1980s Ali Mahra (Mathematics '80), assistant general manager of Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass., was re-elected treasurer of the New England Club Managers Association, the original chapter of the Club Managers Association of America in October 2013. He has served as assistant general manager of Eastern Yacht Club since 2010. Previously, Ali served as the assistant general manager of The University Club of Boston and was executive controller at the Quechee Club in Vermont, and assistant general manager at the Mountain Club on Loon in Lincoln, N.H. He has more than 22 years of executive experience with Marriott and Hilton Hotels. 1990s Yvonne Wichman (MAPW '99), past president of the Kennesaw State University Alumni Association, was elected president of the University's Part-time Faculty Council. The newly created council provides representation for more than 600 part-time Kennesaw State faculty members. Yvonne, a part-time instructor in the Department of English, has taught at Kennesaw State for more than 15 years. She has served as president of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society since 2009. Recently, she presented "Mythology Through the Back Door" at The Study of Myth Symposium in Santa Barbara, California, and "Digital Storytelling: A New Approach to Boost Information Literacy in First-Year Courses" at the Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy held at Georgia Southern University. 2000s Joanna Vinson Blythe (MBA '04) is president and owner of Georgia Trade School (GTS), a 2013 finalist for the Kennesaw Business Association Business of the Year Award. GTS partners with Huntington Ingalls, the largest shipbuilder for the U.S. Navy, Coast Guard and Marines and serves as a training center for the Army Corps of Engineers. Among its many accolades, Joanna has been named stechnical chair for Skills USA Georgia Welding and Fabrication Competition, member of the Georgia VIP delegation to the National Skills USA Competition and member of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development Advisory Board. Erica Gifford (Management '09) and Alex Eklind (Finance '10) were married in September 2013. Raquel Gonzalez-Roepke (MSN '09) joined Rodriguez MD in Lawrenceville as a family nurse practitioner. Brian Looby (Political Science '00) was named vice president of McGuireWoods Consulting, a full-service public affairs firm. A magna cum laude graduate of Kennesaw State, Brian earned his juris doctorate from the University of Georgia School of Law and previously served as chief of the Division of Healthcare Facility Regulation at the Georgia Department of Community Health. Amanda Little Redfern (MED '08) and her husband John Redfern had twins, Caroline and Claire, born Sept. 1, 2013. Amanda Whittle VanHiel (Communication '09) is a video game journalist for zeldauniverse.net as well as a voice actress. She is married to Daniel VanHiel (Art '00). Jennifer Yarber (MAPW '08) was named as director of the Georgia State Senate Press Office. Since 2011, Jennifer has worked as deputy director of the Senate Press Office and began serving as interim director in January 2013. Prior to that, she served as director of communications at the Georgia Chamber, managing communications for the state's leading business advocacy organization. In addition, Jennifer served as the communications manager at the Construction Suppliers Association. 2010s Tulasi Acharya’s (MAPW ’10) book “Running from the Dreamland” has been published electronically, with printed copies being made available soon. Eleanor J. Blount (MAPW ’01) has returned to her position as assistant professor of English at Tuskegee University. She spent the 2013 fall semester fulfilling the UNCF Mellon faculty residence award at Emory University. The award pays for the researcher to be relieved of teaching responsibility for a semester and to reside at an institution appropriate to the recipient’s ongoing topic of inquiry. Dr. Blount worked under the auspices of Emory’s James Weldon Johnson Institute for the Study of Race and Difference. The Institute provided full access to the Alice Walker papers housed at Emory’s Manuscript Archives and Rare Book Library. The collection is closely related to Dr. Blount’s work on racism in the lives and writings of African American women authors. Brantley James Bolzenius, son of Maranda Bolzenius (Early Childhood Education '13), was born just days following his mom's graduation in May. Annsley Cochran (Early Childhood Education '11) accepted a position as a second-grade teacher at Free Home Elementary School. Jackie M. Early (Art '11) and her husband Tim Early (Exercise and Health Science '07) had a baby, Logan Mateo Early, born Oct. 8, 2013. Ronnie Griffin (Management '12) is co-founder - business development for CheckAction, a company recently featured on Atlanta Tech Edge that provides project management via an intuitive web application. CheckAction is among the top five of many innovative technology and technology-related, start-up companies housed in the Atlanta Tech Village. Hernan Hernandez (Management ’10) accepted a position as manager of business development and client support of the Materials Testing Department at Applied Technical Services (ATS). Erik Herndon (MED '10) is among 50 teachers profiled in American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom written by Katrina Fried. Kelly Hopkins (MAcc '13) joined Moore Colson as a business assurance associate after interning for the company in 2012. Cathy Johnson (MAPW ’12) and Lauren Highfill Williams (MAPW ’08) received the Golden Flame award from the International Association of Business Communicators. The awards program recognizes top-notch communicators in the Atlanta area. Felicia Lyn (Marketing '12) was hired as the production manager for Innovative Marketing & Design. The creative services firm specializes in design, printing and promotional products. Kristen Massey (Communication '13) was hired as the marketing and media relations specialist for the City of Winder. In her new position, Kristen is charged with developing a proactive media relations program and working with city officials to advance the city's visibility, branding and programs. Scott Oliver (MAcc '13) accepted a position as a tax associate with Moore Colson. Prior to accepting this position, Scott worked for Diaz Foods. Karen Pickell's (MAPW '13) story, "The Letter," was recently published in the adult adoptee anthology Perpetual Child: Dismantling the Stereotype. Tyler Surat (MAcc '12) joined Credo Financial Services, LLC as director of accounting and business services. Jessica Knowles (Psychology '09) and Andrew Long, who also attended Kennesaw State University before transferring to the University of Georgia to complete a degree in landscape architecture, are engaged. The couple first met near the fountain at Kennesaw State's University Place. Jessica and Andrew are planning an October wedding for 2015.
Published by Kennesaw State / Kennesaw State University Magazine. View All Articles.
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