Tag Archives: alumni achievement

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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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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Jessica Parker NunanJessica Parker Nunan (01C) is the latest Berry alum to merit inclusion on Georgia Trend magazine’s annual “40 under 40” list of the state’s rising stars in business, government, politics, nonprofits, science, health care and education. Nunan was recognized for her work as executive director of Caminar Latino, Georgia’s first-and-only comprehensive domestic-violence intervention program for Latino families. She also shares the voice of the Latino community through service on a Sesame Street advisory committee and facilitates a group for Latino youth who have witnessed violence. Complete “40 under 40” list.

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John Barge

Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Education.

Dr. John Barge (88C), Georgia state school superintendent and a 2014 candidate for governor, has once again been named to Georgia Trend magazine’s list of the state’s 100 “most powerful and influential citizens.” This is the second consecutive year that Barge (pictured) has been so recognized. Three other members of Berry’s alumni community Joe Cook (88C), Sara Totonchi (99C) and Dr. Roger Tutterow (84C) were named “notable Georgians” in the same issue. More.

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Bill Evans (66C) and Dr. Brian Ridley (93C) have dedicated their lives to educating students, and their efforts have not gone unnoticed.

Bill (far left) was honored as 2012 National Teacher of the Year for Speech and Debate for his work at Hillcrest High School in Simpsonville, S.C. Under his leadership, Hillcrest students have won numerous state, district and national championships. He was inducted into the Mississippi Speech and Debate Hall of Fame in February 2012 and is a Triple Diamond Coach with the National Forensics League. Read more.

Brian was recognized as 2013 Georgia Middle School Principal of the Year after helping Haralson County Middle School earn recognition as one of the state’s “2012 Breakout Schools” in student achievement following several years on the Department of Education’s “needs improvement” list.

“Dr. Ridley is a great example of what it means to be an excellent school leader,” said Georgia State School Superintendent John Barge (88C), himself a Berry alumnus. “The dramatic improvement in student achievement his school has seen is just one of his many accomplishments as a principal, but it gets to the heart of why we’re all in education – to help children accomplish their dreams through a quality education.” Read more.

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