LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 26, 2018) — The University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences (HES) is inducting three outstanding alumni into its Hall of Fame.
The school is part of the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and each year it honors graduates who have positively impacted their profession, communities and the school. This year’s inductees, Marilyn Edwards-Barrick, Gerri Green Miracle and Amy Miller VanMeter will be honored during a ceremony at 3:30 p.m., Oct. 26, at UK’s Hilary J. Boone Center.
“We are pleased to honor three outstanding alumnae this year who have each had a lifetime of achievements and contributions,” said Kim Henken, acting director of the school. “All three have impacted their professions and the school in meaningful ways. We are grateful to each of them.”
After graduating from UK in 1984, Edwards-Barrick served as the Casey County home economics extension agent. She then returned to her native Barren County to begin her family and consumer sciences teaching career at Barren County High School. During the next 30 years, she educated and created opportunities for numerous Barren Countians.
In 1990, Edwards-Barrick received her master’s degree in home economics education from Western Kentucky University and became state certified as a Kentucky early childhood trainer. She used innovative early childhood education programs to create certification opportunities for her students. This certification allowed her students to either enter the workforce with a leg up or pursue postsecondary education. She also worked with WKU to offer dual credit courses to high school students. She was a student teacher supervisor for 15 years and an adjunct professor at WKU for 10 years.
Edwards-Barrick co-advised the Barren County chapter of the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America and mentored students in state leadership positions within the organization. Outside the classroom, she was a leader in many professional organizations. She served as the president of the Kentucky Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences and the National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences.
Johnson County native Miracle is a three-time UK graduate. After earning her bachelor’s degree in 1963, she began her teaching career. She spent much of her teaching career sharing her passion — home economics — with her students. While she and her family moved throughout her early career, she was the family and consumer sciences teacher at Beechwood High School in Ft. Mitchell from 1978 until her retirement in 1996.
During her career, Miracle was involved in numerous professional organizations including serving as president of the Beechwood Education Association for 14 years. While working on her doctoral degree, she wrote a curriculum titled "MIRACLE: Making Ideas Reality Allowing Creative Learning in Entrepreneurship." The curriculum incorporated entrepreneurship education into family and consumer sciences teaching and was used throughout the United States.
Miracle was one of 36 home economists who served as citizen ambassadors to Russia and Hungary. This role allowed her to travel to the two countries, meet with education officials, visit schools, work with teachers and assist in curriculum development.
Throughout her career, Miracle has been an avid UK supporter. She is a life member of the UK Alumni Association and is a current member of the CAFE Alumni Association. She and her husband, John, are members of the UK Fellows Society.
VanMeter’s bachelor’s degree allowed her to have rewarding careers in two industries. After graduating in 1989, the McLean County native worked as a department manager at Mercantile Stores Company, a parent company of Bacon’s, McAlpin’s, Lion Store and Root’s. In two years, VanMeter was promoted to senior buyer, which required her to plan, forecast, negotiate and buy for 31 stores.
In 2000, VanMeter became the director of development and alumni relations for the UK College of Human Environmental Sciences. In this position, she worked with donors, stakeholders and alumni to raise funds to create the college’s first endowed professorships. She also secured $1 million for a state-of-the-art nutrition lab. In this role, she increased annual giving by 40 percent.
When Human Environmental Sciences became a school in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, VanMeter became the assistant director of development. In this position, she also took on the role as the lead fundraiser for The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky. She helped secure $1 million to establish the Kentucky Children’s Garden. During her 13 years in the college, she helped implement more than 52 endowments with 45 scholarship endowments, multiple annual non-endowed scholarships and numerous annuities and bequests.
VanMeter and her husband, Derek, are members of the UK Fellows Society and the Scovell and Erikson Society.
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