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Distinguished Achievement Awards

Distinguished Achievement Awards were presented during Alumni Weekend 2012 to five alumni who have distinguished themselves as Transylvanians through their professional lives, standards of excellence, and community service.

 william Cooper

William O. Cooper ’87 is a professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, where he is also director of the Master of Public Health Program and vice chair for faculty affairs. He earned both his M.D. and master of public health from Vanderbilt, and completed an internship and residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and a fellowship in general pediatrics at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. Among his numerous awards are the Highly Effective Teacher Award from the Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt School of Medicine (2003), and the Vanderbilt Academy for Excellence in Teaching (2010). In 2009 he was the featured medical expert on an NPR Morning Edition segment focusing on antipsychotic drug use in the treatment of children.

 Julie Dodd

Julie E. Dodd ’72 is a professor in the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida. She earned a master’s degree in communications and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from the University of Kentucky. Before moving to Florida, she taught high school English and journalism and advised student newspapers and yearbooks in Kentucky and Tennessee. She was also a health and fitness columnist for The Oak Ridger, director of the Kentucky High School Press Association and the Kentucky High School Speech Association, and executive director of the Florida Scholastic Press Association. Among her many honors are the Columbia Scholastic Press Advisers Association’s James F. Paschal Award (1995), Teacher of the Year (1996) and Service Award in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, and the Journalism Education Association’s Carl Towley Award.

 Alyce Emerson

Alyce Sterling Emerson ’77 is on staff at the United Way of the Bluegrass in Lexington coordinating volunteers for Trailblazers, which places adults in academic and youth development programs in Anderson, Clark, Scott, and Woodford counties in Kentucky. She spent 31 years teaching social studies at Tates Creek High School in Lexington before retiring in 2008. In 2003 she co-authored “The Individual and the Holocaust,” a multi-media resource for high school students in world civilization classes. She earned a master’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University, a Rank I from Georgetown College, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Kentucky.

 Shirley McConahay

Shirley Frey McConahay ’62 is an internationally recognized artist whose work has included masks, life-size figures, and soft sculptures of  animals, birds, trees, and flowers. She is the founder and director of Art for Indigenous Survival, where she teaches soft sculpture to indigenous groups from Canada to Costa Rica and throughout the United States, including the Navajo, Algonquin, Cherokee, Arapaho, Occaneechi, Lakota, Quileute, and Chippewa. Her work has been exhibited at Yale University, Duke University, Radford University, George Mason University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wilmington, and Asheville. It has been pictured in Smithsonian, Southern Living, and Fiber Art. With her late husband, John, she previously ran Data Associates, a jury selection firm.

 Lewis Weinstein

Lewis J. Weinstein ’62 served as a judge on the New Jersey Superior Court from 1993 until his retirement in 2001. He was previously in private practice while also a staff attorney for Irvington General Hospital in Irvington, N.J. He was a member of the Township of Harding Zoning Board of Adjustment for 11 years, including chair for four years, and the township’s Planning Board for seven years and chair for one. He earned his law degree from Rutgers School of Law.


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