Albion College Announces 2018 Alumni Award Recipients

March 7, 2018

Albion College is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Awards and Young Alumni Awards. This year’s honorees will be recognized at an event in Upper Baldwin Hall on Friday, April 20. The proceedings start at 5:30 p.m. with a panel featuring the Young Alumni Award recipients, followed by dinner and the Distinguished Alumni Award program.

The 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

Beverly Hannett-Price, ’58

English Teacher, Detroit Country Day School, Bloomfield Hills, MI

A headshot of a person.Beverly Hannett-Price is finishing her 60th year in her dream job as an English teacher, which includes 50 years at Detroit Country Day School. Beyond educating, mentoring and inspiring generations of students, Hannett-Price broke important gender barriers as DCDS’s first Upper School female teacher, first female department chair and first female dean. Hannett-Price has served on both the Albion College Alumni Association Board of Directors and the College’s Board of Trustees. She has won numerous teaching excellence awards and has had many students win oratory and essay contests.

George Martin, ’52

Retired Principal/School Administrator, Royal Oak Public Schools, Davisburg, MI

A headshot of a person wearing a tan suit.George Martin encouraged and inspired thousands of Royal Oak students during his 40-year tenure with Royal Oak Public Schools. Martin served the district as a teacher, counselor, coach and longtime principal of Dondero High School. Prior to his career in education, Martin served two years in the Army Signal Corps, earning a Soldier’s Medal. A member of Albion College’s Athletic Hall of Fame, Martin received nine varsity letters as student manager for the baseball, football and indoor track and field teams. He is a past president of the Albion College Alumni Association Board of Directors and served two terms on the College’s Board of Trustees. Martin was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame in 2001.

Amy Elaine Wakeland, ’91

First Lady of the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

A headshot of a person with red hair.Amy Elaine Wakeland has spent more than two decades as a political strategist and public policy expert, a background that has suited her exceptionally well for her current role as First Lady of the City of Los Angeles. Among many accomplishments over the past four years, Wakeland played a key role in the City’s first-ever data-driven analysis of the status of women and girls and expansion of its Domestic Assault Response Teams to all police divisions. Wakeland helped found the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust and the Pobladores Fund, a giving circle for social justice causes. She advises numerous organizations on human rights and social justice issues, including the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking and the L.A. Alliance for a New Economy.

Skot Welch, ’90

Founder/President, Global Bridgebuilders, Kentwood, MI

A headshot of a person wearing glasses.Skot Welch has spent 20 years helping churches, municipalities, nonprofits and industry leaders develop sustainable and measurable diversity initiatives. He is founder and president of Global Bridgebuilders, a leader in the field of organizational diversity management. Welch recently served as vice president of benchmarking services and analysis for DiversityInc magazine, where he was responsible for best-practices analysis within the Fortune 500. He is the founder of the Mosaic Film Experience, the Mosaic Mobile and the Mosaic Community, programs that engage some 1,500 young filmmakers annually. In March, Governor Rick Snyder appointed Welch to the Michigan Film Office Advisory Council.

The 2018 Young Alumni Award Recipients

Brian Hearns, ’08

Dean of Students, Rowe-Clark Math and Science Academy, Chicago, IL

A headshot of a person wearing glasses.Through his leadership role at Rowe-Clark, Brian Hearns is part of the Noble Network of Charter Schools, which educates students in some of Chicago’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. Hearns joined the Rowe-Clark faculty in 2011 and continues to coach three of its sports teams while simultaneously overseeing 40 staff members and 500 students. As a teacher, Hearns led many of his classes to higher scores on standardized math tests as well as the ACT. He is an alumnus of Teach For America and was president of both Albion’s Alpha Tau Omega fraternity and Interfraternity Council.

Joel McDade, ’08

Field Application Scientist, Sartorius Watertown, MA

A headshot of a person.Joel McDade is a field application scientist at IncuCyte by Sartorius, supporting academic, biotech and pharmaceutical laboratories engaged in cutting-edge research involving the use of live-cell imaging. McDade operates at the interface between science and business, supporting a client base that focuses on cancer biology, neurobiology and immunology research. He provides training and support in experiment design, execution and data analysis in a fast-paced sales environment. Previously, Joel worked as a research fellow at the University of Michigan and as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital. McDade’s own work utilized live-cell imaging and, most recently, CRISPR/Cas9, leading to extensive grant funding and resulting in several publications in scientific journals.

Courtney Meyer, ’11

Communications Specialist, International Food Policy Research Institute, Arlington, VA

A headshot of a person.Courtney Meyer has built an impressive career speaking up on behalf of social justice initiatives. Her current role serves HarvestPlus, a program of the International Food Policy Research Institute and International Center for Tropical Agriculture that improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops. Meyer has also held communications positions with Helen Keller International, Kiwanis International and Think Africa Press. She was one of the first interns hired to the U.S. Embassy in Suriname and is a longtime volunteer with Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership, organizing its Michigan Leadership Seminar, which brought 150 high school sophomores to Albion’s campus last June.

Christin Spoolstra, ’11

Deputy Country Director, Caring for Cambodia Siem Reap, Cambodia

A headshot of a person wearing sunglasses.Christin Spoolstra has spent her entire post-Albion career in Cambodia. After two years teaching English for the Peace Corps and a year with the Corps’ Cambodia office, Spoolstra accepted the position as deputy country director with Caring for Cambodia, which provides pre-K through high school education to thousands of children. Working in Cambodian Khmer and English, Spoolstra not only directs a team of 10 Cambodian program managers, she also works with fundraising and development at the regional level and human resources at the organizational level. Spoolstra is also a Collaboration Cambodia steering committee member.

Each year, Albion College presents the Distinguished Alumni Award honoring alumni who have demonstrated excellence in career achievements and contributions to community and humanity. The Young Alumni Award honors alumni who have achieved great success in their first ten years after graduation and/or service to the College. Visit the College’s Alumni Awards web page for more information and to register for the 2018 event.