Class Notes

News for this section may be submitted online through the class notes submission form. Please include your current name, name at registration, degree and class year. You also may send us news or update your address and other biographical information electronically through Vanderbilt’s online alumni community, VUconnect, at vuconnect.com. Your submission will be posted in Vanderbilt Magazine, print and online, unless otherwise specified. We reserve the right to edit for length, style and clarity.

Class Notes: 1950s-1960s

  • ’58

    Thomas G. Burton, MA, PhD’66, of Johnson City, Tenn., produced a documentary CD, Scottish Traveler Jimmy Williamson Songs and Stories in 2023.

  • ’59

    Gary Cohen, BA, of Chevy Chase, Md., continues to practice investment company law at the D.C. law firm Carlton Fields. The D.C. Addison/Ripley Art Gallery showed his work in a one-man show in June and July 2023. The paintings, executed from 1967 to 1972, and sculptures made since 2016, were favorably reviewed in The Washington Post.

  • ’65

    Sally Ostrow Kolitz Russell, BA, writes: “After 35 years as a neuropsychologist, I am finally cutting back to part-time in my practice. My husband and I are living in Miami and spending summers in Asheville, N.C. I will never forget how my education at Vanderbilt paved the way for my career. Vanderbilt-in-France was my most treasured experience and led to my love of travel. My husband, also a neuropsychologist, and I have lectured for cruise lines throughout the years, enjoying traveling all over the world.”

  • ’69

    Gary Roberson, BA, of New Salisbury, Ind., in February 2023 independently published his fourth book, A God Project: The Improbable Journey of a Man Who Loves Caves. It is a memoir of his adventurous life developing three of the four show caves now open in Indiana and his lifelong passion for exploring and mapping Indiana's physically challenging Binkley Cave system, one of the longest known cave systems in the U.S. The book is available on Amazon.

Class Notes: 1970s

  • ’72

    Barry Master, BA, of Fairview, N.C., was conferred the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Society award by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, July 13, 2023. The Buncombe County Bar Association named him the recipient of their highest honor, the Lifetime Achievement Award, in 2022. He also has been conferred membership in the Waggener High School (Louisville, Ky.) Hall of Fame, one of 51 alumni so honored out of more than 16,000 graduates. He continues his 48th year of law practice. The agency he works for has more than 6,000 cases and collects over $1 million dollars monthly for children and families in need of assistance. He is counsel of record on 17 published legal opinions, including one before the U.S. Supreme Court (Greene v. Lindsey). He also has been commissioned a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

  • ’74

    Al Claiborne, BA, of Winston-Salem, N.C., independently published his first book, A Time Past, Or What Might Have Been . . . The Odyssey of Norman Lane in March 2023. The book chronicles the journey of alumnus Norman Lane, BA’62, who joined the Marines and went to war. All proceeds from the sale of the book, available through Amazon, go to the Norman Lane Jr. Memorial Project, a nonprofit organization founded by Claiborne in 2014 that works to promote a deeper comprehension of the Vietnam War, while recognizing Lane’s life and providing a historical perspective on the 1960s. His journey putting together the book is presented in the video Finding Norman Lane: An Author’s Personal Odyssey on YouTube.

    Jim Thompson, BA, of Decatur, Ga., was awarded as the Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation Housing Court Assistance Center Volunteer of the Year in April at the Fox Theater’s Egyptian Ballroom.

  • ’75

    Brenda Donaloio Lee, BS, of Galveston, Texas, reports that her independent publication Drinkin' Margaritas With the Lord, Art and Lyrics by George Douglas Lee (2022), a visual survey of the late George Douglas Lee’s art and lyrics inspired by Galveston Island, was awarded a blue ribbon during the annual member’s show of the National Society of Artists. She writes, “Didn't know if I could do it, but with that Vanderbilt education, got ’er done. Thank you all.”

    Tom Martin, BA, of Mount Pleasant, S.C., established the Martin Center for Mentorship in Communication at the College of Charleston in February 2023. Martin has served as the communication department’s executive-in-residence since 2007, when he retired from his post as senior vice president of corporate relations at ITT Corp., a global engineering company.

    Stan Miller, JD, of Little Rock, Ark., has been leading a project in the U.S. to raise funds to purchase and refurbish used trucks for Ukrainian soldiers. To find out more, visit carconvoy.org.

  • ’77

    Ned Pillersdorf, BA, of Van Lear, Ky., was one of four lawyers nationwide honored by the American Bar Association for providing volunteer legal services for low-income and disadvantaged people. Pillersdorf was given the ABA’s Pro Bono Award for finding lawyers to represent as many as 4,000 people who lost their disability benefits because of the fraud perpetrated by former Kentucky attorney Eric Conn, who is now in prison.

  • ’79

    Risa Weinberger, BE, and her environmental engineering firm, Risa Weinberger & Associates Inc., celebrated 20 years in business in June 2023. The firm specializes in waste management, particularly organic waste recovery and composting.

Class Notes: 1980s

  • ’80

    Sid Balman, BA, released the third and final novel, Algorithms, in his “Seventh Flag” trilogy on Aug. 1. (Spark Press). He is currently a writer in residence at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, and his previous work as a war and national security correspondent was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

    Norman Clark Capshaw, BS, PhD’07, of Virginia Beach, Va., recently published The Promises and Pitfalls of Technology in Higher Education: A Vision of the 21st Century University (Cambridge Scholars Publishing). The book examines the potential impact of advanced technologies on the future university.

    Stephen Haynes, BA, professor of religious studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., was presented the 2023 Jameson M. Jones Award for Outstanding Faculty Service on Aug. 18 at the college’s Opening Convocation. A member of the faculty since 1989, Haynes has taught a range of courses on religion and racism, the Holocaust, the Bible, and religion and literature, and he has served on many standing and ad hoc committees.

    Stephen Pate, BA, JD’83, of Houston was named secretary-treasurer of the American College of Coverage Counsel at the 2023 annual meeting in Chicago in May. He will become president-elect in 2024 and will serve as president in 2025. He is a founding member of the ACCC and most recently served as a member of ACCC’s Board of Regents and has served on the Membership Committee and as a member of the Executive Committee. He is a 2018 recipient of the ACCC’s Tom Segalla Service Award.

  • ’81

    Preston Brown, BS, of Huntsville, Ala., published his second book, Spiritual Game Plans for a Successful Life (WestBow) in April.

  • ’82

    Catherine Baird Hooper, BA, recently celebrated 11 years of service in Vanderbilt's Alumni Relations department. In her role as associate director of alumni relations, she has met hundreds of alumni around the country. She enjoys connecting alumni to each other and to the university. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to support my university and for the chance to have so many wonderful alumni friends,” she reports. She lives in Brentwood with her husband, David, and is working on her first novel, a women's fiction, feel-good story about life on a Tennessee horse farm.

  • ’83

    Mark Matthews, BA, and Gwen Griffin Matthews, BA’84, moved back to College Grove, Tenn., in July after many years on the West Coast. Mark was a four-year football letterman in the early ’80s and senior on the 1982 Hall of Fame Bowl team, while Gwen was captain of the cheer squad. Mark completed a 34-year career at Nike World Headquarters based in Oregon before retiring in 2017 after several years as global vice president of sales.

    Bruce A. Scott, BS, of Prospect, Ky., was voted president-elect in June of the American Medical Association by physicians gathered at the annual meeting of the AMA House of Delegates. After a yearlong term as president-elect, he will be installed as AMA president in June 2024. He is board-certified in otolaryngology and president of Kentuckiana Ear, Nose & Throat, medical director of Premier Ambulatory Surgery Center and holds a clinical appointment at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

    Jay Yoder, MBA, of Reidsville, N.C., retired at the end of 2022 after a 39-year investment career. During his career, he led three different college endowments to top quartile returns, authored or co-authored three books and wrote more than 25 published articles. He also consulted on over $5 billion of investments into private real assets.

  • ’84

    Betty Dandridge Johnson, MS, of Brentwood, Tenn., recently retired from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission as the chief academic officer. She enjoyed a 33-year career at all levels in higher education (campus, governing board and coordinating agency). Her academic leadership positions included time at Meharry Medical College, Middle Tennessee State University, University of Kentucky Community College System and the Tennessee Board of Regents.

  • ’85

    Art Williams lives in Ocean City, N.J., during the summer and in Jupiter, Fla., during the winter. He has worked on Wall Street in various capacities since graduation.

  • ’86

    Chris Cavanaugh, BA, of Asheville, N.C., president and founder of Magellan Strategy Group, was inducted in spring 2023 into the Winners Circle by Visit North Carolina, the state's destination marketing organization. The Winners Circle is the highest recognition of achievement in the travel and tourism category in North Carolina.

    Karin Walwork Tramm, MEd, of Parrish, Fla., was awarded the gold medal for memoir from the Military Writers Society of America for her book 100 Days Smart. The story focuses on her experiences as a teacher on a military base in northern Italy during the initial COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in 2020.

  • ’87

    John Beiter, JD, longtime Nashville entertainment industry and intellectual property attorney, retired this year after 35 years of legal work. He most recently practiced at and oversaw Beiter Law Firm, which included clients SESAC, the Americana Music Association and the International Entertainment Buyers Association.

    Jennifer Welch Hightower, BA, of Atlanta recently was promoted to executive vice president and chief legal officer of Cox Enterprises and joined the company’s executive leadership team. She now reports directly to the $22 billion company’s chairman and CEO Alex Taylor, BS’97. Hightower joined Cox in 1997 as senior counsel at Cox Communications and most recently was executive vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Cox Enterprises, a post she was promoted to in February 2023.

    Ralph Steele, MDiv, of Bedford, Texas, recently independently published his 22nd book, Prayer, Fasting, Healing & Deliverance.

  • ’88

    Eileen Nebhut, BA, of Atlanta in May 2023 launched an in-person wardrobe consulting agency called Venus Rising for women in Atlanta and Nashville. Services include a wardrobe audit, shopping, an on-call subscription service and corporate group consulting. Those interested can visit wearingwhatmatters.com.

    David Limp, BS, was appointed CEO of aerospace manufacturer Blue Origin in September. He will begin his new role in January 2024. He is leaving Amazon after 13 years, most recently as senior vice president of Amazon Devices and Services.

    Edgar A. Porter, EdD, of Brooklyn, N.Y., held administrative and teaching positions at the University of Hawaii and Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University in Japan, where he is professor emeritus. He writes primarily in the field of oral history of China and Japan, and his books include Journalism from Tiananmen with Mardy Fones (University of Hawaii Press, 1990) and Japanese Reflections on World War II and the American Occupation, with his wife, Ran Ying Porter, (Amsterdam University Press, 2017). He recently published a memoir, From Calvin to Mao and Beyond (St. Andrews, 2023).

  • ’89

    Temi Dogon Correll, BA, of Dover, Mass., along with Kim Stichter Branagan, BS, of Tampa, Fla.; Holly Lowdon Thomas, BA, of Cornelius, N.C.; and Lannie Daniel Jewell, BA, of Franklin, Tenn., celebrated at the wedding of Kathy Butts Wade, BS, on June 17, 2023.

Class Notes: 1990s

  • ’90

    Joel Callahan, BS, was named to a two-year term as chief of staff for UNC Health Pardee in Hendersonville, N.C., in January 2023.

    Erika Lewis, BS, of Los Angeles recently published Kelcie Murphy and the Hunt for the Heart of Danu (Starscape, July 2023), the second book in her young adult series about a young girl studying at the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts.

    Bernard Nomberg, BA, of Birmingham, Ala., a former player on the Commodore football team, has been hosting weekly conversations for the past three years with members of the Vanderbilt football program from the 1950s to the present. “Conversations with Commodores” is on YouTube.

  • ’91

    Mike Gunter, BA, is an author and speaker on climate change politics, ecotourism and sustainable development. He is a former Fulbright professor and currently serves as Cornell Distinguished Faculty and Arthur Vining Davis Fellow at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. In addition to three books, his work appears in or on NPR, The Washington Post and USA Today. His most recent book is Climate Travels: How Ecotourism Changes Mindsets and Motivates Action (Columbia University Press, 2023). His website is michaelgunterjr.com.

  • ’92

    Brooke Benson, BA, of San Antonio, Texas, a certified divorce lending professional and single mom, has a VoiceAmerica show called Plan for Divorce and has created a workbook by the same name. Workbook users form goals, learn about child custody, make an inventory of assets, list debts and who owns them, prepare for mediation and follow an emergency checklist if abuse is present in the home. The user empowers him- or herself by thinking through scenarios for during and post-split, based on the prompts provided.

    Willie E. Cobble Jr., BA, of Fairfax, Va., joined the nonprofit Institute for Defense Analyses in June as a research staff member in the Strategy, Forces and Resources Division of IDA’s Systems and Analyses Center.

    Saundra B. Curry, EMBA, of Hendersonville, Tenn., is co-founder and chief operations officer of BC Holdings of Tennessee. She was selected among the 2023 Women of Influence by the Nashville Business Journal for her commitment to financial education and creating the company's innovative online platform “Destination: Financial Wellness.”

    Joan B. McGlockton, MDiv, of Tallahassee, Fla., received an honorary doctor of ministry degree in August 2022 from North Central Theological Seminary in St. Petersburg, Fla.

  • ’93

    Cristen Coker Hemmins, BS, of Oxford, Miss., is the director of giving at the statewide nonprofit online news organization, the Mississippi Free Press. She is on the boards of Planned Parenthood Tennessee and North Mississippi and the ACLU of Mississippi. She has been the chair of the Lafayette County Democratic Party since 2015 and also has been a member of the Mississippi Democratic Party Executive Committee since 2012.

  • ’96

    Morgan Wills, MD, stepped down in spring 2023 from his role as president and CEO of Siloam Health, a faith-based, multi-site nonprofit health center serving Nashville’s uninsured, to become associate professor of medicine and associate dean for clinical education at the new Thomas F. Frist Jr. College of Medicine at Belmont University.

  • ’97

    Laura Talbott-Clark, BMus, recently was promoted to professor of violin at Oklahoma State University's Greenwood School of Music, where she serves as assistant director of equity and inclusion. A member of the Maya String Quartet, OSU’s faculty string quartet in residence, Talbott-Clark produced and performed on a recent release by Navona Records, Between Us: Music for Two by Mary Howe. The recording represents a portion of her research to rediscover, publish, perform and record music by women composers affiliated with the Federal Music Project. At the 2023 American String Teachers Association national conference, she co-presented at a pre-conference workshop, “Hands-On Wellness: Strategies for Empowering Social, Emotional and Mental Health in the Classroom.” She is on sabbatical for 2023–24, during which she will complete a graduate degree in mental health counseling.

  • ’98

    Todd F. Ambrosia, MSN, was named the seventh president of Mount Carmel College of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio. He began his tenure as president on May 7, 2023. Previously, he was vice president of academic affairs, Mount Sinai Health System and dean of the Mount Sinai Phillips School of Nursing in New York City.

    Corey Thomas, BE, of Auburndale, Mass., was included in May on Boston Globe’s Tech Power Players 50 List of the most influential people in the New England tech sector. He is CEO and chairman of the Boston cybersecurity firm Rapid7, which makes tools that help more than 10,000 companies—from Domino’s Pizza to Discovery Inc.—reduce, monitor and address security risks.

  • ’99

    Elizabeth “Betsy” Sanner Ayala, BA, was promoted in December 2022 to head of content, food, for Warner Brothers Discovery, where she now oversees the creation, development, production and release of all programming on the Food Network. She manages a team of 30+ production executives and relationships with chefs such as Bobby Flay, Ina Garten and Guy Fieri. She lives with her husband and twin daughters in Mount Kisco, New York.

Class Notes: 2000s

  • ’00

    Michael R. Houston, JD, recently was reappointed as senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at real estate and agribusiness company Tejon Ranch. Previously he had held those positions at the company for almost five years beginning in 2016. He left Tejon Ranch in 2021 to join the Southern California Association of Governments, where he served as chief counsel and director of Legal Services for the nation’s largest metropolitan planning agency. He rejoined the company on Aug. 21, 2023.

    Doug Jennings, BA, of Austin, Texas, was appointed July 24 as general counsel of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. He is the chief counsel for the agency, which is responsible for licensing and regulating a broad range of occupations, businesses, facilities and equipment in Texas.

  • ’02

    Amanda Martin Vincent, BMus, of Baton Rouge, La., writes that her company Studyville, an education resource for parents offering private education through their microschool and extensive tutoring services, ACT prep classes and college admissions counseling, was awarded designation as one of America’s Top Small Businesses from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in September. The awards ceremony was Oct. 19 in Washington, D.C.

  • ’03

    Chad A. Caldwell, BS, of New Orleans is CEO of software company FastGem. He and FastGem were recently featured on the cover of CIOReview as one of the top 10 most promising customer relationship management companies to watch in 2023.

    Josh DeTillio, MBA, of Lutz, Fla., published Healthy You, Healthy Team, Healthy Company: How to Implement an Employee Wellness Program in Your Organization (Lioncrest) in August. He is the chief administrative officer at Gulf Coast Medical Center and an adjunct professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.

    Alex Shoor, BA, is running for an open seat on the City Council in San Jose, Calif. The primary election occurs in March 2024. Read more at alexshoor.com.

  • ’04

    Jacob Grier, BA, of Portland, Ore., had a collection of essays, originally published in Slate, Reason, Liberal Currents, Arc Digital and Exponents, on nicotine and tobacco policy published as a collection titled The New Prohibition: The Dangerous Politics of Tobacco Control. It is available on Amazon.

    Jonathan H. Kim, MD, of Atlanta received funding from the National Institutes of Health to study early cardiac dysfunction and sleep apnea in collegiate football players. In addition, he started a three-year term as chair of the American College of Cardiology's Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section.

    Chris Mann, BMus, of Van Nuys, Calif., released his latest parody in June. “Daddy Hero,” a parody of Taylor Swift’s “Anti-hero,” can be seen on YouTube.

    Jarrod Reich, JD, has been teaching legal writing and evidence, as well as coaching the Moot Court Team, at the University of Miami School of Law in Florida since July 2020. He coauthored the fourth edition of Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer’s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing, in 2021 (Practising Law Institute). In October 2022, he and Kent Halkett, JD’81, spoke on mental health challenges in law at Vanderbilt Law School as part of Wellness Week.

  • ’05

    John Young Shik Concklin, BMus, recently was appointed the 10th music director of the Spartanburg Philharmonic. He concurrently serves as music director of the Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra and conductor with the Atlanta Music Project.

    Krystal Grant Folkestad, BMus, of Richmond, Va., had the world premiere of her composition Good Black Dirt in Sublime Black Hands for flute, clarinet and bassoon presented in May 2023 by the Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia. The piece was inspired by the composer visiting, volunteering and planting in the community gardens led by Duron Chavis’ organization Happily Natural. She writes, “Shoveling steaming mounds of compost, listening to interwoven choruses of birds, braiding vines of blackberries and meditating on murals of Adinkra symbols and people of color fueled this composition.”

    Katie Gallerani Herrington, BS, MS’08, PhD’14, and Dana Verner, MD’04, celebrated the five-year anniversary of their multidisciplinary mental health practice Green Hills Family Psych in Nashville. They are grateful for fellow Vanderbilt alumni who are also practitioners at Green Hills Family Psych, including Jenn Stewart, BS’11, MEd’12, MS’15, PhD’20; Rebekah Travis, BA’05; Dana Hipp, BS’06, MD’13; and Jessica Douglas, who completed her residency and fellowship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

    Megan Alavi Meacham, BA, of Silver Spring, Md., was selected as a 2023 finalist in management excellence for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal or “Sammies,” considered the Oscars of federal service, along with two colleagues for the implementation and management of a nationwide initiative to address substance use disorder in rural communities. Additionally, her Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Team made it to the top 12 in the People’s Choice Award.

    Dabney Wilkerson, BS, MSN’07, of Honolulu, Hawaii, and her husband, Carlton Wilkerson, announce the birth of identical twin boys in June 2023. Bruce Dubard and James Beck join sisters Sawyer Anne and Cora Jane.

  • ’06

    Gene Back, BMus, of Los Angeles composed the music for Randall Park’s directorial debut feature Shortcomings released Aug. 4 through Sony Pictures Classics.

    Tom McCurdy, BE, took command of U.S. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron Four (HSC-4) on June 22, 2023, in Coronado, Calif. In attendance were his spouse, Katie McCurdy, BE’07, and Vanderbilt alums, Navy ROTC classmates and friends CDR Luke Oakley, BE, Drew Arnold, BS, Joe Goodell, BA, Niels Hauff, BE, James McAdams, BA, Jackson Morgan, BS, LCDR Austin Petersen, BE’12.

  • ’07

    Chris Friedman, MTS, joined law firm Husch Blackwell as a partner in its Financial Services and Capital Markets business unit. A resident of Nashville, he is based in the firm’s virtual Link office.

    Monique Moultrie, MA, PhD’10, received a $250,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to develop a digital and physical archive highlighting Black women religious leaders’ contributions to religious communities and activism in the United States. She is co-principal investigator with Rosetta Ross for The Garden Initiative for Black Women’s Religious Activism. The website launched in March 2023: blackwomensreligiousactivism.org.

    Doan Phuong Nguyen, BA, had her debut middle grade novel, Mèo and Bé, published by Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, May 23, 2023. Booklist said in its review, “This moving debut novel, based in part on the experiences of members of Nguyen's family, features well-developed characters, vivid depictions of wartime Vietnam, and a sense of everyday life for ordinary Vietnamese people during this period.”

  • ’08

    Milton Ochieng, MD, and his brother, Frederick Ochieng, MD’10, co-founders of the Lwala Hospital in western Kenya, recently received support  for their maternal child health work from Bruce Springsteen. See Springsteen’s appeal on Vimeo by searching “Lwala Community Hospital Endowment.”

  • ’09

    Megan Hines, BA, of Jackson, Miss., spoke at a meeting of the Natchez Historical Society in March, where she gave a preview of a fall exhibit by Natchez native Noah Saterstrom at Mississippi Museum of Art. She is a postdoctoral fellow of art history at the Mississippi Museum of Art and Millsaps College.

    Ellie Durham Reynolds, BA, MA’10, recently was named the inaugural head of communications and brand engagement for the new Smithsonian American Women's History Museum in Washington, D.C.

    Ed Rottmann, MBA, former chief operating officer of Stowers Machinery Corp., launched Chroma Energy Group, a renewable energy company focused on full-service solar engineering, procurement and construction, in April. The launch of Chroma Energy Group was precipitated by the acquisition of Knoxville-based Efficient Energy of Tennessee. Chroma Energy Group is headquartered in Knoxville.

Class Notes: 2010s

  • ’10

    Stephanie Freeman, BA, of Starkville, Miss., published Dreams for a Decade: International Nuclear Abolitionism and the End of the Cold War with the University of Pennsylvania Press in April 2023.

    Erica Summers, MBA, joined business management consultant Holden Advisors as vice president and practice leader for sales, change management and talent development in May 2023. Holden is headquartered in Concord, Mass.

    Alyssa Weinberg, BMus, of Brooklyn, N.Y., will have the world premiere of her opera Isola presented by Long Beach Opera Feb. 3, 10 and 11, 2024. The opera, a monodrama “that delves into the depths of identity, challenges perceptions of time” will be directed by fellow alumnus George R. Miller, BMus’18.

  • ’11

    Gabe Horton, BA, MDiv’15, recently celebrated three years as the founder and executive director of the nonprofit Pawster Nashville, an organization that cares for the pets of people in crisis. The organization’s board of directors includes fellow Vanderbilt alumni Trice Gibbons, MDiv’13; Nathan Yates, BA, MAcc’12; Chelsey Hedglin, MDiv’17; and founding director Allison Ruari, MDiv’14.

    Lauren Kilgore, JD’11, a partner with Shackelford Bowen McKinley & Norton, has been named a Fellow of the Nashville Bar Foundation, an award established as a way for the bar to honor its colleagues who have contributed significantly to the community. Kilgore has been named as one of the country's top Music Lawyers by Billboard and “In Charge” by MusicRow for the past four years. She is a member of the Recording Academy, the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music, NSAI, the Country Music Association and the Copyright Society of the South.

    Stephanie Kaye Ramirez, MBA, and her husband, Tim Kilroy, MBA, after graduation from Vanderbilt, moved to New York, where they lived until 2016 when they moved to Stephanie’s hometown of Dallas. They married in Dallas on Sept. 12, 2015. They completed their first half marathon March 19, 2023, in New York City. Despite below-freezing temperatures and windy conditions, they ran the United NYC Half Marathon with a time of 02:03:39.

    Christopher A. Ray, BA, of St. Louis, Mo., recently was promoted to assistant professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis. He completed his residency in neurology and a fellowship in stroke at Washington University. He teaches medical students and residents in neurology and practices clinical neurology. He and his wife, Mary Katherine Ray, have a 1-year-old son.

  • ’12

    Peter Dayton, BMus, of Baltimore released an album in 2023, All in the Sound: New Vocal Music by Peter Dayton (Navona Records). The album was listed as Critic's Choice in the September issue of Opera News. The album also features Blair alumni pianist Valerie Hsu, BMus’13, and horn player Shona Goldberg-Leopold, BMus’10.

    Andrew John Sennett, BA, published in spring 2023 a coffee table book that raises money for environmental nonprofits. In 2020 he posted Good News stories that arose during the pandemic and compiled the stories and posts into the coffee table book that support two environmental nonprofits, ITIF and Global Greengrants. More information (and the link to order the book) are at goodnewsbriefing.com.

    Linda Sobczynski, BA, of Sausalito, Calif., an environmental attorney at law firm Farella Braun + Martel, and Sean Gilleran, a data scientist at Pacific Gas & Electric, were married June 18, 2023.

  • ’13

    Maya Seunarine Lafontant, BE, of Newington, Conn., and her husband, Alec, announce the birth of their first child, Dante Lafontant, on Aug. 10, 2022.

    Alexandra Perraud, BA, of Chicago recently was promoted to partner at family law firm Davis Friedman. She joined Davis Friedman as an associate in 2020. Her practice centers around high conflict and complex divorce and custody matters often involving domestic violence.

    Haley E. Smith, MA, of Ridgeland, Miss., has been named a 2023 Diversity Scholar by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The program recognizes emerging leaders in the historic preservation community who come from underrepresented groups. Hayley recently has been named the chief of preservation planning for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

  • ’14

    Amy Lindeman Allen, MA, PhD’16, of Brownsburg, Ind., recently was promoted to associate professor of New Testament with tenure at Christian Theological Seminary. Her second book, The Gifts They Bring: How Children in the Gospels Can Shape Inclusive Ministry, was published by Westminster John Knox in August 2023.

    Jordan Amann, BMus, and her husband, Sergey Khalikulov, announce the birth of their first child, Tatyana Khalikulov, May 9, 2023. They reside in San Francisco, where Jordan is the general director’s associate at San Francisco Opera and Sergey is the assistant director of opera and musical theater at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

  • ’15

    Bridget Hodder, MA, of Boston had her second picture book collaboration with Fawzia Gilani-Williams, The Promise, published in September (Lerner/Kar-Ben). The book is about a Muslim boy who takes care of a beloved garden for his Jewish friend who is forced to flee Morocco during World War II.

    Madeline Elizabeth Kratz, BA, and John Alexander Roberts III, BA’16, were married May 13, 2023.

    Julia Seales, BA, of Los Angeles recently published A Most Agreeable Murder (Random House, June 2023), a Regency comedy/drama about a young lady who takes on the decidedly improper role of detective when a young man drops dead at a ball. It has been described as Jane Austen meets Agatha Christie meets Bridgerton.

    Paige Yelvington, BA, and Ryan Smithson, BA, were married May 12, 2023, in Palm Springs, Calif., surrounded by friends and family.

  • ’16

    Haley Cassriel, BS, and Patrick Lyons, BS, were married Sept. 16, 2023, in Mount Pleasant, Pa.

    Mahtub Mochanloo, BA, recently became production coordinator at Ballen Studios, the new media studio founded by MrBallen (aka John Allen).

    Gianna R. Strand, BA, received her doctorate degree in clinical ethics consultation and research ethics from the Neiswanger Institute for Bioethics at Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine. Her capstone thesis focused on the design of xenotransplantation clinical trials.

  • ’17

    Charlotte Cowles, BA, and William McKinney, BE’16, were married Oct. 8, 2023, in Italy.

    Han Dewan, BMus, MBA’18, violist in the Chasqui Quartet, writes that the quartet completed their 2023 concert tour, including three on-site performances at Colorado Department of Corrections facilities and public performances in Gunnison and on Zoom. They were previously in Colorado for a successful five-city tour in 2021.

    Kevin Robert Donahue, MBA, and Anne Corbin Blackwell were married in Richmond, Va., July 9, 2022. He is a health care investment banker at UBS. The couple lives in New York City.

    Kyle Langford, BE, MD’21, and Shelby Sanford Langford, BS’19, announce the birth of their son, David Justin, June 6, 2023. He was named in honor of Kyle’s late brother, Justin David Langford, BE’13.

    Laura Powell, JD, and Damon Porter were married in Atlanta in March 2023. The couple met in Washington, D.C., where they both work as attorneys in private practice.

    Ariel D. Smith, MEd, completed her Ph.D. in American studies with a concentration in African American studies from Purdue University in October 2022 and began her first year during the fall semester as an assistant teaching professor in the Center for Entrepreneurship at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.

    William Woodard, BMus, graduated from the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program in May. During summer 2023, he was on the music staff at Wolf Trap Opera and San Francisco Opera. He joined the Houston Grand Opera in the fall as an assistant conductor for their 2023–24 season.

Class Notes: 2020s

  • ’22

    Laura Brown, EMBA, of Nashville recently launched ELM Communications, a strategic communications firm with a footprint in Alexandria, Va., and Nashville. She has teamed up with Liz Liberman and Maddie Luchsinger for the new venture. ELM Communications is focused on a science-based approach to communications to help organizations grow their voice.

    Emily Englehardt, MSN, recently became medical manager at the Hope Clinic for Women in Nashville. Englehardt, a certified nurse midwife, will coordinate the medical services at the women’s health care center, leading a highly qualified team of nurse practitioners, registered nurses and registered diagnostic medical sonographers under the direction of a board-certified OB/GYN.

    Danny Tran Nguyen, BA, is a metro reporter/fellow for The Washington Post in Washington, D.C.

  • ’23

    Josefine Parker, MDiv, recently was hired as Vanderbilt’s first program coordinator for gender diversity. Housed in the Office of Health and Wellness with a dual placement in the K.C. Potter Center, they create university programming and serve as the primary point of contact for trans, nonbinary and gender-diverse community members. Josefine also wrote a liturgy called “Rites of Transition” that is published in three parts throughout Mergoat Magazine, No. 3, “Kindly of a Queer Nature”—The Transecologies Issue. Mergoat Magazine is a publication that provides a collective, interdisciplinary record of the ecological situation throughout Southern Appalachia and the broader Southeast.

    Maggie Sullivan, EdD, was appointed the first president of Rosati-Kain Academy, successor school to the 112-year-old Archdiocesan-sponsored Rosati-Kain High School, and began her position on May 1. Rosati-Kain is the only remaining all-girls Catholic high school within the city limits of St. Louis. Previously, she was assistant principal of mission at St. Joseph’s Academy.