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

Wendy Zagray Warren

Wendy Zagray Warren wrote a chapter in a recently published book: Becoming a Holocaust Educator: Purposeful Pedagogy Through Inquiry, edited by Jennifer Lemberg and Alexander Pope and published by Teachers College Press.
To watch a video conversation about the book, visit the website linked below and select video:


Members of the Thrive! Summer Couch to 5K program ran the Casa Superhero 5K in Versailles, on Saturday, August 21.

Employee Superheroes included Stella Welsh, Hunter Elliott, Rachel Blair, Jill Gurtatowski, Nancy Sowers, and Felicia Mack.

Student Superheroes included Maya Rosener, Micah Moyers, Amy Sutter, Cameron Brown, and Aaliyah Painter.

Not pictured: Kelly Linville, Jan Pearce, and Vicki Maloy.

The 1K fun run Superhero was Henry Welsh!

Dr. Nancy Sowers of the Department of Economics and Business finished second in her age group. Her picture is to the right. Be sure to congratulate her!

Next series begins Sept. 27! Contact Jill Gurtatowski or Thrive! for more information.

Heather Dufour

Heather completed her doctorate at Walden University in Management with an emphasis in Finance. Her dissertation was titled “How the Rise in Student Loan Debt Affects Residential Real Estate.” Congrats, Heather!

Judith Weckman

Over the last year, Judith worked with a group of women writers on a project called “Coming of Age,” led by Dr. Libby Jones. Judith’s project focused on writing a nonfiction book about her experiences as a canine search and rescue volunteer. The book can be found on Amazon and is entitled The Last Child and Other True K9 Search and Rescue Stories in Kentucky. It includes seven stories about the search for lost children, drowning and murder victims, and other missing people. Each illustrates how dogs are trained using learning principles, the physics of air movement, and the chemistry of scent.

Heather Schill

Heather Schill celebrated her 20th work anniversary on July 1, 2021. She began working as the Bonner Program Coordinator back in July of 2001 and after spending 14 years in CELTS, she moved on to work with Partners for Education. Currently, she serves as the Director of Continuous Improvement, a position she’s held since January of 2020.

Chris Lakes

Chris completed his doctorate at the University of Kentucky in Educational Leadership. Although he completed his degree requirements in May 2020, graduation was delayed until May 2021 due to COVID. His dissertation was titled “Responding to Students Experiencing Emotional Distress: An Action Research Study of Professional Learning Experiences for Faculty and Staff.”

Kishore Acharya

Congratulations to Kishore Acharya, a Project Engineer in Berea’s Facilities Management department. Kishore earned his CEFP (Certified Educational Facilities Professional) credential. Earning the CEFP credential requires at least eight years of facilities management experience and passing a rigorous four-hour exam on energy, utilities and environmental stewardship; planning, design and construction; operations and maintenance management; and general administration. We are happy to have Kishore with us here at Berea now and congratulate him on this outstanding achievement.

Thomas Ahrens

Thomas has published three translations from German to English with his colleague Prof. Edward Larkin (University of New Hampshire):

  1. Translation (with Edward Larkin): Petra Schönemann-Behrens, Alfred H. Fried: Peace Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (Leiden, NL: Brill, 2021).
  2. Translation (with Edward Larkin): Gertrud Leutenegger, “Death enters the World,” excerpt from The Lost Monument (Metamorphoses, Spring/Fall Issue 2021).
  3. Translation (with Edward Larkin): Alfred Goubran, “February,” excerpt from Across Time in my Room (No Man’s Land, Issue 15, 2021).

Tammy Cornett

Tammy led the Farm Store team through a pandemic season with zero outbreaks. She created a new way of operating, that allowed the store to continue to serve our community fresh organic veggies and grass fed meats raised right here on campus. Her team created gelato when it got hot, ferments when we needed a healthy gut, and water kefir for our probiotic needs. While no awards were issued, people drove from other states, even farther than Lexington, to stock their freezers full of beef, pork and chicken.

Tevin Shouse

Tevin Shouse completed his M.Ed in Education and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University. Tevin’s concentration while pursuing his M.Ed was in Organizational Learning, Performance, and Change. Tevin continues to use his education through his role as Organizational Learning and Practice Manager within Partners for Education at Berea College. Congrats, Tevin!

Dr. Melissa Newman

Dr. Melissa Newman has co-authored “A History of Media Coverage of Poverty in the United States Since 1960,” a chapter in The Routledge Companion to Media and Poverty, a text that demonstrates the ebbs and flows of how news coverage of poverty has shaped public perception about those living in poverty. Melissa is the Special Projects Officer at Partners for Education at Berea College and is stewarding investments within Kentucky’s Appalachia, while continuing to teach in Eastern Kentucky University’s Department of Communication at the University’s Manchester Campus. She holds a bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from Union College and earned her Doctorate degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Melissa’s prior research into the media’s coverage of poverty in Kentucky’s Appalachia reveals how throughout history public perception has been shaped by a sustained negative stereotype decades in the making. This work was a collaboration with Dr. Dave Davies, Professor of Journalism at the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Communication. Davies is also the Director of the British Studies Program. The book’s editor, Dr. Sandra L. Borden, professor in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University and Director of University’s Center for the Study of Ethics in Society, invited Newman and Davies to contribute to the The Routledge Companion to Media and Poverty due to their interest and work within media coverage of poverty issues.

Rachel Roberts-Lakes

In June 2021, Rachel received the Advanced Level Credential for Certified Development Project Manager. Congratulations, Rachel!

Martina Jackson

Martina Jackson obtained her Masters of Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University as the Class of 2021. Martina also was elected in June 2021 as the Madison County Democratic Party chairwoman. Martina is part of the Brushy Fork Leadership Institute. Congrats on all your awesome achievements, Martina!

Kathy Howard

Kathy recently received her 20 Year Service Award in 2021! Kathy says about her career at Berea, “My first job was in Purchasing -1994 as an AA moving on to Agriculture 1997-2007 as an Office Manager. I left Berea for a 5 year stint at EKU working in the College of Health Sciences as the Dean’s Assistant, returning part-time to Agriculture in 2016, so I really feel like this has been home for me all my life. I love Berea College and the people it represents! This is HOME.” Thanks so much for your service, Kathy!

Brittany Harris

Congratulations to Brittany for earning her Master’s of Business Administration (October 2020, Western Governors University) and her Master’s of Science in Management and Leadership (June 2021, Western Governors University). Brittany is currently attending University of the Cumberlands to earn a Doctorate in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Mary Galloway

In May 2020, Mary earned her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership with a certificate in Nonprofit Administration from Western Kentucky University. Congrats, Mary!

Brittany Ash

Brittany recently completed her MA in Student Personnel Services in Higher Education (Student Affairs Leadership). Congrats, Brittany!

Sarah S. Broomfield

Sarah Stopenhagen Broomfield will present at the Textile Society of America’s 2020 Virtual Biennial Symposium in October 2020. Her research on the Modernist Influences in Churchill Weavers Textiles highlights the hidden story of an Appalachian handweaving production center from Berea, Kentucky that was an early promoter of an international design trend, and an innovator of modern textiles.

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.

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.”

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.

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!

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.