Class Notes

The following updates originally appeared in the Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 editions of the Collegian. To share an update, email Kellie Hensley, director of college relations, at


Arnold Caruso (Class of ’52, journalism) published a book titled Was Paradise Lost.

J. Worth Wilkerson (Class of ’54, journalism) retired from the Tennessee Valley Authority.

Dr. John Llyde Yarbrough (Class of ’57/’61, BS/DMD, biology/chemistry/dentistry) recently retired from his family dental practice in Huntsville, Alabama, after 55 years. He is still active in the administration of dental examinations in many states. He also served as a member of the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama for two five-year terms.


Dr. Michael Dowe (Class of ‘61/’65, MS/PhD, physics) retired from his full-time job of Chief Scientist at Raytheon Ktech, but intends to consult and participate on select boards. Dowe celebrated his 90th birthday in November 2017.

Carroll L. Watson (Class of ’65, geography) was elected to his 10th term as mayor of Lincoln, Alabama, in 2016. He is a past chairman of the Alabama Real Estate Appraisers Board, past president of the Alabama chapter of the Appraisal Institute, and a past chairman of the East Alabama Regional Planning Commission.

Dr. Stan Lochridge (Class of ’68, pre-med) will retire from the Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons, P.C. in Birmingham, Alabama, in July of 2019. Dr. Lochridge has practiced for over 40 years.

Durwood L. Sims (Class of ’69, geography) retired from his career in correctional education at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department in 2015. He also received his PhD in Education from Nova University.

Dr. James G. Brooks Jr. (Class of ‘69, chemistry) recently retired as a physician at the Dallas Bone and Joint Clinic.


Manning Warren (Class of ’70, political science) is the Harter Chair of Corporate Law at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville and was recently honored as a life member of the American Law Institute. He was also elected a fellow of the European Law Institute.

Charles A. Casmus III (Class of ’71, broadcasting) was named to the All-American team at this I.S.S.A. Senior Winter National Softball Tournament in Huntsville in October of 2017. He was an outfielder for the Georgia Nuggets, who finished second.

Carolyn Woltz Ezell (Class of ’71, anthropology) received the 2017 Druid City Literary Arts Council Award from the West Alabama Arts and Humanities Council. Ezell is the author of the mystery novel series Tuscaloosa Moon under the pen name Carolyn Breckenridge.

Peggy Morgan Himburg (Class of ’71, journalism) retired from teaching in 2015. She returned to her first love of writing as education writer for The Daily Sentinel.

Jo P Macon Rutledge (Class of ’72, psychology) recently retired and is enjoying life with Rut Rutledge. She has two wonderful granddaughters.

Terry Burchfield Self (Class of ’72, journalism), received her MSHRM degree from Troy University after graduating from UA. She is PHR certified and is now an adjunct instructor at Auburn University.

Loring S. Jones III (Class of ’75, political science) recently received the Vulcan Award, the highest award granted to adult volunteer leaders by the Vulcan District, Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Donald L. McCants (’76, art history) is currently a member of the 2017-2018 Over the Mountain Festival Choir. He was also a member of The University of Alabama Choral Union under the direction of the late Dr. Frederick Prentice from 1974 to 1977.

George F. Thompson (Class of ’77, English/creative writing) published Nature and Cities: The Ecological Imperative in Urban Design and Planning. The book was designated a Notable Book of 2016 by the American Society of Landscape Architects. He is in his seventh year of serving as the publisher-in-residence for the College of Arts and Sciences, advising hundreds of CAS faculty regarding the publication in books and journals of their research.


Robert Marshall Dimick (Class of ’80, chemistry) is an orthopaedic spine surgeon at SRMC Orthopaedics in Milton, Florida.

Alva Lambert (Class of ’83, political science) retired after serving over 20 years as executive director for the State Health Planning & Development Agency on December 31, 2018. He was named director of business development for Bernhard Energy in January of 2019. He is a past president of the Montgomery Lions Club and Montgomery Quarterback Club, and currently serves on the ASF Foundation and The Alabama Military Support Foundation Boards of Directors.

Todd N. Hamilton (Class of ‘86/’89, political science/law) was named a senior partner with his firm, now named Smith, Spires, Peddy, Hamilton and Coleman, P.C. in Birmingham, Alabama.


David LaBounty (Class of ’90, psychology/English) runs one of the most respected and long-running independent literary journals in the country, The First Line. The journal was recently featured on NPR’s All Things Considered.

Etta Cordella Haley-Peoples (Class of ’91, criminal justice) currently works for the federal government.

Amanda Bennet Pierce (Class of ’92, MM, music/piano performance) currently works at Samford University as an administrative assistant in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Formerly, she worked as a piano teacher and at the Homewood Public Library.

Anthony Buckner (Class of ’95/’96/’00, history/education/education administration) recently celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary with his wife, Sheri. He is the leader of Teaching and Learning for the Jackson County School District and serves on the Board of Directors for both the Jackson County Economic Development Authority and the IMPACT Learning Center.

Debra A. Barrentine (Class of ’96, administrative science) was named the 2017-2018 Communicator of the Year for the Alabama Community College System Public Relations Association for her work as Director of Promotions and Marketing at Northeast Alabama Community College.

Rev. Robert W. Smith, Jr. (Class of ’96, New College) retired in 2017 from his position at Ashville First United Methodist Church. After receiving his undergraduate degree in business administration from New College, he earned his Master of Divinity from Emory University and his doctorate in higher education administration from UA.

Deondra L. Richardson (Class of ’98, criminal justice) works with a law firm in Woodland Hills, CA. She has a 22-year-old son, Quez Keion Arnold.

John O’Connell (Class of ’98, theatre) is the dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Purdue University Fort Wayne.


Jora Thomas-White (Class of ’01/’03, BS/MS, health studies) was named the HIV Prevention Branch Director at the Alabama Department of Public Health.

Franz S. Fischer (Class of ’03, MA, finance) is the Senior Risk Controller at KfW IPEX-Bank in Frankfurt, Germany.

Carrie B. Olsson (Class of ’05, psychology) is the owner of Smash, LLC, a tennis boutique in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Michael Bonnal (Class of ’07, PhD, economics) is a professor of economics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Chelsey Blomberg Epps (Class of ’08, New College) received her Master of Science in spring 2013 from East Carolina University. She is currently a speech language pathologist.


Ty Brackin (Class of ’10, History), a captain in the US Army, was deployed in 2017 to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait supporting a combined joint task force, Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. He was moved to a new unit at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, and has been an operations flight commander.

Dr. Richard Trammel (Class of ’12, interdisciplinary studies) is the president of a sports psychology consulting firm, Level 3 Sports, in Birmingham. His specialty is working with golfers, but he works with athletes of all sports.

Lindsey White (Class of ’12, dance) is currently working in Los Angeles as a professional dancer. Recently, she danced for Ariana Grande at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, as well as on a movie set.

Katherine S. Wainright Hall (Class of ’13, anthropology) is currently working in Labor and Delivery in Kapiolani Medical Center Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. She married Zachary Hall in July 2017.

Ashley Taylor (Class of ’14, dance) is a professional dancer and organized a collaborative community arts concert in Annapolis, Maryland.

Ellen Joan Coogan (Class of ’14, philosophy) is currently working as a Domestic Surveillance Fellow at the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) in Washington, DC. She primarily engages in comments to federal agencies under the Administrative Procedure Act and Freedom of Information Act litigation on issues related to government surveillance, civil rights, and equal justice. She is also Outreach Coordinator for the newly established University of Alabama LGBTQ Alumni Association, which brings her “great pride and joy.”

John Adam Porter (Class of ’14, microbiology) is currently working as a microbiologist and food safety manager for Perdue Chicken. After graduating from UA, he worked as a research assistant and was published for his team’s work on solutions for food safety.

Allison Eckert Beebe (Class of ’15, dance) is the office manager at BES Design Build in Fairhope, AL. She married Daniel Beebe (class of ’14) in June of 2016.

Dylan Paul (Class of ’15, MS, geography) was promoted to Planner II with the Chatham County Planning Department in Pittsbob, North Carolina, in July 2017. He and his wife, Casey, were married on June 2, 2016.

Scarlett Walker (Class of ’16, musical theatre) is currently performing on Broadway in the revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel.

Joseph E. Meany (Class of ’12/’16, MS/PhD, chemistry) co-authored a book with physicist Les Johnson on a new wonder-material called graphene. The book is a novel for a general audience to popularize graphene.

Liam Sullivan (Class of ’17, history/political science) is a first-year law student at the Charleston School of Law.