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Class Notes

Check out these Fall 2023 Class Notes to see the recent achievements, awards, recognitions and obituaries of UWF alumni and supporters.

Alumni Achievements Fall 2023

This section includes accomplishments and awards from alumni individuals across the nation and across the world. Class Notes can be submitted using the "Submit A Class Note" form or by emailing

’70 Joey Garcia, B.S. Management; Garcia retired in 2013 after serving 37 years in Air Traffic Control for the FAA and RVA, Inc.

’72 Tony Uriz, B.A. Studio Art; Uriz is a retired illustrator and has been volunteering at the Roy Hyatt Environmental Center for the past 12 years. Roy illustrated the children’s book, The Panicky Picnic.

’74 Dr. Richard B. Earp, B.A. Mathematics; Dr. Earp published Billy, a Christian-faith fiction novel that follows Billy, a homeless man who stumbles upon an All-Faith Christian Mission event. Dr. Earp is also a professor emeritus of computer science at UWF. Billy can be purchased in bookstores, Amazon or the Apple iTunes store.

’75 Steven L. Marshall, B.A. Communication Arts; Marshall was awarded the J. Scott Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award by the Appraisal Institute.

’75 & ’97 Mark Williams, B.A. History Education & Ed.S.; Williams retired after 47 years of working in K12 education, computer retail and with Apple, Inc. Williams is married with three children and four grandchildren.

’77 Frederick D. “Freddy” Ard, B.S. Management; Ard was appointed by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey in January to a second term on the state’s Certificate of Need Review Board (CONRB).

’80 David A. Sofferin, M.A. Psychology; Sofferin was named Executive Director of The Vashti Center, a faith-based organization in Thomasville, GA that works with children and youth with a variety of mental and behavioral health challenges.

’83 Robert M. Smart, B.A. Communication Arts & B.A. English; Smart was hired as the new CEO of Reunion Rehabilitation Hospital in Arlington, TX.

’84 Dr. Sharisse Turner (Bronson), B.A. English Education; Turner earned an Ed.D. in December 2022 from Baylor University in learning and organizational change. She was also elected as the Vice-President of the National Organization for Student Success.

’85 Marian O’Shea Wernicke, M.A. English; Wernike published her second novel, Out of Ireland, inspired by events in the life of her great-grandmother. Out of Ireland is a finalist in the 2023 International Book Awards in Historical Fiction.

’86 Caroline DeMaria (Chadbourne), B.S. Management; DeMaria is currently serving as President of The Chadbourne Foundation.

’88 Samuel B. Burkett, M.S. Systems Analysis; Burkett was promoted to Senior Vice President of Torch Technologies in February 2023.

’91 Stacey Darhower, B.A. Legal Administration; Darhower was inducted into the 2022 Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame for outstanding contributions to the community’s development.

’91 Dr. Christopher T. Culbertson, B.S. Chemistry; Dr. Culbertson was named Dean of the Kansas State University College of Arts and Sciences in May 2023.

’91 & ’93 Michael S. Jeffcoat, B.S. & M.S. Health, Leisure and Exercise Science; Jeffcoat, Head Coach of the UWF Baseball team, was named 2023 Coach of the Year by the Gulf South Conference.

’91 Rachael E. Pongetti, B.A. Elementary Education; Pongetti was selected as one of five Florida public school arts teachers to participate in the 2023 State Teachers Artist Residency program in Manasota Key.

’91 Brian P. Wyer, B.S. Management; Wyer was named the winner of the Small Business Award at the UWF College of Business Ethics in Business Awards in April 2023.

’92 & ’94 Allison Hill (Spencer), B.A. Accounting & MAcc; Hill was named the winner of the Large Business Award at the UWF College of Business Ethics in Business Awards in April 2023.

’93 Scott DeToffol, B.A. Communication Arts; DeToffol was promoted to Senior Director of Product Management for Best Buy’s Digital, Analytics and Technology Division.

’93 Brig. Gen. Kevin T. Hamm, BSBA Finance; Hamm, Director of the Joint Staff of the Georgia National Guard, was promoted to Brigadier General at the Clay National Guard Center in Marietta, GA. His military career has spanned over 40 years and four continents.

’93 Erica Moulton, B.S. Biology; Moulton was selected to participate in the Ocean Geographic - Climate Expedition to Antarctica. The expedition was a gathering of thought leaders in the fields of science, art, education and economics selected to participate with famed scientist, Dr. Sylvia Earle.

’95 Scott Bauries, B.A. English; After 14 years on faculty at the University of Kentucky College of Law, Bauries accepted a Professor of Law position at the University of South Carolina School of Law. He will be teaching Civil Procedure, State Constitutional Law, Federal Courts and Conflict of Laws.

’95 & ’10 Rachel Hempworth Watts, M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction & Ed.S.; Watts was hired as the new principal for Pensacola Beach Elementary School.

’96 Brian C. Davis, M.S. Health, Leisure and Exercise Science; Davis was hired to be the new Executive Director of Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority.

’96 Margaret Felina Martin (McConner), BSBA Marketing; Martin joined the team at the National Association of Investment Companies as Director of Programs & Initiatives.

’97 & ’05 Dr. Kimberly Jean Brewer (Powers), B.A. Elementary Education & M.Ed. Educational Leadership; Dr. Brewer was named principal of Rosa Scott School in Madison, MS.

’97 & ’00 Dana King Fleming, B.A. Elementary Education & M.Ed. Educational Leadership; Fleming retired on March 14, 2023 from serving as an administrator at Pea Ridge Elementary School and is currently the Director of Federal Programs for the Santa Rosa County School District.

’99 Janet Magno LaBar, B.A. Communication Arts; LaBar was the Commencement Speaker for Wingate University’s spring 2023 commencement ceremony in Wingate, NC. She is the CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.

’00 Carmen Moorer, B.A. Social Work; Moorer recently retired from her career as a Supports Coordinator for Neighborhood Service Organization (NSO). During her career in social work, she graduated from the National Association of Counties (NAco).

’00 & ’05 Charles Paul Linscott, B.A. Philosophy & M.A. Interdisciplinary Humanities; Linscott has been named the director of the Ohio University J. Warren McClure School of Emerging Communication Technologies. He is an assistant professor who previously served as the assistant director for undergraduate studies at the school.

’00 Susan L. Rodriguez, BSBA Management; Rodriguez earned a black belt in Taekwondo.

’01 Stuart Manley, B.S. Health, Leisure and Exercise Science; Manley won his fourth European Challenge Tour golf title after winning the Blot Open de Bretagne with a birdie at the 72nd hole.

’01 & ’04 Rachel Godwin Young, BSBA Accounting & MAcc; Young, CPA, CGMA was announced as the President and CEO of Avizo Group Inc.

’02 Cdr. Nathaniel Logan Robinson, B.A. Communication Arts; Cdr. Robinson was named Commanding Officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Savannah, GA.

’03 & ’13 Tracey Lee Heisler, B.A. Psychology & M.A. Counseling Psychology; Heisler released her first book, The Shadow in Our Lives: One family’s recovery from sexual abuse, to help families and support caregivers in crisis who need practical information. To learn more, visit the The Shadow in Our Lives site.

’04 Dr. Jeffrey Rivera Lowery, B.A. Psychology; Dr. Lowery won Phoebe Physician of the Year by Phoebe Putney Health System.

’07 Whitney Vaughn Fike, B.A. Communication Arts; Fike was promoted to Regional Mill Communications Manager for Containerboard at International Paper. She will retain her mill communications responsibilities in Pensacola, while also providing strategic direction and leadership at Containerboard mills in Orange, TX, Springfield, OR, Maysville, KY and Newport, IN.

’07 Rebecca Gilliland, B.A. Criminal Justice; Gilliland was named Principal in the Consumer Fraud & Commercial Litigation Section of Beasley Allen’s Mobile office.

’08 David Heath Carroll, B.A. Theatre; Emerald Coast Theatre Company hired Carroll to be their new Education and Outreach Director, where he will oversee their diverse educational programs and outreach initiatives, making them accessible to students of all ages and abilities.

’08 Jennifer Lynn Martin, B.A. Exceptional Student Education; Martin was appointed Principal at Green Holly Elementary School in Lexington Park, MD.

’08 Samuel Travis Phillips, BSBA Accounting; Phillips joined the accounting and business consulting firm of LBMC in Chattanooga, TN as a tax manager.

’10 Matthew Frederick Bonno, B.A. Communication Arts and ’10 Katelyn Nicole Murray, B.A. International Studies; Married couple Bonno and Murray launched Daredevil Coffee, a mobile coffee company that seeks to foster car meets at automotive businesses, racetracks and dealerships in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

’10 & ’12 Tanya Louise Gallagher, B.S. Environmental Studies & M.S. Environmental Science; Gallagher is taking over the roles of artistic director and host for WUWF 88.1 FM’s flagship program, “RadioLive,” which is held on the first Thursday of every month in the Museum of Commerce in downtown Pensacola.

’10 David Timothy Raines, M.A. Educational Leadership; Raines was named Head of School at The King’s Academy, a private, Christian, pre-K-12 school in West Palm Beach, FL.

’11 & ’13 James Zachary Taylor, BSBA Management & MBA and ’13 Miranda Danielle Taylor (Coley), B.A. Philosophy; James and Miranda welcomed their first baby on April 2, 2023.

’13 Victoria Anne D’Angelo, B.A. Maritime Studies; De’Angelo was selected as the Community Redevelopment Agency Division Manager for the City of Pensacola. She has been with the City of Pensacola since 2017.

’13 Kara Nicole Hilt-Mead, B.S. Health Science; Hilt-Mead joined the team at Goldberg Segalla’s Retail and Hospitality group in Orlando.

’14 Lydia Moore Creel, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; Creel was named principal of Lake Asbury Junior High in Clay County, FL.

’14 & ’18 Shelby Lyn Villatoro Calderon (Zarm), B.A. Public Relations & M.A. Strategic Communication and Leadership; Villatoro Calderon joined the Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization as its new education and outreach coordinator.

’16 Kevin Fails, B.M. Music Performance; Fails was appointed as an adjunct professor of horn and brass in Dr. Grier Williams School of Music, UWF.

’16 Cameron Erb Parker, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; Parker was named Principal of Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota County, FL.

’17 Stephen Bradford Atkinson, M.A. Historical Archaeology; Atkinson presented on “HMS Cruizer and British Naval Activity in the Lower Cape Fear Region 1775-1776” at the Friends of the CSS Neuse Museum maritime history symposium in Kinston, NC.

’17 & ’19 Lauren Ashley Hancock (McCurdy), B.S. Health Promotion & MPH; Hancock was named Associate Director of Wellness and Recreation at Stetson University in DeLand, FL.

’19 Cailin Feagles, B.S. Health Sciences; Pensacola’s Downtown Improvement Board hired Feagles as their director of operations and events.

’20 Payton Alexandra Price, B.S. Athletic Training; Price was hired as an athletic trainer by North Texas Soccer Club, the affiliate team of FC Dallas.

’20 Callan Kelsey Taylor, B.S. Sport Management; Taylor graduated with her Master of Education degree from Campbell University in May 2023, where she served as a graduate assistant for the softball team.

’20 Tracy Ann Walker, MPH; created a local health and medical task force that included all medical providers, pharmacies, nursing homes, hospitals, EMS, jail medical and large-scale employers with self-sustained medical units. This group improved response efforts through a systems-thinking approach and the sharing of critical resources. This effort greatly benefits rural communities like hers because they can become less reliant on larger outlying communities.

’21 Matthew Gotel, BGS; Gotel made his XFL debut wearing #90 for the San Antonio Brahmas.

’21 Keith Lamond Strickling, MBA; Strickling was selected to serve as the Administrator of Jay Hospital in Jay, FL.

’21 Adrianna Michelle Swearingen, M.Ed. Educational Leadership; Swearingen was named a Florida Department of Education 2024 Florida Teacher of the Year Finalist. She is a media specialist at Northside Elementary School in Bay County.

’22 Andrew Merrill, M.S. Physical Education and Human Performance; Merrill was named head women’s cross country coach at Tallahassee Community College.

’22 Maverick Ranger Wolfley, B.A. Communication; Wolfley was invited to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Rookie Camp.

Alumni Earning Local Recognition

This section includes local recognition in the Northwest Florida area for community, industry and group achievements.

InWeekly Rising Stars

The following alumni were recognized on the 2023 Rising Stars List by InWeekly Magazine:


’06 Carrie Elizabeth Thornton (Smith), B.A. Communication Arts

’08 Emily Ann Echevarria (Lullo), B.A. Communication Arts

’09 & ’11 James Jerrell Poindexter, B.A. Social Work & MSW

 ’09 Kesha Thi Tran, BSN

 ’11 Lakesha Shuntae Davis (Abney/Williams), B.S. Computer Science

 ’12 Kia Ma’Rene Goldsmith (Johnson), B.A. Legal Studies

 ’13 Ashliegh Mae McLean, B.S. Health, Leisure & Exercise Science

 ’14 & ’16 Ashley Ruth Sentell Noel, B.A. Psychology & M.A. Industrial Organizational Psychology

 ’14 Dustin O T Perry, MSW

 ’17 Devin Blake Cole, B.A. Women’s & Gender Studies

 ’18 Dylan Jordan Nadsady, BFA Digital Art

 ’18 Rachel Evon Witbracht, B.A. Legal Studies & B.A. Journalism

 ’20 & ’22 Joshua Francis Camacho, B.S. & M.S. Information Technology

 ’22 & ’23 Walter Arrington, BSW & MSW


Faculty/Staff Non Alumni Rising Stars

Ross R. Pristera
Katie Schutts


InWeekly Power List

The following alumni were recognized on the 2023 Power List by InWeekly Magazine:

’69 Sandy C. Sansing, Ph.D., B.A. Accounting

’70 Dr. Richard Maurice Fountain, B.A. Accounting

’84 Dr. Kenneth M. Ford, M.S. Systems Analysis

’87 Dr. Mona A. Amodeo (Braxton), M.A. Communication Arts

’87 William M. Yarbrough,  B.S. Marketing

’91 Brian P. Wyer, B.S. Management

’92 & ’94 Allison Hill (Spencer), B.A. Accounting & MAcc

’00 & ‘09 K.C. Gartman (Flanagan),  B.A. Communication Arts & MSA Public Administration

’01 Kimberly Renee Adams (Lambert), B.A. Psychology

’02 Kristen Jane Longley,  M.Ed. Educational Leadership

’02 Grace Resendez McCaffery, B.A. Communications

’06, ’09 & ’14 Vanessa Lashay Phillips,  B.S. Health Education/Community Health, MSA Healthcare Administration & Ed.S.

’07 Dr. Lusharon Woods Wiley, Ed.D.

’10 & ’14 Joshua Daniel Newby, B.A. Communication Arts & M.A. Strategic Communication and Leadership

’12 Bryan A. Freeman, M.Ed. Educational Leadership

’14 Jeff Nall, M.A. Strategic Communications

’17 & ’18 Hale Morrisette, BSW & MSW

’18  Jacey Jean Cosentino, BSBA Finance


In Memoriam

This section includes alumni who have recently passed away as well as former UWF employees and UWF supporters. 

In Memoriam

’69 & ’84 Ruby H. Frabott (Howard), B.A. Mathematics & M.Ed. Educational Leadership

’70 & ’74 Donna J. Hedrick (Ogburn), B.A. & M.A. Elementary Education

’71 Gayle P. Fountain (Cargill), B.A. Elementary Education

’71 Joan S. Scott (Ross), M.A. History

’71 Harold E. Taylor, B.S. Health, Leisure & Sports

’71 Rev. William A. Wendt, B.A. German

‘73 Gary Wayne Blakemore, B.S. Health, Leisure and Exercise Science Teacher Education

’73 David A. Covert, B.S. Industrial Technology

’73 Kenneth W. Hartsfield, B.A. Accounting

’74 Dennis F. Hitzing,  B.A. Social Welfare

’74 Lyne A. Jack (O’Keefe),  B.A. Special Education

’74, ’79, ’85 & ‘91 Dr. Gloria B. Smith (Shepherd), B.S. Management, B.A. Special Education, M.A. Clinical Teaching & Ed.S.

’75 William R. Eubanks, M.Ed. Educational Leadership

’75 Charles R. Gimbel, B.A. Accounting & MBA

’75 Alexander Golovko, B.A. Spanish

’75 Ernestine B. Lee (Brown), B.A. Social Work

’76 Robert K. Childs, B.S. Marine Biology

’76 Lee Ann Fiveash, B.A. Political Science

’76 Dr. Juliette R. Moore, M.S. Health Leisure & Sports

’76 Gary Alan Patten, MBA

’77 Georgina P. Slater (Sullivan), B.A. Social Work

’78 Sheng-Chi Li, MBA

’79 Miriam M. Howard (Walker), B.A. Social Work

’80 Cheryl R. Bruno (Harden),  B.A. Communication Arts

’80 Carrie E. Mangan (Albright), B.S. Management

’81 & ’82 Charles V. Briegel, B.S. & M.S. Systems Science

’81 Olimpia S. Martin (San Martin),  B.A. Elementary Education

’81 Patsy G. Melvin (Turner), B.A. Special Education

’85 & ‘00 Ramonia Irene Turner, M.Ed. Curriculum & Instruction & Ed.S.

’86 Mary C. Hullett (Russell), M.A. Elementary Education

’87 Ray A. Dupree, B.A. Anthropology

’87 Cheryl L. Infantino (Kalata), B.S. Systems Science

’89 Joan A. Brooks (Strehlow), B.A. Elementary Education

’92 Melanie A. Hardy, B.A. Accounting

’93 Anthony E. MacWhinnie, B.S. Biology

’95 & ’00 Dr. Lisa Culpepper Turner, M.Ed. & Ed.D. Curriculum & Instruction

’97 Chester Durwood Stanhope, B.A. Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

’98 & ’00 Robert Matthew Isosaari, M.S. Health Education & M.S. Health, Leisure and Exercise Science

’99 Alex Carambas, BSBA Management

’03 Gary Sandiford Spivey, B.A. Music

’04 Sheldon Forrest Bernau, MAcc

’05 David Dewayne Gibbs,  B.S. Information Technology

’13 Stephanie Ann Mathis-Shea,  B.S. Environmental Studies

’19 Nicholas D. Schellin,  B.A. English


Lewis Bear, Friend of the University, Board of Trustees member

Sandy K. Brewer, Retired Employee

Charles Hampton Carlan, first Chairman of the UWF Engineering Advisory Council 

Amanda K. Crowell, Former UWF staff

Godfrey Franklin, Retired emeritus professor 

George Matthew Hahner, Current student

Mary N. Hall 

Edna E. Hudgens 

Kenneth A. Karadin, Former adjunct professor and WUWF supporter

Stephanie Kress, Former Pensacola Museum of Art staff member

Jack Calvert McCombs, UWF Football Supporter

Paula Perdue, WUWF Supporter

Virginia A. Peters 

James A. Potts, Former chair of UWF Accounting and Finance Department

The Honorable Clyde Roger Vinson, Friend of the University