Class Notes

September 2016

Lauren Beatty

B.A. '11

Lauren Beatty, (BA ’11) was recently named Senior Environmental Educator at Georgia Aquarium. Prior to working at Georgia Aquarium, Beatty served as School Programs Coordinator at Cincinnati Museum Center, and Public Outreach Educator at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. An educator with eight years of experience, she has also served as public relations chair for the Greater Cincinnati Earth Coalition, become certified as a Tourism Ambassador, and joined the National Association for Interpretation as a Certified Interpretive Guide.

Melannie Alexander

M.P.H. '09

Melannie Alexander (M.P.H. ’09) recently joined the John P. Murtha Cancer Center as an Epidemiologist. Alexander also published an article in in July in the journal Sleep on sleep disorder trends among United States veterans who seek care in the Veterans Health Administration.

Jan Wood Wilson

B.S. '94

Jan Wood Wilson (B.S. ’94) was named Media Specialist of the Year for Gwinnett County Schools in March. She also won Media Specialist of the Year for the Metro District in June and is one of 10 finalists for State Media Specialist of the Year to be announced in November

Teresa Taylor

M.P.A. '12

Teresa Taylor (M.P.A. ’12) has been named as the new assistant city manager in LaGrange, Ga. Taylor most recently served as the assistant to the city manager and communications manager for the city of Chamblee. She earned a master of public administration degree with a concentration in management and finance from Georgia State in 2012.

Dionne Glass

M.Ed. '02

Dionne Glass, (M.Ed. ’02) was recently named principal of the new Wolf Creek Elementary School near College Park, Ga. Prior to working at Wolf Creek Elementary, Glass served as principal of Brookview Elementary. A veteran educator with 25 years of experience, she has also served as assistant principal, curriculum support teacher and classroom teacher in the East Point/College Park community.

Stephen Prudhomme

Stephen Prudhomme and Forrest Gump share an affinity for running and Savannah.
B.A. '85

Stephen Prudhomme (B.A. ’85) recently started a running tour business in Savannah. The 90-minute run takes in many of the sites of Savannah’s historic district.

James Bandy

B.A. 1988

James Bandy (B.A. ’88) has been named the special assistant to the chancellor for athletics compliance at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Bandy previously worked at the University of South Dakota.

Christopher Stevenson

B.S. '07

Christopher Stevenson (B.S. ’07) is the new crime analyst for the Rapid City, S.D., police department. Stevenson earned his bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Georgia State.

August 2016

Kathryn Rawls

MBA '88

Katie Rawls (MBA ’88), President and CEO of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence, has been named by the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to the Board of Examiners for the 2016 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award is the nation’s highest honor for organizational innovation and performance excellence.



Lori Wagnon

B.B.A. '85

Lori Wagnon (B.B.A.’85) was recently named principal in the accounting firm Smith & Howard, Certified Public Accountants and Advisors. She joined the firm in 1993. John Lucht, Managing Partner of Smith & Howard made the announcement saying “Lori is a leader and role model at Smith & Howard. She has played an active role in developing a successful practice while demonstrating commitment to our clients, our people and our community at the highest level. We are very proud to name her as a Principal at Smith & Howard.”

Travis Williams

B.B.A.'95, M.S. '99

Travis Williams (B.B.A. ’95, M.S. ’99) has been named as the new men’s basketball coach at Maynard H. Jackson High School in Atlanta. Williams played at Georgia State from 1992-96 and is among the top 20 scorers in Panther history. His coaching career has included head coaching stops at Fort Valley State and Tennessee State while serving as assistant at Mercer, Georgia State and Tennessee State.

Aimee Cribbs

M.Ed. '97

Aimee Cribbs (M.Ed. ’97) has been honored by PeopleAdmin’s Inspired2Educate recognition program. Cribbs, who submitted a video about what inspired her to choose education as her life’s work, is an adjunct professor of graduate studies at Piedmont College in Demorest, Ga., and an art and health teacher at Ellijay Elementary School in Ellijay, Ga.

Steve Owen

Steve Owen
B.B.A. '98

Steve Owen (B.B.A. ’98) has joined OnPoint Community Credit Union as Senior Vice President/Chief Operations Officer. Owen, a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, will oversee all aspects of operations, marketing and business relationship development for Oregon’s largest credit union. OnPoint has $4.2 billion in assets and serves more than 304,000 members in 15 counties in Oregon and southwest Washington.

July 2016

Dan A. Sims

B.S. ’95, M.Ed. ’01, Ed.D. ’16

Dan A. Sims (B.S. ’95, M.Ed. ’01, Ed.D. ’16) was recently named Associate Superintendent of Schools (9-12) for Atlanta Public Schools. In this role, he will provide direct instructional support and operational oversight of principals and their schools.

Bejanae Kareem

M.Ed '06

Bejanae Kareem (M.Ed  ’06) program coordinator in the College of Education & Human Development’s Department of Early Childhood and Elementary Education, recently accepted a position with WestEd, a nonprofit research, development and service agency working with education and other communities to improve education and other important outcomes for children, youth and adults.

June 2016

Hugh Brown

Hugh Brown, Principal/Trust Officer, Pendleton Square Trust, MBA 1994
MBA '94

Hugh Brown (MBA ’94) was recently hired as Principal/Trust Officer for Pendleton Square Trust and Family Office in Chattanooga, Tenn.  Brown joins Pendleton Square following a 20-year career in corporate and commercial banking. He has worked with dozens of family-owned businesses, often during times of significant transition such as acquisitions, organic growth and divestiture. Brown also sits on the board of the Chambliss Center for Children, where he serves on the Executive Committee as Assistant Treasurer. He also is a member of the McCallie School Alumni Council.

Dan Forrester

Dan Forrester
B.B.A. '05

Dan Forrester (B.B.A. ’05) has been named a partner with The LaRocco Companies, Insurance Brokers and Consultants in Norcross, Ga. The company has more than 250 years of experience in employee benefits and risk management insurance.

James F. Conneely

Ph.D. '92

Dr. James F. Conneely (Ph.D. ’92) was recently appointed as President at the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA). UMA is comprised of two campuses and eight extension centers throughout the state of Maine enrolling 6,200 students.

Lynn Hesse

Lynn Hesse's Interview at 1690 AM Radio, Voice of the Arts
B.S. '96

Lynn Hesse, (B.S. ’96) the first place winner in the 2015 Oak Tree Press Writing Contest, Cop Tales, is launching her award-winning debut novel, “Well of Rage,” at the 2016 Decatur Book Festival. The novel is based on her law enforcement experience and is about how the “isms” separate us.

Janelle McCoy

Executive Director for the Oregon Bach Festival, Janelle McCoy
B.Mu. '96

Janelle McCoy (B.Mu. ’96), distinguished mezzo-soprano and longtime orchestra and choral manager, opens the season as the new executive director of the Oregon Bach Festival, the University of Oregon’s internationally recognized classical music celebration. McCoy, who comes to Eugene from The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, becomes just the fourth executive director in the organization’s history. She joined Artistic Director Matthew Halls in January as a key member of the leadership team, tasked with continuing the legacy of the Grammy Award-winning festival, as the festival opens it’s 47th season on Thursday.

Ben Miller

Ben Miller, Partner in the Transfer Pricing practice at Bennett Thrasher LLP
M.A. '08, Ph.D. '08

Bennett Thrasher LLP is pleased to announce the promotion of Ben Miller (M.A. ’08, Ph.D. ’08)to partner. Miller leads the firm’s Transfer Pricing practice. He has extensive experience preparing economic analyses that evaluate the pricing of intercompany transactions involving tangible goods, intangible property, services and loans. He teams with clients in a wide range of industries to design, implement, maintain and defend pricing policies that comply with transfer pricing rules and achieve strategic business objectives.

Loraine McMurray DiSalvo

Loraine McMurray DiSalvo
B.A. '94

Loraine McMurray DiSalvo (B.A. 94) was selected for inclusion in the 2016 Georgia Super Lawyers list. This is an honor given to only the top 5 percent of attorneys in the state, and selection is based on an intensive process which includes peer review, information provided by candidates, and an in house research program. This is Loraine’s 4th consecutive year on this list. In addition, her firm, Morgan & DiSalvo, P.C. was recently listed again by U.S. News & World Report as one of the Tier 1 Best Law Firms in the practice area of Trusts & Estates.

Bruce Ailion

M.S.R.E. '80, J.D. '90

Bruce Ailion (M.S.R.E. ’80, J.D. ’90), managing member of ATL Investors Commercial Acquisitions V, LLC, is pleased to the completion of $7.5 million equity fund and the opening of the $10 million ATL Investors Commercial Acquisitions VI, LLC focusing on the acquisition of commercial properties in metro Atlanta.

J. Faith Peppers

M.A. '93
B.A. '85

J. Faith Peppers (B.A. ’85, M.A. ’93), director of public affairs for the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, received the 2016 Professional Award from the Association for Communication Excellence. The professional award is the organization’s highest award and recognizes excellence, professionalism and achievement over time. Peppers was honored for her national leadership to elevate the role of agricultural communicators to further the land-grant university mission and to promote the land-grant system’s success to stakeholders nationwide.

Jestin Johnson

B.A. '03

Jestin Johnson (B.A. ’03), who most recently spent nearly two years as city manager in Bisbee, Ariz., located 90 miles southeast of Tucson, has been named the new assistant manager of Athens-Clarke County. He started his public service career as a policy analyst in the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget in Georgia.

Kelly Neel

Kelly Neel, Marketing Coordinator, SK Commercial Realty
B.A. '15

Kelly Neel (B.A. ’15) has been named marketing coordinator for SK Commercial Realty in Atlanta, Ga. Neel will lead the company’s communications and marketing initiatives through strategic development, planning and implementation. Neel’s expertise in marketing communications includes positions with Harry Norman Realtors and BigSky. She most recently served as an account director at StudentBridge where she assisted colleges and universities ranging from Ivy League, large state institutions, small liberal arts and community colleges in their recruitment and marketing efforts.

Dr. Donna Breault

Ph.D. '00

Dr. Donna Breault (Ph.D.’00) has been named dean for the Dwight Schar College of Education at Ashland University in Ashland, Ohio. Dr. Breault previously worked at Missouri State University, where she served as director of Program Review and Analytics. She earned a Ph.D. from Georgia State University in curriculum and instruction in 2000.

Connie Watjen

B.B.A. '97

Georgia Highlands College has named Connie Watjen (B.B.A. ’97) the new campus dean of its Paulding and Douglasville sites. Watjen, who joined Georgia Highlands in 2008, previously worked for AT&T, Coca-Cola and as an entrepreneur and freelance writer. Watjen moved from a part-time GHC instructor of English to a full-time instructor of English in 2009, and in the following year progressed to becoming an instructor of Learning Support English.