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Judy Sink and Chris Swecker Receive Distinguished Alumni Award from Appalachian

102802daa_swecker_dl.jpgJudy Kluttz Sink of Boone and Chris E. Swecker of Charlotte have received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Appalachian State University’s Alumni Association.102802daa_sink_dl.jpgSink is a second grade teacher at Hardin Park Elementary School. Swecker is Special Agent in Charge of FBI Operations in Charlotte.

The award is presented annually during Appalachian’s homecoming activities. It recognizes extraordinary distinction and success in a graduate’s career field and those who have demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership in their community.

Sink has spent more than 20 years in the classroom, as an elementary school teacher in Watauga County and a science laboratory instructor at Appalachian.

She holds national certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.

She has been a member of a National Academy of Sciences group working to develop national science teaching standards. She has been a presenter at National Science Teachers Association and U.S. Department of Education and National Science Foundation conferences.

She was a member of a science assessment team for the New York Department of Education. She has served as a consultant for the Universities Space Research Association in Texas, the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and Appalachian’s Math and Science Education Center.

She also has been a member of the N.C. Science Leadership Team, part of the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

Sink is a member of the National Science Foundation’s National Advisory Board, a teacher advisor with the National Aeronautics Association’s Brewer Conference on Aerospace Education, a consultant to NASA Headquarters to develop a national K-12 curriculum to commemorate the 100th anniversary of flight, and a N.C. Science Leadership Team member for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

In 1990, Sink received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and was the Watauga County recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Language Arts. She also spent a year at NASA’s education division in Washington, D.C., as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator fellow.

She received the Association of Southeastern Biologists Outstanding Science Teaching Award in 2002, and was a teacher honoree for the 2001 Disney American Teachers Award. Sink also was a finalist for the 2001 NCAE Terry Sanford Award for Creative Teaching, and was named a N.C. Educator of Excellence by the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.

Sink graduated from Appalachian in 1967, earning a master of arts degree in elementary education. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Lenoir-Rhyne College.

Swecker’s career in law enforcement spans 20 years. The foundation for his FBI career began while he was a political science and economics major at Appalachian. He graduated from Appalachian in 1978. He also holds a

law degree from Wake Forest University.

After a year as an assistant district attorney for North Carolina’s First District, Swecker became a special agent with the FBI in 1982. He has risen through the ranks to become special agent in charge (SAC) with the FBI’s Charlotte division, which has statewide federal jurisdiction.

He also has worked in the FBI’s field offices in Oklahoma City, Miami and Houston.

While in Texas, Swecker was responsible for all organized crime and narcotics investigations, surveillance squad and aircraft operations and liaison matters with Mexico.

Swecker commanded FBI operations at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, and was in charge of investigative, FBI SWAT, evidence response, hazardous materials and bomb response teams in the Olympic venues.

In North Carolina, Swecker is responsible for 240 special agents, task force personnel and support staff involved in counter terrorism and counterintelligence, and investigating organized crime, gang activities, public corruption, fraud and other federal violations.

While in Charlotte, Swecker formed the state’s first Joint Terrorism Task Force which dismantled a Hezballah terrorist fund-raising cell operating in the United States. He formed the state’s first Cyber Crimes Unit and Task Force. Through a joint effort with the state’s banking industry, the FBI reduced bank robberies in the state by more than 50 percent from 2001 to 2002. In addition, the N.C. office leads the FBI in the number of criminal enterprises involving organized crime, biker gangs and other major cartel or drug organizations that have been dismantled.

Nationally, Swecker is chairman of the Directors SAC Advisory Board, which advises the director of the FBI on a range of issues affecting FBI field operations. As a member of the Director’s Law Enforcer Advisory Group, Swecker advises the FBI director on issues affecting state and local law enforcement, especially relating to communications with local law enforcement on terrorism matters.

Swecker is a member of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel for Terrorism Planning, the Governor’s Crime Commission, N.C. Police Chief’s Association, N.C. Police Executives Association, N.C. Sheriff’s Association and is an executive board member of the Mecklenburg County Joint Terrorism Management Team.

In 2001, he received the Directors Merit Award for his exceptional performance in managing a field office operation, and the N.C. Electronic Information Technology Association’s Special Service Award for his role in protecting the state’s infrastructure from physical and cyber attack.

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First Picture Caption: Chris E Swecker

Second Picture Caption: Judy K. Sink