outstanding alumni by department
Over the years, Valdosta State University's College of Arts and Sciences had honored alumnis for their inspiring accomplishments and dedicated work. Each alumni was chosen from their respective program from which they graduated and rewarded at the Outstanding Alumni Dinner. On this page, we recognized these individuals and their past performances, achievements, and current standings in hopes for others to strive for this recognition.
The Outstanding Alumni of 2012-2013
Last Thursday, October 18, 2012, Valdosta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences celebrated its Outstanding Alumni Dinner. Ten alumni were honored, each chosen from the respective program from which they graduated. Those honored were:
The College of Arts & Sciences has chosen as our distinguished alumnus for 2012 John C. Robbins (B.A. PHIL '82) who is a nationally known criminal defense lawyer who practices in Birmingham, Alabama.
Tim Lee Wright graduated from VSU in 1999 with a “well-designed” Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. Using his rigorous preparation in three academic disciplines (AFAM Studies, History and Philosophy), Tim Lee has taken the opportunity to pursue his passion as a playwright that began at VSU.
Since his graduation, he has continued to develop his craft, teaching drama at a local high school in Brunswick, GA and writing over 30 plays with historical, social, and political themes that often transcend race. Lee's goal is "to bring everyone to the theatre to experience the human condition expressed through meaningful words coming to life on stage from a perspective that does not isolate any one group, but opens the beauty of theatre to everyone." Tim Lee is the proprietor and founder of Real Drama Theater in Macon, GA.
Here is another photograph of Tim Lee Wright.
Dr. Chiang originally enrolled at Georgia Tech and spent a year there working toward a degree in Aerospace Engineering. His mother spoke very little English and when his father developed kidney cancer, he moved back to Valdosta to study Biology at Valdosta State College. He was so excited by his coursework in Biology that he followed the advice of his mentor, the chair of the department, Dr. Wayne Faircloth and pursued a career in medicine.
Dr. Chiang attended the Medical College of Georgia. After graduating in 1976, he interned and did his first residency in General Surgery at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. He is certified by the American Board of Urology and is licensed to practice in Georgia, Ohio, and California.
Jason Miczek, a 2001 B.A. in English, is a freelance photographer living in Charlotte, North Carolina. His photography has appeared in The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Time, USA Today, and The Chicago Tribune. Prior to becoming a freelance photographer, he was a staff photographer for the Tifton Gazette, Dothan Eagle, Panama City News-Herald, and the Charlotte Observer. His work has been recognized by such organizations as the Society of Newspaper Design, the North Carolina Press Association, and the Florida Press Club.
Janice Lowe graduated from VSU with a B.S. degree in Mathematics, a B.S degree in Computer Science, and a M.Ed. in Mathematics Education. She has taught at both the high school and college levels for more than 30 years, 28 of those years at VSU. She has won STAR teacher awards; helped found the VSU chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority; was a charter member for the math honor society Pi Mu Epsilon; and served as president of the Brooks County Genealogy Society. She presently serves as a board member for the V-State Club for VSU Athletics Dr. Sandra Walker graduated from Valdosta State College with a BA and class honors in Spanish and French in 1969. She then pursued her M.A. and Ph. D degrees at Emory University. Dr. Walker taught at Tift College from 1973-1985, serving as Dean of Students from 1982-85. In 1985, she returned to Valdosta State as a member of faculty where she became a much respected and admired Department Head from 1989-2000. She has served on numerous USG task forces involving language instruction and internationalization and was named Professor of the Year by the Foreign Language Association of Georgia in 2001.
.Navarro Moore received his B.A. in Political Science at VSU in 2006 and his M. A. in International Affairs from Florida State University in 2009. During his undergraduate years, he interned at the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji. While at Florida State, he interned at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand and also in Washington, D.C. His graduate studies were funded by a Pickering Fellowship granted by the U.S. Department of State. Between 2006 and 2009, Navarro worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and also at the Federal Election Commission.
He joined the U.S. Foreign Service in 2009 and began work as a diplomat. He served in his first posting in San Salvador, El Salvador from 2009-2012. He recently began his second posting in the Political Section of the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia. He is living in Australia with his wife and three children.
Vernon Keenan received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Valdosta State College in 1972. In addition, he is a graduate of the 117th Session of the FBI National Academy (May, 1979 - June, 1979). In 1997, Keenan graduated from the Georgia Chiefs of Police Command College with a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University.
Vernon Keenan has received the numerous awards: A Hero of Open Government Award (July 2005) Atlanta Journal-Constitution; CIT Leadership Award (February 2006) Georgia Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness; 2008 Outstanding Georgia Police Chief of the Year - Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.
He has been married since 1972 to Joan Thomas Keenan from St. Mary's, Georgia. They live in Cherokee County and have two sons, Mack and Jackson.
Last Thursday, Valdosta State University’s College of Arts and Sciences celebrated its inaugural Outstanding Alumni Dinner. Eleven alumni were honored, ranging from the class of 1961 to the class of 2002, each chosen from the respective program from which they graduated. Those honored were:
James Tunison, Jr., has been serving as a judge in Valdosta since January 1, 2009, after a distinguished 20-year career practicing law in Lowndes County. A graduate of VSU’s Political Science program, Judge Tunison went on to Mercer University and the Walter F. George School of Law, earning his Juris Doctorate. Tunison is a member of multiple state bars, the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. He has also served as Board Member for the Valdosta Alumni Association, the Salvation Army, and America’s Second Harvest. Tunison also received the 2011 Valdosta State University College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Alumnus Award.
Graduating from VSU with a B.S. and a M.A. degree in Criminal Justice, with a minor in African-American Studies, Carter went on to graduate from Michigan State University’s Judicial Administration Program and now works as the Court Program Administrator for the Superior Court of GA, Fulton County, where he administers court for 37 judges and lawyers, including 21 Superior Court judges.
After graduating in 1994 from VSU with a B.S. in Biology, Gorman went on to work as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador and get an M.A. in international relations from Syracuse University. She is currently an Associate Director at the Stanford University Center for Latin American Studies and is serving on the Executive Committee of the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs.
A 1996 graduate of VSU with a B.S. in Chemistry, Dr. Carvalho-Knighton went on to get her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of South Florida in 2000. She is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of South Florida and the Director of STREAMS, a National Science Foundation funded program designed to increase the number of bright, low-income underrepresented groups in the geosciences, environmental, and marine science disciplines.
Love is a 1994 graduate from VSU, with a B.A. in English. Since graduation, she has worked heavily in Georgia’s arts community, becoming the executive director of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 2006 and is currently working for Georgia’s Film, Music, and Digital Entertainment Office where she leads efforts to retain, expand, and develop Georgia’s music industry. She has also founded and published several magazines over the years, including Down South Submarine, an entertainment guide to South Georgia, and Georgia Music Magazine, a quarterly magazine celebrating the state’s legends, landmarks, and unsung heroes.
After graduating in 1961 with a Bachelor’s of History, Pearson went on to the University of Alabama, earning his Ph.D. in History. In the 38 years that Dr. Pearson spent teaching history at VSU, he specialized in researching the Spanish period of the American Southeast and 15-16th century archival Spanish-language sources and served as dean of the Graduate School. He retired in 2003.
Graduating from Duke University in 2007 with a Master’s degree in Medical Physics after earning two bachelor degrees from VSU, a B.A. in mathematics and a B.S. in applied mathematics, Jessica now works as a Medical Physicist at the Southeast Georgia Health System. Along with her work, Jessica finds time to participate in community service and returned to VSU in 2005 as a guest speaker at Sonia Kovalevsky Day, an event designed to encourage high school girls to pursue education in mathematics.
Dr. Allbritton is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Spanish at Colby College, having completed his B.A at VSU, his M.A. from Syracuse University, and his Ph.D. in Spanish Film Studies from Stony Brook University in 2001. His work focuses on metaphors of illness and masculinity in contemporary Spanish film. He has been published in Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, Post Script, and has written a chapter in a forthcoming Blackwell anthology on Almodovar.
Dr. Reddick is the Vice-President for Academic Affairs at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in Tifton, GA. After getting a B.A. in Philosophy from VSU, Reddick went on to earn a Ph.D. in the Humanities with an emphasis in Literature and Psychology. He has written and published a collection of short stories, Road Kill Art and Other Oddities, as well as a novel, Lead Me Home.
After earning a B.S. in Environmental Studies in 2002 and a Master’s of Public Administration in 2004, both from VSU, Davenport went on to work as the Environmental Planner for the Southern Georgia Regional Commission. After five years there, she went on to work for the City of Valdosta in the Utilities Department, being promoted in 2011 to Stormwater Manager in the Engineering Department where she is working to streamline the city’s entire stormwater program.
Gaining her undergraduate degree in 1996 and her M.S. in Sociology in 2010 from VSU, Ms. Myers has, for the past fourteen years, been working as Executive Director of the Cook County Family Connection. Under her direction, the Connection has experienced tremendous growth in its annual budget thanks to Myers’ grant writing abilities. She has also developed House of Grace, a community of previously homeless men, and is the author of “Dancing with the Dragon: An Honest Look at Addiction.”