Class Notes

September 2013

Jennie Joiner

Joiner, Jennie
B.A. '98

Jennie Joiner, an assistant professor of English at Keuka College, has been invited to join the University of Virginia’s Digital Yoknapatawpha project and will collaborate with fellow Faulkner scholars on a long-term project to build interactive maps of the author’s fictional Yoknapatawpha County.

Bonnie Ruszczyk

Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk
MBA '01

Bonnie Buol Ruszczyk (MBA ’01), president of BBR Marketing in Atlanta, has been named one of AccountingToday’s 2013 Top 100 Most Influential People for the second year in a row. The list identifies and shines a spotlight on the individuals who make the greatest impact on the accounting industry.

Wenona Clark Belton

Wenona Clark Belton
J.D. '99

Wenona Clark Belton was sworn in on July 31, 2013, as associate judge for the Juvenile Court of Fulton County, Ga. She is the third Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist to join the bench.

Leslie Wiernik

B.B.A. '86

Leslie Wiernik (B.B.A. ’86) has been named president for the Atlanta Association of Health Underwriters, a nonprofit organization of health insurance agents, brokers and professionals, for the 2013-14 fiscal year.

Kaye Hagler

B.S. '77

Capstone Publishing recently released Kaye Hagler’s (B.S. ’77) second book, “Inquire, Investigate, Integrate – K-2 Science Connection.” Her first book, “Take Five for Language Arts!” (2011) is now in its second printing. She serves as both a speaker and presenter at national conferences such as the National Council of Teachers of English and the International Reading Association. She was awarded the Alabama Literacy Award for her contributions in promoting writing in education. A resident of Panama City Beach, Fla., she is an adjunct instructor at Gulf Coast State College. She and her husband, Terry, have one son, Seth, who works at Loyola College in New Orleans.

Linda McGehee

Ph.D. '93

Linda McGehee (Ph.D. ’93) was recently promoted to associate vice president for programs at the Center for Disease Control Foundation. In her new role, she leads the Foundation’s project implementation activities and is responsible for the program department’s daily operations. McGehee was an associate professor in the Georgia State School of Nursing from 1985-2005.

Michael W. Gunn

B.A. '77

Michael W. Gunn (B.A. ’77) recently retired after a 30-plus year career in mental health counseling and teaching about the addictive process. Now, Gunn enjoys reading, writing and continuing his studies in philosophy.

F. Faison Middleton IV

J.D. '95

F. Faison Middleton IV (J.D. ’95) has been named to the board of directors for Community Capital Bancshares, Inc. and its subsidiary, AB&T National Bank. Faison graduated cum laude from the College of Law where he served as managing editor of the Georgia State University Law Review.

Matt Montgomery

M.A. '96

Matt Montgomery (M.A. ’96) has been named chief marketing officer of the Trustees of Reservations, Massachusetts’ largest conservation organization.

Michael Koger

B.A. '01

Dr. Michael Koger (B.A. ’01) is a medical writer on worldwide public health issues such as immunizations, sexually transmitted diseases, malaria, mental health and other topics.

August 2013

LaKeisha R. Randall

Lakeisha Randall Pic
B.A. '07

LaKeisha R. Randall, Esq. (B.A. ’07), was appointed to the Membership Board of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. With more than 130,000 members, the division is the largest young lawyer organization in the world. One of four board members selected nationally, Randall’s one-year term begins in August 2013.

Erica V. Mason

B.B.A. '00

Erica V. Mason (B.B.A. ’00) was elected regional president for Region VII of the Hispanic National Bar Association. As regional president, Mason will serve a two year term overseeing Region VII, which covers Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi.

Kathy Russell

M.P.A. '07

Kathy Russell (M.P.A.’07) recently relocated to Washington, D.C. to serve as the assistant director of communications for St. Albans School at the Washington National Cathedral. Kathy attended American University for her undergraduate studies in communications. She has served in various marketing communications roles for organizations in the metro Atlanta area including The Lovett School, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and Camp Twin Lakes.

Amy B. Saul

J.D. 2011

Amy B. Saul (J.D. ’11) has joined the firm of Boyd Collar Nolen & Tuggle as an associate and has been selected to represent the State Bar of Georgia’s Young Lawyers Division on the Multi-Bar Leadership Council. Her one-year on term on the council began July 1. Saul previously served as staff attorney to Cobb County Superior Court Judge. J. Stephen Schuster.

Vince Rogers

B.A. 2007

Strategy consultant Vince Rogers’ (B.A. ’07) article “Building Your Brand as a Consultant by Utilizing the Keys to Success” was featured as the Cutting Edge Topic in the 2013 Pfeiffer Annual: “Consulting.” The article is referred to by the publisher as a “must-read article.”

Monica L. Kuykendoll

B.A. 1994

Monica L. Kuykendoll (B.A. ’94) was recently promoted from Global Project Manager to Service Executive, Signature Client Group with AT&T.

Lin MacMaster

B.A. 1982

Lin MacMaster (B.A. ’82) was named the first chief revenue and marketing officer for the American Cancer Society. MacMaster will be creating fundraising portfolios and strategic brand marketing efforts to help the organization’s new and existing supporters.

Sean Adee

Sean Adee
M.S. 1981

Sean Adee (M.S. ’81) was promoted from senior manager to Executive Director for Ernest & Young, LLP.

Christopher D. Watson

Christopher D. Watson
M.P.H 2010

Christopher D. Watson (M.P.H ’10) received the Minority Scholars Award at the American Medical Association Foundation’s annual meeting. Watson was awarded a $10,000 scholarship for his academic achievements and outstanding work in the medical field for research in areas such as cancer education and reducing tobacco use in Atlanta.

David Young

M.Ed 1992

David Young (M.Ed ’92) released his second book titled “More Skits & Raps for the Counselor.” This is the continuation of a how-to series that features creative ways for elementary and middle school counselors to help students.

Stuart Noel

Stuart Noel
M.A. 1996
Ph.D. 2003

Stuart Noel (M.A. ’96, Ph.D. ’03) was named dean and promoted to Professor of English at Georgia Perimeter College in Atlanta, GA.

Robin Hensley

Robin  Hensley
B.B.A. 1977

Robin Hensley (B.B.A. ’77), business development coach and president of Raising the Bar, was recognized by The National Law Journal as one of the nation’s Top Business Development Coaches in its second annual “Best Of” reader’s survey. Hensley specializes in coaching managing partners and other key law and accounting firm profitability leaders.

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.