Bonnie Davis ’71 retired in September 2016 after 23 years as a Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court judge in the 12th District, which encompasses Chesterfield County and Colonial Heights. The first woman appointed to a judgeship in Chesterfield County, Davis served previously as an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in the county (1983-93) and spent three years in private practice. Before attending the University of Richmond School of Law, from which she graduated in 1980, she taught for six years at Salem Church Middle School in Chesterfield.
Molly O’Dell ’76 retired from practicing medicine in November 2016 after 35 years. She was the first female Longwood graduate to go straight to medical school, graduating from the Medical College of Virginia in 1980, and the second female graduate to become a doctor. “I would never have gone to med school without the encouragement and excellent instruction I received at Longwood,” said O’Dell, who was medical director of the Virginia Department of Health’s New River Health District for the last five years of her career.
Alice Morgan Konchuba ’77 has published a children’s book, Just Like Me, which contains activities for all ages and is to be used as a resource for families to initiate conversations about Alzheimer’s disease. The book, which received a Readers’ Favorite Five Stars review, was a “Longwood family endeavor,” said Konchuba, a retired biomedical researcher who lives in Virginia Beach. One of Konchuba’s Longwood suitemates, Lindy Zwart Brammer ’77, is the mother of the book’s illustrator, Kristen Brammer, and another suitemate, Christy Moody Davis ’77, is the book’s editor. Another classmate, Debra Kennedy ’77, was one of the book’s reviewers.
Susan Delong Smith ’79 was selected to attend an astronomy educators institute in June 2016 sponsored by the University of Texas at McDonald Observatory at Fort Davis, Texas. During four days of classroom and telescope observation experiences, 15 teachers from around the United States learned about the Giant Magellan Telescope currently being constructed in Chile. They also were able to drive the observatory’s large telescopes and view Saturn and Jupiter, and their moons, through the smaller telescopes.
Hyatt Hotels honors longtime employee
Dan King ’81, general manager of Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, was awarded Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s 2015 Jay A. Pritzker Award for Leadership. A lifetime achievement award, the award honors people who have consistently demonstrated their ability as leaders, coaches and mentors. The company describes honorees as high achievers leading top-performing hotels who are viewed as role models of Hyatt’s purpose and values. “Dan exudes a special energy and spirit that embodies this award,” said Senior Vice President for Operations Jordan Meisner. “He has an innate manner in which he is able to provide genuine, authentic hospitality to his customers and hotel guests. Dan is also an exemplary leader in the community and teaches his staff by example, with great humility.” King is responsible for overseeing the 500-room property and its 728 associates. A veteran in the hospitality industry, he has worked in 12 Hyatt hotels across the United States during his 35-year tenure with the company.
Doreen Shuffler Hartman ’80 has been a first-grade teacher at Boyertown Elementary in Boyertown, Pennsylvania, since 1992. She taught from 1980-92 at Thalia Elementary in Virginia Beach, her hometown.
Steve Wooten ’86 was appointed in January to the new position of vice president for information technology for Dominion. He is responsible for IT applications development and support, including IT infrastructure operations, infrastructure construction and cyber security operations. Wooten started his Dominion career in 1987 as a financial analyst and has worked in several IT positions.
Susan Woodcock Tisdale ’89, president of Web Development Technology Partners, Inc., in Williamsburg, was appointed to Longwood’s College of Business and Economics Advisory Board in September 2016. Tisdale’s digital media company, founded in 1998, specializes in website development, custom database application development, social media management and corporate branding. She serves on the board of directors for First Night Williamsburg as vice president of marketing and communications.
Liz Meindl Villa ’89 is a special education teacher and department chair at Issaquah Middle School in Issaquah, Washington, where she has lived for 12 years. She and her husband, Christopher, are owners of i9 Sports Puget Sound, a Seattle area youth sports organization in which 2,400 athletes ages 4-14 participate each season. She formerly taught special education in Hanover and Henrico counties.
Alumnus takes reins of 56,000-member counseling association
Gerard Lawson, M.S. ’97, will assume the presidency of the American Counseling Association, with more than 56,000 members, on July 1. Lawson, associate professor of counselor education at Virginia Tech, has been the organization’s vice president since July 2016. He is a former chair of the ACA Taskforce on Crisis Response Planning. He was the national president of the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision from 2011-12. He was president of the Virginia Counselors Association from 2009-10. A licensed professional counselor, Lawson is the author of 29 peer-reviewed journal articles and 12 book chapters. Awards he has received include the inaugural Martin Ritchie Award for Advocacy from the Virginia Counselors Association in 2015.
Choral director elected VP of VEA
James Fedderman ’98 is the vice president of the Virginia Education Association. Fedderman was elected in April 2016, and his two-year term began in August. He plans to run for re-election, then run for VEA president. He is one of two Virginia representatives on the National Education Association board of directors. He has been president for four years of the Accomack Education Association, in his home county. In February, he was named Teacher of the Year for District II (Eastern Shore, Norfolk and Virginia Beach). Fedderman is the choral director at Arcadia High School, from which he graduated, and Arcadia Middle School. The high school chorus performed at the White House in 2012.
Robin Burroughs Davis ’90, M.S. ’93, was appointed vice president for student development and dean of students at Colby-Sawyer College in October 2016. She has worked since 1996 at Colby- Sawyer, a private school in New London, New Hampshire. She worked at Longwood from 1993- 96, first as GIVE coordinator and later as a residence education coordinator for Stubbs and ARC. In April 2016, she earned a law degree from Northwestern California University School of Law.
Christie Champion Fidura ’92 became senior developer marketing manager with Salesforce in December 2016. She works out of the London office and “runs events, campaigns and activities across the globe with the developer relations team to connect with the developer community,” she said. She had previously spent two years consulting in marketing and community management.
Erin Thomas-Foley ’97 was among 21 honorees recognized in December 2016 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch’s 2016 Person of the Year program, which spotlights people who have made notable contributions to the Richmond region. Thomas-Foley is senior director of education for the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC). She founded and directs SPARC Live Art, an inclusive arts education program that that culminates in a cross-pollinated arts concert featuring nationally recognized musicians. She is married to Tony Foley ’98.
Rugged cycling skills net national title for 2008 grad
Avanell Schmitz Scales ’08 won a national championship in January in cyclocross, a rugged type of off-road bicycle racing. Scales captured the masters women 30-34 division at the 2017 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships in Hartford, Connecticut. She was one of 23 racers in her division. Scales, who lives in Newport News and is manager of Williamsburg BikeBeat, has competed since 2009 in cyclocross, in which riders dismount, carry their bikes while navigating obstacles and remount. This was her third consecutive year competing in the national championships, where she finished third in January 2016 in Asheville, North Carolina. She competes in about 20-25 races during the season, which runs from September to January. Scales began competing at age 12 in mountain bike racing, which in recent years has taken a back seat to her passion for cyclocross. However, she hopes to qualify for this year’s mountain bike racing nationals in July in Snowshoe, West Virginia. In another form of racing, Scales won her age group for the Race 13.1 Richmond Half Marathon in May 2016 and competed March 12 in her first marathon, the Newport News One City Marathon. A pianist who teaches private lessons, Scales was a music major at Longwood, where she was a member of the Wind Symphony, Jazz Ensemble B, the Cycling Club and the field hockey team.
Audrey Stump Curles ’01, a teacher at Tyrrell Elementary in Columbia, North Carolina, was selected WITN Teacher of the Week in November 2016. WITN is an NBC-affiliate TV station in Greenville, North Carolina. Curles has taught since 2005 at the school, where she is a media and technology instructional support leader in the library. Previously she taught kindergarten for five years, as well as fourth and fifth grades.
Kendall Lee ’01 has been appointed by Gov. Terry McAuliffe to the Virginia Interagency Coordinating Council to serve an unexpired term beginning Nov. 1 and ending Sept. 30, 2018. The council advises and assists the Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia, a program that provides support and services to children from birth through age 2 with developmental delays or disabilities, and their families. Lee is system manager of the Infant and Toddler Connection of the Heartland, part of Longwood’s Speech, Hearing and Learning Services.
Ashley Pollard ’05 joined Southern Dominion Health System’s Family Dentistry in Victoria in December 2016. Pollard, a board-certified dentist, attended Howard University’s College of Dentistry and did her residency at Lutheran Medical Center in Arizona.
Justin Cullivan ’04 was promoted to area builder manager for the homes division of HHHunt Homes in October 2016. He works out of the Richmond office and has been with the company since 2012. Previously he worked for Royal Dominion Homes and Ryan Homes.
Natasha Gill ’04, who has worked for Benchmark Community Bank for 14 years, was promoted to branch manager in Victoria in September 2016. Gill started as a summer and Saturday teller while at Longwood, later moving up to positions as customer service representative, internal auditor, branch assistant and relationship banker.
Matt Paciocco ’04 joined Bank of Lancaster as senior vice president, commercial banking, in January. He is responsible for developing commercial banking relationships in the Richmond region, where he has more than 12 years’ experience specializing in retail and commercial banking. Most recently, he was vice president in commercial lending with Park Sterling Bank.
Megan Langley Funk ’05, and her husband Matt, welcomed their second child, Meredith Claire, on Sept. 26. The couple also has a son, Matthew, who will turn 3 in April.
Elena Ashburn ’07 became the principal of Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina, in February. She had been principal of East Garner Middle School since 2014, was assistant principal of Fuquay-Varina High School from 2012-14 and began her career as a teacher at Southern Durham High School, all in North Carolina.
Oscar Gonzalez ’07 was promoted to manager of project planning for Karyopharm Therapeutics in January 2017. Gonzalez manages the synchronization and communication of activities and timelines across all departments involved in the company’s phase III clinical trial of its anticancer agent Selinexor against multiple myeloma, including data management, sample management, contract, legal, medical writing, product strategy and the project managers. The study includes 364 patients across 25 clinical sites in 20 countries around the world. Karyopharm Therapeutics is based in a Boston suburb.
Melissa Snook Rose ’09 joined ABNB Federal Credit Union as marketing manager in September 2016. She directs the development, implementation and maintenance of strategic plans for the Chesapeake- based credit union, which has 18 branch locations. She previously was marketing director of Bayside Harley-Davidson and marketing coordinator for nTelos Wireless’ Virginia East Region.
Alumnus founds Netflix for comics’
Alex Odom ’08, M.A. ’10, is the founder, president and CEO of Plume Snake, a membership-based digital archive of creator-owned comic books and graphic novels. Plume Snake, which launched in June 2016, provides subscribers unlimited access to its library. Comic book creators who distribute their titles through Plume Snake retain the rights to their work, unlike with comic book giants Marvel and DC Comics, and the network of creators gets 60 percent of net profits from membership sales.“We’re like Netflix for comics,” said Odom. Austin Eichelberger ’07, M.A.’09, is Plume Snake’s vice president, and Curt Pilgrim ’08 is among the company’s artists. Odom also is a freelance writer who has published fiction and nonfiction, including a book of poetry, and he has had plays produced internationally.
Kentucky forest gets TLC from South Hill native
April Harris ’13 is the land management supervisor for the largest municipal urban forest in the United States. Harris is responsible for preserving and restoring the 6,500-acre Jefferson Memorial Forest, located 15 miles south of downtown Louisville, Kentucky, and its more than 35 miles of trails. She and her staff—two full-time rangers and three AmeriCorps volunteers— conduct trail maintenance, remove invasive species and restore natural habitats through prescribed burns, tree planting (including 600 trees in October and November) and litter cleanup. I spend about 90 percent of almost every day outdoors,” said Harris, a South Hill native who began her job in September 2016, a few months after receiving a master’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Harris especially enjoys “getting to run a lot of large equipment,” including a mini- excavator and a Ditch Witch. “It’s a good day when you spend all day on a piece of equipment,” she said.
Brandon Carter ’10 is a private acting coach and consultant who is director of Commonwealth Theatre Consulting. He consults for young theater artists and their “terrified parents,” college students prepping for the profession and non theater-affiliated companies and established artists. He also provides specialized services for established theater artists. Carter, a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, was a full-time actor living in New York City for four years before moving to Richmond in October 2016. He continues to perform regionally and internationally at venues including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Apollo Theater, theaters in South Africa and Scotland, and the Richmond Shakespeare Festival.
Allison Maupin ’10 and Sean Reed ’06 were married Oct. 1, 2016, on Bucks Elbow Mountain in Crozet, then honeymooned on Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. Allison became assistant director of annual giving at Washington and Lee University in 2015 after teaching at Varina High School in Henrico County for four years and earning a master’s degree from the University of Virginia, where she worked in the Office of the Dean of Students. Sean works in UVA’s College of Arts and Sciences as a fiscal technician.
Jordan Miles ’10 became managing editor of Farmville Newsmedia LLC in January. Miles, who served previously in this role before stepping back to senior staff writer, leads editorial and newsgathering operations for the Kenbridge-Victoria Dispatch, The Farmville Herald, The Charlotte Gazette, Farmville the Magazine and other print and digital products. Before joining The Farmville Herald in 2013, Miles was a news reporter and anchor for WFLO Radio in Farmville.
Ashley Valk ’12 and Ronnie Coleman were married on Dec. 17,
Patrick Barnes ’13 and Lydia Bertero ’13 were married Nov. 5, 2016. Patrick is a high-school history teacher, and Lydia works in risk management for the state.
Hannah Flaherty ’14 graduated in May 2016 with a master’s degree in information security policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. Since June 2016, she has worked as an information security risk analyst for General Motors. Her position, in Atlanta, grew out of an internship at GM during summer 2015. As a Longwood student in 2013, she was selected for a summer research internship in Carnegie Mellon’s graduate information technology program, one of the top programs of its kind in the world.
Martha Scruggs, M.S. ’14, a speech-language pathologist with the Campbell County schools, was named the 2016-17 Teacher of the Year for Altavista Elementary, her home school, in January. Scruggs, a graduate of Longwood’s communication sciences and disorders program, is in the third year of her position, in which she serves four schools in the Altavista area (the award is sponsored by the Altavista Chamber of Commerce). She previously was an elementary teacher in Pittsylvania County for 13 years.
Jordan VanBrackle ’14 married Patrick Roche on Aug. 27, 2016, at the Historic Tredegar Ironworks n Richmond. The couple honeymooned in Aruba. VanBrackle works for Dominion Virginia Power.
Rachel West ’14, M.S. ’15, and Sean Crawford ’14 became engaged in December 2016. They met in Wheeler residence hall their freshman year as members of the Cormier Honors College. They plan to marry in 2018.
Zachary Brittigan ’15 and Evan Jurgensen ’16 graduated in December 2016 from the Prince William County Criminal Justice Academy. Brittigan is assigned to work patrol in western Prince William County; Jurgensen to work patrol in eastern Prince William County.