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Check out our August edition of Class Notes! Please submit your own Class Note via our online form. We’ll feature you in the next email edition, online, in College of Charleston Magazine, and possibly even on our social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Here are just a few highlights from the August edition.

August 2017



Biemann Othersen is Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Surgery at the Medical University of South Carolina. Recently MUSC honored his more than 50 years of service to the institution and pediatric surgery by naming the operating suite in the new Shawn Jenkins Children's Hospital for him. MUSC also awards the H. Biemann Othersen Jr. Professorship in Pediatric Surgery in his honor.

Arthur Ravenel's debut novel "Pastor Stat" has been released by Evening Post Books. The book chronicles the journey of Vedder Oberstat, a Huguenot pastor, en route to Charleston during the start of the Civil War. Arthur served 32 years as an elected official including both houses of the S.C. General Assembly, the U.S. Congress and a term on the Charleston County School Board.


Bob George and Dottie Witham George '68 of Charleston, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the historic 1766 Hometead Resort in Hot Springs, VA. The couple married July 8, 1967, in First (Scots) Presbyterian Church in Charleston, and have three daughters and five grandchildren.


Vic Rawl received a Luminary Award from Lowcountry Local First. The nonprofit supports the local independent business community throughout the Lowcountry. Vic was recognized as a community leader through Charleston County government who has impacted the growth of the organization. Vic is Chairman of Charleston County Council.


Vince Clark is Vice President of Business Development at Creative Planning, Inc., an independent financial advisory firm in Leawood, KS. Vince has been elected to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees at Park University.

Jane Riley-Gambrell announced she will be retiring as Executive Director of Communities in Schools of the Charleston area (CIS) in Fall 2017. CIS is the Lowcountry's leading dropout prevention program, designed to surround students with a community of support which empowers them to stay in school and achive in life. Jane has been with the organization for 24 years.


Randy Pierce officially retired as Planning and Town Administrator for the Town of Seabrook Island, SC after 18 years of service. Randy and wife, Sugar, plan to travel with their two dogs, Betty and Judy, from Charleston to Key West, FL, to officially begin retirement.


Bill Anderson has joined Regions Mortgage as a Mortgage Loan Officer based in Mount Pleasant. He has 38 years of mortgage industry experience.


Steve Berry is the 2017 National Concrete Masonry Association Chairman, He received his M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina, and is president of the East Region of Oldcastle Architectural, a concrete and masonry supply company. Steve lives in Florida.


Cathy Hill Mahon has been named the Interim Vice President of Development for the Division of Institutional Advancement at the College of Charleston. She has approximately 26 years' experience in higher education fundraising, alumni relations, personnel management, and campaign planning.

Christine Stiepel Osborne was the recipient of a Luminary Award from Lowcountry Local First. The award recognized leaders in the community who have impacted the growth of the organization and supported local independent businesses. Christine is the owner of Wonder Works Toy Stores in Charleston and Mount Pleasant.


Mariana Ramsay Hay was awarded a Lowcountry Local First Luminary Award for impacting the growth of the organization and leading the grassroots movement for buying, eating, and doing business locally. Mariana is the owner of Croghan's Jewel Box on King Street in Charleston.


Nancy Lupton is the Main Library Manager for the Charleston County Public Library. Nancy earned her master's degree in library and information science from the University of South Carolina in 2003.


George Beckwith is the Chief Financial Officer for National Gypsum Company in Charlotte, NC. He was recently featured in the Charlotte Business Journal as a CFO of the Year in the category of large private companies. George has been with National Gypsum for 17 years.


Dawn Brewer, of Stone Mountain, GA, is a Senior Pharmaceutical Sales Specialist at AstraZeneca L.P.


Michele Gaetán Miller earned the title of Broker Associate by passing the state and national broker exam for real estate. She works with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene in Spring, TX.


Mark Havenstein of Mount Pleasant, SC, is a shark tooth expert and one of the country's leading fossil and mineral suppliers. Mark discovered a whale fossil in the Wando River estimated to be 30 million years old. The fossil, a toothed baleen whale now named Corodon havensteini, offers important clues about whales' transition from teeth to filter feeding. The fossil is on display at the College's Mace Brown Museum of Natural History.


Ashley Jones Lawrence has joined the Springboard Foundation as Executive Director. The Foundation raises funds for scholarships which will be awarded to full-time college students with documented disabilities of any type, thereby contributing to an increase in employment opportunites for these students. The founder of the Springboard Foundation is CofC alumna, Nadine Orsoff Vogel '85.

Paul Smith is a Cardiothoracic Physician Assistant and was recently profiled in an article in Heartbeat Magazine, as a Mended Hearts hero. Paul started two chapters of the nationally recognized support group for cardiac surgery patients in Bellingham, WA, and Grand Junction, Co, and is working on starting a third chapter in New Mexico.


Jennifer Cooke Smith is Sales and Marketing Director at South Bay at Mount Pleasant. Jennifer earned her master's in parks, recreation and tourism management in 1994 from Clemson University. She and her husband, Will, have two sons, Wes and Walton.


Jonathan Geisler collaborated with the College and led the study of a 30 million-year-old whale fossil, which is hypothesized to be a transitional species of baleen whale named Coronodon havensteini. Jonathan is an Associate Professor and Acting Chair of Anatomy at the New York Institute of Technology's College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Nafees Bin Zafar has joined the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' visual effects branch. Nafees is one of 774 new members in the Academy's class of 2017, and one of 65 visual effects professionals who will be voting on the recipients of Academy Awards. In 2008, Nafees received an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for his innovative work with liquid simulation effects as Principal Engineer of Dreamworks.

Alicia Lutz received the silver Council for Advancement and Support of Education's (CASE) Circle of Excellence award in Feature Writing. Alicia is a writer for the College of Charleston Magazine. Her award-winning feature was entitled "Her Bully Pulpit" and told the story of then-College of Charleston junior Emily Torchiana '17, who battled cyberbullying.


Andres Cladera was conductor of the opera, "FRIDA", at the Cincinnati Opera this summer. Andres is a native of Uruguay and serves as artistic director of Emerald City Opera in Steamboat Springs, CO. He has conducted throughout the United States, including the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic. He holds a master's of music from Carnegie Mellon University.

Matt Lynch has started his own consultancy in London focused on driving excellence in fan and guest experience in large stadia and entertainment venues. Matt's current clients include the NFL, England Hockey, London Stadium, and Ascot Racecourse. He and his wife, Keisha, have two sons: Liam and Noah.


Jason Kechijian has been appointed Head of Systems and Engineering at SolBright Renewable Energy in Charleston. He has managed solar installations from Hawaii to Sullivan's Island.

Jessica Alig McIntosh has been promoted to Vice President for Director Advisory services at J.P. Morgan in New York City.


Nina Davis has joined the College of Charleston Alumni Affairs Office as Associate Director of Alumni Engagement and Career Services. She earned her M.S. from Charleston Southern University, her M.A. from Columbia College, and her Ed.D from Nova Southeastern University.

Kristen Cocke Koppel will serve as 2017-2018 President of the Junior League of New Orleans. As the organization's president, Kristen provides responsible and effective guidance for the board of directors and staff, and serves as the organization's official spokesperson.


Camille Worthington Horton became a board certified pediatric dentist in 2012, and is owner of Issaqueena Pediatric Dentistry in Clemson, SC. The practice was awarded Best Small Business in Clemson for 2017, and also won the award for Best New Construction in Clemson for 2016.


Lauren Oswalt McHale has been promoted to President and CEO of The L'Enfant Trust in Washington, D.C. Lauren will lead organizational development, fundraising initiatives, and work to identify additional opportunities to enrich the region through historic preservation and community revitalization. She earned her M.S. in historic preservation from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Dave Quinn is owner and founder of Pisgah Brewing Company, located in Black Mountain, NC. Dave's Pisgah Pale Ale won the 2003 American Home-Brew Competition, English Pale Ale Division while he was a student at the College.

Kyle Coleman married Kevin Skibbe on February 4, 2017 in Roswell, GA. Kyle is a Senior Manager for Product Management at The couple resides in Vinnings, GA.

Natasha Venner was recently featured in the Huffington Post article, "Reforming Education, Several Hundred Teachers at a Time". Natasha spent ten years teaching in traditional public schools before joining Success Academy Harlem East Middle School last year in New York. She is attending a teaching seminar at Oxford University this summer on Abraham Lincoln from a global perspective.


Erin Kreutzer Burris is a Women's Health Specialty Account Representative at Amag Pharmaceuticals and is based in Charleston.

Brandon Cochran and his wife, Cara Goodman Cochran, welcomed their second daughter, Georgia Wright, into the world on June 17, 2017. Brandon is a Major Gifts Officer at Furman University.

Stephanie Felder was selected by the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps Health Services Professional Advisory Committee as the Junior Social Worker of the Year. Stephanie was chosen for her commitment to the mission of the Public Health Service and her exemplary leadership. She manages a $5.3 million grant portfolio that provides HIV/AIDS medical and support services to economically challenged and medically underserved communities.

Ryan Johnson is an inductee for the Class of 2017 Charleston Baseball Hall of Fame. Ryan pitched for the College in 2002 and 2004 and earned Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year honors in 2004 for his perfect 12-0 season.

Joe Palma is the Culinary Director of Mike Isabella's forthcoming Isabella Eatery in McLean, VA. The 41,000 square-foot food hall is slated to open this fall at Tyson Galleria. The 10-concept venture promises everything from fast-casual and upscale dining to carryout and catering.

Jurgen Wagner is a Realtor at Carolina One Real Estate, working out of the Charleston office. Jurgen and his wife, Kim Canevari Wagner '06, have two daughters, Morgan and Kirsten.


Dona Toteva Lacayo is Chief Commercial and Public Affairs Officer for the Oxnard Harbor District and Port of Hueneme in California. She was recently appointed to The Workforce Development Board of Ventura County. Dona earned her MBA from St. Mary's College of California in 2009, and lives in Ventura, CA with her husband, Chester.

Brandt Nigro is the Assistant Coach for the men's and women's swimming and diving teams at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA.


Ashley Martin Wendt, of Charleston, is the Maternal and Child Health Director for March of Dimes South Carolina, an organization that strives to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality.


Meredith Alger is Vice President of Health Economics and Value at the Center for Medical Interoperability in Nashville, TN. Meredith earned her master's degree in health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2015, and earned a M.S. from Georgia State University in 2011.

Courtney Clarkson Farrell and her husband, Matt, announce the birth of their son, Wally, in December 2016. Courtney is Associate Creative Director and Partner at YearOne Advertising and Marketing in Boulder, CO.

Saviela Edwards Thorne recently published her first book entitled "Seasons of a Woman's Life Devotional to Empower Women to Become Overcomers". The book is now available on and at Barnes and Noble. Saviela lives in Columbia, SC.


Taylor Beacham has joined Metta, a wood-fired driven, slow food restaurant in New York City, as Chef de Cuisine.

Kyle Nichols is a Sales Associate for Carolina One Real Estate in Mount Pleasant. Kyle received his master's degree in real estate investment and management from Edinburgh Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Erin Workman is Assistant Professor for the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse at DePaul University in Chicago, IL. Erin earned her master's in English from the University of Maine in 2011, and earned her Ph.D. from Florida State University in August 2017.


Kim Merrow is the Director of Advancement Communications and Online Platforms at Holderness School in Plymouth, NH.


Kim Christensen married Jordan Jozef on May 20, 2017. Kim is a physician with the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, MI.

David Clare married Rachel O'Connor on April 29, 2017. David is a Data Scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington, D.C., and earned his master's and Ph.D. in communication from Michigan State University.

Caroline Davidson has been promoted to Assistant Editor of Poets & Writers Magazine, a publication of Poets & Writers, Inc., the nation's largest nonprofit organization serving creative writers. Caroline earned her MFA in creative writing and poetry from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2013.

Hannah Voth Gallagher is an attorney at the Finkel Law Firm in North Charleston, practicing in the social security disability division. Hannah graduated from the Charleston School of Law in 2015.

Matt Hodson married Kristen Speargas in October 2016, and works for M&T Realty Capital Corporation in the Washington, D.C. area. Matt assists in financing apartment buildings and commercial real estate across the country.

Stephanie Kozersky Lee is the Annual Giving Manager for the Charleston Parks Conservancy.

Kelly Dewes Mooney and husband, Sean, are proud parents of John Henry Michael Mooney, born on April 22, 2017. He joins big sister, Harper, who was born in 2014. Kelly is a Human Resources Assistant at Augusta University in Georgia.

Melissa Ross joined Evidera as a Research Associate in Bethesda, MD this summer. She earned her M.A. in sociology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2011, and a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Baltimore this year.


Danielle Ely works in the business and legal affairs department at Discovery Communications in Washington, DC. Danielle graduated from George Mason University School of Law in May 2016.

Alexia Eude is a Charter Manager for Fraser Yachts and resides in Monaco.

Sarah Roshfeld Myer and husband, David, are proud parents of Jacob Myer, born on October 18, 2016. Sarah is Assistant Director of Communication and Client Services at the College's Office of Admissions.

Bucky Parks married Laura Winslow on March 25, 2017. Bucky is a Client Account Executive at Blackbaud on Daniel Island.

Maureen Porzio and her Porzio's pizza sauce were featured at the Specialty Food Association's Summer Fancy Food Show. Porzio's pizza sauce is made with Wadmalaw tomatoes and Summerville basil from a family recipe dating back to before 1895. The company's debut at the Fancy Food Show was a celebration of its first major distribution deal.

Emily Stressman is a Territory Sales Manager at Eurofins Laboratory Technologies North America, an international life sciences company which provides a unique range of analytical testing services to clients across multiple industries.

Matt Ward is Chef de Cuisine for The Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef's Garden in Milan, OH. The Chef's Garden is a farm that supplies specialty vegetables, herbs, and plants to over 800 restaurants in 14 different countries.

Kelley Elder Wilds is Lead Technologist at Booz Allen Hamilton in Charleston. Kelley also owns Coastal Kelder, a coastal-themed gift store which sells products online and locally. Her business was recently featured in Charleston Magazine. Kelley lives with her husband, Hunter, in Mount Pleasant, SC.


Sean Bear earned his master's in public health from Liberty University in 2015, and expects to graduate in 2019 with his doctor of public health from Georgia Southern University.

Nicholas Boatwright graduated from Harvard University's School Leadership Program with a master's degree in education in May 2017. Nicholas received the Leadership in Education Award, which fully covered the cost of the year-long program.

Shea Diaz earned her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University School of Law in May 2017, and plans to pursue a career in environmental justice.

Shanon Rusk Dooley has joined the College's biology department as their Business Manager.

Shannon Vaughn Hodges is an Event Designer at Yoj Events, located in downtown Charleston.

Jeff Lucas and Sarah Davis '13 were married on July 20, 2017. Jeff is an Acquisition Associate with Baron Properties and is completing his MBA at the University of Colorado Boulder. Sarah is an artist and Counselor at Niwot High School in Boulder.

Nicole Metcalf was recently admitted into the MBA program at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg. Nicole is also the Manager of Distribution Systems at Bimbo Bakeries USA, in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area.

David Shiffman (M.S.) married Stacey Sherman on March 13, 2016 in Charleston. David graduated with a Ph.D. in ecosystem science and policy from the University of Miami in December 2016, and is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. His research focuses on assessing the sustainabilty of Canadian shark fisheries.

Kathryn Sturgis is a Staffing Consultant for AppleOne Employment Services in Charleston, SC.


Liam Duffy, an Associate Attorney with Rosen Hagood in Charleston, was selected to receive the 2017 President's Award by the President of the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division. Liam was recognized for his leadership as both the Young Lawyer Division representative for the Ninth Judicial Circuit, and as co-chair of the Courthouse Keys Committee.

Laura Jordan and Max Schneider '08 attended The Klingenstein Institute for Early Career Teachers, part of Teachers College at Columbia University as fellows. They spent their days in diversity classes, curriculum courses, and plenary sessions that covered current issues in education. Laura is a third grade teacher at The Lovett School in Atlanta and Max is an English teacher at The Stanford School in Hockessin, DE.

Marisa Michell and David Lamberson were married on June 25, 2016. Marisa earned her MBA from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego in June 2017. David is a Lieutenant Junior grade in the U.S. Navy.

Lily Mortimer was included in's 2017 Young Social Power List. Lily is an art obsessive and works for Gagosian Gallery in New York City as an Assistant to the Director, and as a gallery liaison for several artists.

Emily Padgett (M.A.) was promoted to Assistant Director, Scholarships and Donor Relations for the Division of Institutional Advancement at the College of Charleston. Emily has spent four years as the inaugural, and only, scholarship program coordinator at the College.

Christopher Sullivan is an associate with AEW Capital Management, a Boston-based real estate investment firm. He has been with the firm since 2013.


Lauren Bell is working on her master's degree in Egyptology at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. She and Lauren Matheson were married July 1, 2017.

Natalie Le is a Development Associate at the Independent Women Forum and Independent Women's Voice in Washington, DC. She was awarded the Emerging Leader Award by America's Future Foundation for the impact she has had on the liberty movement. She was also awarded the F.A. Hayek Award by the Foundation for Economic Education for her efforts in grassroots activism. Natalie is completing her M.L.A. in government at Harvard University.

Sherwood Miler and Margaret Tanner '11 were married on March 11, 2017 in Charleston, SC. Sherwood earned his DMD from the Medical University of South Carolina in May 2017 and is a Navy dentist practicing at Parris Island MCRD. Margaret is a Physician Assistant with the Lowcountry Medical Group.

Ben Rickman earned a master's in nuclear engineering with a full scholarship from the University of Missouri in 2015. Ben lives in Aiken, SC, and works at the Savannah River Site as a Nuclear Criticality Engineer for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

Lauren Tonkovich joined The Siegfried Group as a Senior Associate in their New York City office. Siegfried is a national CPA firm that helps financial executives be more effective leaders and execute more successfully.


Steven Contursi has joined Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in Charleston and works closely with successful individuals and business owners to simplify the complex nature of their financial lives by providing advice and guidance based on investment and planning principles.

Nicholas Doria is a Producer and Digital Content Contributor at WMBF News in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Zack Gerber graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with his bachelor's degree in nursing in May 2017, and is a Registered Nurse at the Carilion Clinic in Virginia.

Kelly Hogan Kinard (M.A.) has joined the Cayce (S.C.) Historical Museum as Collections Manager. The museum recently celebrated 25 years of operation.

Chris-Marcus Kitchings is studying at the University of San Diego for his master's degree in higher education leadership and expects to graduate in May 2019. Chris-Marcus is also working as a graduate assistant at the University's Center for Student Success.

Meghan Masius is an Administrative Projects Specialist for the Freer Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Meghan earned her master's in art business from Sotheby's Institute of Art in London in 2016.

Georgia Maynard is earning her master's degree in international development studies at the University of Amsterdam, and expects to graduate in 2018. Georgia has been conducting research in Kampala this summer on the ramifications of the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance policy on sexual and reproductive health in Uganda. She is studying U.S. policy and the impact it has in recipient countries that depend on foreign assistance.

Michael Quinn is a Structural Heart and Valve Research Coordinator with the department of cardiology at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA.

Stephanie Collins married Coleman Stanley on March 25, 2017. Stephanie is studying medical laboratory sciences at Armstrong State University and expects to graduate in December 2018.


Janessy Frometa (M.S.) was awarded a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) Gulf Research Science Policy Fellowship. Janessy will be working with the NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program in Stennis, MS.

Emily Stuart has joined Crosby Marketing Communications as an Associate Integration Manager for Military OneSource, the Department of Defense's flagship digital services platform that supports service members and their families across the globe. Emily lives in Annapolis, MD.


Marcella Clark has joined SIB Fixed Cost Reduction in Charleston as a Sales and Marketing Assistant.

Carli Hendrickson is a Private Equity Analyst for Warren Capital Group in Charleston.

Katie Kennelly is a kindergarten teacher at Christ Our King, Stella Maris, located in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Reagan Smith is an Investments Operations Associate at Royce Zimmerman and Associates in Denver, CO.

Julisa Tindall is studying at Tulane University in New Orleans for her master's in social work and expects to graduate in December 2018.

Emily Torchiana won the prestigious 2017 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for Public Service at the Jefferson Awards Foundation's National Gala in June. Emily was nominated for her work in suicide prevention through her non-profit, The Invisible Illnesses, which hosts workshops to educate both students and parents on mental health. Emily lives in Charleston.