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Graduates from schools at IUPUI well represented at Best and Brightest event


INDIANAPOLIS — Graduates of schools at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis make up nearly one-fifth of the 100 finalists who will be honored at the Junior Achievement of Central Indiana’s Best and Brightest event.

Junior Achievement created the event to “recognize up-and-coming talent and the next generation of leaders in the community.” 

One hundred Central Indiana professionals in 10 economic sectors, age 40 and under, were selected for the Best and Brightest event. An awards program and reception will take place today at the Ivy Tech Corporate College and Culinary Center.

There are 10 finalists for each of 10 categories: accounting; banking and financial services; education and nonprofit; government; health and life sciences; law; media, entertainment and sports; real estate, development and construction; manufacturing, retail and services; and technology.

Finalists in each category are judged on professional accomplishments, civic contributions, character and leadership qualities. Winners in each category will be announced during the event.

The 18 graduates from IUPUI, their employers and the schools from which they received their degrees are:

  • Jeffrey O’Brien, WellPoint, Kelley School of Business.
  • Julius Edwards, Ivy Tech Community College, Kelley School of Business.
  • Molly Dagon, Indianapolis Community Court and Indianapolis Veterans Treatment Court, IU School of Liberal Arts.
  • Elia James, Division of Homeland Security, City of Indianapolis, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. 
  • Elizabeth Ferries-Rowe, Eskenazi Health, IU School of Medicine.
  • Donetta Gee-Weiler, Women’s and Children’s Services at Community Health Network , IU School of Nursing.
  • Matthew Priddy, Priority Physicians, IU School of Medicine.
  • Angela Freeman, Barnes and Thornburg LLP, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law.
  • Jeremy Hill, Bingham Greenbaum Doll LLP, McKinney School of Law.
  • Michele Jackson, Harden Jackson Law LLP, McKinney School of Law.
  • Laurie Martin, Hoover Hull LLP, McKinney School of Law.
  • Kyra Wagoner, Barnes and Thornburg LLP, McKinney School of Law.
  • James Brown, Porch Light, IU School of Journalism.
  • Leslie Bailey, The Indianapolis Star, IU School of Liberal Arts.
  • Nicole Pence, Fox 59 News, IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
  • Duane Hunt, Form Stack, Kelley School of Business.
  • Jonathan Thompson, Rook Security, Purdue School of Science.
  • Chrissy Vazquez, Back on My Feet, Kelley School of Business.