37th Annual Alumni Awards
Townsend Center for the Performing Arts
Reception: 6:00 p.m. - Awards Ceremony: 7:00 p.m.
The Evening's Hostess: Shaunya Chavis
Shaunya Chavis, an Emmy Award winning television journalist, is currently a daily on-air contributor for the WXIA-TV morning show and fill-in host for Atlanta & Company on the NBC affiliate 11ALIVE. She also served as the principal Host and Executive Producer for Atlanta’s only entertainment news-magazine show, The Chat Room, which launched on WXIA-TV in May, 2011. The show, currently on hiatus, is produced by her television production company, Media Miracles, Inc. Shaunya is also the principal anchor for the news-magazine program called Fulton Today on FGTV (Fulton Government Television) in Atlanta and a freelance host for Georgia Public Broadcasting.
She has had a distinguished career in television news and has served as Anchor and Reporter in several network-affiliate television stations in the country. These include Macon, Myrtle Beach, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Atlanta. She was also the weekend anchor and principal weekday fill-in anchor at the number one station in the southeast, WSB-TV.(more...)
The Clayton County native is the recipient of several industry awards, including a number of regional Emmys. She is a member of numerous industry and civic organizations, including the National Association of Broadcasters, the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
She has served as media trainer for various law enforcement agencies, and the Atlanta Hawks. She is often asked to serve as keynote speaker for community, church, and industry events. Shaunya is a member of the Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral and volunteers in its Media Ministry.
Shaunya is a 1988 graduate of the University of West Georgia where she majored in Mass Communications and was crowned 1987 Homecoming Queen. She was honored as the recipient of UWG’s Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the Alumni Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award presented by Mass Communications.
Below are the recipients for the 2013 Awards. Click on their names for an expanded biography and picture.
Presented to graduates who have brought credit to the University of West Georgia and/or the Alumni Association through career achievement from each of the following areas: Business, Nursing, Education, Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics, and Social Sciences.
Mr. Harris is an internationally recognized executive in the Information Technology and Business Process Outsourcing industry with more than 35 years of experience in CEO and senior executive positions. After graduation he spent 25 years at Electronic Data Systems where he was a corporate officer and a major contributor to scaling the business from $100 million in revenue to over $21 Billion. He later went on to lead 5 companies as CEO. Mr. Harris is currently an operating partner and investor with GlendonTodd Capital. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors to UWG's Richards College of Business as well as the boards of both private and public telecommunications and technology services companies.
Anne Medlin is the PeriOperative Nurse Educator for the Tanner Health System. Formerly the director of Surgical Services for Wellstar Douglas Hospital, Ms. Medlin has been nationally recognized twice by the Association of PeriOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) and named one of the state's Nurses of the Year by the Georgia Council of PeriOperative Nurses in 1980, 2005, and 2011. Additionally, she was recently inducted into the Hall of Honor at the Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University for Clinical Excellence.
Dr. Barron is currently the principal of Smokey Road Middle School in Newnan where she has been for the past nine years. She served six years in the classroom as a teacher at Newnan High School where she was named Teacher of the Year in 1999, STAR Teacher in 2000, and STAR Teacher for the high school, Coweta County, and Georgia District V in 2001. Most recently she has been recognized as the 2012 Principal of the Year by the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals and the 2013 MetLife/NAASP National Middle School Principal of the Year. Dr. Barron has also served on several advisory boards for state education and under her direction, Smokey Road Middle School has been recognized at state and national levels.
Dr. Hébert is an Assistant Professor of History and the Director of the Center for Public History at UWG. He has worked as the State Historian of Georgia and wrote National Register of Historic Places nominations for several significant sites including Georgia's Rosenwald Schools and Eddie Owen Martin's outsider art environment Pasaquan. Dr. Hébert aslo curated a permanent exhibit honoring the long-time Georgia House Speaker Thomas B. Murphy. He is the president and co-founder of the West Georgia Textile Heritage Trail and president of the Bremen Heritage House. Dr. Hébert just completed work as the site director for the Smithsonian Institution Museum on Main Street Program for the City of Bremen.
Mr. Akin graduated with a degree in Mathematics from UWG in 1964. After working briefly as a math teacher with the Spalding County School System and in private industry, he relocated to Brevard County, Florida to work as a mathematician for NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 1967. Mr. Akin held several positions in his tenure at NASA including Chief of the Computers and Communications Division for 10 years and lastly as Kennedy Space Center's Chief Information Officer before he retired. Mr. Akin continued as a Program Manager and eventually Vice President of Information Management Support for a small government contractor. He still serves as a consultant for the company.
Mr. Lang graduated from West Georgia in 1983 with a degree in Mass Communications. A key internship while at West Georgia with CNN shaped Mr. Lang's career path toward filmmaking. He is the founder of Atomic Films in Chattanooga, Tennessee which began in 1987. The company's work has won several local and national awards including the National ADDY Awards in 2011 and 2012. Dave received the Chattanooga Advertising Federation Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. He works with several non-profit groups including the United Way, Girls Inc., and the Urban League.
Service to Humanity Award
Presented to a graduate whose service to humanity enriched persons or community while bringing credit to the University of West Georgia and/or the National Alumni Association.
Mr. Burchfield graduated from UWG in 1966 with a degree in Education. He was a star baseball player for West Georgia, which landed him in the inital hall of fame class in 1988. However, for Mr. Burchfield nothing was more fulfilling than working with young people. For 30 years he was a teacher and coach in Douglas and Carroll counties. Currently he works part time for the Carroll County Recreation Department making a positive impact every day on young kids.
Honorary Alumnus/Alumna Award
Presented to a person who has demonstrated outstanding service to the University of West Georgia and/or the National Alumni Association.
Dr. David Hovey served many roles in his tenure at the University of West Georgia. He started in 1984 serving as Professor of Management and Business Systems and Dean of the Richards College of Business. In 1999, Dr. Hovey left the role of dean and became the Director of the Center for New Business Ventures, which he served as until 2002. However, he continued to teach full-time until 2008 and part-time thereafter. Not only has Dr. Hovey played an integral role in the university, but he has also served the Carrollton area community well. He has served on the boards of several corporations and consulted for others as well as a local bank. Dr. Hovey is still very visible on the university campus, particularly in the Richards College of Business.
J. Owen Moore Faculty/Staff Awards
(Previously known as the Outstanding Retired Faculty/Staff Award and the Outstanding Professor Award)
In 2008, the award was renamed in memory of J. Owen Moore ’40, loyal supporter of UWG, retired faculty member, and lifetime member of the Alumni Association. The award recognizes service to the university, students, and the community. This award will be presented in two categories: one to a faculty member, either retired or current, and another to a staff member, either retired or current.
Dr. Miller served as a Professor of Business Administration at UWG from 1964 to 1984. He formed UWG's first degree program in Business and Economics and later led the creation of many other accredited majors and degrees. During his tenure he was appointed the chair of the Department of Business, which later became the Division of Business and Economic Studies and then the School of Business (which is now the Richards College of Business). Since his retirement, Dr. Miller has been heavily involved in the community including the First Methodist Church, the Golden K Kiwanis Club, and the Salvation Army. He also served for 16 years as a volunteer mediator for the Magistrate Court in Carroll County. Dr. Miller has been married to his wife for over 61 years and they have five children and nine grandchildren.
Mrs. Picklesimer served UWG for over 28 years before retiring in 2010. She was the Director of Student Activities from 1983 until 2006 when she became the first director of the newly opened Campus Center. Mrs. Picklesimer advised several student boards and oversaw many student involvement programs including Greek Life, Intramurals, and the Student Government Association during her tenure. She has played a major role in the university's annual fund drive, serving as a member of the A Day committee since 1990 as well as the chair of A Run For A Day since 1994. She continues to be involved in the community serving on the Core Committee for the American Cancer Society's 24-Hour Relay, president of the Tanner Oncology Advisory Council, and a member of the Carrollton Rotary Club and the Keep Carroll Beautiful Board of Directors.
Outstanding Young Alumnus/Alumna Award
Presented to a graduate of the past 10 years who has made significant strides in career achievement.
Mr. Nichols graduated with a degree in Mass Communications from UWG in 2006. During his high school years, Mr. Nichols was employed by a local television channel covering news and filming sporting events. This concreted his desire to pursue communications as a degree. While at UWG he was heavily involved both in his academic department and with various student organizations. Mr. Nichols completed an internship with WSB-TV in Atlanta during his senior year. One month after graduating from UWG, Mr. Nichols was offered a position as a photojournalist at WCIV-TV (ABC) in Charleston, SC. He was also recognized in 2006 with the Broadcasters Award from the South Carolina Associated Press for Environmental Reporting.Casey has since returned to Georgia and is currently working for WSB-TV.
Thelma Harman Turner Loyalty Award
(Previously known as the Alumni Loyalty Award.
It is presented to an alumnus/alumna in recognition of enduring loyal service to the University of West Georgia and/or the National Alumni Association.
Mr. Moye graduated from UWG with a degree in Biology in 1970. After subsequently graduating from the Mercer University School of Pharmacy he went on to open Moye's Pharmacy in McDonough which has now expanded to seven locations overall. Currently, Mr. Moye serves on several boards, including UWG's Foundation board twice. His gifts to West Georgia have made a major positive impact on the university including endowing a grant allowing students to pursue extracurricular activities that enhances their education which began this year. Mr. Moye is a member of the McIntosh Society by including UWG in his estate plans. He is also the assistant adviser to UWG's Kappa Sigma chapter which he was a member of when he was a student.
The following hotels offer discounted prices to UWG Alumni! You must call to make the reservation to get it at the discounted price. Online reservations will not reflect this.