Grad Notes

Compiled by Brittany Biddy and Emily Grant

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Melvin Davis (BSA ’62, MAEx ’69) was named one of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians. Thomas Rodgers (BSA ’67, MS ’69) was inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md. Carl Pinkert (PhD ’83) of Auburn, Ala., was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Pinkert, associate vice president for research at Auburn University, was recognized for his efforts in advancing science and its applications in the field of agriculture, food and renewable resources. John Floros (PhD ’88) of State College, Pa., was named dean of Kansas State University’s College of Agriculture and director of KSU research and extension. His appointment takes effect Aug. 1. Matt Spangler (PhD ’06) was named one of the Top 10 industry leaders under the age of 40 by Cattle Business Weekly newspaper.

Arts & Sciences

Jack Crawford (BS ’59, MS ’60, PhD ’62) and wife Carol Barrett (MS ’62) live in Georgetown, Texas, after his retirement as professor of neuroscience at the University of Texas after 42 years. Vincent Keesee (MFA ’65, PhD ’72) had his art showcased at the “Tea for Three” exhibit at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture Historic Village at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College. Beverly Bindseil Hunter (MS ’71) of Greenville, S.C., received the 2012 Southern Early Childhood Association President’s Award. Hunter, nominated by the South Carolina Early Childhood Association, is the first South Carolinian to receive the award. Jack Schuenemeyer (PhD ’75) of Cortez, Colo., was selected to be a distinguished lecturer by the International Association of Mathematical Geosciences. Jay C. Moon (AB ’74, MPA ’76) was elected chairman of the board of the International Economic Development Council. Moon is president and CEO of the Mississippi Manufacturers Association. Andrew Farkas (MA ’73, PhD ’78) received the 2012 American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s S.S. Steinberg Award. Farkas is director and professor at the National Transportation Center at Morgan State University. Cynthia Baum (MS ’80, PhD ’82) of Gaithersburg, Md., was named president of Walden University by its board of directors. Before being named the ninth president of Walden, she was executive vice president and oversaw the university’s five colleges. Larry Hembree (MFA ’85) was named executive director of Trustus Theatre.  Karen Eckert (PhD ’88) was nominated for the 2012 Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading award for animal conservation. Eckert is the executive director of the Caribbean-based Wilder Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network. Eric J. Fournier (MA ’90, PhD ’95) was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the southeastern division of the Association of American Geographers at their annual meeting in Savannah. Fournier serves as president of the National Council for Geographic Education. Blaine Williams (MPA ’93) was named Floyd County manager. Williams had served as assistant county manager since April 2007. Corinne Martin (MA ’04) of Nashville, Tenn., was named to Nashville Post’s Law Leaders Rising list. She is an associate at Stites & Harbison and is one of 21 young lawyers who made the list. Christopher D. Moore (PhD ’08) was awarded tenure and promoted to the rank of associate professor at Lakewood College.


Kenneth Don Van Meter (MBA ’79) of Pheonixville, Pa., has received two new patents related to using modern technologies to improve the diagnostics of energy in buildings. Van Meter is a principal with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he leads their energy business with utilities. Alex Andrianopoulos (MBA ’94) was named vice president of marketing for the Pasadena, Calif., company Guidance Software. Seth Abrams (BBA ’97, MAcc ’98) was named partner at Gifford Hillegass & Ingwersen LLP. Jon Ostenson (BBA ’02, MBA ’06) and his wife, Jenny, of Atlanta, welcomed son William Rhodes Ostenson May 25, 2011. Ostenson is vice president with Carter’s Inc. Wayne Akins (BSA ’85, MBA ’08) was named chief community banking officer of Synovus, the Columbus, Ga., financial services company.


John Redding (BSA ’64, MEd ’68) of Monroe received the Outstanding Business Leader Award from the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Alumni Association. Arthur Letchas (BSEd ’67, MEd ’71, EdS ’81) stepped down as mayor of Alpharetta in December. He was elected mayor in 2002. Gail Thaxton (MEd ’74) of Waycross was named the new president for North Georgia Technical College. Previously she was president of Okefenokee Technical College in Waycross. Ron Newcomb (AB ’71, MA ’78, EdD ’11) of Smyrna was selected as the president of Chattahoochee Technical College by the Technical College System of Georgia. Newcomb has served as the interim president of the college since October 2011. Cathleen J. Blair (MEd ’79) retired from the Okeechobee County School Board after 39 years of service. Blair had served as director of exceptional student education since 1982. Nancy Gurley Jenkins (BSHE ’74, MEd ’79) of Moultrie received the Helen Brown Sasser Award from the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Alumni Association. Von Peavy (BSA ’79, MEd ’86, EdS ’90) of Moultrie received the J. Lamar Branch Award from the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Alumni Association. Richard Ludwig (BSA ’77, EdD ’91) of Gainesville, Ga., was named the first coach for Brenau University’s track and field program. From 1980 to 1985, Ludwig was the head track and cross country coach at North Hall High School and has volunteered with coaching local running clubs ever since. Randy Fiser (MEd ’93) was named executive vice president and chief executive officer for the American Society of Interior Designers. Fiser was vice president of management, finance and operations for Achieve, a nonprofit education reform organization based in Washington, D.C. Hannah Harrison Smith (BSEd ’89, MEd ’93) was promoted to director of marketing and communications for the Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau, where she has worked since 1999. Emily Lembeck (EdD ’95) of Marietta was named the 2012 Georgia Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia School Superintendents Association. She is superintendent of Marietta City Schools and was a finalist for the award for the past three years. Mike Mattingly (EdD ’03) was honored with the Advocacy for Excellence in Literacy Award by the Billie J. Askew Reading Recovery and Literacy Institute. Mark A. Yuran (MEd ’03) of Atlanta was hired as Minnesota State University’s chief human resources officer. Yuran was previously a human resources officer in the Atlanta headquarters of the Technical College System of Georgia. Ron McAllister (MEd ’04) of Cumming was appointed as the principal of Kelly Mill Elementary, opening in August. Brian O’Neal Culp (BSEd ’99, EdD ’05) received the 2012 Mabel Lee Award from the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance for scholarship, teaching and professional leadership in the field of health and physical education. Culp is an assistant professor in the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management at Indiana University-Purdue University, Ind. Cassie Magee Moates (BSEd ’05, MEd ’06, EdS ’09) of Hoschton was named Bethlehem Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year. She joined Bethlehem Elementary School in 2006, where she teaches kindergarten. Bill Tyson (BSA ’92, MEd ’08) of Rincon received the Conservationist of the Year Award in Effingham County from the Ogeechee River Soil and Water Conservation District. He has served as the extension agent in Effingham County since 1999. Lea Hattaway Pacut (BSEd ’06, MEd ’09) of Bethlehem was selected as Holsenbeck Elementary School’s Teacher of the Year. She joined Holsenbeck Elementary School in 2006, where she teaches third grade.

Family & Consumer Sciences

Judy Bowers (MS ’73) of Gainesville, Ga., was selected as the Gainesville school system’s Teacher of the Year for 2013. Bowers teaches kindergarten at Centennial Arts Academy. Norman K. Pollock (BSEd ’98, BSFCS ’02, MS ’04, PhD ’08) is the lead author in a study, featured in the February issue of The Journal of Nutrition, reporting that fructose consumption may increase cardiovascular risk factors. Pollock is an assistant professor of pediatrics at Georgia Health Sciences University. Claire Maust (BSFCS ’08, MS ’10) was appointed associate head coach for the women’s swim team at the University of Denver.

Forestry & Natural Resources

Lenise Lago (BSFR ’83, MS ’86) was named deputy chief of business operations for the U.S. Forest Service. Lago was previously deputy regional forester in the Pacific northwest region for the federal agency. Emily Jo Williams (BSFR ’83, MS ’86) was named the chief of migratory birds department for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeast region in Atlanta. Andrew (BSFR ’05, MFR ’07) and Emily (BSFR ’05, MNR ’10) Saunders welcomed their first child, Riley Faith, on Aug. 6. Bobby Chappell (BSFR ’99, MNR ’09) relocated to Hood River, Ore., in the summer of 2009 to work with Substantial Travel International, where he is the director of standards development and eco-certification. Daniel Farrae (MS ’10) works for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in Charleston as a wildlife biologist, focusing on fish population genetics of marine and freshwater species throughout the state. Ryan Sharp (PhD ’10) is assistant professor in the recreation and park administration department at Eastern Kentucky University. Garrett D. Mack (BSFR ’09, MFR ’11) is a resource-planning analyst for the resource support team for Hancock Forest Management office in Charlotte, N.C.

Journalism & Mass Communication

Richard L. Baxter (MA ’77) of Columbus, Ga., was named dean of the College of Arts at Columbus State University. Timothy Mescon (PhD ’79) was named one of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians.  Tom Hagley Jr. (MMC ’92) and Juliet Laycoe Hagley of Vancouver, Wash., welcomed their daughter, Abigail Diane Hagley, Oct. 27.


Isaac Jolles (LLB ’53) of Augusta will retire as a Richmond County probate judge at the end of 2012 to spend more time with his family. Sonny Seiler (BBA ’56, JD ’57) of Bouhan, Williams & Levy of Savannah was named a corporate Super Lawyer in the Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition. Otis A. Brumby Jr. (LLB ’65) was honored with the Cobb Country Lifetime Achievement Award. Brumby is publisher of the Marietta Daily Journal and Neighbor Newspapers. Edwin D. Robb (JD ’70) of Savannah was selected as a 2012 Georgia Super Lawyer. Robb, of Bouhan, Williams & Levy LLP, concentrates in the areas of admiralty, general casualty and transportation law. B. H. Levy Jr. (JD ’73) of Savannah was selected as a 2012 Georgia Super Lawyer. Levy, of Bouhan, Williams & Levy LLP, concentrates in the areas of workers’ compensation and commercial transactions. Mike Bowers (JD ’74) was named one of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians. William J. Self (BBA ’71, JD ’74) was installed as president of the National College of Probate Judges (NCPJ) at its fall 2011 conference on Jekyll Island in October. NCPJ is the only national organization dedicated exclusively to the improvement of probate courts and probate laws. B. Michael Mears (JD ’77) of Atlanta was a guest lecturer in May at Bahcesehir University Law School in Instanbul, Turkey. Mears, associate professor at Atlanta’s John Marshall law school, lectured on scientific evidence in the courtroom. Luis A. Aguilar (JD ’79) was sworn in to his second term as a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission. David Ralston (JD ’80) was named one of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians. Joe Cherry Bishop (JD ’82) of Albany was awarded the Square Knot Award by American Legion Post 30, Sons of the American Legion Squadron 30 and the Chehaw Council Boy Scouts of America. This award is made in recognition of dedication and work to assist the furthering of Scouting program in the American Legion. Ertharin Cousin (JD ’82) of Chicago was appointed executive director of the World Food Programme at the undersecretary general level. She is currently the U.S. representative to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture. Janet E. Hill (JD ’82) of Athens was named one of the Top Fifty Women Lawyers in Georgia for 2012 by Atlanta Magazine. John L. Watkins (JD ’82) was recognized in Georgia Trend’s ninth annual “Legal Elite” listing for 2011. Watkins is an attorney at Barnes & Thornburg LLP’s Atlanta office, practicing in the fields of commercial litigation and business law. Gerald L. Mize Jr. (AB ’81, JD ’84) of Atlanta was elected to serve on the nine-member nationwide management committee of Alston & Bird. David Blevins (JD ’85) of Cohutta was announced as the new judge in the Whitfield and Murray counties district to replace Judge Robert Adams, who retired in January. Blevins is an attorney in Dalton and will fill Adams’ unexpired term until the end of the year. Matt Mashburn (AB ’83, JD ’86) was named to the 2012 Georgia Super Lawyers list by Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine. Mashburn is a member of the real estate banking service group of Stites Harbison. Sally Quillian Yates (ABJ ’82, JD ’86) was named one of Georgia Trend’s 100 Most Influential Georgians. Tammy McDowell Stokes (AB ’84, JD ’87) was named the Chatham County court’s chief judge. Stephanie Stuckey Benfield (AB ’88, JD ’92) of Atlanta became the new executive director of GreenLaw in April. She previously served five terms as state representative for House District 85 in Dekalb, but did not seek reelection. Victor Johnson (MS ’89, JD ’92) of Graham Law Firm, Danielsville, was one of 10 recipients of the 13th annual Justice Robert Benham Awards for community service. Sheri Gates McGaughy (BBA ’89, JD ’92) of Atlanta was named to the board of the Georgia Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Southeast Chapter of Women in Cable Telecommunications. She is vice president legal at The Weather Channel. Kevin Tallant (AB ’98, JD ’02) was appointed by Mayor Kelly Kautz of Snellville as the city’s permanent counsel. Brian Vick (JD ’02) was made partner at Williams Mullen and published two law reviews: “How the 2006 Amendments to the Federal Rules Have Reshaped the E-Discovery Landscape and Revitalizing the Civil Justice System,” and “The Promise of a Cooperative And Proportional Discovery Process in North Carolina: House Bill 380 and the New State Electronic Discovery Rules.” Thomas F. Hollingsworth (JD ’04) of Athens was named to Georgia Trend’s list of the 2011 Legal Elite. Hollingsworth is a shareholder in the Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley law firm and was recognized for his work in business law. Ben Makin (JD ’04) of Athens was sworn in as an associate Athens-Clarke magistrate court judge. Makin previously served as an attorney with the Western Judicial Circuit public defender’s office. Elizabeth Barganier Insogna (AB ’03, JD ’06) and Jonathan Insogna (AB ’04) of Nashville, Tenn., welcomed son Preston Adeline Insogna, Feb. 16. Scott Grubman (JD ’08) of Savannah has joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the southern district of Georgia as an assistant U.S. attorney. John B. Manly (AB ’04, JD ’08) of Bouhan, Williams & Levy LLP was chosen as a Georgia Rising Star. He practices primarily in the areas of insurance defense, medical malpractice defense and commercial litigation. Hayley Roper Wells (BBA ’01, MBA ’05, JD ’08) of Swannanoa, N.C., joined the Asheville office of Ward and Smith P.A. Travis A. Williams (JD ’08) was named Assistant Circuit Defender of the Year by the Georgia Association of Circuit Public Defenders. Ryan Locke (JD ’10) and his wife Loren welcomed daughter Margaret Milton Locke, March 8.


Candace McCullough Nichols (PharmD ’01) of Atlanta married James Nichols on Aug. 13 at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. She works as a clinical pharmacy specialist for Kaiser Permanente, and her husband is a wine consultant at Greens in Atlanta.

Public and International Affairs

Barbara Grogan (BSFCS ’00, MPA ’02) of Americus received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award from the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Alumni Association. Grant Caldwell Mintz (AB ’05, MPA ’11) was promoted to an accountant position at the city of Alpharetta. He earned his master’s degree in local government from UGA in December.

Veterinary Medicine

Arthur L. Dorminy (BSA ’47, DVM ’50) was named the 2011 Distinguished Older Georgian by the Georgia Council on Aging in February. A resolution was passed by the Georgia General Assembly recognizing Dorminy for this honor. Steve Bowen (DVM ’71) was awarded the Silver Buffalo Award, the highest award given by the Boy Scouts of America, for distinguished service to youth on a national basis. Robert C. Brown (DVM ’71) was awarded the 2011 A.M. Mills Award from the Lambda Chapter of Alpha Psi. Robert M. Cobb Jr. (DVM ’81) of Dublin is Georgia’s state veterinarian, overseeing everything from livestock markets and meat inspection rules to the care of horses and the licensing and inspection of animal shelters, pet dealers and cat breeders. Catherine McClelland (BSA ’79, DVM ’83) retired from Hill’s Pet Nutrition after 16 years of employment. Mary Dickens Hicks (DVM ’88, BSA ’92) of Sycamore, Ga., received the Outstanding Educator Award from the Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Alumni Association. India Lane (DVM ’88) became assistant vice president for academic affairs and student success for the University of Tennessee system in March 2011. Lane, a professor of medicine in the department of small animal clinical sciences, has worked at the University of Tennessee since 1997. Kevin D. Smith (DVM ’89) of Forsyth sold his practice, Animal Medical Clinic, to Brandon S. Pinson (DVM ’10) of Cumming. George McCommon (DVM ’90, BSA ’95) took part in a year-long humanitarian mission in Afghanistan with the National Guard’s Georgia Agricultural Development Team, where he assisted Afghanis in handling agricultural issues such as livestock, food storage and construction. McCommon is an associate professor of veterinary science at Fort Valley State University and is the only Federation Equestre Internationale veterinarian in the University System of Georgia. Mitch Byrd (DVM ’95), owner of Equine Veterinary Services in Southern Pines, N.C., acquired Aiken Equine Professional Associations in Aiken, S.C. Will Coleman (BSA ’96, DVM ’99) owns and operates the practice of Veterinary Emergency + Referral Center of Hawaii in Honolulu. This is Hawaii’s first 24-hour veterinary emergency and specialty hospital. Joseph Gaydos (PhD ’01) was elected to chair the science panel of the Puget Sound Partnership, Washington state’s comprehensive effort to restore Puget Sound, the nation’s largest inland sea. Sharon Nath (DVM ’03) joined the staff of Peachtree Hill’s Animal Hospital in Atlanta. Nath previously practiced at Buckhead Animal Clinic. Lindsey Helms Boone (DVM ’08) of Athens was presented with the inaugural 2011 EQUUS Foundation Research Fellow at the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ 2011 Annual Convention. Boone received a $5,000 fellowship to support her endeavors in equine research. Ruth Dunning (DVM ’11) was named the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association’s Veterinary Student Advocate of the Year for 2011. HSVMA created the award to honor students who have promoted humane and respectful treatment of all animals. Justin Oguni (BS ’05, DVM ’11) joined Briarcliff Animal Clinic, a companion animal practice in Atlanta.