Grad Notes

Compiled by Caroline Buttimer, Lauren Flemming, and Lesley Onstott

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Arts & Sciences

J. Larry Durrence (MA ’68, PhD ’71) of Lakeland, Fla., was inducted into the Polk County Public Schools Hall of Fame. Durrence was recognized for his contributions to Polk Community College when he served as its president from 1998 to 2006. Joseph Hester (PhD ’73) of Claremont, N.C., released his newest book, An Ethic of Hope. The book discusses the foundations of Christian ethics and shows the relationships between religious and secular ethics. Timothy Mescon (PhD ’79) of Atlanta was chosen as the new president of Columbus State University. Kathy McKee (MA ’83, PhD ’92) of Mount Berry was one of three citizens recognized for their involvement in the Partners in Prosperity program. McKee was appointed editor of Journalism & Communication Monographs at Berry College. Leslie Lowe (MPA ’85) of Atlanta was promoted to chief financial officer at Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. Karl V. Miller (PhD ’85) of Comer will co-host “Quality Whitetails,” a new television program to air weekly on the Outdoor Channel. Miller is a professor of wildlife management in the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Daniel Garland (MS ’86, PhD ’89) of Canton was appointed assistant dean of academic affairs of the Art Institute of Atlanta. John Blair (PhD ’87) of Manhattan, Kan., was one of two distinguished Kansas State University faculty members to receive inaugural Edwin G. Brychta professorships. Greg Shelnutt (MFA ’88) of Winston-Salem, N.C., was selected to receive a $5,000 fellowship from the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship Program. Shelnutt is director of the visual arts program at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Douglas W. Bower (PhD ’89) of Arnoldsville earned a diploma for completion of the Professional Sport Psychology for Peak Performance Program. A certificate of recognition was granted from the Ashworth Career School, the School of Professional Services of Ashworth University. Cindy Ward (PhD ’95) of Maineville, Ohio, joined J. Reckner Associates Inc. as senior vice president. She brings to the company experience in developing sensory and consumer research programs, leading global technical teams and forming strategic cross-functional partnerships. She previously worked for Givaudan Flavors. Sharon Dole (PhD ’99) of Sylva, N.C., received the Jay M. Robinson e-Teaching Award for outstanding online teaching. Dole is an associate professor of special education at Western Carolina University. Jennifer Anderson (MFA ’01) of Hawthorne, Calif., is a printmaker whose work was displayed at an Arkansas State University Printmaker’s Gallery in November 2007. The exhibit featured digital-litho prints on found paper. Marybeth Stalp (PhD ’01) of Waterloo, Iowa, was quoted in an Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, “Knitting is cool? Like a warm sweater,” on April 7, about the use of knitting in contemporary society. Stalp is a sociology professor at the University of Northern Iowa. Matt Whitaker (MLA ’01) has been promoted to project manager with Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects. He has been with the company since April 2004. Aisha Durham (MA ’02) of College Station, Texas, accepted a joint tenure-track assistant professor position in the department of communications and the African Studies program at Texas A&M University. Heidi Edwards (PhD ’02) of Palm Bay, Fla., was selected to the 2008-09 Journalism and Mass Communication Leadership Institute for Diversity. She is an associate professor of humanities and communication at Florida Tech. Doyle Srader (PhD ’03) of Eugene, Ore., received the Stephen F. Austin State University’s Teaching Excellence Award 2007. In 2008 Srader accepted a position as an assistant professor of communication at Northwest Christian College, where he was voted Professor of the Year. Dorothea Abraham (PhD ’04) of Williamsburg, Va., was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for a nine-month research project in Japan. Valerie Hepburn (PhD ’06) of Athens earned the title of interim president of Georgia Coastal Community College. She was previously the assistant dean of the College of Public Health at UGA. David Jones (PhD ’06) of Starkville, Miss., joined the MSU Extension Service as the first forest products specialist. Jones is a wood quality expert and previously worked as a postdoctoral associate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in forestry. Bethany Keeley (MA ’07) of Athens was featured in an Associated Press article on Sept. 21, 2007. Keeley started a humorous blog that has garnered her online fame about the misuse of quotation marks.


Aaron Cohn (LLB ’38) of Columbus received the 2008 Tradition of Excellence Award at the annual State Bar of Georgia meeting. Cohn is a juvenile court judge. Wilbur D. Owens Jr. (JD ’52) of Macon retired after serving 35 years on the bench as a U.S. district judge. During the course of his career, Owens presided over major corruption cases involving the Macon Police Department, several gambling rings and large drug-trafficking cases across the 70-county district. Otis A. Brumby Jr. (LLB ’65) of Marietta was appointed by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle to the new Charter Advisory Committee. Lawrence “Larry” Walker Jr. (JD ’65) of Perry returned to the Capitol as a member of the board of the Georgia Department of Transportation. Maurice Sponcler (JD ’67) of Dalton was appointed to the First Georgia Banking Co. board of directors. Sponcler is a senior partner in the law firm of Sponcler & Tharpe in Dalton. The Honorable Robert Benham (JD ’70) of Cartersville was a keynote speaker at a Cartersville Middle School assembly. He spoke to students after being named to the school’s “Wall of Fame,” an area in the school that recognizes local residents who have had a great impact on their community. J.L. Edmondson (JD ’71) of Atlanta has served as chief judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Judicial Circuit since 2002. The 11th Judicial Circuit has jurisdiction over federal cases originating in the states of Alabama, Florida and Georgia. Marcus Calhoun Jr. (JD ’72) of Columbus was featured in a Daily Report article, “Account of golf’s rare bird,” on June 3, after he hit a double-eagle during a golf outing. Stephen A. Melton (JD ’75) is president and CEO of Columbus State Bank and Trust Co. The Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized the company as one of Georgia’s top financial institutions. Graham Thorpe (JD ’75, BBA ’72) of Macon was named one of two new district attorneys in Baldwin County. John Longino (JD ’76, MBA ’76, BBA ’73) of Ellijay relocated his law office to Canton. Longino works half of each year in hurricane rescue and relief operations while practicing business law and commercial litigation. John Taylor Croley Jr. (JD ’77) of Fitzgerald was elected chairman of CBC Holding Company Inc.’s board of directors. Luis Aguilar (JD ’79) of Atlanta is one of two securities lawyers named to fill Democratic vacancies on the five-member Securities and Exchange Commission. Aguilar is a partner with the law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge in Atlanta. David P. Hartin (JD ’79) of Marietta opened a solo practice, where he will practice family law, estate planning and probate, general civil litigation and domestic and civil mediation. H. Michael Bagley (JD ’80) of Atlanta is chairman of Drew Eckl & Farnham LLP, one of Atlanta’s top 25 law firms according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Vicky O. Kimbrell (JD ’80) of Lilburn received the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council Eagle Award for outstanding contributions in the field of victim services. Kimbrell, senior attorney at Georgia Legal Services, won the award for her years of service to victims of crime, specifically survivors of family violence. Horace Johnson (JD ’82) of Covington, Superior Court judge of the Alcovy Judicial Circuit, was elected vice president of the 2008 board of trustees of Leadership Georgia. Anne Elizabeth Barnes (JD ’83) of Decatur won election in 1998 to the Georgia Court of Appeals without a runoff in a three-way race. She was the first woman to be elected in a statewide judicial race without having been first appointed to the bench. Barnes serves on the Judicial Council of Georgia’s standing committee on policy. Timothy J. Ramsey (JD ’83) of Atlanta was featured in a March 18 article, “Quality time for family foursome,” in The Daily Report. The story focused on the family’s drive to make time to spend together on the golf course. Gregory Adams (JD ’84) of Stone Mountain was elected chairman of the board of trustees for the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education of Georgia. Thomas Lasley (JD ’85) of Nashville, Tenn., is vice president and trust advisor for the Nashville region of SunTrust Bank. Lasley joined the Belle Meade private wealth management team. Elizabeth Calver (JD ’87) of Atlanta was hired by the law firm Hunter Maclean. Lori Chesser (JD ’87) of Des Moines, Iowa, received a Presidential Award for outstanding service in preparing for ICE large scale enforcement actions at the 2008 American Immigration Lawyers Association’s annual conference on immigration law in Vancouver, B.C. She was also recognized by Best Lawyers in America 2007 and was one of nine women honored in 2008 as Women of Influence in Central Iowa by the Des Moines Business Record. Carlton LaTain Kell (JD ’87, ABJ ’84) of Marietta was appointed as the 10th Superior Court judge of the Cobb Judicial Circuit. G. Lee Welborn (JD ’88) of Acworth opened Cole House Mediation Services LLC. Nancy Richardson (JD ’89) of the Stewart, Melvin & Frost law firm completed training in an emerging field of law called interdisciplinary collaborative family practice. A form of alternative dispute resolution, interdisciplinary collaborative family practices is an innovative approach to settling divorce cases and other family disputes. Thomas Charles Rawlings (JD ’92) of Sandersville was appointed state child advocate by Gov. Sonny Perdue. John Woodham (JD ’92) of Atlanta won his challenge against the funding for the Atlanta Beltline. The Georgia Supreme Court agreed with his interpretation of state law that school taxes can’t be used for development projects. Christopher Daly (JD ’93) of Savannah was one of South Magazine’s Lawyers of The South. Daly is a partner in the firm Deming, Parker, Hoffman, Green, Campbell and Daly LLC. Christopher Dunagan (JD ’93) wrote an article, “Lessons from a mock interview workshop,” that is now featured as a law student resource on the American Bar Association Web site. Thomas G. Sampson (JD ’94) of Atlanta was elected as an officer of the Gate City Bar Association. Sampson was also inducted as a Charter Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial honorary by invitation and consisting of less than one percent of trial lawyers in America. Kristina Rosette (JD ’95) of Vienna, Va., received the International Trademark Association’s 2007 Volunteer Service Award for the Advancement of the Association. Carla McMillian (JD ’98) and Lance McMillian (JD ’98) of Tyrone welcomed the birth of their daughter, Emily Dorothy, on Sept. 9, 2007. The McMillians also have a 4-year-old son, James. Glianny Fagundo (JD ’00) of Atlanta joined Elarbee Thompson LLP as an associate. Precious Green (JD ’00) of Atlanta joined Hughes Consultants LLC as a recruiter. Patrick Mitchell (JD ’00) of Chattanooga, Tenn., became a member of the Miller & Martin hiring committee. He concentrates in the area of corporate law. Daisy Drury Weeks (JD ’00) of Cumming was hired as an associate of the law firm Banks & Stubbs LLP. Brian M. Rickman (JD ’01) of Tiger was appointed by Gov. Sonny Perdue as the district attorney for the Mountain Judicial Circuit. He is currently a partner at the firm Stockton & Rickman LLC. Kevin Weimer (JD ’01) of Atlanta was installed as president of the Atlanta chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Melissa Farmer Calabrese (JD ’03) and Jeffrey August Calabrese (JD ’03) of Louisville, Ky., welcomed the birth of their baby girl, Alice Geneva, on Oct. 2, 2007. Julie S. Tetrick (JD ’04) of Boise, Idaho, joined Stoel Rives LLP, a full-service business law firm, as an associate. J. Talley Beardsley (JD ’05) of  Jacksonville, Fla., was promoted to trust associate of Regions Bank. Marisa Huttenbach (JD ’05) of Atlanta was featured in a Jan. 24 Atlanta Journal-Constitution article, “She’s never too busy to care,” in which she was recognized for finding time for her numerous volunteer activities—Georgia Appleseed project, Fulton County Juvenile Court and the firm’s legal center for low-income clients, among them—while finishing her first year as an attorney at Hunton and Williams law firm. Gary McDermott (JD ’05) of Charlotte, N.C., received the 2008 Business Leader Pro Bono Impact Award and the 2008 Mecklenburg County Bar Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award. Bobby Olds (JD ’06) of Columbus started Community Legal Services, which specializes in helping Hispanic immigrants who work in chicken processing plants and on construction crews. Tiffany Carter Sellers (JD ’06) of Fairburn was elected as an officer of the Gate City Bar Association. Sellers is an associate in the litigation section of Thomas, Kennedy, Sampson & Patterson LLP. Meredith Shultz (JD ’07) of Savannah joined the law firm Hunter Maclean.

Veterinary Medicine

Donald Waldrip (DVM ’62) of Gainesville, Ga., received a Special Service Award for his dedication to the veterinary profession on a local and national level at an American Association of Avian Pathologists meeting. Neal Rose (DVM ’72) of Richmond, Va., was featured in a Richmond Times-Dispatch article, “Veterinarian offers care, caring,” on May 19. Rose is a dedicated veterinarian who has been at Broad Street Veterinary Hospital for more than 35 years.