Alumni of Distinction

Class of 2014

First Row: Dr. Julie Coffield, Interim Dean; Terry Hunt, Chair of Graduate Education Advancement Board; Dr. Kurt C. Lawrence; Dr. Phillip J. Brantley; Dr. Pamela Flattau; Roland McElroy; Dr. Pamela Whitten, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost. Back Row: Dr. Michael Feuerstein; Dr. Perry W. Buffington; Dr. Richard F. Arrendale; Dr. Christopher Francis D’Elia Not Pictured: Dr. Kathleen Slevin; Dr. Deborah Williams

Press Release


Richard F. Arrendale, M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Arrendale has over thirty-five years of research experience and for the past twenty-four years has held positions of increasing responsibility in drug discovery and development in research-based pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic organizations. He joined Emory University in 2008 to lead the bioanalytical chemistry, drug metabolism, and pharmacokinetics efforts of the Emory Institute for Drug Development. Dr. Arrendale has experience managing direct reports, consultants, and contract research organizations in all aspects of preclinical and early clinical drug development, including bioanalytical chemistry, drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacology, toxicology, regulatory affairs, quality assurance, and pharmaceutics. He has contributed to the preparation of INDs, NDAs, and other documents for submission to regulatory authorities and has experience in the preparation for and conduct of face-to-face meetings with FDA officials and submission of responses to questions that were raised during these meetings with the agency. Dr. Arrendale has worked with Glaxo, Inc., Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., AtheroGenics, Inc., and Metastatix, Inc. He has authored or co-authored over two hundred research papers, book chapters, and abstracts. He served as the general chairman of the 1996 Southeast Regional Meeting of the AAPS and co-chaired the 2012 UGA Symposium on Pharmaceutical Development.


Phillip J. Brantley, M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Phillip J. Brantley received both his master of science in psychology and doctorate in psychology from the University of Georgia. He has taught and conducted research at Louisiana State University for over thirty-four years. Currently, Dr. Brantley serves as the associate executive director for scientific education at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. He has served as the primary mentor for fifty-nine Ph.D. graduates in clinical psychology at LSU and has helped train over five hundred medical residents at LSU Health Science Center and Tulane University residency programs in Baton Rouge. Dr. Brantley has over thirty years of continuous research grant funding, most of which came from the National Institutes of Health. He has contributed over two hundred fifty publications to the medical and psychological literature, most of which focused on management of chronic medical conditions. Dr. Brantley has been very active in professional and civic organizations, holding many leadership roles. He currently serves on the Executive Council of the Obesity Society. He formerly served on the Executive Board for the Louisiana Psychological Society, the Board of the Directors for the United Way of Baton Rouge, and the Executive Board for the Society of Behavioral Medicine.


Perry W. Buffington, M.A., Ph.D.

Dr. Perry Buffington is an author, keynote speaker, media personality, and licensed applied psychologist. He is the author of numerous refereed journal articles and thirteen books, including two bestsellers. Dr. Buffington has also penned thousands of articles in periodicals, mainly as a contributing editor for Delta Air Lines’ in-flight magazine, Sky, and as a syndicated columnist with Universal Press. He formerly served as a visiting instructor at The Disney Institute and is also an adjunct professor at UGA. He is now teaching psychology courses in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences’ program on the UGA Griffin Campus. In 2014, he was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the psychology department at UGA. Dr. Buffington divides his time between teaching and showcasing his practical knowledge and well-honed wit in a series of different seminars. His most popular seminars The Millionaire Code: How to Unlock your Financial Personality and Make More Money; Type C: Creative Problem Solvers; Transitioning from Management to Leadership; Techno-Human: Putting the “Human” back in “Human Technology” and Mind Over Manners, “e”tiquette. Clients of his seminars have included NASA, AT&T, USA Today, the Federal Reserve Banks, the State of Georgia, and many more.


Christopher Francis D’Elia, Ph.D.

Dr. D’Elia currently serves as professor and dean of the School of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University. Prior to this position, he was associate vice chancellor for academic affairs for research and graduate studies, interim vice chancellor for academic affairs and professor of environmental science and policy and marine science at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. There, he also directed the International Ocean Institute-USA and the Center for Science and Policy Applications for the Coastal Environment. He has also held the appointment of director of the Biological Oceanography Program at the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C. Dr. D’Elia has received numerous research grants and has authored or coauthored over sixty scientific publications on the nutrient dynamics of estuaries and coral reefs, and science policy. He has served twice as president, and as co-chair of the External Relations Committee, of the Sea Grant Association. He is serving a second three-year term as a member of the U.S. National Committee for the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, representing the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation. He is also a board member of Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C.


Michael Feuerstein, M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Michael Feuerstein is currently a professor of medical and clinical psychology and preventive medicine/biometrics at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. He has held faculty positions in psychology, psychiatry, anesthesiology, medical and clinical psychology, and preventive medicine/biometrics. In 1994 Dr. Feuerstein travelled to Washington, D.C. to develop and direct a Ph.D. program in clinical psychology for the Department of Defense to train many clinical providers and military leaders in behavioral health and behavioral medicine. After being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2002, he dedicated his career to improving the health, health care, function, and well-being of those who live following diagnosis and treatment for cancer. That effort has resulted in the publication of four books and the launch of the Journal of Cancer Survivorship: Research and Practice (JCSU). He has also served on national committees (NCI, ACS, Livestrong) to develop health care guidelines for Cancer Survivors. Dr. Feuerstein is currently working on the development of the Cancer Survivor Profile (CSPro), a measure cancer survivors and their health care providers can use to improve the quality of long-term health care, health, function, and well-being. In the fall, Dr. Feuerstein is launching a part-time practice addressing the challenges of cancer survivors.


Pamela Flattau, M.S., Ph.D. 

Dr. Pamela Flattau has served as a consultant in STEM education in Washington, D.C. for forty years. She has contributed to the advancement of federal programs through policy research and analysis in areas related to strengthening the STEM education infrastructure; refining National Institutes of Health research training programs in behavioral science, nursing research, and health services research; shaping NSF programs in a variety of areas through portfolio evaluations; and focusing national attention on the resources needed to assure the quality and integrity of object-based scientific collections maintained by the federal government. She has also led studies contributing to the expansion of the National Science Board “Science and Engineering Indicators” report series to include a new “Digest of S&E Indicators” and interactive online tool of STEM Education Indicators. This year, Dr. Flattau launched a new nonprofit business venture, The PsySiP Project. This will be a five-year project designed to advance international understanding and use of behavioral measures to study scientific communication with a focus at this time on psychological science.


Kurt C. Lawrence, M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Kurt C. Lawrence is the research leader of the Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at the Russell Agricultural Research Center in Athens, Georgia. Dr. Lawrence is a “triple dawg” receiving his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. all from the University of Georgia. Dr. Lawrence’s career spans twenty-eight years with ARS. His current research involves imaging systems for poultry food safety and quality. He has developed calibration methods and protocols for hyperspectral imaging systems to detect contaminants and has led the invention of an imaging method to accurately detect hairline cracks in shell eggs. His early work on on-line moisture sensors has been in commercial use on thousands of grain combines. Dr. Lawrence is a member of Gama Sigma Delta and Sigma Xi honor societies, has authored over one hundred journal articles, received a NASA Technology Transfer Award, the Federal Laboratory Consortium Technology Transfer Award, and the American Egg Board Research Award. He is very active in American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, serving on numerous technical, award, and division committees, and has co-taught several continuing professional development courses.


Roland McElroy, M.A. 

Mr. Roland McElroy was U.S. Senator Sam Nunn’s first hire as Nunn prepared for his 1972 Senate race. Mr. McElroy quickly became a key campaign operative and was given a broad portfolio that included nearly every phase of campaign operations. In Washington, he served Senator Nunn for fifteen years, first as press secretary, and later, chief-of-staff. For the most recent twenty years, he has been a freelance writer, preparing op-eds, columns, and speeches for senior corporate executives. In 2001, he authored Georgia Blue, the history of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Georgia. He also self-published three children’s books and one novel, The Seventh Messenger, in the past decade. Mr. McElroy served as a ruling elder at Lewinsville Presbyterian Church in each of the last three decades. He is currently writing a video script based on his church history book that will guide producers of a film in 2015 depicting the 170-year history of the church. He is also planning to release a political memoir in 2015.


Kathleen Slevin, M.A., Ph.D.

Dr. Kathleen F. Slevin is the former vice provost for academic affairs and chancellor professor of sociology at the College of William and Mary. A department chair for six years, she is also the recipient of numerous teaching awards both in the college and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Her awards include: Outstanding Woman in Government, Virginia State Council for Higher Education Outstanding Faculty, and the Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award. Dr. Slevin is the author of three books and numerous articles. Her scholarship centers on gender and aging. As vice provost, her responsibilities include university accreditation, assessment, and faculty development. She also works closely with faculty and with the Reves Center for International Studies on international initiatives. Throughout her career, Dr. Slevin has been very active in professional and academic organizations. In 1990 the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia appointed Dr. Slevin to serve on the Affirmative Action Monitoring and Advisor Committee until 1992. She currently serves as the president of the Southern Sociological Society and is the faculty advisor for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.


Dr. Deborah Williams, M.S., Ph.D.

Dr. Deborah Williams is the president and chief executive officer of Her Game 2, an apparel and event productions company. She is also the founder of Behind the Bench: The National Basketball Wives Association. Dr. Williams was selected as one of the 25 Most Influential African American Women in Business by The Network Journal, and in 2009 Project Enterprise named Dr. Williams the Inspirational Entrepreneur of the Year. She has been a pioneer in the field of athletic fashions for teams across the country. Dr. Williams has produced many of the largest events in the country, including HARLEM WEEK for the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, Palace Theatre event for Stamford Center for the Arts, and The NBA Wives Celebrity Fashion Show during NBA All-Star Weekend. Event management expertise and attention to detail have made Her Game 2 Productions one of the most sought after production companies in the country. Dr. Williams is an active member in her community and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Urban League of America, the Child Welfare League of America, and the Greenwich Foundation for Women and Girls.

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