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Alumni Weekend Achievement Awards


Distinguished Achievement Awards were presented during Alumni Weekend 2013 to four alumni who have distinguished themselves as Transylvanians through their professional lives, standards of excellence, and community service.



Kim Ward Barrie Kim Ward Barrie ’83 is vice president, Institute for Nursing and Workforce, at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, where she was previously vice president of surgical services. Before that, she was vice president and chief nursing officer as well as executive director of Caritas Medical Center in Louisville. Following her Transylvania graduation, she earned an RN diploma from Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing, completed BSN core curriculum and an MSN at Bellarmine University, and a DNP from Rush University. A 2007 inductee into the Pioneer Hall of Fame, she is a member of Bellarmine’s Gallery of Distinguished Graduates and a former U.S. Globe Leader of Tomorrow recipient.

Julie Munz Baumgardner Julie Munz Baumgardner ’83 is president and executive director of First Things First, an award-winning grassroots organization focused on strengthening family units in her hometown of Chattanooga. She advocates tirelessly for healthy family and marital relationships. She writes a weekly column on family issues in the Chattanooga Times Free Press and hosts a public television show. She assists her local community through service on mayoral task forces related to gang violence, parental involvement, and character education. She is the current board chair for the National Association for Relationship and Marriage Education. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. Her honors include the Frist Humanitarian Award and the Forty Under Forty Community Service Award.

Shawn McGuffie  Clifton Shawn McGuffey ’98 is an associate professor of sociology and African diaspora studies at Boston College. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research has received grant funding from The Ford Foundation and the Institute of Liberal Arts and Research. In 2006 the American Sociological Association presented him with the Sally Hacker Award for Research Excellence, and in 2009 he received the organization’s Best Research Article Award. He has given invited lectures at Rutgers University, Harvard University, the University of Colorado, and the University of the Western Cape in South Africa. He has been a consultant to the PBS Massachusetts series Basic Black.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears  Valarie Honeycutt Spears ’83 is an award-winning staff writer for the Lexington Herald-Leader. During her more than 30 years with the newspaper, she has won multiple awards from the Kentucky Press Association and received the Sigma Delta Chi Public Service Award. She has authored numerous investigative series pieces on child sexual abuse, public schools, and local government. Her 1990 article entitled “Cheating Our Children” was a finalist for that year’s Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Most recently, her series called “Voiceless and Vulnerable” addressed the government’s treatment of Kentucky’s long-term care facilities.

Return to Alumni Weekend.

See Alumni Weekend / University Awards.

See Alumni Weekend / Distinguished Service Awards.

See Alumni Weekend / Class Reunion Pictures.
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