Lee News

2019 Young Alumni Grant Recipients Announced

By Merritt Jenkins

Young Alumni Grant Recipients Announced
Paige Lee is pictured here receiving the grant from Dr. Jerome Hammond.

The Office of University Relations recently announced the recipients of the 2019 Young Alumni Grant.

The Young Alumni Grant program supports alumni participating in initiatives, events, trainings, and projects related to professional development. The grant is open to all Lee University alumni, regardless of academic major or professional experience, as long as the individual is currently employed and within 10 years of graduating from a Lee undergraduate program.

“We are very proud of the extraordinary work that our young alumni are doing,” said Dr. Jerome Hammond, vice president for university relations. “In those early years after graduation it can be tough to get going professionally. This young alumni grant program is a way for the university to step in and help during a time when it’s most needed.”

The 2019 Young Alumni Grant recipients are awarded the grant in three levels: Gold, Silver and Bronze. This year’s gold winner, Paige (Pittman) Lee, received $2,500. Jared Barton received the Silver award of $1,500, and $500 each was awarded to the two bronze recipients Ruth Freemon and Sarah Minucci.

Lee, a 2011 graduate from the Helen DeVos College of Education, was presented with her award last month during a surprise ceremony at Taylor Elementary School, where she teaches. The grant was used to address the technological needs in her 1st grade classroom.

“Winning this Young Alumni Grant is an opportunity for me to meet the needs of my students in ways I did not think would be possible,” said Lee. “I plan to use this opportunity to invest in technology and materials that will impact both my current students and future students for years to come. I’m thankful that Lee University invests in its alumni.”

Barton graduated in 2011 and currently works as a physician assistant (PA) student at Gardner-Webb University. He requested the grant to cover the cost for dermatological tools and textbooks needed for his upcoming PA certification board exam.

“Receiving the Young Alumni Grant has made it possible to acquire tools that are essential in my future profession and will make me a much more proficient dermatological physician assistant,” said Barton. “I most certainly would not have been able to purchase the dermatoscope because the expense was way outside of my budget, which means I would have been without an essential tool for quite some time.”

Freemon earned her bachelor’s degree in biology in 2017. She now works as a conservation biology apprentice at Oglebay Good Zoo in West Virginia. The funds from the grant will help cover the cost of attending the ninth Biennial Hellbender Symposium, where she will gather valuable information for her thesis project on Eastern Hellbenders. This meeting will also allow her to meet experts in her field and offer possible opportunities for future jobs.

Minucci graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, and went on to earn a Doctor of Philosophy at Virginia Commonwealth University. The grant received was used to provide Minucci the opportunity to attend the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C., where she will “forge connections and explore the ways science can make an invaluable impact.”

For more information or to apply for the Young Alumni Grant, contact alumni@leeuniversity.edu or (423) 614-8316.
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