News Releases

From Teenage Mother to Distinguished Alumnus – A Story of Redemption


2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, Reverend Marjorie McDaniel

2018 Distinguished Alumni Award winner, Reverend Marjorie McDaniel

Reverend Marjorie McDaniel is adding another important accomplishment to a list that is impressive and a little surprising, considering that she didn’t start college until she was in her mid-30s.

Reverend McDaniel is the recipient of the 2018 UC Blue Ash College Distinguished Alumni Award. She was part of the faculty, staff and alumni from the college who were honored at the 2018 UC Blue Ash College Distinguished Awards ceremony on April 11 in Muntz Auditorium on the UC Blue Ash campus.

With determination and hard work, Reverend McDaniel overcame her days as a teenage mother and high school dropout to complete her G.E.D. while raising a family, serve as a foster parent, enroll in college at the age of 35, earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and become the first African-American female chaplain at The Ohio State University.

Today, Reverend McDaniel is a great grandmother and serves as the pastor at Saint Luke Lutheran Church in Zanesville, Ohio. “To go from where I was to where I am now, receiving an award as a Distinguished Alumnus from UC Blue Ash College, I am overwhelmed with gratitude and thanksgiving to God for His many blessings on my life.”

Elizabeth Stetler is a decorated military veteran who served four years in the U.S. Army and was recognized for distinguished service with the Joint Service Achievement and Army Achievement medals. She is the recipient of the 2018 UC Blue Ash College Young Alumnus Outstanding Achievement Award.

Stetler studied at UC Blue Ash before transitioning to UC Uptown where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English and comparative literature. Today, she is the editor of Search & Employ, a national magazine that helps military veterans and their spouses find jobs.

The following UC Blue Ash College faculty and staff were also honored with 2018 Distinguished Awards for the exceptional work they do in supporting the college and for achievement in their field of study.

Distinguished Teaching Award – Brenda Refaei

Distinguished Staff Service Award – Wendy Lemen

Faculty Excellence Award – Julie Gill

Faculty Excellence Award – Pam Rankey

Faculty Exemplary Scholarship Award – Helene Harte

Honored Adjunct Award – Julie Turner

Innovative Teaching Award – Angela Miller-Hargis

Outstanding Faculty Service Award – Angie Woods

Rising Star Staff Award – Amber Kuftic

Student-Centered Staff Service Award – Daniel Sansing

This year’s event included a raffle with three different prize packages – the Cincinnati Sports Package, Cincinnati Breweries Package and Cheers to 50 Years Bar Cart. The raffle raised $1,070 dollars that will go toward the UC Blue Ash Alumni Association Scholarship Fund.

Check out photos from the event and reception over at the UC Blue Ash Facebook page.

About UC Blue Ash College