Class Notes

September 2014

Serina Shyu

MBA '12

Serina Shyu (MBA ’12) joined Jon Baker Financial Group in September as a support advisor.

Colonel Kenneth P. Davis

M.A. '68

Col. Kenneth P. Davis (M.A. ’68) has been appointed to the President’s Advisory Council of Oglethorpe University for a three year term. Davis is a 1964 graduate of Oglethorpe and was appointed by President Lawrence M. Schall. Members of the Council meet twice a year to focus on issues which support advancing the mission of the university. Davis is retired from the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Army and resides in Alexandria, Va. 

Harry Stinson

M.S. '05

Harry Stinson (M.S. ’05) has been appointed interim director of athletics at Kentucky State University. Stinson has served as assistant athletics director for external operations and compliance at Kentucky State since 2009. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of championships, communications and marketing at the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Gena Calloway

Gena Callaway, retiring as Head of School from The Schenck School in Atlanta
M.Ed. '02

Gena Calloway (M.Ed. ’02),  the Head of School of The Schenck School since 2000, has announced her retirement. Her departure will coincide with the end of the 2014-2015 school year and she leaves behind a legacy of accomplishment. In addition to her successful career as a classroom teacher, principal and administrator, Calloway is a sought after education speaker, thought-leader and advocate for children with dyslexia within the halls of Congress. Among her accomplishments, Calloway has expanded educational opportunities for children with dyslexia by initiating a kindergarten program at the School. Upon retirement,  Calloway plans to marry her high school sweetheart and relocate to their new home in Virginia. She does plan to continue pursuing her passion, improving the lives of individuals with dyslexia through her work with the Dyslexia Resource Trust.

B. Andrew (Drew) Plant

B. Andrew (Drew) Plant
M.P.A. '92

B. Andrew (Drew) Plant (M.P.A. ’92) recently joined the board of Action Cycling Atlanta, the all-volunteer organization that produces the annual AV200 bike race benefiting the Emory Vaccine Center and AIDS service organizations. Drew is the principal of Plant Communications, LLC, a public relations firm focusing on professional and financial services companies.

Hilary Shew

M.S. '90, M.Ed. '92

Hilary Shew (M.S. ’90, M.Ed. ’92 ) wrote “Endeavor: One Polish Family’s Journey from Siberia to Freedom.” The book tells the story of the plight of Polish citizens forcibly removed from their homes by Joseph Stalin’s NKVD and deported to Siberian gulags, where they suffered unspeakable hardship, deprivation and extermination through work. Follow the Raczynski family members as they flee Russia after being given “amnesty” on July 30, 1941.

Douglas Sullenberger

Doug Sullenberger, attorney at Fisher & Phillips.Photo shot September 7, 2011
B.S. '74, M.S. '75

Donald Sullenberger (B.S. ’74, M.S. ’75) has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2015. Sullenberger is a partner in the Atlanta office of Fisher & Phillips LLP, one of the nation’s leading labor and employment firms. His practice focuses on traditional labor law, including representing and advising employers on union related matters. Sullenberger has been listed by the Labor Relations Institute as one of the “Top 100 Labor Attorneys” in the U.S. and in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013.

Laura Musselwhite

Ph.D. '05

Laura Musselwhite (Ph.D. ’05), interim vice president of academic affairs at Georgia Highlands College, has been named as the chief academic officer and dean of instruction at the University of New Mexico – Valencia Campus. Musselwhite will begin her duties Sept. 15, 2014.

Chris Hall

Chris Hall
MBA '01

Chris Hall (MBA ’01) recently joined Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia as Senior Vice President. Hall comes to the Gainesville, Ga. bank from Verity Bank in Barrow County where he was a top loan producer.

Mark Spencer

M.S. '95

Mark Spencer (M.S. ’95) was recently named director of athletics at the University of Evansville in Evansville, Ind. Spencer previously was senior associate athletic director – finance & business affairs at Oregon State University. He will assume his role on Sept. 22.

Joe Vignati

Photo (from Left to Right) Brennan Vignati, Riley Vignati, Joe Vignati, R. Joseph Vignati
M.P.A. '92

The Department of Juvenile Justice announced that Assistant Deputy Commissioner Joe Vignati (M.P.A. ’92) has received the prestigious Harold K. Ables Award from the Georgia Juvenile Services Association (GJSA). Vignati was presented with the award at the recent GJSA Annual Training Summit held in Savannah, Georgia. The Harold K. Ables award is presented by GJSA to an outstanding worker in the field of Juvenile Justice in Georgia. It is awarded in memory of Harold K. Ables, who contributed to the founding of GJSA and represents the dedicated service and high ideas he held.
Pictured from left: Brennan Vignati, Riley Vignati, Joe Vignati and R. Joseph Vignati

Sharlotte Neely

Sharlotte Neely, editor of Native Nations book
B.A. '70

“Native Nations: The Survival of Fourth World Peoples,” a book edited by Sharlotte Neely (B.A. ’70), is being published in September by JCharlton Publishing, Ltd. of Canada. Five anthropologists, one geographer, one linguist and one political scientist focus on seven groups of Fourth World peoples within 10 First World nations, compared and contrasted in regard to their strategies for survival. Chapter authors are from Norway, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Neely, a professor of anthropology and Director of Native American Studies at Northern Kentucky University, has written the introductory chapter, Fourth World Peoples are indigenous societies within First World nations.

David Doreau

M.Ed. '78

David Doreau (M.Ed. ’78) has worked as a counselor since graduation and has just published a book on Kindle and Nook, “Counseling as Healing.” His book considers when therapy is healing and when it is not. A motive and practice of love is described as the basis for all healing both medical and psychotherapeutic. The book has a related blog site,, where the conversation continues.

August 2014

Shirley Anne Cruz

Shirley Anne Cruz, (B.S. ;08) named  2014 Nonprofit Leader 30 Under 30 Award Recipient
B.S. '08

Shirley Anne Cruz (B.S. ’08) has been recognized as a recipient of a 2014 Nonprofit Leader 30 Under 30 award. These awards, selected annually as a joint venture of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits (GCN) and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Atlanta, are given to Georgia nonprofit professionals under 30 years of age who have already made a significant impact in their communities by exhibiting outstanding leadership, innovation, and commitment to their communities through their work. Cruz is Manager of Volunteer Support, Recognition and Resolutions at Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta.


William Walsh

B.A. '85

William Walsh (B.A. ’85) recently published his sixth book, a collection of poetry titled “Lost In the White Ruins,” with Kelsay Books.

Charles Leonard

M.A. '05

After teaching the history of graphic design for seven years, Charles Leonard (M.A. ’05) has moved to Piedmont, N.C. to operate a USDA certified organic farm.

Dustin Neighbors

B.A. '05

Dustin Neighbors (B.A. ’05) is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in early modern history and serves as a tutor for the History Department at the University of York, a World Top 100 University.

Shawn Bratton

J.D. '03

Shawn Bratton (J.D. ’03), a part-time magistrate judge and attorney from Lawrenceville, Ga.-based litigation group Mahaffey Pickens Tucker, has been appointed by Gov. Nathan Deal to fill the vacancy left by Judge Randy Rich.

July 2014

Sandy Semerad

sandy in party attire
B.A. '82

A Message in the Roses,” a novel by Sandy Semerad (B.A. ’82), has been released in e-book. The printed version will be available in book stores soon. This new book is loosely based on a murder trial Semerad covered as a newspaper reporter in Atlanta. Semerad has worked as a newspaper reporter, broadcaster, columnist and editor. Her publisher, Books We Love, Ltd., have republished her first two mysteries, “Sex, Love & Murder” and “Hurricane House,” which garnered four-and-a-half stars from Romantic Times and five stars from Midwest Book Review. For more information, visit her website,, or her publishers website,

Jacqueline Piland

J.D. '11

Jacqueline Piland (J.D. ’11) recently joined the Eichholz Law Firm in Savannah, Ga. Since 2008, Piland has been listed as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and Top 40 under 40 Trial Lawyers by the American Trial Lawyers Association. In 2009 and 2011, she was selected as a Georgia Super Lawyers® “Rising Star.”

Russ Childers

B.A. '72

The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) recently honored Russell B. Childers Jr.(B.A. ’72)  as the recipient of the Harold R. Gordon Memorial Award at the 84th Annual Convention in Scottsdale, Ariz.. This award is the health insurance industry’s most meaningful and significant honor. NAHU annually awards the industry’s greatest accolade, the Harold R. Gordon Memorial Award, which recognizes the recipient as the health insurance industry’s “Person of the Year.”

Elizabeth Anne Peiffer

B.A. '11

Elizabeth Anne Peiffer (B.A. ’11)  has been selected to participate in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. She will have the unique opportunity to spend one year completely immersed in Japanese culture as an Assistant Language Teacher in Shizuoka, Japan. In 2011, she studied Hindi in Jaipur, India as a part of the U.S. Department of State’s Critical Language Scholarship Program. She also spent a year teaching English in Pohang, South Korea with the English Program in Korea. The JET Program invites young college graduates to Japan to teach English in schools or to engage in international exchange activities at local government offices. Participants experience Japan at the grassroots level through daily activities at schools and local governments, and act as “cultural ambassadors” of the United States to the local community.

Priscilla Oliver

Ph.D. '89

The National Science Foundation’s International and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) has named Priscilla Oliver the 2014 recipient of the distinguished Walter F. Snyder Environmental Health Award. Oliver received the award on July 8 at the NEHA Annual Educational Conference in Las Vegas for four decades of significant and lasting contributions to environmental and public health through education, leadership, dedication and community service. The Snyder Award is given annually in honor of NSF International’s co-founder and first executive director, Walter F. Snyder, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the advancement of environmental health. Oliver is a Senior Life Scientist with the Office of the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Atlanta. She also serves as the U.S. EPA Region 4 Regional Program Manager for Partnerships for Sustainable Healthcare, working with state agencies and hospitals throughout the southern U.S. to reduce overall hospital waste and prevent pollution.

Andrew Murphy

Andrew Murphy, Senior Vice President, UBS Financial Services
MBA '01

Andrew Murphy (MBA ’01), Senior Vice President of UBS Financial Services, has been elected as the fund development committee chair for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta. Murphy is currently the vice chair and also a steering committee member for Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta’s Second Century Circle. Prior to joining UBS, Andy served as a Director in the Private Client Services Division at Deutsche Bank in Atlanta and was a senior vice president in the Private Capital Management Group at Wachovia Bank earlier in his career. During the upcoming year, Murphy’s leadership will help cultivate stronger relationships with corporations, foundations and philanthropic individuals in greater Atlanta. Murphy resides in Atlanta with his wife, Laura, and their three children. He has been and continues to be involved in various civic and community activities and organizations.

June 2014

Ben R. Campbell

Head Shot
B.B.A. '13

Ben R. Campbell (B.B.A. ’13) has joined Ackerman & Co. as brokerage associate. He focuses on land sales and investment sales in the Southeast. Campbell is also a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) candidate. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ackerman & Co. is a privately held, full-service commercial real estate firm focused on providing quality investment, brokerage, management and development services.

Todd James

B.A. '97

Todd James (B.A. ’97), post-production supervisor for Sesame Street, won the Emmy award for outstanding achievement in multiple camera editing June 23 in Los Angeles. This is James’ fifth Emmy award in the category.


Dr. Kevin Eisensmith

M. Mu. '83

Kevin Eisensmith (M.Mu. ’83) was honored at the 2014 International Trumpet Guild Conference, held in Valley Forge, Penn., as one of three recipients of the ITG “Award of Merit.” The Award of Merit is one of two “lifetime achievement awards created by the International Trumpet Guild and is given “to those individuals who have made substantial contributions to the art of trumpet playing through performance, teaching, publishing, research, composition and/or support of the goals of The International Trumpet Guild.” To date only 35 individuals have been selected for this recognition. Eisensmith is Professor of Trumpet at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he also directs the IUP Jazz Ensemble and the IUP Trumpet Ensemble.

Patricia Thompson

Ph.D. '03

Patricia Thompson’s  (Ph.D. ’03), new book  “The Consummate Leader: a Holistic Guide to Inspiring Growth in Others … and in Yourself” will be released July 8. Thompson is a corporate psychologist and management consultant, and her book is earning praise: “An invaluable, insightful, even artful book, Dr. Thompson’s The Consummate Leader offers a vision of you at your best. Everyone wants to be as effective, creative, and successful as possible, and this book shows you how. Excellent!” —Marshall Goldsmith, Author of the New York Times and global bestseller “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.” Visit for more details.

Carlos Roberto Ruano

M.S. '92

Carlos Ruano (M.S. ’92)  is now Departure Briefings Expert for Foreign Service Officers at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development in Ottawa, Canada. This assignment follows a career spent in overseas development work with United Nations Agencies, WorldBank and the Canadian International Development Agency. He also completed his program evaluation certificate with the WorldBank’s Independent Evaluation Group and the International Program for Development Evaluation Training.

Zack Hawley

B.S. '06, M.A. '08, Ph.D. '12

Zack Hawley (B.S. ’06, M.A. ’08, Ph.D. ’12), an assistant professor of economics at Texas Christian University and a former research associate for Georgia State’s Fiscal Research Center, was named one of NerdScholar‘s “40 Under 40: Professors Who Inspire.”

Candace Morrow

Candace with her publisher DuBose Porter and editor Judy Bailey
B.A. '06

Candace Morrow (B.A. ’06), associate editor of The Baldwin Bulletin and The Wilkinson County Post (at left, with Bulletin publisher DuBose Porter and editor Judy Bailey), won first place in feature writing for weekly newspapers during the Georgia Press Association’s 128th annual convention at Jekyll Island. Morrow won the award for The Baldwin Bulletin, her first in community newspapers and the first award newspaper has ever won in its 10-year history. In her rare free time, she is the founder and editor of her own Western fashion blogazine, Southern Styles & Steeds , which explores fashion, beauty and lifestyles of African-American cowhands.

Randy Smith

M.Ed. '92, Ed.S. '97

Randy Smith (M.Ed. ’92, Ed.S. ’97) has taught science at Darlington School in Rome, Ga., since 2000 and also coaches middle school wrestling and soccer. He is a member of ISTE, a recipient of Darlington’s 2012 Brown Faculty Award, a co-recipient of the 2012 Carla and Leonard Wood Faculty Professional Development Endowment Award and recipient of the 2014 Beachum Master Teacher Award. He was also selected to present at the 2013 iSummit Technology Conferences, was a panelist at 2014 AATE Tech Forum on Flipping the Classroom & Using Flexbooks to Create Curriculum, and has presented at the 2013 Annual GISA Conferences encouraging the integration of technology in the classroom, embracing professional change, advancing middle school wrestling programs and motivating teachers.