Grad Notes

Arts & Sciences

J. Larry Durrence (MA ’68, PhD ’71) of Lakeland, Fla., served as interim president of College of the Mainland in Texas City, Texas, from Jan. 2, 2012 until Oct. 28, 2012. James N. Ihle (MS ’69, PhD ’71) of Memphis, Tenn., received the 2012 Franklin College Outstanding Alumni Award. Daniel Guyton (MFA ’04) of Fayetteville had his play “Rosie the Retired Rockette” run in two Atlanta Christmas productions. Judith Mank (PhD ’06) of London, England, received the 2012 Franklin College Outstanding Alumni Award. George Felis (PhD ’09) is now a lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.


James Coleman Watson III (MBA ’75) of Clarkesville joined Farmers & Merchants Bank Lakeland as senior city executive.


Dennis J. Nielsen (MEd ’71, EdD ’73) of Hilton Head Island, S.C., was named to the South Carolina State University board of trustees. Patricia “Tricia” Jones (MEd ’75) of Knoxville, Tenn., earned her doctorate in education from Tennessee State University. Pat Widdowson (MEd ’75) retired from Surry Community College. Richard Richey (MEd ’76) of Murrayville was awarded the Toccoa Falls College Alumni Award. Bruce Bracken (MA ’77, PhD ’79) of Williamsburg, Va., received a 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award from UGA’s College of Education. Kathy Dosser (MEd ’80) was named teacher of the week at Belvoir Elementary. Russell Vandiver (EdS ’89) of Gainesville retired as president of Lanier Tech. Robert “Bob” Heaberlin (EdD ’00) received the AMLE National Distinguished Educator Award. Vicki Tarleton (MEd ’00) of Evans received a 2012 Crystal Apple Award from UGA’s College of Education. Matthew McBee (MEd ’04, PhD ’06) of Kingsport, Tenn., received the 2012 APF Esther Katz Rosen Early Career Research Grant by the American Psychological Foundation. Valerie Hepburn (PhD ’06) of St. Simons Island announced in fall that she will resign as president of the College of Coastal Georgia at the end of spring semester. She plans to continue work in health care policy in Australia, where she has worked before. Rebekah Benjamin (MA ’09, PhD ’12) of North Adams, Mass., joined Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts as an assistant professor in the psychology department.

Family & Consumer Sciences

Sohyun Park (PhD ’06) received the Pacesetter Award from the Family and Consumer Sciences Alumni Association.

Forestry & Natural Resources

Kirk Stodola (PhD ’11) married Alison Price (MS ’08) April 30.

Journalism & Mass Communication

Janita Poe (MA ’87) is now community hub director of Alabama Media Group in Montgomery, Ala. Heather Butros Simpkins (MA ’99) of Richmond, Va., and husband Jason welcomed a baby boy, Thomas Alan Simpkins, Sept. 25.


Watson White (LLB ’50) of Marietta re-retired at age 91 as a judge in Cobb County. Luis Aguilar (JD ’79) of Atlanta received the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award after being selected by the Falcons. James E. Brim III (JD ’79) of Gainesville became a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mark McDonald (JD ’82) of Atlanta was elected chair of the National Trust Partners Network and will serve as an ex-officio member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s board. James Sibold (JD ’82) of Dunwoody received the Distinguished Service Award for 2011 from the Employee Relocation Council of America. David Darden (JD ’83) of Kennesaw was elected president of the Council of State Court Judges and was appointed to serve on the Code of Judicial Conduct Revision Committee. Richard Greenberg (JD ’83) of Tallahassee, Fla., was selected as a super lawyer in the field of criminal defense for the sixth consecutive year. Thomas C. Chubb III (JD ’89) of Atlanta was named president of Oxford Industries. Toby Clarkson (JD ’96) of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, purchased Boothbay Family Dentistry. Cheri Grosvenor (JD ’96) of Atlanta received the Jacobs Bowl Volunteer Award from the United States Tennis Association Southern Section for her pro bono work as legal counsel for USTA Southern and the BB&T Atlanta Open. Lee B. Garrett (JD ’99) of Marietta was named general manager of the Marietta Daily Journal. Harold “Hal” Davis Jr. (JD ’00), wife Anna Watkins Davis (JD ’99) and daughter Ella welcomed Magdalene “Maggie” Jackson Davis April 4.


Briana Baxley (PharmD ’04) and Brett Aycock married Aug. 18.

Social Work

John Paul Ezeonyido (MSW ’11) of Lilburn is the pastor of Christ Our Hope.