Lee News

2018 YAPD Grant Recipients Announced



The Office of University Relations recently announced the winners of the 2018 Young Alumni Professional Development (YAPD) Grant.

The YAPD Grant program supports alumni participating in initiatives, events, trainings, and projects related to professional development. The grant is open to all Lee University alumni, regardless of academic major or professional experience, so long as the individual is currently employed and within 10 years of graduating from a Lee undergraduate program.

“We are proud of the great achievements our alumni are accomplishing,” said Dr. Jerome Hammond, vice president for University Relations. “In particular, our young alumni are living up to their promise, and we want to reward their initiative. That’s what this grant program is doing.”

The 2018 YAPD recipients are Lauren Buckner, Heather Carver, Kaitlin Christopher, Emma Cregg, Kari Kuhns, and Keith Vincent.

Lauren Receives YAPD Grant
Lauren Buckner


Buckner graduated from Lee in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. She will use the grant to attend the Alliance for the Arts Research Universities Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, where she will present her research on the benefits of community music in a healthcare setting. Buckner is currently a doctoral student and teaching assistant at Arizona State University.

“I am humbled to receive this grant which will enable me to continue to conduct meaningful research in community music and pursue doctoral studies in music education,” said Buckner. “I am grateful for my time at Lee University where professors modeled excellent teaching and scholarship.”

Carver Wins YAPD Grant
Heather Carver


Carver is a graduate of the Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in psychology. She currently works as a counselor at Anchor Family Counseling in Cleveland. Carver plans to use the grant to help cover the start-up costs of Anchor Family Counseling, which is a facility offering individual, family, and group counseling.

Kaitlin Receives YAPD Grant
Kaitlin Christopher


Christopher graduated in 2013 with a degree in interdisciplinary studies. She currently teaches elementary school at Tippecanoe School Corporation. She will use the grant to attend the Indiana Association for the Gifted meeting to develop skills to better serve gifted students in the classroom.

Emma Receives YAPD Grant
Emma Cregg


Cregg received her undergraduate degree in Spanish and interdisciplinary studies in 2013. The grant will help Cregg fund her independent research in the United Kingdom to complete her master’s thesis. She currently is a research fellow at the University of Versailles in France, where she also serves as an intercultural dialogue section intern at the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization headquarters.

“While pursuing foreign languages and an interdisciplinary studies degree at Lee, I had a wonderful set of professors/mentors who helped me realize and pursue a calling devoted to welcoming the ‘stranger’ and facilitating intercultural dialogue,” said Cregg. “I will be forever grateful for their influence, and am extremely grateful to receive the YAPD Grant in support of my current international research.”

Kari Receives YAPD Grant
Kari Kuhns


Kuhns, who graduated with a degree in music education in 2014, serves as a piano instructor and accompanist at Chattanooga Christian School. The grant will allow Kuhns to attend the Suzuki Piano Teacher Training at the Memphis Suzuki Institute where she will receive certification in piano instruction.

Keith Receives YAPD Grant
Keith Vincent


Vincent graduated from Lee with a bachelors in history in 2012. He will use the grant to attend the National Council for History Education’s National Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Vincent is a social studies teacher at Brevard Public School.

For more information or to apply for the YAPD Grant, contact alumni@leeuniversity.edu or (423) 614-8316.
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