MBU Honors Outstanding Alumni

Alumni award winners of 2018

Photo from left to right: Kris Cook, Joe Myers, Dr. Amanda Ortmann, Tanya Drochner, Dr. Allen Kesselring

For Homecoming 2018, 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. 25 in the Pillsbury Chapel and Dale Williams Fine Arts Center during the University’s annual homecoming chapel.

Distinguished Alumnus Award: Dr. Amanda Ortmann

Dr. Amanda Ortmann currently serves as an assistant professor and the interim director of studies for the program in audiology and communication sciences at Washington University School of Medicine. She is also a co-investigator of a federally funded research project related to the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss as well as a separate clinical trial related to hearing preservation and performance outcomes in cochlear implant recipients. Ortmann lost her hearing at the age of two due to spinal meningitis and knew from a young age that she wanted to pursue a career focused on serving others with hearing loss. Ortmann graduated from Missouri Baptist College in 2001 with a B.S. in both mathematics and communications before going on to receive an M.S. in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Washington University in 2003 and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. Read more of her story.

Outstanding Young Alumnus Award: Kris Cook

Following graduating in 2015, Kris Cook moved to Washington D.C. to work in U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner’s (MO-2) congressional office. He returned to the St. Louis area in the spring of 2018 to work on Wagner’s campaign for re-election to Congress as her political director. While at MBU, Cook was part of the Spartan men’s basketball program and graduated with a B.A. in history and a minor in political Science.

Outstanding Service Award: Joe Myers

Currently serving as Group Supervisor for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Group, Joe Myers has been recognized with honors such as the Police Chief Letters of Commendation, the Meritorious Citation Medal, Drug Enforcement Administration Exceptional Performance Award and the U.S. Attorney Award for Distinguished Service. Originally desiring to join the St. Louis City Police Department, Joe Myers was recruited after his senior year in high school to play both basketball and baseball as an MBU Spartan. After he received his B.A. in management, he returned to MBU to earn a master’s degree in education in 2009. Myers was instrumental in the development of a sports program at Tower Grove Baptist Church and the surrounding community as well as coach a boy’s varsity basketball program for 15 years, where he was voted by his peers as “Coach of the Year” five times. He was inducted to the Spartan Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.

Vocational Excellence Award: Dr. Allen Kesselring

Receiving a B.S. in chemistry and mathematics from MBU in 2000, Dr. Allen Kesselring and his two business partners founded E.K.G. Life Science Solutions (EKG Labs) in 2015, where he currently serves as chief science officer. Kesselring also serves as CEO of their second, parallel organization, Vape Testing Labs. EKG Labs has sponsored laboratory internships as well as hired MBU chemistry graduates. Kesselring received his master’s and Ph.D. in chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis.

Mission in Action Award: Tanya Drochner

The Mission in Action Award is an award that recognizes a current student who has set an example by living out the mission and core values of MBU. Born in Germany and raised in Peru, Tanya Drochner’s first home in the United States in 2014 was an MBU dorm room in North Hall, where she served as an RA for three years. She is currently student teaching at Ridgewood Middle School, will graduate in December 2018, and will move back to Peru where she will teach 6th-9th grade science.