Class Notes

July 2013

Joseph Vignat

M.P.A. 1992

Joseph Vignat (M.P.A. ’92) was appointed Co-Chair of Georgia’s Juvenile Justice Incentive Grant Program Funding Committee, a program created by Governor Deal to review and fund local community programs designed to reduce youth recidivism across the state.

Eileen Smith

Eileen Msith
B.A. 1979

Eileen Smith (B.A. ’79), director of the E2i Creative Studio at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla., was featured as one of the 2013 “Faces of Technology” in the Florida High Tech Corridor Council’s annual magazine, “Florida HIGH TECH 2013,” for her innovative work in the design and production of modeling and simulation products as tools for diverse audiences.

Michael Fridovich

B.S. 1978

Michael Fridovich (B.S. ’78) has been elected to the city council of Gulfport, Fla.

Barbara “Babs” Johnston

B.A. 1969
M.Ed. 1971
Sp.Ed. 1974
Ph.D. 1987

Barbara “Babs” Johnston (B.A. ’69, M.Ed. ’71, Sp.Ed. ’74, Ph.D. ’87), received the Morgan [County] Fund’s third annual Volunteer Community Service Award for her service and dedication to education as a life-long teacher and professor at Georgia State. Johnston served as a mentor in the Morgan County Board of Education’s Mentoring Program and was also involved in several organizations including the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, the Boys and Girls Club, the Morgan Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, as well as other local nonprofits.

Cheryl Orlansky

Cheryl Orlansky
B.S. 1991

Cheryl Orlansky (B.S. ’91) was named Outstanding Dietitian of the Year by the Georgia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Orlansky has also worked with local media to create the “Diet 411” hotline, educational videos  and a seasonal cookbook titled, “Seasonal Eats: A Recipe Collection of Georgia Products.”

Jerry Weil

M.Tax. 1987

Jerry Weil (M.Tax. ’87) joined the Bennett Thrasher PC firm as a shareholder. Weil has more than 30 years of tax advisory experience with clients in the manufacturing, distribution and technology industries.

Lisa Broadhurst

M.S. 2007

Lisa Broadhurst (M.S. ’07)) Environmental and Biosafety Manager is now a Registrant of the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists after recently becoming a certified as a Specialist Microbiologist in Biological Safety Microbiology.

John Azuero

M.A. 2013

John Azuero (M.A. ’13) was selected by the U.S. State Department to participate in a two-month internship with the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Georgianne Thomas

M.Ed. 1974

A documentary featuring Georgianne Thomas (M.Ed. ’74) titled “Foot Soldiers: Class of 1964,” received the Best Documentary-Short and the Audience Favorite Awards at the 21st Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Marion Blackwell Jr.

Marion Blackwell
B.B.A 1953

Marion Blackwell Jr. (B.B.A ’53) recently published his first book, “Blue Locusts,” a collection of non-fiction articles, short stories, essays and poems.

Ingrid Kraus

Ph.D 1982

Ingrid Kraus (Ph.D ’82) recently published her first novel “The Red Leather Chair,” a family drama about betrayal and forgiveness in the American Heartland.

Richard L. Glover

M.P.H. 2005

Richard L. Glover (M.P.H. ’05) was awarded his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Diane White

Diane White
B.S. 1987
M.S. 1993
Ph.D. 2005

Diane White (B.S. ’87, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’05), the former dean of health sciences at Georgia Perimeter College, was chosen to become the Founding Dean of Health Sciences at Georgia Gwinnett College.

Dustin Neighbors

B.A. 2005

Dustin Neighbors (B.A. ’05) is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in early modern history at the University of York in England.

Jayson Smith

B.B.A. 1986

Jayson Smith (B.B.A. ’86) plays Wendall Jelks, a recurring role on the new Sundance Channel television series “Rectify.”

Erin Glynn

Erin Glynn
B.A. 2006

Erin Glynn (B.A. ’06) recently studied at the National institute of Ireland in Galway under Professor Jeffrey Minear, chief counsel to the chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Mark A. Thompson

Mark Tompson
Ph.D. 1994

Mark A. Thompson (Ph.D. ’94) was recently promoted to vice president/provost of Quinnipiac University. Beginning July 1, 2013 Thompson will be responsible for academic affairs, student affairs, athletics, public safety, facilities and information technology at the university.

Marlon Montgomery-Kristen Edwards

Marlon and Kristen Montgomery
B.A. 2006
B.S. 2006

Marlon Montgomery (B.A. ’06) and Kristin Edwards (B.S. ’06), the former Mr. and Miss Freshman of the class of 2006, were married on Sept. 30, 2012. The couple has been together since their days at Georgia State.

Brad Beisbier

Brad Besiber
MBA 2003

Brad Beisbier (MBA ’03) is the new senior vice president and commercial area executive of First Citizens Bank. He will oversee overseeing all daily commercial operations in the bank’s Atlanta market and develop strategies to build client relationships.

Lindsey Stephenson


Lindsey Stephenson (B.A.’07), a former Fulbright Fellow to Kuwait, recently graduated from Aga Khan University and her thesis was awarded the best in her class.

Shardey Mitchell

B.B.A. 2011

Shardey Mitchell (B.B.A. ’11), a management analyst at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, received the Outstanding Volunteer Award for serving as tournament director at the Topographic Engineering Center’s FIRST LEGO® League Regional Qualifying Tournaments robotics tournament.

Suzanne Allen

Suzanne Allen
Ph.D. 1993

Suzanne Allen (Ph.D. ’93) was named the third president of Philanthropy Ohio, an organization that provides leadership for philanthropy in Ohio.

June 2013

Sim F. Doughtie

B.B.A. 1976

Sim F. Doughtie (B.B.A. ’76), president of King Industrial Realty Inc., recently earned his fourth professional designation, SLCR (Senior Leader of Corporate Real Estate), from CoreNet Global. Doughtie has already earned three honorable designations from CoreNet Global, and is one of only few professionals worldwide to hold all four professional designations at the same time.

Tim Blue

M.A. 2003
Ph.D. 2009

Tim Blue (M.A. ’03, Ph.D. ’09) released his book “Compelled: A Memoir of OCD, Anxiety, Depression, Bi-Polar Disorder, and Faith…Sometimes,” a story revealing his lifelong battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Wendy Park

Wendy Park
MS 1995
Ph.D. 2011

Wendy Park (MS ’95, Ph.D. ’11) has accepted a position at the University of Oregon as Clinical Supervisor of Mental Health Services in the University Health Center.

Wendy Wilmoth

B.A. 1992

Wendy Wilmoth (B.A. ’92) was recently appointed Director of Library Services at Fort Scott Community College in Fort Scott, Kan.

Bonnie Ruszczyk

MBA. 1901

Bonnie Ruszczyk (MBA. ’01) was named one of Accounting Today’s 100 Most Influential People of 2012. Ruszczyk was listed with several noteworthy leaders such as President Barack Obama and Security and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Shapiro.

Richard Tyler

Richard Tyler
MBA 1995

Richard Tyler (MBA ’95) was recently promoted to Director of Land Management, U.S. for Lafarge, a construction materials company. He will be supervising over 600 mining and geology sites across the U.S.

Nelson Merchan

Nelson Merchan
MBA 1989

Nelson Merchan (MBA ’89) president and Founder of the Hispanic online advertising agency, CLICROI LLC, was named chairperson for the Western Connecticut chapter of SCORE, an program dedicated to helping individuals and entrepreneurs reach their business objectives.

Sam Massell

B.C.S 1951

Sam Massell (B.C.S ‘51), president of the Buckhead Coalition and former Atlanta mayor, received the “Four Pillar Award” from the Council for Quality Growth for his contributions to the city of Atlanta and the State of Georgia.

Tamiko Leverette

B.A. 1999
B.B.A. 1999

Tamiko Leverette (B.A. ’99, B.B.A. ’99), president of Nonprofit Dream, was named one of the Top 10 Business Women of The American Women’s Business Association, a national program honoring members for their excellence in career, education and community involvement.

Leo J. Hill

B.B.A. 1978
MBA 1982

Leo J. Hill (B.B.A. ’78, MBA ’82) was recently appointed to serve on the board of Ameris Bancorp and he will also serve as the director of Ameris Bank, the company’s bank subsidiary. Hill is the owner of Advisor Network Solutions, LLC consulting firm and a director for several Transamerica mutual funds.

Amy-Katherine Gray

MBA 2009

Amy-Katherine Gray (MBA ’09) was promoted to Manager at KPMG LLP’s Management Consulting Practice after working with the firm since 2009.

Arefeen Chowdhury

B.S. 2009
M.S. 2010

Arefeen Chowdhury (B.S ’09, M.S. ’10) was appointed the Occupational Health and Safety Officer at Georgia State University Department of Risk Management, and he will also serve as the Right-To-Know Coordinator and Workers Compensation Administrator for Georgia State as well.