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Campus Headlines: Andrews University Alumnus Ray McAllister Wins “Nobel Prize for Blindness” (And More!)


Andrews University Alumnus, Ray McAllister, Wins “Nobel Prize for Blindness." Ray McAllister, Andrews University alumnus, won the Jacob Bolotin Award at the ninth annual Awards event during the 2016 convention. The award is given by the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and includes a record-high cash prize given by the federation of $20,000. McAllister created coding for Hebrew symbols that have not yet been established in Braille. These Hebrew symbols are the reader’s cue to pause, chant or sing a text. “I converted that entire Hebrew Bible, accents and all, into Braille, and, yes, I have chanted Hebrew from it fluidly,” said McAllister. “I also converted many other Hebrew documents, Semitic inscriptions, and many Greek documents into Braille.” McAllister is the first Adventist to win this award. He is a licensed massage therapist and adjunct teacher for the University’s School of Distance Education and International Partnerships. From Andrews University, “Alumnus Wins ‘Nobel Prize for Blindness.’”

Oakwood University Student Takes On Competitive Internship in Bermuda. Senior business student at Oakwood University, Chelsea Warren, is one of 11 students participating in a summer internship program at KPMG. KPMG is a professional services firm of over 180 professionals and the internship experience aims to hone students’ business skills and secure their career success. "KPMG in Bermuda seeks to identify talented, career-oriented Bermudian university students capable of maintaining high standards of integrity, service and academics who are interested in a career in accounting, finance or business," said Wanda Armstrong, Senior Manager in the firm's HR department. From Oakwood University’s “Oakwood Student Participates in Internship in Bermuda.” 

Walla Walla University Master in Social Work in Montana Relocates to New Facility. Walla Walla University (WWU) has a master in social work (MSW) program located in Missoula, Montana. In May the program moved to a newly remodeled facility on property purchased by WWU, made official by a ribbon cutting ceremony. "The remodeled and renovated building conveys warmth and an inviting atmosphere combined with the professionalism of graduate education, " said Laurelle Warner, MSW Missoula program coordinator. The WWU Missoula MSW program was the first MSW program in Montana when it launched in 1997. From Walla Walla University’s “Ribbon cutting.”

Four Farming Family Siblings Complete Business Degrees at La Sierra University. The last of four children in the Bickner family, Jordan Bickner, has graduated with a degree in accounting from the La Sierra University (LSU) Zapara School of Business. He follows the footsteps of his three older siblings, Zach, Shane and Melissa, who also respectively graduated with LSU business degrees in 2013, 2007 and 2003.  The Bickner siblings come from a family of farmers. Their parents, Steven and Dawn Bickner, own a 400-acre almond tree and alfalfa farm in Lemoore, California.  “Our biggest worry sending our kids to college was who their roommates and friends would be, but thankfully they each chose a circle of life-long friends that we couldn't be more proud of,” said Dawn. “Melissa, Shane, Zach, and Jordan always liked bringing their city friends home to the farm [to experience] the tractors, the ice cream, the motorcycles, and the target practice in the back yard.” Jordan graduated this year with LSU’s largest graduating class to date. From La Sierra University’s “Farming family’s siblings bring home La Sierra business degrees.”

Union College’s Jeff Leeper Resigns as Vice President for Financial Administration. Union College is on the look out for a new Vice President for Financial Administration. Jeff Leeper, who held the position for the last two and half years, has stepped down as he feels it is “God’s calling.” “I came at God’s call and I’m leaving the same way,” said Leeper. “I have appreciated the opportunity to be part of Union College, a hidden wonder in Adventist higher education. Words cannot express my deep fondness for the workers, faculty, students, and administration, and the personal and professional support they have given not only to me, but to my entire family.” While Union College looks for someone to fill the position, Rich Reiner, a Union College graduate and recently retired executive vice president for Adventist Health System, will step in as interim. From Union College’s “Leeper resigns, Reiner to serve as interim financial VP.”

Hallie Anderson is a student intern for Spectrum and a senior communications student studying journalism and public relations at Walla Walla University.

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