Albion Celebrates Second Group of 'Top 10 in 10' Young Alumni

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By Jake Weber; photos by Dave Trumpie

Albion College's 2011 Young Alumni Award honorees Albion College's 2011 Young Alumni Award honorees, from top: Sarah Heddon, Moose Scheib, Mallory Brown, Justin Newingham, Dan Westerhof, Debora Makuei, Mike Kopec, Kelly Kobus, Kurt Medland, Jeremy Gouldey.


Albion honored some of its many outstanding graduates April 15, as alumni, faculty, staff, family, and friends gathered to celebrate the College's second annual "Top 10 in 10" Young Alumni Awards. The award, established as part of the College's 175th anniversary celebration in 2010, recognizes noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years.

"It's important to recognize the many accomplishments of our alumni who have achieved so much so quickly following graduation," remarked Sue Van Wassenhove, associate vice president for annual giving and alumni engagement. "You, our 'Top 10 in 10,' are beacons of inspiration and encouragement to students. You model meaningful work and service; you personify what Albion College is all about."

"Looking closely at this list of recipients, you can really get a good sense of how interdisciplinary Albion College truly is, and the diversity of talent that it fosters," said Jeremy Gouldey, accepting on behalf of the group. "Without the strong liberal arts base we all received here, we wouldn’t have been able to tackle the challenges and overcome the hurdles that have made us who we are. It is thanks to all of you that our collective paths have brought us here, and it is the strong foundation from Albion College that gave us the multitude of opportunities before us, and the tools to become whatever we want, to contribute to bettering our world."

Jeremy Gouldey accepting the awards on behalf of the group.Jeremy Gouldey, '05, accepting the awards on behalf of the group.

2011 Young Alumni Award ceremony in the Science Complex atrium.2011 Young Alumni Award ceremony in the Science Complex atrium.


Mallory Brown, '07 Mallory E. Brown, '08
Owner and founder, World Clothes Line
Farmington Hills, Mich.

World Clothes Line is a unique enterprise inspired by Brown's travels in Asia and South America. For each item of clothing it sells, World Clothes Line donates an identical item of clothing through its direct contacts in Indonesia, Peru and the U.S. Brown and her company have been featured in the Detroit Free Press and on WJR radio's "Breaking the Cycle" series, for making a positive difference in metropolitan Detroit and beyond. Brown majored in French and economics and management at Albion, and was a member of the Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management.

2010 Albion College feature on Brown


Jeremy Gouldey, '05 Jeremy C. Gouldey, '05
Doctoral candidate in earth science and geochemistry, Northwestern University

Gouldey studies ancient climates and the chemical evolution of the oceans, focusing on one of the most hotly debated topics in the geological community, the "snowball earth" theory. He has most recently conducted field research in Namibia. As a graduate student at the Ohio State University, Gouldey conducted fieldwork in Antarctica, camping on a glacier and hiking through treacherous mountain terrain. An article based on this research was published in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology.


Albion College Young Alumni Award recipient Sarah L. Heddon, '07Sarah L. Heddon, '07
ESL instructor
Oakland, Calif.

Inspired by an undergraduate research experience in Kenya, Heddon founded the Albion College Bitone Project, which supports the Bitone Center, rehabilitating orphaned children in Uganda through dance, music, theater, and folklore. Heddon was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and lived in Tanzania for a year, conducting research on Swahili cultural and religious festivals. She also helped promote grassroots arts organizations. She first joined the International Rescue Committee as an Americorps VISTA volunteer coordinator; more recently she has served that organization as an English as a Second Language instructor and now is a development associate. Heddon continues to volunteer for the Bitone Children’s Center and Troupe as its director of international programs.

2007 Albion College news: Heddon Lands Fulbright Fellowship
2007 Albion College news: Heddon Wins Michigan Campus Compact Award


Kelly Kobus, '07Kelly D. Kobus, '07
Owner, A Piece O' Cake
East Lansing, Mich.

A French major at Albion College, Kobus took a postgraduate year in France, studying language and taking several classes at Le Cordon Bleu. Upon returning to the U.S., Kobus interned with the executive chef and owner of Le Chat Gourmet in Eaton Rapids, Mich., and then opened A Piece O’ Cake! in Lansing. Her creations have been recognized with awards from, and The Knot and she has been featured in The Greater Lansing Business Monthly, the Lansing State Journal, and other publications. Kobus is an active community volunteer, providing nutritious snacks and French lessons to Lansing public school children; she also donates baked goods for charitable causes.


Michael Kopec, '05 Michael T. Kopec, '05
Family medicine resident, University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Mich.

Currently serving as chief resident with the University of Michigan, Department of Family Medicine, Kopec graduated with high distinction from Wayne State University’s School of Medicine. Kopec was the recipient of the Karmanos Hospice Volunteer of the Year, the Department's 2009 Research Award, and the North American Primary Care Research Group 2007 Research Award. Kopec has also given his time to Sister to Sister Health Screenings, the Violence Awareness Organization, Cass Clinic, Senior Citizen Outreach Project, Habitat for Humanity, and Code Blue. Kopec partnered on a research project conducted at Sinai-Grace Hospital and a separate project through the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences at Wayne State School of Medicine. His research into risk factors for depression in Detroit youth has been published in Family Medicine.


Debora Makuei, '08Debora A. Makuei, '08
Master's in counseling candidate, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
East Grand Rapids, Mich.

A refugee adopted by a former member of Albion's English department, Makuei is a community leader for Sudanese in the U.S. and at home. Makuei serves as a member of the Duk County Board of Directors, which oversees construction plans for a school and hospital in Southern Sudan, and assists Duk people in the U.S. She is also vice president of the Duk County Women’s Association, raising money for a women’s center in Duk. Makuei is also active with the Bor Community, State of Michigan and the Greater Bor Community, USA, and was one of three representatives from the U.S. invited to attend a Sudanese summit in November 2010, where fifteen young Sudanese leaders from around the world discussed the future of Sudan.


Kurt MedlandKurt A. Medland, '02
Intelligence analyst, CIA
Alexandria, Va.

Recruited in 2004 as an intelligence analyst for the CIA, Medland has worked for the government in several international positions, earning the CIA Meritorious Unit Citation and Exceptional Performance awards. In November 2010, he was hired as a political officer for the U.S. Department of State. He had previously served the department as a desk officer detailed from the CIA. A double major in political science and philosophy at Albion, Medland earned a master’s in Middle Eastern studies at the University of Chicago. During that time, he was named Teacher of the Year in the University of Chicago Neighborhood Schools Program. At Albion, Medland was named Phi Beta Kappa, received Albion's Presidential Project 250 Award, was a member of the lacrosse team, and helped reinstitute the Philosophy Club.


Justin Newingham '01Justin C. Newingham, '01
Private-practice dentist
Rochester, Mich.

Within five years of graduation from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Newingham completed two post-doctoral programs and opened his own practice, The Beautiful Smile, in Bloomfield Hills. Newingham has been named a mentor at the Spear Dental Institute in Arizona and is working toward mentorship at the Kois Center in Washington. He has passed the American Academy of General Dentistry Fellowship exam and was selected by his peers as one of Detroit’s Top Dentists in 2010 by Detroit’s Hour magazine. The Consumer’s Research Council also honored him as one of America’s Top Dentists in both 2010 and 2011. Newingham opened his own school for dental assistants and is a founding member of a case study club which provides Detroit area dentists with opportunities to present their most difficult cases for review, providing valuable insights for treatment options. A biology major at Albion College, Newingham was captain of the baseball team and a member of the football team.


Moose Scheib, '02Moose M. Scheib, '02
Founder and CEO,
Dearborn, Mich. is a home loan modification firm specializing in loss mitigation, private placements, homeowner retention and neighborhood stabilization. While leading, Scheib co-founded Aleph Advisors, a boutique advisory firm assisting U.S. companies doing business overseas. Scheib has been interviewed by media including Forbes, The Washington Post, and Fox Business News, and received the 2004 Jallow Award for Public Service, the Arabian Business 30 under 30 Award for 2010, and the 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the American Arab Chamber of Commerce in Dearborn. An economics and management major, and a captain of the football team at Albion College, Scheib is also a graduate of Columbia Law School and previously clerked with the New York State Supreme Court and practiced corporate law with an international law firm in New York City.

2008 Io Triumphe feature, "Peak Performance"


Dan Westerhof, '04Daniel L. Westerhof, '04
Peace Corps information and communications technology coordinator
Washington, D.C.

Following graduation from Albion with a degree in psychology, Westerhof joined the Peace Corps and went to Paraguay, where he taught rural farmers to manage community agricultural and beekeeping programs. Westerhof also unofficially trained a women’s committee on community organization, record-keeping, and disease prevention, in addition to designing a beekeeping curriculum for a regional agricultural school, and coaching local businessmen in creating the first and only Internet café within 80 kilometers. Westerhof was then named to the position of information and communication technology volunteer coordinator for the Peace Corps in Paraguay. Westerhof returned to the U.S. in 2009 and currently serves as special assistant to the deputy director of the Peace Corps, working in the Office of Congressional Relations.


Inaugural 2010 Young Alumni "Top 10 in 10" awardees