Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center
Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center

Class Notes: A. Spring 2018

From the President

Brooks A. Keel (BS ’78, PhD ’82)

To my fellow alums:

If it’s been a while since you’ve been to Augusta, it’s an excellent time for a visit. What’s going on at your alma mater and its home city is truly historic. We are a city, a university and a health system on the move.

First, there’s the cyber tsunami heading our way. Under Gov. Deal’s visionary leadership, Georgia has invested $95 million for two buildings currently under construction on our Riverfront Campus to comprise the Hull McKnight Georgia Cyber Center. The Georgia Technology Authority is overseeing construction and operation of the 332,000-square-foot center, the first phase of which opens in July.

AU has launched the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences and is adding programs across our colleges, such as Pamplin’s new Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security, to offer students a peerless education in these fields.

Gov. Deal’s proposed budget includes $50 million in bonds to construct a new home for the College of Science and Mathematics on our Health Sciences Campus, allowing expansion of our other colleges on Summerville while placing math and science undergraduates at the center of state-of-the-art research and lab facilities.

Construction is nearing completion on the $62.5 million expansion of our cancer research facility, adding 72,000 square feet of new construction and approximately 6,000 square feet of renovated space to become the Georgia Cancer Center M. Bert Storey Research Building. A generous $1 million gift to the cancer center from Augusta businessman and philanthropist Peter Knox will help support the new director .

And that’s only on our campuses. We’re launching an expansion of our health system ambulatory care facilities around the region and planning for construction of a hospital in Columbia County. Ft. Gordon’s footprint is expanding as its cyber mission continues to grow. The City of Augusta is building a $12 million parking deck for the training center and gearing up to welcome and accommodate an influx of newcomers.

As alumni of our university, you are integral to the journey that has brought us to these exciting times. We hope to see you at Alumni Weekend, Apr. 27-29, so we can show you firsthand.


Dr. Irving Victor (MD ’45) received the second-ever Eminent Alumni Award from Armstrong State University in 2017. He was recognized for his service to Armstrong, to his profession and to the community.


Dr. John House (MD ’67) published a novel, Rancor.

Dr. William B. “Butch” Mulherin (MD ’61) is the 2017 Bill Hartman Award recipient at the University of Georgia.


Dr. Irving Pike (MD ’78) was elected by the membership as the 2017-18 president of the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG), a national medical organization representing more than 14,000 clinical gastroenterologists and other specialists in digestive diseases. Dr. Pike officially took his position as president during the college’s Annual Scientific Meeting at the World Congress of Gastroenterology.


Dr. Richard K. Fisher Jr. (MD ’80) earned Certificates of Excellence through the American Osteopathic Association, and Physician Recognition Awards with Commendation through the American Medical Association.

Dr. Mark Hanly (MFRI ’88) was keynote speaker at the white coat ceremony for Mercer University’s School of Medicine.

Dr. Steven Kitchen (MD ’85) was appointed to the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce by Gov. Deal.

Dr. James Kenneth Smith Jr. (MD ’85) joined WellStar Medical Group as a rheumatologist at the New WellStar Vinings Health Park in Smyrna, Georgia.

Dr. Sidney Smith (MD ’87) published an article, “Risk Avoidance via the ‘Safety Halo Effect,’” in the Physicians Insurance Association of America magazine.


Dr. Darrell Brann (PhD ’90) is the inaugural Virendra Mahesh, Ph.D., D.Phil. Distinguished Chair in Neuroscience at Augusta University.

Patricia Coopersmith (MBA ’95) is associate vice president and deputy director of the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Europe in Kaiserslautern, Germany.

Dr. J. Dwayne Hooks Jr. (BSN ’90, MN ’02) is the new assistant dean for community partnerships at Augusta University’s College of Nursing.

Dr. Douglas Lundy (MD ’93) was elected president of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Dr. Mitzi Morris (DMD ’93) is the 2017
Top Patient Rated Roswell Dentist by Find Local Doctors.

Dr. Erick V. Pagan (DMD ’91) was selected to author a book on cosmetic dentistry, titled The Million Dollar Smile: Changing Lives with Cosmetic Dentistry.

Brig. Gen. Ronald T. Stephens (MD ’90) received the National Defense University’s Certificate of Appreciation, adding to previous recognition, including the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal. He has earned the Expert Field Medical Badge, the Parachutist Badge, the Air Assault Badge and the Airborne wings of the French and German armies.


Tiffany Chrisman (BFA ’00), was recently presented with the WJBF Golden Apple Award.

Dr. Amy G. David (DMD ’09) was highlighted in the publication Leading Physicians of the World.

Dr. Wesley Davis (MD ’05) is division chief of pediatric cardiology at the Children’s Hospital at Erlanger in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Brigitte Holmes (BA ’02) was one of five finalists for Teacher of the Year in the Richmond County School System in Augusta, Georgia.

Dr. Jonathon Wetherington (PhD ’03) is the inaugural principal of Paul Duke STEM High School in Norcross, Georgia.

Tosha L. Wilson-Davis (BA ’04) is chair of the Georgia Military College Online Campus Justice Studies Department and a full-time criminal justice assistant professor.


Dr. Brad Andersen (DMD ’16) joined the Martin Dentistry practice in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Dr. Alex Caten (MD ’14) joined Sierra Nevada Ear, Nose & Throat, which has offices in Carson City, Gardnerville and Fallon.

Dr. Abigail Cline (MD ’17) won the 2017 essay competition sponsored by the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation.

Dr. Alicia Daniels (MD ’14) joined the CHI Memorial Medical Group in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Dr. Trey Dyer III (MD ’14) joined the CHI Memorial Medical Group in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Dr. Kathryn Echols (MD ’12) joined the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida, Colorado.

Dr. Jason Hobbs (DMD ’16) and Dr. Jennifer Humm (DMD ’17) opened Dental Associates of Grovetown, Georgia, in November.

Dr. Brooks Ficke (MD ’11) joined the practice of Resurgens Orthopaedics in Roswell, Georgia.

John Goldberg (BEd ’17) was awarded the New Teacher Assistance Grant from Georgia Power.

Dr. Aksana Marshall (DMD ’10) joined the Pediatric Dental Center of Georgia in Tifton, Georgia.

Martha Messick (EdS ’13) is principal of the new Aiken Scholars Academy, which will open at USC Aiken next fall to Aiken County Public School District students.

Dr. Julien Norton (MD ’12) joined the team at Charleston Ear, Nose, Throat & Allergy in Charleston, South Carolina.

Meagan Philip (MS ’13) was featured on WJBF News Channel 6 to share her expertise on the warning signs of suicide.

Dr. Ashton Rountree (MFRI ’17) joined the practice of Germain Dermatology of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Dr. Shavonda Thomas (MD ’12) joined Erlanger Southside Community Health Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Taylor Thompson (BS ’17, BAFL ’17, MAT ’17) was awarded the New Teacher Assistance Grant from Georgia Power.

Mindy Wadley (BA ’14) joined the morning news team at CBS47 Fox30 Action News Jax in Jacksonville, Florida. She produces the
6 a.m. hour of news.


Billboard magazine’s

Top Tune

“Rum and Coca-Cola”

(The Andrews Sisters)

Oscar-winning film

Going My Way

on campus

Dr. William F. Hamilton invents the Hamilton manometer, which reflects light off a mirror onto photosensitive paper and helps pave the way for electrocardiogram technological advancement. In later years, the Hamilton Wing of the Research & Education Building was named after him.

The first two School of Nursing graduates receive Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education degrees.

In the News

Franklin D. Roosevelt swears in for his fourth term as President of the United States, the only president ever to exceed two terms. Later that year, Roosevelt suddenly dies at Warm Springs, making Vice President Harry S. Truman the 33rd U.S. President.

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