Alumni CLASnotes Fall 2002

Alumni Notes: Updates from CLASmates

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PO Box 117300
Gainesville FL 32611

Please include your degree (BA, MA, PhD, etc.), major/minor, graduation date and e-mail address if you have one. Photos are welcome too!

You can also e-mail your update to or visit updates.html to fill out an online update form.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Christina ChristianSociology senior Christina Christian may be a familiar face to those who watched this summer's FOX television show "American Idol." Christian was one of ten finalists who competed each week before a television audience of 10 million. Viewers called in and voted for their favorite performer, and Christian finished in sixth place overall. The 21-year-old from Miami is currently on tour with the rest of the finalists. Her rendition of "Ain't No Sunshine" is included on the "American Idol: Greatest Moments" CD. Christian will return to UF after her "American Idol" commitments are fulfilled and plans to graduate December 2003.

Grand Guard Inducts Class of 1952
Grand GuardOn September 26-28, CLAS welcomed to campus its Grand Guard alumni--those who graduated 50 or more years ago. Hosted by the UF Alumni Association, the weekend celebration included a formal induction ceremony of new members, lectures about the college's latest research, campus tours and the home football game against Kentucky. The following 1952 CLAS graduates were inducted: Billy Clifton, Richard Cooper, Jose Gonzalez, Melvin Kahn, Arthur Leon, Merili McCoy, Connie McManus, Albert Rosillo and Terrell Sessums. Also in attendance were: Martha Cochran ('51), Melvin Fried ('48), Joyce Glicksberg ('50), Yale Gunn ('50), Don Heald ('47), Harold Henderly ('37), Herbert Kay ('40), Edward Kissam ('49), Charles Lasley ('43), Marion Lasley ('44), Wallace Prophet ('51), Fred Rose ('50), Norman Wheelock ('42) and Julian Williams ('40).

Updates from CLASmates

George B. Kauffman (PhD, Chemistry) is a professor emeritus of chemistry at California State University, Fresno. A Guggenheim Fellow and contributing editor of nine journals, Kauffman has published more than 1,750 scientific papers and 16 books, many of them intended for the general reader and for high school students and their teachers. He was recently awarded the 2002 Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach by the American Chemical Society for helping people understand how chemistry affects their lives.

Joyce Roberta Miller-Alper (BA, History) was one of sixty US teachers chosen to attend the Supreme Court Institute in Washington, DC this summer. Miller-Alper is a government and economics teacher at the School of Choice in the Spring Branch independent school district in Houston and was the 1989 recipient of the Texas Teacher of the Year award. In addition to a BA, she also received a master's in social studies education and an education specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from UF in 1974. She resides in Sugar Land, Texas with her husband Stephen K. Alper, an assistant principal.

Russell W. Eggert
(BS, Interdisciplinary Studies) is a colonel in the US Air Force, serving as a senior flight surgeon at Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio. He graduated from the University of Miami's School of Medicine in 1984 and is a consultant to the Air Force surgeon general for preventative medicine.

Tom Steiger (BA, Sociology) has been promoted to professor of sociology at Indiana State University. He is currently on sabbatical writing an alternative textbook for the university's introductory sociology course.

Bradley Mason (BA, Political Science) retired from the US Navy in April as the record holder for the most flight hours in the Navy's T-34. During his 20-year career, Mason logged 4,438.8 hours in the T-34--the most in the training plane for an active-duty Naval aviator. Mason trained students and instructors at Whiting Field in Pensacola. He resides in Pensacola with his wife, Becky, and their three children and plans to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot.

Laura Jane Deleruyelle (BA, Speech Pathology and Audiology) is a family nurse practitioner for East Manatee Rural Health Clinic in Bradenton. She received the Top Gun award in nursing in 1991 and is board certified in family practice. She resides in Palmetto with her husband, Jeff Friedlorden, a neurologist.

Vicky Hughes Medlock (BA, Communication Processes and Disorders) was recently promoted to associate vice president for advancement services and executive director of the University of South Florida Foundation.

Larry Marks (BS, Psychology) received a PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1999. He is a staff psychologist in the Counseling and Testing Center at the University of Central Florida.

Dan Durda (PhD, Astronomy) was profiled in the September issue of Science magazine for his research as an astronomer for the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. While seated high above land in a NASA F-18 jet, Durda scours the twilight sky for asteroids that orbit closer to the sun than Mercury. An asteroid has been named after him--"6141 Durda"--and he is well-known in his field for creating models that have helped reveal how collisions shape the evolution of the asteroid belt. Durda made the top 12 percent of astronaut hopefuls during NASA's last selection two years ago. In the next round, set for summer 2003, he hopes to make the final cut.

Lee Ann Newsom (PhD, Anthropology) is an associate professor of archaeological anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. She was recently named a MacArthur Fellow by the MacArthur Foundation and will receive a $500,000 award in support of her research. Newsom investigates ancient plant life in Southeastern North America and the Caribbean. In addition to her PhD, Newsom also earned her BA from UF in 1982 and MA in 1986.

Rosalie De Fini (BA, English) is the executive director of the Humane Society of Catawba County, North Carolina. She resides in Hickory, NC with her husband, Joe Ley.

Celia C. Perez (BA, English) works in the library at Harold Washington College, which is part of the City College of Chicago. Until recently, she served as a reference librarian at the University of Chicago. Perez earned a Master's of Education in English education from UF in 1997 and an MA in library and information science from the University of South Florida in 2001. She resides in Chicago with her husband, Brett C. Zeeb, who is also a UF graduate.

Kathryn Grant (MS, Anthropology) is a PhD candidate at UF and was recently awarded the Margaret Clark Award for outstanding graduate writing by the Association for Anthropology and Gerontology. Her paper "Age, Gender and Ethnicity in Physician-Patient Encounters: Cultural Semantics and the Hierarchical Relations of Biomedicine" will be published in the association's next newsletter.

Liza Aranda (MA, Sociology) began her career this fall as an assistant professor at the University of Miami, where she served as a visiting professor during the 2001-2002 academic year. Aranda earned a PhD in 2001 from Temple University.

Isaac Nyamongo (PhD, Anthropology) has been appointed as the director of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Nairobi in Africa. Nyamongo also works as a senior research fellow at the university and is actively involved in malaria research.

Jason Alicea (BS, Physics) has received a 2002 LeRoy Apker Award from the American Physical Society for his outstanding achievement in physics as an undergraduate at UF. The prestigious award is given annually to two undergraduate physics students in the US. Alicea has also received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship to pursue his PhD in physics at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he is currently studying.

Amy Floyd (Class of 1952)
J. Viles/ FOX (Christina Christian)

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