Tanya Barnett Whitney, of Sorrento, has received the 2014 Excelsior College C. Wayne Williams Award.
Named after the college’s first president, the award, which Whitney received earlier this summer, is presented in recognition of outstanding public service and community involvement by a graduate, a news release said.
Whitney graduated in 1986 with an associate degree in liberal arts and in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree of liberal arts with a concentration in history.
Since retiring from the active workforce, Whitney volunteers with several local organizations that support veterans, active military personnel and their families. She serves as an honor guard member at women veteran funerals and gives educational presentations to schools, civic organizations and other public groups on the service of women in the military and their impact on society.
Whitney serves as chairwoman of the Ascension Veterans Memorial Park Committee and volunteers as a cross-country and track and field coach at St. Amant High School.
Whitney served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She retired in 2010 as a master sergeant and then served as a Department of the Army civilian from 2010 to 2012, working as project integrator on the Army’s Air Priority Transport Program.
In addition to her degrees from Excelsior College, Whitney earned an associate of professional aeronautics degree in 1985 from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, an associate degree in general science from Northern Virginia Community College in 1986 and a master’s degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in 2000.
Whitney has received several awards related to her military service and dedication to duty, the release said. She was awarded the Department of the Army’s Achievement Medal for Civilian Service in 2012.
She was received the Volunteer Coaches Award for her support to the St. Amant High School track and field team in 2013, the Department of Defense Legion of Merit for distinguished service from the National Guard Bureau in 2010, and the Order of St. Michael from the Army Aviation Association for exceptional service in 2006. She was also a 2013 nominee for induction into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame.
Excelsior College was founded in 1971 by the New York State Board of Regents and was originally known as Regents College.
Whitney is a lifelong resident of Sorrento and the daughter of Fern Barnett and the late Freddie Barnett. She is married to Robert Whitney Jr. and has two children, Robert III and Rebekah.