Asante Clarke

Won education grant

Asante Clarke remembers how he felt the first time he walked into a classroom to teach college classes 12 years ago. "Scared to death," he said with a laugh. "But the more life I experienced, the more confident I became."

Confidence is a key quality in Clarke's job. He specializes in teaching counseling skills, particularly to students interested in becoming substance abuse counselors, at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

A good number of students usually sign up for Clarke's classes, in which he stresses personal happiness as the first step toward a substance-free life. "It is very important for people to be happy," said Clarke, 49, who grew up in Washington and now lives in Alexandria. "When they are not happy, they turn to alcohol and drugs."

Starting this semester, Clarke plans to take this message to the whole student body. Working with Keith Wynn, an academic adviser at the school, Clarke recently won a grant of $3,000 from the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. He will use the funds to hold a series of substance abuse education workshops on campus.

By bringing in speakers to talk about a variety of subjects such as relapse and signs of addiction, Clarke hopes students will reevaluate their own habits. "A lot of times, I think there's a lot of denial in reference to substance abuse," he said. These interactive workshops will bring issues out into the open, he said.

Clarke said he hopes the workshops are an extension of his classroom experience, in which students realize that happiness comes from oneself, not from an outside substance.

Warren Menzer

Won computer science award

Warren Menzer, of McLean, won the second annual IBM Undergraduates in Computational Science Award for his development of a tool to visualize complex socioeconomic data. A senior in computer science at the Cornell College of Engineering, Menzer received $3,000. He graduated from the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.

Michael T. Rapp

Named president of medical association

Michael T. Rapp, of McLean, was recently elected president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, a national organization with more than 20,000 members. Rapp is president of the Arlington Physicians' Group, which provides physician staffing for Arlington Hospital. He was chairman of emergency medicine at Arlington Hospital from 1981 to 1999.

Rebecca Kamen

Won art award

Rebecca Kamen, of McLean, a professor of art at the Alexandria campus of Northern Virginia Community College, has received an $8,000 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts professional fellowship. Kamen will use the money to purchase studio supplies and equipment. The Virginia Museum awarded 10 fellowships chosen from 327 applicants.

Cherah Faircloth

Crowned homecoming queen

Cherah Faircloth, a senior psychology major from Centreville, was crowned homecoming queen at Virginia's Bridgewater College last month. Faircloth is a 1996 graduate of Fairfax High School.

Ellen S. Schoetzau

Named a national distinguished principal

Ellen S. Schoetzau, of Alexandria, who is principal of Mantua Elementary School in Fairfax, recently won one of 59 National Distinguished Principals Awards from the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The annual program is jointly sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the U.S. Department of Education. The award honors principals who promote educational excellence and a love of learning.

Ten area artists receive awards

David Barnes, of Sterling, Malka Benoff and Michele Rea, of Fairfax County, Ted Betts, of Springfield, Judith Coady, of Annandale, Mari DeMaris, of McLean, Josephine Haden and Barbara Januszkiewicz, of Arlington, Sally Olson, of Purcellville, and Jane Simanis, of Washington, each won a $2,000 award and a spot in the Arts Council of Fairfax County's 1999 Open Exhibition. Sixty-five artists submitted work for the competition. The exhibit runs until Nov. 29 at the Annandale campus of the Northern Virginia Community College.

Pedro Molina

Won employee award

Pedro Molina, of Alexandria, was named a 1999 Comfort Hero of the year by Comfort Inns and Comfort Suites hotels. Molina works at the Comfort Inn on Van Dorn Street. The award recognizes employees who demonstrate an extraordinary spirit of hospitality. Molino works as a banquet houseman and a courtesy van driver and has received more positive guest comment cards than any other employee.

Dennis J. Garcia

Named influential Hispanic of the year

Dennis J. Garcia, of Alexandria, has been named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics for 1999, according to a survey in the October issue of Hispanic Business Magazine. Garcia is president of the Potomac Mangement Group Inc., a company that provides information technology, wireless communications and Web-based development support.

Laura Tinter

Received editing award

Laura Tinter, of Arlington, received the Solomon Schechter Silver Award from the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism for editing The Chronicle, a monthly newsletter of the Arlington-Fairfax Jewish Congregation. The award is given to an editor whose periodical shows excellence in communication.

Francis O'Leary

Honored with leadership award

Arlington County Treasurer Francis X. O'Leary (D) received the Dr. Jackson R.E. Phillips Award for leadership and innovative improvements in the management of public funds. O'Leary received the award at the annual conference of the Municipal Treasurers' Association of the United States and Canada, held in Salt Lake City in September. O'Leary was honored for many accomplishments, including his taxpayers assistance and parkulator programs.

Rebecca Hackney

Named Woman of the Year

Rebecca Hackney, of Bristow, was recently named Arlington Woman of the Year by the Arlington Business and Professional Women's Club. A 20-year member of the Arlington County police force, Hackney became the force's first female district commander in August.

Arlington Red Cross Awards

Helena Machado, of Arlington, Bethel United Church of Christ in Arlington and Pamela Brandon, of Alexandria, were given awards at the annual Arlington Red Cross Recognition Luncheon last month. Machado won the Dorothy Brusman Award, given to a volunteer who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and initiative. Bethel United Church of Christ won the Laszlo Philanthropy Award, given to the donor who has made a significant financial contribution to the chapter. Brandon was named employee of the year.

Arlington Human Rights Commission

Honors first four winners of human rights award

The Arlington Gay and Lesbian Alliance, Arlington Hospital, Lawrence Latto and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity were the winners of the inaugural James B. Hunter Human Rights Award given by the Arlington Human Rights Commission. Hunter was a former County Board chairman and died last year. Recipients of the award work to ensure that persons who live or work in Arlington enjoy protection of human rights.

Organizations

Hayfield Secondary School's JROTC unit was designated as a Junior ROTC Honor Unit With Distinction during the 1999-2000 school year. The Department of the Army presents this award to JROTC units that maintain exceptionally high standards.

The Arlington Community Temporary Shelter and the Northern Virginia Women's Center received $5,000 and $10,000 grants respectively from the Lura Bradfield Foundation at its third annual lecture and awards presentation earlier this month. The foundation awards higher education scholarships to women in financial need and gives grants to institutions that provide assistance for abused women. This year, five scholarships and six organizational grants were awarded.

CAPTION: Asante Clarke won a grant for a drug and alcohol abuse program at Northern Virginia Community College.