of the College Award. He worked temporarily as a coal miner and heavy equipment operator after his graduation from Coalton High School. In 1971, Senator Ross and business partner, Robert Wharton started Wharton Gas Company which today provides livelihoods for 20 full-time employees and many other independent contractors throughout West Virginia. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Mike Ross, Inc. In 1992, the distinguished citizen was elected to represent the 15th District in the West Virginia Senate. During his time in office, he served as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure, Rule-Making and various other committees. He was also appointed by Governor Joe Manchin to fill the WV House of Delegates 37th District seat left vacant in 2009 after the sudden passing of Delegate Bill Proudfoot. Senator Ross has continuously and generously sponsored and supported community events, fairs and festivals, schools, team sports, and charitable activities. In Randolph County alone, he has donated tens of thousands of dollars to non-profit organizations to enhance the quality of life for our residents. Senator Ross is an active member of at least a dozen organizations and clubs and is visibly engaged as a community volunteer.
Steve ’70 and Carolyn Reneau Shepler ’69 are the recipients of the Alumni Service Award. Steve is a 1970 graduate and Carolyn a 1969 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan. While at Wesleyan, Steve was a member of Sigma Theta Epsilon and Carolyn was active with Kappa Phi and Alpha Beta Alpha. Since graduating from Wesleyan, they have supported their alma mater with their money and their time. They have held alumni gathering in their home and recruited students to the College. Both have been active in the Alumni Council. Carolyn was president of the council for four years, serving as the council representative to the Board of Trustees for the College. She also served on the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee.
Avah Arbogast Stalnaker ’77 is awarded the Alumni Achievement Award. She has served in the capacity of CEO of Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital in Weston since January 1, 2012, having been born in the very same
hospital in 1953. The fifth of six children, she is a 1971 graduate of St. Patrick School. Stalnaker earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from West Virginia Wesleyan College in 1977 where she was elected WV Student Nurse of the Year during her junior year. After her graduation from WVWC in 1977, Stalnaker was employed full time at SJMH as a staff nurse. Before her promotion to Associate Administrator in 1990, she gained a wealth of experience in many aspects of health care. She held numerous positions in the hospital. She earned a Master’s degree in Health Care Administration from the University of Minnesota. She is a member of the WV Hospital Association and Partners in Health Network. An active member of the Lewis County community, Stalnaker coordinated the annual Weston Rotary Club blood screening for years. She has served as a member and officer of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce and was named Chamber Member of the Year in 1993. She was Lewis County United Way board member and also chairwoman of the campaign in 1994-1995. She has also served on the Lewis County Economic Development Authority. She resides in Weston with her husband, Jerry. The couple have three children, four grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.
Leon Thomas III ’05, recipient of the Young Alumni Achievement Award, is currently a Student Success and Retention Adviser with the Student Achievement and Success Program (SASP) at Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) where he coordinates mentoring for the Student Achievement and Success Program, retention programs for the Black Male Thomas served as Assistant Director for Multicultural Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina-Columbia from 2007 to 2011 and at The American University of Washington, DC as Student Activities Advisor from 2006 to 2007. Thomas has earned a Master of Arts degree from West Virginia University in Higher Educational Leadership and a Bachelor of Arts degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College in Educational Studies.
For more information on additional Homecoming Weekend activities, please visit www.wvwc.edu/alumni/homecoming