IU School of Public Health-Bloomington recognizes outstanding alumni

Nov. 5, 2013


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington recently honored distinguished alumni, with honorees including past university department chairs, leaders in sports management and individuals who have been instrumental in policy development both domestically and abroad.

"We could not be more pleased to honor these exceptional alumni," Dean Mohammad Torabi said. "Their dedication and commitment in their chosen fields is a true inspiration to all of us, and we are thrilled to have them as part of the school's family."

The school has been presenting awards since 1976 to the most prestigious graduates, those who excel professionally and personally. Recipients this year are:

  • Jerry Wilkerson, professor emerita and retired executive associate dean for the School of Public Health-Bloomington.
  • Brittany Hollingsworth, director of Women's Basketball Operations at the University of Albany-State University of New York.
  • Vicki Scott, resource specialist for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities.
  • Trevor Garrett, former chief executive of Charities Commission of New Zealand and current member of the United Nations Counter-Terrorism expert working group.
  • Dale Evans, professor emeritus at California State University-Long Beach.
  • George Taliaferro, former university administrator and retired player for the National Football League.

"Our 2013 alumni award recipients are some of the most distinguished and dedicated alumni," said Natalie Kubat, director of donor and alumni relations. "We are proud to be recognizing them and their accomplishments."

Each award winner received a plaque and was added to an honor wall at the School of Public Health-Bloomington.

Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award

Trevor Garrett received the Mobley International Distinguished Alumni Award. This annual award, named in honor of former Dean Tony Mobley, recognizes outstanding professional achievement outside the United States.

Garrett's career began with a Diploma of Physical Education from the University of Otago in New Zealand. After working as a physical education teacher and school housemaster, he earned his Master of Science in recreation from IU in 1976. Upon returning to his home country, he began a prestigious government career, working for the New Zealand government's Department of Internal Affairs, serving as the advisory officer in recreation planning and maintaining the post of senior administration officer in the Royal Visit Office.

In 1981, he became the executive officer for recreation and sport, which involved management of Ministry of Recreation and Sport funding schemes and ministry advisory services. His other appointments included CEO for recreation and community development, director of lottery services, director of gaming, racing and censorship, and group manager for regulatory and lottery services. He currently serves as a member of a United Nations Counter-Terrorism expert working group, which convenes country meetings in different world regions to examine methods for preventing the financing of terrorism.

John R. Endwright Distinguished Alumni Service Award

Vicki Scott received the John R. Endwright Distinguished Alumni Service Award. This award recognizes alumni for outstanding service and contributions. The award is a reflection of former Dean Endwright's commitment to strong ties between the school and its graduates.

Scott is a two-time IU graduate, completing first her bachelor's degree in recreation therapy, followed by her master's degree in recreation in 1981. After working in a long-term-care environment, she accepted a position at Hook Rehabilitation Center in Indianapolis as a recreational therapist before becoming program manager in 1994 for both inpatient units and the outpatient clinic. Recently, Scott accepted a role with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities as a resource specialist in Tucson, Ariz.

In addition to her professional roles, Scott has also been an active member of the School of Public Health Alumni Board, the Recreation Therapists of Indiana and the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, serving in a variety of leadership positions and on various committees.

W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award

Dale W. Evans and George Taliaferro both received the W.W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is the oldest and most prestigious alumni recognition bestowed by the school to a graduate who has demonstrated outstanding personal and professional achievement in his or her career. Recipients characterize the ideals set forth by the school's first dean, Willard W. Patty. Under his leadership, the school rose to national stature and produced some of the finest professionals in the fields of health, physical education and recreation.

Evans received both his baccalaureate and master’s degrees at George William College before coming to IU for his doctorate degree in health and safety. After graduating in 1969, he remained in education and recently celebrated 50 years of teaching students, from elementary school through doctoral candidates. More than 10,000 university students have been enrolled in his courses at California State University Long Beach and the University of Houston. At the University of Houston, Evans became a consultant for the U.S. Department of Defense Dependents' Schools conducting health and drug use prevention programming for teachers and administrators in various countries. Additionally he has held leadership roles with the American Cancer Society and Eta Sigma Gamma.

Taliaferro enrolled at IU in 1945. As a member of the football team, he helped lead the Hoosiers to their only outright Big Ten championship and only unbeaten season. He was Indiana's most valuable player in 1948, was named First-Team All-American and was the team’s leading rusher. He received a degree in physical education from the school in 1951.

The first African-American player to be drafted by a National Football League club in 1949, Taliaferro elected to join the Los Angeles Dons and later played for the New York Yanks, the Dallas Texans and the Baltimore Colts. Following his football career, he devoted himself to social work positions in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. After earning a master’s degree at Howard University, he taught at the University of Maryland and was dean of students at Morgan State University. He then spent two decades at Indiana University, where he was special assistant to the IU president, the IUPUI chancellor and the dean of the School of Social Work.

Anita Aldrich Distinguished Alumni Award

Jerry Wilkerson received the Anita Aldrich Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is presented to graduates who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in professional excellence, service to the community and loyalty to Indiana University relative to the advancement of girls and women. Recipients have made a significant difference in the lives of girls and women relative to participation in sports and fitness activities as well as the pursuit of healthy lifestyles.

Wilkerson received her physical education bachelor's degree at Ohio University and went on to teach and coach in the Batavia, Ohio, public schools from 1966 to 1969. While at Batavia, she completed a master's degree in physical education at the University of Cincinnati and then accepted her first faculty appointment in higher education at Youngstown State University. Wilkerson continued her education earning her Ph.D. in human performance from Indiana University in 1978.

Wilkerson continued her career at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Texas Women's University in Denton, where she was chair of the Department of Kinesiology. In 2003, Wilkerson returned to IU as the executive associate dean for the School of Public Health. She retired in 2011 and was named professor emerita. During her time at IU, she was instrumental in establishing the Anita Aldrich Alumni Award, making it a fitting tribute for her to also receive this prestigious honor. 

Early Career Alumni Award

Brittany Hollingsworth received the Early Career Outstanding Alumni Award. This award is given to alumni who through exceptional achievement have distinguished themselves by their professional accomplishment, community service or service to the university. The recipient of the award must have received his or her degree from the school within the past 10 years and be 40 years old or younger.

Brittany Hollingsworth received her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from IU in 2011 and is a native of Fishers, Ind. While at IU, she served as student team manager from 2008 to 2011 for the women's basketball team. Hollingsworth is currently in her second season as director of Women's Basketball Operations at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is involved with daily operations including administrative duties, travel and logistics, community service and outreach, and assisting the needs of staff and players on and off the court.

Before her time at SUNY-Albany, Hollingsworth spent the 2011-12 season as the equipment manager for the Indiana Fever of the WNBA. She worked under Women's Basketball Hall of Fame coach Lin Dunn and during the 2012 season was part of the first-ever championship in franchise history. 

About the School of Public Health-Bloomington 

With nearly 3,000 students across an array of undergraduate and advanced degree programs, the School of Public Health-Bloomington offers a traditional campus experience enriched by 21st-century innovation. More than 120 faculty in five academic departments -- Department of Kinesiology; Department of Applied Health Science; Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies; Department of Environmental Health; and Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics -- conduct major research, teach and engage with communities across a broad spectrum of health, wellness and disease-prevention topics. Each department offers numerous majors, minors and opportunities for graduate and undergraduate studies. In addition to its academic departments, the school administers Campus Recreational Sports, which serves roughly 80 percent of the IU Bloomington student body through various intramural, club and individual sports opportunities.