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June 2008
Vol 87: No. 3
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Grad Notes



Sadhana Ravishanker (PhD ’98) of Tucson, Ariz., is a research professor in the veterinary science and microbiology department at the University of Arizona in Tuscon. Ravishanker’s research focuses on the stress response in foodborne pathogenic bacteria, including methods of pathogen control and natural antimicrobials. Her research on the rise of microorganisms in food was published as a feature article in American Scientist, the magazine of The Scientific Research Society.

Arts & Sciences

Bart Hildreth (DPA ’79) of Wichita, Kan., was named interim dean of the Barton School. He is one of four distinguished professors in Kansas and the only one at Wichita State University. Hildreth is also director of the Hugo Wall School of Urban and Public Affairs at Wichita State University and continues to teach a course in public affairs. Leslie Lowe (MPA ’85) of Stone Mountain was named chief financial officer of Bright From the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning. She is responsible for managing the department’s $450 million annual budget and a 98-person staff. Jeffrey J. Brooks (MS ’98) married Robin Mueller on July 29. After two years of post-doctoral research, he accepted a position as a social scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Conservation Planning and Policy. The couple now resides in Anchorage, Alaska. Kristen Miller (MA ’04) of Stannard, Vt., earned a juris doctor degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center. She is working as a federal judicial law clerk for Chief Judge Henry Boroff in the western division of Massachusetts Bankruptcy Courts. Claire Joyce (MFA ’06) of Jefferson City, Mo., was honored as one out of five year-end best visual-arts and theatrical offerings by Creative Loafing. Her winning show was “New Paintings” at the Fay Gold Gallery in Atlanta.


Bob Akins (MBA ’78) of Winter Garden, Fla., is the director of training and development for Lockheed Martin Missiles & Fire Control in Orlando, Fla. He recently received a NOVA award, which is Lockheed Martin’s highest honor for individual achievement. Less than 0.5 percent of the corporation’s 140,000 worldwide employees receive the honor each year. Susan Boltacz (MBA ’80, JD ’80) of Atlanta was named a member of the advisory board of the Georgia State College of Law Tax Clinic. Boltacz, group vice president at SunTrust Banks Inc., is the first woman to hold a position on the board. Keith Osbon (MBA ’97) is managing partner and chief investment officer of Sugarloaf Capital Group, a hedge fund in metropolitan Atlanta. He is married to Jennifer Osbon (MBA ’97), with whom he has three daughters. Lawrence Powell (PhD ’02) is chair of insurance and financial services at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


Sammy F. Smith (BSEd ’74, MEd ’78) of Gainesville, Ga., was elected to the Ward 5 Gainesville City Board of Education seat. Diane Hibbard (MEd ’79) of Woodbury, Conn., a learning center teacher at Pomperaug Elementary School, was chosen as 2008 Teacher of the Year for Pomperaug Regional School District 15. Irby “Skip” Sullivan (EdD ’99) of Carrollton is president of West Central Technical College—one of the area’s largest colleges and universities according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Mindy Swain Griffis (MEd ’04) of Griffin was named Teacher of The Year at Spalding High School. In her third year of teaching at Spalding High, Griffis was also one of three finalists for the Griffin-Spalding County School System’s Teacher of the Year Award. Alvetta Thomas (EdD ’04) of Fayetteville is acting president of Atlanta Technical College—one of the area’s largest colleges and universities according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Gary R. Davison (PhD ’07) was selected to be the first principal of Forsyth County’s Lambert High School, which is set to open for the 2009-10 school year. He currently serves as principal at South Forsyth High School.

Enviroment and Design

Kevin Chastine (MHP ’02) of Columbia, Tenn., graduated with a master’s of city and regional planning from Ohio State University. He also received the 2007 National Planning Leadership Award for a Student Planner from the American Planning Association.

Family & Consumer Sciences

Steven F. Chapman (PhD ’93) of Gold River, Calif., was appointed assistant secretary for the office of research at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this position, he directs program evaluation and research.

Forestry & Natural Resources

Terrence Larimer (BS ’76, MS ’82) of Charleston, S.C., is the natural and cultural resource manager for the Charleston Naval Weapons Station. He was awarded The Secretary of the Navy’s Environmental Award for the top department of the Navy Natural Resources Program large installations. Robert Smith (MS ’91) and Kristen Smith (MS ’94) of Greensboro, N.C., welcomed the birth of their baby girl, Annika Ingrid Smith, on June 13, 2007. Wendi Weber (MS ’97) of Amherst, Mass., is the new deputy regional director, Northeast, for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Journalism & Mass Communication

James Campbell Carroll IV (MA ’67) is an account executive for the northeast Florida area for Target Marketing of Baltimore, Md. The company was named small business of the year for 2007 by the 900-member Amelia Island, Fernandina and Yulee Chamber of Commerce. Patricia Zurita (MA ’06) and Enrique Carrion (ABJ ’99, MMC ’03) of Claremont, Calif., married in Guayaquil, Ecuador, on Dec. 22.


James Ney (JD ’67) of Marietta was named a member of Furman University’s board of trustees. He is a partner with Holt, Ney, Atcoff and Wasserman in Atlanta, and a Furman graduate. John “Skip” Hudgins IV (JD ’76) of Norcross is a partner at Weinberg, Wheeler, Hudgins, Gunn & Dial LLC—one of Atlanta’s top 25 law firms according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Gregory A. Adams (JD ’83) of Stone Mountain was honored with a Dekalb County government structure bearing his name. The Gregory A. Adams Juvenile Justice Center was so named because of Adams’ commitment to service as the chief judge of the Dekalb County Juvenile Court for 10 years. He is now a judge in the county’s Superior Court. Kimberly E. Holt (JD ’99) of Athens joined the law firm of Felt Law Group P.C. She will focus primarily on residential and commercial real estate. Nashekah Kimbro (JD ’99) of Lathrop, Calif., has been named a conflict specialist at Greenberg Traurig’s intake department in Sacramento, Calif. Steven L. Park (JD ’99) of Conyers was elected as partner of Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP. Brian Rickman (JD ’01) of Tiger was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue as district attorney for the mountain judicial circuit of Stephens, Habersham and Rabun counties. Thomas Harold Hawk III (JD ’02) and his wife, Elizabeth, of Atlanta are pleased to announce the birth of their daughter, Chambless Louise Hawk, born on Oct. 2. Joy Anderson (JD ’07) of Nashville, Tenn., was named an associate in the health care practice at Boult, Cummings, Conners & Berry PLC. Kenneth Franklin (JD ’07) of Cumming joined the Atlanta office of Stites & Harbinson PLLC, where he serves clients in the firm’s construction services group. Patrick Garrard (JD ’07) and Janna Custer (BSFCS ’96, JD ’07) joined their fathers—senior partners of Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C.—in the legal field. Custer works as an associate at The Jordan Firm on St. Simons Island, specializing in business litigation, toxic tort and products litigation. Garrard, who is currently a law clerk, will start as an associate in business and business litigation at his father’s practice in September. Jessica F. Kubat (JD ’07) of Birmingham, Ala., was hired as an associate by the real estate practice Maynard Cooper & Gale PC.


Calita S. Richards (PharmD ’90) of Nashville, Tenn., was promoted to director of pharmacy for the Tennessee Department of Health’s Bureau of Health Services. Among other duties, she is responsible for providing pharmaceutical guidance and information to the state’s 13 rural and metro public health pharmacists and providers of several statewide programs.

Veterinary Medicine

Laura Vaughn (PhD ’07) received her doctor of philosophy degree in medical microbiology. She is currently employed by the USDA in Athens.

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