Gentry honored by Council on Postsecondary Education


Dreama Gentry, director of the Partners for Education program at Berea College, was awarded the prestigious Oak Award from the Council on Postsecondary Education on September 13.

For nearly 20 years, she has supported college access efforts in central Kentucky through her grant-writing efforts, including the recent $75 million GEAR UP grant that supports efforts to increase college attainment in low-income and rural communities. In 2011, Gentry was awarded the GEAR Up College Advocate of the Year award.

A first-generation Berea College graduate from rural Appalachia, Gentry is also a volunteer coordinator for Project Meet Me Halfway, a mentoring and support service for former foster care children, and an advocate for several women’s organizations.

“Today we celebrate Kentucky’s outstanding alumni and faculty, two of our state’s greatest assets,” said Bob King, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “We congratulate our alumni for achieving national stature in their chosen careers and our outstanding faculty for leading the way to greater excellence in teaching, service and innovation.”

Other recipients of the Oak Award for outstanding alumni include:

  • Virginia Fox, 1961 graduate of Morehead State University and former executive director of Kentucky Educational Television and former secretary of the Kentucky Education Cabinet
  • Thomas Hammond, 1967 University of Kentucky graduate and longtime NBC sportscaster

Recipients of the Acorn Award for outstanding faculty at Kentucky’s colleges and universities include:

  • Dr. William Loftus, psychology professor, Big Sandy Community and Technical College
  • Dr. Jeffrey Okeson, professor and chair, Department of Oral Health, University of Kentucky College of Dentistry
Categories: News, People
Tags: Council on Postsecondary Education, Dreama Gentry, GEAR UP, Partners for Education

Berea College, the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, focuses on learning, labor and service. The College admits only academically promising students with limited financial resources, primarily from Kentucky and Appalachia, although students come from 40 states and 70 countries. Every Berea student receives a Tuition Promise Scholarship, which means no Berea student pays for tuition. Berea is one of nine federally-recognized Work Colleges, so students work 10 hours or more weekly, earning money for books, housing and meals. The College’s motto, “God has made of one blood all peoples of the earth,” speaks to its inclusive Christian character.