Summer 2009
Summer 2009
International Flavor
Trojan Territory
Chapter News

Loyd Arrington (1969) was recently sworn in as Blount County sheriff. He retired a year ago as captain and assistant chief of the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. Arrington was appointed by Gov. Bob Riley to fill out the unexpired term of the previous sheriff who resigned in January.

Danny Grant (1969), a receiver on TROY’s 1968 national championship football team, has been selected for induction for the 2009 class of the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame.

Buddy Sharpless (1970) recently retired as executive director of the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama. He had been employed with the association for 36 years.

Sim Byrd (1971) has been selected as a 2009 inductee into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame. Byrd was quarterback on the 1968 national championship football team, setting four NAIA playoff records.

John Drew (1977), boys’ golf coach at Northside High School in Columbus, GA, was recently named Coach of the Year by the Columbus Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

James L. Thompson, Jr. (1977, 1979) has had his book Adopted for Publication: Paper Ophans II published by PublishAmerica. The book is a sequel to the Collegeville, PA, resident’s first book and consists of poems, essays and short stories that examine the joys, sorrows and humor of everyday life. Thompson also has pursued an interest in acting, appearing in several television commercials, industrial films and print. His most interesting success has come with his collaboration on short films with Philadelphia-area film maker, producer and director Pat Taggart. One of their films, Charlie Applebee, was submitted to the Sundance Film Festival.  Charlie Applebee is a story of friendship and faith and how one individual can change the lives of many others.

Paul Bussman (1979), who has operated a general dentistry practice in Cullman since 1983, has announced his candidacy for the District 4 Alabama Senate seat. The Senate election will be held in 2010. He is married to the former Holly O’Connor and the couple has four children.

Francis S. Van Hoy (1979) has been appointed as national service director for the Military Order of the Purple Heart, directing the operations of more than 85 offices nationwide.

Wilbur Williams (1979) was recently recognized by the Andalusia Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow. Rotary International recognizes a person as a Paul Harris Fellow when a contribution of $1,000 or more is made to the international organization in that person’s name. Williams was appointed chief of police in Andalusia in 2000, after retiring from the Mobile Police Department in 1998 with 28 years of service.

Peggy Darby (1981) was recently inducted into the Tenet Heroes Hall of Fame, the highest award presented to employees of Tenet Healthcare Corp. Darby, a nurse in the oncology unit at Birmingham’s Brookwood Medical Center, was among seven employees inducted in the 2009 Hall of Fame class. Tenet Heroes are nominated by their hospital’s leadership team and selected based on their dedication to their patients, co-workers and communities.

Selby Andrews (1984) was recently inducted into the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame. Andrews was a seven-time All-America in both indoor and outdoor track while at TROY.

Tim Beasley (1985) is senior human resources manager for Briggs & Stratton Corp. He was recently appointed by Gov.  Bob Riley to serve as chair of the Alabama Workforce Investment Board, which is responsible for facilitating workforce development efforts and approving federal job training budgets in Alabama.

Charlie Smith (1985) was recently honored with President’s Club status for becoming Knology, Inc.’s second highest business sales account executive in 2008. President’s Club members receive a trip to Mexico for their service. The Slocomb resident is married to Alabama Sen. Harri Anne Smith, also a TROY graduate.

C. Gibson Vance (1987) has been selected for inclusion on the 2009 Super Lawyers list, a designation earned by fewer than five percent of lawyers in the state. Vance, an attorney with Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, practices in the firm’s consumer fraud section. The Super Lawyer designation is based on peer recognition and pesonal achievement, and involves a statewide nomination process, independent research and peer evaluation by practice area.

Lynn Vick (1988), a third-grade teacher at Holly Hill Elementary School in Enterprise, was recently featured in an education spotlight article published by The Enterprise Ledger newspaper. Her career in education has spanned more than 20 years. She and her husband Greg have two daughters.

Tim Foster (1989) is co-owner of The Pottery Grill restaurants in Northport and Cottondale.

Jennifer Panton Henderson (1990) is territory sales representative for Werner Frank Enterprises in Atlanta, GA.

Lt. Col. Jimmy Warren (1991) is the new commander of the 965th Airborne Air Control Squadron based at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Warren and his wife Denise have two children.

Michael S. Celka (1992) has been named a principal in the firm of Bern, Butler, Capilouto & Massey, P.C. in Montgomery. He has 16 years of public accounting experience and specializes in the tax and accounting areas, in addition to audits of governmental agencies. Celka is a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants and the Alabama Society of CPAs.

Jamie Weeks (1992), director of volunteer services at Southeast Alabama Medical Center, has been elected vice president of education for the Alabama Society of Directors of Volunteer Services.

BB&T Corporation has promoted Jason Alderman (1993, 1994) to senior vice president. Alderman, who joined the bank in 2005, is a city executive in BB&T’s commercial lending department. Alderman has also been involved in many civic activities, including serving as immediate past president of the Calhoun County American Cancer Society board, past chairman of the Sunny King Charity Golf Classic and past captain of the Calhoun County Quarterback Club.

Cherie L. McCain (1993) has been named program coordinator for the local chapter of Literacy Volunteers of America. A resident of Valley, McCain and her husband Tim have two children Leah and Ruslan.

Kimberly Garner (1994), a reading coach at Huguley Elementary School, has been named “Elementary Teacher of the Year” by the Chambers County School System. Garner has been a teacher for 13 years.

Rachel Knox (1994, 1996), an English teacher at Valley High School, has been named “Secondary Teacher of the Year” by the Chambers County School System. Knox has been a teacher for 15 years, and she holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from TROY. She teaches 11th grade and advanced English.

Robin Butler McNany (1994) is finance administrator for Westcon Group North America in South Dakota.

Paul Lindsley (1995) is director of communications at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN. Since graduating from TROY, he has earned a master’s degree in corporate communications from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.

Christopher Wayne Wilson (1996) was recently named as the new senior pastor at New Temple Baptist Church in Bagley. He and his wife Meredith have one son Asher.

Holly E. Raulerson (1997) is advertising sales training manager for The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, FL.

Renee Staude (1997) serves as a nurse practitioner at Talladega Family Medicine.

Freddie Durbin (1998) and his wife Andrea Hause Durbin (2002, 2004) recently moved to Huntsville. Freddie is working with Sportsmed Orthopaedic Surgery and Spine Center and Randolph High School. Andrea is working with the Missile Defense Agency as a Contract Specialist. Freddie and Andrea had their first child Lorelei on March 17.

Terri Lynn Sorrells (1998) recently opened Sorrells Funeral Home in Enterprise.

Jennifer Atchison Dale (1999) is executive producer of WMBF-TV in Myrtle Beach, SC. In 2008, Dale received a national Edward R. Murrow Award for the special “Mobile’s Makeover” she produced at Mobile’s WKRG-TV.

Tammy Glenn (1999) has been named assistant principal at West Side Magnet School in Troup County, GA. She previously served as registrar and graduation coach at the school.

John Edgar Harris (1999) was recently ordained by Glynwood Baptist Church in Prattville. He will serve the church as student minister and director of communications. Harris had served as interim youth minister at the church since 2007.

Kelly Caldwell (2000) created Lake Wedowee Life magazine in 2008. The bi-monthly publication is dedicated to promoting life on Lake Wedowee and the surrounding areas.

Capt. Kelly M. Johnson (2000) assumed the duties as commanding officer, Naval Station Norfolk, in March. Capt. Johnson had been the base’s executive officer since 2006 and has served in the Navy for 26 years.

Ricardo Soria (2000) was selected the Astronauts Foundation Alan B. Sheppard Technology in Education Award Winner in March 2009. Soria served as a presenter at Wiregrass Aerospace Consortium Teacher Workshop at TROY in 2008.  He also was selected National Conference on Aviation and Space Education A. Scott Crossfield Aerospace Teacher of the Year in 2006 and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Educator Award Winner in 2007. 

Jennifer Cannon Sykora (2000) has completed all requirements for graduation from the University of South Alabama College of Medicine in Mobile. She will continue her medical education in internal medicine at the University of South Alabama Hospital System. Dr. Sykora was the recipient of the John Desak Award recognizing the highest-ranking female in her class.  She also received the Charles M. Baugh Award for excellence in biochemistry and the Samuel Eichold Award for demonstrating compassion in patient care and achievement in internal medicine. Dr. Sydora is a member of the Alabama Beta Chapter of Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

J. Nicholas Bull (2001) has opened a law practice in Ozark. While at TROY, Bull served as president of the Sound of the South band and president of the Collegiate Music Educators National Conference Chapter. He graduated from Jones School of Law in 2008.

Annette West (2001) was recently named J.U. Blacksher’s Elementary Teacher of the Year. At Blacksher, she has taught as a 12th grade resource teacher, a third grade self-contained teacher and a kindergarten through fourth grade collaborative special education teacher.

Katie Bischoff Hagood (2002, 2003) has been accepted into the doctoral program in Education Leadership, Policy, and Law at Alabama State University.

Crystal D. Lee (2003, 2005) has graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, GA, and has been commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. The lieutenant is an ordinance officer with eight years of military service.
Thomas Shea (2003) is strength and conditioning coach for the Stockton (CA) Ports, the AA affiliate of the Oakland A’s.

Jennifer Lynch Bess (2004) graduated in December 2008 with a Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbiology from the University of Florida.  She is currently teaching Biological Sciences at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida.

Vern Mamon (2004) has been named the principal of Winston Dowdell Academy in Newnan, GA, effective July 1. Mamon previously served as principal of Night High School, Summer High School and the Performance Learning Center at the Central Educational Center for Coweta County Schools.

Karen Pate Peeples (2004) has completed the state requirements and is now
Continued on next page
a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the state of Florida.  She lives in Panama City, FL, with her husband Drew and her two daughters Haven and Madelyn.  Peeples is employed with Emerald Coast Hospice.

Ashley Fowler Thomas (2004) graduated in May from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. She and her husband Gary reside in Birmingham.

Paula Tillman (2004) is the public information officer for the Baldwin County Commission in Bay Minette.

Lance J. Eiland (2005) received a Master of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, during commencement activities on May 11. He is a member of Brantley United Methodist Church in Brantley. Following graduation, Eiland will serve at Pine Level United Methodist Church in Autauga County.

Joshua Stephens (2005) was one of 78 graduates to receive the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree on May 17 from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Georgia Campus. The Selma native has accepted a residency position at the Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, VA., to begin his graduate medical education.

Melinda Henderson Recalde (2005) is an international admissions specialist for Troy University.

Danielle Chandonnet (2006) was recently named director of marketing and admissions at Pine Technical College in Pine City, MN.

Anna Hasenbein (2007) is an assistant broker for Peachtree Special Risk Brokers in Stockbridge, GA. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, Hasenbein stayed at TROY and completed a one-year Certification in Risk Management and Insurance.

Lauren Gabrielle Levins (2007) served as the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association’s queen for 2009, presiding over all of the association’s Mardi Gras festivities. Her coronation was held Feb. 22 at the Mobile Civic Center Theater.

Ashley Cunningham (2008) is assistant promotions director and event coordinator at The Fish 104.7 FM in Atlanta, GA.

Jeremy Douthit (2008) has been accepted into the Doctorate of Accounting program at Florida State University and will begin his studies this fall.

Marion Sankey (2008) has been named instructional specialist for Unity Elementary School in LaGrange, GA. She previously served as Title I support specialist for the Troup County Schools.

Gary Spann (2008) was recently commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air force, following 13 weeks of officer training school at Maxwell Air Force Base. A 15-year veteran of the Air force, Spann previously held the rank of technical sergeant. He is attending training to become a space and missiles officer at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Spann and his wife Christy have two sons.

Share your news with us at

Troy University Magazine
Troy University
Alumni Affairs Office
Troy, AL 36082