Alumni CLASnotes Spring 2006
In This Issue:

Updates from CLASmates

Ambassador Extraordinary

Tony Blair & Barbara J. Stephenson
Tony Blair & Barbara J. Stephenson
English alumna Barbara J. Stephenson has been nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the U.S. to the Republic of Panama. She is currently awaiting Senate confirmation.

“When I started my diplomatic career—and I joined A-100, the name of the entering class for new diplomats, the very next day after I defended my doctoral dissertation at the University of Florida—experienced, senior diplomats came in to talk to us about the dream of making ambassador one day, noting how few of us would make it,” said Stephenson. “I am deeply grateful to the President and the Secretary of State for the unforgettable honor of nominating me to be ambassador to Panama, a country I came to love during my first diplomatic assignment 20 years ago.”

A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Stephenson currently serves as Deputy Coordinator for Iraq at the Department of State. Prior to this, she served as a Principal Officer in Belfast and as a Political and Economic Officer in Panama. She holds a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D.—all in English—from the University of Florida.

Look for a full feature on Stephenson in the Fall 2008 issue.

Where Are They Now?

Charlotte Mather: First Women Elected President of Student Government

Charlotte Mather Charlotte Mather
Charlotte Mather - Then and Now
Charlotte Mather made UF history in 1983 when she became the first woman ever elected student body president at the university. Now, 25 years later, the political science alumna is using her legislative experience as Vice President of Government Relations and Community/Public Affairs for Broward Health.

“Winning that election showed me I could accomplish whatever I wanted with hard work, dedication and belief,” said Mather. “The odds were against me because no organized groups would support a woman, but I was so focused and so were my supporters that we just believed we were going to win. A lot of great people worked hard on that campaign, and it takes a team to accomplish the goal.”

Mather’s team in the North Broward Hospital District handles legislative affairs, corporate sponsorships, community relations, public relations, and multicultural affairs. Before she went to work for the organization in 1996, she served in several roles including legislative assistant to Florida Sen. Tom McPherson, executive director of the Broward Legislative Delegation, and government relations director for a Fort Lauderdale law firm. She received an M.B.A. from Nova Southeastern University in 2007.

In Brief


Harold Klapper (B.A., Political Science, 1959) is on counsel at Boies Schiller & Flexner, a litigation firm in New York City. He holds the honor of being the first National Debate Champion at UF.


Charles E. “Abe” Abramson (B.A., History, 1963) is a commercial real estate broker who has just completed six years on the Medical Staff Ethics Committee at Missoula, Montana’s Saint Patrick Hospital and Health Sciences Center, where he continues to serve on the Joint Institutional Review Board. He is also a founding trustee of the Missoula Public Library Foundation and serves on Montana’s Board of Realty Regulation.

Shere Hite (B.A. and M.A., History, 1967 and 1969) has published several books over the years, including The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality and The Hite Report on Male Sexuality. She lives in London and is a newspaper columnist for several publications around the world.

John Arthur Marshall (B.S., Geology, 1963) is president of the Arthur R. Marshall Foundation, established to honor the late Arthur R. Marshall (B.S. Biology, 1953), an ecologist and Everglades restoration pioneer. The foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary in March. \

Darrell A. Simmons (B.A., English, 1961) has published a novel, Daily Double Cross.

Joseph Horn Thomas (B.A. and M.A., History, 1962 and 1969) is an adjunct history professor on Edison College’s Lee Campus in Fort Myers, Florida, where he serves as faculty adviser to the Omicron Epsilon Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa.

Billy M. Thornton (B.A., Mathematics, 1963) holds an M.S. in systems engineering from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. He recently retired from Colorado State University, where he served as a business professor for 26 years.


Patricia J. Amick (M.S., Physics, 1978) was recently promoted to Technical Fellow in the area of Electronics Manufacturing at the Boeing Company. She also received an international electronics industry award this year.

Colette Mullaney Bancroft (M.A., English, 1975) is the book editor of the St. Petersburg Times.

Steven “Ed” Cox (B.A., English, 1977) is a high school English teacher in the Oviedo, Florida area.

Fred Gahr, Jr. (B.A., Psychology, 1973) has converted to the Sikh/Yogic way of life and is now known as Gurukirn S. Khalsa. He is co-owner and national sales manager of Soothing Touch, a Santa Fe, New Mexico based manufacturer of massage and spa products.

David Jaffee (B.A., Political Science, 1977) is assistant vice president for undergraduate studies and a professor of sociology at the University of North Florida.

Barry M. Kay (B.S., Psychology, 1977) has been named president of the Chamber of Commerce of Hollywood, Florida. He holds an optometry degree from the Pennsylvania School of Optometry.

Kenneth F. Kiple (Ph.D., History, 1970) recently retired as a distinguished university professor of history from Bowling Green State University. He has authored or edited a dozen books, including the recently published The Movable Feast: Ten Millennia of Food Globalization.

Col. Michael L. Neveaux (B.S., Mathematics, 1970) spent five years in active duty as an Army aviator, retired after 24 years in the U.S. Army Reserves, and has spent 34 years as chief pilot of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Air Support Division.

Joyce M. Romanski (B.A., Psychology, 1979) went on to pursue a master’s in English education and an educational specialist degree in curriculum and instruction from UF. She taught for 25 years at North Marion Middle School in Citra, Florida and recently published a novel for adolescents, Redfield Alma Mater: No More Teachers’ Dirty Looks. She also teaches composition at Central Florida Community College.


Bob Andelman (B.A., Film Studies, 1982) authored Will Eisner: A Spirited Life in 2005 and is the producer of the Mr. Media podcast.

David R. Atherton (Ph.D., Chemistry, 1984) is principal materials scientist at Exide Technologies, a leading acid battery manufacturing company. He resides in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Tina Brier (B.A., History, 1982) earned a law degree from Fordham University in 1989 and is chief contract negotiator and director of classified personnel for the Berkeley Unified School District in Berkeley, California.

Michael A. Downs (B.A., Economics, 1980) is president and CEO of the United Church of Christ Pension Board, which serves 22,000 clergy and staff employees and manages $3.2 billion in assets.

Scott Gordon (B.A., Criminal Justice, 1987) recently promoted from an overseas assignment in Bangkok, Thailand to become the resident agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tacoma Resident Office in Tacoma, Washington.

Ray de Lugo, Jr. (B.A., Political Science, 1984) works for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida in the Jacksonville corporate headquarters as the senior commodities consultant. He is working in the Purchasing Division focusing on construction, facilities and contract management.

Lisa Cohen Minnick (B.A., English, 1988) is an assistant professor of English language and linguistics at Western Michigan University. Her book, Dialect and Dichotomy: Literary Representations of Speech was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2006.

Jack Morey (B.S., Economics, 1987) has been included for the second consecutive year on Bank Investment Consultant Magazine’s list of top 50 bank financial advisers in the nation. Working at SunTrust Investment Services in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, he has been educating clients for over 12 years on investment planning and preparing for their financial futures.

Donovan D. Mouton (B.A., Political Science, 1980) is a program director with the One Economy Corporation, managing the Kansas region, including the growth and development of its web media properties and on-the-ground digital inclusion programs. Prior to joining the corporation, he served as Director of Urban Affairs and Public Advocacy under Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Kay Barnes.

John M. Roberts (M.A., Political Science, 1988) has been appointed to the policy committee of the Corporate Executive Board, a Washington, D.C. based business advisery firm.

Dawn Marie Rubio (B.S., Psychology, 1985) received a law degree from UF in 1988 and is an attorney and the principal court consultant for the National Center for State Courts.

James D. Scott (B.S., Zoology, 1989) earned a master’s in education from UF in 1991, as well as a Pharm.D. in 1994. He received tenure and was promoted to associate professor at the Western University of Health Sciences’ College of Pharmacy in Los Angeles, California.

R. Keith Stayer (B.A., Political Science, 1988) is a vice president and private banker for Synovus Bank of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, Florida.

Monica Sutton (B.A., Psychology, 1982) is test administrator at the Langley Air Force Base Education Center, where she was recently recognized as employee of the month for the entire base. She also works for Hospice at Riverside Hospital.

Deb Thalasitis (B.A. and M.A., Political Science and Public Administration, 1980 and 1981) is assistant town manager of Marana, Arizona, a high growth community just outside of Tucson.

Michael Tichenor (B.A., Political Science, 1986) has been promoted to the Juvenile Division in the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office.

John V. Tucker (B.A., Philosophy, 1988) received a law degree from UF in 1991 and practices with Tucker & Ludin, P.A. in Clearwater, Florida, where he is the managing shareholder. He was recently elected to the Board of Trustees of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Mid-Florida Chapter.

Kerry S. Waldron (B.A., Political Science, 1986) recently published a motivational book, Loving Life and Living Large: A Commonsense Approach to Successful Living.


Todd H. Albert (B.S., Geography, 1998) was awarded a NASA Graduate Research Fellowship in 2001 and an Innovative Research Program grant in 2002. He received his Ph.D. in 2007 and is now teaching at Bowling Green State University.

Joseph N. Alexander (B.A., Criminal Justice, 1996) is a civil litigator with Potter, Clement, Lowry & Duncan in Mount Dora, Florida.

Armando A. Olmedo Arias (B.A., History, 1992) is vice president and senior legal counsel for Univision Communications, Inc. In March he received a “People of the Year” award from the Organization of Iberoamerican Journalists in Madrid, Spain.

Douglas A. Barlow (B.S., Physics, 1996) is an assistant professor of physics at Westmont College. He got married in December of 2007 to Evelyn M. Calhoun. The couple reside in Santa Barbara, California.

Lindsey Keller Berjansky (B.A., Sociology, 1996) has received a master’s in counseling and development from George Mason University and a doctoral degree in clinical psychology from George Washington University.

Mike Campbell (Ph.D., Psychology, 1998) is on the faculty of the University of the West Indies in Cave Hill, Barbados, where he lectures in behavioral science and psychology in the School of Clinical Medicine and Research.

Jorge A. Cervera (B.A., English, 1992) is sales/product manager and website copywriter for, the world’s largest online headphone shop and headphone audio manufacturer, based in Bozeman, Montana.

Caryn Slovenski Clark (B.A., English, 1994) is a voice-over actress and can be heard all over the country on radio and television commercials, as well as in corporate and web narrations.

Leanne Dolin (B.S., History, 1998) earned a law degree from UF in 2001 and works as a staff attorney for a trial judge in Atlanta. Three of her cases have been nationally televised.

Howard L. Glass (B.S., Psychology, 1993) received a law degree from the University of Houston in 1997 and practiced law from 1997–2000 before returning to Florida to teach.

Tracy S. Greenberg (B.A., Criminal Justice, 1996) received a law degree from the University of Texas in 1999 and is on the corporate counsel of Marriott International, Inc.

Yoni Leviatan (B.A., Criminology, 1999) is an accomplished independent recording artist. His debut album, Extra Credit, was released in 2007 and he has licensed songs to MTV, Oxygen Network and PBS. He is currently touring the college circuit. Visit his fan club at

Claire K. Mazur (B.A., Sociology, 1997; M.A., Political Science, 1999) is a Chief Legislative Analyst with the Florida Legislature.

Lowell Nieporent (B.A., Geography, 1997) has received an M.S. in instructional systems design from Florida State University.

Peg O’Connor (B.A., Criminology, 1993) earned a master’s in sociology and a law degree from UF in 1998. Having completed a three-year clerkship with U.S. District Judge Stephan P. Mickle, Northern District of Florida, she is now in private practice focusing on high-level criminal defense issues.

John Paré (B.A., Political Science, 1991) holds a law degree from George Washington University and serves as Deputy Attorney General for the Central Florida Region for Florida’s Attorney General.

Teresa Schaller (B.A., Criminal Justice, 1995) has received an M.B.A. from Florida Atlantic University with a certificate in international business management.

Jennifer Schultz (B.A., German, 1992) earned a master’s in education from UF in 1994 and an education specialist degree from Georgia State University in 2007. She was recently awarded the Florida Language Association Foreign Language Teacher of the Year Award for Georgia.

Robert J. Sniffen (B.A., Political Science, 1990) is founder and managing partner of Sniffen Law Firm, P.A. in Tallahassee. The firm represents employers in labor and employment law matters, and also represents clients in commercial and administrative litigation, property taxation, construction litigation and license defense matters.

Kristen Williams (B.A., Political Science, 1999) works in medical sales in Jacksonville, Florida. She recently competed in the Dexter Jackson Classic Women’s Figure Show and placed fifth. She was also selected as Miss December for the 2008 Lex and Terry Calendar.


Bret William Adams (B.S., Physics, 2007) is a patent examiner in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.

Brooke Bass (B.A., Economics, 2002) earned an M.S. in business administration in 2005 and recently opened Keller Williams Gainesville Realty in Haile Plantation. The Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends named her one of 2007’s Top 200 Real Estate Professionals.

Rachel Bird (B.A., Sociology, 2004) received an M.A. in education policy studies from George Washington University in 2006 and is currently the policy and research coordinator for the Strong American Schools campaign in Washington, D.C.

Jerome V. Cerdan (B.S., Microbiology and Cell Science, 2001) completed a doctorate in dental medicine at Temple University in May 2006 and is serving as a dentist in the U.S. Navy, based in Okinawa, Japan.

Christina Chambers (B.A., Political Science, 2007) received a B.S. in public relations from UF and is working at an Orlando public relations agency.

Scott Chase (B.A., History, 2002) is metro aquatics director at the North Central Florida YMCA in Gainesville.

Tracie Nicole Cohens (B.A., Sociology, 2004) received a master’s degree in counseling and works in Gainesville as a clinical behavior specialist, helping individuals who are developmentally disabled.

Patrick Cosgriff (B.A., Political Science, 2001) holds an M.B.A. from UF and is currently managing consultant for IBM’s Global Business Services.

Victoria Eads (B.A., Religion, 2006) is pursing a nursing degree in Texas. She has been invited to join Sigma Theta Tau and was voted by her instructors to be one of 40 undergraduate and graduate students to join Who’s Who of America’s Colleges.

Jason Donald Graham (B.A., Classical Studies, 2001) has completed an M.B.A. at Rollins College.

Bridget Felicetty Healy (B.A., English, 2004) is pursing duel master’s degrees in public administration and non-profit management at the University of Central Florida. She also works part-time as manager of new business development at the university’s Community Service Center.

Andrea Hobbs (B.S., Psychology, 2005) received her master’s and education specialist degrees in school psychology from Florida State University in April 2008.

Derrick “Hoeby” Hoeben (M.F.A., Creative Writing, 2007) is an assistant professor of English at Francis Marion University in Florence, South Carolina. He recently published flash fiction stories and is working on a novel.

Laura Santurri Holmes (B.S., Psychology, 2001) earned an M.S. in occupational therapy from Florida International University in 2004 and works in pediatric occupational therapy.

Travis Horn (B.A., Political Science, 2000) earned a law degree from UF in 2005 and has accepted a position with Austin, Ley, Roe & Patsko, P.A., serving the Tampa/ St. Petersburg area.

Harrison Hove (B.A., Political Science, 2005) received a B.S. in meteorology from Florida State University in 2007 and is the weekend meteorologist at KLFY-TV, the CBS affiliate serving Lafayette, Louisiana.

Aisha Khan (B.S., Microbiology and Cell Science, 2006) is a first-year medical student at Nova Southeastern University.

Chastity (Baker) Kolb (B.A., Sociology, 2005) is a legislative analyst for the New York State Assembly, working in the areas of social services, children and families, election law, and real property taxation.

Alexis Bramlett Lombard (B.A., Sociology, 2006) is a second-year law student at Barry University School of Law in Orlando, Florida.

Brianne N. Loomis (B.A., Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2002) received a doctorate in audiology from Northwestern University in 2006 and is a pediatric audiologist for The Hearing Centers in Tennessee. She is also the proud mother of one-year-old Aine Lea Douglas Loomis.

Kathryn D. Masters (B.A., Anthropology and Political Science, 2004) had a busy year in 2007, earning a law degree from George Washington University, getting sworn in to the Virginian bar, and marrying Austin Barile.

Michele Murphy (B.A., Criminology, 2004) graduated from Harvard University’s law school in 2007 and is an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York City.

Lan Nguyen (B.A., Sociology, 2003) recently earned an M.B.A. from National University, specializing in human resource management.

John Pasden (B.A., East Asian Languages and Literatures, 2000) lives in China, where he has become fluent in Mandarin and teaches English classes. He will soon graduate from East China Normal University with a master’s degree in applied linguistics. He also works for ChinesePod, an educational podcast company, and serves as senior product manager for its corporate parent, Praxis Language.

Dahlia Reed (B.A., History, 2002) holds a master’s degree in Jewish studies from Oxford University and a master’s in international affairs from the George Washington University. She lives in Washington, D.C. and works as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), focusing on defense and foreign policy issues.

Robert Saccenti (B.A., English, 2002) is currently living in Los Angeles, working as an art director on the CBS television show Big Brother.

Emmy Schiel (B.A., Political Science, 2006) is pursuing a master’s degree in accounting at Nova Southeastern University.

Randall Stephens (Ph.D., History, 2003) is an assistant professor of history at Eastern Nazarene College and a 2007–2009 Young Scholar of American Religion at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis. Harvard University Press recently published his book, The Fire Spreads: Holiness and Pentecostalism in the American South.

Dr. Lauren Stern (B.S., Zoology, 2001) earned her M.D. from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 2005 and is in the last year of her residency at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, where she will become a fellow of the Division of Nephrology effective July 2008.

Stephanie Sullivan (B.A., English, 2006) works in foundation relations in the Office of Development at Rollins College. She is pursuing an M.A. in art history from Florida State University.

Kimberly Treadwell (B.A., English, 2007) is a legal administrative assistant at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, one of Washington D.C.’s largest law firms.

Jessica Tudor (B.A., Anthropology, 2005) lives in San Francisco, California, where she works as an archaeological field technician in the cultural resource management field. She’s applying to graduate schools in archaeology and is engaged to be married.

David E. Winchester (B.S. and B.A., Microbiology and Sociology, 2000) is preparing to complete a residency in internal medicine and will be returning to UF to start a cardiology fellowship in July 2008.

Michelle Zambrana (B.A., English, 2007) is the National Institute of Justice Research Project Coordinator at Florida International University’s Stempel School of Public Health.

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