Class Notes June 2021

By Darren
Posted on 26 May 2021 | 8:56 pm

Class Notes

Tell us what’s new with you

Check out our June 2021 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 June edition.

June 2021


Toula Philipps Williams (MEd ’77) is a retired Teacher. Ms. Williams earned her second MEd in elementary administration from The Citadel in 1997. She lives in Mount Pleasant, SC, with her husband, Charles. The couple has one son, Braxton, and one granddaughter, Anne.


Brent Laing is retiring as a Senior Instructor for the Department of Theatre and Dance at CofC. Mr. Laing contributed over 30 years of teaching and service to the College. He first became involved as a Guest Director in 1988 and began teaching in 1990. Mr. Laing resides in Summerville, SC.


John Coleman is the Vice President of Operations for Precision Services, Inc. Mr. Coleman and his wife, Grace Huntley Coleman ’91, live in Spartanburg, SC, with their two children.


Heather Nidiffer White is a School Clerk I for Gwinnett County Public Schools. Ms. White earned her MS in elementary education in 1998 from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She and her husband, Bradley, reside in Suwanee, GA, with their two children.


Maisha Johnson O’Neal is a Management and Program Specialist for the Department of Homeland Security. Ms. O’Neal earned her MA in biology education from The Citadel (1997) and her MS in human resource management from Troy University (2011). She and her husband, Ryan, reside in Lorton, VA, and have two children.


Angelina Ahrens is a Senior Development Officer for the Law School at Tulane University. Ms. Ahrens resides in New Orleans with her spouse, Peggy Brown.

Matt Snipes is the Mortgage Sales Manager, Carolina Coast, for TD Bank and resides in Daniel Island, SC.


Nathan Clark is an Associate Attorney for Newton Law Firm of Clemson, LLC in South Carolina. Mr. Clark earned his JD from the University of South Carolina in 2006. He and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Clemson, SC, with their three sons, Bennett, Banks, and Crawford.


Ryan Velasco is Vice President at Laurel Strategies, a CEO advisory and strategic communications firm in Washington, D.C. Mr. Velasco served during the Obama Administration at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as a Deputy Associate Director managing a portfolio focused on The President’s Climate Action Plan. He resides in Washington, D.C., with his husband, David McKnight.


Steve Politowski is the Practice Transformation Specialist for MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society. Mr. Politowski resides in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.


Sarah Falkowski (MS) is the Education Coordinator for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and lives in Naples, FL.

Nicole Casanova Pridgen is the Owner of Barre Nation in Summerville, SC. Ms. Pridgen and her husband, Matt, reside in Summerville, SC, with their three children.


Billy Richardson is the Owner and Operator of Play it Again Sports in Mount Pleasant, SC. Mr. Richardson and his wife live in Mount Pleasant, SC, and have three children.


Don Beliveau is the IT Manager for Palmetto Rural Telephone, Inc. Mr. Beliveau earned his MS in computer science from Strayer University in 2010. He lives in Walterboro, SC, with his wife, Danielle, and his daughter, Gabrielle.


Jessica Cox is a Senior Program Manager for Apple. Ms. Cox earned her MBA from the University of Maryland in 2014. She and her husband, Oliver Davis-Urman, welcomed their daughter, Ava Urman, in October 2020. The Cox family lives in Austin, TX.

Ciera Gerack married Ted Green in April 2021 and the couple resides in Charleston, SC.

Susan Kamenar is the Chief Strategy Officer for the Exactly Agency, a creative marketing agency helping clients like Smithsonian and National Geographic cultivate community with today’s audiences. Ms. Kamenar resides in Washington, D.C.


Skylar Stetten is the Owner of the photography business, Stetten Wilson, which was nationally recognized and named one of the Best Photographers in America by BRIDES Magazine. Ms. Stetten resides in Encinitas, CA.


Erin Stubbs McPherson ’10 (MA ’16) was promoted from RALtoday Editor to Senior Editor in multiple markets for 6AM City in Raleigh, NC. Ms. McPherson earned her MA in English from the College in 2016. She was accepted to the Leadership Raleigh program and CUNY’s Product Immersion for Small Newsrooms cohort. Ms. McPherson married Will McPherson in 2017 and the couple resides in Raleigh, NC.

John Pope is the Lead UI Architect for Broadridge Financial Services based in New York City. In 2014, Mr. Pope earned his engineer’s degree in web-development from The Iron Yard. In his free time, he volunteers at The Iron Yard as a Teacher helping children learn the basics of computer literacy and introduces them to the field of software development. Mr. Pope and his wife, Simaya van Dooren, reside in Charleston, SC.


Andrea DeSantis is a Senior Workforce Development Analyst for the North Carolina Department of Commerce. Ms. DeSantis will graduate with her PhD in educational leadership, policy, and human development from North Carolina State University in August 2021. She resides in Cary, NC.


Catherine Clifton is the Director, Championships, for the PGA of America. Ms. Clifton is focusing on enhanced health and wellness measure for athletes and fans during the upcoming 2021 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship in June. The tournament will be played on the Highlands Course at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Georgia. Ms. Clifton resides in Brookhaven, GA.

Gillian Rogers married Nathan Hawk in July 2020. Ms. Rogers earned her MLIS from Valdosta State University in 2020. The couple has recently relocated to Anchorage, AK, where Mr. Hawk is stationed with the Air Force.

Vikki Bernotski married Bryan Kowalczyk in October 2020. Ms. Bernotski is an Academic Advisor for the University of Cincinnati. She earned her MEd in student affairs and college counseling from The Citadel in 2014. The couple resides in Cincinnati, OH.

Allison Jahries Rogers is the Clinical Supervisor of Outpatient and Residential Services for the Florence County Commission on Alcohol and Drugs in Florence, SC. Ms. Rogers works in the Circle Park Behavioral Services outpatient facility, and the inpatient facility, the Chrysalis Center. She earned her MSW from the University of Pittsburgh in 2014. Ms. Rogers teaches group fitness at a barre, yoga, and Pilates studio, Soulift, in her free time. She and her husband, Matt, reside in Florence, SC.


Rachel Davis Horton graduated from Duke University with her JD in May. Ms. Horton resides in Durham, NC.

Morgan Mikolajczyk Insley is an Attorney with the Pflug Law Firm, LLC, and was named one of the 2019 Legal Elite of the Lowcountry. Ms. Insley earned her JD from the Charlotte School of Law in 2016. She married her husband, Isaac, in June 2014. The couple welcomed their first daughter, Isla Claire Insley, in October 2020. The Insley family resides in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Erica Kramer is a Senior Account Executive, Account Based Marketing, for Accenture. Ms. Kramer earned her MA in Jewish professional studies from Spertus Institute in 2018. She resides in Chicago.

Erin Hollier Perkins and husband, Parker, welcomed twins Carondelet Reese Hollier Perkins and Tirton Lee Hollier Perkins in December 2019. Ms. Perkins was voted Teacher of the Year in 2018 for Power Vinyasa. The Perkins family resides in Chapin, SC.


Darius Becker-Krail and Barrett Hawkins were married in April 2021. Dr. Becker-Krail earned his PhD in neurobiology from the University of Pittsburgh in December 2020. The couple is moving into their first home in Morgantown, WV. Dr. Hawkins received her MD from the University of Pittsburgh and will be starting a combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency at West Virginia University.

Lauren Deasy Blackshaw and her husband, Aaron Blackshaw ’12, welcomed their daughter, Harper Wren Blackshaw in April. Ms. Blackshaw is the Assistant Director for Tutoring at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNCC) and a Counselor at Charlotte Therapy Center. She earned her MA in mental health counseling from UNCC in 2017. The Blackshaw family resides in Mint Hill, NC.

Misha Eady-Harbold just earned her MPA from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. While at UNC Charlotte, Ms. Eady-Harbold was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Pi Alpha Alpha, was a two-time Susan Burgess Scholarship recipient, and earned and ICMA Local Government Early Career Service Certificate. She is the Artistic Operations Manager for the Charlotte Ballet and lives in Charlotte, NC, with her husband, Andrew.

Jordan Krutek started her career with The Hershey Company in 2014 as a Sales Representative in Tampa, FL, and is currently the Customer Sales Executive for the Kroger Pacific Northwest Divisions. Ms. Krutek resides in Vancouver, WA.

Erin McCrann is the Events Specialist, Global Training, for Bain & Company in Boston.

Michael Morgan is a Group Sales Manager for Total Quality Logistics and resides in Apex, NC.


Emily Estes was the News 2 Cool School Teacher of the Week in May 2021. Ms. Estes is a self-contained Special Education Teacher at Westview Elementary School in Goose Creek, SC. She is working on earning her master’s degree in speech language pathology at the University of South Carolina.


Katie Kajfez Britt was recently promoted to Associate Manager of Brand PR in the meals and beverage division of Campbell Soup Company. She and her husband, Ben Britt ’16, reside in Abington, PA.

Dalena Huynh is the Design and Communications Coordinator for the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance. Ms. Huynh is studying biomedical visualization at the University of Illinois, Chicago, with plans to graduate with her MS in 2023. She lives in Charlotte, NC.

Viraj Naik won first place for business beat reporting in the all-weekly division from the South Carolina Press Association. Mr. Naik is a Storyteller for 4C Recruiting and resides in Clinton, SC.

Mary Stamato is a family and education Attorney for Touchstone Family Law. Ms. Stomato earned her JD from the University of South Carolina and is licensed in both North and South Carolina. She resides in Fort Mill, SC.

Johnathan White will be singing Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni with Carolina Opera in Charlotte, NC. He will also be singing Pang in Turandot with Opera Grand Rapids in Michigan. Mr. White married Andrea Horath White ’09, ’13 in March 2013. Ms. White earned her MAT in performing arts at the College and majored in music as an undergraduate. Now, she is studying educational leadership at Charleston Southern University with plans to graduate with her EdD in 2023. Ms. White is a Musical Theatre Professor at the Porter-Gaud School and a Voice Professor at Charleston Southern University. The White family resides in Goose Creek, SC.

Jessie Woodruff is an Inside Sales Representative for Seequent and resides in Denver, CO.


James Bourne (MBA) is a Senior Consultant for Ernst & Young and resides in Manassas, VA.

Sierra Debrow is the Community Planning Associate for the Jewish Federation of Greater Kansas City. Ms. Debrow earned her MSW from Washington University in St. Louis in May and was chosen as the commencement speaker for her program’s ceremony. She resides in Overland Park, KS.

Lauren Tomes Francis is an Academic Advisor for Spartanburg Methodist College. Ms. Frances is studying professional leadership at Converse University with plans to graduate with her MIM in 2022. She and her husband, Daniel, reside in Spartanburg, SC.

Hannah Syfrett is a Teacher at Spartanburg High School in Spartanburg District 7 and specializes in self-contained special education. Recently, The 74 featured Ms. Land, highlighting her work teaching a 14-year-old student with Down Syndrome remotely during a pandemic. She married her husband, Michael, in July 2018 in Charleston, SC. The couple lives in Inman, SC, with their German Shepherd, Saban.

Chelsea Stevens is a Laboratory Genetic Counseling Assistant at the Boston Children’s Hospital. Ms. Stevens is studying genetic counseling at the MGH Institute of Health Professions with plans to graduate with her MS in 2022. She resides in Winthrop, MA.


Ashley Markow is an Analyst for Providence Strategic Growth and resides in Boston.

Sara West Porter just graduated from CofC with her MAT in elementary education. Ms. Porter and her husband, Cameron, reside in Charleston, SC.

Le’Vetta Priester is a Math Teacher for RB Stall High School and resides in North Charleston, SC.

Celia Whisman graduated from Appalachian State University in May with a Master of Arts in experimental psychology. Ms. Whisman resides in Banner Elk, NC.


Don Merckle is an Inventory Control Specialist for the College. Mr. Merckle is also a professional musician, singer, and songwriter. He released a new single and music video on March 10 titled, “It’s Alright the Way that You Are,” which is an anthem about being yourself and fighting for who you are. Mr. Merckle resides in Goose Creek, SC.


Nina Hayes is an Accelerated Development Program Analyst (Sales & Trading) for Raymond James and resides in South Deerfield, MA.