Class Notes

Class notes are the perfect way to share your news with friends and classmates. Read about your classmates in this issue of GSU Magazine, then share your own news, achievements, accomplishments and photos.

Mail your class notes to GSU Magazine, P.O. Box 3983, Atlanta, GA 30302-3983 or e-mail them to


Former Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell (B.C.S. ’51) has been designated as a recipient of the coveted “Four Pillar Award” by the Council For Quality Growth. The mission of the council is to promote balanced and responsible growth throughout the state of Georgia. Massell will be presented with the award Oct. 4 at the World Congress Center.


Dennis R. Byerly (B.B.A ’69, M.P.A. ’76) was appointed to the DeKalb Regional Health System’s Board of Directors. Retired since 2006, Byerly currently serves as a revenue cycle consultant to several health care organizations, and brings more than 20 years of executive-level experience, financial management and health care knowledge to the board.

Claude Lilly (B.B.A. ’69, M.Ins. ’70, Ph.D. ’73) has been elected as the new president at Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. Lilly, previously the dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Science at Clemson University, will serve as the college’s 17th president.


Carolyn B. Brown (B.S. ’76, M.Ed. ’82) will retire from the Atlanta Public School system after 37 years as  a teacher of students with special needs.

James Ferrell (B.S. ’75) recently published a new eNovel entitled “Close Up The Sky” with Kindle. The book is a science  fiction adventure about a secret government facility in New Mexico that has broken the time barrier. Ferrell is a retired superintendent of police for CSX Railroad.

Sue Henderson (B.S. ’75, M.Ed. ’78) has been named the first woman president of New Jersey City University. A mathematician and longtime educator, Henderson previously served as chief  operating officer and vice president of institutional advancement at Queens College. She was selected after a national search.

Governor Nathan Deal recently announced that he has selected Glynn County attorney Roger  B. Lane (B.B.A. ’70) to fill the judicial seat left 
vacant by the January resignation of Chief Superior Court Judge Amanda Williams. Lane, a state representative from District 167, was
first elected in 2004.

Michael A. McBride (B.B.A. ’76) is a 2012 Service to America Medal finalist. The award, given by the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C., recognizes those who work to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works.

Phillip L. Williams (B.S. ’75) serves as the founding dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Georgia, where he has been a faculty member since 1993. At UGA, he also holds the Georgia Power Professorship in Environmental Health within the College of Public Health’s Department of Environmental Health Science.


Mark J. Barry (B.B.A. ’84) joined American Home Shield as president on Aug. 20. It is a subsidiary of ServiceMaster Company.

Ahmet Bozer (M.B.I.S. ’83) president of The Coca-Cola Co.’s Eurasia and Africa Group, has been appointed  president of Coca-Cola International effective Jan. 2013.

Michele P. Ferrara (M.Tx. ’88) has been promoted to principal at the public accounting firm Morrison, Brown, Argiz and Farra.

Ron Griffin (M.B.A. ’83) has been named senior vice president and chief information officer at AutoZone. Griffin was previously with Hewlett-Packard.

Barry Herrin (B.A. ’87, J.D. ’90),  an attorney with Smith Moore Leatherwood, has been appointed to the North Carolina Bar Association’s Medico-Legal Liaison Committee for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Herrin will collaborate with other committee members to promote understanding and cooperation between  the bar and the medical profession.

R. William “Bill” Lee III (M.B.A. ’84) has joined Sheffield Investment Management Inc. as chief operating  officer. He joins the company from Anderson Bell, Inc., and Paragon Property Partners LLC.

Six Feet Under Pub and Fish House, owned and operated by Tad (B.B.A. ’89) and Nancy Mitchell (B.B.A. ’90), was named one of America’s Best Outdoor Bars in a recent issue of Travel and Leisure. Six Feet Under was the sole Atlanta bar on the list.

William Scarborough (M.Tx. ’80, M.P.A. ’93) recently passed the certified valuation analyst (CVA) professional examination and obtained the CVA professional certification. Scarborough is an associate chief accountant in the enforcement division of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and is an adjunct accounting instructor at George Washington University.

Joe M. Wells (B.S. ’86), the U.S. National Guard Bureau’s director of intelligence and communication, has obtained the rank of Major General. Wells joins the rank of only a handful of guardsmen who have risen to the two-star level.


John P. Harrison (M.B.A. ’99) has been named new executive director/CEO for REISA, a leading alternative investments association. In this capacity, Harrison will head up the association’s office in Indianapolis,  reporting to the elected board of directors, which is comprised of 13 leading industry professionals.

Marcellous L. Jones (B.A. ’96) has been awarded the AMICUS Humanitarian Award for his continued contributions to helping orphans suffering from pediatric heart disease. Jones is the founder of Fashion Insider TV and founder and editor-in-chief at

Anil Lewis (B.B.A. ’93, M.P.A. ’03) has been appointed a member on the Committee for Purchase from People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled by U.S. President Barack Obama.

Brian D Mason (Ph.D. ’94) was awarded the Simon Newcomb award for Research Achievement by the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Roman Stacy Norton (B.B.A. ’95) is chair-elect of the American Lung Association in Georgia. He is a partner and chief investment strategist at Locke Financial Services.

John Reed (M.S. ’92) recently published a business book, “Pinpointing Excellence: The Key to Finding a Quality Executive Coach” with Bright Sky Press.

Deborah Sawyer (M.B.A. ’94) recently joined Pearson Partners International, a Dallas-based executive search firm. Deborah has been in the executive search industry for 25 years and has extensive experience in the Asia Pacific region. Her areas of expertise include advanced technology, life sciences, financial services and professional services.

Richard Tyler (M.B.A, ’95) was recently promoted from Director of Land Management, East U.S. to Director of Land Management, U.S. with worldwide construction materials company Lafarge, at which Tyler has responsibility for land management and mining and geology functions for over 600 sites from Arizona to the Great Lakes to Georgia and New York.

Beth Upton (B.B.A. ’95) has been named the new mortgage officer for Pinnacle
Bank. Upton has worked in banking for over two decades, with a background in mortgage lending.

Wendy Wilmoth (B.A. ’92) has been appointed director of Library Services at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott ,Kan. Previously, she served as an adjunct instructor teaching political science and history at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kan.


Maria Azuri (B.S.W. ’03), a licensed therapist and program manager for La Iniciativa Levantando las Voces Latinas (Lifting Latina Voices Initiative), was a finalist in the community Outreach category of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2012 Health-care Heroes Award.

Chris Baker (B.B.A. ’06) recently started his own financial management company, Baker DMM, LLC.

Sheila Pree Bright (M.F.A. ’03) has been selected to paint murals in Atlanta for Living Walls. Living Walls is a nonprofit organization that brings together street artists, academics and the public at large to activate and engage communities. Her work was also discussed in the recent book “Noplaceness,” and her “Young Americans” series was recently featured in the Oxford American.

Christopher Carter (B.A. ’03) recently joined Central States Financial Group
as a financial services representative. Carter has worked in the financial
services industry for nearly six years and is a registered representative
with MetLife Securities Inc.

Donnie R. Davis Jr. (B.A. ’02, M.Ed ’06) has been appointed by the Educational Achievement Authority as the new principal of Mumford High School in Detroit, Mich. While at GSU, Davis was a member of the men’s basketball team that appeared in the 2000-01 NCAA Tournament and finished the season 29-5.

David Emfinger (B.B.A. ’04) recently joined URETEK Holdings, Inc. as business development Lead for Tennessee. Emfinger is the 
former Senior Project Manager for DooleyMack Constructors of South
Carolina and VCC of Atlanta. URETEK specializes in soil densification
and foundation stabilization.

Selena English (B.S. ’07), a probation officer at the Warner Robbins Probation Office in Warner Robbins, Ga., was honored with the city’s Department of Correction’s first Tiffany Bishop Horizon Award. The award “honors the way Bishop inspired other officers through her dedication to her job and her community.”

Theresa M. “Terri” Gerhardt (B.B.A. ’06) has been named Valdosta State University’s new director of procurement.

Amy-Katherine Gray (MBA ’09) was recently promoted to manager within KPMG LLP’s Management Consulting practice, specializing in people and change solutions. She has been employed with the firm since 2009.

Sara Gregory (B.S.W ’05) is traveling from Mexico to Brazil in two years as a member of the social justice performance troupe called the Social Circus. She plans to turn her blog entries and illustrations into a book about her experience.

Dawn M. Jones (J.D. ’00) was recently honored with the 2012 Leadership Award
by the Atlanta Bar Association. Jones was awarded this honor for her contribution to the legal profession and the community.

V. Mason (B.B.A. ’00) has been elected a shareholder for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz, PC. Mason is a member of the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group.

Henry Oaxaca (M.A. ’07) has been appointed as the new principal at Lake Forest
Elementary School in Fulton County. He previously served as the assistant principal at Ridgeview Charter School.


Katie Kross (M.S.W. ’11), project coordinator for the Georgia Afterschool Investment Council in Atlanta, was named a White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow as part of a partnership between The Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.