Each year at homecoming, NNU honors alumni for their accomplishments and service since graduation. For 2017, four individuals will be recognized Friday, November 10 at 10 a.m. during chapel in the Brandt Center’s Swayne Auditorium.
2017 Alumnus of the Year
As a result of his distinguished career and honorable work for the youth and community of Idaho, Steve Woodworth (’78) is the 2017 Alumnus of the Year. Woodworth has invested 37 years serving Idaho’s at-risk youth, both in the government and private sectors. Currently he works as a corporate ambassador for Idaho Youth Ranch, an organization creating change through therapeutic and educational services of adoption, crisis counseling, family therapy, residential treatment, workforce training and graduate assistance, as well as through social enterprises of e-commerce business, a vehicle dealership and 30 thrift stores.
2017 Professional Achievement Award
NNU is recognizing the distinguished career and many accomplishments of Dr. Carolyn A. Fitch with the Alumni Professional Achievement Award. Fitch is an award-winning professor, lecturer and researcher. After earning her BS in Physics and Ph.D. in Biophysics, she worked as a researcher at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Laboratory for Extraterrestrial Physics. In 2008, Fitch began her current career as professor and researcher for Johns Hopkins University. Wanting to empower students and help them succeed by learning science fundamentals and participating in research-based projects, she has developed new teaching models for undergraduates.
2017 Leon Doane Young Alumnus
Matthew Chitwood’s work experience spans the business, education and nonprofit sectors: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the US State Department’s Critical Language Scholarship Program, Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE) and Asia International, just to name a few. He currently leads study abroad programs for Where There Be Dragons in lesser known parts of China, which involves developing students’ abilities to navigate cross-cultural learning experiences. Recently, Chitwood was accepted for a long-term fellowship with the Institute of Current World Affairs (ICWA) to study and write about changes in China’s overall economic development. The university is proud to name Matthew Chitwood as the 2017 Leon Doane Young Alumnus.
2017 Distinguished Service Award
2017 Distinguished Award recipient Dr. Francis Sharpton became a full-time faculty member at Northwest Nazarene College in 1970 and has been an active member of the NNU community for over 30 years. He served as professor and chair of the Department of Physics, was a member of the Athletic Council until his retirement in 2001, and provided volunteer maintenance for the university diesel bus from 1987 to 2013. Dr. Sharpton’s passion for service has made an enormous impact on the NNU community even now as he continues to volunteer his time to the university in his retirement.