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Friend of NREM Award

2015 - Cheryl LeBlanc
Cheryl is the Curator for the Wheeler-Thanhauser Orchid Collection at Ball State University, where she has served for more than 20 years.  LeBlanc was instrumental in securing funding that made the Rinard Orchid Greenhouse for environmental and tropical education a reality, as well as the creation and development of its docent program.  She has led countless tours of classes through the facility, and provided walks and talks among the wildflowers and leaves.  She employed the NREM students to assist with the move from the older facility to the new one, and the Natural Resources Club works with her each spring to conduct a fundraising event.  She is an artist, naturalist, nature illustrator, nature photographer, and Wildland Firefighter, using prescribed fire as a management tool, and assists with the NREM classes who enroll in the Wildland Firefighter course.  LeBlanc has donated artistic contributions to Cardinal Greenway, Red-Tail Conservancy, Robert Cooper Audubon, and the Indiana Audubon Society.

2014 Connie Tyner, AA ’69 BS ’79
Connie is recognized for her 44-year commitment to NREM students and faculty. She served as the right hand for six department chairs, including founder of the NREM Alumni Society Clyde Hibbs, Don Van Meter, Charles Mortensen, John Pichtel, Hugh Brown, and current chairman James Eflin. She described her duties as too numerous to mention, but her focus is always being helpful to students, faculty, and alumni. 

Tyner served on the Ball State Staff Council for several years and on the Jane Morton Award Committee for one term. She was presented an Outstanding Performance Certificate by the Department of NREM for 2007–2008.

2011- Barry Banks
Barry is the founder and executive direcotr of Red-tail Conservancy, Inc., where he has served as president of the organization's board of directors.  In his 12 years of leadership, the organization acquired seven nature preserves and holds seventeen conservation agreements that protect more than 1,800 acres.   Barry regularly shares his expertise in land conservation with Ball State NREM classes.  He also founded Muncie's Living Lightly Fair and serves on Ball State's Council for the Environment.  Barry is the recipient of the Ball State NREM Outstanding Community Environmental Service Award.

2010 - Steve and Lori Schwartz
The Ball State NREM Alumni Society adopted a one-mile stretch of the White River in Hamilton County in 2005, but society volunteers clean 3 to 6 miles of river at each event.  Since 2005, we have had 8 events with 69 participants and have removed a total of 3,920 pounds of trash and debris.

Steve and Lori have generously and enthusiastically supported our efforts from day one.  For each event they have provided canoes, paddles, PFDs, and shuttle service.  In addition they have provided valuable advice, instruction, and encouragement.  We would not have been able to complete the 8 river cleanup events without their assistance.