Book on African- American doctors in World War I earns national award

Joann Buckley ’66 and coauthor Doug Fisher were awarded the 2018 International AAHGS (Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society) Book Award in the Non-fiction: Military category for their book African American Doctors of World War I: The Lives of 104 Volunteers. The award, which honors outstanding authors whose literary works promote African-American history and genealogy, was presented Oct. 11 during the organization’s annual meeting in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Buckley and Fisher’s book, published in December 2015, chronicles the physicians who enlisted in the 92nd and 93rd Divisions, the Army’s only black World War I combat units. (A Longwood magazine article on the book can be found online in the spring 2016 issue at magazine.longwood.edu).

In a solo project, Buckley is continuing to write shorter versions of the biographies (“about one every other month”) for Dr. Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s African American National Biography, a series of volumes produced by Harvard University and Oxford University Press.

Interestingly, Buckley met AAHGS leader Alice Palmer at one of the organization’s meetings two years ago. She is the granddaughter of Joseph Henry Ward, one of the doctors in Buckley’s book.

1970s

Mary Boyd Swann ’72 joined Buchanan & Edwards Inc., an Arlington-based information technology consulting firm, as director of business development, foreign affairs, in August. She worked for the U.S. State Department in public affairs for 35 years before retiring in 2008, then held IT positions in the private sector for the last 11 years. Swann lives in Haymarket.

Judith Nance Ligon ’73 was guest artist at Crozet Artisan Depot in June. A monthlong show and sale featured Ligon’s jewelry, treasure boxes, ornaments, champagne flutes and bowls created from polymer clay. Ligon, who since 1975 has run her own business, Ligon Art, became hooked on polymer clay in 2003 after many years of working with enamels and mixed metals. A Harrisonburg resident who is a juried member of the Artisans Center of Virginia, she participates in fine art and craft shows across the state.

Pamela Bessler Phillips ’79 in July was named executive director of the Renaissance, a memory-care community in Annandale scheduled to open in early 2019. Phillips ran a business in Fairfax County for 17 years in which she taught music fundamentals to children up to age 7. She switched careers to senior care in 2012 after her mother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s. Among her many professional certifications are recognition as a certified dementia practitioner by the National Council of Dementia Practitioners and as a long-term care administrator by the commonwealth of Virginia. For the last five years, she had been executive director of Arden Courts, a 60-bed memory care facility in Annandale. Phillips, whose background is in vocal music, sings in a contemporary worship band at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Fairfax and has participated in musical theater.

Susan Delong Smith ’79 has been invited to speak at the Iditarod Winter Conference for Educators in Anchorage, Alaska, in February 2019. A resident of Takotna, a checkpoint community for the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, she will give insight on what it is like to live in Interior Alaska and in a favorite checkpoint for racers taking their mandatory 24-hour layovers. Smith, a national board-certified teacher, is in her second year as principal/teacher for her K-12 school of 23 students. She is in her fourth year of teaching in Alaska.

1980s

J. Harold Hatchett III ’83 was hired as president and CEO of Tier One Property Services, LLC, in June. He works in the Houston corporate office of the minority-owned facility services provider of commercial janitorial, building maintenance and specialty property services. Most recently he was the group managing partner for OCTCET Inc., a privately held energy company in Houston. He previously served in a variety of senior executive roles with Royal Dutch Shell, including vice president of investor relations for North America, vice president and head of external engagement for Strategy Americas, chief operating officer for Shell Finance Services and chief financial officer for Upstream Americas. He is married to Charlease McCauley Hatchett ’87.

Jeffery Lewis ’86 was promoted in January to senior associate at Dewberry and is director of the firm’s IT enterprise solutions systems group in its Fairfax headquarters. Lewis has worked since 2004 for Dewberry, which provides engineering and architectural professional design services. He also has held IT positions with CarrAmerica Realty Corporation (2001-04), KPMG (1990-2001) and Merck & Co. Inc. (1987-90). He has an MBA from James Madison University.

Robert Liessem Jr. ’87 was hired as national sales director by Select Capital Corporation in May. He has previously held other financial sales roles, most recently with SC Distributors and also with Lincoln Financial, CNA and SunAmerica.

Betty Knott Spiers ’88 was promoted in August to the new position of instructional specialist for innovation and development for the Dinwiddie County schools. Spiers, her school division’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, had been an instructional technology resource teacher (ITRT) at Dinwiddie County High School. She has been with the Dinwiddie schools for 28 years, the last 15 years as an ITRT after teaching elementary school. A third-generation Longwood alumna, she has a master’s from Virginia Tech.

 Phillippe

Work in special education earns alum recognition locally, internationally

Philippe Ernewein ’94 received international, state and local recognition last year for his efforts in teaching students with learning disabilities. Ernewein, director of education at Denver Academy, received the 2017 Professional of the Year Award from the Colorado Council for Learning Disabilities in May 2017. Then in October he was flown to Baltimore to receive the Floyd G. Hudson Service Award from the Council on Learning Disabilities at the 39th International Conference on Learning Disabilities, at which he was a presenter. A few days later, he was honored by Denver’s mayor with a proclamation from the city and county of Denver naming Oct. 13 as Philippe Ernewein Day.

“I have never encountered a more passionate, professional and dedicated educator,” said Mark Twarogowski, headmaster at Denver Academy, where Ernewein has taught since 1997. The most common disabilities among the 400 students at the independent school (grades 1-12) are dyslexia and attention issues. In addition to his current position, which he has held since 2013, Ernewein has been dean of faculty, a division head and a classroom teacher.

A native of Belgium who immigrated to the U.S. at age 8, he decided on his career field after serving as a special education teacher in the Teach for America program—the first Longwood alum to do so— from 1994-96 at a disadvantaged high school in New Orleans. A presenter at national conferences and workshops, Ernewein has a master’s degree from the University of Colorado.

 Boxwood

Historic Boxwood Inn

Inn with a past gets TLC and new life

 Lisa

Lisa Llewellyn Murray ’95 and her husband, J.J., own and operate the Historic Boxwood Inn, a late 19th- century home near Williamsburg that is on the National Register of Historic places. It’s a place with a past—guests have included W.C. Fields and Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing—and the Murrays wanted to “preserve its historical integrity” when they purchased the property at auction in November 2017.

After an extensive renovation, which included redecorating the interior to reflect the Victorian era, Lisa and her husband began operating the house as an Airbnb and a special event/wedding venue. Built in 1896, it is located in the Lee Hall area of Newport News.

The inn can also come in handy during hurricane season. When Lisa and J.J. were evacuated from their home in Yorktown during Hurricane Florence in September, they stayed at the inn for four nights. “We didn’t want to move back home,” she said with a laugh.

Lisa comes from a multigenerational Longwood family: Her mother, Bonnie Gentry Llewellyn ’64, and her grandmother, Ruby Walton Gentry ’24, both preceded her at Longwood as did her second cousin, the late George P. Elliott ’56, M.S. ’60, who was a longtime education professor at Longwood. Her sister, Laura Llewellyn Staul ’92, is also an alumna.

1990s

Dr. Kurt Kreassig ’90 was promoted from department chair to dean of Regent University’s School of Education in July. A Regent faculty member since 2013, he received the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Award for outstanding Christ-centered excellence and steadfast commitment to the college in 2017. He chaired the elementary education, secondary education and early childhood education programs before becoming dean. Prior to joining the Regent faculty, he was principal of Churchland Middle School in Portsmouth for five years. After working in the banking industry for seven years and receiving a master’s from Old Dominion University, he switched careers and in 1997 began teaching science at Princess Anne High School in Virginia Beach. He has a doctorate from George Washington University.

Dr. Asia Jones ’91, M.S. ’99, was promoted to assistant superintendent of pupil services for the Loudoun County schools in August. She had been that school division’s director of human resources and talent development since 2013. Jones began her career as a special education teacher in Lunenburg County, then went into school administration in Roanoke, serving as assistant principal at Hurt Park Elementary School, principal at Oakland Intermediate and Breckinridge Middle schools, and as executive director for student support services. She has a doctorate from Virginia Tech.

Charles Brown ’93 was named the boys varsity basketball coach at York High School in Yorktown in May. He had been the boy’s junior varsity coach. As the girl’s varsity basketball coach at Lafayette High School in Williamsburg from 2006-09, he was the Bay Rivers District Coach of the Year in 2007, and his 2008 team shared a district title. He played basketball at Longwood for three years.

Sheri Daulton Culbreath ’93 was promoted from assistant principal to principal of Southside Elementary School in Dinwiddie County in July. She also has been a classroom teacher, reading facilitator and instructional specialist, serving at Midway Elementary and Dinwiddie Middle School, and also taught in Chesterfield County. She has a master’s from Walden University.

Kyle Weaver ’93 became the president and CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) in July. Based in Missoula, Montana, and founded in 1984, the RMEF has more than 227,000 members and has conserved more than 7.3 million acres for elk and other wildlife. Weaver is a founding board member and current chairman of the Fathers in the Field mentoring ministry.

Pamela White ’93, a controller for Cherry Bekaert, LLP, one of the nation’s leading public accounting and consulting firms, wrote an article that was published in July in Accounting Today, an online publication. The article is titled “A call for accountants to go paperless.” White, who works at Cherry Bekaert’s headquarters in Richmond, oversees the firm’s accounts payable, payroll, and internal and subsidiary accounting. She joined the firm in 2000 as an internal staff accountant and served as accounting manager until assuming her current position in 2016.

Adrienne Thornton Blanton ’94 was promoted from associate principal to principal of Lloyd C. Bird High School in Chesterfield County in August. Also at Bird, she was associate principal for one year, assistant principal for six years and dean of students for three years. She previously taught math for 12 years at Salem Church Middle School, also in Chesterfield, during which she was the school’s 2008 teacher of the year and chaired the math department. She has a master’s from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Terry Inge Maddox ’94 was appointed vice president and regional manager for the Lynchburg region for Member One Federal Credit Union in July. Maddox began her career with Member One in 1998; she led the Timberlake Retail Center and helped open the Lakeside Crossing and Forest locations. She recently received professional certification through the Society for Human Resource Management.

Steve Amigone ’95 was named the Praxity Partner of the Year in October 2017 by Praxity, an alliance of independent accounting, tax and business consulting firms located in more than 100 countries. All of the 40,000 people who work for Praxity-member firms worldwide are eligible for the award, which honors a partner with an “exemplary drive” to serve and lead. Amigone, a principal at Dixon Hughes Goodman (DHG) and leader of the firm’s transfer pricing services group, has held numerous leadership roles with Praxity, including chair of the North America Tax and Fiscal Group from 2014-17. This June he was elected president of the Global Tax and Fiscal Group. A resident of Winston- Salem, North Carolina, Amigone has worked for DHG, a top-20 U.S. public accounting firm, for 11 years and was named a principal in 2012. He previously was an engineering consultant for the power industry for six years. He has an MBA from Vanderbilt University.

Dr. Jeffrey Garrett ’95 was hired as principal of E.C. Glass High School in Lynchburg in August 2017. He began his career in his native Appomattox County, where he spent 13 years as a teacher, coach and administrator. Later he served in Charlotte and Buckingham counties as an assistant principal, athletics director and director of career and technical education. He has a doctorate from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s from the University of Virginia.

Melissa Kraft ’96 is a seventh-grade language arts teacher at Fluvanna Middle School, where she began this fall. Previously she taught in Spotsylvania and Prince William counties.

Dr. Amy Owen Cashwell ’97 was sworn in as Henrico County’s school superintendent in July. Cashwell, Henrico’s first female superintendent, had been chief academic officer for teaching and learning with the Virginia Beach schools since 2013. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and also served as an assistant principal and principal, all in Virginia Beach. Cashwell received the 2016 Outstanding Leader of the Year Award from the Virginia Society for Technology in Education, and in fall 2017 she was named one of the Center for Digital Education’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers in K-12 education nationally. Both honors recognize her work in leading a pilot study of 15 schools to determine and implement best practices in digital learning. She has a master’s and a doctorate from George Washington University.

Sharon Gibbs ’98 was promoted from counselor to assistant principal of Dinwiddie County High School in July. Previously she taught elementary school. She has a master’s from Virginia State University.

Monty Montgomery ’98, an artist based in San Diego, donated one of his murals to Prince Edward County Middle School in June. “The Wild Robot” was painted with the help of more than 800 youngsters at the Virginia Children’s Book Festival (VCBF) at Longwood in October 2017. The mural is named for a best-selling middle-grade novel of the same name written and illustrated by Peter Brown, who collaborated on the mural.

Todd Bryant ’99 was named managed care ombudsman for the State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance in September. He was a senior insurance market examiner in the ombudsman’s office for the past six years. He joined the SCC’s Bureau of Insurance in 1999.

 Julie

Alumna is one of 104 teachers to get Presidential Award

Julia Neri Young ’01, a fifth grade science and math teacher at E.W. Chittum Elementary School in Chesapeake, in June received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, considered the nation’s top honor for math and science teachers. As the winner of the award for K-6 science, she received a citation signed by President Trump and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). She was one of only two Virginia teachers and 104 educators from across the U.S. to be recognized in this program, administered by the NSF on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. A national board-certified teacher, Young has presented professional development for her school division and has written and received several grants for technology and manipulatives in the classroom. She has taught for 17 years, all of it in her native Chesapeake. She has a master’s from Old Dominion University.

2000s

Alison Hill ’00 was appointed a school counselor at Green Run High School in Virginia Beach in July. She had been a counselor at the sixthgrade campus of Bayside Elementary School, also in Virginia Beach. Previously she taught in that school division and at Currituck Middle School in Currituck County, North Carolina, where she also was a counselor and volleyball coach.

Nathan Dolan ’01 is assistant chief operating officer for HealthLinc, a federally qualified community health center in Valparaiso, Indiana. After working in the event management field for 10 years (he became operations manager for Party Perfect, in Richmond), he decided to switch to health care administration. Dolan earned a master’s at Valparaiso University in 2013, then worked for a mental health organization and two other community health centers before assuming his current position in April 2017. HealthLinc, whose mission is to expand health care access for uninsured/underinsured and underserved populations, annually serves more than 25,000 patients at seven primary locations in northwestern Indiana. Dolan was married Feb. 16 to Tina D’Azzena.

Dr. Kendall Lee ’01, system manager of the Infant and Toddler Connection of the Heartland program at Longwood, was reappointed by Gov. Ralph Northam to the Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council in June.

Michael Magruder ’02 joined Kinsale Insurance Co., based in Richmond, as network manager earlier this year. He has a master’s degree from Averett University.

Stephen Witt ’02 was hired as a senior vice president for Access National Bank in July. He serves as a commercial relationship manager to assist commercial lending expansion in Prince William County, of which he is a longtime resident. Previously he was a senior vice president with Freedom Bank and Virginia Commerce Bank, and a vice president with Washington First Bank.

Lisa Shepherd ’03 joined Kinsale Insurance Co. as a claims examiner in September.

Natalie Shaban Bare ’04 became principal of W.W. Gordon Elementary School in Chesterfield County in July. She had been assistant principal for one year at Winterpock Elementary School, also in Chesterfield, and was associate principal of Laburnum Elementary in Henrico County from 2014-17. She taught in Henrico from 2004-12, during which she was summer academy coordinator in 2012 and 2011, and in Alexandria from 201214. Bare has a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Garrett Green ’04 is the owner of Green Fitness and Wellness in Fredericksburg. Green Fitness, which he opened in 2009 in the 600-square-foot basement of his father’s old real estate office, moved in 2016 into a newly renovated fitness studio in a historic building in downtown Fredericksburg that has more than 3,000 square feet. The staff has grown from just Green to eight persons, including two chiropractors, a massage therapist and four trainers, and its workload has increased from seeing 10 hours of clients per week to more than 120 hours.

Kristie Helmick Proctor ’04 has been executive director of the Center for Rural Virginia, based in Richmond, since December 2017. She also has been senior grassroots manager for the National Federation of Independent Business (2010-17) and a public affairs specialist for Transurban in Alexandria (2007-10) and AAA Mid-Atlantic in Richmond (2007-08). Proctor, who has a master’s from Regent University, was featured as a “Decision Maker” in the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s Metro Business section in June.

Lori Donovan, M.S. ’05, presented a professional development session in August related to the new Virginia Library/Media Standards at Lord Botetourt High School in Botetourt County. Donovan is a national board-certified librarian and is the K-12 library services specialist for the Chesterfield County schools. A former president of the Virginia Association of School Librarians, she coauthored Power Researchers: Transforming Student Library Aides into Action Learners.

April Elliott Myers ’05 was selected the 2018 Teacher of the Year for the Halifax County schools in May, the second time she has garnered this honor. Her first teacher of the year award for her school division was in 2008. She has been a second-grade teacher at Meadville Elementary School since 2005. Three of her relatives are fellow alums: sisters-in-law Lori Myers Ashwell ’01 and Kassie Brown Myers ’05, and brother-in-law Brent Myers ’07.

Renata Shaffer-Gottschalk Nijiya ’06 is box office manager for Theater Latté Da at the Ritz Theater in Minneapolis, where she moved after graduating from Longwood. She began her career by working as a costume designer for eight years with several companies, including with the first regional production of Avenue Q at the Mixed Blood Theatre. Nijiya was a company dancer for the now-defunct Ballet of the Dolls from 2010-15 and director of audience services for the Ritz Theater from 2011-14. (Theater Latté Da, a musical theater company, bought the Ritz Theater —one of Minneapolis’ oldest theater buildings, dating to the 1920s—in 2017.) A lifelong dancer, she discovered a passion for burlesque dancing (“a wonderful celebration of all different body types”) in 2010 and performs throughout the Twin Cities as “Queenie vom Curves.” She and Emi Nijiya were married Sept. 24, 2017.

Karen “Beth” Reynolds Bayer ’07 and her husband, John, welcomed their first child, Michael, on Jan. 13. The boy’s godmother, Samantha Soukup Shain ’07, was Beth’s roommate at Longwood during their junior and senior years, and they were suitemates as sophomores. Bayer is the music teacher at Tanners Creek Elementary School in Norfolk (her fourth year at that school and 12th in that school division); Shain is a math teacher at Oscar F. Smith High School in Chesapeake. Bayer, who has a master’s in voice from Old Dominion University, sang with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Chorus for 10 years.

Chris Hobeck ’08 began a new position in August as an equipment technician at Micron, a multinational semiconductor manufacturer with a plant in Manassas.

Ashley Ayash ’09 joined the English faculty this fall at Liberty High School in Bealeton, where she teaches English 9 honors and English 10. She received a master’s, with initial teacher licensure to teach secondary English, from the University of Mary Washington in 2017, then taught English 9 and 12 as a long-term substitute at Kettle Run High School in Nokesville during the 2017-18 school year.

Roxanne McCrickard Collins ’09 was promoted to vice president and director of career training and development with Carter Bank & Trust in September 2017. Also recently, she was recognized by BVS Performance Solutions, a training program developer that works with financial institutions, for her commitment to training excellence. Collins, who lives in Martinsville, where Carter Bank & Trust is headquartered, rejoined the bank in 2015 as a training officer after working there from 1984-2009, during which she began as a teller and ended as a certified community bank internal auditor. A teacher at Patrick Henry Elementary School (third grade for all but the first year) from 2009-15, she was the Martinsville school division’s teacher of the year in 2013-14. She received the Patrick Henry Community College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.

Melissa Lowe ’09 was promoted to human resources manager of Powhatan County in May. Lowe has worked for Powhatan since 2009, spending nearly five years in the county administrator’s office before switching to the HR office, as an analyst, in 2013.

Susan Revels-Parker ’09, M.A. ’13, started working in September at the U.S. Coast Guard training center in Yorktown, where she leads a team of analysts who are developing training for active-duty Coast Guard personnel. For the previous three years, she had been an instructional systems specialist at the Coast Guard training center in Petaluma, California. Before working for the Coast Guard (she is a civilian employee), she was an English, history and health teacher at Twin Hills Charter Middle School in Sebastopol, California, for two years.

John Rosenstock ’09, a former Longwood golfer, won the 2018 Sleepy Hole Amateur golf tournament in Suffolk in July. He won the Portsmouth City Amateur golf tournament in 2017 and 2016. He is a sales account representative with Anthem in Virginia Beach.

 Melissa and Emma

Emma Beckett ‘16 (left) and Melissa Cacho Poe ‘16

Graphic design alums still ‘joined at the hip’ in creative jobs with self-help enterprise

Emma Beckett ’16 and Melissa Cacho Poe ’16, friends since their freshman year at Longwood, work together as graphic designers for entrepreneur Ruth Soukup, whose businesses include several blogs, a motivational podcast, numerous books and other products to help women, in the company’s words, “eliminate overwhelm and create a life you love.”

Beckett and Poe work alongside each other as the company’s main graphic designers. Their projects include creating online social media graphics as well as the Living Well Planner, described as a “tool to help with time management, budgeting and achieving goals.” Beckett joined the Soukup team first, in 2016, then recommended Poe the next year when the workload became too much for her to handle alone.

“Oh, I know the perfect person,” Beckett said when asked if she knew a designer who might be interested in the new position. “Melissa and I work smoothly together, and I knew it would be a good fit.” Both she and Beckett work from home: Poe in Colonial Heights and Beckett in Richmond. They’re part of the company’s 15-member team scattered around the country.

At Longwood, the women both lived in South Cunningham and shared an apartment at Lancer Park. After Beckett persuaded Poe to switch her major from business to graphic design, the two applied at the same time for Design Lab, where they worked together for five semesters. “The joke was we were joined at the hip. If a professor saw one of us, they would say, ‘Where’s the other one?,’” said Beckett with a laugh.

These days, their coworkers, like their Longwood friends, also think of them together. “They’ve combined our names at work as a joke. They call us ‘Melma,’” said Beckett.

Apex

Class of 2018 members Bianca Acosta (left), Haley LaFemina, Louisa Mauck and Mary Charlotte Savage all are national recruiters.

4 business grads in Class of ’18 are IT recruiters at Richmond firm

Bianca Acosta ’18, Haley LaFemina ’18, Louisa Mauck ’18 and Mary Charlotte Savage ’18, who had numerous classes together in the College of Business and Economics, now are coworkers at Apex Systems, an IT-focused, Richmond-based staffing firm. They were hired soon after commencement as national recruiters.

In recruiting various types of IT professionals, much of their time is spent making phone calls and doing keyword searches, and sometimes Skyping, trying to match candidates with job specifications. “Typically, we can send a candidate over to our client [company] within 24 to 48 hours,” said Savage. “Our services—for candidates as well as clients—include coaching and résumé preparation.”

Savage and Acosta, who were sorority sisters along with LaFemina in Alpha Delta Pi, are members of the same work team, which is focused on finance and insurance. In other Longwood connections at Apex, one of the leaders of Mauck’s team is professional recruiter Alison Parrish Andrews ’12. Katie Selfridge Bassemier ’14, MBA ’16, also works at Apex as a professional recruiter focused on energy and other industries.

2010s

Dr. Katie Bartoszek ’11, a physical therapist at OrthoVirginia’s branch in Mechanicsville, was featured in an article in the “Top Doctors of 2018” section of the April 2018 issue of Richmond Magazine, which singled her out for “special honors.” After graduating from Longwood and before receiving a doctorate in physical therapy at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in 2016, she worked as a physical therapy technician in outpatient orthopedics for two years.

Crystal Tucker-Oberlin ’11 joined the faculty at Ware Academy, a private school in Gloucester, as a music teacher in July. She also is a vocalist and vocal music teacher with Mist Music Ministries.

Kelsey Odom Willey ’11 is a probate attorney and a founding partner of the Willey Law Firm in Charleston, South Carolina, formed in 2015. This June, she was on the ballot in the Democratic primary for Charleston County probate judge but was unsuccessful in that run. She has practiced in more than half of South Carolina’s 46 probate courts. Willey is a 2014 graduate of the Charleston College of Law, where she was president of the Children’s Advocacy and Family Law Society, a Student Bar Association senator and a member of Phi Delta Phi honor society.

Lauren Irby ’12, a communications specialist at Southside Electric Cooperative (SEC) in Crewe, recently met the requirements to become a Certified Cooperative Communicator. She is currently one of only 233 active electric cooperative communicators to have attained this status, which is through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). Also this year, Irby’s work for the SEC was recognized with a Gold Award in Best Digital Storytelling in the 2017 Spotlight on Excellence national awards program sponsored by the Council of Rural Electric Communicators and NRECA. The award was for a “Day in the Life of a Lineman” reality show video, for which Irby coordinated the scheduling, filming and production. She accepted the award on behalf of the SEC at a conference in Tampa in May.

Ashley Agee ’13 and Clayton Fishback ’13 were married May 5. The couple, who live in Culpeper, met in a young adult literature class their senior year. He is a middle-school English teacher; she is a middle-school math teacher.

Sean Berberich ’13 is the athletic trainer for the Reading Royals, a minor-league hockey team that is the ECHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. He recently cohosted a podcast that previewed the team’s 2018-19 season, which began in October. Berberich, a nationally certified athletic trainer, joined the team in September 2016. Previously he was the athletic trainer for the Evansville Icemen, also of the ECHL, and before that he worked with several athletics programs at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. He has a master’s degree from California University of Pennsylvania.

Claire Williams ’13 is event planning manager at the Hyatt Regency Reston, where in June she was named manager of the quarter for the second quarter. She has worked there since 2013, starting as group sales manager and switching to her current position in October 2017. Williams was married Sept. 30, 2018, to Metin Celik. The wedding took place at The Penthouse at La Vie, a rooftop event space at the Wharf in Washington, D.C. The couple plan a delayed honeymoon to Europe in May 2019.

Quaid Anderson ’14 was hired in February as a coach at Ironbridge Baseball Academy in Chesterfield County. In this part-time position, he gives private, one-on-one lessons as a catching coach and coaches the “showcase” team comprising players who will graduate from high school in 2021. He played baseball for Longwood’s club team and at Powhatan High School. Anderson, who lives in Powhatan County, is a software engineer for General Electric Digital.

Blake Carter ’15 was named the golf coach at Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville in June. After playing golf at Longwood for four years, he played on the PGA Tour Canada from June-September 2017 (with Adam Webb ’10, currently on the Web.com Tour). Carter, who lives in Bassett, is a career agent with MassMutual Commonwealth.

Carly Adams ’16, a former Longwood softball standout, played professional softball this summer after being drafted 31st overall in the inaugural draft draft of the American Softball Association. Adams, a second baseman at Longwood, played for a team called Outkast in a season that ran from June 15-July 31; the games were played near Mobile, Alabama. Adams is an assistant softball coach at Longwood and works part time in the university’s Institutional Advancement office as a biographical records clerk. 

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