UNC Asheville Honors Alumni, Student Leaders at Annual Ceremony
Fri, 04/30/2010 - 9:45am
UNC Asheville presented its annual alumni and student leadership awards at a campus ceremony on April 29. Awards were presented by Chancellor Anne Ponder, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bill Haggard and National Alumni Council Chair James Carter ’00.
"Tonight we honor an extraordinary group of women and men who are exemplars of the UNC Asheville experience. Women and men, who, as students, alumni and faculty, have served their communities and this university with distinction," said Chancellor Ponder during the ceremony. "They have used their education, many skills and talents to help others. They embody the spirit of selfless service that has been the core of our mission since our founding."
UNC Asheville's highest alumni recognition, the Roy A. Taylor Distinguished Alumna Award, was presented to Ann B. Ross ’84 for her notable career as a novelist. The Hendersonville native recently released the 11th installment in the popular “Miss Julia” series. Books in the series have appeared many times on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Steve Zeis received the Thomas D. Reynolds Award for Service to the University. A native of Istanbul of Greek heritage, Zeis studied at UNC Asheville’s predecessor institution, Asheville-Biltmore College. He went on to a successful international career representing European textile and plastics machinery manufacturers. In 2005, Zeis and his wife, Frosene, donated $3 million to UNC Asheville, the largest private gift in the university’s history.
Tarik Glenn ’06 was inducted into the Order of Pisgah for outstanding achievement in his professional field. Glenn is a workforce development specialist at Mission Health System in Asheville. He has been an integral part of the success of Mission Possible, an innovative program that provides healthcare internships and career development to local high school students.
The Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award was given to Dan Pierce, associate professor of History. Pierce is a noted national expert on the history of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and NASCAR. The Asheville native is the author of the popular books "The Great Smokies: From Natural Habitat to National Park" and "Real NASCAR: White Lightning, Red Clay and Big Bill France."
Students who participated in the U-LEAD campus leadership program that inspires students to take an active role in the community were also recognized. These include Karina Balaoro, Stephen Bava, Emma Bussard, Michelle Busse, Frank Jones, Nicole Justiniano, Sara Lenthall, Tiffany Narron, Caitlin Peters, Alexa Ponton, Rachel Prather, Anne Marie Roberts, Kevin Shuford and Sheila Steelman.
Other student awards presented during the event include the Julienne Winner Award for highest sophomore grade-point average to Keith Fletcher; Outstanding Student Organization of the Year Award to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee; Outstanding Program of the Year Award to the Black Student Association Step Show; Innovative Program of the Year Award to the Free Store; Community Connections of the Year Award to the Sports Performance Program; Collaboration of the Year Award to the MLK Committee; Outstanding Community Service Award to Jolene Mechanic; Carolyn Briggs Diversity Award to Kelly Doyle; Student Employee of the Year Awards to Carrie Chapman and Mary Ellen Dendy; Emerging Leader of the Year Awards to Amber Maness and Marcela Garza; Student Organization President of the Year Award to Lakeshia Freeman of the Black Student Association; and Student Leader of the Year Award to Sara Lenthall
The Champion for Students Award was presented to staff member Rory James, director of UNC Asheville's Intercultural Center.