Five to be inducted to Brooke Wall of Excellence

WELLSBURG – Five Brooke High School alumni will be the first to be inducted to the school’s Wall of Excellence, an honor established to recognize Brooke graduates who have distinguished themselves professionally and through community service.

The five – Roger Clem (Class of 1996), Pam Lazear Quinones (Class of 1970), Jason M. Rihel (Class of 1994), Craig Underwood (Class of 1975), and Darrell Velegol (Class of 1988) will be the guests of honor at a dinner set for 4:30 p.m. April 24 at the high school.

Tickets are $15 each and may be purchased by calling (304) 527-1410, extension 3540. Reservations are due by April 17.

The five also will present academic achievement pins to sophomores, juniors and seniors at the school who have maintained a 3.5 grade-point average or better.

Admission to the program following the dinner is free, and it will be held in the school’s auditorium.

The five will be inducted to the Wall of Excellence on April 24 at the school’s academic awards program, at which scholarships are awarded to graduating Brooke seniors.

There are plans to display their names and those of future inductees, to be chosen annually, at the school’s library.

This year’s inductees were chosen from nominations submitted by the community through an advisory committee formed by Toni Shute, principal.

Shute said Brooke graduates have been honored for athletic achievement for years, but recognition also should go to alumni who have gone on to distinguish themselves in their chosen profession and through outstanding service to their community.

Shute said, “I am thrilled the committee chose such an accomplished group of graduates that exemplifies the academic excellence of our alumni. The inductees include a Rhodes Scholar, a neurobiologist, a distinguished university professor, a senior research fellow in biosciences and an entrepreneur who has been elected president of her national professional organization.”

Clem is an assistant professor of neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He has a doctorate degree from Carnegie Mellon University and a post doctorate degree from Johns Hopkins University. He is a Goldwater Scholar, has won several research awards and was a finalist for the Eppendorf Prize for Neurobiology.

Quinones is a graduate of West Liberty University, where she was inducted into that school’s wall of fame in 2011. She was elected president of the American Dental Hygienists Association and founded Hygiene Associates Inc., a business in the Washington D.C./Baltimore area.

Rihel has a doctorate degree in biochemistry from Harvard University. He is a senior research fellow in the University of London’s Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Division of Biosciences. He has won numerous awards and grants for his teaching and research.

Underwood was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for his achievements at West Virginia University, where he was student body president. He obtained a master’s degree at Oxford University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Chicago. He was formerly a partner at Bain and Co. and is founder and chief executive officer of Sports Loyalty International Inc.

Velegol has been recognized as a distinguished professor at Penn State University, where he teaches chemical engineering. He has a doctorate degree in chemical engineering from CMU, where he also completed post-doctoral work. He was a Rhodes Scholar finalist and a Truman Scholar and has won numerous professional awards. He also has published two books and a plethora of articles in the fields of microscopy and cell biology.