Collin McHugh pitches in World SeriesCollin McHugh (09c) celebrates after striking out a Los Angeles Dodgers batter in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series. Photo courtesy of the Houston Astros.

Collin McHugh with David Beasley at Berry's Bowdoin Field.

Collin McHugh talks with Berry baseball coach David Beasley during a Jan. 23 workout at Bowdoin Field.

A decade has passed since Collin McHugh (09c) last took the mound for the Berry baseball team, but the Houston Astros pitcher remains a Viking at heart. Recently, the 2017 World Series champion returned to campus and spent the day sharing his experiences and insight with current students.

“I really do love this school,” McHugh said. “I had a great experience here.”

McHugh played three seasons with the Vikings before embarking on a professional career when he was drafted by the New York Mets in 2008. He spent the next six years climbing baseball’s minor-league ladder, making brief major-league stops in New York and Colorado, before finally landing a permanent roster spot with Houston. His journey was chronicled in this 2015 Berry magazine feature.

Since joining the Astros, McHugh has compiled a 48-28 record with 567 strikeouts in 102 regular-season starts. He’s also made four playoff appearances, including two innings of relief duty in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series.

That outing got off to a rocky start – McHugh walked two batters and gave up a three-run homer in his first inning of work – but he finished strong, retiring five of the last six batters he faced. The strikeout he recorded to end his final inning sparked a memorable burst of emotion (pictured above) out of the former Berry standout.

“That was kind of a microcosm of my career,” McHugh said. “So you put yourself into trouble, get knocked around a little bit and then have to figure out a way to get through it.

“When I was able to get that strikeout, I think the emotion of the crowd and the emotion of the moment – the emotion of the whole year – kind of washed over me. It was just a really powerful moment for me in baseball.”

During his Jan. 23 visit to Berry, McHugh spent time with this year’s baseball team and interacted with students taking classes in sports communication and sports administration. Later, during evening remarks in Krannert Center, he stressed the importance of goal setting, hard work and thankfulness. In every interaction, his appreciation for Berry shined through.

“This is where I really cut my teeth on how to play and how to pitch and taking my game to the next level,” he said. “I’ve always had a special place in my heart not just for Coach (David) Beasley but for the whole staff and for the organization and the team here.”

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Christine Todd Whitman

Christine Todd Whitman talks to Dr. Brian Campbell, associate professor of anthropology and environmental studies.

The Cecil B. Wright III Integrity in Leadership Lecture Series welcomed an impressive voice of experience Jan. 25 in the form of Christine Todd Whitman, former New Jersey governor and administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.

Whitman, who made history in 1994 as New Jersey’s first female governor, addressed the topic of “Women, Leadership, Power and Politics: Overcoming Obstacles,” in her formal remarks in Krannert Center. She also took part in a classroom discussion with students in Berry’s environmental studies program.

During her presentation, Whitman stressed the importance of integrity in any leadership position and talked about characteristics such as education, perseverance, honesty and decency that contribute to it.

“To me, leadership isn’t leadership at all without integrity,” she stated. “It’s exploitation.”

Afterward, she fielded numerous questions from a very engaged student audience, with topics ranging from her involvement with the EPA to her inspiration for going into politics.

The Wright lecture series is an initiative of the Berry Center for Integrity in Leadership, a major priority of LifeReady: The Berry College Campaign for Opportunity. Past speakers have included Harvard University’s Barbara Kellerman, Aflac CEO Dan Amos, meningitis vaccine expert Dr. Marc LaForce and Home Depot Executive Vice President Bill Lennie.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Brin Enterkin in Uganda

“Anyone anywhere is capable of helping somebody. I hope people will see that if I can do something like this, anyone can.”

Brin Enterkin (12C) was a newly minted high school graduate when she spoke those words to her hometown paper after working to fund a school in Cambodia. A decade later, she continues to live out that credo, recently earning placement on Forbes’ “30 under 30” list of social entrepreneurs for her work to transform the education system of Uganda by stressing an interactive approach over rote memorization, thus allowing children to think more creatively and critically.

“Brin is an outstanding young alum,” said Professor of Management Paula Englis, who nominated her for the Forbes list. “She has a long history of exemplary service and the ability to make things happen to facilitate substantive change.”

Enterkin’s involvement in the African nation began in 2009 when she taught microfinancing to Ugandan women and provided comfort to patients with AIDS/HIV as part of a Berry-funded summer learning experience. By the time she graduated, she had founded a nonprofit, The African SOUP, which continues to make a difference in Uganda by blending community development with national impact. Her work has earned the attention of CNN, Huffington Post and Engage Magazine, and in 2015 she was honored with the Berry Alumni Association’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award.

Enterkin recently returned to the United States to assume a new role as president/managing director of the Watson Institute in Boulder, Colo., where she is working to create an “Olympic training ground” for other social entrepreneurs.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Chris Mowry sets up a trail camera on the Berry campus.

Chris Mowry sets up a trail camera on the Berry campus.

January brought national recognition for one faculty member in Berry’s School of Mathematical and Natural Sciences and notable media attention for another.

Professor Ron Taylor is a 2018 recipient of the nation’s top prize in college mathematics education, the Deborah and Franklin Tepper Haimo Award for Distinguished College or University Teaching of Mathematics. Presented annually by the Mathematical Association of America, the award honors those “who have been widely recognized as extraordinarily successful and whose teaching effectiveness has been shown to have influence beyond their own institutions.”

“On the list of people who have won are some very famous people in the mathematical community, lots of whom I look up to as mentors,” Taylor marveled in a Campus Carrier story. “It’s just amazing that I’m on the list with them.”

Taylor is one of three honorees this year, joining fellow recipients from the University of Northern Colorado and Lafayette College. You can see an example of his innovative teaching methods by watching the video above.

While Taylor is making his mark in the world of mathematics, Associate Professor of Biology Chris Mowry is once again in the media spotlight thanks to his work with the Atlanta Coyote Project, this time turning up in the pages of Atlanta Magazine. Click here to read more.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Dr. Sheila AllenGiven the impressive growth of Berry’s animal science program (which has more than tripled in size in 15 years), it is fitting that the college’s newest trustee has expertise in that field. Dr. Sheila Allen is a former faculty member and dean of the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine who now serves as senior accreditation advisor for the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges. She is also a board member for both Cornell University and the Georgia Aquarium.

Allen holds undergraduate and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from Cornell and a Master of Science degree in veterinary clinical pathology from the University of Georgia. She will attend her first Board of Trustees meeting in February.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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Volleyball CelebrationBerry players and fans celebrate the Vikings’ stunning come-from-behind victory over Covenant College in the second round of the NCAA Division III Atlanta Regional. Photo courtesy of Jack Lewis.

Football Celebration

Senior Antonio White Jr. hoists the SAA championship trophy as Berry celebrates a perfect 10-0 regular season. Photo by student photographer Matt McConnell.

Historic success in volleyball and football provided a spectacular climax to fall semester for Berry’s intercollegiate athletics program. Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) and Tony Kunczewski each earned conference and regional Coach-of-the-Year recognition after leading their respective teams to Southern Athletic Association championships and NCAA Division III national playoff appearances.

Powered by the All-American trio of Hannah Kate Thompson, Carson VanCampen and Emily Hancock, the volleyball Vikings finished a perfect 14-0 in conference play – a first in SAA history – dominated the SAA tournament and advanced to an NCAA Division III regional final, another program first. Their final win total (30) represents a new high for Berry volleyball in the NCAA era.

The football team also claimed perfection in conference play, led by two-time All-American and 2017 National Defensive Player of the Year Mamadou Soumahoro and many other All-Conference and All-Region performers. The Vikings defeated Huntingdon College in the first round of the national playoffs before a hard-fought loss to Division III power St. Thomas of Minnesota capped an 11-1 finish, the best in Berry history.

The softball Vikings also swept the SAA last spring, winning regular-season and postseason titles, giving Berry three unbeaten conference champions in 2017.

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Taylor Thompson Reynolds facilitates round-table discussion

Taylor Thompson Reynolds (12C), third from left, facilitates a round-table discussion as part of the Young Alumni Partners Program pairing recent graduates with current Berry seniors.

Young Alumni Partners Program

Mark Beckley II (16C), right, talks with senior Wyatt Peterson during the Young Alumni Partners Program.

Taylor Thompson Reynolds (12C) remembers well the challenges she faced as a new graduate adjusting to life outside the Gate of Opportunity. Now she and others like her are sharing their experiences with current students as participants in the Young Alumni Partners Program.

Reynolds was among 21 young alumni professionals who journeyed to Berry on a recent Saturday to extend a helping hand to current seniors preparing for their own transition to post-college life. Through round-table discussions and one-on-one mentoring conversations, they provided valuable perspective on topics ranging from job interviews and workplace culture to establishing yourself in a new city and managing debt.

“It’s important to share our experiences, because we have all been in their shoes,” said Reynolds, who today serves as senior manager of event sales and services for the Georgia Aquarium. “We remember what it was like to head into uncharted territory with a less than clear map of how to navigate the world. We are able to offer encouragement to students by letting them know they are not alone and that there is a wide net of Berry alums willing and able to guide them along the way.”

For senior marketing major Jaime Timm, the program provided fresh insight on stretching beyond her comfort zone as she prepares for graduate school at Chicago’s DePaul University. Reynolds, meanwhile, enjoyed the opportunity to give back to her alma mater while also strengthening her professional network.

“It’s great to see how your peers are doing in the job arena and to forge relationships that you otherwise wouldn’t have had an opportunity to build,” Reynolds said.

If you’re a young alum who’s interested in serving as a mentor or facilitator for a future event, simply drop an email to

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Jessica Gross in New York CityJessica Gross (17C) is now working as a product specialist analyst for BlackRock Alternative Advisors in New York City. She lives on the Upper East Side, Manhattan.

Katherine Elizabeth Harney

Katherine Elizabeth Harney, daughter of Christopher (08C) and Diane Harney.

What do Mark Thompson (76A), Robert L. Howren (85C), Melissa Schlea Loggins (00C), Christopher Harney (08C) and Jessica Gross (17C) have in common? All can be found in the “News from You” section of the next issue of Berry magazine. Due to hit mailboxes in just a few weeks, this issue features our largest collection of “class notes” in many years, with news on more than 60 alumni representing six decades of Berry history. Each note is unique, with subjects ranging from new jobs, babies and career achievements to retirements, national championships and even a dream vacation. In an age when many people choose to share their news via social media, we’re thrilled that so many of you are taking the time to reach out to us.

We are now accepting class notes for our summer issue, and we want to hear from you! Simply type out an email (perhaps cutting-and-pasting that status update from Facebook) and send it to Another option is to complete our online submission form (also great for updating your contact information). Either way, be sure to include your class year (and a photo, if you like).

The submission deadline for publication in the summer issue is Feb. 28, so let us hear from you soon!

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Young Alumni Christmas Party

Chattanooga Alumni Event

Young alums at a recent event in Chattanooga.

We’re always looking for ways to get alumni back to campus – December’s Young Alumni Christmas Party (pictured above) is a great example – but with jobs, kids and other responsibilities, life often gets in the way. Since it’s not always possible for you to come to us, we’re piloting a new series of alumni events in specific geographic areas that allow us to bring a little bit of Berry to you!

We just finished a “Berry After Hours” young alumni event in Chattanooga. Next up are regional gatherings in Ashland, Va., and Washington, D.C., both on Saturday, March 17. The Ashland event will be held at Randolph-Macon College beginning at 11:30 a.m.; the scene shifts to the National Press Club in the nation’s capital at 6 p.m.

Visit to register for the evening event. The cost is $9 to attend. Details on the Ashland luncheon will be available soon. If you live in either area, we want to see you there!

Email or call 800-782-1030 with questions.

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