College celebrates alumni, friends at annual Alumni Awards event
The UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences recognized several outstanding alumni and inducted Karen Tinsley into its Honor Hall of Recognition at the 43rd annual Alumni Awards event on March 26 at The Classic Center.
Tinsley, a senior public service associate and director of the Georgia Initiative for Community Housing, was killed while riding her bicycle in April 2018.
The Honor Hall is the college’s highest honor, reserved for individuals who demonstrate impeccable character, commitment, outstanding leadership and who made significant contributions to the field of family and consumer sciences.
“Karen was an influential leader, but if you knew her, you know she was humble and preferred to stay far from the spotlight,” FACS interim dean Sheri Worthy said at Saturday’s event. “Yet because of her commitment to excellence and her dedication to the people of the state of Georgia, Karen earned a national reputation as a leader in her field. Everyone who knew Karen adored her.”
The college also played a special video tribute to Tinsley at the event. Tinsley’s mother, Judy McPeak, accepted the honor on behalf of the family.
Brandi Hunter-Lewis, a 1997 FACS graduate and former UGA women's basketball player, delivered the keynote address. Hunter-Lewis has built a successful career as a real estate consultant with Compass of Buckhead.
In addition to Tinsley, FACS recognized alumni and friends of the college, including:
Jerry Gale, Creswell Award: Given in honor of the college’s first dean, this award recognizes a current or retired faculty or staff member who has provided leadership in motivating and guiding students.
Gale directed the family therapy doctoral program at FACS for 18 years and received numerous teaching and research awards during his career.
Rick Lewis, Distinguished Alumni Award: The award recognizes a FACS graduate who has made lifelong contributions that reflect the beliefs and values of the college.
Lewis served as director of the Bone and Body Composition Lab for over three decades and gained international recognition for his scientific contributions advancing the field of nutrition, pediatric health and osteoporosis prevention.
Clarissa Esguerra, Emily Quinn Pou Professional Achievement Award: Established in 1999 in honor of the college’s fourth dean, this award is presented to graduates who have attained substantial achievements and are at the midpoint of their careers.
Esguerra is associate curator of costume and textiles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
Extra Special People, FACS Appreciation Award: This award is given to an individual or organization that has contributed significantly to the support of the college either financially, programmatically or legislatively.
Extra Special People, which serves children and young adults with developmental disabilities and their families, also provides experiential learning opportunities for FACS students.
Theresa Napoli, Outstanding Service Award: Established in 1999, the Outstanding Service Award is presented to graduates for continued involvement in their community, faith community, helping organization, the college or the FACS Alumni Association.
Napoli is a 2008 graduate who serves as principal of St. Joseph Catholic Parish School in Athens. She is an active representative of Envision Athens and board member and committee lead of Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful.
Eliza Paris Harrison, Pacesetter Award: This award is given to a graduate of the last 10 years who actively promotes the beliefs and values of family and consumer sciences.
Harrison, a 2014 FACS graduate, was a successful member of the investment banking team at UBS Financial Services with a strong record of volunteerism and mentorship. Prior to her death in June 2021 following a 3 1/2 year battle with cancer, she appeared on CNN, the Today Show and in People Magazine advocating for immuno-compromised people.
"Our honorees inspire us with their passion and commitment to service," Worthy said. "What a testament to the meaningful experience we aspire to provide both inside and outside the classroom."