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The Citizens Advisory Committee of the Sully Police District has selected Officer Roy Choe as the “2011 Officer of the Year.”

According to Sully District commanders John Trace and Purvis Dawson, Choe has done an outstanding job helping the Fairfax County Police Department forge better relationships with the Korean-American community, as well as providing outstanding law enforcement services.

Choe, who is originally from Korea, has been a member of the county police since 2005. His language and interpretation skills are an invaluable asset in a county where more than 17 percent of residents are Asian. In 2011, he assisted the Bureau of Criminal Investigation with two homicide investigations; was assigned to the regional Human Trafficking Task Force; and translated hundreds of pages of documents.

Many cultural differences and nuances need to be clarified in enforcement situations, Choe said.

He has helped the Korean community understand by building relationships with members of many churches, including the Korean Presbyterian Church in Centreville. He often helps explain situations, such as crime trends and the significance and importance of various traffic safety laws, to the church’s 4,600 parishioners.

Choe’s skills are recognized beyond Fairfax. Korean Embassy officials reached out to him when they needed someone to address the Korean-American community on the financial fraud victimization of Asians across the region.

3 local professors honored for excellence

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) honored 12 Virginia educators as recipients of the 26th annual Outstanding Faculty Award for excellence in teaching, research and public service. Three of the 12 awardees teach in Fairfax County.

Giorgio Ascoli is a professor in the Molecular Neuroscience Department at George Mason University. He is a leading pioneer in neuroinformatics and founding director of the Center for Neural Informatics at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study.

Robert Hazen is a professor of earth science at Mason. He developed a new approach to mineralogy called “mineral evolution,” and the biomineral “hazenite” was named in his honor. He also spent 40 years as a professional trumpeter.

Charles Poland is a professor of history at Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale campus, where he has taught since 1967. A respected Civil War scholar, he has given hundreds of on-site lectures at major and minor American battlefields.

“This year’s recipients truly represent the Commonwealth’s commitment to excellence and diversity in its higher education system,” McDonnell said. “The public service and scholarly contributions of these faculty members are well-known not only on their respective campuses, but nationally and internationally.”

All 12 faculty members, representing public and private colleges and universities across the Commonwealth, were recognized Feb. 16 during an awards ceremony at Richmond’s Jefferson Hotel as part of the annual OFA program administered by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and sponsored by Dominion Resources.

“This year’s 12 recipients should truly be proud that they were selected from among a pool of 125 nominations,” said Peter Blake, director of the state council.

The awards are being made through a $75,000 grant from The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources. Dominion Virginia Power is a subsidiary of Dominion Resources. Foundation grants are funded by shareholder dollars and are not borne by customers.

Fairfax student named top scholar-athlete

Peter Redgrave of Fairfax, a senior at Trinity School at Meadow View, a private school in Falls Church, recently was selected as the top male scholar-athlete from Virginia in the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Scholarship contest.

Scholar-athletes from both private and public high schools throughout Virginia participated in the competition. Redgrave was chosen from 45 contestants. Only one male and one female representative from each school may enter the competition.

Redgrave will go on to compete against the state winners in the mid-Atlantic section for a $1,000 scholarship.

An Eagle Scout, Redgrave has received 11 varsity letters in soccer, basketball, lacrosse and cross country, while maintaining a 4.35 grade point average.

Langley student elected School Board rep

The countywide Student Advisory Council has elected Lucy Gunter, a junior at Langley High School, to serve a one-year term as student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, beginning July 1.

Gunter will participate in School Board meetings as a nonvoting member, filling the position currently held by Eugene Coleman III, a senior at Mount Vernon High School. Gunter will be the 42nd student representative to the board.

She sought the job, Gunter said, to fairly represent the majority of Fairfax County Public Schools students. Two issues she wants to address are the $100 athletic fee — charged per sport for students participating in Virginia High School League sports — and technology training support for teachers.

Gunter is president of Langley High’s Best Buddies chapter and founder and president of Otto’s Army, a spirit club. She served as president of her freshman class and has been recognized as a scholar athlete at Langley five times. She is an SAC representative and a member of the National Honor Society and Leadership Honor Society.

Chocolate Challenge chooses judges

Four lucky men will get to sample and judge entries to The Chocolate Challenge, a gallery of sculptures, cakes and cupcakes made entirely of chocolate and displayed during next week’s Chocolate Lovers Festival in Old Town Fairfax.

Warren Brown owns the Cake Love bakeries at Tysons Corner and Fair Oaks Mall. The former lawyer also hosts the show "Sugar Rush" on The Food Network.

Norman Davis owns The Sweet Life, a custom-design cakery in Annandale. A designer of one-of-a-kind wedding cakes, Davis is a pastry chef and an award-winning chocolatier.

Zane Beg is a real estate broker who has been working with The Sweet Life for the past decade. He has demonstrated his art at Cake and Sugar Artists of Northern Virginia meetings.

Robert Lederer, currently serving his fifth term as mayor, is a lifelong resident of the City of Fairfax. He is the executive vice president of an international trade association in the city.

The chocolate festival takes place March 3 and 4 in the Mason Nutrition Kitchen, 3950 University Drive.