Clayton State University Director of Alumni Relations Leila Tatum has announced the results of the voting for the 2014 Clayton State University Alumni Association Awards.
The 2014 Alumni Awards Recipients are as follows: Distinguished Alumnus - Dexter Brown; Outstanding Recent Graduate - Sherrie Miller; Exceptional Future Alumnus - Jonathon Blake Anderson.
The Distinguished Alumnus/a Award is the highest honor bestowed on an alumnus/a by the Clayton State University Alumni Association (CSUAA). The recipient of the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award shall have graduated from Clayton State within the last 10 years. The Exceptional Future Alumnus/a Award recognizes a current Clayton State student who has excelled in leadership, academic success, community or university service, athletic or artistic achievement or other areas of recognition. The Alumni Awards Gala will be part of the University’s Fall Alumni Weekend and will be held on Friday, Oct. 24, in the Harry S. Downs Center, starting at 6:30 p.m.
Brown is a native of East Point, Ga., who has lived his entire life in the Atlanta area and was part of the first graduating class of Tri-Cities High School. He graduated from Clayton State with a degree in Business in 1994. He recently accepted a position as cash manager for Gardaworld, a firm that is responsible for the cash inventory for eight large to mid-sized banks, both national and local. Prior to accepting this position he served as president of operations a local nonprofit that helps Georgians with disabilities become independent. Prior to that, he worked as a senior operations manager for Bank of America for 13 years.
A member of the Clayton State's men’s basketball team from 1991 to 1993, Brown says he was proud to be part of the first team to post a winning record and the first to experience post season play. However, Clayton State made his dreams real in other ways as well.
“Clayton State made my dream real by exposing me to a faculty with real life experiences in business,” he says. “And those individuals gave me the confidence to believe that I could accomplish great things in my life.”
“I love that Clayton State does as it preaches; it continues to grow and expand. It is the same place that I graduated from and that is what makes it special and that is what gives me goose bumps when I come back.”
Outstanding Recent Graduate Miller is a sales operations and logistics/management expert who grew up in Jonesboro and graduated from Lovejoy High School. She holds Clayton State degrees in Management (BBA), Integrative Studies (BS) and an MBA.
In August her company, Jacobson Companies, was acquired by Norbert Dentressangle, a $7 billion global third party logistics provider. She has recently been named the head of their U.S. rebranding efforts and is overseeing the transition of all things Jacobson Companies to Norbert Dentressangle US, in addition to her regular duties. Her promotion to vice president, sales operations and planning will be effective Sept. 29. As such, she is responsible for all internal and external marketing and communications and over the marketing/sales support team. In her new role she will be taking on the additional responsibility of overseeing the day-to-day efforts of the company’s U.S. contract logistics sales teams.
After her first graduation, Miller spent several years in the workforce and was active with the Alumni Association Board before returning for a second Bachelor's.
“I was working towards my management degree with the intent on earning a Master's elsewhere when I had the privilege of taking Professor John Mascaritolo's supply chain class,” she says. “That changed everything and I knew that was what I wanted to pursue. I immediately enrolled in the Clayton State MBA in Cohort Two after finishing my second Bachelor's, and have since recommended the MBA program to many people. I served on the MBA Steering Committee, the School of Business Alumni group, and am very proud of my fellow MBA grads from all cohorts.”
While Miller’s Clayton State degrees have proved vital in her professional success, she also points out that Clayton State was a supportive community for her both inside and outside the classroom.
“I was in the Honors Program and my freshman year we began organizing the annual Red Cross Blood Drive and many other social give-back programs on campus,” she recalls. “I viewed my fellow students, and the faculty and staff, as a giant community -- a family I was proud to be a part of. I felt like we worked hard to connect with one another on a meaningful level and that our connections were deeper than those of my friends at other Universities. Our professors and staff cared about the students and our success and everyone celebrated when any of us achieved great things. That feeling of team and community has stayed with me.”
Miller certainly kept busy during her years at Clayton State, she served as president of the Honors Program for two years and was president of the Student Government Association for one year. She was also active in the Student Life Activity Council that brought events to campus and helped resurrect The Bent Tree student newspaper. She also served on the Student Enrollment Services Committee and was the student appointed to the Presidential Search Advisory Council by the Board of Regents. And she worked at the HUB and as a Student Orientation Leader, “and I loved every bit of my time at Clayton State.
“Clayton State University made my dream real by providing me with an environment where I could learn to be a leader and gain meaningful experiences while stretching myself beyond the limits I would have set for myself,” she says. “I have such fond memories of Clayton State and my `family’ there. I know that I am who I am today because of the education I got - inside and outside of the classroom. Clayton State was exactly the environment I needed to be in to develop as a professional, a leader and a friend.”
Exceptional Future Alumnus Anderson was born and raised in Stockbridge, Ga., and graduated from Stockbridge High School. A biology major who expects to graduate in 2015, he is currently busy completing his coursework and working at the Center for Academic Success (CAS) as a tutor and supplemental instructor. In his own academic pursuits, he has with Dr. Barbara Musolf for several semesters on a research project studying the synthesis and regulation of 5 – hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) in the hindgut of dragonfly nymphs. This past semester, he worked with fellow biology student Daniel Fort under Musolf’s direction on a project classifying anxious behaviors in crayfish.
“I began conducting research under Dr. Musolf, which sparked an interest in continuing research at the graduate level,” he says. “Soon after, I started working with the Center for Academic Success as a tutor and supplemental instructor, which remains my most enjoyable experience at Clayton State and has led to my current decision to pursue a career in higher education at the collegiate level.”
In addition to his research under Musolf and tutoring with the CAS, Anderson has also become involved with Clayton State’s chapter of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, where he currently serves as the chapter president.
“Each activity has broadened my interests and directed me towards my current goal,” he says.
Outside of biology, Anderson was trained as a classical saxophonist, and has played the Clayton State Wind Ensemble and the Clayton State Big Band jazz ensemble.
Anderson says that Clayton State made his dreams real by, “providing its students experience in the lab that can only be obtained through the diverse research programs offered by its talented and dedicated instructors/mentors.
“I am very grateful for everything that Clayton State has offered me in my years here as an undergraduate,” he adds. “If not for the dedication and passion of each instructor and faculty member, I would not have had these opportunities that shaped my current career interests. I would like to thank everyone involved in my success as an undergraduate. As I continue my academic career at the graduate level, I will aspire towards becoming as amazing a mentor to my students as my professors at Clayton State have been to me.”