Nominations & Selection Process
- To nominate an individual, submit a nomination form or contact the alumni office.
- Nominations are accepted from alumni, current/former faculty, and administration and are due December 31, 2013.
- Nominations are reviewed by the Executive Committee of the Alumni Board.
- Nominations are presented to and confirmed by a majority vote of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Young Alumni Leadership Award
Alumni recognized for outstanding leadership in their vocation, community service, and/or service to the University. Alumni are eligible until their 10-year Reunion and alumni celebrating 10 years will be given special consideration. Nominate Now.
Previous Award Winner Profiles
2007 Award Winner
Christopher T. Veazey '01
Veazey was always interested in science, but became intrigued in the teachings in chemistry from Professor Kevin Johnson. A later study of lithium ion batteries with Johnson became his senior thesis, and he won an award from the American Chemical Society as one of the region’s top chemistry majors. While in the California Institute of Technology’s materials science doctoral program, he caused a stir with the development of an exotic, foaming metal “bubbloy” with glass-like characteristics. He is married to Pacific alumna Kristy Drafahl ’02.
2008 Award Winners
Gina Bell '00
Bell served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay where she taught organic farming practices. She continues this work in Forest Grove with the Spanish-speaking community as development associate for Adelante Mujeres, a non-profit organization committed to the holistic education and empowerment of low-income Latina women and their families. In this capacity she manages the Forest Grove Farmers Market, also a project of Adelante Mujeres; and began the organization's first annual fundraising event "A Fiesta of Hope."
Ty Kovatch '01
Kovatch serves as Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard's Chief-of-Staff. He oversees the office's operations and policies, and is the liaison to the Water Bureau. He has also worked as a Legislative Assistant to Leonard in Oregon's House of Representatives.
Melissa (Alexander) Timm '98
Timm has taught for 10 years at Joseph Gale Elementary School in Forest Grove. As past-president and current member of the College of Education Alumni Council, she has helped coordinate the "Touch the Future" program, which annually brings high school students of color to campus for a day of activities. Timm works with Pacific's undergraduate education program by mentoring students as classroom assistants
2009 Award Winner
Carlye Krohn '98, MAT '01
Carlye Krohn '98 MAT '01 and her husband, Wendell '97, founded the nonprofit "Charity Bolivia" after working and volunteering abroad for two years. The organization relieves poverty and improves standards of living in Bolivia through funding of education. She supports the charity through leadership of fundraising, development, resource allocation and networking. She is also a substitute teacher for the Beaverton School District, volunteers for various community organizations and committees, including and a girl's camp for survivors of sexual abuse, and coaches volleyball.
2011 Award Winner
Jill Hertel '98, MAT '03
This sense of community was one of the things Hertel loved about the University, along with its small size.
Hertel transferred to Pacific as a sophomore and studied social work as an undergraduate. During the time between her undergraduate and graduate studies, Hertel joined a Jesuit Volunteer Corp., in which she helped homeless kids in California.
Currently, she works in the Forest Grove School District as a special education teacher. She has actively assisted in Special Olympics Oregon and helped create a unified sports program in Forest Grove that allows children with special needs to play on the same sports teams as other children.
2012 Award Winner
P.J. Pitts, Pharm.D. '09
Pitts provided immediate triage care following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She continued service there for nearly two years, offering pharmacy care as well as education in hygiene and health care for residents. She now teaches pharmacy courses at D’Youville College in New York, mentors students who make service trips to Haiti and is founding a nonprofit organization supporting orphans and community health there.
2013 Award Winner
Ami (Heaton) Halvorson OD '07
Heaton has been awarded the 2013 Pacific University Young Alumni Leadership Award. Halvorson started her career in private practice before joining Pacific EyeClinic Southeast, where she served underinsured patients until the clinics closure. She was heavily involved in the design of the Beaverton EyeClinic, where she is now the director. She has volunteered at the Interprofessional Diabetes Clinic, at various community vision screenings and in Belize with Amigos. Today, she enjoys being a clinician and a mentor to students while working to become an American Academy of Optometry fellow.