40 under 40
Of Georgia Southern’s 83,000 living alumni, more than 33,000 are under 40 years of age. The Alumni Association recently honored its biennial class of 40 Under 40, representing the excellence of the University’s young alumni and demonstrating the positive contributions and achievements for which University graduates are known.
David Berger, 2009
B.S., Information Technology
Lake St. Louis, Missouri
Berger is a United States Navy Petty Officer Third Class who holds a top-secret clearance and has served two submarine deployments aboard the Los Angeles class nuclear submarines USS Toledo and USS Hartford. During deployments he was responsible for tracking and identifying contacts on multiple sonar sensors.
Timothy J. Blom, 1999, 2001
B.S.Ed., Secondary Education
M.S. Ed., Secondary Education, Mathematics
Blom serves as a curriculum coordinator with the Metropolitan School District, Washington Township, Indianapolis, Indiana. He organizes and oversees district program evaluations, facilitates the textbook adoption process, serves on the district quality assurance review team and is a member of the teaching and learning division. He also serves as the Indiana state leader for the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.
Ansley Booker, 2008
Booker is the site coordinator with the Mercer University Educational Opportunity Center where she works with low-income adults and first-generation students to achieve post-secondary success through financial literacy and college admissions completion. Booker is also co-owner of B&B Designs and Events, which orchestrates weddings, parties and corporate events. She also holds an M.S. in Pharmacy from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Mercer University.
Alan R. Bray, 2000
Bray serves as the director of advance at the U.S. Department of Justice where he oversees all logistical travel for the U.S. Attorney General. He organizes all of the Attorney General’s national and international events including official speeches, appearances, tours, press events and photo lines. He also holds an MPA from Savannah State University.
Trevor Castaneda, 2007
M.H.A., Healthcare Administration
Castaneda is the chief executive officer of Newport Medical Center, a 74-bed community hospital that includes a staff of specialists in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, radiology, pediatrics, gastroenterology, general surgery, ophthalmology and emergency medicine. He previously served as COO of Harton Regional Medical Center in Tullahoma, Tennessee, and interim CEO of Williamson Memorial Hospital of Williamson, West Virginia. He is active in Rotary, Kiwanis and the Cocke County Partnership Chamber of Commerce.
Travis Chance, 2004
Chance is the president and owner of CFG Wealth Management, serving as a certified financial planner, specializing in retirement income planning. He has grown his practice from a single location to include offices in Statesboro, Savannah and Bluffton, South Carolina. In 2015, he published Navigating the Storm, a book on successfully preparing for retirement. He is also active in his community, currently in his third term as a city councilman and is the current Mayor Pro Tem. He and his wife, Shannon, and their children reside in Statesboro.
Seth M. Coker, 2008
B.S., Political Science
Sandy Springs, Georgia
Coker is the director of government and external relations with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. He coordinates the state and federal affairs programs, drafts legislation for the agency, and tracks pending and potential legislation impacting the agency. Coker is an Eagle Scout and a member of the Georgia Economic Developers Association, Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Atlanta Alumni Chapter of Sigma Chi, Peachtree Road United Methodist Church and the Georgia Southern Alumni Association
Shannaan Dawda, 2009
Dawda is the founder and financial coach of From Paychecks to Power, which promotes financial empowerment. He authored the book, From Paycheck to Power: 7 Power Moves to Unlock Wealth Building, has appeared on NBC and has spoken at worship services with his “Financially Empowering 50 places of Worship in 50 Days” initiative. He is active in Alpha Phi Alpha, Phenomenal Women’s Health and Camp Horizon. He also teaches high school students to be financially empowered with “From Pay Checks 2 Power Teen Academy.”
Marcqwon T.M. Day, M.D., 2011
Dr. Day is a resident physician within the Family Medicine Department at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgia Southern with the honors of magna cum laude. Upon graduation from Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), he earned his medical degree and was recognized as the recipient of the MSM Primary Care Award in 2016. Day’s academic and clinical interests include health care delivery systems, public health and health care policy, global health and addiction medicine.
Brendon G. DelToro, 2009
B.S., Justice Studies
DelToro is the deputy political director at the National Republican Congressional Committee where he works with members of Congress and candidates on their campaigns to help maintain a Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Jaclyn K. Donovan, 2000
B.S., Sports Medicine
Donovan is a state-licensed and NATABOC-certified athletic training services coordinator with Vereen Rehabilitation Center where she implements and directs athletic training services as part of a comprehensive sports medicine program servicing multiple high schools and community sport programs. She is active with the Moultrie Rotary Club, serving as Assistant District Governor, Youth Leadership Awards Chair and Youth Leadership Awards Counselor.
Ben C. Freakley, 2000
B.S., Public Relations
M.S., Sport Management
M.S., Sport Psychology
Freakley is the mental performance coach for the Toronto Blue Jays. He previously served as TormentaFC general manager and head coach, head coach of the Erskine College men’s soccer program, head soccer coach at Virginia Military Institute and assistant men’s coach at Georgia Southern. He has also served as performance psychology consultant for Special Operations forces for the 1/75 Ranger Battalion and is the founder of Ready.Set.Resilient performance consulting.
Kevin Gaines, 2000
B.S., Mathematics Education
Gaines is the principal of Hart County High School. His school’s graduation rate was 92 percent for the Class of 2016. He serves on the board of directors of the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals and has received honors as Hart County Chamber of Commerce Young Professional of the Year, Georgia TSA Administrator of the Year, Anderson Independent’s 20 under 40 and the BCHS Teacher of the Year.
Zakira I. Golden, 2012
B.S., Public Health
Berkeley Lake, Georgia
Golden is an autism behavior therapist and program coordinator with All Kids First LLC. She provides applied behavior analysis therapy to children and teens on the autism spectrum. She also works for the Spectrum Adult Asperger’s Support group, providing opportunities to help adults in the community.
James Hammond, 2006
Hammond is a managing partner with Ikon Filmworks LLC. He has more than 10 years of experience in the government sector with a focus on public relations, broadcasting, leading teams and community involvement. He is a member of the New Leaders Council, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., Urban League of Greater Atlanta Young Professionals, Atlanta MicroFund, served as Riverwood High School Jr Raiders Football Team Coach, was a 2015 Project Understanding Fellow and a member of the inaugural class of Emerging Leaders of DeKalb.
Michael J. Hardy, 2004
B.S., Political Science
College Station, Texas
Hardy is the director of strategic engagement for the Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University where he is responsible for legislative affairs and advocacy, engaging with legislative affairs teams at the Texas A&M Office of the President and Chancellor’s Office of the Texas A&M University System. He formerly served as deputy chief of staff for the Office of Lt. Governor Bill Bolling of Virginia.
Sheila L. Howell, 2003
B.S., Special Education
Howell is a U.S. Army major and assistant product manager for U.S. Army Acquisition Corps. She is a graduate of the Command and Generals Staff College Intermediate Level Education and served on a military transition team in Iraq as personnel advisor for an Iraqi Logistics Battalion. Howell’s awards and decorations include the Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. She also holds an M.S. in Education from the University of Maryland.
Jason Hoynes, 2002
BBA, Information Systems
Hoynes is a senior .NET infrastructure analyst with Assurant, Inc. He has more than 15 years of experience in a wide variety of technologies and in the implementation of government and large-scale deployments. He was previously a programmer/analyst for the Cobb County, Georgia, sheriff’s office, providing tech support for more than 600 employees.
Schuyler F. Hoynes, 2004
Hoynes is the associate judge of the Probate Court of Cobb County. She presides over matters involving contested and uncontested dockets involving the probate of wills and administration of estates, guardianship and conservatorship proceedings for minors and incapacitated adults, and hearings to determine the need for involuntary psychiatric treatment, as well as the issuance of weapons carry licenses and marriage licenses, and other matters falling under the jurisdiction of the probate court. Hoynes also holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Alabama and a J.D. from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School.
Dr. Shauna Joye, 2003
Joye is an assistant professor of Psychology at Georgia Southern and is a licensed clinical psychologist in Georgia and California. Her accomplishments include conducting ongoing research on the use of wilderness therapy with combat veterans, opening a private practice that specializes in serving children with autism spectrum disorder, and co-authoring an introductory textbook on integrated statistics and research methods. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Florida State University.
Raymona Lawrence, 2000
M.P.H., Community Health
D.P.H., Community Health
Lawrence is an assistant professor of Community Health Behavior and Education at Georgia Southern. She has received the Award for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring for the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health, is a Delta Omega Honorary Public Health Society Inductee and earned the New Investigator Award from the American Public Health Association Genomics Forum.
Matthew Lee, 2004
B.S., Construction Management
Lee is a senior project manager for Young Contracting/SE, Inc. He is active in Associated General Contractors of Georgia, Inc., where he has been a member of the chapter’s Young Leadership Program since 2010 and previously served on the board of directors. Lee is currently a member of the University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Alumni Association Scholarship Committee.
Kristen Lord, 2005
Master of Accounting
Lord is the chief financial officer for Mauldin & Jenkins LLC. She is a University Alumni Board Member, member of the Alumni Association Atlanta Advisory Council, AICPA, GSCPA, CPA Firm Management Association and Cobb County Chamber. Lord is a Leadership Cobb 2015 graduate, a member of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and volunteers with The Big Thank You, Georgia Southern Alumni Eagle Outreach, Wellness Initiative at M&J (Wellstar), the Salvation Army Angel Tree, the American Cancer Society Study and the Red Cross.
Kalib G. Mata, 2005
B.S., Information Technology
Mata is a senior program manager for the Defense Intelligence Agency and was the founder of the U.S. Africa Command J2 Intelligence Directorate, Information Management Branch. His duties cover a myriad of complex technical and administrative issues dealing with the knowledge management and dissemination of intelligence products while directly supervising more than 20 civilian, contractor and military personnel. For implementing new initiatives, he was awarded the 2013 Defense Intelligence Agency’s Meritorious Civilian Service Medal and led several important advancements to improve security and stability in the Africa Area of Operations.
Josh McCain, 2009
B.S., Health and Physical Education
McCain is the founder and president of Big Sky Bravery, a non-profit organization that provides the U.S. Military’s Active Duty Special Operations Forces with post-deployment decompression programs throughout Montana’s restorative surroundings. Big Sky Bravery tailors its programs to these elite forces by focusing on the psychological and emotional well-being of each soldier, and by building trust, brotherhood and friendships that last a lifetime. McCain quit his job as the director of business development for the Avondale Group in New York City to fill this unmet need.
Brendan McGowan, 2002
B.S., Management Information Systems
McGowan serves as the chief technology officer and board member at Safe Systems, Inc. He uses his extensive IT engineering background and communication skills to develop product strategy around IT and security. He guides financial institutions through technology investment strategies in a highly regulated environment. McGowan previously served as VP of technical services, director of consulting services and senior technology consultant. He is a member of the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Information Technology Advisory Committee, and 1NService, a global consortium of integrators and technology suppliers.
Yannik McKie, 2014
McKie is a business development manager for Georgia Business Net, and the founder and executive director of the McKie Foundation. He is a certified Christian life coach and ordained minister who has more than seven years of marketing, management and human resource experience. He has authored a motivational book, Adversity Creates Purpose, and his work has been featured on ESPN, Good Day Atlanta, Charisma Magazine, The Huffington Post and The 700 Club.
Ryan McNeal, 2002
B.S., Justice Studies
McNeal is the chief investigator for the Georgia Department of Community Health Board of Dentistry where he supervises the enforcement and investigative unit, overseeing all investigative operations and coordinates investigations with other governmental entities. He is an alumnus of Sigma Chi Fraternity and member of the Statesboro Rotary Club. He also holds an M.S. in Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Kaplan University.
America Minc, 2000
BBA Human Resource Management
Minc is the director of recreation facilities and fitness for Georgia Southern’s Office of Campus Recreation and Intramurals. In addition to fitness programming, she oversees facilities for the Recreation Activity Center, the M.C. Anderson Park, the University Park Golf Course and the Shooting Sports Education Center. She serves on the University Appeals Committee, the SOAR Advisory Board, the Title IX Panel and the University Staff Council. In 2013, Minc served as the staff chair for A Day For Southern.
Elisha Parkhill, 2003
B.S., Child and Family Development
Parkhill serves as the Mental Health Flight Commander for Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. She commands 30 multidisciplinary mental health and early developmental professionals across five product lines providing mental health care for 35,000 beneficiaries. Parkhill also holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Georgia.
Stacey Roach, 2001
B.S., Computer Science
Roach is the chief operating officer with Inventure IT, which services hundreds of companies in the Chattanooga and Savannah metropolitan areas with a variety of hardware, software, web and tech support needs. He has roughly 20 years of software engineering experience. He is also the founder and chief technology officer at K12 Logistics of Dalton and Statesboro and Anagen Systems of Dalton and Savannah.
Vance T. Rosen, 2009
B.S., Justice Studies
Rosen is a Lieutenant with the Special Operations Division of the Henry County Police Department. He is responsible for the operational oversight of the K9, Motors, Traffic Enforcement, Gang/Criminal Apprehension, Traffic Investigations, Drone and COPs Units. Rosen manages six sergeants and 25 officers. He also serves as an Adjunct Instructor for the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth and as a contributor to PoliceOne.com.
Sally Scott, 2011
Scott is the regional director of development for the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation where she has closed $1.1 million in major gifts. She has created and executed a new annual fund society called the Champion Society, created and executed a planned/deferred giving program and assisted in establishing an endowment fund. Scott is a Screven County Athletic Hall of Fame member, a graduate of the inaugural class for the Lynda B. Williamson Foundation women’s leadership academy and is currently pursuing her MBA at Georgia Southern.
R. Bryan Sears, 2005
Sears is an assistant professor of chemistry at Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts. He has received the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, the MGH Office of Research & Career Development Prestige Award and the American Society for Photobiology Urbach Award. He also holds an M.S. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Ohio State University.
Trey Sheppard, 1999
Sheppard is the vice president of Kaolin Mining Operations for Howard Sheppard, Inc. He also serves as vice chairman with the Board of Directors, Citizens Bank of the South; chairman of the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation Board; ex-officio member of the Georgia Southern University Foundation Board of Trustees; board of directors for the Georgia Motor Trucking Association; and member of the State Board for the Technical College System of Georgia.
Alan Skipper, 2008
Skipper is the co-owner/chief nursing officer for Southern Manor Retirement Inn, Lakeview Manor Community in Springfield, Georgia, and The Gardens at Southern Manor in Statesboro. He manages daily clinical operations at the facilities, sets company operations and sales goals and ensures delivery of customer service. He also holds an M.S. in Nursing from Valdosta State University, post-master’s certification from the University of Massachusetts and a D.N.P. from the University of Alabama.
Bryant Smalley, 2002
Smalley is the executive director of Georgia Southern’s Rural Health Research Institute. He leads numerous initiatives focused on improving physical and mental health outcomes in Bulloch and surrounding counties. He also holds an M.S., Psy.D. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Nova Southeastern University.
Berkeley Teate, 2012
B.A., Political Science
Teate is a research assistant at the Carter Center who shares her expertise in countering ISIS propaganda by analyzing data and drafting reports used for international workshops and public forums. She also holds an M.P.P. from Georgia State University.
Russell Vickers, 2010
Vickers is a U.S. Army Supply Operations Officer in Charge for Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. He serves as contracting officer’s representative for the Army pre-Positioned Stock Five contract, valued at more than $800 million annually. Vickers is responsible for the morale, health, welfare, training and deployment readiness of five soldiers and two Department of the Army civilians.
Julie Warner, 2004
B.S., English Education
Warner is an education research analyst with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Her work includes supporting evaluation activities addressing PK-16 program and policy areas, informing legislative and budget proposals by conducting objective policy analysis, and developing issue briefs, technical papers and evidence reviews to inform senior leadership. She was a 2015 Presidential Management Fellow and was a 2016 International Literacy Association Outstanding Dissertation Award Finalist.
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