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William Peace University Announces the 2020 Alumni Award Recipients. 

Apr 23, 2020

The WPU Alumni Association is pleased to recognize this year’s Distinguished Alumni of the Year, Distinguished Service Award, Young Alumni of the Year, and introduce a new alumni award, the Professional Studies Alumni of the Year in honor of the School of Professional Studies 10th anniversary. Award recipients were recognized at the Virtual 1857 Mixer: Alumni Happy Hour on Friday, April 17, and will be recognized at the rescheduled 2020 Alumni Weekend (date to be determined).

We are proud to recognize these individuals as examples of the outstanding alumni of William Peace University and thank them for their continuous contributions to our community and University.

The most prestigious award given by the Alumni Association, the Distinguished Alumni of the year, recognizes a graduate over the age of 35 for significant accomplishments in career, community, and family. This year’s recipient is Dr. Kristen Clark Wynns ’97. Dr. Kristen Wynns owns a private practice, Wynns Family Psychology, with a team of 20+ clinicians, all specializing in children and teens, offering services in therapy, testing, groups, and forensic specialties. Dr. Wynns is also the founder of a parenting website called NoWimpyParenting.com™ to help parents struggling with behavior or discipline problems at home. She authored “The No Wimpy Parenting Handbook” and is passionate about starting a revolution to help parents take back their power! She has been published in numerous magazines, psychology journals, and appeared on several news programs.

The Young Alumni of the Year Award recognizes a graduate under the age of 35 for significant accomplishments in career, community, and family.  This year’s recipient is Sabrina Jean Clark Sizemore ’16. Sabrina is a clinical researcher at the Swanstrom lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is now working on a five-year-long project that utilizes multiplexed primer ID-next gen sequencing. With this approach, she has the ability to identify recent HIV infections in real-time, drug resistant mutations, and clustering in the state of North Carolina. In addition to HIV research, Sabrina currently serves on the advisory board of Family Education Initiative, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to improving quality of life through the use of prevention programs and community engagement. Their current project, Project Arrow, equips middle school and high school students with the tools needed to develop healthy responses to trauma and stress associated with substance abuse, bullying, and mental health. Sabrina is also an active volunteer with elementary-aged students at her church.

The Distinguished Service Award is presented to an alumnus who has willingly and devotedly served William Peace University. This year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient is Sheri Jacobs Keasler ’16. Sheri’s journey to Peace began in the late ‘70s as a traditional student, but she had to leave school for personal reasons. After raising her children and helping run her husband’s business, Sheri returned to Peace College in 2003 to finish her degree part-time. She secured a student worker position, later becoming employed full time in the Office of Student Development, now called the Office of Student Life. “Mama Sheri,” as she was affectionately called, served students at Peace for the next 16 years. She was often seen, escorting students and family members to the various support services and finding the resources, encouragement, and assistance needed to help them complete a degree at Peace. Sheri graduated in 2016 and was named Ms. Peace by her classmates and the very students she worked daily to serve.  

In honor of the School of Professional Studies 10th anniversary, the Alumni Association Board of Directors created a new award to recognize the outstanding graduates from this school and their unique education journeys. The first Professional Studies Alumni of the Year is Matthew Poole ’16. Matthew Poole is the Chief of the Fire-Rescue Department for the town of Garner. He has been a firefighter with the department for twenty-five years andis the only Garner Firefighter to receive the department’s Medal of Honor in recognition of a lifesaving rescue of two children from a residential fire. He is a past president of the Wake County Association of Fire Chiefs and also a past president of the Rotary Club of Garner. Matthew is also an active career mentor for WPU’s School of Professional Studies and the Career Design Center.

We are proud to recognize these individuals as examples of the outstanding alumni of William Peace University and thank them for their continuous contributions to our community and University.

 

2020 Alumni Awards Recipients 

Distinguished Alumni of the Year

Dr. Kristen Clark Wynns (’97)

Young Alumni of the Year

Sabrina Clark Sizemore (’16)

Professional Studies Alumni of the Year 

Matthew Poole  (’16)

Distinguished Service Award 

Sheri Jacob Keasler (’16)

Visit Alumni Connect for more information on our 2020 Alumni Awards recipients.

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