Carlton Everhart
General Carlton Everhart accepts the 2017 ALCE Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Three alums of the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Leadership were recognized during the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences annual alumni awards ceremony held in May.

2017 ALCE Outstanding Distinguished Alumnus – General Carlton Everhart

General Carlton Everhart, commander of air mobility command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois received the department’s distinguished alumni award. He uses his degree in agricultural education extensively as a flight instructor and as a mentor to aspiring junior officers.

General Everhart represents Virginia Tech and the college very admirably both in the United States and throughout the world. He has served in eighteen domestic and three foreign locations.  He has received 32 awards and decorations with 15 being considered major accomplishments. During his 33 year career in the United States Air Force, General Everhart has received nine promotions, averaging less than four years between promotions. He also served as the Air Force aide for President Clinton.

General Everhart’s interest in the Air Forces started with a successful experience in Virginia Tech’s ROTC program and the Corps of Cadets.  During his senior year he served as regimental executive officer. The Corps of Cadets Alumni Association chose him as the keynote speaker as its alumni banquet this past fall. He is only the third VT Corps of Cadets graduate to reach the rank of four start general.

While not following a traditional agricultural career, but an exclusively military one, General Everhart has not forgotten his background in agriculture. With the use of landscaping, shrubbery, trees, and flowers Scott Air Force Base, under his command, always looks its best. In addition, the General has encouraged both the use of bee honey in medical bandages and research into alternative energy sources that ultimately help the environment.

2017 ALCE Outstanding Recent Graduate Alumnus - Dr. Cory Epler

Dr. Cory Epler, Senior Administrator of the Teaching and Learning Team for Nebraska students and schools was honored as the outstanding recent graduate alumnus for the department.  In Cory’s position, he directs the day-to-day operations of the Teaching and Learning Team to support college and career readiness goals for all Nebraska students and schools. He provides leadership and direction for activities including the development and implementation of K-12 content area standards, the development and delivery of professional learning experiences, the formative and summative assessment of student learning, and the improvement of teaching and learning systems in Nebraska schools.  

Originally from Kansas, Dr. Epler’s experiences include being a classroom teacher, developing and facilitating leadership training for youth and adult audiences, as well as curriculum design and development for both for-profit and non-profit organizations.  Prior to beginning his work with the Nebraska Department of Education, Dr. Epler taught high school Agriscience for seven years in Arkansas City, Kansas, and he is also an Adjunct Faculty member within the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Dr. Epler is an outstanding professional in Career and Technical Education and is well recognized nationally as an excellent scholar and leader in Nebraska.

2017 ALCE Outstanding Recent Undergraduate Alumnus – Zachary Wakeman

Zachary Wakeman was honored as the department’s outstanding recent undergraduate alumnus. Zach is a promising agricultural educator and he embodies the excellence we hope all of our graduates will strive for in their professional careers. He currently serves as the James River High School Agricultural Educator and FFA Advisor. Zach been outstanding in his teaching and FFA advising roles and he has demonstrated a capacity to engage in high quality leadership within the Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators. Through his service to public education and agricultural organizations in Virginia and beyond, Zach has demonstrated his commitment to the Virginia Tech motto: Ut Prosim.