SpringSummer 2014 - page 28-29

TROY Magazine
New Alumni Membership Coordinator
“Proud Trojan” is how Erik Groat describes himself today,
and the 2007 sport and fitness management graduate is eager
to spread that news to alumni everywhere.
In January, the Fort Walton Beach native became Troy
University Alumni Affair’s new membership and development
coordinator, a role he said was vital to growing the
“Building relationships with alumni is my number one
priority, then recruiting alumni into the association and
developing new chapters within the alumni association. Those
would be my top three priorities,” he said.
Among those initiatives is found the fledgling Student
Alumni Association that allows current students to join the
Alumni Association. Groat said working with students is one
of the most rewarding aspects of his job, and exposing them
to the power of networking is an ultimate goal. “We want to
get as many people involved as possible,” he said.
That, ultimately, is Groat’s
mission – creating new avenues
for students and graduates
to express their pride in the
University. “It’s about being a
proud TROY student and being a
part of a living legacy,” he said.
To learn about ways to
become involved in the Alumni
Association, contact Groat at
334-670-3977, or via email to
Erik Groat
Laretha Todd (2000)
recently selected by the
Renton (Wash.) Rotary Club
as its teacher of the month.
Todd is a third-grade teacher
at Lakeridge Elementary
School and has been teaching
in Renton schools for 13
Jamie Nutter (2001)
will represent the state of
Alabama in the Mrs. America
Pageant at Loews Ventana
Canyon Resort in Tuscon,
Ariz. in August.
Nutter, who serves as
instructional technology coach
for Hoover City Schools, won
the title of Mrs. Alabama in
March competing under the
banner of Mrs. Birmingham.
Pageant contestants were
judged in the categories of
beauty, poise and personality,
swimsuit and evening gown.
Nutter is married to
alumnus and former Trojan
quarterback Brock Nutter.
The couple has three children.
Michelle Bigornia Jayme
graduated with her
Master of Arts in counseling
psychology and marriage,
family therapy from Argosy
University in Orange, Calif. in
October. She is now pursuing
her career aspirations of being
a pediatric child therapist
and being board certified in
behavioral analysis to support
agencies in the southern
California area.
Brandy Sipling (2002
, a second-grade teacher
at Midland Academy, has been
named Muscogee County
(Ga.) School District 2014
Teacher of the Year.
Jacob Stutzman (2002)
chosen for inclusion in the
2012 edition of Mid-South
Super Lawyers magazine as
a Rising Star in the area of
appellate litigation.
This honor is reserved for
attorneys who have exhibited
excellence in practice.
Stutzman was also selected
for membership in The Multi-
Million Dollar Advocates
Forum. Membership in this
group is limited to attorneys
who have won multi-million
dollar verdicts, awards and/
or settlements. Less than 1
percent of attorneys in the
United States are members.
While at TROY, Jacob was a
member of the track & field
team and the Farmhouse
Fraternity. He graduated
with a degree in Political
Science and went on to earn
his J.D. with honors from
the University of Mississippi
School of Law in 2005.
Stutzman currently
practices law with Carroll
Warren and Parker PLLC
in Jackson, Miss. and was
selected for membership in
the firm effective January
Dr. Orletta Jackson-Rush
(2002, 2004)
has been
named principal of Brighton
Middle School by the
Jefferson County Board of
Education. She was formerly
the principal of Lipscomb
Elementary School.
Pat Curtis (2005)
has been
recognized by the National
Association of Professional
Women as the organization’s
2013/2014 Professional
Woman of the Year for
leadership in healthcare.
She serves as director of
operations, clinical care
services at Optima Health
where she is responsible
for operational policies/
procedures, acquisition and
operation of new computer
systems, human resource
development, education
and financial responsibilities
including capital, operational
and medical expenses.
Judy Jimmerson (2005)
has been named associate vice
president of career services
at Albany (Ga.) Technical
College. She previously served
as the College’s career services
director. The Albany native
joined the Albany Tech staff
in 2006.
Earl Phillip (2005)
been appointed to the North
Carolina Local Government
Commission by North
Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory.
Phillip is the chief executive
officer of Innovative
Consulting Services in
Charlotte, N.C. He previously
served as human resources
director of Seaton Corp. until
January 2012.
The commission advises
the state’s units of local
government on accounting
and budgeting and approves
issuance of local government
general obligations, revenue
bonds and most installment
purchases. Phillip will serve a
four-year term.
Dr. Sarah Kuck (2006)
assistant professor of political
science at Darton State
College, has been recognized
for her teaching excellence by
the Georgia Political Science
Association (GPSA). Dr.
Kuck was recently announced
as a recipient of the GPSA
Emerging Leader in Teaching
Award. Kuck began teaching
at Darton in 2008 as an
instructor and was promoted
to assistant professor in 2011.
Stephen G. Daniel (2007)
has been named president
of West Georgia Technical
College. He previously served
as provost of Southern
Crescent Technical College.
Stephen Gunter (2007)
recently joined the staff of
the WSFA 12 news team. He
previously served for three
years at WLBT in Jackson,
Miss. and three years as a
weekend sports anchor in
Panama City, Fla.
Holiday Whisenant (2008)
has been appointed as the
clinical director for Lakeview
Center’s Medication Assisted
Treatment program in
Pensacola. Whisenant is
a licensed mental health
counselor and has been
employed by Lakeview since
2008, when she was hired as a
mental health and substance
abuse counselor for a women’s
day treatment program.
Jeremy Nicholas Cline
of Cullman recently
graduated with a Juris
Doctorate in December.
Cline worked for Knight &
Griffith, LLP in Cullman,
Ala., Griffith Little & Lowry,
LLC in Cullman, Ala.,
Morgan & Morgan, PA in
Jackson, Miss., the Hinds
County Prosecutor’s Office in
Jackson, Miss., and Hazzard
Law in Jackson, Miss., during
law school. He is currently
employed at R. Champ
Crocker, LLC in Cullman,
Ala., where he is admitted
to third-year practice under
the Alabama Rule for Legal
Lauren Smith (2009)
recently named vice president
of the Pike County Chamber
of Commerce. She will focus
on membership, community
development and marketing
for the Chamber. Smith
previously worked with the
University’s International
Admissions Office.
Jonathan Bryant (2011,
was recently promoted
to sports editor of the
Greenville Advocate
. He joined
Greenville Newspapers
LLC in 2012 as a general
assignment reporter. While
at TROY, Bryant served
as a section editor on the
, the University’s
student newspaper.
Michael Taylor (2011)
recently named as group sales
executive for the Pensacola
Blue Wahoos minor league
baseball team. Taylor will
work to grow the group
sales business for the team
and his duties will include
selling birthday parties, the
Field of Dreams experience,
the ballpark’s all inclusive
party decks and other group
outings at Pensacola Bayfront
Stadium. Taylor worked in
the Wahoos Box Office during
the 2013 season. He holds
a bachelor’s degree in Sport
Management from TROY.
Mykel Travis (2013)
joined the staff at the
Pensacola Sports Association
as a new event coordinator.
He will oversee the Subway
High School All-Star Series
games, Racquet Round-Up,
Kick Start Soccer and
the FCSAA State Softball
Championships. He is a
former member of the TROY
football team and was active
in the University’s Rugby
A.J. Watson (2013)
recently joined the staff
of the Alabama Farmers
Federation as agricultural
communications specialist
Brittany Shadelle Cobb to Travis Antonio Bozeman (2003)
Michelle Gately to Christopher Ryan Bohannon (2004)
Adrian Elizabeth Creel to Tate Brantley Flowers (2006)
Carey Holloway (2006, 2009, 2013) to Jeffery Douglas
Julie Kay Morris (2006) to James Allan Bradburn (2007, 2010)
Samantha Mobley to Chris Brunson (2007)
Raylan Deanna to Andrew Jackson Gilliland (2008)
Morgan Blake Palmer to Robert Brett Carlisle (2009)
Kelli N. Green (2009) to Robert Blake Coulter
Alayna Ashley Lopez (2010) to David Lee Goldsmith
Holli Sheree Pitchford (2010, 2013) to Justin Fuller
Ashley Kaitlyn Adkins (2011, 2012) to William Joseph Michael, III
Samantha Michelle Hicks (2011) to Keoki Tomas Kimzin
Hannah Brooke Jones (2011) to Christopher Blake Calhoun
Jenna McLendon (2011) to George King (2012)
Sarah Elaine Thigpen to Thaddeus Jordan Samples (2011)
Kara Lou Jumper to Justin Harris Walters (2011)
Callie Lauren Addison (2012) to Clarke Julian White (2008)
Demetria Davis to Joseph Davis IV (2012)
Ginny-Ann Gilley (2012) to Joshua Allen Penton
Kelly Gregg (2012) to William Coady
Jordan Ray Martin to Charles “Daniel” Hendrix (2012)
Kaela McGee (2012) to Derrick Moore
Melissa Ann Nolan (2013) to Patton Ross Gunter
Kelsey Pierce (2013) to Justin Hubbard
Brittney LeShae Irvin (2014) to Jonathan Adam Linzey
Alexandria Austin Graham to William Chance Shaver (2014)
Laura Anne Tew (2014) to Nicholas Alexander Oliver (2012)
in the Department of
Public Relations and
Communications. Watson
will write news and feature
stories for the Federation’s
print publications and website
and will work on various
public relations projects with
other staff members. He
was previously employed by
Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.
TROY Magazine
Brittney Wilkerson (2013)
was recently hired by PLA
Media as Junior Publicist/
New Media Coordinator.
Wilkerson will be responsible
for day-to-day publicity
initiatives for PLA clients and
will provide graphic design for
the social media team.
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