College of Liberal Arts names 2012 Emerging Voice Award winners

September 13, 2012  

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University's College of Liberal Arts has named three alumni as the 2012 Emerging Voice Award winners.

The alumni will be honored Friday (Sept. 14) at a reception. Alumni under the age of 40 are selected based on achieving their career goals, serving their communities and representing the college's mission of addressing today's grand challenges and contributing to the quality of life worldwide.

Recipients are Julie O'Neill, Heather Penney and Koula Sophianou.

* O'Neill of Monument, Colo., is team leader of Sport Performance for the U.S. Olympic Committee. She oversees the day-to-day operations for the internal Paralympic sport performance team and sport development projects for athletics, cycling, swimming, and alpine and Nordic skiing. She was named the 2006 U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Coach of the Year after her team won the overall medal count, the first time the United States had won a medal count at the International Paralympic Committee World Championships. She earned her bachelor's degree in Russian in 1994.

* Penney is director of the U. S. Air Force Superiority Programs at Lockhead Martin Aeronautics in Washington, D.C. During her career with the 121st Fighter Squadron, she participated in numerous combat missions, including Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Iraqi Freedom. On Sept. 11, 2001, she was one of the first pilots in the air with the mission of protecting the nation's capital. At Lockheed Martin, she works closely with the F-22 and F-35 Program Office, the U.S. Air Force, the Air National Guard and Congress. She earned her bachelor's degree in English in 1995 and her master's degree in American studies in 1997.

* Sophianou is the consul-general of the Republic of Cyprus in New York. She began her work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus in 1998, first serving at the Protocol and Consular Affairs and later the Political Affairs Division. In 2009 she assumed the post of consul-general. She earned her bachelor's degree in communication in 1995 and her master's degree in Spanish in 1997.

More information about the award winners is available at

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, 765-494-9723,

Source: Christine Sharp, College of Liberal Arts director of alumni relations and special events, 765-494-7884,

Note to Journalists: Complete biographies of the 2012 Emerging Voice Award winners are available at

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

© 2014-17 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Integrity Statement | Copyright Complaints | Brand Toolkit | Maintained by Marketing and Media

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact us at so we can help.