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2016 Alumni Award Recipients

2016 Alumni Achievement Award

Timothy Colomer '06
Humble, TX

Colomer is the recipient of ‭the Alumni Achievement Award in recognition of outstanding ‭academic, professional, personal, and community contributions. ‭Colomer is a global explosives safety officer for Halliburton, where he is ‭responsible for insuring proper explosives licensing, training, and regula‭tory compliance for storage, transportation, and use of explosives at the ‭company's 80 U.S. and international locations.

‭As a gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marines, Colomer directed 121 ‭missions in Iraq as the team leader of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal ‭(EOD) unit. Soon after he earned his degree from Excelsior, he suffered ‭a traumatic brain injury while on a mission when an improvised explo‭sive device (IED) exploded, sending him to the hospital for three weeks. ‭Colomer was awarded the Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal ‭with valor in combat and a Purple Heart.

‭Colomer left the Marines in 2007 and did not let his injury sidetrack ‭his career. While serving as a subject matter expert on terrorist explo‭sive devices and military ordnance at the FBI Explosive Unit in Quantico, ‭Virginia, he completed a master's degree in safety and security at George ‭Washington University. A letter he wrote to USA Today crediting the ‭MRAP vehicle in which he rode with saving his life was picked up by other ‭media outlets, giving him a platform to advocate for better equipment ‭for servicemembers' safety. Now an ambassador for the EOD Warrior ‭Foundation, Colomer supports those wounded by IEDs as well as their ‭family and friends.

 

 2016 Carrie B. Lenburg Award

Janet Ivers '05, '11
Libby, MT

Ivers is the recipient of the Carrie ‭B. Lenburg Award in recognition of her commitment and contributions to nursing education and for her academic and professional ‭accomplishments. A registered nurse, she also is an ASCP-certified medical technologist. ‭

Ivers volunteered with Seed Global Health in partnership with the ‭Peace Corps in 2014–2016 as a nurse lecturer in the medical-surgical ‭department at Kamuzu College of Nursing in Blantyre, Malawi, where ‭she taught teaching theory and mentored future nursing leaders. This was ‭Ivers' second humanitarian trip to Africa; she and her husband served in ‭the Peace Corps in Zaire in the early 1980s in the high school science/ ‭English education program.

‭Ivers earned a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Montana ‭State University, and began her career as a medical technologist. A ‭desire to work closely with people having medical challenges led her to ‭Excelsior and the nursing profession.

‭In Malawi, her challenges were many: large classrooms with more ‭than 250 students, electricity available only half the time, and water ‭and hygienic supply shortages. Despite these obstacles, she worked ‭to secure grants to improve students' English language skills, obtain a ‭battery-powered PA system to help communicate with the large class, ‭and procure a digital library for two nursing campuses. In addition, she ‭worked on a sickle cell disease research project to address a medical ‭concern in Malawi that kills 50–90 percent of the children who do not ‭receive treatment for the illness.

2016 C. Wayne Williams Award

Alton Chris Nelms
Cincinnati, OH

Nelms is the recipient of ‭the C. Wayne Williams Award, presented in recognition of ‭outstanding public service and community involvement by a ‭graduate. He is a prevention educator at Cincinnati Children's Hospital ‭Medical Center, and previously worked for 25 years in the Cincinnati ‭Public School System in various roles, including teacher, substance abuse ‭prevention specialist, head baseball coach, and athletic administrator. ‭

Nelms attended Central State University (CSU) on a baseball schol- ‭arship and was later drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. He has served the ‭community as a member of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers, ‭NAACP and the Avondale Community Council, and three terms on the ‭Cincinnati Board of Education.

‭He is a licensed social worker, drug counselor, and prevention spe- ‭cialist. In addition to being a certified sports counselor and trainer, ‭Nelms serves as an adjunct instructor at Cincinnati State, Chatfield ‭College, and Solid Rock Bible College. He is a member of the Cincinnati ‭Police Department's Chief's Advisory Council, a commissioner of the ‭Recreation Commission, and serves on the board of Activities Beyond ‭the Classroom.

‭In 2015, he was recognized by the People of Color Wellness Alliance as ‭a community gem for his perseverance and commitment to Cincinnati. ‭An ordained minister, Nelms is a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He earned a ‭master's degree in education from Xavier University and is completing ‭his dissertation for a doctorate in education at Andersonville College.

2016 Alumni Service Award

Thomas J. Snee '98
Burke, VA

Snee is the recipient of the ‭Alumni Service Award, recognizing outstanding service to ‭Excelsior College by a graduate whose efforts in advocacy, ‭recruitment, or outreach may serve as a role model to others in helping ‭the College achieve its overarching goals. ‭

As executive director of Fleet Reserve Association, Snee is an advocate ‭for education and Excelsior College and its programs. The Fleet Reserve ‭Association (FRA) is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit organiza- ‭tion that represents the interests of the Sea Service community before ‭the U.S. Congress. Membership is open to all current and former sail- ‭ors, Marines, and Coast Guard personnel, and the association currently ‭serves more than 60,000 servicemembers and their families.

‭Following high school, Snee enlisted in the U.S. Navy and after ‭a 31-year career retired as a force master chief, Navy Recruiting ‭Command. He then worked at the FRA Headquarters as a veteran ser- ‭vices officer (VSO) and in membership development. His next career ‭was as a middle school teacher for over 13 years. Among his awards ‭are the Meritorious Service Medal (1 gold star), Navy/Marine Corps ‭Commendation Medal (3 gold stars), Navy/Marine Corps Achievement ‭Medal (2 gold stars), Vietnam Service, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, and ‭various unit/command commendations. ‭

A graduate of the Navy's Senior Enlisted Academy, Naval War ‭College, he earned a MEd in educational leadership from George Mason ‭University.