Alumni of Distinction

Class of 2016

UGA graduate School Dean Suzanne Barbour (left) and Provost Pam Whitten (far right) congratulate alumni award winners Steve McCallum Alvetta P. Thomas, Mary Salmon Walker, and James K. Farr. 

Press Release


James W. Andrews, Jr.  [M.S. Nutrition (’65) | Ph.D. Nutritional Biochemistry (‘68)]

James W. Andrews, Jr. began his career as one of the first four scientists at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography. He founded Savannah Laboratories and Environmental Services in 1980 which became the largest environmental testing laboratory in the world. He was the Director of Research for the Cardiovascular Council and the Curtis Hames Evans Count Heart Study and discovered that people who live in the high-heart disease belt of the Southeast had low blood levels of selenium and elevated levels of cadmium. Dr. Andrews currently volunteers with the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens. His family has four generations of UGA graduates beginning with his mother in 1925.


Martin Chitwood [M.A. Political Science (‘76) | Juris Doctor (’73)]

Martin Chitwood is a senior partner of Chitwood Harley Harnes LLP in Atlanta and is recognized as a leader in the fields of securities litigation and corporate governance reform. He was assigned to the Green Berets in 1966, where he served as a commanding officer of a Special Forces A-Team and became one of the most decorated junior officers in the Vietnam War. He received multiple awards from South Vietnam and the Department of the Army. He wrote and co-produced the story for “Unconquered,” a CBS movie of the week.


Ariel Y. Deutch [M.S. Psychology (‘79) | Ph.D. Psychology (‘83)]

Ariel Deutch is the James G. Blakemore Professor of Psychiatry and Professor of Pharmacology and Program in Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. His research focuses on central dopamine systems and their involvement in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease, and the mechanisms of action of antipsychotic drugs. He previously held associate and assistant professor appointments at Yale University School of Medicine where he completed his postdoctoral studies in neuropharmacology. Dr. Deutch currently holds positions as Chief Scientific Advisor and Chair of the National Parkinson Foundation’s Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board.


James K. Farr [Ph.D. Chemistry (’78)]

James K. Farr served as Principal Scientist in the Office of Response and Restoration, Environmental Response Division, National Ocean Service during his time at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He provided scientific expertise in responding to hundreds of chemical and oil accidents, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Dr. Farr aided the FBI in development of a database which identifies precursors to track and prevent the use of chemical substances in the illegal production of explosives, drugs, and other dangerous materials. Farr is retired but continues his work on scientific aspects of chemical reactivity and industrial safety as a consultant to the Center for Chemical Process Safety/AlChE in New York.


Steve McCallum [Ph.D. Educational Psychology (‘79)]

Steve McCallum is Professor of School Psychology in the Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling at the University of Tennessee where he previously served as Department Head for 22 years. He co-founded and is consulting editor of the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment published by SAGE. Dr. McCallum has received numerous awards from the University of Tennessee including the Chancellor’s Research and Creative Achievement Award.


Allen Seals [M.S. Biochemistry (’75) | M.D. Medical College of Georgia (‘79)]

Allen Seals is a clinical and interventional cardiologist with Baker and Gilmour Cardiovascular Institute in Jacksonville, Fla. where he is also Managing Partner and Director of Clinical Research. In 2016, Dr. Seals was elected chair of the American College of Cardiology Board of Governors and Secretary of the Board of Trustees, the main governing body of the American College of Cardiology. He is a member of the steering committee for SMARTCare, a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation grant program, which strives to provide tools for doctors to communicate with patients about their healthcare options.


Alvetta P. Thomas [Ed.D. Adult Education (’04)]

Alvetta P. Thomas is President of Atlanta Technical College. She was named one of Atlanta’s 25 Most Influential Women, a “Female Powerhouse” in Who’s Who in Black Atlanta and one of Atlanta’s Top 100 Women of Influence by the Atlanta Business League. She received the Woman of Influence and Impact Award from Woman University. She is a member of Civitan International, the West End Rotary Club and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Higher Education Access and Scholarship Task Force.


Mary Salmon Walker [Master of Public Administration (‘97)]

Mary Salmon Walker is an environmental consultant after serving a number of years in state government. She previously served as Assistant Director and COO for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources where she oversaw policy development, compliance programs and general agency operations. Mrs. Walker is a graduate of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leaders. She has also run a grief support program for children in Atlanta and works with newly arrived refugees in Dekalb County.

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