MBU Honors Outstanding Alumni
For Homecoming 2017, 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. 19 in the Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center during the University’s annual homecoming chapel.
Distinguished Alumnus Award: Becky Thorn
Music program chair and assistant professor of music at St. Charles Community College, Becky Thorn (’00) designed and implemented a new degree program: the A.F.A. in Music. She has performed and directed in school, church and community productions and conducts the SCC choirs. She received a double major in music education and vocal performance at MBU before going on to obtain an M.A. in vocal pedagogy from Webster University in 2003. Married, with three children, she is also an active singer, recording artist, songwriter, choral clinician, certified vocal adjudicator and professional private voice teacher.
Outstanding Young Alumnus Award: Kelly Barns
Kelly Barns earned her degree exercise science from MBU in 2016. She is currently pursuing her master’s in nutrition and exercise science at Southeast Missouri State University. Barns has worked for iCanShine for two years, and travels around the United States teaching individuals with special needs or disabilities to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. She is currently trying to fundraise and gather support to bring iCanShine to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, so that they can help teach 40 individuals with disabilities to learn to ride a bicycle for the first time. Barns volunteers as a team lead for Kids Across America, where they have packed over 100,000 meals for families in their community and overseas in the past year. She also serves as a Project Charlie mentor, a drug prevention program to 2nd grade students.
Vocational Excellence Award: Obinno Coley
Obinno Coley serves at Normandy High School as the lead teacher in the Entrepreneurship Pathway Program. As the lead teacher, Coley’s two chief tasks are to create an entrepreneurial mindset in his students that they can be creators and not just consumers; and to create and maintain positive relationships with stakeholders in the community that can help his students bring their dreams to life. Coley graduated from MBU in 2015 with a Master of Arts in Teaching.
Outstanding Service Award: Terry Lancaster
As a teacher for the Special School District, Lancaster teaches in a self-contained, cross-categorical classroom. In 2014, Lancaster founded the Cotinga Foundation. The Cotinga Foundation’s mission is to empower and equip special education teachers in the developing world through mentoring and seminars by practicing professionals. She established the foundation after a week-long trip to Ecuador where she spent time at a special education school.
Mission in Action Award: Ethan Metzler
The University recognized current student Ethan Metzler for his demonstrated ability to living out the mission and core values of MBU. Metzler is a senior physical education major and is from Frederick, Colorado. He hopes to become a middle school P.E. teacher. Metzler currently serves MBU as a resident assistant for Spartan Village Row, an FCA leader and the starting kicker for the MBU Spartan football team