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Class Notes

As of Aug. 26, 2010


James R. Ward (Ph.D. natural sciences 1966) was named professor emeritus at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.



Carolyn House Stewart (B.A. history 1972) was elected the international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and will serve a four-year term. Stewart is an attorney at the law firm of Macfarlane Ferguson and McMullen. She is a member of the Hillsborough County Bar Association, National Bar Association, American Bar Association, George Edgecomb Bar Association and the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association as well as the Florida Board of Bar Examiners.

Otis Anthony (B.S. sociology 1973) is the senior director of diversity management for the Polk School District in Florida.

Barbara Stein Childs (B.A. public relations 1976) owns R&R Ranch in Lithia, Fla. The family-owned and operated horse ranch specializes in trail rides, horse riding lessons and summer camps.

Sonja Garcia (M.A. library information science 1977) will receive the Celebratory Alumni Award from the USF Graduate School. The award honors a graduate student alumni for outstanding professional accomplishments and service as a role model for present and future graduate students and scholars. Garcia was a member of the USF Board of Trustees from 2003-10 and is a life member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.



Dale A. Schmidt (B.S. natural sciences 1982) is the president and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Schmidt previously was vice president of operations for the Florida Aquarium following a career of multiple positions with Busch Gardens and Universal Studios Florida.

Scott Campbell (Ph.D. biomedical sciences 1985) was named executive director and CEO of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. Prior to this appointment, Campbell served as the national vice president of research programs at the American Diabetes Association.

Robert William Hodges (B.A. political science 1987) is running for reelection for Hernando County Circuit Judge Group 1.

Jean Reynolds (Ph.D. English 1988) published a book, “Gretel’s Story: Finding the Way Home.” Reynolds recently retired as a writing teacher from Polk State College.

David A. Brown (B.A. mass communications 1989) operates a professional writing and marketing agency, Tight Line Communications. His work has appeared on, Florida Sportsman, Louisiana Sportsman, St. Pete Times and Saltwater Angler. He also was the ghostwriter of “Fish Smart—Catch More!” for Tampa’s cable TV host Capt. Bill Miller.



Mike Wightman (M.S. geology 1990) is president of GeoView and also serves as the technical director. GeoView, Inc. is a Florida-based company that specializes in the provision of non-intrusive geophysical services to the engineering, geological, environmental and construction industries.

Kimberly Todd (B.A. mass communications 1991) is an attorney in Clearwater, Fla. She is running for Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Group 30. In 2001, Todd started her own private law firm concentrating on the areas of family, business and traffic law.

Adriana Younskevicius (M.A. library and information sciences 1994) joined the Library Associates Companies Group as the senior client manager. The LAC Group is a unique and multifaceted professional services firm, providing disciplined and innovative library, legal, information and research staffing, consulting, project management and asset management services. Younskevicius previously has worked for the U.S. Department of Justice and Xerox Corporation, where she managed their library systems.

Judy Nolasco (M.A. English 1996) was hired as the academic dean of the Hillsborough Community College South Shore campus.

Erick Grolemund (B.A. mass communications 1997) is a sales executive at Prudential Tropical Realty in Trinity, Fla. Grolemund has experience in both the mortgage and real estate industries.



Mike Merrill (M.A. religious studies 2001) is the director of debt management for Hillsborough County (Florida). In addition, he was appointed as the assistant county administrator for utilities and commerce. Prior to joining the county, he worked in Europe as a finance director, managing the subsidiaries of a publicly held U.S. capital goods manufacturer. He previously worked in commercial real estate finance, and corporate finance and public finance as vice president of a large commercial bank.

Jay A. Thompson (B.A. international studies 2001, MA in political science 2007) is running for Florida House of Representatives (District 44). Trained as a political analyst, Thompson works as an adjunct instructor at both Pasco-Hernando Community College and the College of Central Florida.

Alison Jimenez (M.A. economics 2002) was selected as the 2010 USF Outstanding Young Alumnus.

Kenneth R. Statsick (B.S. biology 2004) received a Doctor of Optometry degree from Nova Southeastern University, Sarasota.

Jeremiah Guccione (M.A. history 2008) is a candidate for the Florida House of Representatives. He is the founder and president of the Heart Gallery of Sarasota, a non-profit organization that helps children in foster care find adoptive homes. Guccione also has worked in his family healthcare business helping the developmentally disabled in Sarasota and Manatee counties find jobs, housing, reach medical appointments and generally live as independently as possible. Guccione resides in Sarasota, Fla.

Clay Smithers (M.A. geography 2008) was appointed to the economic gardening team for the Florida Economic Gardening Institute. His knowledge of Geographic Information Systems will provide client companies with a visual representation of customer markets, demographics and other area information. He also is a GIS developer at WRScompass, an engineering firm based in Tampa.

Rebekah Lee (B.A. political science 2009) was named a marketing a media associate for Benico, Ltd. in Huntley, Ill. Lee will help build the Benico brand in a strategic way.

Raffaele Macri (B.S. biomedical sciences 2009) has joined the Peace Corps as a community health project volunteer and will be deployed to Madagascar for two years. Macri will be living with a host family.



Ruth Peters (Ph.D. psychology 1976), a nationally acclaimed child development expert and a clinical psychologist, died after a four-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was 60. Peters was a frequent contributor to the “Today” show since 1997. She authored several popular books on parenting.

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