Alumni News

March 31, 2022 0 comments
Graduates during Regent University's commencement ceremony in Virginia Beach.

We are so proud of our growing community of over 31,000 alumni and the positive impact they have in their communities and around the globe. That’s why we are introducing Alumni News. This new Impact feature will showcase and celebrate the notable career achievements of our alumni.


Tom Halleen (SCA) was installed as the founding dean for the School of Cinema & Media Arts at Biola University. The former executive vice president of AMC Networks, Tom has nearly 30 years of experience as an entertainment industry executive.  


Ed Bryant (RSG) is the new vice president of Public Affairs & Communications for Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Company, LLC. With over 20 years of experience, Ed will lead Heartland’s government relations, stakeholder relations, media, and brand PR; and provide guidance and counsel for local community giving programs.  


Michael Ray Smith (SCA) became the research fellow at LCC International University, Klaipeda, Lithuania. Michael conducts research on Christianity and media and writes for Religion Unplugged


Charles Martin (SCA) released The Letter Keeper, the second book in the Murphy Shepard Novels, where he explores the true power of sacrificial love. As a New York Times bestselling author, Charles has written 17 books, one of which was made into a movie. His work is published in 35+ countries and 30 languages.  


Michael Listner (LAW) co-authored an article in Vanderbilt Journal of Technology & Entertainment Law titled, “A Litigator’s Guide to the Galaxy: A Look at the Pragmatic Questions for Adjudicating Future Outer Space Disputes.” Michael is the founder and principal at Space Law & Policy Solutions and the author and editor of The Précis.   


Edward Logan (RSG) is the co-founder of Filipino American Cancer Care (FACC), a nonprofit serving Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the Maryland, Virginia and D.C. area who are impacted by cancer. FACC has been recognized by the Office of the President in the Philippines for community outreach programs in rural cities that provide meals to underprivileged children with cancer. Stateside, they’ve taken on COVID-19 by making masks for cancer patients and healthcare workers serving on the frontlines.  


Winsome Sears (SBL) was sworn into office as the lieutenant governor of Virginia on January 15, 2022. A Jamaican immigrant and U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Winsome is the first woman in the commonwealth’s 400-year legislative history to hold this prestigious position. 


John Davis (RSG) met with President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Denis McDonough at the White House on November 11, 2021. Amid Veterans Day celebrations, he discussed the implementation of the VA Electronic Health Record (EHR) to provide a seamless transition for injured service members from the Department of Defense to the VA. John is the director of legislative programs for the Fleet Reserve Association. 


Kenneth Gosnell (SBL & SOD) released his latest book Well Done: 12 Biblical Business Principles Leaders Can Use To Grow Their Business with Kingdom Impact. He describes the 12 biblical business principles that can help any leader grow their business and its Kingdom impact. Gosnell is the founder of CEO Experience and publisher of the CXP CEO Executive Guide, a monthly executive journal for CEOs and business owners. Kenneth shares business and leadership insights for, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and several other business magazines. 

Richard Griffith (LAW & SBL) started a new position as a client success director at Lighthouse Global, a leading legal technology and services company. Richard is responsible for leading and managing client solutions for a diverse group of Fortune 500 and AmLaw 100 clients. 


Andrew Ashby (LAW ’07), Max Thelen (LAW ’12) and Seth Lowry (LAW ’07) have formed the law firm of Ashby Thelen Lowry. The firm handles complex and catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases, with an emphasis on defective products, industrial incidents, and chemical exposures. 


Chuck Slemp (LAW & RSG) was recently sworn in as Virginia’s new chief deputy attorney general. Slemp worked for three different state attorneys general early in his career, starting with fellow Southwest Virginian Jerry Kilgore, and will be working with Attorney General Jason Miyares on smart criminal justice reform. 


Suzanne Davis (SPC & LAW) recently authored the children’s book When Rona Visited My Town as a resource to parents to help children understand COVID -19. Davis is a licensed professional counselor and a registered play therapist in Chesapeake, Virginia, where she is an outpatient counselor and owner of Davis Counseling & Play Therapy Center, PLLC. 

Captain Dave Pollard (SBL) is the prospective commanding officer of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). Highlights from his decorated career include being a Top Gun flight instructor, serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, providing humanitarian assistance across the globe, and commanding a forward-deployed F/A-18E Super Hornet squadron in Japan. Most recently, Pollard was the commanding officer of the USS Mount Whitney (LCC 20), stationed in Gaeta, Italy. 

Caleb Stern (SCA) and three of his colleagues at the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) recently earned an Emmy Award for their video work on behalf of NASA—an honor that came unexpectedly. Stern is an award-winning director and writer. 


Mark Batterson (SOD), a pastor and New York Times bestselling author, recently released his latest book, Do It for a Day: How to Make or Break Any Habit in 30 Days. Mark serves as lead pastor of National Community Church (NCC) in Washington, D.C. With eight locations, NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the D.C. Metro area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. 


Anthony Swann (SOE), a 14-year veteran elementary school teacher, was named the 2021 Virginia Teacher of the Year—the state’s highest honor for teaching. Anthony was also appointed to the Virginia Board of Education by Gov. Ralph Northam. 


Jeff Salyer (SCA ’15) and April Reuning (SCA ’13), co-producers of the award-winning Indie film Christmas in July, announced the home release of their film in the fourth quarter of 2021. The well-received family drama had a limited theater run and received awards and recognitions in festivals, including the Burbank International Film Festival, International Christian Visual Media Association, Catalina Film Festival, and International Christian Film & Music Festival. 


Jason Carrier (RSG) began a new venture in January as a legislative fellow for the Navy. He will be working full time on staff for U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria to help draft legislation, prepare for congressional meetings or hearings, and advise on defense or national security issues. 

Robert Huizinga (SBL) is the executive vice president of Research at Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a commercial biopharmaceutical company based in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. Under his leadership, the company received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in January of 2021 for a drug (Lupkynis™) to treat patients suffering from lupus nephritis. Read more about Robert on Page 18. 


Alexander Cotoia (LAW) joined Volkov Law Group as a regulatory manager and compliance consultant. A 15-year veteran of both law firm and in-house environments, Alexander specializes in corporate risk assessments, evaluation of general compliance programs, and the remediation of compliance deficiencies. 

Dr. Deborah Fuge (SOE) was recognized for her hard work and dedication when she was awarded Teacher of the Year at Three Oaks Elementary School in Virginia Beach. 


Bryan Daniels (SBL) was named CEO Action for Racial Equity fellow. Sponsored by CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, the two-year fellowship provides the opportunity to advance racial equity through public policy at all levels of government. Bryan conducts racial equity research and studies and analyzes data and trends in education, public safety, healthcare, and economic opportunity. 

Dayna Lovelady (SOD) received the 2021 CBN Award for Excellence for exceptional performance in her role as CBN digital communications and collaboration leader. Her writing has led to several New York Times Achievement Awards and HBCU writing awards. Dayna is also a minister, keynote speaker and global missionary. 


Lucinda Brooks (CAS) is a member of the inaugural cohort of the Cybersecurity Talent Initiative created by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. The initiative is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership designed to recruit and train a world-class cybersecurity force. Lucinda has been placed with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to help protect the agency’s networks against cyber threats. 

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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