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MBU Honors Outstanding Alumni

For Homecoming 2016, Missouri Baptist University’s Alumni Association honored outstanding alumni who have made a significant impact in the community and society.

The event was held Oct. 20 in the Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center during the University’s annual homecoming chapel.

Distinguished Alumnus Award: Michele Miller Settel

Vice president and general manager for workers’ compensation with Cordant Health Solutions, Michele Miller Settel (’99) has more than 26 years of experience developing and implementing cost containment solutions to insurance payers. She was recruited by Cordant in 2013 to lead the strategic initiative of expanding market share in Workers’ Compensation. In response to the growing nationwide opioid epidemic, Settel also designed an opioid medication monitoring solution incorporating comprehensive drug testing. The program implementing injured workers’ safety and compliance with their treatment plan is successfully reducing the costs and strength of prescribed opioid medications across the country. For more than 30 years, she has also lead youth ministry programs for Southern Baptist Churches across the country in addition to participating in music ministry as both a soloist and worship leader. Settel holds a B.S. degree in business administration from MBU.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award: Lauren Maniaci

The Oustanding Young Alumnus award is granted to an alumnus who is distinguished among their peers for contributions made to society that display leadership, responsibility and expertise. Lauren Maniaci earned her elementary education degree from MBU in 2013. She went on to live in Chicago after graduation where she serves as director to an urban non-profit called the Center for Student Missions. Her responsibilities include partnering with more than 70 non-profit oranizations with a passion to see the Lord work in powerful ways in a hurting city.

Educator of the Year Award: Sherry LaNell Lewis Jones

A proud alumna of Missouri Baptist University, Sherry LaNell Lewis Jones (’08, ’10) comes from a long bloodline of musicians. By the age of five, Jones learned how to read music and knew she would become a music teacher. As a member of the Jennings School District’s fine arts department, Jones enjoys teaching courses centered around vocal music, piano, music appreciation and hand chimes. She is a proud mother and grandmother and is thankful for MBU’s strong foundation of faith that kept her motivated as an adult, non-traditional student on campus.

Service to the University Award: Mark Baden

A 2008 graduate with a degree in communications, Mark Baden received the award for his continued volunteer efforts that enhance the mission of MBU. He credits the University in getting to this point of his career due to offering him a second chance to earn a college degree.  He currently serves as assistant vice president and commercial relationship manager at Royal Banks of Missouri. He has served as the MBU alumni board vice president for more than two years, is married to Crissy and together have three children.

Mission in Action Award: Ashleigh Poteete

The University recognized current student Ashleigh Poteete for her demonstrated ability to living out the mission and core values of MBU. Currently a senior studying human services and psychology with a sociology minor, she has served as a peer mentor, resident assistant, student fellow and attended the Guatemala mission trip last year with MBU campus ministries. Outside of MBU, Poteete works with Relay for Life and is a mentor to two young ladies through We Love St. Charles. Upon graduating, she plans to serve the St. Louis metro area by working with foster children who have been, or are currently, at risk of being sex trafficked.

Photo from left to right: Sherry Lewis Jones, Ashleigh Poteete, Mark Baden, Michele Miller Settel, Lauren Maniaci