Three volleyball graduates find success on the court and in life

Elizabeth, Hannah and Rachel are known at Berry as a triple threat of leadership, service and athleticism.

Recent grads Rachel Ford, Elizabeth Ragland and Hannah Thompson were part of the Women’s Volleyball team that had their best season in 12 years. The team earned the Southern Athletic Association Regular Season Title, advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 and had an overall win score of 30-7.

When Rachel describes her college experience, she remembers Berry as the push in helping her emerge from her comfort zone. She was involved in Athletes Bettering the Community for three years, serving as president during her senior year. Now she is moving 1,000 miles away from home to pursue Ithaca College’s graduate program in sports psychology.

Her teammate Elizabeth, winner of the “Be Berry” athletic award, discovered a passion for leading others. She worked with the Assistant Athletic Director of Sports Medicine, while also coaching the Tsunami Volleyball Club for three years. Putting those leadership skills to work, she has been hired as an elementary teacher for a private school in Birmingham, Ala.

Finding a job in the same state as her teammate, Hannah will be working at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama in the Cardiovascular ICU. While at Berry, she conducted a literature review about the effects of Nurse Residency Programs under her mentor, Dr. Cindy Johnson.

“I realized how much I changed since entering Berry as a freshman. Every experience I have ever had at Berry has prepared me to enter the real world and impact the lives of others,” said Hannah, who considers the team’s head coach, Caitlyn Moriarty, to be one of her strongest influences at Berry.

Coach Moriarty said, “Elizabeth, Hannah Kate, and Rachel exemplify the impact of leading with humility, grace, and most of all love. You set the bar for what it looks like to serve your teammates, serve your coaches, and serve your community. It’s not always fun to be the leader but you set the bar in your leadership development, your commitment in the classroom, your consistency, and you gave your heart and heads to making our program better.”

Leaving the team better than before, these young women continue to achieve new heights in all that they do.

Story by student social media assistant Naomi Lee

Physics graduate turns her attention to STEM education

Alexandria Skinner, a 2018 grad, has a passion for STEM education. Her Berry College job as a peer tutor and teaching assistant, as well as her work with the Berry College Elementary and Middle School Girl Scout troop solidified her love of teaching, particularly for teaching science.

Alexandria, a physics major and double math and music minor, says her undergraduate experience was shaped by the teaching of Assistant Professor of Physics Shawn Hilbert, who she worked for as a research assistant.

“[Dr. Hilbert’s] high expectations for me, in and out of the classroom, pushed me to be the best student (and person) that I could,” she said. “Dr. Hilbert has given me the opportunity to become a published physicist, to present my research, both here at Berry and at national physics conferences, and demonstrate my full potential within the department.” Alexandria has had a paper published in the American Journal of Physics, two more are in the publication process and she was recently honored with the Lawrence E. McAllister Physics Award.

Now she turns her attention toward shaping young minds. Alexandria recently accepted a job to teach physical science and earth science to middle schoolers in Arizona.

A passion for teaching travels abroad

In a few months, Kas Ordaz (class of 2017) hopes to teach in Japan – fulfilling her desire to explore new cultures. During her time at Berry, the anthropology and sociology major explored her passion by working on a number of research projects that focused on issues such as multiculturalism, achievement gaps and identity. Eventually, she shaped her research around her work with the Berry English as a Second Language program sponsored by the Evans School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. This allowed her to better understand the motivation behind a person’s desire to learn a new language and helped her develop a deeper love for teaching English.

During her junior year, Kas was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship as well as a Phi Kappa Phi study abroad grant to study in Guatemala. Her desire to travel the world and immerse herself in other cultures was partially influenced by her education professor and mentor, Dr. Eliana Hirano. “Dr. Hirano cultivated in me the desire to go abroad and teach English – with her fascinating travel stories – and was always available for guidance in that path,” Kas said.

Now, Kas has been accepted as a short-list candidate and looks forward to working in Japan for at least a year with the highly competitive and selective Japanese Exchange and Teaching program as an assistant language teacher. After her time abroad, Kas plans to pursue research opportunities related to multicultural education in graduate school.

Professor of Teacher Education Mary C. Clement

Dr. Clement presented “Helping Teachers with Assessment: 6 Important Keys” March 6 at the Critical Questions in Education Conference in Portland, Ore. Additionally, Dr. Clement presented “Getting a Teaching Job Now” for University of Portland and Concordia College of Oregon education majors.

Jennifer Wayman takes hard work to the next level

In her four years at Berry, senior Jennifer Wayman has worked as a veterinary assistant and research assistant as well as held positions at the horse barn, beef cattle unit, and the Berry student enterprises. “I have been able to invest myself in my on-campus jobs and develop quality relationships,” says Jennifer, an Animal Science/ Pre-Vet major. “Berry has prepared me with a pretty impressive resume. I feel like the experiences and opportunities I have gotten at Berry would not have been offered to me at other schools.” Berry’s firsthand experience also benefited Jennifer when she interned with the Georgia Department of Agriculture last summer. “I was able to experience veterinary medicine on a much larger scale,” she says. After graduating this spring, Jennifer plans on applying to veterinary school.

Story by student social media assistant Shannon Rainey

Professor of Teacher Education Mary C. Clement

Dr. Mary C. Clement presented “Get a Teaching Job NOW” at the Kappa Delta Pi Biennial Convocation in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27. Additionally, Dr. Clement was recognized with an appreciation award from the society president for her philanthropic support of Kappa Delta Pi.

Kappa Delta Pi is the international honor society in education and Clement serves as the counselor for the Berry College Kappa Delta Pi Chapter.

Dr. Clement was also recently a visiting professor at Spice Mountain College in Beijing . She taught a graduate course for school principals titled, “Classroom, Program, and Schoolwide Assessment”. Spice Mountain is a private, Christian teacher training institution.

She also presented “A Dozen Things Successful Teachers Do” at the National Educators Rising Conference in Phoenix in June. Dr. Clement published “Why Combatting Teachers’ Stress is Everyone’s Job” in The Clearing House (both online and in print) and “Women, Teaching, and Stress: Five steps for coping” in The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin Collegial Exchange.

 

Berry alumna named one of Forbes’ 30-Under-30 Social Entrepreneurs

Berry alumna and founder of The African SOUP Brin Enterkin (a 2012 grad) has been named one of Forbes’ 2018 30-Under-30 Social Entrepreneurs. While at Berry, Brin worked in Uganda with micro-financing. She met Micheal Kaidhiwa and they decided to work together to lift communities out of poverty. She returned to Berry to build a team of student volunteers who would help create structures of change. The result is The African SOUP, a non-profit aimed at using education to break the cycle of poverty. “As I sit in The African SOUP office on this hot, beautiful day, I am reminded of how thankful I am for God’s goodness and of the extraordinary support and love given to me from my closest friends,” Brin says.

Find out more about Brin here: www.theafricansoup.org

Assistant Professor of Teacher Education Eliana Hirano

Assistant Professor of Teacher Education Eliana Hirano presented “Mind the Gap: A Cross-Linguistic Study of Research Article Introductions in Brazilian Portuguese and English” at the International Association of Applied Linguistics 18th World Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 24th, 2017.

Assistant Professor of Nursing Rebecca Logan

Dr. Rebecca Logan was one of 12 neonatal nurses chosen to present at the 2017 12th Annual National Association of Neonatal Nurses Research Summit. This event was sponsored by Mead Johnson Nutrition with all related expenses covered through a generous grant. The summit was a gathering of neonatal nurses engaged in research and/or evidence-based projects and her presentation title was “The Lived Experience of Fathering a Premature Infant in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.”

Dr. Logan also attended the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics, and Neonatal Nurses where she presented on Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) topics including “From the Outside Looking in: Providing Support for Men Fathering a Premature Infant in a NICU.”

Professor of Teacher Education Mary C. Clement

Dr. Clement was a visiting professor at Spice Mountain College in Beijing in July. She taught a graduate course for school principals titled, “Classroom, Program, and Schoolwide Assessment.”

Dr. Clement presented “A Dozen Things Successful Teachers Do” at the National Educators Rising Conference in Phoenix in June. She published “Why Combating Teachers’ Stress is Everyone’s Job” in The Clearing House (both online and in print) and “Women, Teaching, and Stress: Five steps for coping” in The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin Collegial Exchange.

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