Indiana State University Newsroom

Seven State alumni among 2018 ‘12 Under 40’ honorees

November 12, 2018

Indiana State University alumni again make up more than half of this year's "12 Under 40" honorees.

Presented by the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce and Tribune-Star, "12 Under 40" recognizes young professionals who are making great contributions to the community.

Sycamores honored this year include: Ashley Delaunois, '05 (speech communication, public relations) and '17 (baccalaureate nursing); Ryan Jenkins, '02 (social studies education - U.S. history), GR '10 (M.Ed.); Jenn Kersey, '04 (school health); Tamara McCollough, '08 (criminology/criminal justice) and GR '16 (criminology/criminal justice); Rachel Mullinnix, '15 (marketing); Sarah Pigg, GR '07 (MFA); and TJ Warren, '04 (accounting).

They will be recognized during a breakfast today (Nov. 13) at Idle Creek.

"Indiana State University and the Alumni Association are extremely proud of the seven alumni selected to receive the ‘12 Under 40 Award' for their dedication and service to the Terre Haute community," said Rex Kendall, executive director of the Indiana State University Alumni Association. "Their impact in the Terre Haute/Wabash Valley is reflective of our university's longstanding commitment to public service and community engagement."

Delaunois, who is a registered nurse with Hamilton Center, worked for the Chamber of Commerce as membership director and marketing director before returning to Indiana State to pursue a nursing degree. She worked at Methodist Hospital as a registered nurse in the emergency room and now as a registered nurse at the Hamilton Center. Delaunois is now attending graduate school to become a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

Delaunois and her husband serve at Maryland Community Church at the 12 Points location by teaching elementary church services and assisting with check in. She has assisted with initiating "Suppers at the Center," which provides a free, hot meal to anyone who attends on Sunday evenings at 5:30 p.m. at the West Vigo Community Center. The Delaunoises also sponsor children in Nicaragua, whom they are able to visit a couple times per year.

"I feel it is important to give back to the community, because the community has given myself and my family so much. My husband is from west Terre Haute, and that is where we have chosen to raise our family. West Terre Haute does not receive the attention it deserves, and it has become my family's goal to try our best to improve the quality of life for residents in West Terre Haute," she said. "I have a passion for mental health, children, and ensuring people are fed. I am driven by trying to provide resources for West Terre Haute residents who may not have the same opportunities as my family or other families."

Jenkins, who serves are principal at Central Elementary in Clinton, said he's honored to represent Central Elementary School and the South Vermillion Community School Corporation.

Jenkins completed his student teaching at South Vermillion Middle School before he was hired into the corporation in the fall of 2002 to teach social studies and coach various sports while completing his master's degree in administration at Indiana State. He was hired as the principal of Central Elementary School for the 2011-12 school year.

Jenkins, who is coming up on his 10-year wedding anniversary with his wife, Katie, has two daughters. In addition to his work as a principal, Jenkins also coaches Vigo County Youth Soccer, is a 100 Men Who Cook participant, is a Taste of Clinton participant, Clinton Dancing with the Stars participant, a member of IASP and Clinton City PD Chief for the Day program.

"I have two communities to call home. Living in Terre Haute, I engage in various activities to give back to the community in which I reside. I have to say that my professional home in Clinton is also the one in which I feel more attached," Jenkins said. "My everyday impact at the school along with my participation in community events hopefully play a role in helping provide a better future for my students."

Kersey, the chief operating officer for RJL Solutions, has volunteered with the Parke County Community Foundation for more than 10 years. She also serves on the Rockville Creative Space Committee, Better Health Wabash Valley and enjoys volunteering and supporting several nonprofits in the community.

"I am honored to among a great group of leaders who share a similar vision for our region. Personally, I enjoy being a part of something bigger than myself, and this honor is a reflection of several good people doing good things," Kersey said. "I live in the same community I was born and raised in. My community and the people who live there helped shape the person I am today. Giving back to those who have supported and encouraged me along the way is a privilege."

McCollough began as a student worker for Indiana State's Public Safety in 2005 and has been full-time since 2006, working her way up to lieutenant. She also teaches two courses in the department of criminology and criminal justice and is currently working on her doctorate in educational leadership and management with a concentration in education policy from Drexel University.

"I sometimes hear people say they don't have time to volunteer because they have so many things on their plate. So when people see me, they ask how do I juggle it all?" she said. "My logic is we are all one step away from being in need, so why not be the person who gives back when I can? When I'm doing things in the community, I'm not doing them to be recognized. I do it for people who may be watching in the shadows to show them that you can balance work-life and home and still give back."

After receiving her undergraduate degree, McCollough took a break from studies before returning eight years later to earn her master's degree.
"When I came back to school for my master's, I was balancing work, home and school and still giving my time to service. That's something that ISU is really good at stressing to students - planting roots in your community and giving back," she said. "Even though I know I have other obligations, I also know it is only going to take a moment of my time to help someone else."

Mullinnix, who serves as executive director for Ivy Tech Foundation-Terre Haute, is a member of 100+ Women Who Care, South Rotary, Estate Planning Council of West Central Illiana, Altrusa of Terre Haute, Terre Haute Young Leaders and the Swope Board of Overseers. She also chairs the marketing committee for the Swope and serves on the annual Power of the Purse and Terre Haute Leadership Conference planning committees.

"I am truly honored to be recognized among such an outstanding group of individuals. I recognize that the success I have had is largely attributed to the strong leaders I have had the pleasure of working for, many of whom are female leaders in the Wabash Valley," Mullinnix said. "Their leadership inspired me to get engaged in my community and their belief in me has given me the confidence to grow in my career."

After graduating, Mullinnix has pursued a career in the public sector, seeking to make an impact on the greater Wabash Valley.

"I did not grow up civically engaged and did not have much of an understanding of the importance of philanthropy. However, I got engaged in the community early on through an AmeriCorps position at Chances And Services for Youth. There, I found my passion for the public sector and decided to dedicate my career to it. During my time in Terre Haute, I have come to appreciate the community and have developed a drive to make others see it as the wonderful city I see it to be," Mullinnix said. "Through my position at Ivy Tech, I am able to have a positive impact on the economic growth in the greater Wabash Valley. I couple that with volunteer opportunities that I believe have the ability to deepen our community's growth potential. In my short time in Terre Haute, I have fallen in love with the community and intend to work to improve its quality of place and economy so that others might become as passionate about it as I have become."

Pigg, who serves as owner, director and event coordinator for Sycamore Winery, was offered a full-time position at Indiana State before completing her MFA in 2007. Since then, she worked as a graphic designer for many years before moving into a project manager role at Indiana State. In May 2017, she stepped down at State to open her own business, The Sycamore Winery.

"It is an honor to be recognized alongside so many talented and giving individuals in our community. It is encouraging to see service and community involvement be recognized and not just success in a career," she said. "Regardless of what position we are in, age, financial status, leadership role, etc., everyone has the ability to give back to our community. Giving financially is important, if you are in that position, but more importantly is giving your time to help others. Involving our youth as much as possible in volunteering and giving back is key to shaping our future."

Warren, '04, chief executive officer for Valley Professionals Health Center, worked a couple of years as an accountant at both Regional Hospital and Sackrider and Company, Certified Public Accountants before starting his career at Valley Professionals Community Health Center.

At Valley, he served as the chief financial officer for six years before he was promoted to CEO in 2014.

"Along the way, I did find time to earn a Master's in Business Administration. I'm also married to my wonderful wife, Laurie, and have three beautiful children," Warren said.

Warren says if the community wants to see improvement, residents must do everything they can to give back. Warren serves as board chair for the Indiana Primary Healthcare Association, vice chair for the Union Hospital Clinton Foundation, treasurer of the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative and is an active member for the National Association of Community Health Centers. He is also the past board president for the Vermillion County Chamber of Commerce and recently participated in the local Dancing with the Clinton Stars, which is healed in Vermillion County.

"I'm truly honored to be recognized as someone who is looked upon as a young leader in our community," Warren said. "Terre Haute is a wonderful place to live, but if we want more for this city, we must roll up our selves and give back. Change can't happen overnight."


Photos: - Ashley Delaunois, '05 (speech communication, public relations) and '17 (baccalaureate nursing) - Ryan Jenkins, '02 (social studies education - U.S. history) - Jenn Kersey, '04 (school health) - Tamara McCollough, '08 (criminology/criminal justice) and GR '16 (criminology/criminal justice) - Rachel Mullinnix, '15 (marketing) - Sarah Pigg, GR '07 (MFA) - Terry Warren, '04 (accounting)

Writer: Betsy Simon, media relations assistant director, University Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-7972 or