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Class notes: Alumni news and updates from 2018

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The following updates were submitted to the College of Education in December for our annual magazine and represent updates and achievements from the 2018 calendar year.


Thomas Hudson (BS '67, MED '68) co-authored "CARLAW F&I Legal Desk Book (8th Edition)," which is the official textbook for the Association of Finance and Insurance Professionals' certified finance and insurance professionals program.

Geraldine Williams (BSED '69, MED '79) presented at the annual American Art Therapy Association Conference in Miami. The presentation was "The Use of a Developmental Therapeutic Approach to Art Education."


Cheryll McLaughlin Adams (BSED '70) received the president's award from the National Association for Gifted Children.

Faye Kirschner (MED '71) was named Most Distinguished Part-Time Faculty Member on the Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern University. This is her 24th year teaching tennis classes for the university.

Larry Gerstein (MA '76, PhD '83) received the American Psychological Association's 2019 Award for Distinguished Contributions to the International Advancement of Psychology.

Mike Mulligan (PHD '72), founder of Mulligan & Associates, established the Career Pathway Mentoring Institute, which helps individuals focus on setting and achieving objectives as they go through a career transition.

Tom Poland (ABJ '71, MED '75) published a new book, "South Carolina Country Roads," and received South Carolina's Order of the Palmetto, the highest award conferred by the state, from the governor.

Judi Reiss (BBA '70, MED '72) was elected prothonotary for Bucks County in Pennsylvania. In this position, she has administrative control over and responsibility for all official documents and records of the civil and family divisions within the county court system.

Michelle Hairston (BMUS '76, MED '77, EDD '84) received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Music Therapy Association. The year also marked Hairston's retirement after 42 years as a teacher and music therapist.

Catherine Payne (BSED '77, MED '84, EDD '04) sold her farm and closed her business, Broad River Pastures, to move closer to family in Athens. She also completed the manuscript of her book documenting the history of a Southern homestead heritage hog, which should be released this year.

Leo Twiggs (EDD '70) received the prestigious 1858 Prize from the Gibbs Museum of Art's auxiliary group. Twiggs is an award-winning batik artist.

Kathleen Jones (MED '75) was appointed by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to serve on the Parent and Community Education Involvement Advisory Council, a three-year term. This is in addition to serving on the Committee for the Massachusetts Science and Engineering State Fairs.


Patrick Taylor (MAED '78, PHD '82) began a second term as mayor of Highlands, North Carolina.

Diana Cole (BSED '84) was named Georgia Grown's Teacher of the Year at the Georgia Organics Awards.

Frank Ros (MED '84) received the 2018 Alumni of Distinction Award from the UGA Graduate School.

Lisa Lucks Mendel (BSED '83, MED '84) was promoted to professor and named associate dean of graduate studies at the University of Memphis.

Deatrice Stroud (BSED '87) retired after 30 years working for the state of Georgia, most recently as an adjudication officer.

Tom Walter (PHD '88) retired after 42 years of working in higher education, primarily in student affairs administration.


Huda Alkaff (MA '96, MS '97) received the 2018 Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education Eco-Justice Award. This inaugural honor is for individuals, agencies, and organizations taking steps to work toward equity and environmental justice in Wisconsin. Alkaff, who is founder and director of Wisconsin Green Muslims, also received the 2018 RE-AMP Network Superstar recognition. The RE-AMP Network includes more than 130 nonprofits and foundations across eight midwestern states working on climate change and energy policy, with the goal of equitably eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the Midwest by 2050.

Vicki Jones (BSED '92, MED '93) began a new position at the Capital Region Board of Cooperative Services in upstate New York.

Dan Smith (BFA '97, MAED '02) is fine arts, health, and PE curriculum coordinator for the Clarke County School District.

Donna Long (BSED '90) was named principal of Shallowford Falls Elementary in Cobb County. Allison Moran (MED '91) received the 2018 Alumni of Distinction Award from the UGA Graduate School.


Rebecca Fatima Sta. Maria (PhD '00) became the first woman appointed as executive director of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Secretariat.

Jennifer Whitaker (BSED '01, MED '03, EDS '07) was named principal of Oconee County Primary School in Watkinsville, Georgia.

Rebecca Hubbard (BSED '02, MED '03) is director of enrollment management-retention and strategic initiatives at Louisiana State University.

Margaret Robbins (BSED '02, MAT '04, PHD '17) published a chapter in the book "Comic Connections" by Sandra Eckard and also published the article "SHH, Don't Speak: The Act of Overcoming Silencing and Empowering Acts of Education" in The Qualitative Report.

Emily Craft (BSED '03) is now director of internships at Reformed University Fellowship.

LaKeisha Gantt (MED '03, PHD '10) was elected to the Clarke County Board of Education in Athens.

Lee Grimes (MED '03, PHD '11), a graduate of the counseling and student personnel services program, was named Counselor Educator of the Year by the Georgia School Counselors Association.

Amy Smith (MED '04) is now the associate vice president for enrollment management at Georgia Southern University.

Willie Mazyck (BSED '04, MED '06, MBA '14) started a new position as vice president of learning and development for XPO Logistics, a Fortune 500 logistics and supply-chain company.

Heena Patel (BSED '07, MED '08, EDD '13) opened a Goddard School in Peachtree City.

Sherry Clouser (EDD '05) is now director of instructional and curricular innovation for the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine.

Chris Miller (BSED '07) opened Concierge Physical Therapy in Orlando, Florida. The business involves traveling to clients' homes and offices to provide treatments.

Laura Ross (BSW '01, MSW '05, EDS '08), a graduate of the professional school counseling program, was named the Georgia School Counselors Association's School Counselor of the Year.

Donna Lee Sullins (MED '08, EDD '16) is development relations coordinator for the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University. In August, she and her husband welcomed their first child, Luke Roman Sullins.


Karen Griffith (PHD '11), a graduate of the counseling and student personnel services program, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Georgia School Counselors Association.

Alisa Swain (MAT '11) published "The New Teacher's Guide: A New(ish) Teacher's Honest Advice for Better Classroom Management."

Abigail Fish (BSED '12, MS '14) is the director of marketing and the swim technique coach with RITTER Sports Performance.

Jackie Clark (PHD '17) began a tenure-track faculty position in the College of Education and Counseling at St. Martin's University in Washington state. She is also the program director for a new master of education program in higher education and student affairs.

Chelsey (Stump) Manning (BSED '10) married Philip Manning (BBA '07, MAT '10).

J'Mia Byrd (BSED '10) launched the flagship program for her company, New Breed Works. The program, called the Crafting Champions Symposium, works to teach student-athletes about NCAA eligibility, SAT and ACT tests and registration processes, the college preparation and admissions process, and engages students in life skills workshops and panels of former and/or current athletes and coaches.

Jordan Holliday-Millard (ABJ '09, MED '12) was selected as the Outstanding M.Ed. Alumni Award Winner for the UGA college student affairs administration program. Holliday-Millard also served as chair for the 2018 conference of the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education in San Diego.

Christy Sutton (MED '12) was one of two elementary teachers across Georgia to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

Erika (Grimm) Dixon (MS '16) is coordinator of partnership services at James Madison University for Learfield IMG College.

Sydney Jensen (BSED '13) was named the 2019 Nebraska Teacher of the Year.

Haley Terrell (BSED '16) started her own photography business, Haley Terrell Photography.

Nikki Tobias (PHD '13) led students in her "Program and Event Planning and Management" class to raise $4,000 for local nonprofit agencies.

Lindsay (McMichael) Sitterley (BSED '13, MED '15) was nominated as the Page One (Ledger Enquirer) Teacher of the Year for Hardaway High School, spoke at the Georgia Lottery and HOPE Scholarship celebration at the State Capitol, and became an academic coach in Muscogee County, Georgia.

Frank Zamora (BSED '13) was selected as the Johnson High School Teacher of the Year and the Hall County District Teacher of the Year.

Shelly Gleaton Blair (MAT '14) received her education specialist degree from Piedmont College and is teaching in the Walton County School District.

Lauren Rios (BSED '14) is research manager at USA Triathlon and oversaw her 23rd world championship.

Mutlu Şen Akbulut (PHD '17) is assistant professor of educational technology at Boğaziçi University in Turkey.

Elizabeth Jennings (BSED '18) and Laura Moeller (BSED '18) were among nine UGA alumni who received English teaching assistantship awards from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.

Nathaniel Brown (PHD '17) is now an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Education and Counseling at Lewis and Clarke College in Portland, Oregon.

Kethia Booker Gates (BSFCS '12, MED '17) married Kenarious Gates (BBA '14) in Athens. Kethia is also the new annual giving coordinator in the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Ashley Britton (PHD '17) completed a clinical health psychology post-doctoral fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and received a clinical faculty position as assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.

Maryam Miller (MED '17) published "Loveletters," which was featured on Midwest Book Review's "Bookwatch" list.

Nancy Vazquez (BSED '17) landed her "dream job," teaching kindergarten in the elementary school she attended as a child.

Caroline DeSandre (BSED/MED '18) is a teacher at Lake Oconee Academy in Greensboro, Georgia.

Ayca Karasahinoglu Fackler (MA '18) is pursuing a doctoral degree in science education, also at UGA. She also married Nate Fackler, who is a Ph.D. student in linguistics at UGA.

Beverly E. Johnson (MPA '02, EDD '17) received the Walter Barnard Hill Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach from the UGA Office of Public Service and Outreach, as well as the Tom Ahlers System Building Award from the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals.

Kyle Bower (PHD '18, qualitative studies certificate) is a postdoctoral research associate at the UGA Impact Evaluation Unit, and has also led several ATLAS.ti workshops and trainings across the United States as a certified instructor.

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