PRESTONSBURG – Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC) has announced five winners of its Outstanding Alumni award.
Recipients were honored at commencement ceremonies held on May 6-7 at the Mountain Arts Center.
This year’s honorees were: Dr. Robert Hughes, Mary Westfall Holbrook, Sheila Belcher, Philip Haywood and Betty Hunt Montgomery.
Dr. Hughes and Holbrook were recognized at the May 6 ceremony.
Dr. Hughes, of Murray, is a 1975 graduate of Prestonsburg Community College, now Big Sandy Community and Technical College. He graduated from Transylvania University with a degree in biology (Magna Cum Laude) and earned the Whitehouse Outstanding Pre-Med award. He is also is a graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
He is the founder, treasurer and managing partner of Primary Care Medical Center, one of the largest primary care practices in Kentucky. Dr. Hughes is also the founder and Chairman of Helping His Kids, a 501C3 organization to help needy children at Christmas. He has served on over 30 boards, 17 of which he has chaired over his career.
Dr. Hughes has served 10 years on the University of Louisville Board of Trustees and serves as Trustee Representative and Chairman of the University of Louisville Foundation, Inc.
He was the former Chairman of the Kentucky State Medicaid Pharmacy program for nine years and he was a member of the National Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee for Wellcare. Dr. Hughes also served on the national advisory board of Amicore, a national Electronic Medical Record (EMR) company which was a consortium of Pfizer, IBM, and Microsoft.
Holbrook, of Banner, is the Chief District Engineer for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Highway District 12 in Pikeville.
Holbrook earned her Associate of Science degree in 1979 from Prestonsburg Community College, now Big Sandy Community and Technical College. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in 1981 from the University of Kentucky. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, she worked for the Kentucky Department of Surface Mining in Pikeville for two years, followed by several years as a consulting engineer at Bocook Engineering. She also owned her own private engineering/land surveying practice, Westbrook Engineering.
In 1983 she was named the Outstanding Young Alumni for the University of Kentucky College of Engineering and in 1993 she received the President’s Award from the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers.
She joined the Transportation Cabinet in 2001 and has held several posts within the cabinet such as: project manager in design, construction engineer, construction branch manager, project development branch manager and project delivery and preservation branch manager.
Holbrook, a licensed Professional Engineer and Professional Land Surveyor, is married to Tim Holbrook.
Belcher, of Pikeville, was recognized during the allied health commencement and pinning ceremony on Saturday, May 7.
She is a Joint Commission Specialist at Pikeville Medical Center (PMC). Belcher is a 1983 graduate of the associate degree nursing program at Prestonsburg Community College, now Big Sandy Community and Technical College.
Belcher has worked her entire career at PMC. She spent more than 25 years in pediatric nursing and has since held various leadership positions at the hospital, including Director of House Managers, Chief Nursing Officer, Assistant Vice President of Nursing and Coordinator of Community Health Liaisons.
In 2013, Belcher received her certification as a Certified Joint Commission Professional (CJCP) and led on-site accreditation efforts at PMC in 2011 and 2014, respectively.
Haywood was recognized during a commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7.
Haywood, of Belfry, attended Prestonsburg Community College, now Big Sandy Community and Technical College, from 1968-70. He is the head football coach at Belfry High School. After 41 seasons, he is the winningest coach in Kentucky history with a record of 403-129.
Haywood was the head coach at Prestonsburg High School from 1975-1983 with a record of 72-32 including three regional championships. Since moving to Belfry in 1984, he has a record of 331-97 in 32 seasons, including five state championships and six runners-up finishes.
He has been named the Courier-Journal Coach of the Year four times; was USA Today’s National Coach of the Year in 2013; received the Blanton Collier National School Coach of the Year in 2014; and will be inducted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame and National High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 2016.
Montgomery, of Prestonsburg, was unable to attend the ceremony. She is a 1998 graduate of Prestonsburg Community College, now Big Sandy Community and Technical College. Montgomery completed her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Sullivan University in 2004 and her Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Morehead State University in 2007.
From 1991 to 2005, Montgomery was employed at Big Sandy Community and Technical College. After spending years as an instructor at the Martin County Area Technology Center and adjunct instructor at Murray State University, Montgomery accepted a position as Business and Marketing Program Consultant with the Kentucky Department of Education and Office of Career and Technical Education.
“This institution has produced countless graduates who have made a significant impact in community, workforce and economic development across the globe,” said BSCTC President Dr. Devin Stephenson. “It is privilege to honor them at an event where we are recognizing the accomplishments of the leaders of tomorrow.”