Alumni in the News

Dr. Bronwyn Ragan-Martin

Dr. Bronwyn Ragan-Martin, a V-State alumna, will lead the Georgia Department of Education's new Office of Rural Education and Innovation starting in October. In this role, she will serve as a cabinet-level voice for the needs of rural Georgia in K-12 education policy.

The Office of Rural Education and Innovation will be established using Georgia’s ARP-ESSER federal stimulus funds and will work to address educational needs in rural Georgia, including connectivity, teacher retention and recruitment, resources and funding, and educator development. The office will establish state and community partnerships to channel resources and identify funding opportunities within the agency to support rural areas of the state.

Ragan-Martin is a Georgia educational leader with more than 31 years of experience. She has most recently served as Superintendent of the Early County School System and president of the Georgia School Superintendents Association. She earned a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from VSU in 2006. READ MORE

Dr. Branville Bard Jr.

Dr. Branville Bard Jr., a V-State alumnus, has been named Johns Hopkins University's new vice president for public safety. He will oversee security operations for all Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine campuses and facilities worldwide, with the exception of the Applied Physics Laboratory.

Bard is currently police commissioner of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he established the department’s family and social justice section to address the needs of vulnerable members of the community who are better served through a social justice approach. He brought in the department’s first child psychologist to connect Cambridge youth and their families with mental health services and its first recovery coach to help address challenges presented by the opioid epidemic. He launched a department-wide effort to proactively monitor data on police-citizen interactions for indications of possible racial profiling or biased policing and to make that information available through near real-time updates to a public dashboard.

Before joining the Cambridge department, Bard ascended through the ranks of the police department in his native Philadelphia, culminating in the leadership of the city’s largest police district, where he oversaw both reductions in crime and improvements in police-community relations. He was subsequently recruited to serve as chief of police and director of public safety for the Philadelphia Housing Authority Police Department, the fourth largest such agency in the nation.

Bard earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from VSU in 2013 and a Doctor of Public Administration in 2014.  READ MORE

Chad Studstill

Chase Studstill, a #VState alumnus, was recently appointed district attorney of the Alapaha Judicial Circuit (Atkinson, Berrien, Clinch, Cook, and Lanier counties in Georgia) by Gov. Brian Kemp. He has most recently served as a public defender in the Tift Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office. Studstill earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from VSU in 2013. READ MORE

Thomas W. Huyck

Thomas W. Huyck, a #VState alumnus, was recently named vice president of legal and general counsel for Spectrum Health Lakeland. He previously served as chief legal officer for Appalachian Regional Healthcare System in Boone, North Carolina, and was a partner with James-Bates-Brannan-Groover LLP in Macon, Georgia. Huyck earned a Master of Public Administration from VSU in 1993. READ MORE

Lori Trouille

Lori Trouille, a #VState alumna, was recently named diagnostic breast navigator at South Georgia Medical Center. She is an advanced nurse practitioner who has been with SGMC for 21 years, and in her new role, she will serve as a consistent care coordinator assessing the healthcare barriers and the physical, psychological, and social needs of breast cancer patients. Trouille earned a Master of Science in Nursing from VSU in 2010. READ MORE

Kristi Gonzales

Kristi Gonzales, a #VState alumna, was recently named principal of Cox Elementary School in Moultrie, Georgia, by the Colquitt County Board of Education, effective July 1, 2021. She previously served the Colquitt County School System from 2011 to 2017 and most recently served as assistant principal of North Brooks Elementary School in Morven, Georgia. Gonzales earned a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction in Accomplished Teaching from VSU in 2013 and an Education Specialist in Teacher Leadership from VSU in 2016. READ MORE

Tamara A. Seymour

Tamara A. Seymour, a #VState alumna, was recently appointed to the Kintara Therapeutics Inc. Board of Directors. She is a corporate finance veteran with three decades of experience in the biotech and life sciences industries. She has served as chief financial officer in both public and venture-backed private companies at all stages of development, and her experience includes leading finance, investor relations, managed care and reimbursement, human resources, administration, and information technology. Seymour earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from VSU in 1979. READ MORE

Olabamiji Yemi

Olabamiji Yemi Tubi, a #VState alumnus, was recently featured on Africa.com. He was born in Nigeria and studied graphic design at VSU before settling in the United Kingdom. He said, "Art is means life to me. Sometimes I could not stop or take a break for anything even to stop to eat when I start painting. I only stop when I am arrested by sleep because it is difficult to work if I cannot keep my eyes open." Tubi earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art from VSU in 1986. READ MORE

DeAnnia Clements

DeAnnia Clements, a #VState alumna, has been named interim president of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. She has invested more than 20 years in the Technical College System of Georgia, including 16 years at Wiregrass. She started her career as an adjunct instructor before serving in various administrative roles — dean of professional services, dean of allied health, associate vice president of academic affairs, and vice president of academic affairs. Clements earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from VSU in 1996. READ MORE

Kim Buechler

Kim Buechler, a #VState alumna, was recently appointed interim public health officer for the Washington Ozaukee Public Health Department. She has served as business manager for the health department since 2017 and has been actively involved in the health department’s COVID-19 pandemic response. Buechler earned a Master of Public Administration from VSU in 2019. READ MORE

Natasha Berry

Natasha Berry, a #VState alumna, has been named a Top 10 finalist for 2022 Georgia Teacher of the Year. She currently teaches third grade at Sallas Mahone Elementary School and previously taught in the Colquitt County and Lowndes County school systems. Berry earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education from VSU in 2003. READ MORE

Noelani Fender

Noelani Fender, a #VState alumna, recently joined Priority Marketing in Fort Myers, Florida, as a media relations specialist. She previously worked as a features and enterprise reporter for FOX4 in Southwest Florida, as well as a bureau multimedia journalist for WCTV Eyewitness News in Tallahassee, Florida, and WALB News 10 in Albany, Georgia. Fender earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Mass Media from VSU in 2015. READ MORE

Derek Parten

Derek Parten, a #VState alumnus, has been named principal of Warren County Middle School in Warrenton, Georgia. He previously served as a teacher for 14 years, teaching students social studies and mathematics. Parten earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from VSU in 2007. READ MORE

Kevin Moore

Kevin Moore, a #VState alumnus, has been named executive director of South Georgia Medical Center’s Hospice of South Georgia in Valdosta. He also serves on the Georgia Hospice and Palliative Care Board of Directors and the Park Avenue United Methodist Church Board of Trustees. Moore earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from VSU in 2009. He is a certified hospice and palliative care nurse. READ MORE

Pamela Heidelberg

Pamela Heidelberg, a #VState alumna, has been named assistant principal of Charlie A. Gray Junior High School in Moultrie, Georgia, effective July 1, 2021. She has held various roles in the Colquitt County School System since 2005, including parent involvement coordinator, school counselor, graduation coach, and lead counselor. Heidelberg earned an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership from VSU in 2017. READ MORE

Jebb Cato

Jebb Cato, a #VState alumnus, has been named assistant principal of Doerun Elementary School in Doerun, Georgia, effective July 1, 2021. He has worked as a teacher in the Colquitt County School System since 2014. Cato earned an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership from VSU in 2017. READ MORE

Nicol Lewis

Nicol Lewis, a #VState alumna, was recently named chief information security officer at Columbus State University. She will work to ensure that all of the university’s academic and operational data is protected and made accessible within the bounds of CSU and University System of Georgia information security policies. Her 20-year career has included progressive duties in data security and cybersecurity, enterprise-wide information technology risk management and compliance, and business continuity. Lewis earned a Master of Library and Information Science from VSU in 2007. READ MORE

Ken Kiser

Ken Kiser, a #VState alumnus, was recently named healthcare provider at Southwell Primary Care in Valdosta. The new practice is located at 2922-C North Oak Street and serves adults 18 years of age and older. Kiser earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from VSU in 1982. He is a nurse practitioner who specializes in adult medicine and gerontology. READ MORE

Scotty Hattaway

Scotty Hattaway, a #VState alumnus, was recently named superintendent of Emanuel County Schools in Swainsboro, Georgia. He previously served as deputy superintendent of Floyd County Schools in Rome, Georgia. He has 27 years of experience in education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, director of support services, deputy superintendent, and superintendent. Hattaway earned a Master of Education in Education Leadership from VSU in 2004 and an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership in 2006. READ MORE

O'tessa Pelham

O'tessa Pelham a #VState alumna, was recently named assistant principal at Cox Elementary School in Moultrie, Georgia. She joined the Colquitt County School System as a teacher at C.A. Gray Junior High from 2017 to 2021. Before that, she was a classroom teacher in the Dougherty County School System from 2011 to 2017. Pelham earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in Early Childhood Education from VSU in 2010. READ MORE

Holly B (McCarthy) Phillips

Holly B. (McCarthy) Phillips, a #VState alumna, assumed her new role as director of the Thomas County Public Library System in April and will soon oversee a nearly $1 million interior upgrade project. She previously served nine years as director of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System and Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library. Phillips earned a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2007 and Master of Library and Information Science in 2012, both from VSU. READ MORE

Mark Brooks

Mark Brooks, a #VState alumnus, has announced his retirement from South Georgia Technical College after 34 years of service. He joined the school in July 1987 as a purchasing agent / procurement officer and was promoted to administrative services director in 2007. Brooks earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from VSU in 1981. READ MORE

Robin Godwin

Robin Godwin, a #VState alumna, was recently named president of Ascension Sacred Heart Bay, formerly known as Bay Medical, in Panama City, Florida. She previously served as served as vice president of nursing at Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf in Port St. Joe, Florida, and as director of nursing at Archbold Memorial Hospital in Thomasville, Georgia, and at Mitchell County Hospital in Camilla, Georgia. Godwin earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1997 and a Master of Science in Nursing in 2005, both from VSU. READ MORE

Tonekia L. Phairr

Tonekia L. Phairr, a #VState alumna, was recently named assistant principal of Roswell High School in Roswell, Georgia. She previously held teaching positions in Fulton County, Cobb County, and Clayton County, has served as a professional development presenter at educational workshops across the country, and has more than 15 years of administration experience, most recently as an associate administrator in charge of standardized testing with Fulton County Schools. Phairr earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1999 and a Master of Public Administration in 2001, both from VSU. READ MORE

Clayton Cain

Clayton Cain, a #VState alumnus, has been named to The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 list. He is a Gwinett County, Georgia-based personal injury lawyer with Cain Injury Law. Cain earned a Bachelor of Arts in General Studies at VSU in 2010. He also earned All-America honors as a member of the Blazer baseball team. READ MORE

Amy Willis

Amy Willis, a #VState alumna, was recently named the 2021 recipient of the E. Lanier Carson Leadership Award at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. She has worked at ABAC since 1997 and currently serves as assistant vice president of academic affairs and registrar. Willis earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 1991 and a Doctor of Education in Adult and Vocational Education in 2003 from VSU. READ MORE

Kevin Ellis

Kevin Ellis, a #VState alumnus, has been named the new director of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System. He got his start in libraries back in 2012 working at the Lee County Library System where he stayed until joining the Pine Mountain Regional Library System as the assistant director of public services in 2019. Ellis earned a Master of Library and Information Science from VSU in 2017. READ MORE

Dr. Joe Pennino

Dr. Joe Pennino, a #VState alumnus, has officially been sworn in as the new chief of the Roswell Fire Department in Georgia. He joins Roswell after more than 18 years with Largo Fire Rescue in Florida, where served in nearly every capacity, including deputy fire chief. Pennino earned a Doctor of Public Administration from VSU in 2020. READ MORE

Jay Torbert

Jay Torbert, a #VState alumnus, is the new president of Southeastern Bank. He joined the bank in 2011 as its chief financial officer. Torbert is a certified public accountant. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from VSU in 1994. READ MORE

Gordy Steadman

Gordy Steadman, a #VState alumnus, recently joined Terracon, a national consulting engineering firm. He will manage business development, client relations, and strategic planning for the Northeast Florida market. He has more than 30 years of experience in the construction industry. Steadman earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Speech Communication from VSU in 1983. READ MORE

Allison Grubbs

Allison Grubbs, a V-State alumna, has been named the new director of Broward County Libraries Division in Florida. She has held the position of interim director since February 2021; she originally joined the libraries in June 2019 as division assistant director. She has more than a decade of public library experience. Grubbs earned a Master of Library and Information Science from VSU in 2009.  READ MORE

Dr. Clint Cawley

Dr. Clint Cawley, an orthopedist and V-State alumnus, recently joined Southwell's Georgia Sports Medicine Practice located at 2227 U.S. Highway 41 North in Tifton, Georgia. He previously worked as the assistant team physician for the Georgia Institute of Technology baseball team and Benjamin E. Mays High School in Atlanta.

Cawley earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology at VSU in 2011.  READ MORE

Bubba Carroll

Bubba Carroll, a V-State alumnus, recently turned a family woodworking tradition into a full-time business. The Madison, Florida, native reminisced about growing up with a grandfather who handmade every single Christmas present out of wood. Carroll would spend his summers with his grandfather, who taught him how to do the same.

Carroll earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in Special Education in 2001. He taught and coached at Madison County High School before moving to Madison Academy, now Madison Creative Arts Academy. He resumed the family Christmas tradition in 2017. Three years later he and his wife bought a building for a full-time store called The Depot.  READ MORE

Felecia J. Pryor

Felecia J. Pryor, a V-State alumna, was recently appointed to the Lincoln Educational Services Corporation Board of Directors. She currently serves as executive vice president and chief human resources officer at BorgWarner Inc., where her primary focus includes executive planning and compensation; talent and leadership development; culture, engagement, and sentiment; internal communications; diversity, equity, and inclusion. She previously served more than 16 years in human resources at the Ford Motor Company.

Pryor earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from VSU in 1998.  READ MORE

Adam Mobley

Adam Mobley, a V-State alumnus, was recently promoted to senior in Draffin Tucker’s healthcare practice, where he works on financial statement audits and reimbursement projects for healthcare providers. He is a certified public accountant licensed to practice in the state of Georgia. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from VSU in 2018, followed by a Master of Accountancy in 2019.  READ MORE

 

Monica Quezada

Monica Quezada, a V-State alumna, was promoted to associate II in Draffin Tucker’s healthcare practice, where she focuses on auditing healthcare entities and preparing Medicare and Medicaid cost reports for hospitals. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from VSU in 2018, followed by a Master of Accountancy in 2020. READ MORE

Sara Taylor

Sara Taylor, a V-State alumna, was promoted to associate II in Draffin Tucker’s resource solutions practice, where she focuses on providing consulting and accounting assistance. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from VSU in 2017, followed by a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting in 2020. READ MORE

Susan A. Clement

Susan A. Clement, a V-State alumna, has joined the College of Nursing and Health Sciences faculty at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. She will serve as a professor of nursing starting this fall.

Clement earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from VSU in 1996 and a Master of Science in Nursing in 2004. READ MORE

Wendy Murphy

Wendy Murphy, a V-State alumna, was recently named New Teacher of the Year by the Georgia Association for Career and Technical Education. She teaches coordinated career academic education courses at Colquitt County High School in Moultrie, Georgia, and has served the field of education for nearly two decades.

Murphy earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology from VSU in 1996. READ MORE

Loren Bass

Loren Bass, a V-State alumna, started making chili in 2013 while attending Graduate School at Valdosta State University. She turned her chili-making skills into a business known as LB's Chili Bar in 2019. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, she looked for ways to help her business survive the global health crisis by launching a line of sauces inspired by her chili flavors. She says being flexible and open to new ideas allowed her to remain in business.

Bass earned a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from VSU in 2013. READ MORE

Ben Haggerty

Ben Haggerty, a V-State alumnus, has joined The Law Offices of William F. Underwood, III P.C. in Albany, Georgia, and will focus his practice exclusively on representing people in workers' compensation and personal injury cases. He brings a unique perspective to injury cases because he previously worked as a defense attorney representing large insurance companies and corporations. He has an insider's perspective on how insurance companies fight injury claims, and he uses this to his clients' advantage. Haggerty earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from VSU in 2013. READ MORE

Gerald Thomas III

Gerald Thomas III, a V-State alumnus, has been named sports editor for both the Bryan County News in Richmond Hill, Georgia, and the Coastal Courier in Hinesville, Georgia. He previously worked as a sports stringer for The Valdosta Daily Times.

Thomas earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Mass Media from VSU in 2020. READ MORE

Tamara A. Seymour

Tamara A. Seymour, a V-State alumna, was recently appointed to the KemPharm Inc. Board of Directors. She currently serves as a board member for Artelo Biosciences Inc. and Kintara Therapeutics Inc., both publicly traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical companies.


Seymour is a corporate finance veteran with three decades of experience in the biotech and life sciences industries. She has served as chief financial officer in both public and venture-backed private companies at all stages of development, and her experience includes leading finance, investor relations, managed care and reimbursement, human resources, administration, and information technology.

Seymour earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from VSU in 1979. READ MORE

Jennifer Speights

Jennifer Speights, a V-State alumna, was recently appointed to the Senate Study Committee on Violence Against Health Care Workers by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp. She currently serves as vice president of operations at View Point Health in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She has more than 20 years of experience in the behavioral health field, including acute care and community settings, and she specializes in program development for individuals with behavior, substance abuse, and intellectual/developmental disability disorders.

Speights earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology at VSU in 1995, as well as a Master of Education in Special Education in 1997. READ MORE

Spencer Smith

Spencer Smith, a #VState alumnus, is the new chief operating officer at Northwest Florida Community Hospital in Chipley, Florida. He previously worked as a physician assistant at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Southern Medical Group and as a clinician at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Urgent Care Center. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from VSU in 2009. READ MORE

Filemon Lopez

Filemon Lopez, a #VState alumnus, was recently named one of 24 members selected for the Cable TV Pioneers 55th Annual Induction. He retired from Comcast Corporation in 2016 as senior vice president of strategic operations; he served Comcast and its predecessor companies for 30 years. Recognized as the first Hispanic Comcast executive, he held a leading role in the company’s diversity efforts, where he focused on building relationships and growing community-based projects. Lopez earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts from VSU in 1981. In 2017 he was presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award for the College of the Arts. READ MORE

John Southerland

John Southerland, a #VState alumnus, recently joined the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Bay Street Realty Group Cora Bett Thomas Realty Commercial Division in Savannah, Georgia. He has appraised commercial and residential properties for the past 20 years, and he has built and/or renovated more than a dozen homes. He plans to also continue to work as a commercial real estate appraiser with DeWitt, Cook & Associates. Southerland earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from VSU in 1994. READ MORE

Angela Hobby

Angela Hobby, a #VState alumna, has been named chief communications officer for the Colquitt County School System in Moultrie, Georgia. She most recently served as vice president of enrollment management at Wiregrass Georgia Technical College. She previously served as executive director of community and college relations and director of marketing and public relations at Wiregrass. Hobby earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from VSU in 1999. READ MORE

Regina Ross

Regina Ross, a #VState alumna, is the new chief legal adviser for JEA, a Jacksonville, Florida-based community-owned electric utility company. She previously served as deputy county attorney for St. Johns County and as a judicial law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida and the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania, and she previously worked for the U.S. Department of Defense. Ross earned a Master of Public Administration from VSU in 1997. READ MORE

Dr. Ellen Eanes Curson

Dr. Ellen Eanes Courson, a #VState alumna, has provided obstetrical and gynecological care to women in the Valdosta-Lowndes County area since 1991. She and two other physicians recently joined SGMC in establishing SGMC Women's Health, a complete women's healthcare practice. Courson earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from VSU in 1982. Two more VSU alumnae will join Courson at the new practice — Millie Taylor Jordan, a nurse practitioner who earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2011 and a Master of Science in Nursing in 2016, and Kristin Sharp Tucker, a nurse practitioner who earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2013. READ MORE

Tamara A. Seymour

Tamara A. Seymour, a #VState alumna, was recently appointed to the Artelo Biosciences Inc. Board of Directors. She is a corporate finance veteran with three decades of experience in the biotech and life sciences industries. She has served as chief financial officer in both public and venture-backed private companies at all stages of development, and her experience includes leading finance, investor relations, managed care and reimbursement, human resources, administration, and information technology. Seymour earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from VSU in 1979. READ MORE

James W. Hazel, Jr.

James W. Hazel Jr., a #VState alumnus, was recently appointed presiding judge for the Oro Valley Municipal Court in Oro Valley, Arizona. He has served as presiding judge for the Apache Junction Municipal Court in Apache Junction, Arizona, since 2008. He was previously judge for the City of Mesa from 2003 to 2008, judge of the Arizona Superior Court in Gila County from 2002 to 2003, and Gila County attorney. Hazel earned a Master of Public Administration from VSU in 2005. READ MORE

Courtney Evans

Courtney Evans, a #VState alumna, was recently named a YMCA of the Palm Beaches board member. She currently serves as the director of athletics for Palm Beach Atlantic University. She is the first minority female to be appointed to the role. Evans earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Speech Communication in 2004. She was named the College of Arts Distinguished Alumna of the Year in 2019. READ MORE

Stacey Fletcher Reynolds and Kim Yarbrough

The Colquitt County Arts Center celebrated Women's History Month with The Year of the Woman, an exhibition that features works by two #VState alumnae — Stacey Fletcher Reynolds and Kim Yarbrough. This dynamic duo pushes the boundaries of mixed media in their non-objective pieces. They have been friends for more than 20 years — since meeting in the painting studio on campus. Reynolds earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art from VSU in 2000. Yarbrough earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art in 2000, a Master of Arts in Teaching in Special Education in 2010, and an Education Specialist in Special Education in 2015, all from VSU. READ MORE

Chris Guay

Chris Guay, a #VState alumnus, was recently named Whitfield County Employee of the Month. He is a detective with the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office in Dalton, Georgia, and is known for his ability to use high-tech skills to help solve crimes, his top-notch communication and leadership skills, and his advanced investigation expertise. Guay earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from VSU in 2013. READ MORE

Brad Roberts

Brad Roberts, a #VState alumnus, was recently named assistant principal at Okapilco Elementary School in Moultrie, Georgia. He joined the Colquitt County School System in 2009 as a teacher at Willie J. Williams Middle School. He previously served in the United States Army. Roberts earned a Master of Education in Middle Grades Math and Science in 2011 and an Education Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction in 2013 from VSU. READ MORE

Lori Jackson

Lori Jackson, a #VState alumna, was recently appointed to the Statewide Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Childhood Intervention Programs by Gov. Brian Kemp. She is a regional coordinator for Parent to Parent of Georgia, an organization that provides support to new parents of children with disabilities or special health care needs. Jackson earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from VSU in 2007. READ MORE

Lee Mobley

Lee Mobley, a VState alumnus, is responsible for the latest splash of color welcoming locals and visitors to Historic Downtown Valdosta. Located on West Florida Avenue, the mural features the city mantra — Love Where You Live — surrounded by a geometric sea of vibrant shades of red, blue, and yellow. Mobley earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in 1998 and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership in 2001, both from VSU. He is a veteran street artist and principal of Satilla Elementary School in Douglas, Georgia. READ MORE

Dr. Jamie Foster-Hill

Dr. Jamie Foster-Hill was recently named 2021 Young Professional of the Year by the Valdosta-Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce. Foster-Hill earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, with a major in Business Education, in 2005 and a Master of Science in Education, with a major in Business Education, in 2006, both from VSU. She is a special education lead teacher at Pine Grove Middle School and section president of the Valdosta-Lowndes Metropolitan Chapter of the National Council of Negro Women. READ MORE

Harlee Webb

Harlee Webb was recently named art education administrator for the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts. In this full-time position, she is responsible for all classes and all art outreach for the community. Webb earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art Education from Valdosta State University in 2020. READ MORE

Dr. Michael-Angelo James

Dr. Michael-Angelo James was recently inducted into Marquis Who's Who. He currently serves as the chancellor of Emmanuel's Bible College, the bishop at Emmanuel's International Cathedral, a professor of sociology at Coastal Pines Technical College, and the mayor of the City of Waycross. James earned a Master of Education in Secondary Education from VSU in 1993. READ MORE

L. Guy Singletary

L. Guy Singletary was recently recognized as a hometown public servant by Emanuel County Live in Swainsboro, Georgia. He has served as Emanuel County administrator for the past five years. Prior to that, he served the same role in Johnson County for seven years. Singletary earned a Master of Public Administration from VSU in 2011. READ MORE

Holly Phillips

Holly B. (McCarthy) Phillips was recently named director of the Thomas County Public Library System, effective April 19. She has served as director of the Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System and Ellen Payne Odom Genealogical Library since 2012 and previously worked as the bookmobile librarian and manager of the Doerun Branch Library. She has also worked in the Dougherty County Public Library System. Phillips earned a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2007 and a Master of Library and Information Science in 2012, both from VSU. READ MORE

Dr. Joe Pennino

Dr. Joe Pennino has been named the new chief of the Roswell Fire Department in Georgia, effective June 1. He currently serves as deputy fire chief with Largo Fire Rescue in Florida, where he has served in nearly every capacity over the past 18 years. He also serves as an adjunct instructor at Liberty University, teaching fire service leadership and public administration ethics, statesmanship, and governance. Pennino earned a Doctor of Public Administration from VSU in 2020. READ MORE

Antonio Austin

Antonio Austin earned a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from VSU in 2017 and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy in History at Howard University. His goal is to work in the museum or archival setting preserving the histories of Black people within the United States. He has worked in higher education, advising fraternities and sororities in Georgia, Indiana, and North Carolina. READ MORE

Allen Baker

Allen Baker earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from VSU in 2002. He recently joined the EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants National Energy Construction Team as a senior risk consultant. He has 15 years of experience advising clients with complex risk on insurance and risk management concerns. READ MORE

Gunner Chancey

Gunner Chancey earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music from VSU in 2019. He recently joined the Colquitt County Arts Center staff as a piano and voice instructor. READ MORE

Brian Upshaw

Brian Upshaw earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from VSU in 1992. He has been named interim executive director / treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. He has been a staff member with the organization since October 2008. He taught music and was a middle school band director for several years before answering a call to vocational ministry. READ MORE

Meghan Barwick

Meghan Barwick earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Mass Media from VSU in 2011. She was recently named public information officer for Lowndes County. She previously served in marketing, media, and public relations roles at the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority and South Georgia Medical Center. READ MORE

Steve Graham

Steve Graham earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from VSU in 1972. He was recently named one of four 2021 Regents Professors at Arizona State University, where he teaches students how writing develops, how to teach it effectively, and how it can be used to support reading and learning. Regents Professor is the highest faculty honor and is conferred on full professors who have made remarkable achievements that have brought them national attention and international distinction. READ MORE

Kenneth Alexander

Kenneth Alexander earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from VSU in 2018. He was chosen to dance during the Super Bowl LV halftime show. He learned about the casting call after being laid off from his interior design job in Tampa in January. He said everything happens for a reason and now he plans to pursue his passion for dance full time. READ MORE

Dr. Jared Harris

Dr. Jared Harris, earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from VSU in 2014. He was recently featured in Colquitt Regional Medical Center's Resident Spotlight. He describes himself as a small-town boy who is thrilled to be helping alleviate medical disparities in rural South Georgia. He is fluent in American Sign Language and looks forward to removing language barriers that often make it difficult for Deaf individuals to get adequate care. READ MORE

Joshua  Pridgen

Joshua Pridgen earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from VSU in 2006. He was recently named associate director of the Veterans Health System for North Florida and South Georgia by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. He is responsible for executive-level oversight of primary care services and outpatient clinics in the health system. READ MORE

Jazmin Thomas

Jazmin Thomas earned a Master of Public Administration from VSU in 2020. She was recently named downtown manager for the City of Perry, Georgia. READ MORE

David Barringer

David Barringer earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing at VSU in 2008. He is the new business development manager at ATEQ and Cobra Aviation Inc. He has 19 years of experience as an aircraft avionics technician with the United States Air Force, Raytheon, and L3 Communications, as well as six years of aviation battery experience while working for Saft America and Marathon Norco Aerospace. READ MORE

Dr. Nontalie Morrow

Dr. Nontalie Morrow earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from VSU in 2011. She has been named associate director of faculty and staff initiatives in the Office of Institutional Diversity at the University of Georgia. READ MORE

Lonnie Roberts

Lonnie Roberts earned a Master of Library and Information Science from VSU in 2005. He has been named president of Coastal Pines Technical College. READ MORE

Anita Reynolds Howard

Anita Reynolds Howard was recently sworn in as the first female and the first African American district attorney in Macon-Bibb County, Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from VSU in 2002. READ MORE

Jamie Andrews

Jamie Andrews was recently named Outstanding Teacher of the Month by WCTV and Envision Credit Union. She currently teaches at Madison County Central School in Madison, Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, with a major in Early Childhood Education, from VSU in 1999. READ MORE

Andrew Pressler

Andrew Pressler has been named operations lead at TransWorld Holdings Inc., to be renamed Charge Enterprises Inc. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication from VSU in 2011. He previously served in the United States Marine Corps. READ MORE

Deidra Jackson

Deidra Jackson was recently named vice president for finance and operations at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, Georgia. She earned a Master of Business Administration from VSU in 2010. READ MORE

Tami Kellerman

Tami Kellerman was recently named executive director of foundation, marketing, and community relations for Beloit Health System in Wisconsin. She earned a Master of Public Administration from VSU in 1998. READ MORE

Brett McNeill

Brett McNeill was recently named a partner at Coleman Talley LLP. As an attorney he specializes in commercial transactions, real estate, and construction law. He was named to the Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch” list for 2021. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from VSU in 2009. READ MORE

Heather Teter

Heather Teter was recently named public relations manager for the City of Hinesville, Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Mass Media in 2006 and a Master of Public Administration in 2007, both from VSU. READ MORE

Whitney Anderson

Whitney Anderson was recently named the youth empowerment and engagement coordinator for YWCA Greater Charleston in South Carolina. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from VSU in 2020. READ MORE

Kristel de Groot

Kristel de Groot, co-founder of Your Super, talked to Thrive Global about creating a very successful lifestyle brand. She was recently named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 and Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30. She earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from VSU in 2011. READ MORE

Amy Alexander Carter

Amy Alexander Carter has been named special assistant to the president at Southern Regional Technical College. She most recently served as the deputy commissioner of Rural Georgia Initiatives for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Before that she represented District 175 in the Georgia House of Representatives for 11 years. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Education, major in Business Education, from VSU in 1993. READ MORE

Diane Isibor

Diane Isibor is featured in New Accountant's cover story titled "Pursue Your Passion." The story introduces readers to four young professionals who earned the Certified Management Accountant Scholarship as students and are now pursuing exciting, rewarding jobs. Isibor earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from VSU in 2017. She works for Cummins Inc. READ MORE

Travis Cummings

Travis Cummings was recently appointed to the Florida Commission on Ethics by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Cummings, whose eight-year stint in the Florida House of Representatives ended this year, is vice president of benefits for The Bailey Group. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from VSU in 1994. READ MORE 

Roger Folsom

Roger Folsom has been re-appointed to the Georgia Board of Community Health by Gov. Brian Kemp. His term expires in November 2023. Folsom also serves as chairman of the Dublin-Laurens Development Authority and the Fairview Park Hospital Board of Trustees, sits on the Board of Directors of Farmers State Bank, and was elected to the Board of Governors of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce. He is president and owner of Med1st, a home medical services and equipment company. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from VSU in 1975. READ MORE

Stuart Parker

Stuart Parker was recently elected to the HealthEquity Inc. Board of Directors and appointed to serve on the Compensation Committee and the Cybersecurity Subcommittee of the Audit and Risk Committee. He previously served as chief executive officer of USAA from 2015 till his retirement in February 2020. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from VSU in 1983. READ MORE

William "Matt" Conell

William “Matt” Connell was recently appointed to the Jacksonville Aviation Authority Board of Directors by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. He is the chief executive officer of Total Military Management, a logistics company. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from VSU in 1996. READ MORE

Artis Stevens

Artis Stevens was recently named president and chief executive officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. He is the first Black person to lead the organization in its 116-year history. He earned a Master of Public Administration from VSU in 2000. READ MORE

Opie Dean Bowen

Opie Dean Bowen was recently appointed to the Certificate of Need Appeal Panel by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. He serves as senior counsel for Cherokee County, where he provides in-house legal services for all county departments and advises the Cherokee County Board of Commissioners and the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on various matters. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from VSU in 2007. READ MORE

Wesley Heidt

Wesley Heidt was recently named Volusia County judge by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. He previously served as the bureau chief in the Office of the Attorney General. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from VSU in 1985. READ MORE

Dr. Thomas D. Fausett, Jr.

Dr. Thomas D. Fausett Jr. was recently elected president of the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. He operates a private independent practice in Adel, Georgia, and is on staff at Southwell Medical and Southwell Health and Rehabilitation Center, also in Adel. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from VSU in 1992. READ MORE

Stripling Luke

Stripling Luke earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 2004 and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice in 2006, both from Valdosta State University. He was recently promoted to Assistant Special Agent in charge of the GBI's Southwestern Regional Drug Enforcement Office in Albany, which covers a 42-county area in Southwest Georgia. READ MORE

Donna Kay Sledge

Donna Kay Sledge earned a Bachelor of Science in Sports Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Health and Physical Education from Valdosta State University in 1990. She was recently named Junior College Head Athletic Trainer of the Year by the National Athletic Trainers' Association Intercollegiate Council for Sports Medicine. She currently serves as the head athletic trainer at Abraham Baldwin Colege. READ MORE

Christie Tolbert

Christie Tolbert earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2006 and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2014, both from Valdosta State University. She was recently named a Frontline Hero by Southeast Georgia Health System, where she currently works as a labor and delivery nurse at the Miriam & Hugh Nunnally Maternity Care Center. READ MORE

Eddie Howard Jr. 

Eddie Howard Jr. earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts from Valdosta State University in 1993. He was recently named Vice President for Student Affairs at Northern Kentucky University. He will assume the role on Jan. 1, 2021, and will provide direct leadership over student-centred departments across campus. READ MORE

Katrina Bostick

Katrina Bostick earned a Master of Social Work from Valdosta State University in May 2015. She currently serves as executive director of Family Promise of the Coastal Empire in Savannah, Georgia, and was recently named to the National Family Promise Affiliate Council. READ MORE

Natalie Milko

Natalie Milko earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Valdosta State University in May 2016. She was recently selected for a Downtown Valdosta mural project in Bennie's Alley. READ MORE

Lindsey Archer

Lindsey earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Performance from Valdosta State University in 2001. She was recently hired by Newnan Theatre Company to run its Academy for Theatre Arts program for high school students. READ MORE

Rebekah Ward

Rebekah Ward earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts from Valdosta State University in May 2020. She has recently been named the musical theatre jazz and tap instructor at Colquitt County Arts Center. READ MORE

Jermaine Whirl

Jermaine Whirl earned a Doctor of Education in Leadership from Valdosta State University in May 2020. He was recently named president of Augusta Technical College. READ MORE

Greg Voyles

Greg Voyles earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Political Science in 1991 from Valdosta State University. Georgia Governor Brian Kemp recently named him the new Superior Court Judge for the Southern Judicial Circuit, which includes Lowndes, Brooks, Colquitt, Echols, and Thomas counties. READ MORE

Caleb Jamal Brown

Caleb Jamel Brown earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art in 2016 from Valdosta State University. He is currently involved with MINT, an Atlanta-based art gallery and arts organization, and has served as an artist in residence around the globe. His exhibit, “Growing Pains,” was recently shown at the Plough Gallery in Tifton, Georgia. READ MORE

Alvin Williams

Alvin Williams earned an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership in 2015 from Valdosta State University. He is currently serving his first year as principal of Bradwell Institute in Hinesville, Georgia. READ MORE

Johnnie Marshall

Johnnie Marshall earned a Bachelor of Science in Education in Middle Grades Education in 2010, a Master of Education in Middle Grades Education in 2013, and a Doctor of Education in Leadership in 2018 from Valdosta State University. He earned the 2019 Milken Educator Award and currently serves as assistant principal of the Valdosta Early College Academy. READ MORE

Dr. Charles G. Howell

Dr. Charles G. Howell earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 1970 from Valdosta State University. He was recently named Chief Executive Officer of Augusta University Medical Associates. READ MORE

Father Jason Patrick Adams

Father Jason Patrick Adams earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Valdosta State University in 2006. He was recently named the new parochial vicar at St. John Evangelist Church in Valdosta and the San Jose Mission in Lake Park. READ MORE

Dr. Justin Vining 

Dr. Justin Vining earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Valdosta State University in 2003. He recently expanded his pediatric cardiology practice to Valdosta. He also practices in Tallahassee, Florida. READ MORE

Bryce Ethrdge

Bryce Ethridge earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Valdsota State University in 2019. He was recently hired as a reporter for the Moultrie Observer. READ MORE

Stan Crance

Stan Crance earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Valdosta State University in 2005. He was recently appointed by the Southern Georgia Regional Commission Lending Department to the Loan Board of Directors for the Southern Georgia Area Resource Development Agency and the Southern Georgia Area Development Corporation. He has served as the director of business recruitment and existing industry with the Valdosta-Lowndes Development Authority since 2015. READ MORE

Tim Golden

Tim Golden earned a Bachelors of Arts in History from Valdosta State University in 1977.  He was recently named chariman of the Georgia State Transportation Board. READ MORE

Matthew Holley 

Matthey Holley earned a Master of Education in Adult and Career Education from Valdosta State University in 2015.  He was recently named the Georgia State Air Force Association STEM Teacher of the Year.  READ MORE

Tanguler Gray

Tanguler Gray earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Accounting fro Valdosta State University in 1991.  She was recently named president of the National Child Support Enforcement Association's Board of Directors. READ MORE

Dr. Beverley Richardson-Blake

Dr. Beverley Richardosn- Blake earned a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education in 1978, a Master of Education in Early Childhood Education in 1981, a Master of Education in Educational Administration-Supervision in 1985, and an Education Specialist in Early Childhood Education in 1987, all from Valdosta State University.  She serves as a senior advisor at VSU.  She was recently recognized in The Valdosta Daily Times for her legacy of service to others. READ MORE

Jon Benson

Jon Benson earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Mass Media from Valdosta State University in 2013.  He was recently named Director of Video Production for the Forsyth County News. READ MORE

Mackenzie Thompkins

Mackenzie Thompkins earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Valdosta State University in 2005. He was recently named Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager for Business Banking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. READ MORE

Dana Glass

Dana Glass earned her Master of Social Work from Valdosta State University in 2001. She wad recently named Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Behavioral health and Developmental Disability Services. READ MORE

Alphonso Sanders

Alphonso Sanders earned a Master of Music Education from Valdosta State University in 1990.  He was recently named Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Lincol University in Missouri. READ MORE

John Lester

John Lester earned a Doctor of Public Administration from Valdosta State University in 2014. He was recently named Vice President for University Communications and Marketing at Georgia Southern University. READ MORE

Deryl Seckinger

Deryl Seckinger earned a Doctor of Public Administration from Valdosta State University in 2018. He was recently named Chief of Police for East Georgia State College. READ MORE

Debra Lightsey

Debra Lightsey earned a Master of Education in School Guidance and Counseling in 2003 and an Education Specialist in Educational Leadership in 2014 from Valdosta State University. She was recently named Assistant Principal at Odum Elementary School in Colquitt County, Georgia. READ MORE

Brent Watts

Brent Watts earned a Masters  Degree in Physical Education from Valdosta State University in 2007. He was recently named principal of Daughtry Elementary School in Jackson, Georgia.  READ MORE

Marie Guest

Marie earned an Education Specialist in Instructional Technology from Valdosta State University in 2007. She was recently named Instructor of the Year at North Florida Community College. READ MORE

Janice Rago

Janice Rago earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art from Valdosta State University in 2009. She was recently selected by the City of Valdosta Public Art Advisory Committee to be the muralist for a Downtown Valdosta Mural Project. READ MORE

Matt Crews

Matt Crews earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Valdosta State University in 2009. He was recently named head coach of the Colquitt County High School baseball team. READ MORE

Mark Bassford

Mark Bassford earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Valdosta State University in 2007. He was recently appointed to the Georgia Department of Economic Development Advisory Board. He is president of Bassford Companies, including Warehouse Rentals, Bassford Industrial Construction, and Bassford Packaging. READ MORE

Josh Branan

Josh Branan earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Valdosta State University in 2005. He was recently named head coach of the Tennessee Wesleyan University volleyball team.  READ MORE

Gary Goff

Gary Goff earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from Valdosta State university in 1996. He is head coach of the Blazer football team and recently offered some advice on recruiting. READ MORE