Albion College Celebrates 2013 Young Alumni 'Top 10 in 10'

Albion College 2013 Young Alumni Award recipients.
Albion College's 2013 Young Alumni Award recipients. Front row, left to right: Sarah Slamer, '07; Kristen Mitchell Wooden, '09; Kristina Jelinek, '05; Stephanie Edwards, '09; Jessica Joanis, '04. Back row, left to right: Josh Fales, '06; Michael Light, '07; Deanna Babcock, '06. (Not pictured: Scotty Bruce, '08; Matthew Meunier, '04.)

Albion's unique recognition of outstanding graduates, the Young Alumni "Top 10 in 10" awards brought a celebratory crowd to the Science Complex atrium April 19. From a hardworking professional poet to a tenure-track sociologist, a Mayo Clinic teaching physician and the owner of Mi Farm Market, the Top 10 in 10 again affirmed the diversity of fields—and successes—in which Albion alumni distinguish themselves.

The award recognizes noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who have graduated within the past ten years.

"It is important for our students—and our future students—to recognize the tremendous accomplishments of alumni who have achieved notable success quickly following graduation," said Vice President for Institutional Advancement Josh Merchant, '96. "The Top 10 in 10 offer inspiration and encouragement as models for principled leadership and a wholehearted commitment to serving others."

The 2013 Top 10 in 10 Young Alumni are:

Deanna BabcockDeanna Babcock, ’06

Personal Trainer; International Sales Representative, Inside Out Sports
Durham, North Carolina

Twice named the Most Inspirational member of Albion's cross country team, Babcock's optimism was stretched to the limit in 2007 when a triathlon training accident resulted in a two-month hospital stay and the loss of her left leg. Nonetheless, Babcock has since completed two master's degrees, in soil science and exercise science. She qualified for the 2012 U.S. Paralympic Trials in two swimming events, and is determined to compete in Brazil in 2016. Babcock also runs and swims competitively against able-bodied athletes.

Scotty BruceScotty Bruce, ’08

Co-Owner, Mi Farm Market
Ellsworth, Michigan

Bruce is a co-founder of Mi Farm Market, a family-based company that works with food producers, artisans, and artists, promoting their Michigan-made products to a national market of retailers and consumers. Begun in 2010 in the family garage, the company now boasts two retail stores, a mail-order catalog, and distribution partnerships with Traverse magazine and Pure Michigan. Bruce is currently developing a food logistics platform that gives chefs and restaurateurs a single "e-market" for finding and ordering Michigan-produced local and artisanal foods and ingredients.

Stephanie EdwardsStephanie L. Edwards, ’09

Poet and Editor; M.F.A. Candidate, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York

Just four years post-Albion, Stephanie Edwards' career would be enviable for a poet 10 years her senior. She has published 75 poems in many top-tier journals and anthologies, along with two chapbooks and one full-length collection; two of these books were the result of winning two national competitions. Edwards also spent two years in Chicago, working with literacy and arts programs focused on inner-city youth. She is in demand as a guest at poetry slams and similar events nationwide and is the founder of "Muzzle," which made The Library Journal's Best New Magazines of 2010 list.

Josh FalesJosh L. Fales, ’06

Founder, President, and CEO, CreateMyTee
Ann Arbor, Michigan

CreateMyTee has its roots at Albion College, when Josh Fales hit upon T-shirt design/printing as a way to make some spending money (he earned some $25,000 before graduation). CreateMyTee became Fales' full-time job in 2009, providing professional custom design and quick service. The company currently boasts 10 professional team members and Fales has a long-term plan to expand into a national market. Fales was a founding sponsor of WorldClothesLine, a successful philanthropic enterprise created by Mallory Brown, '08; he continues to be active with the Gerstacker Institute's Student Ventures program.

Kristina Jelinek, Albion College class of 2005Kristina G. Jelinek, ’05

Project Manager, Office of Achievement Resources
New York City Department of Education
New York, New York

From her first-year seminar through off-campus experiences in Mexico and Bolivia, Jelinek did first-hand studies of immigration issues. As a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in the Netherlands, Jelinek added graduate study in intercultural communication. This unique background and expertise led to a spot in Columbia University's New York City Teaching Fellows program and spending six years in teaching and school administration. She now designs and delivers citywide professional development programs for educators, impacting the education delivered to some 1.1 million students.

Jessica JoanisJessica L. Joanis, ’04

Director of Residence Life, Ripon College
Ripon, Wisconsin

Joanis was hired as a hall director at Ripon College with the expectation that she'd leave after two years for greener pastures. Two promotions later, Joanis is Ripon's director of residence life, a position she has held for three years. Joanis' excellence has been noted beyond Ripon's campus; she has received two Program of the Year awards from the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and was recognized by the national St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Foundation as its Collegiate Advisor of the Year. She has also received the Ripon College Faculty/Staff Mentor Award.

Michael LightMichael T. Light, ’07

Ph.D. Candidate, Pennsylvania State University
State College, Pennsylvania

Freshly minted Ph.D.s rarely land tenure-track positions, let alone at Division I research institutions. Light, however, will pick up his doctorate this spring, then join Purdue University's sociology department. Light is an urban sociologist, researching citizenship and racial/ethnic inequality under the law, racial/ethnic stratification and criminal offending, and the role of social context in determining the trajectory of the U.S. color line. Several national and Penn State entities funded his work, which has been published in professional journals and national media, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune.

Matthew R. Meunier, '04Matthew R. Meunier, ’04

Physician/Senior Associate Consultant, Family Medicine, Mayo Clinic
Rochester, Minnesota

Meunier is currently an instructor as well as an attending physician with his clinic's Newborn Nursery Hospitalist Service and Obstetrics Service. His Mayo appointment followed on the heels of his work, during the 2011-12 academic year, as a clinical lecturer in the University of Michigan's Department of Family Medicine. Meunier's practice, teaching, and research revolve around women's and infant health. He has conducted research on the use of antidepressants during pregnancy and is developing a tool to improve fetal monitoring education in family medicine residency programs.

Sarah A. Slamer, '07Sarah A. Slamer, ’07

Assistant Director, the National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC)
Starr Global Learning Network
Albion, Michigan

In her role with TLC, Slamer conducts training nationally and internationally for schools, agencies, and Starr Commonwealth staff. Within the Starr Commonwealth organization, she provides case consultation and supervision of staff as they implement TLC trauma intervention programs with the young people they serve. Slamer assists with community outreach for trauma-related incidents and continues to provide individual therapy for survivors of complex traumas. She has co-authored professional resources for the treatment of trauma victims and recently developed a free online resource for military families and professionals.

Kristen Mitchell Wooden, '0Kristen Mitchell Wooden, ’09

Exploration Geologist, Chevron Corporation
Houston, Texas

As an Albion undergraduate, Wooden participated in a research project north of the Arctic Circle; today, she's still exploring, providing the research expertise needed for successful deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. At the University of Nebraska, Wooden was elected president of the student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). She led her chapter to a fourth-place finish in an international AAPG competition and organized a "Dinosaurs and Disasters Day" event that drew several hundred community members. Wooden is active with Chevron's Humankind service program, with a leadership role in her business unit's support for a homeless rehabilitation organization.

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