Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern Announces Fall 2012 Commencement Speakers

eagleheadGeorgia Southern University announces the speakers for the three fall commencement exercises at Hanner Fieldhouse on Dec. 14.

Leonard Bevill, the president and chief executive officer of Macon Occupational Medicine, will speak at the 9 a.m. graduation ceremony for the College of Graduate Studies, College of Education, Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, and College of Health and Human Sciences.

For 17 years, the Georgia Southern alumnus has provided occupational health services such as workers’ compensation treatments, physical exams, rehabilitation services and safety programs to workers, businesses, and industries in Georgia and the United States. Bevill has a bachelor’s in recreational therapy and a master’s in exercise science from Georgia Southern.

In 2007, Bevill was named to Georgia Trend Magazine’s list of Georgia’s “40 Under 40 – Best and Brightest in Business, Education, Politics, Science and the Arts.” Under his leadership, Macon Occupational Medicine received the 2005 Small Business of the Year Award from the Greater Macon Chamber of Commerce.

Frank Simmons III, Ph.D., P.E., structures staff scientist, technical fellow, and lead FAA Structures DER at Gulfstream Aerospace, will speak at the 11 a.m. ceremony for the College of Graduate Studies, Center for International Studies, Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology, and College of Business Administration.

The 31-year veteran of Gulfstream has recently focused on certification of the G650. Simmons has also extensively studied the effects of lightning on airframe and fuel tanks designs. He is a co-recipient of the 2010 JEC Composite Innovation Award and the 2008 Aviation Week and Space Technology Magazine Laureate Award for Aeronautics/Propulsion.

Simmons graduated from Statesboro High School before earning degrees from Georgia Tech and the University of South Carolina.

Dr. Kara Martin, internist and hospitalist for Kaiser Permanente at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta, will serve as the commencement speaker at the 1 p.m. graduation ceremony for the College of Graduate Studies, College of Science and Mathematics, and College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

A native of Statesboro, Martin graduated from Georgia Southern in 1991 with a bachelor’s in physics. Her 4.0 GPA earned her the Georgia Southern University Alumni Association Award for the graduating senior with the highest grade point average.

To earn scholarship money, Martin entered and was selected Miss Georgia Southern University in 1991. In 1993, she was chosen Miss Georgia and first runner-up to Miss America. With the scholarships she received through Miss America, Martin graduated from the Medical College of Georgia debt free. She was named the 2004 Alumnus of the Year for the College of Science and Technology.

The commencement ceremonies on Dec. 14 will be streamed live

Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University is one of the Top 10 most popular universities in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report, and is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:

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