Outstanding Alumni Award Winners

Donald Coleman, outstanding alumnus for 2016, earned his EMT-Paramedic certification from Northeast State. He went on to earn his bachelor and master’s degrees from East Tennessee State University. During 20 years of service as a SWAT Team paramedic and reserve police officer, Coleman participated in more than 100 SWAT missions and complied more than 4,260 volunteer hours. He has served Northeast State in a variety of roles since 1985, including assistant vice president of Academic Affairs and associate professor of Emergency Medical Technology. Coleman graduated from Northeast State in 1987.

Dannette “Danni” Williams, outstanding alumna for 2015, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern Wesleyan University. Her career with Marriott International includes many roles in hotel management. She is a past president of the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, Rotary International Atlanta Airport Club, and a former member on the Board of Directors for Girls, Inc. Williams graduated from Northeast State in 2004.

Carson Waugh, outstanding alumnus for 2014, is owner of Off The Waugh Productions. After transferring to ETSU, Waugh graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. He went on to serve locally as a child and family counselor before deciding to pursue his passion for motion picture and sound, establishing his production company in 2010. In addition to producing a number of commercials for Northeast State, Waugh has worked on projects in the national marketplace and has had footage in a film that aired all over the world in 2012. Waugh graduated from Northeast State in 2005.

Dr. David Long, outstanding alumnus for 2013, is now the Associate Director Postgraduate at the University of Auckland’s Bioengineering Institute and Department of Engineering Science. He has lived in New Zealand since 2009. His research contributes to the field of endothelial cell mechanobiology and heterogeneity as it relates to health and disease. He is on the forefront of developing diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in cardiovascular health. Dr. Long graduated from Northeast State in 1992.

Matthew Hill, outstanding alumnus for 2012, is the representative for Tennessee's 7th District, as well as Vice President of Operations for Information Communications Corporation. Additionally, he is the host of the nationally syndicated Matthew Hill Show on the IRN/USA Radio Network and is heard as Mr. Matthew on the children's program Bible Buddies on WHCB 91.5 FM. Representative Hill graduated from Northeast State in 2001.

Mary Moore, outstanding alumna for 2011, applies the art of science to chemistry as a principal technologist in the Chemistry Research Laboratory at Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport. Moore graduated from Northeast State in 1991.

Duke Okes, outstanding alumnus for 2010, formed his consulting company APLOMET in 1985. This company provides quality systems and organizational management consultation. Okes ranks as one of the most sought-after experts in the global manufacturing industry. He graduated from Northeast State in 1976.

Greg Walters, outstanding alumnus for 2009, was named Northeast State’s Dean of Student Development in 2012. He now provides administrative oversight for the offices of Counseling and Testing Services, Health Services, Institutional Honors, Scholarship Programs and Student Needs, and Student Life. Thousands of Northeast State students and graduates have enjoyed the guidance of Walters since he began employment with the College in 1989. He graduated from Northeast State in 2007.

Rayma Gibbs, outstanding alumna for 2008, works in Northeast State’s Office of Scholarship Programs and Student Needs. She has also started two scholarships for Northeast State students: The Charlie and Rayma Gibbs Endowment Scholarship and the Gibbs Family Annual Scholarship. Gibbs graduated from Northeast State in 2003.

April Eads, outstanding alumna for 2007, is a former engineering assistant turned business development manager at Bristol Tennessee Essential Services (BTES). Eads graduated from Northeast State in 2002.

Allen Hurley, outstanding alumnus for 2006, founder and former chairman of Touchstone Wireless, ranks as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Northeast Tennessee region. He has served on the Northeast State Foundation Board of Directors in a variety of roles, including Vice Chair. Hurley graduated from Northeast State in 1993.

Robin Eller, outstanding alumna for 2005, served as director of the Hallie Turner Private School in Columbus, Ga., where she helped others secure their futures through education. Eller graduated from Northeast State in 2000.

Becky Berry, outstanding alumna for 2004, served as the second president of the Northeast State National Alumni Association from 2002 to 2005. Under her leadership, the Alumni Association expanded programming to include sponsorship of both annual and endowed scholarship awards to currently enrolled students. She was the first recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award. Berry graduated from Northeast State in 1999.

For more information, please email mlhornsby@NortheastState.edu or call 423.279.7630.