Georgia Regents University recognized distinguished alumni during the university’s homecoming activities in February and Alumni Weekend in April.
Dr. Robert Mullins received the College of Allied Health Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement. Mullins, a 1991 graduate of the college’s physician assistant program and 1996 Medical College of Georgia graduate, is Medical Director and President of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital and Chairman of the Joseph M. Still Research Foundation.
Dr. Janet Bush Tankersley, GRU Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, received the College of Allied Health Sciences’ Distinguished Alumnus Award for Loyalty. Tankersley received her associate degree as a physical therapist assistant in 1990 and her bachelor’s degree in physical therapy in 1996. She earned a doctorate in physical therapy in 2005 from the A.T. Still University of Health Sciences in Mesa, Ariz.
The College of Dental Medicine honored Dr. Michael E. Pruett, Director of the college’s General Practice Residency and a private practitioner in Americus and Cordele. Pruett earned his dental degree in 1992 and completed a general practice residency at the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center in Charlottesville. He is former President of the college’s Dental Foundation and Chairman of the Dental Implant Committee.
Dr. Ramani Ramchandran, Director of the Developmental Vascular Biology Program and Professor of Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin, was honored by the College of Graduate Studies. Ramchandran earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology in 1997. He is a charter member of the National Institutes of Health’s Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology Study Section.
Dr. Jane Swanson, Director of the Geri and Richard Brawerman Nursing Institute for Professional Nursing Development at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, received the College of Nursing’s E. Louise Grant Distinguished Alumnus Award. Swanson, a 1972 graduate, retired from the U.S. Navy in 1998 as Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Maternal Child Nursing and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
Maj. Gen. Jimmie O. Kennan, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Public Health Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground and Chief of the Army’s Nurse Corps, received the College of Nursing’s Phoebe Kandel Rohrer Distinguished Alumnus Award. She earned her master’s degree in nursing from GRU in 1989.
Drs. Murray A. and Sandra Freedman received the Medical College of Georgia Distinguished Alumni for Loyalty Awards. Murray Freedman earned his medical degree in 1967 and completed an obstetrics/gynecology residency at GRU in 1972. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at GRU and works in private practice in Augusta. Sandra Freedman earned her medical degree in 1968 and completed her radiology residency at GRU in 1972. She retired as an Associate Professor of Radiology at GRU in 2000.
Dr. Harvey Levy, Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Maternal Phenylketonuria Program at Children’s Hospital of Boston, received the Medical College of Georgia Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement. Levy earned his medical degree from MCG in 1960.
Former Augusta Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength was honored as the Summerville Campus Distinguished Alumnus. A 1969 graduate, he retired from the Sheriff’s Department last year with more than 36 years of service, including time as a road patrol deputy and a criminal investigator. He had served as Sheriff since 2000, supervising the department’s 752 employees and managing a $55 million annual budget.
The Summerville Campus Distinguished Service Award went to Roxanne Padgett, former Associate Director of Financial Aid. The award honors a non-alumnus who has significantly contributed to the university’s goals and mission. With over 34 years of experience in higher education, Padgett supervised and managed all aspects of the university’s scholarship program and served as a financial-aid liaison for special-needs students. Padgett retired in 2012.
Stacy Tallent, President of Health Center Credit Union, received the Summerville Campus’ Golden Key Award. Tallent earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from GRU in 1991 and 2007, respectively, and serves on the ASU Foundation Board of Trustees. He serves on the Board of Directors of that Georgia Credit Union League and is a member of the Augusta Credit Union Chapter and Augusta Rotary Club.
Shannon K. Nix, a counselor in the GRU Counseling Center, received the Summerville Campus’ Town and Gown Award, recognizing an individual who connects the university with the community it serves. Nix educates the community about sexual and domestic violence and has hosted several community events on campus, including the annual Take Back the Night rally. She co-chairs the university’s Sexual Assault Month Committee and helps train volunteers for SafeHomes of Augusta Inc. Nix earned her master’s degree in psychology from GRU in 2001.
Summer Finley Bell, a senior accountant at Serotta Maddocks Evans & Co., received the Summerville Campus’ Young Alumna Award. Bell earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from GRU in 2006 and 2008, respectively. In 2012, Georgia Trend named Bell to its 40 Under 40 list of the state’s best and brightest.