2017 Outstanding Alumni Award Winners: Bradley, Cooksey, Neal, Hencken-Ritter, Dietrich

Apr. 11, 2017

outstanding alumni winners' photosThe 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award recipients are (left to right) Marilynne Bradley, Vanessa Cooksey, Adam Neal, Emily Hencken-Ritter and Christopher Dietrich

The Webster University Alumni Association has announced Marilynne Bradley, Vanessa Cooksey, Adam Neal, Emily Hencken-Ritter and Christopher Dietrich as recipients of its 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award.

This award recognizes alumna or alumnus from each school or college who has achieved outstanding success and recognition in their profession and/or voluntary service. 

School of Education: Marilynne Bradley, MAT ‘75

Marilynne Bradley is a self-employed water color artist and adjunct faculty member at Webster University. Her work is featured in museum exhibitions and included in many international corporate collections.

In addition to her outstanding achievements as an artist, she is being recognized for her ongoing support and advocacy for art certification students.

George Herbert Walker School of Business & Technology: Vanessa Cooksey, MBA ‘16

Vanessa Cooksey is the senior vice president of Community Affairs at Wells Fargo Advisors. Her outstanding contributions to the business community include launching the first city-wide website for the City of Atlanta and creating innovative corporate social responsibility initiatives for such corporations as the Cartoon Network, Supervalu, Anheuser-Busch, and Wells Fargo Advisors.

She was recognized nationally as a 2016 Eisenhower Fellow and participated as a keynote speaker at the CLICK networking event hosted by the Walker School last fall.

School of Communications: Adam Neal, BA ‘02

Adam Neal is a development executive at RIVR Media, the Southeast’s leading independent television producer. His exceptional commitment to Webster has been evident through his leadership roles as an undergraduate student and his continued involvement and contributions as an alumnus.

He leads the Business of Media Spring Break Class as an adjunct professor, serves on the SOC Advisory Board, and provides networking opportunities for students by accompanying them on an annual trip to Los Angeles.

College of Arts & Sciences: Emily Hencken Ritter, BA ‘04

Emily Hencken Ritter teaches as an assistant professor of political science in the Human Rights Institute at the University of California, Merced. After graduating from Webster University in 2004, she went on to receive her master’s and Ph.D. in political science from Emory University.

Among her many accomplishments, she was awarded the Early Career Award in 2016 from the Midwest Political Science Association Women’s Caucus, and her work has been published in such publications as the Journal of Politics, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, and the Journal of Theoretical Politics.

Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts: Christopher Dietrich, BFA ‘93

Christopher Dietrich is the President/Partner of Actors Connection NY/LA, a company committed to educate and network over 50,000 actors with casting directors, agents and managers worldwide. After graduating from Webster, Christopher performed around the globe, transitioned into finance as a junior commercial real estate financial analyst and is currently a partner of three companies based in New York City, all celebrating and encouraging performing artists.

Working with over 30 universities, his love of students, teaching and preparing them for graduation and beyond, is what truly inspires him. In 2011, Christopher "returned home," and has been working with the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts in New York and Los Angeles.

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