EVANSVILLE, IN The University of Evansville bestowed 497 degrees upon 475 graduates during the 161st commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11. President Christopher Pietruszkiewicz presided.Several awards were given at the ceremony including the Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May Outstanding Senior Award, the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award, and the Eykamp Prize. Additionally, three honorary degrees were given during the celebration.Full information on the award recipients is as follows:2019 Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May Outstanding Senior AwardEach year, a committee of students and faculty selects an award recipient for the most outstanding senior. The selection is based on high academic performance, a commitment to service, outstanding leadership, and involvement in diverse campus activities. The award is named for two of the University’s most respected alumni, Mabel Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May.This year’s recipient is Chace Avery. He truly embodies the spirit of philanthropy, innovation, and change making that are at the heart of the University of Evansville experience.As a biochemistry student, research led Avery to an internship with the National Institutes of Health where he performed data analysis on a clinical trial focused on patients with severe insulin resistance.While president of his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Avery created a new philanthropy event called the Patriot’s Run to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project where participants ran a 5k wearing backpacks, mirroring our US troops who wear heavy backpacks every day.Avery says the pride and joy of his UE experience have been his involvement in Habitat for Humanity. He served as the President for Habitat for Humanity for two years, during which time he planned and executed the nation’s first Habitat for Humanity Barn Blitz. This event brought 200 UE students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members together to build 30-yard barns to accompany Habitat for Humanity Homes in Evansville. He also worked on the 499th Habitat for Humanity House in Evansville and was part of the inaugural Evansville team to build a Habitat for Humanity House while abroad in Portugal. To bring his involvement full circle, he will be building another home with UE students in Chacala, Mexico after graduation.Avsery also took a ChangeLab class focused on the development of Tiny Homes for the homeless in Evansville and was able to serve at a women’s shelter called Ruth’s House. He was a part of Student Christian Fellowship, an active Orientation Leader, and was a co-founder for the University’s Ballroom Dancing Club.Avery has done all of the above while still maintaining an outstanding academic record, appearing on the Dean’s list every single semester of his UE career.In August, Avery will attend Indiana University School of Medicine to pursue a medical specialty in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. He says he plans to continue making a difference in the world of medicine through innovative philanthropy, just as he has at UE.UE Alumni Association Oustanding Teacher AwardProfessor Atefeh Yazdanparast was awarded the 2019 UE Alumni Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Yazdanparast is highly revered by students and colleagues alike. Many say she is the best professor they’ve ever had and others think the best instructor at UE!Dean Rawski says she is an exceptional teacher and scholar and connects well with her students.Yazdanparast received her Ph.D. in Marketing with a minor in Business Anthropology from the University of North Texas in 2012. Since joining the UE faculty in 2012, she has been the recipient of the 2018 Dean’s Teaching Award, the 2018 National Society of Leadership and Success Excellence in Teaching Award, Class of 1961 Faculty Fellowship Award in 2017, Global Scholar Award in 2015, and the Dean’s Research Award in both 2014 and 2016.Recently, Yazdanparast was named the 2019 Master Scholar award recipient by Marketing Management Association as part of an international competition to recognize marketing scholars who have engaged in innovative and impactful research. Following a multi-disciplinary and multi-method approach, Yazdanparast conducts qualitative and quantitative research and collaborates with researchers in other disciplines. Focusing on decision making, a majority of her intellectual contributions fall within the areas of the social psychology of consumer behavior and the interplay of consumers and technology and her work has been published in many journals.Yazdanparast teaches several marketing courses including digital marketing, marketing research, principles of marketing, and consumer behavior. She is committed to providing experiential learning opportunities for her students, and they have incorporated more than 20 marketing projects for local and global businesses.Eykamp PrizeThe 2019 recipient of the Eykamp Prize is professor Kristy Miller.Since arriving at UE, she received the Sadelle and Sydney Berger Service Award for her involvement with student recruitment; and her efforts have been successful as her department has seen increased enrollments. She was also selected as one of the Evansville Business Journal’s 20 under 40, an honor that recognizes young leaders who make a difference in their community.Miller is chair of the Department of Chemistry and instrumental to recruiting and retaining the best and brightest students to her department. In addition to mentoring Chemistry majors, she maintains contact with alumni and supports them throughout their professional careers. To keep alumni engaged in the life of the University, Dr. Miller hosts engaging events on campus, giving them a reason to return to Evansville.Miller has also played a key role in fundraising to support her department. Most recently, she received funds to support undergraduate research and a distinguished lecture series from the Jean Dreyfus Lectureship.View Online: http://evansville.mFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Ocean City High School has been awarded a $1,000 grant through the AtlantiCare Healthy Schools, Healthy Children initiative.The grant will support the high school’s launch of a new student-led club in 2021 focused on mental health, according to a press release.The club will be affiliated with the Our Minds Matter (OMM) movement, which aims to change school culture around mental health and to give students the tools to build and maintain healthy minds and bodies.“The Ocean City School District began work in 2014 to take significant steps to address mental health as a standard component of our students’ learning experiences,” said Schools Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Taylor. “However, most of the steps we have taken so far are led by administrators and teachers, and the supports we have introduced are mostly utilized during the school day.”Dr. Taylor noted that the student club is the “district’s next step, and a needed one, to enable students to lead some of the programming into discussions and activities that they will find most beneficial and to do so after school hours and virtually.”She continued, “We know this year more than ever that school-led programming is not bound by space or time, and neither are the needs of our youth to feel connected and supported.”Following the district’s Board of Education approval, the OMM club will begin with a small group of student leaders who will organize recruitment efforts.These club leaders will lead weekly meetings either in-person or virtually, depending on the recommended COVID-19 precautions at the time.The club will then move forward, hosting monthly activities to promote mental health and wellness to the entire high school community.It will also organize weeklong campaigns a few times throughout the school year focused on one aspect of mental health, such as breaking the stigma around talking about mental health struggles or sharing coping strategies during periods of high stress.The Ocean City School District anticipates this club having longevity, because it has strong support from district and high school administration, as well as the Board of Education, the press release states.The AtlantiCare Healthy Schools, Healthy Children grant will support the club leaders in planning activities that reinforce healthy behaviors.Club-sponsored activities may include after-school yoga or meditation, as well as guest lectures or workshops to help students develop coping skills to better manage stress and anxiety and to practice self-care.With the grant support, the student leaders now have increased freedom to plan activities that appeal to the whole student body.“The pandemic has emphasized the need for a student group focused on promoting mental health as many face fear, anxiety, depression and loneliness as a result of the health crisis,” the high school’s Wellness Team Leader Jill Berenato said.Berenato added, “The Our Minds Matter club will allow students to gather virtually, if needed, to begin activities immediately after the club is board-approved at the start of 2021.”OCSD added structure to its mental health programming in 2015, with the formation of an ad-hoc committee on Youth Mental Health.The committee developed a formal plan to promote youth mental health awareness, with key action steps, including the adoption of the Lifelines curriculum into high school health and gym classes and implementation of the STOPit app. This technology enables students to anonymously ask questions of professionals or report a friend in need of intervention.Among the steps most recently taken is the renovation of a classroom into a Wellness Room as a safe space for students to focus on reducing stress and anxiety, healthy coping strategies and self-care.The OCHS Wellness Room is popular with students who are in school in the current hybrid model and will serve as a meeting place after school hours for the new club.“We look forward to launching our student-led Our Minds Matter club and appreciate the support we have received from AtlantiCare’s Healthy Schools, Healthy Children grant program to help us start strong,” said the district’s Curriculum Coordinator Lauren Gunther.Gunther continued, “Our research has shown that this is something our students will certainly benefit from, and this funding will help us move forward quickly, at a time when the need for activities and support systems promoting positive mental health is so great.” The new wellness club at Ocean City High School is called Our Minds Matter. (Photo courtesy JASM Consulting)
Canada-based Maple Leaf Foods has announced the appointment of Peter Baker as the new head of bakery at its UK operations, Maple Leaf Bakery UK. He will take over the role of managing director, effective 6 April, after Maple Leaf’s parent company Canada Bread announced the departure of previous MD Peter Maycock last month.Baker will be based at the company’s Park Royal office in London and has had over 30 years’ experience in the baking industry, including his position as chief executive of La Fornaia from 2003-2007, a company acquired by Maple Leaf in late 2007.He has also served as chief operating officer (divisional MD) at RHM Consumer Brands and as managing and divisional director at British Bakeries from 1996-2002. Other related management experience in the baking industry includes his role as divisional MD of RHM Cereals, RHM director and managing director of Rank Hovis.Maple Leaf Bakery UK, based in Rotherham, produces speciality bakery products including bagels, artisan and health breads, croissants and Viennoiserie via retailer own-label and through its New York Bakery brand.