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College of Health and Human Sciences

College of Human Ecology celebrates annual award winners

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

College of Human Ecology, Kansas State UniversityThe College of Human Ecology is pleased to welcome six alumni and friends to campus this year for the annual Celebration of Excellence awards ceremony. Each year, the college faculty and staff nominate alumni and friends of their programs for these prestigious college awards.

The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, October 19 at 5:30 p.m. in Justin Hall.

This year’s winners are:


Distinguished Research Award: Barbara Stoecker

The Distinguished Research Award recognizes a Human Ecology graduate’s significant contributions to humanity, K-State and his or her profession through research. This year’s winner is Barbara Stoecker.

Barbara is a Regents Professor in nutritional sciences and Marilynn Thoma Chair in Human Environmental Sciences at Oklahoma State University. She was a third generation K-Stater and the third to study in the College of Human Ecology. Following graduation from K-State, Barbara has called many places home. Barbara’s work on micronutrient requirements has allowed her to travel worldwide, from Jamaica to Thailand. After teaching at Texas Tech University, Barbara and her husband Art, moved to Oklahoma State University to be closer to family. Barbara earned her degree in home economics in 1965.

Rising Professional Award: Josh Mathiasmeier

The Rising Professional Award recognizes significant professional contributions by a young graduate in the early stages of a career. This year’s winner is Josh Mathiasmeier.

Josh currently serves as the Director of Nutritional Services with Kansas Public Schools, USD 500. Currently, USD 500 serves around 32,000 meals daily to their students. Josh has used innovative techniques to expand the breakfast and afterschool meal programs. He has also increased the food quality and customer satisfaction. Under his direction, USD 500 has been able to offer meals free of charge to all elementary and middle school children.

Josh received his Kinesiology and Nutrition degrees in 2011 and his Dietetics degree in 2012.

Executive Leadership Award: Greg Ward

The Executive Leadership Award recognizes a Human Ecology graduate who provides leadership to a major business, association or institution and who has a sustained interest in the college. This year’s winner is Greg Ward.

Greg came to K-State after attending the Culinary Institute of America and the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge. Greg’s restaurant career began with Gilbert-Robinson Restaurants in Kansas City where he worked for 14 years. During his time with Gilbert-Robinson, Greg held positions like Assistant Manager of the Plaza III, General Manager of Arrowhead Club at Arrowhead Stadium, General Manager of Houlihan’s Old Place, Area Director of Operations (Kansas City), Vice-President of Marketing and Vice-President of Specialty Restaurants. In 1983, Greg left Gilbert-Robinson and bought franchise rights to Wendy’s which he built and runs in Pittsburg, KS.

Greg received his bachelor’s degree in Restaurant Management in 1969.

Public Advocacy Award: Dana Weaver, 1998

The Public Advocacy Award recognizes a graduate for their impact on issues important to the field of Human Ecology. This year’s winner is Dana Weaver.

Dana is the Chief Operating Officer of LeadingAge Kansas, an association of nearly 160 not-for-profit aging service providers dedicated to serving the needs of aging Kansans. She is responsible for operational oversight, new product development, organizational strategy and leadership to various teams. She has led her team to achieve 94% overall satisfaction rate by members. Her passion lies with serving older people and she believes that she was put here to do so.

Dana earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and gerontology with an emphasis in long-term care in 1998.

Friend of the College Award: Meadowlark Hills

The Friend of the College Award recognizes significant ongoing support of the work of the College of Human Ecology. The friend of the college must have demonstrated significant leadership on behalf of the college at the community, state or federal level. This year’s Friend of the College award recipient is Meadowlark.

More than just a place, Meadowlark is a not-for-profit organization devoted to caring for seniors in the Manhattan area. Meadowlark provides senior-living services and wellness programs throughout the area, as well as a full spectrum of senior-living options at Meadowlark Hills, our continuing care retirement community.

Meadowlark has been a longtime partner and friend of Kansas State University and the College of Human Ecology. Both organizations share a common goal of improving the quality of life for older Kansans and identifying and responding to the challenges and opportunities of an aging society.

Entrepreneur Award: Brett Bartholomew, 2008

The Entrepreneur Award recognizes a Human Ecology graduate’s entrepreneurial spirit and success in business. This year’s winner is Brett Bartholomew.

Brett is a strength and conditioning coach, author, consultant and founder of the performance coaching and consulting company, The Bridge Human Performance in Atlanta. His experience includes working with collegiate teams, professional fighters within the UFC and boxing, as well as several Fortune 500 businesses. Altogether, Brett has coached a diverse range of athletes from across 23 sports at levels ranging from youth to Olympians and Super Bowl champions. His coaching and speaking has spanned the globe, from China to Brazil and numerous stops in between. His book, “Conscious Coaching: The art and science of building Buy-in”, achieved best seller status.

Brett received his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology in 2008.

For more information on each of the award winners, please visit he.k-state.edu/alumni/awards.


This article was posted on Tuesday, October 17, 2017, and is filed under College News.