Class Notes February 2024

Posted on 31 January 2024 | 8:06 pm

Class Notes

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Check out our February 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.

February 2024


Dan Moore has released his second book on the Vietnam War, entitled Whatever Cause We Have: Memoir of a Marine Forward Observer in the Vietnam War (McFarland, 2024) now available on Amazon. The book follows Dr. Moore’s day-to-day journey through the conflict, the loss of his close friends, and his growing skepticism of the war by looking at the letters he penned to loved ones back home. Dr. Moore earned a doctorate in history from the University of Pennsylvania and spent 33 years in the U.S. intelligence community after serving more than four years of active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps. He resides in McLean, VA, with his wife, Patricia, and recently made gifts to CofC’s Douglas and Elizabeth Clark Memorial Scholarship in History and the Robert Hartman Quasi-Endowed Scholarship in History.


Chuck Gordon is retiring after a 51-year media career, which included time in radio, television, and cable. He looks forward to spending more time with his two granddaughters. Mr. Gordon resides in Birmingham, AL.


Charlene McCutcheon Grice joined Carolina Cataract & Laser Center as an Ophthalmologist and Ophthalmic Surgeon in June. She is an expert in the fields of corneal disease, ocular surface disease, and cataract surgery. Dr. Grice earned her MD from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1987 and completed her residency at the MUSC Storm Eye Institute in 1991. Dr. Grice holds board certification from the American Board of Ophthalmology and is also an active member of the Cornea Society. She and her husband, George, reside in Mount Pleasant, SC. She is a generous donor to the Dean’s Excellence Fund at the School of Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering at the College.


Steve Smith is the Managing Director of CBRE, Inc.’s South Carolina office. In January, he was named to Greenville Business Magazine’s list of the “50 Most Influential” individuals in the region. Mr. Smith has served on the College’s Alumni Association Board of Directors since 2019. He and his wife, Deborah, are generous supporters of the College, most recently to the Alumni Association Fund. They reside in Greenville, SC.


The Honorable Frank Cornely is the Chief Judge of Sullivan’s Island, SC, and the Owner of Cornely Law Firm founded in 1993. In January, he received the 2023 South Carolina Bar Association’s Pro Bono Award, which recognizes attorneys who are dedicated to improving the legal system by providing pro bono publico representation to those who cannot afford an attorney. Judge Cornely earned his JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1987 and has practiced law for more than 36 years. He resides in Mount Pleasant, SC, with his wife, Kathleen Parker Cornely ’84.


Jim Bailey started a new job as a Real Estate Broker Associate at Carolina One Real Estate’s Summerville, SC, North Main Street office in January. Mr. Bailey has more than two decades of experience in real estate, having started in the industry in 1999.


Stuart Legare is the new Produce Category Manager at Sysco Carolinas in Columbia, SC.

Kent Parker’s first novel, Beneath the Draper Moon, has been published by Palmetto Publishing and is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Writing under the moniker Julius Parker, Mr. Parker’s book follows the journeys of two women born a century apart through their times of adversity during the American Civil War and Civil Rights Movement. Outside of writing, Mr. Parker serves as President of Parker Marine Contracting. He earned his MBA from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 1996, and he resides in McClellanville, SC, with his wife, Tania Toney-Parker ’87. The couple recently made a gift to CofC’s Campus Preservation Fund.


Kellie Nichols Swoyer completed her career in education, retiring after 32 years of teaching fourth grade in Dorchester District Two school district in South Carolina. She resides in Goose Creek, SC.


Stephanie Leonard Yarbrough (MPA ’98) is a new Partner at King & Spalding. She previously was a Partner with Womble Bond Dickinson LLP. Ms. Yarbrough earned her JD at Southern Methodist University. She was recently named to Charleston Business Magazine‘s list of “50 Most Influential” individuals in the Charleston region. She resides in Charleston, SC.


Melissa Merlau Johnson has been promoted to the Biologicals Pipeline Development Leader at Indianapolis-based Corteva Agriscience. Dr. Johnson earned her PhD in chemistry from Northwestern University in 2001. She resides in Carmel, IN, with her husband, Bob Johnson, and daughters, Rebecca and Carolyn. Dr. Johnson recently made a generous gift to CofC’s Chemistry Department Fund.


Christy Sauls Phillips is a Partner at Eleven Events, LLC. She married Blanton Phillips in 2022, and the couple resides in Greenville, SC.

Lourenza Greene Thumbtzen is the new Delinquent Tax Collector for Dorchester County, SC. Ms. Thumbtzen earned a second degree from the College, a BA in corporate communications, in 2006, and her paralegal certificate from Trident Technical College in 2010. She resides in Summerville, SC, and is a stalwart donor to the College, most recently making a gift to the Alumni Fund.


Canisha Martin Beck has been promoted to VP, Workplace Giving Account Executive at Fidelity Investments. She first started with the financial services company in 2002. Ms. Beck resides in Taylors, SC, and recently made a generous gift to the Alumni Association Fund.

Carey Ann Daniel Campbell is the CEO of Southern Tide, the premium clothing and accessories company. Ms. Campbell was named to Greenville Business Magazine’s list of “Most Influential” individuals in the region. She and her husband, Michael Campbell ’97, reside in Greenville, SC. The Campbells are enthusiastic supporters of the College and recently made generous gifts to the Alumni Fund and the Alumni Greek Life Scholarships Fund.

Olga McNally joined Tenet Healthcare in November as the Clinical Care Coordinator for Value Based Programs. Ms. McNally earned her MS in occupational therapy from Texas Woman’s University in 2003, and she resides in Charleston, SC.

Shannon Utsey is the new Community Liaison at Palmetto Lowcountry Behavioral Health in North Charleston, SC.


Jeffrey Arnold joined the Duke University Health System as a Cytopathologist and Surgical Pathologist in January. Dr. Arnold completed his Master of Clinical Laboratory Science at MUSC in 2005 and earned his MD from the University of South Carolina in 2010. He resides in Durham, NC.

Amanda Bunting Comen’s business, Social ABCs, was recognized as one of the three Best Public Relations Firms in Charleston Regional Business Journal’s 2023 Reader Rankings. Ms. Comen started the social media strategy-focused company in 2019. She and her husband, Kyle Comen ’02 (MA ’10), reside in Charleston, SC.

Jay Feinstein is the new Partner, Healthcare and Life Sciences, at Heidrick & Struggles, a Dallas-based consulting firm. Mr. Feinstein earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business in 2009, and he resides in Dallas with his wife, Stacy, and children, Grayson and Elliot.

Kyle Lourie is the new Vice President of Sales, South Region, for Associated Luxury Hotels International. He previously served as the company’s Director of Global Sales for 16 years. Mr. Lourie resides in Roswell, GA, with his wife, Heather, and two daughters.


Marcene Adkins Looper is a School Counselor for the Charleston County School District. Ms. Looper earned her MEd in School Counseling from The Citadel in 2007. She resides in Mount Pleasant, SC, with her husband, Dustin, and sons, William and George.


Tim Cuzmar earned his MBA from the University of South Carolina in December. Mr. Cuzmar is a Project Manager at Kyndyl, and he resides in Charleston, SC.

Cullin Hamm is the new Commercial Lines Underwriter for Burns & Wilcox in Morehead City, NC.


Mike Benton is an Operations Coordinator for DHL, and he and his wife, La Tanisha, reside in Chamblee, GA.

Inmar Geiger (MEd ’17) started teaching at Wando High School in 2022. She earned her MEd in languages from the College in 2017. Ms. Geiger is married to James Geiger ’98, and the couple resides in Mount Pleasant, SC, with their two sons, Charles and Robert.

Troy Lesesne (MA ’10) is the new Head Coach of D.C. United, the Major League Soccer team that represents the nation’s capital. Mr. Lesesne played soccer at the College and got his start in coaching at CofC after graduation. His coaching career has included stops at the Charleston Battery, the Charlotte Independence, New Mexico United, and the New York Red Bulls. Mr. Lesesne earned his MA in communications from the College in 2010 and his U.S. Pro Coaching License in 2020.

Rachelle Olden has been named to ESSENCE magazine’s inaugural “Power 40” list of the Most Influential Power Players in Business for 2023. Ms. Olden works for Google as a Senior Product Marketing Manager and Lead of the Tech Equity Collective, an initiative started by Google to accelerate Black innovation and representation in the tech industry. After earning her BA in communication from the College, she served with the Peace Corps as a Youth Development Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. She later worked as a Project Manager for the U.N. World Food Programme in Liberia and as a Regional Advocacy Officer for World Vision International in Costa Rica and El Salvador. Today, she resides in Seattle and remains a supporter of the College, having recently made a generous gift to the Alumni Fund.

Cory Smith was promoted to Senior Manager, Field Access and Reimbursement, at AbbVie pharmaceutical company in December. Mr. Smith resides in Atlanta.


Richard Hull is the Association Director at Hodnett Cooper Homeowners Association Management. He and his wife of 10 years, Barbara, reside in St. Simons Island, GA.


Julie Dolan joined WDRB News as an Anchor in January. Ms. Dolan is an award-winning journalist with years of experience covering parts of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. She resides in Louisville, KY, with her husband, Andy, and three children.

Daniel Earnst joined Petrichor as the Vice President of Sales in November, and he resides in Charlotte, NC.

Justin Klunder has been promoted to CEO of Gray Private Wealth, LLC. Mr. Klunder first joined the Boston-area company in 2015 as an Investment Advisor and, more recently, served as the firm’s Partner and Chief Investment Officer.


Chris Cook Flanary is running for the Portland, OR, City Council. They are a Housing Program Specialist for the Portland Housing Bureau. They married Melina Larkin on New Year’s Eve, and the couple resides in Portland, OR.

Chris Hass has been promoted to Senior Director, Intelligence Operations and Strategic Initiatives PMO, at Marriott International. Mr. Hass earned his MBA in financial management from the University of Maryland in 2011, and he resides in Silver Spring, MD, with his wife, Marian, and daughter, Corinne.

David Rosansky is an RN Case Manager at the Columbia VA Medical Center’s Pulmonary Clinic. Mr. Rosansky earned his BS in registered nursing from Drexel University in 2012. He married Caitlin Rosansky in 2021, and the couple resides in Columbia, SC.

Kate Burroughs Scharfeld and her husband, Nicholas, welcomed their first child, Marietta, to the family in November. The couple married in April 2022. Ms. Scharfeld is the Adult Drug Court Coordinator for Charleston County, and the Scharfeld family resides in Charleston, SC.

Andrew Walden has been promoted to Partner at Womble Bond Dickinson LLP’s Charleston, SC, office. He joined the law firm in 2017 as an Associate Attorney and most recently held the position of Senior Associate. Mr. Walden earned his JD from the Charleston School of Law in 2012, and he resides in Mount Pleasant, SC.


Jason Bridges is an Assistant Attorney General for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Mr. Bridges earned his JD from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 2014, and he resides in Columbia, SC.

Ashley Baker Carter (MA) is a Private Wealth Financial Consultant with Vingi, Edwards & McCallum Private Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in Charleston, SC. Ms. Carter and her team were included in Forbes’ 2023 list of “Top Wealth Management Teams for Private Wealth”. Ms. Carter resides in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Madison Kelly DeFranco is the Senior Technical Business Development, Higher Education, for Amazon Web Services’ Just Walk Out Technology. Ms. DeFranco works with universities to leverage Just Walk Out technology, which allows students to enter the store, shop, and leave without stopping at checkout. Last March, she and her husband, Thomas, welcomed their first child, Declan, to the family. They reside in Washington, D.C.

Sam Sawaked is a Customer Success Associate at Henry Schein. She resides in Fountain Inn, SC, with her three children, Nicolas, Gianni, and Gia.


Lacey Bowers has been promoted to Director, Account Based Marketing, at Invoca. She resides in Santa Monica, CA.

Michael Gambrell is the new Director of Operations for Coffman Stair Parts in Austell, GA.


Alexandria Williams joined Sciensano as a full-time Epidemiologist in November. Ms. Williams earned her MS in public health microbiology and emerging infectious disease from George Washington University in 2015 and a certificate in global sexual and reproductive health from Ghent University in 2017. Ms. Williams resides in Brussels, Belgium.


Rae McClane Aartun is the Payroll Manager for The Cliffs, seven private luxury communities in South and North Carolina. She is responsible for managing new-hire onboarding and overseeing the payroll for more than 800 employees. She married Aaron Aartun ’13 in 2017, and the couple resides in Pickens, SC, with their two sons, Hayden and Jackson.

Jeff Aschieris celebrated earning his MBA from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business in December. Mr. Aschieris is the Assistant Vice President, Client Advisor, for the Whittier Trust Company. He earned his Certified Trust and Financial Advisor certification in 2021. He and his wife, Maddie, reside in Newport Beach, CA, and recently made a generous gift to CofC’s Cougar Club.

Christopher Hammond is a Supervisory Passport Specialist for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Megan, reside in Herndon, VA, with their two sons, Mason and James.

Anthony Sardelli is in his fifth season as Head Coach of the wrestling team at Philip Simmons High School in Charleston, SC.


Diana Jones Fulmer is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. In October, Dr. Fulmer was awarded a $1.2 million transition award from Additional Ventures to help her start her own research lab. Dr. Fulmer’s research will focus on understanding the mechanisms of epigenetic regulation of cardiac development and disease. She earned her PhD in biomedical sciences from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2020. Dr. Fulmer is married to fellow CofC alumnus Nate Fulmer ’12, and the couple resides in Philadelphia.

Matt Manoogian has been promoted to First Vice President of CBRE’s Long Island office. He first joined the real estate giant in 2014 as an Associate. Over the past decade, he has been involved in more than 75 transactions totaling more than 7 million square feet. Mr. Manoogian resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Jeremy Miller was recently accepted into the inaugural class of the NC Master Naturalist Volunteer program, which prepares volunteers for stewardship, advocacy, education, and citizen science projects with leading environmental organizations in the Raleigh-Durham area. Mr. Miller and his wife, Taryn, married in 2020, and the couple resides in Durham, NC.

Claire Sparks Steffens is an Operations Specialist for InvestiNet. She resides in Greenville, SC, with her husband, Stephen.


Will Dorton III is the Associate Head Coach/Co-Recruiting Coordinator for the College’s baseball team. He and his wife, Allison, celebrated the birth of their daughter, Anna-Tucker, in January. The Dorton family resides in Johns Island, SC.

Dani Mushinsky joined the Medical University of South Carolina as a Pediatric Dietitian in October. Ms. Mushinsky earned her MS in human nutrition from the University of Alabama in May.


Charles Bressler is the new HR Operations Specialist for Sonepar USA in North Charleston, SC. Mr. Bessler earned his MBA in health care administration from Coastal Carolina University in 2021.

Brandon Cordina is the Operations Manager at Shades of Charleston. In 2020, he co-founded Cordina Eyewear, a company that sells sunglasses and headwear made for the outdoorsman. Mr. Cordina also became a Certified Optician. He married Natalie Dougherty Cordina ’14 in 2020. The couple has two children together, Mills and Lucy, and the family resides in Mount Pleasant, SC.

Samantha Huddleston started a new position as a Content Marketing Manager for Discovery Education in October. Ms. Huddleston resides in Austin, TX.

Trevor Jones is celebrating the completion of his MPA from American University. Mr. Jones is a White House Liaison for the General Services Administration in Washington, D.C.

Shayne Lisa joined Cigna Healthcare in December as a New Business Dental Sales Representative. Mr. Lisa resides in New York City.

Warren Steele has been promoted to Director, Strategy, at CVS Health. He was also one of 21 business leaders recently named to the 2023 class of Aspen Institute First Mover Fellows, a program that works to strengthen the capacity of social intrapreneurs to lead change within their company and industry. Mr. Steele earned his MPH in Health Policy from Boston University in 2018. He and his wife, Maria, married in April, and the couple resides in Charlotte, NC.


Andrew Aikman is a new Financial Services Representative at First Citizens Bank. He resides in Sullivan’s Island, SC.

Erica Horack Chandler is a Site Development Manager for DISH. She married Bradley Chandler ’17 in 2020 and the couple resides in Rock Hill, SC.

Gregory Cushing II graduated from the University of South Dakota in December with an MA in interdisciplinary studies with focus areas in public administration and higher education leadership. Mr. Cushing is the Building Coordinator, South Carolina Aeronautical Training Center, for Trident Technical College. In 2022, he earned his MPA from Clemson University. Mr. Cushing resides on Wadmalaw Island, SC.

Lauren Tomes Francis celebrated the publication of her first children’s book in December. Tank Eats a French Fry follows Tank the dog’s journey through America as he seeks out the perfect French fry. Ms. Francis is a sixth grade Teacher for Spartanburg District 7. She earned her MA in teaching, early childhood and elementary education, from Liberty University in 2019 and an MIM in professional leadership from Converse University in 2022. She resides in Lyman, SC, with her husband, Daniel.

Jamie Heidt has been promoted to Director, Product, at Teamraderie. She resides in Austin, TX.

Conor Moran was promoted to Senior Account Executive at Indeed in January. He resides in New York City. Mr. Moran recently made a gift to CofC’s Alumni Fund.

Rachel Canady Santos has been promoted to Senior Marketing Manager at Winkler Group. She and her husband, Pedro, reside in Ladson, SC.

Kevin Shields is a Commercial Real Estate Broker for Belk Lucy. Mr. Shields married Kaley Katsanis ’18 in January, and the couple resides in Charleston, SC.

Catherine Stiers is the new Special Collections Exhibits and Outreach Coordinator for the College of Charleston. Ms. Stiers has worked for College of Charleston Libraries since 2019. She earned her MA in public/applied history from North Carolina State University in 2019 and resides in Charleston, SC.

Kate Thomas is a new Inside Sales Representative for UPS. She previously worked as a Special Education Teacher for Dorchester School District Two for five years. In 2020, she won Teacher of the Year at Knightsville Elementary School. Ms. Thomas resides in Charleston, SC.

Allie Watters is the new Senior Director of Wavelength Strategy. She resides in Washington, D.C.


Rob Allen (MAcc ’19) was promoted to Vice President of Goldman Sachs in December. He had worked for the company as an Associate since October 2021. Mr. Allen resides in New York City.

Joey Ferrelli has been promoted to Director of Auxiliary Programs at Porter-Gaud School. Mr. Ferrelli first joined the independent Charleston, SC-based day school in 2015 as the Director of Extended Day. He resides in Charleston, SC.

Logan Johnson is an Urban Forestry Planner for PlanIT Geo. He earned his MENV in urban resilience and sustainability from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2023. He resides in Loveland, CO.


Julia Baldyga was promoted to Senior Manager, Accounts & Revenue Operations, at New York City-based media company Puck in December. Ms. Baldyga resides in New York City.

Reid Gilchrist earned his MS in history of international relations from the London School of Economics in December.

Zach Levine is an IT Manager for Schoenberg Finkel Beederman Bell Glazer LLC. He resides in Chicago.

Drew Rollason is the new Inside Sales Representative for Alro Steel Corporation in Orlando, FL.

Ridge Welch has been named Northwoods Middle School’s Teacher of the Year. Mr. Welch resides in North Charleston, SC.


Johnny Cafaro is a Regional Sales Associate for Pella. In December, he married Katie Krecicki Cafaro, and the couple resides in Morristown, NJ.

Bobby Carey was promoted to Senior Brand Strategist at Horizon Media in January. He resides in New York City.

Morgan Moran has been promoted to Assistant Facilities Manager at JLL in Charlotte, NC.

Nate Norton is the new Business Development Team Lead at Broadcom in Boston.

Kendall Welch is the owner and founder of Kendall’s Kandles, a Charleston, SC-based handmade candle company. Ms. Welch is pursuing her MA in clinical mental health counseling from The Citadel and hopes to graduate in 2026. She resides in Charleston, SC.


Joshua Garcia (MFA) is the Office Manager and Managing Editor at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, a non-profit organization that sends writers and other artists into schools. Mr. Garcia uses his free time to write poetry. His debut poetry collection, Pentimento, will be released by Black Lawrence Press in March 2024. Additionally, one of his poems, “Primavera,” was published in the Winter 2023-24 issue of Ploughshares. Mr. Garcia’s work has been featured in several publications, including the Cincinnati Review, the Georgia Review, Ninth Letter, and North American Review, and he is currently an Emerge-Surface-Be Fellow with The Poetry Project. Mr. Garcia resides in Brooklyn, NY.

Emma Geraghty is the Catering Sales Manager for Burgeon Hospitality Group. She resides in Los Angeles.

Mary Elizabeth Griffin is a Client Associate with Vingi, Edwards & McCallum Private Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in Charleston, SC. Ms. Griffin and her team were included in Forbes’ 2023 list of “Top Wealth Management Teams for Private Wealth”. Ms. Griffin resides in Charleston, SC.

Cary Hobbs is the Co-Founder and Lead Media Strategist of The Palm Social LLC, a Charleston, SC-based marketing firm that assists small businesses with social media. Ms. Hobbs co-founded the company in December. She resides in Charleston, SC.

Camisha Jones is a Marketing Specialist for Better Engineering. She resides in Baltimore.

Elana Otero is a Certified Franchise Consultant for VEGO Consulting. She resides in Washington, D.C.


Catherine Bedenbaugh was promoted to Front Desk Supervisor at The Ryder Hotel in Charleston, SC, in January.

Samantha Hirsh is the new Member Communications Manager for the Seabrook Island Club. Ms. Hirsh resides in Charleston, SC. She recently made a generous gift to CofC’s Campus Preservation Fund.

Ryan Holland is a Permit Specialist for Palmetto Solar, LLC. He resides in Oklahoma City.

Will James is the new Environmental Lab Project Manager Assistant for GEL Laboratories, LLC in Charleston, SC.

Shana Lamparello is a new Administrative Assistant III for the City of Charleston. She resides in Charleston, SC, and recently made a gift to CofC’s Alumni Association Fund.

Seth Oliver started a new job as a Packaging Consult for C-P-S Group in January. Mr. Oliver resides in Goose Creek, SC. He recently made a gift to CofC’s Alumni Association Fund.