Issues by Date: April 2012

A track record of success in NCAA Division III and a passion for Berry’s distinctive mission helped Tony Kunczewski emerge from a pool of 263 applicants to earn the title of head coach for the college’s first varsity football team. The new program, with Kunczewski at the helm, will begin play in 2013 as a member of the Southern Athletic Association.

“Berry is one of the most beautiful and impressive campuses in the world,” Kunczewski said during the April 16 press conference announcing his selection. “It’s truly a unique place that combines excellent academics with a strong history of success in athletics. The people from the administration on down were so impressive in their desire to promote well-rounded student-athletes in their athletics programs. It was easy to detect that there is something special about the Berry culture.”

Kunczewski (pronounced kun-CHESS-key) has more than a decade of experience as an assistant coach in Division III. Most recently, he served as defensive coordinator and head strength and conditioning coach at LaGrange (Ga.) College, where he helped launch football in 2006. Two years later, in 2008, the Panthers set a record for single-season improvement and made an appearance in the national playoffs.

“[Coach Kunczewski] understands how to build a football program that both wins on the field and contributes to the greater good of the campus,” said Berry President Steve Briggs. “He coaches for life as well as for Saturday afternoon.”

Read story and view press conference.

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Time is running out to register for three of the biggest events on the alumni calendar: Alumni Weekend (May 18-20), Young Alumni Weekend (May 18-20) and Alumni Work Week (May 20-25). All three promise good times, great friends and a wealth of new memories. Here are some of the highlights:

Alumni Weekend kicks off with the annual Distinguished Alumni Awards and Golden Guard Gala in Krannert’s Spruill Ballroom; also on tap are reunions for the classes of 1947H, 1952H, 1952C, 1957H, 1957C, 1961C, 1962H, 1962C, 1967A and 1967C.

Now in its second year, Young Alumni Weekend offers our newest alumni (those who attended Berry in the last 10 years) the opportunity to “party on the green” at Oak Hill, rekindle intramural rivalries and leave a legacy through various service projects. New this year is a live auction benefiting the Season’s Harvest student enterprise.

Alumni Work Week honors Berry’s proud “work” tradition, with teams of alumni investing time and energy in numerous campus projects.

Online registration is available by clicking the links above. The deadline is May 11, so don’t delay!

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Kevin Bacon, the actor famous for a film career so prolific that he’s the subject of his own trivia game, spent a day on campus earlier this spring shooting scenes for a TV pilot. Dozens of Berry students had the opportunity to grab some screen time as extras during the shoot. Two, Brittany Regan and Steven Walker, even got to work as production assistants.

“We’re always told at Berry that our work is meaningful, so it was nice to see how well the skills we’ve gained through campus work translate into a professional film set,” said Walker, a graduating senior who has already made a name for himself as one of the stars of the award-winning Viking Fusion comedy, The Conference Room.

Read more.

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Kelsey Trusty with her scarves during a recent trip to Berry.

It’s not easy to find opportunity in a cancer diagnosis, and yet Kelsey Trusty (11C) has done exactly that. Diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in October 2011, the one-time nursing student began braiding scarves out of old t-shirts as a way to keep herself occupied. Her creations became a sensation after she posted her work on Facebook, and the resulting profits have helped to subsidize her medical expenses while also providing hope for others.

Recently, Trusty’s story went national thanks to a CNN story produced by video journalist Kyler Post (11C), one of her Berry classmates.

Today, she is in remission and her business – named ‘Tussle’ as a nod to her cancer fight – is thriving. Later this summer, she plans to marry fiancé Trevor Bishop, who graduates from Berry this spring.

Read Trusty’s blog.

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Students are often suspicious of anything that hints of marketing or “spin” (admit it, you are too), so we were thrilled to see Campus Carrier News Editor Kelly Dickerson sing the praises of Berry’s “firsthand” brand. Her editorial was inspired by visiting environmental journalist Mark Harris, whose remark – “Kelly, if you and I were competing for a job as a reporter, you would be hired because you’ve had firsthand experience with videography and web design” – proved to be an epiphany for the young writer.

“I really have learned how to do a lot of things firsthand,” Dickerson wrote. “For my communications major I’ve had the opportunity to learn about and work with many media platforms and for my biology major I’ve had the opportunity to conduct experiments in a real lab setting and learned how to use several different kinds of lab equipment. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that Berry really does have an appropriate catchphrase.”

Read the editorial.

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Students, faculty, staff and alumni recently got an “Inside the Beltway” glimpse of America’s political system courtesy of famed commentator and trailblazing female broadcaster Cokie Roberts, the 2012 speaker in the Gloria Shatto Lecture Series.

In her remarks, Roberts discussed the partisan nature of contemporary politics and the ongoing presidential race. She also found time to offer praise for the woman who founded the institution at which she was speaking, Martha Berry.

“It’s wonderful to be in an institution founded by a feisty woman,” Roberts stated. “When I read up on her and realized what she did when she did it, it is really incredible, because at the end of the 19th century [and] beginning of the 20th century, of course, she didn’t have the right to vote.”

Complete coverage.

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Another academic year is drawing to a close, providing the perfect opportunity to highlight excellence among faculty and staff. Dr. Janna Johnson (81C), at left in photo, and Dr. Christy Snider earned high praise at the recent Honors Night Convocation, taking home two of Berry’s most prestigious faculty awards. Johnson, a lecturer in mathematics and computer science and associate director of athletics, received the Eleana M. Garrett Award for Meritorious Advising and Caring. Snider, associate professor and department chair of history, claimed the Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award.

Berry’s top faculty and staff members, as selected by the Student Government Association, both have ties to the Berry Alumni Association. Dr. David Slade (97C), associate professor of Spanish, director of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and incoming historian of the Berry Alumni Association, was named Faculty Member of the Year. Interim Chaplain Jonathan R. Huggins, an associate alumnus (wife Lisa Hoffman Huggins is a 2000 graduate) claimed the same award for staff. Look for more winners in next month’s issue!

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Regardless of the venue or level of competition, Berry students continue to bring home the hardware! Here’s a quick glimpse of what some of them have been up to this spring:

Soprano Amanda Guidi (pictured) won the Undergraduate Vocal Category of the Atlanta Music Club Competition, earning a scholarship for her efforts. This summer, she’ll be in Florence, Italy, pursuing advanced vocal and operatic study with Metropolitan Opera singers Sally Wolf and Benita Valente.

Freshman Jamie Bingham earned a national championship in persuasive speaking to help pace a sixth-place team finish for Berry in the Novice National Forensic Tournament.

Senior Reid Popple, a midfielder in men’s soccer and president of Athletes Bettering the Community, was one of six finalists for the Male Amateur Athlete Role Model of the Year award sponsored by the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

The women’s softball team ended its third season of competition with a best-ever 25-11 record.

Sophomore runner Ryan James claimed victory in Nashville’s Country Music Marathon.

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Past and present collided (sometimes literally) at the 50th anniversary celebration of men’s soccer at Berry. More than 100 alumni and friends turned out, including a trio of former head coaches – Bob Warming, Bob Pearson and Bret Simon – who helped establish the world’s most popular sport on the world’s largest campus. Joining them was Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C, FFS), wife of the late Garland Dickey (42C, FFS), the athletic director under whose leadership men’s soccer was added in 1962.

As part of the two-day event, organized by current coach Richard Vardy, the alumni booters had an opportunity to test their skills (not to mention their fitness level) in a series of scrimmages against each other and the varsity players of today. To glimpse Berry’s soccer pioneers in the prime of their careers, click here to view the extended highlight video prepared by Coach Vardy that was shown at the anniversary banquet.

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In the March issue of the Alumni Accent, we sought input on the type of alumni career services that would be beneficial to you. Sixty-one percent of those who responded chose networking opportunities with alumni in their area. Another 30 percent selected online job postings and searches. Thank you for your feedback! This will be tremendously helpful as we work to tailor future offerings to meet your needs.

The April question shifts the focus from career services to alumni events. Scroll to the bottom of the page and let us know what type of programming you would like to see in your area.

This is a great opportunity to let your voice be heard. Don’t miss out!

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