Congratulations to the Summer Reunion 2014 Alumni Award Recipients
Dr. Sumit Ganguly, '77
Distinguished Alumnus Award
When Sumit Ganguly arrived at Berea College in 1973, he decided to major in English. However, thanks to the influence of Professor Gary Sykes, he picked up political science as a second major, a decision that shaped much of his professional career.
After graduating from Berea College in 1977, Ganguly went on to receive a master’s degree in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and a doctorate in political science from the University of Illinois. He has worked around the globe, focusing his teaching and research on international relations and comparative politics in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and developing nations. Sumit has received numerous awards and honors, as well as over 20 research grants for work ranging from nuclear deterrence in South Asia to U.S.-India security ties. With over 30 published works about international relations including “U.S.-Indian Strategic Cooperation into the 21st Century,” “Fearful Symmetry: India-Pakistan Crises in the Shadow of Nuclear Weapons” and “Conflict Unending,” he is well respected in many circles. His articles have also appeared in The Nation, The Wall Street Journal, and The Christian Science Monitor. He is currently serving as the Director of Research for the Center on American and Global Security at Indiana University.
Dr. Ganguly offers the following advice to current Berea students and to fellow alumni: “For heaven’s sake, take advantage of everything the place has to offer you. Don’t squander it, because you will regret it until your dying day. You have the most dedicated, thoughtful, and intelligent faculty. Most of us didn’t appreciate it to the extent we should have. Berea College is a charmed place. That is why those of us who have benefitted from Berea College should remember to give back to the school. Berea has helped out so many students, and they deserve our support if we can.”
Dr. Ganguly lives with his wife, Dr. Traci Nagle, and daughter, Tara Ganguly, in Bloomington, Indiana.
Dr. Robert Mayberry, '76
Distinguished Alumnus Award
Robert Mayberry graduated from Berea College in 1976 with a degree in biology and then pursued a master’s of science at Alabama A&M. After earning his master’s degree, Dr. Mayberry pursued a doctorate in epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley, also picking up a master’s degree in public health.
Dr. Mayberry’s acclaimed research focused on relationships between viruses and human cancers. Later, his research focused on ways to eliminate inequality in healthcare systems. Upon graduation, he joined the University of South Carolina’s department of epidemiology and biostatistics.
Currently, Dr. Mayberry is a professor of epidemiology and vice chair of the department of community health and preventive medicine at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in Atlanta, Ga. He also serves as the director of the Study Design, Biostatistics, and Data Management Core of Clinical and Translational Research Center supporting the development and implementation of clinical researches.
Dr. Mayberry has served as director of Health Equity Research at Baylor Health Care System’s Institute for Health Care Research and Improvement, director of the Morehouse Medical Treatment center, assistant dean of the graduate school at the University of South Carolina and senior epidemiologist for minority health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Mayberry and his wife, Rhonda Wilson Mayberry, ’76, live in Atlanta, Georgia.
Carolyn Castle, '70
Rodney C. Bussey Award of Special Merit
Carolyn Castle, ’70, a native of Ashland, Kentucky, retired last year from her position as Director of People Services at Berea College, where she had served for 14 years. Also a Berea alumnus, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. Carolyn subsequently studied public administration at Kansas University and held several teaching positions, including one in Okinawa, Japan.
Back in the US, Carolyn began a career in healthcare, first managing a pediatric pulmonary center at the University of Florida and then working in human resources for several hospitals in Florida and Kentucky. She returned to Berea College in 1999.
As Director of People Services, Carolyn met with every employee who joined the College and challenged them to “make Berea better than it was.” She is especially proud of improving pay and benefits for employees during her time at Berea and “creating opportunities for employees to get together, build community, and have fun.”
While at Berea, Carolyn served on numerous boards and committees, including the Berea College Safety Committee and the Strategic Planning Committee. She also served on the Board of Directors for Madison County United Way, chaired the United Way Drive at Berea College, and served on the Hospice Board.
Carolyn says she enjoyed calling herself “the oldest cheerleader on campus,” having been a cheerleader in her undergraduate days at Berea. Now that she’s retired, she plans to volunteer in the field of human resources and travel extensively, beginning with a trip to Europe in the near future.
Melissa Osborne, Berea’s Good Will Ambassador
Honorary Alumnus Award
Melissa Osborne has been a positive force on Berea’s campus. From 1979 to 2010, Osborne served three Berea College presidents as secretary and senior executive assistant, and two provosts as senior administrative assistant. But her contribution to the college community goes far beyond these positions. As “Berea’s Good Will Ambassador,” a title given to her by Provost Carolyn Newton, Osborne strove to live the values of Berea College, and was always there to lend support or a healing hand in times of crisis.
Melissa Osborne (née Melissa Gardner) began her career with Berea College in 1979, when she was hired as secretary to President Willis D. Weatherford. Later, she worked for both John B. Stephenson and Larry Shinn.
Osborne praised her colleagues in both the President’s Office and the Provost’s Office. “Even though work was sometimes hectic and stressful, it was fun because of our respect and regard for one another” says Osborne. Working under two provosts, Newton and David Porter, Osborne was tasked with overseeing a wide range of activities, such as arranging travel plans, drafting and proofing correspondence, conducting searches, coordinating seasonal events, and managing campus-wide announcements.
Former officemate Tammy Clemons said, “Out of everyone I know, Melissa truly embodies the Berea spirit of thoughtful inclusion.” Clemons praises Melissa’s ability to integrate her work and her heart, living her Christian values and devotion to the Great Commitments through her actions, not just her words.
In 2010, Melissa received the Elizabeth Perry Miles Award for Community Service, for tirelessly serving “as a touchstone of caring for the Berea College Community for over 30 years.”
Melissa and her husband, Rev. Randy Osborne, Hon.’95, live in Berea.