UNC Asheville’s 2017 Alumni Awards Announced with Award Dinner Scheduled for Sept. 22


UNC Asheville has named the winners of the 2017 Alumni Awards and will recognize the honorees at the Alumni Dinner during Homecoming & Family Weekend on Friday, Sept. 22. A reception begins at 6 p.m. followed by the award dinner. Tickets for the Alumni Awards Reception & Dinner are $25 and can be purchased at https://hfw.unca.edu/alumni-events.

This year’s award-winners include Professor of Political Science Dwight Mullen who will be honored for his mentorship of alumni as well as students, and UNC Asheville graduates Bill Gettys ’74, Steve Woody ’89, David de Haan ’97, Molly de Mattos ’02, Patrick Conant ’11.

Steve Woody ’89

Steve Woody is the founder and CEO of Avadim Technologies in Asheville and is named the Roy A. Taylor Distinguished Alumnus of the Year – the highest honor given to an alumnus of UNC Asheville. Woody is an innovator and entrepreneur who created the product line Theraworx, a patented product that’s clinically proven to help control hospital-acquired infections by restoring the skin's natural defense properties. At UNC Asheville, the math major was a standout men's soccer player. He has served on the UNC Asheville Foundation Board and also serves on the A-TEAM, the advisory team of former student-athletes.

Bill GettysBill Gettys ‘74

Bill Gettys has a long and storied career in the IT field, having worked for Oracle for many years. The Asheville native is currently employed by Electronic Office. He is a member and treasurer of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and well known for his work in the community garden there, inspired from his trip to Haiti to work in a medical laboratory. He is a board member and past president of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, an enthusiastic supporter of bringing the Music Works! Program to the Asheville City Schools, and a volunteer with the Veterans Restoration Quarters. Gettys, a physics major, is the 2017 recipient of the Francine M. Delany Award for Service to the Community.

Molly de MattosMolly de Mattos ‘02

Molly de Mattos is co-owner of the Matt and Molly Team of Keller Williams Realty, which has been voted No. 1 five years in a row in Best of WNC for the Real Estate Agent category. Her team supports UNC Asheville Athletics by sponsoring the hospitality events at basketball games, and she serves on the A-TEAM, the advisory team of former student-athletes. At UNC Asheville she competed on the track and field team for four years while pursuing a B.A. in literature and creative writing. She also serves the greater Asheville community, volunteering as a youth adviser at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church and serving on the board of Asheville Youth Mission. De Mattos is the recipient of the 2017 Thomas D. Reynolds Award for Service to the University.

Deavid de HaanDavid de Haan ’97

David de Haan, a psychologist by degree and profession, has made significant contributions in his field of Performance Enhancement Psychology in the United States and Europe. He conducts elite coaching clinics, publishes books and articles and serves as a performance enhancement consultant to top tennis professionals. He also was a professional basketball player, playing power forward internationally after graduating from UNC Asheville, where he was a center for the Bulldogs. In addition, de Haan has authored educational resources, books on mental training in tennis, and a children’s book on life skills and learning math, which has been translated into several languages. He is a 2017 recipient of the Order of Pisgah Award for Alumni Achievement. 

Patrick ConantPatrick Conant ’11

Patrick Conant has used his computer science degree from UNC Asheville to co-captain Code for Asheville and found PRC Applications, a local company that dedicates at least 20 percent of its time to community projects. His dedication to open source software, government transparency and “open data” initiatives led to contributions to several Asheville projects, including Sunshine Request, AVL Park, and Asheville Music Guide. In response to a need identified by the N.C. Association of Teacher Assistants, he created NC Megaphone, a tool that helps citizens contact their state legislators. He has worked with BeLoved Asheville to create a community computer lab for the homeless and others in need and assisted the NAACP Asheville Branch with their efforts to analyze racial disparities in traffic stop outcomes. He brings a socially conscious, data-driven perspective to each project. Conant is a 2017 recipient of the Order of Pisgah Award for Alumni Achievement.  

Dwight MullenDwight Mullen

Dwight Mullen, professor of political science and 33-year veteran of UNC Asheville’s faculty, is the 2017 recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award. A gifted teacher, active scholar and engaged community leader, Mullen has taught courses that have consistently challenged and inspired his students. For a decade, Mullen has led his students in a research project on The State of Black Asheville, collecting and presenting an array of data on health, housing, income, education, employment, and incarceration rates, and cataloging the severe racial disparities in Asheville. His work has been recognized by Buncombe County Commissioners in 2017 and by the UNC System Board of Governors in 2014.

Tickets for additional Homecoming & Family Weekend activities are also available as an alumni or family package for $35 for the weekend. The Alumni Awards Reception & Dinner ticket must be purchased separately. Please visit https://hfw.unca.edu/alumni-events for more details.