September 26, 2010

Four alums honored with Mount Awards

Fittingly, the MTSO community began the celebration of its 50th anniversary with a luncheon honoring alumni whose lives and work are the embodiment of service and leadership. This year, which marked the 20th anniversary of the John and Ruth Mount Alumni Awards for Distinguished Service, four recipients were honored.

Adreana Tartt

Distinguished Service in Specialized Ministry

Adreana Tartt is the central regional coordinator for the Division of Treatment and Recovery within the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. Her region covers 12 Central Ohio counties.

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran and MTSO's first Huntington Scholar, Tartt earned her Master of Arts in Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Ministry degree in 1993. She has worked in the field of clinical services for over 20 years, working in such areas as corrections, adolescent treatment and addiction therapy. In 1998, she joined Volunteers of America, where she was instrumental in shiftin the agency from an exclusive homeless provider system to a model of treatment and recovery, sober housing, and employment for chemically dependent homeless men.

Those who know Tartt best praise her deep commitment to collaborative systems that continue to provide quality programming for the citizens of Ohio.

Rev. Karen L. Wolcott

Distinguished Service in Specialized Ministry

This honor follows Karen Wolcott's selection as Chaplain of the Year by the United Methodist Association of Health and Welfare Ministries in 2005. She serves as chaplain and pastor at Berea Children's Home and Family Services, ministering to a staff of more than 800 employees and the thousands of children and families who are served by the agency.

A Licensed Social Worker, Wolcott graduated from MTSO with a Master of Divinity degree in 1993. She has served congregations in Willoughby and North Royalton, Ohio.

Wolcott is a member of the Association of Chaplains for Youth at Risk. Among the staff and families associated with the Berea Children's Home and Family Services, she is known as an outstanding and compassionate leader.

Dr. Steven A. Harsh

Distinguished Service to MTSO

Steve Harsh has excelled in so many ministry settings since earning his M.Div. degree in 1971 that he could have been nominated in any of the Mount Award's three service categories. He has served seven churches in local church ministry, including his current part-time service as associate pastor of Jerome UMC.

Harsh has been recognized as a dynamic and effective preacher and teacher, and his passions include social justice, drama, short-story writing. Since 2008, he has been a member of the Sage-ing Guild, a professional organization dedicated to creating a more positive paradigm of aging that emphasizes harvesting life wisdom and creating a just and peaceful legacy.

A well-respected teacher at MTSO, Harsh has advanced the work of the school in many capacities, including his directorship of the the Doctor of Ministry program and the the Interprofessional Commission of Ohio.

Rev. Sondra B. Willobee

Distinguished Service in Parish Ministry

It's fitting that the first award Sondra Willobee received from MTSO was a collection of 66 books: the Gindlesperger Bible Award, presented in 1982, when she earned her Master of Divinity degree. Willobee's contributions to parish ministry begin with her work as a senior pastor of First UMC in South Lyon, Mich., and extend to her impressive body of work as a writer.

She has had more than 150 articles, poems, book reviews and stories published. Her most recent book, The Write Stuff: Crafting Sermons That Capture and Convince, was published in 2009.

Willobee has also shared her homiletical wisdom on the MTSO campus, where she has taught within the Course of Study School of Ohio and as an adjunct professor.

The Mount Alumni Awards for Distinguished Service, first presented in 1990, were made possible by the generosity of John Mount and his late wife Ruth. In noting John Mount's presence at the luncheon, President Jay Rundell said, "This afternoon we celebrate our alumni because of his—and our—belief that the success of an educational institution is demonstrated through the work of its alumni."

Danny Russell, director of communication, 740-362-3322