On October 20, the UGA Graduate School honored eight graduates with the 2016 Alumni of Distinction Award. The recipients were singled out for exceptional successes in their professional careers as well as for significant service to their communities.
According to Graduate School Dean Suzanne Barbour, each of the recipients are distinguished by their professional achievement at the regional, national and international levels. “Their outstanding attainments include publications, awards received, mentorship, for serving as role models in their profession, and for making contributions to their local and global communities.”
In ceremonies concluding on October 21, Barbour stressed how Alumni of Distinction exemplify the UGA mission to expand the body of knowledge, and bring highest honor to the University.
The recipients of the 2016 awards are:
JAMES W. ANDREWS, JR.
James W. Andrews, Jr. began his career as one of the first four scientists at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He published more than 100 scientific research papers during his 12 years there. He founded Savannah Laboratories and Environmental Services in 1980 which became the largest environmental testing laboratory in the world.
Andrews was the director of research for the Cardiovascular Council and the Curtis Hames Evans County Heart Study during the 1970s and 1980s. He discovered that people who live in the high-heart disease belt of the Southeast had low blood levels of selenium, an essential nutrient, and elevated levels of cadmium, a toxic element.
He currently volunteers with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. Andrews is chair of the Master Plan Committee and president of the Friends of the Coastal Gardens. He was recently inducted into the Savannah Business Hall of Fame. His family has four generations of UGA graduates beginning with his mother in 1925.
Martin Chitwood is a senior partner of Chitwood Harley Harnes LLP in Atlanta. He is recognized as a leader in the fields of securities litigation and corporate governance reform.
In 1966, Chitwood joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Green Berets, where he served as a commanding officer of a Special Forces A-Team. He became one of the most decorated junior officers in the Vietnam War receiving the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Silver Star and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm from the Government of South Vietnam. The Department of the Army awarded him the Air Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and Vietnam Jump Wings.
He is a Life Fellow of the Lawyers Foundation of Georgia.Chitwood has served as director, vice president and co-chair of Securities of the National Association of Securities Consumer Law Attorneys and as director of the Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws. Chitwood also wrote and co-produced the story for “Unconquered,” a CBS movie of the week.
ARIEL Y. DEUTCH
Ariel Deutch is the James G. Blakemore professor of Psychiatry and professor of Pharmacology and Program in Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. His research focuses on central dopamine systems and their involvement in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease, and the mechanisms of action of antipsychotic drugs.
He has authored or co-authored more than 125 publications and has received continuous funding for 30 years. He previously held associate and assistant professor appointments at Yale University School of Medicine where he completed his postdoctoral studies in neuropharmacology.
Deutch currently holds positions as Chief Scientific Advisor and Chair of the National Parkinson Foundation’s Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board. He is a member of the Scientific Council of the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, the Executive Committee of the World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Parkinsonism and Related Disorders, the Minority Task Force for the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and chair of the Freedman Award Committee for the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.
JAMES K. FARR
James K. Farr served as principal scientist in the Office of Response and Restoration, Environmental Response Division, National Ocean Service during his time at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He provided scientific expertise in responding to hundreds of chemical and oil accidents, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Farr also aided the FBI in development of a national chemical precursors database, which identifies precursors to track and prevent the use of chemical substances in the illegal production of explosives, drugs, and other dangerous materials. Dr. Farr authored or co-authored more than 30 publications. He is retired from federal service but continues his work on scientific aspects of chemical reactivity and industrial safety as a consultant to the Center for Chemical Process Safety/AlChE in New York.
Farr received the U.S. Department of Commerce Individual Silver Medal, U.S. Department of Commerce Team Silver Medal, NOAA National Technology Transfer Award, and NOAA National Employee of the Month award.
R. STEVE MCCALLUM
R. Steve McCallum is professor of School Psychology in the department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee where he previously served as
department head for 22 years. He joined the faculty at UT in 1986 and served as director of the School Psychology Program before becoming department head. He has served at the state and national level as an officer in school psychology organizations.
McCallum has contributed to the field as an author and co-author of several scholarly works including books, book chapters, more than 100 journal articles, tests and conference presentations. He co-founded and is consulting editor of the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment published by SAGE and was elected as a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.
McCallum has received numerous awards from the University of Tennessee including the Chancellor’s Research and Creative Achievement Award; Dean’s Leadership and Outstanding Service Awards from the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences; Tunstall Outstanding Faculty Member from the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling.
A. ALLEN SEALS
A. Allen Seals is a clinical and interventional cardiologist with Baker and Gilmour Cardiovascular Institute in Jacksonville, Fla. where he is also managing partner and director of clinical research. Seals has been in practice for more than 25 years and focuses on specialized techniques in complex coronary angioplasty in addition to new life-saving treatments for patients with acute coronary syndrome and acute myocardial infarction.
Dr. Seals has published more than 60 peer-reviewed papers in addition to presenting at cardiology meetings throughout the U.S. and Europe.
In 2016, Dr. Seals was elected chair of the American College of Cardiology Board of Governors and Secretary of the Board of Trustees, the main governing body of the American College of Cardiology. He is a member of the steering committee for SMARTCare, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation grant program, which strives to provide tools for doctors to communicate with patients about their healthcare options.
ALVETTA P. THOMAS
Alvetta P. Thomas is President of Atlanta Technical College where she previously served as Vice President of Academic Affairs. She was an education specialist at the U.S. Department of Defense, teacher and curriculum specialist in the Savannah Chatham County Schools and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Alabama State University.
Thomas has received honors from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. House of Representatives. She was named one of Atlanta’s 25 Most Influential Women, a “Female
Powerhouse” in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta and one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League. She received the Woman of Influence and Impact Award from Woman University.
Thomas serves on the board of Horizons Atlanta, the Clayton County Chamber of Commerce, the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency, Metro RESA. She is a member of Civitan International, the West End Rotary Club and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Higher Education Access and Scholarship Task Force.
MARY SALMON WALKER
Mary Salmon Walker is an environmental consultant after serving a number of years in state government. She previously served as assistant director and COO for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources where she oversaw policy development, compliance programs and general agency operations.
Walker worked to establish a legally defensible buffer around coastal salt marsh, implemented groundwater withdrawal reductions in coastal Georgia and improved the state’s certification process for new reservoirs. She also worked with South Carolina on a management strategy for the Savannah River and developed and implemented strategies to address funding challenges at the agency.
She is a graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leaders and has served as a state representative on the joint EPA/State E-Enterprise for the Environment Leadership
Council. Walker has also run a grief support program for children in Atlanta and works with newly arrived refugees in Dekalb County.