Staff Achievements

This purpose of this page is to celebrate staff achievements throughout the academic year. Here, we hope to showcase achievements that are both professional and personal including staff:

  • awards,
  • work,
  • publications,
  • life milestones,
  • important events and more.

We would love to hear about your achievements! If you would like to submit an achievement, please fill out the online form available here or email Sam Cole.

Please let us know if you have any suggestions for this page.

Recent Staff Achievements

Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon, ’99 was recently promoted to Director of Planned Giving. She serves on the Major and Planned Gifts Team in the Office of Alumni and College Relations.

Melissa Strobel

Melissa Strobel, Director of Foundation Relations and Family Philanthropy, recently completed coursework to earn a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Harvard Extension School. The program focused on leveraging fundraising principles and practices such as grant writing, prospect research, development office organization, giving motivations, communications, capital campaigns, and gift planning.

Ashley Creekmore

Effective July 1, Ashley was promoted from Purchasing Card Administrator/Staff Accountant to Purchasing Associate. Her new duties include processing PO’s below $10,000, maintaining the fixed asset module, processing W-9’s to enter in new vendors, and the inevitable “other duties as assigned”. Congrats, Ashley!

Lolly Saleem

On August 5, 2019 Lolly Saleem started as an Area Coordinator (former Student Life Team Member, former Collegium, titles). She will staff both Pearson and Elizabeth Rogers Residence Halls.

Ann Butwell

Education Abroad Advisor Ann Butwell’s obsession with supporting students as they apply for nationally competitive study abroad grants is paying off. For two years in a row now, Berea College made the Top Producer list for the national Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship. Nearly 150 students have won the prestigious Gilman award in the last 8 years—23 students per year for the last 4. The combined total that Berea Gilman winners have received is approaching half a million dollars.

Kristy Lovell

Kristy Lovell, Early Childhood Coordinator for Knox Promise Neighborhood at PFE recently completed the certification to deliver training in Trauma Informed Care. She will share this information with early care and education professionals, community members and other PFE staff to enable them adapt their practices to help all children thrive. The goal is to change the dialogue from “What’s wrong with you” to “What happened to you and how can I help you be successful? “.

Dr. Jacqueline (Jacci) Boggs

Jacci joins the Berea College Academic Team this Fall and will be teaching Business Applications and Programming in the evenings starting in August. In the Spring, she will increase her class load by also teaching Management of Information Systems.

Teresa Kash Davis

Teresa Kash Davis, Associate Vice President of Major and Planned Giving, was recently inducted into the Berea College Chapter of the National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Due to her diligence and leadership in development at the College, she was invited to join this community of great minds. Congrats, Teresa!


The BereaCorps program hired a total of 13 new members this year to make the cohort 16 members. The positions are located all over campus! Below are their names and positions:

New BereaCorps Members:

  • Alejandro Galeana-Salinas – Admissions Representative
  • Tim Hammet – Admissions Representative
  • Genae Knowles – Admissions Representative
  • Liam Taylor – Admissions Representative
  • Mohlatlego Makgoba – Career development Associate
  • Sarah Nicely – High Tunnel Systems Improvement Associate
  • Daniel Ferrebee Jr. – Information Security Associate
  • Sarah Watts – Multimedia Technology Specialist
  • Andreea Teban – Labor Program Training Associate
  • Courtney Falconberry – Nontraditional Student Program Associate
  • Rebecca Sizemore – Retail Associate
  • Dani Graves – Young Alumni Class Giving Associate
  • Moses Saffa Gbondo – Data and Analytics Associate

Second Year BereaCorps Members:

  • Elle Keys – Annual Giving Associate
  • Erin Powers – Continuous Improvement Associate
  • Bria Williams  – Software Development Associate

Clint Patterson

Clint Patterson has been busy this last year! He has:

  1. Supplied white oak logs for restoration of the Western Flyer; which is the historic ship that author John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts (the father of ocean ecology) sailed in 1940 to the Sea of Cortez and on which they wrote the book The Log from the Sea of Cortez, which is considered a milestone in ocean ecology. The ship is being restored by the Steinbeck Foundation, and will be used for scientific research and education.
  2. Finished writing a book, tentatively titled Berea College, The Other Cradle of Forestry: Forging a Land Ethic in Appalachia. Clint is currently seeking a publisher for this manuscript.
  3. Secured the Berea College Forest as one of only two side tours (the other is Mammoth Cave National Park) for the 2019 Society of American Foresters National Convention and will be speaking on Berea College’s Carbon Project at the convention.

Congratulations on all your achievements, Clint!

Amy McCleese Nichols

Amy will be defending her dissertation on July 29th, 2019 at the University of Louisville for a doctorate in Rhetoric and Composition. The title of the project is: “Mapping Rural Literacy Sponsorship Networks: Literacy Infrastructures and Perceptions in Abbyville.”

She also co-published a peer-reviewed article in the spring 2019 issue of The Community Literacy Journal with Bronwyn T. Williams, titled “Centering Partnerships: A Case for Writing Centers as Sites of Community Engagement.”

Brittany Ash

Brittany Ash was recently promoted to Senior Administrative Assistant in the Labor Program Office. Congrats, Brittany!

Ray Arnold

Ray Arnold is a planned giving officer in the major and planned giving area. Johanna Arnold, his baby girl, was born on August 9, 2018. Congrats, Ray!

Planned Giving Team

In December 2018 at the Annual CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Kentucky Conference, the planned giving team received the following award: Award of Excellence in Philanthropy: Sub Unit Campaign.

Grace McKenzie

Grace McKenzie completed her Master’s of Science in Social Work through Kent School of Social Work at the University of Louisville in May of 2019.

Heather Dent

Heather Dent (Title IX & Appalachian Center Program Assistant) worked with Chris Miller (Appalachian Center) to install an exhibit in the Longwall Gallery of the Appalachian Center featuring Appalachian protagonists in children’s literature. If you are on-campus be sure to take some time to stop by Stephenson Hall, first floor, to check it out.

Gena Edwards

Gena was recently promoted to the position of Associate Director of Planned Giving within the area of Major and Planned Gifts. Congrats, Gena!

Amy Harmon

Amy Harmon, ’99 and Major Gifts Officer in the Division of Alumni and College Relations recently obtained her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) distinction after 19 years in the profession.

Sam Cole

Sam recently had a short fiction piece, “Hatton Holler Hill,” appear in Voices magazine, published by Kentucky River Community Care ( She also had a poem, “He Shall Take the One Broken As Cornerstone,” published on Stove Leg Media’s blog ( In addition, she was recently appointed to the Board of the New Opportunity School for Women (NOSW).

Lori J. McKeel

Lori recently wrote, illustrated, and published a children’s book, Season to Season, a watercolor short story that is appropriate for ages 5-11. In this book, Grace embraces each of the seasons while learning more about God’s comfort and love during visits to her grandmother’s farm. Surrounded by God’s creation, Grace experiences the freedom to mature and value life’s most seasoned gifts–faith, love, joy and peace–all of which are priceless and free. “Season to Season is written for children, but its audience is actually adults. Through a few words of text and beautiful illustrations throughout the book, Lori McKeel reminds her readers of the circle of life that involves nature, but also the love of a grandmother for her family. Only God’s love supersedes a grandmother’s love.” -Andrew Baskin, Professor of African & African American Studies. To view this book on Amazon, click here. 

Ashley Creekmore

On May 4th Ashley Creekmore and her husband Clint welcomed a little bundle of joy into the world. Ellie Ann Creekmore was born at 2:54 PM, weighing 6lbs 8oz, and was 19 inches long. Congratulations to Ashley and Clint!

Michelle Johnson

Michelle Johnson was recently added to the Student Life Team. She will be managing Bingham and Fairchild Halls and also working with other functions on campus to provide support, create opportunities of involvement and develop engaging programming for our students. She also obtained her M.S. in Higher Education from California State University, Fullerton in May 2018. Michelle says, “I am excited to be here and to learn more about Berea!”

Mark Nigro

The Berea College chapter of the Mortar Board National Honor Society was presented with The Gold Torch Award at the 2017 National Conference held in Phoenix, Arizona. The Gold Torch is a national distinction conferred annually upon the most outstanding chapters of Mortar Board. Recipients of the Gold Torch excel in all areas of chapter operations while promoting scholarship, leadership, and meaningful service to their institutions.

In addition to the chapter honor, Mark Nigro, chapter advisor and program associate with the Brushy Fork Institute, received the Mortar Board Excellence in Advising Award. Mark was one of only four recipients nationwide to receive this honor.

Mary Galloway

Mary Galloway was named Director of Development in the area of Major and Planned Giving. Congrats, Mary!

Johanna Hall-Rappolee

Johanna was recently promoted to the position of Associate Director- Annual Giving. Congrats, Johanna!

Marsha Elliott

Effective July 1, Mrs. Marsha Elliott was promoted from Administrative Assistant to Office Manager in the Campus Christian Center. Marsha first joined the CCC team in April 2015. Congratulations, Marsha!

Beth Dotson Brown

Beth Dotson Brown (PFE Project Director) was named to the 2017 Good Lit Collective, a small group of writers who received grants to support the completion of novels that are “Good, true and beautiful for the common good.”

Robin Gregory

On Dec. 13, 2016, Robin gave birth to her second child, Cody “Levi” after being the mother to an only child, Abbie Michelle, for 10 years. On August 11, 2017, she married her best friend and officially became a Gregory.

Photo of Sara Cornett

Sara Cornett

Beginning September 6, 2016, Sara will be changing departments (formerly in the Office of Academic Services) and working as the new Coordinator for Career Development & Internships in the Center for Transformative Learning.

From January-June 2016, Sara attended Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) Training. She completed the training and was awarded the GCDF Credential in June 2016.

Shawnna Southerland

Shawnna was Artist of the Month for September’s “See the Art, Meet the Artisan” exhibit at the Madison County Public Library’s Berea branch. The series is a partnership between the Madison County Public Library and the Berea Arts Council.

Photo of Shawnna's Exhibit at the Madison Co. Public Library
Cross Currents Conference Logo

Sarah S. Broomfield

Sarah S. Broomfield is presenting a research poster at the Textile Society of America’s Biennial Symposium in October 2016, on the topic ‘Modernist Textiles of Churchill Weavers’. Part of this research involves a small collection of  Modernist textiles in the archives of the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center that were designed by Eleanor Churchill, handwoven by Churchill Weavers, and custom tailored into her wardrobe. Watch for a Berea presentation on that textile collection later this academic year.

Rebecca Tucker

Rebecca recently reach the life milestone of purchasing her first house! She is now living right here in Berea and no longer has to commute two hours each day!

A picture of Rebecca, her partner, and the new house.