Alumni of Distinction

Class of 2015

Left to Right: Suzanne Barbour, Dean of the Graduate School; Carlton Weston Myers, PhD (award recipient); Benjamin G. Brackett , DVM, PhD (award recipient); Dr. Randy William Kamphaus, PhD (award recipient); Dr. Lindsay Boring, PhD, Chair of Graduate Education Advancement Board; Dr. Leroy Evans Bynum, D.M.A. (award recipient); Hala Gaines Moddelmog. M.A. (award recipient); Gordhan L. Patel, Emeritus faculty and former Dean of the Graduate School; Not pictured: Dr. Robert McTeer, PhD; Dr. Laura Jean Meadows, PhD; Marcia E. Mulkey, M.A., J.D.; Antonio Enrique Puente, PhD; Michael Tomasello, PhD

Press Release


Benjamin G. Brackett, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Dr. Brackett is a pioneer in in vitro fertilization (IVF) and was the first to achieve a repeatable procedure for mammalian IVF, in addition to other advancements in fertilization and reproduction. His research led to the nation’s first human in vitro fertilization and the first IVF calf and goat kids. In 1983, Dr. Brackett with two physicians opened Reproductive Biology Associates, an outpatient infertility clinic, through which he initiated the first successful use of IVF to overcome human fertility in Georgia. The clinic celebrated the 30,000 babies conceived on its 30th anniversary in 2013.

From 1983-2002, Dr. Brackett was a professor of physiology and pharmacology at the University of Georgia and served as chair of the department from 1983-1995. He has authored more than 275 research publications and received multiple national and international awards, including Lazzaro Spallanzani International Award in Animal Reproduction, the International Embryo Transfer Society Pioneer Award, and the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award in 1998.


Leroy Evans Bynum, D.M.A.

Dr. Bynum is dean of the School of Arts and Humanities at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York. As the chief academic, fiscal, and administrative officer he leads seven academic departments in the humanities, fine and commercial arts, and education that offer 22 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees. Prior to this position, Dr. Bynum was at Albany State University in Albany, Georgia, for 22 years as a professor of music and dean of the College of Arts and Humanities from 2006-2014. Dr. Bynum remains active as a teacher, researcher, director, and performer in the field of music and vocal performance. Over the past seven years, Dr. Bynum has performed in nearly 20 major vocal performances and directed eight opera productions.

Dr. Bynum’s research interests include German song literature, receiving both a Fulbright research grant and a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to study in Germany. He received the Albany State President’s Award for Exceptional Performance and was the University of Georgia Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year in 1992.


Ronald Lane Goode, Ph.D.

Dr. Goode is the president and chief executive officer of The Goode Group, a consulting company to assist pharmaceutical companies in establishing links that will help them to create alliances and joint ventures. He has spent his career in leadership roles in a number of global pharmaceutical companies, including Opko Health, Inc., eXegenics Inc., Pharma-Links, Unimed Pharmaceuticals, Searle Corporate, and Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. At these companies, he supervised clinical development programs that ultimately led to the approval and production of pharmaceuticals such as Zyrtec, Day-Pro, Arthotec, Zoloft, and Ambien.

Dr. Goode is the only non-Japanese director for a publically held Japanese company, Hikma Pharmaceuticals plc. He also serves as the only American director for a publically held Middle Eastern company. He is a volunteer for and a director of Mercy Ships International, a global charity, which has operated a fleet of hospital ships in developing nations since 1978.


James Nels Ihle, Ph.D.

Dr. Ihle is the chair of biochemistry and the Edward F. Barry Endowed Chair in Biochemistry at St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Inc., in Memphis, Tennessee. He also teaches biochemistry at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Dr. Ihle is responsible for the discovery and first-time purification of the cytokine Interleukin 3 (IL-3). Interleukins are proteins in the immune system. IL-3 acts as a mechanism to enhance the natural response of the body to disease. He also discovered the essential role of Jak kinases in the action of all cytokine receptors.

Dr. Ihle holds four patents in the field of biochemistry. He has authored and reviewed more than 450 research articles and was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. He was honored with the William Dameshek Prize from the American Hematology Society in 1995.


Randy William Kamphaus, Ph.D.

Dr. Kamphaus is the dean of the College of Education and a professor at the University of Oregon. Previously, he served as dean of the College of Education at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia, and was a distinguished research professor and department head of educational psychology at the University of Georgia. He is best known for his research in classification methods, differential diagnosis, test development, and the assessment of learning disabilities and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He developed the Behavior Assessment System for Children (BASC) to classify behavior into seven distinct types of children’s behavioral adjustment in school, which caused educators and psychologists to rethink how children’s academic, behavioral, and emotional development is diagnosed.

Dr. Kamphaus served as president of the American Psychological Association (APA)’s Division of School Psychology and received the Senior Scientist Award from the APA Division of School Psychology. He received the Russell H. Yeany, Jr. Research and Alumni Lifetime Achievement Awards from the College of Education at the University of Georgia.


Robert McTeer, Ph.D.

Dr. McTeer is a director of Westwood Holdings Group and Beal Bank and an economic advisor to Commerce Street Capital investment banking firm in Dallas, Texas. In 2007, he was named a Distinguished Fellow at the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, writing and speaking on economic issues, including monetary and fiscal policy. From 2004-2006, he served as the chancellor of the Texas A&M University System.

Dr. McTeer was the 11th President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 1991-2004, serving under the chairmanships of Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and Janet Yellen. He was a member of the Federal Open Market Committee as President of the Dallas Federal Reserve. Before becoming President of the Dallas Federal Reserve, he served 12 years with the Richmond Federal Reserve and 11 years as Head of its Baltimore branch. Dr. McTeer formerly served as the national President of the Association of Private Enterprise Economics and sat as a board member of the National Association of Economic Education.


Laura Jean Meadows, Ph.D.

Dr. Meadows is the director of the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. She coordinates the efforts of more than 140 employees to provide technical assistance, applied research, technology solutions, and training and development services to governments in the state of Georgia and internationally. Dr. Meadows works with state and local governments on a variety of issues such as planning, housing, infrastructure development, and facilitating community development and economic growth efforts. She joined the Institute of Government in 2009 and was appointed director in February 2012.

Prior to coming to the University of Georgia, Dr. Meadows served in several executive positions at the state and federal levels, including commissioner of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the first executive director of the OneGeorgia Authority, assistant secretary of state, and state director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program.


Hala Gaines Moddelmog, M.A.

Ms. Moddelmog became president and CEO of the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC) in 2014, becoming the first woman to hold this position.  Previously, she was president of Atlanta-based Arby’s Restaurant Group, an international quick-service chain with approximately 3,500 units and $3 billion in sales. In 2006, she was named president and CEO of the world’s largest grassroots organization, Susan G. Komen for the Cure. At Komen, she established the Scientific Advisory Board with an annual grant of $100 million for scientific research. Ms. Moddelmog was the first woman to lead an international restaurant company when she was named President of Church’s Chicken in 1995. Church’s Chicken is the world’s third largest chicken brand with 1,500 plus restaurants in 15 countries and nearly $1 billion in system sales.

Ms. Moddelmog has served on multiple public, private, and non-profit boards, including the Woodruff Arts Center, Alliance Theatre, and the International Women’s Forum. She previously served as a director of Amerigroup Corporation and AMN Healthcare.


Marcia E. Mulkey, M.A., J.D.

Ms. Mulkey is a visiting scholar at the Temple University Beasley School of Law for the 2015-2016 academic year. In this position, she works with the environmental and international rule of law programs and pursues activities in her areas of interest including domestic and international environmental law enforcement. Ms. Mulkey had an extensive career with the Federal government, working in several senior level legal and executive positions at the Environmental Protection Agency, including Regional Counsel for the mid-Atlantic region, Director of the Office of Pesticides Programs, Director of the Office of Site Remediation Enforcement (Superfund), and Acting Associate Administrator of the Office for Policy, Economics, and Innovations.

Ms. Mulkey first practiced law with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and had assignments with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the government of the Netherlands. She was awarded the EPA’s top career service award and has twice received Presidential Rank Awards, the top recognition system for career government executives.


Carl Weston Myers, Ph.D.

Dr. Myers worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, retiring in 2005, where he led the Earth and Environmental Sciences Division for 12 years. His projects involved basic research, applied research and technology development for areas such as the evaluation of the Yucca Mountain site for geologic disposal of nuclear waste and advanced oil recovery and geothermal energy technologies. He currently advocates for expanded use of underground space, especially through global deployment of underground nuclear parks to enhance the safety, security and economics for sitting nuclear power reactors. He also served for two years as Senior Technical Advisor with the International Programs Office, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, and U.S. Department of Energy, with an emphasis on Russia.

Beginning his career with Chevron Oil Company, Dr. Myers worked as a petroleum geologist in the US Gulf Coast and was an assistant professor at Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America and a member of the American Geophysical Union.


Antonio Enrique Puente, Ph.D.

Dr. Puente is a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and a visiting professor at the Universidad de Granada in Spain. His neuropsychology lab focuses on cross cultural, forensic, and military neuropsychology research. He is the founder and editor of the Neuropsychology Review, the Journal of Interprofessional Healthcare, and the Journal of Interprofessional Education & Practice, and a book series in clinical neuropsychology. He is the author/editor of eight books, 87 book chapters, and 112 journal articles that focus on the interface between culture and neuropsychology.

Dr. Puente is past-president of the North Carolina Psychological Association; North Carolina Psychological Foundation; National Academy of Neuropsychology; Society for Clinical Neuropsychology; and the Hispanic Neuropsychological Society. He held positions as chair of the Psychology Academy of the National Academies of Practice and several American Psychological Association Boards and Committees. In 2002, he established and is now co-director of the Cape Fear Clinic, a bilingual mental health clinic for the uninsured residents of the region.


Michael Tomasello, Ph.D.

Dr. Tomasello is the director for the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany, and teaches psychology at Duke University. His empirical research interests focus on the processes of social cognition, social learning, cooperation, and communication that distinguishes humans from the great apes. His theoretical focus is on processes of shared intentionality. In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Dr. Tomasello has written seven books related to his research interests: Primate Cognition, The Cultural Origins of Human Cognition, Constructing a Language: A Usage-Based Theory of Language Acquisition, Origins of Human Communication, Why We Cooperate, A Natural History of Human Thinking, and A Natural History of Human Morality.

Dr. Tomasello has received various national and international awards in recognition of his works, including the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award from the American Psychological Association, the British Academy Wiley Prize in Psychology, the Fyssen Foundation Prize for Cognitive Science, the Cognitive Development Society Book Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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