Alumni News

November 21, 2022 0 comments

Alumni News showcases and celebrates the notable career achievements
of our growing community of over 33,000 alumni and the positive impact
they are making in their communities and around the globe.


Melissa Fisher (SBL) has been named Esports Television’s global chief marketing officer.  Previously serving as a C-suite leader at prominent media companies (Cox Media Group; Cox Media; Entertainment Promotions, formerly an IAC company), Fisher most recently served as co-founder and COO/CMO of Esports Tower, North America’s largest amateur training and development club.


Richard Corcoran (LAW) was appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to the Board of Governors of the State University System. The Board of Governors oversees Florida’s 12 state universities and is tasked with such responsibilities as adopting regulations designed to carry out state laws related to higher education. Corcoran is a practicing attorney and former Florida Department of Education commissioner. He previously served as speaker of the Florida House from 2016-18.

James R. Mason (LAW) has been named president of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). Mason’s promotion to president follows more than 20 years as HSLDA’s lead litigation attorney and seven years as vice president. He was responsible for key legal victories, including 4th Amendment cases that improved social services investigation protocol in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Mexico.


Abbylin Sellers (RSG), who currently serves as an associate professor at Azusa Pacific University, received the Fullbright Award for the 2022-23 Academic Year. The Fulbright Program awards only about 900 grants per year to university faculty and administrators out of thousands of applicants. From September 2022 through February 2023, Sellers will teach at two institutions in Japan: Yokohama National University and Hosei University.


Kristen Redfield (SOE) was named co-director of the Forsyth Technical Community College Piedmont Hub. Co-directors play a critical role in shaping the hub’s content by providing insight from affiliate colleges’ faculty. 


Tracy Bear (SOE) was named superintendent for the Southeastern Career Center (SCC) in Indiana. The SCC serves 11 partner schools in six counties and their industrial partners and offers 15 programs in various skilled trades.

Veldesta Evans (SPC) was presented with the 2022 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Community Service for her leadership in science, technology, engineering/math (STEM) education, volunteer work, and other activities in the community. She is a cyber systems engineering manager for Northrop Grumman in the Washington D.C. area. 

Emile Hawkins Sr. (SBL) was recently promoted to colonel in the Air National Guard. Chaplain Hawkins is the first African American chaplain promoted to the rank of colonel in the history of the Florida National Guard (Army and Air National Guard) and the Oklahoma National Guard (Army and Air National Guard), where he was a member of the 138th Fighter Wing (2001-13). He has been serving the Florida Air National Guide since 2013.


Andrea Anderson Polk (SPC) released her first book, The Cuckoo Syndrome: The Secret to Breaking Free from Unhealthy Relationships, Toxic Thinking and Self-Sabotaging. She is a keynote speaker and licensed professional counselor, is nationally board-certified, and has served as president and vice president of the Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors.


Daryl Green (SBL), associate professor for Oklahoma Baptist University, has been named a regional recipient of the 2022 ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) recognizes individuals each year who exemplify teaching excellence in the classroom.

Dennis Rittle (SBL), was named Northwest Arkansas Community College’s fourth president. Northwest Arkansas Community College is the largest two-year college in the state. His long-term vision is to create a culture where students not only get an education but also make a connection. 

Jordan Sekulow (LAW) and his brother Logan Sekulow launched a new Podcast in September called “Sekulow Brothers”.  The Podcast, which includes three new episodes each week and is filled with commentary and analysis of a wide variety of topics, is already becoming a huge hit with audiences on the Salem Podcast Network.  In their third week alone, they hit over 100,000 combined downloads and views. Jordan is the Executive Director of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and cohost of Sekulow, a syndicated radio program providing cutting analysis of today’s political and legal landscape with elected officials and conservative leaders.


Timothy Downing (LAW) was appointed to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals by Governor Kevin Stitt. Currently, Downing is the first assistant attorney general of Oklahoma, where he serves as chief executive for the Attorney General. He is also an appellate military judge for the Oklahoma Military Court of Appeals, a position appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Oklahoma Senate. Downing also served as the 25th U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.


Chris Free (SCA) won the 2022 Louisiana Marathon in January of this year. He completed the 26.2-mile race in two hours and 38 minutes, shattering his previous personal best by six minutes. This race was his 15th marathon run and first marathon win.

Shemeka Hankins (LAW) was selected as a Top 40 Under 40 recipient by Inside Business for 2021. Honorees are considered outstanding young professionals who are successful in their careers and involved in improving the Hampton Roads community. She works at Invictus Law in Virginia Beach as a senior associate attorney and director of the firm’s criminal law practice group.


Ramon “Ray” Casey (SOD, SBL ’01, RSG ’97) has been appointed the new president of Westminster Christian Academy in Louisiana. The private school, founded in 1976, serves students in pre-K3 to 12th grade with campuses in Lafayette and Opelousas, each led by principals who will be under the leadership of the new president. 


Delceno Miles (SCA) has been appointed to the Virginia Beach City Council’s Bayside District seat. Miles is the president and CEO of The Miles Agency, a Virginia Beach-based marketing and public relations firm she founded in 1989.


Barney Dill (LAW) has been promoted to the position of associate at the law firm of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner—one of the longest-standing personal injury law firms in Texas. His current legal practice at the firm focuses on a wide range of personal injury matters, including petrochemical and refinery plant workplace injuries, motor vehicle collisions, aviation-related injuries, and premises liability.

Joshua Williams (CAS) and Michael R. Salas (CAS ’19) were nominated for an Ambie Award for Audio Excellence for their work on the podcast The Miseducation of John Mark. The Ambies® held in March 2022 in Los Angeles at The Mayan Theatre included nominations from Amazon, NPR, Apple TV+, and other top audio networks. The Miseducation of John Mark was nominated for Best Fiction Podcast and featured writing and producing work from fellow alumni Evan Carrington (CAS ’16), Aren Woods (CAS ’17), and Autumn Edwards (CAS ‘18). It also starred Trevon Foster (CAS ’17) as the main character, John Mark.


Chantele Thompson (RSG, SOE ’14) has been appointed by Mayor Byron Brown to chief diversity officer of Buffalo, New York’s Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion by Mayor Byron Brown. She helps sustain Buffalo’s prosperity through inclusion, helping to ensure continued participation, leadership, innovation, and progress for all employees and residents. She previously served as Child & Family Services’ chief equity and inclusion officer, where she was the recipient of the Business First IDEA Award.


Susan George (SPC), assistant professor in the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology, was named a fellow in the American Psychological Association’s Leadership and Education Advancement Program (LEAP) for her promising research related to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases mission. LEAP is an evidence-informed mentoring and leadership development program for early career social and behavioral scientists from underrepresented racial/ethnic populations. 

Frederick Kawuma (SBL), who retired in 2021 after serving two terms as secretary-general for the Inter-African Coffee Organization, was recently appointed as the organization’s goodwill ambassador to advocate for the African coffee industry. Kawuma has been instrumental in promoting Uganda coffee internationally and helping coffee exporters break into new markets. 

Vicki Williams (SBL) is the new dean of students and associate vice president of engagement at Old Dominion University. Williams had been interim dean since February 2021, and this August marked her 18th year at ODU.


Cora Dickey (CAS) took home a highly coveted plaque during the Colorado Broadcasters Association’s annual Awards of Excellence in April. She won first place in the Best Video Narrative with No Essay category for her natural sounds package highlighting Colorado Mesa University’s homecoming parade. 


Arielle Del Turco (RSG, CAS ’18) is the assistant director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, advocating to promote and protect religious freedom across the globe. She recently co-authored a report with Regent professor Dr. A.J. Nolte that focuses on how agencies responsible for administering America’s foreign development assistance should promote religious freedom abroad.

Bill Harmon (SOD) was elected president of the Southeastern District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS)—North America’s second-largest Lutheran church body, with nearly two million baptized members. The Southeastern District, based in Arlington, Virginia, includes about 215 congregations and 80 school ministries in Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C., as well as much of Maryland and portions of Pennsylvania.

Rickey Rogers (SOE) was recently promoted to vice president for Student Development at Ouachita Baptist University. As vice president, Rogers will lead several key areas of the university, including Residence Life, Campus Housing, Student Life, Student Conduct, Counseling and Disability Services, Health Services, Recreational Life, Summer Camps, and Campus Safety & Emergency Management.

Aaron Runzo (SOD) has been called to work full-time with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). He will be ministering to and discipling coaches, athletes, and families of all ages and stages of life in the Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads area.

Carrie Wood (SOD ’21 & ’14) recently had the opportunity to be on an excavation team that uncovered what’s believed to be the ancient fishing village of Bethsaida, which holds a place of great significance in scripture.

Submit Your Career News
Alumni News is compiled using various sources, including information reported by our alumni through Class Notes. For a chance to be featured in the next edition, submit your career news in a Class Note at

College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), College of Health & Behavioral Sciences (CHBS), School of Allied Health (SAH), School of Business & Leadership (SBL), School of Communication & the Arts (SCA), School of Divinity (DIV), School of Education (SOE), Robertson School of Government (RSG), School of Law (LAW), School of Nursing (SON), School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC)

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