YAA Honoree Information and Reservation
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Emily Morlock, '15
Hometown: Ionia, Michigan
Majors: Psychology and Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience
Campus Activities: Albion Student Ambassadors, Tour Guide, Biology Teaching Assistant, Cross Country, Track and Field
Why did you choose Albion?
I visited Albion during the final months of my senior year because my sister-in-law recommended I check it out before I made my decision. At the time, I was absolutely certain I was attending another school. After going on tour and having personal conversations with professors, I reconsidered my previous decision. I felt like my fit was Albion.
What is your best Albion memory or experience?
My first year at Albion was the best by far. The day I moved in, a fellow freshman began playing a fiddle in my hallway, which began an all-out dance contest. Overall, the community and friendships built in Wesley Hall are ones I will never forget.
What are your future plans?
I plan to attend graduate school for psychology, biology, or neuroscience.
How have financial aid and scholarships helped you?
Financial aid and scholarships definitely guided my decision when choosing a college. Thankfully, Albion’s generous assistance allowed me to attend. I never thought it was possible to have the best of both worlds: a great college and financial aid.
How would you finish this sentence: "Because you give to Albion, I'm able to…
…meet amazing people, receive an infinite amount of assistance, and learn emotional, intellectual, and interpersonal skills that I will hold onto for the rest of my life.
DAA Winner: Josh A. Cassada, ’95
The sky’s the limit for all Albion alumni, but in Josh Cassada’s case, that might not be quite high enough. He has spent much of the past decade flying combat and rescue missions, training pilots, and testing out new wings for the U.S. Navy.
Then two years ago, at the ripe old age of 37, Cassada began helping the Navy purchase planes, directing nearly $28 billion in contracts with Boeing. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing production of the P-8A (anti-submarine) and KC-46 (refueling) aircraft, airborne early warning and control systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles. Cassada currently serves as a test pilot for the P-8A, evaluating each one for the government prior to purchase and delivery.
A standout physics student at Albion, Cassada earned recognition as an exemplary graduate teaching assistant. While completing his doctorate, he was a research assistant at the Collider Detector Facility within the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and also served briefly as a postdoctoral fellow there. Wanting an even bigger challenge, Cassada joined the U.S. Navy, becoming a patrol plane commander and pilot. He and his 10-member crew assisted with tsunami relief, did stand-alone counternarcotic operations, and flew 23 combat missions, including ground support and reconnaissance for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Joint Guardian, and Deliberate Force. Cassada also trained military test pilots at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School in Patuxent River, Maryland.
In 2011, Cassada was recognized as the Defense Contract Management Agency Northwest Field Grade Officer of the Year. He has received several military medals, including combat medals from the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Cassada holds two graduate degrees in physics from the University of Rochester. He and his wife, Megan, are the parents of Quinn and Graham, and live in Seattle.
DAA Winner: April DuVal, ’65
This past July, April DuVal retired as executive director of the Jefferson County, Kentucky, Council on Developmental Disabilities (CDD). During her 43-year tenure there, April provided leadership for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, helped develop educational, vocational, and residential programs for persons with intellectual disabilities and established the Parent Outreach and Citizen Advocacy programs in Louisville.
Even more admirably, while April helped change society's view and treatment of the developmentally disabled, she served hundreds of clients with individual, personal care. "Almost every parent who is active in the CDD could tell a story about how April personally helped them through a trying time," says Natalie Semaria, a "CCD parent" for nearly 40 years. Semaria further notes that April has been "the guardian and/or payee for several disabled adults who have no one else to stand up for them. She personally accompanied me to Guardian Court, understanding that it was a difficult step for me. April has retired from her leadership role but I know that she will never “retire” from caring for disabled people and acting as an advocate.
DuVal was among the first in her field to recognize the potential for computers to transform learning and employment for people with disabilities. She won grants from Apple to establish an enabling technology center and is a past president of the National Alliance of Technology Access. She has taught classes for the School of Social Work at Spalding University. She is also a past president of the Kentucky Association on Mental Retardation.
April has received numerous awards, including the University of Louisville Outstanding Social Work Field Supervisor, the Louisville Courier Journal Phenomenal Woman Award, and the Kentucky Colonel Award, presented by Governor John Y. Brown. She has been honored officially by the mayor of Louisville, the 3rd Kentucky Congressional District, the Kentucky House of Representatives, and the Kentucky Senate.
Childhood friend and Albion classmate Sharon Thorne Vydick, '65, notes that April was also their sixth-grade class president and organizer of their 50-year high school reunion. "She's been my friend for life," said Vydick, who notes that she and classmate Teresa Trostmiller, '65, regularly enjoy being with their friend. "April is very driven and that's gotten her where she is. She is a friendly, happy, smiley person and that's why everyone loves her."
"April and I benefitted from the Kresges and Putnams, the people who love Albion and support it in very tangible ways," says April's sister, Marcia Lile, '67. "It's great that Albion acknowledges people like April, who never made a lot of money, but who also loved Albion and were also impacted in the same way. When we were students in the 1960s, Albion brought us speakers like Martin Luther King, Jr., who encouraged us to act in daring ways. Those were inspiring times and April's life is a response to that."
After graduating Phi Beta Kapp with honors from Albion, April earned her MSW from the University of Michgian. In 1994 she was inducted into Albion's Athletic Hall of Fame for her prowess on the field hockey team. She has two children and six grandchildren and lives in Louisville.