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Thomas University President Dr. Andy Sheppard (center) presents this year’s alumni awards to Jodi Phelps (left), recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, and Stephen Bordenkircher, recipient of the Distinguished Recent Graduate Award. The presentations were made during the Homecoming Alumni Awards Dinner on Friday, Oct. 21, on the Rumble Terrace on TU’s Forbes Campus.

 

Thomas University presents annual alumni awards

During its annual Homecoming Alumni Awards Dinner, Thomas University presented awards to two of its outstanding alumni, Jodi Weber Phelps and Stephen Bordenkircher. The presentations were made during the Homecoming Alumni Awards Dinner on Friday, Oct. 21, on the Rumble Terrace on TU’s Forbes Campus.

Phelps received the Distinguished Alumni Award, which is given to an individual who graduated more than five years ago in honor of his or her personal and professional accomplishments, in addition to his or her support and commitment to Thomas University.

Phelps graduated from TU in 2005 with a Master of Business Administration Degree. Since May 2016 she has served as the Executive Director of University Communications at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Before joining UNCP Phelps served as the Chief Operating Officer for Action Pathways Incorporated, a non-profit agency serving Cumberland County in North Carolina.  Phelps managed a $15 million operation and led programmatic operations, including job readiness, childhood education, nutrition assistance, credit counseling, weatherization services, tax preparation and financial literacy. For seven years Phelps was responsible for the operation of several major programs, including Head Start, Credit Counseling Services, Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina, ASPIRE Self-Sufficiency Program and Weatherization Assistance Program. 

Earlier in Phelps’ career she served as Director of Communication and Marketing for the Georgia Nursing Association, where she was credited for contributing to the adoption of several pieces of legislation, including prescribing authority for Advanced Practice Nurses.  Phelps is a member of the Fayetteville Area Public Relations Alliance and a former member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta Press Club, Public Relations Society of America and the American Marketing Association.

Stephen Bordenkircher received the Distinguished Recent Graduate Award, which is presented to an individual who graduated in the last five years in honor of his or her personal and professional accomplishments, in addition to his or her support and commitment to Thomas University.

Bordenkircher graduated from Thomas University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Sciences. He teaches at South Lake High School in Clermont, Florida, and is also the head junior varsity baseball coach. 

Bordenkircher grew up in the central Florida area, and after graduating high school he had no immediate plans.  A baseball player all his life, he continued his sports career as a member of the TU Baseball Team. At TU he took several classes at the TU Geospatial Analysis Planning & Preservation (GAPP) Center, where he learned a great deal about geospatial information systems (GIS).

In his current position at South Lake High School, Bordenkircher launched a high school level GIS program, where he teaches and mentors 140 to 180 students every year. Through this GIS Academy, students are able to achieve a certification in GIS that allows them to graduate from high school as a certified GIS professional, allowing them to be hired for entry level GIS jobs.

Education that Engages... Empowers... TRANSFORMS

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