Justice & Safety Honorees Include Lexington Police Chief, Afghanistan-Based Soldier

photo of soldier via Skype

The Eastern Kentucky University College of Justice and Safety’s annual “Night of Distinguished Professionals” recently recognized the achievements of two justice and safety practitioners, and one student more than 7,000 miles away.

Ronnie Bastin, police chief for Lexington-Fayette Urban County, was recognized as the College’s Distinguished Professional and LaDonna Thompson, commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Corrections, was presented with the Dean’s Award.

However, the highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Distinguished Graduate Student award to First Lt. Heath Bergmann from the School of Safety, Security and Emergency Management. 

Bergmann, Active Duty Army Officer, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Ft. Campbell, Ky., currently stationed in Afghanistan, received a standing ovation from the audience as he appeared live via Skype on the video screens in the Perkins Conference Center.  His wife, Lynze, accepted the award on his behalf.

Bergmann, who earned his undergraduate degree and commission from EKU, is continuing to work on his Safety, Security and Emergency Management master’s degree online during his deployment.

The Distinguished Undergraduate Student award recipient from the School of Safety, Security and Emergency Management was Emily Kinney from Decatur, Ill.

From the School of Justice Studies, Polina Karpova, from Omsk, Russia, was named the Distinguished Graduate Student, and David Crawford, a criminal justice major attending the Hazard campus, received the Distinguished Undergraduate Student award.

Criminal justice and political science major Justin “Seth” Henderson received the Student Dean’s award.

Randy Shaw, a 1979 graduate now serving as an advanced health, environmental and safety professional with Marathon Petroleum Company, received the Distinguished Alumnus award.

The Outstanding Faculty Awards went to Dr. Scotty Dunlap, program coordinator of the Online Master’s Program in the School of Safety, Security and Emergency Management, and Dr. Kristie Blevins, associate professor from the School of Criminal Justice.

The Distinguished Staff award went to Administrative Operations Officer Jennifer Goins, a 2009 graduate.

Published on April 18, 2013