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Huntingdon honors alumni for achievement, loyalty


October 3, 2016

For more information, contact:
Su Ofe
(334) 833-4515; news@hawks.huntingdon.edu

Huntingdon honors alumni for achievement, loyalty

Montgomery, Ala.—Huntingdon College will honor four alumni for their achievement since graduation or loyalty to the College during the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony, Friday, October 7, at 5:00 p.m. in Ligon Chapel, Flowers Hall. The ceremony is part of Homecoming 2016. This year’s honorees for Alumni Achievement are Katrina Keefer Belt, Class of 1995, of Montgomery, Alabama, and Desiree Weems Murray, Class of 1989, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Honored as Outstanding Young Alumnus will be The Reverend Dave Barkalow, Class of 2003, of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Mary K. McGuffey, Class of 1994, of Smyrna, Georgia, will be honored with the Alumni Loyalty Award.

Katrina Keefer Belt earned her Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Huntingdon College in 1995. She worked in the Office of Admission for two years before joining the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church as associate director of youth and young adult ministries. She traveled to New York to complete a Master of Public Administration at New York University. There, she served as ombudsman for the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; acted as liaison with IBM for the New York City Department of Finance to facilitate a citywide e‑government initiative; and served as a project consultant to the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Belt  joined the UAB Health System in 2002, and has since played a key role in public finance, affiliation, and acquisition transactions for the health system and its related entities. She serves as the senior vice president and chief financial officer for Baptist Health, a community health system affiliate located in Montgomery. She is a member of the Huntingdon College Board of Trustees and of the boards for the Family Sunshine Center and Samaritan Counseling Center.

Dr. Desiree Weems Murray attended Huntingdon College on a full academic scholarship and graduated summa cum laude in 1989 after three years. She attended graduate school at the University of South Florida, earning her Ph.D. in clinical psychology in 1997. She completed a clinical internship at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). For more than 20 years, she served on the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke Medical Center and then at the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University. She was promoted to associate professor and served as associate director of the Duke ADHD program for several years, where she also provided clinical services to children and families. Three years ago, Murray accepted a position at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute at UNC-CH as associate director of research. Recently, she was promoted to senior research scientist. She is a nationally recognized expert on ADHD in preschoolers, school-based interventions for children with inattention and disruptive behavior difficulties, and programs supporting self-regulation development. Her clinical research focuses on training teachers and mental health professionals in evidence-based social-emotional and behavioral interventions.

Dave Barkalow grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, attending Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church. In 2003, he graduated from Huntingdon College with a major in religion and emphasis in Christian education. While a student, he served as the minister with youth at Capitol Heights UMC for four years. In 2004, he became the director of Huntingdon’s Campus Ministries program. After serving in that capacity for two years he entered Duke Divinity School and graduated in May 2009. Barkalow served as the associate pastor at Marianna First United Methodist Church for his first appointment. He moved to serve as pastor at Tallassee First United Methodist Church and later to his current position as senior pastor at Fort Walton Beach First United Methodist Church.

Mary K. McGuffey grew up in Rome, Georgia. A third generation Huntingdon College legacy, McGuffey majored in psychology and was a four-year member of the Huntingdon tennis team. She began her career as a paralegal, then moved in-house with Home Depot before joining the non-profit sector for the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. McGuffey has been a devoted Huntingdon alumna for more than 20 years, serving as president and vice president of the Huntingdon College National Alumni Association and rarely missing a Huntingdon Homecoming and other alumni gatherings. A prolific fundraiser for the College, she is a faithful member of the Huntingdon Society and has been inducted into the John Massey Heritage Society.

Huntingdon College, grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United Methodist Church, is committed to nurturing growth in faith, wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to succeed in a rapidly changing world. Founded in 1854, Huntingdon is a coeducational liberal arts college recognized among “The Fastest Growing Colleges in America”  by The Chronicle of Higher Education; among the top 10 regional colleges and top 10 best regional values by U.S. News and World Report; among the top tier of regional colleges by the  Princeton Review; among “Colleges that Contribute to the Public Good,” by Washington Monthly; and on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Huntingdon campus, a Tree Campus USA, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Su Ofe
Associate Vice President
for Communications and Marketing
Huntingdon College
1500 E. Fairview Ave., Montgomery, AL 36106
(O) (334) 833-4515; (C) (334) 324-6591