SPRING16chronicles-1Paleoanthropologist and Georgia Southern alumnus Lee Berger (‘89) led the international team of researchers and cavers who excavated what could be a newly discovered species of hominin, a primitive ancestor to modern humans. Berger and his team unearthed more than 1,550 bone fragments from the remains of a species known as Homo naledi from the remote Rising Star Cave in South Africa. The scientists are still working to date the fossils, but the species could be more than 2.5 million years old. The fossil find is expected to add to the understanding of the evolution of humans. Berger grew up in Sylvania, Georgia, and graduated from Georgia Southern with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Currently, he is a research professor at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa and a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence.

SPRING16chronicles-2Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal appointed Karla Redding-Andrews (’85) to serve on the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment Advisory Commission. Redding-Andrews is also the executive director of the Otis Redding Foundation and serves on the Georgia Southern University Alumni Association Board.

SPRING16chronicles-3Andy Warren (’87) received the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal at the agency’s 2015 Honor Awards ceremonies at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Medal is awarded to civil service employees for making significant, special contributions to NASA’s mission. Warren, who works in the Space Launch System (SLS) Program Office, was recognized for his leadership in planning for the SLS launch vehicle processing activities at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. When completed, the powerful SLS rocket will launch astronauts in the Orion spacecraft on deep space missions to an asteroid and eventually to Mars.

SPRING16chronicles-4Ross Kelly (’72), the son of Emma Kelly who was known as the “Lady of 6,000 Songs,” released a new book that describes his life and the lives of his siblings growing up in Statesboro with their parents, Emma and George Kelly. What’s Your Favorite Song? provides a firsthand account of how his parents juggled their marriage and their careers while raising 10 children. Nine of the 10 Kelly children graduated from Georgia Southern. Emma Kelly gained fame when she was featured in the bestselling book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, and in the movie version of the book.

“My initial motivation in writing the book was for my children and grandchildren, and the children and grandchildren of my nine brothers and sisters, to help them better understand the story of their parents and grandparents.” Kelly said. “Since the book was published, I have received an overwhelming response from readers who said the book has inspired them to want to write their family history, in hopes of doing the same. As a result, I have been conducting workshops and speaking engagements on writing your family history.”

SPRING16chronicles-5Kathey Porter (’01) co-authored the book, 50 Billion Dollar Boss: African-American Women Sharing Stories of Success in Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Porter is a small business expert and her book profiles 12 successful black female entrepreneurs.

Lisa Scarbrough (’01) has joined Moon River Studios in Effingham County, Georgia, as the vice president of social media and community relations.

F. Shaun O’Quinn (’94) was named 2014 Financial Representative of the Year for southeast Georgia by COUNTRY Financial in Jesup, Georgia.

G. Mike Odom Jr. (’84) has been elected to serve a two-year term as an at-large member on the board of directors of the Georgia Bankers Association. Odom is the CEO of Citizens Bank & Trust, Eastman.

Pratt Hill (’72,) and John Lee’s (’82) agency, Lee, Hill and Johnston Insurors of Statesboro, has been named senior partner by Grange Insurance. This distinguished national honor recognizes the leading insurance agencies that sell Grange products based on their experience, professionalism and performance.

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