Alumni of Distinction

Class of 2019

Provost Jack Hu, Barry Fields, Thomas Rainer, Ed Hayes, Page Walley, Andrew Farkas, Denise Spangler, Interim Dean Ron Walcott, GEAB Chair Todd Arnold


Press Release


Marion Bradford [M.S. Biochemistry ’74, Ph.D. Biochemistry ‘75]

Dr. Marion Bradford developed and patented the Bradford protein assay, a method to quickly quantify the amount of protein in a sample. His paper describing the method is among the most cited scholarly articles of all time. His career of more than 30 years has been spent in biochemical research, with much of his work in corn processing technology. He conducted research for Tate and Lyle Ingredients Americas LLC for more than 20 years in multiple areas including food regulatory issues; protein, carbohydrate, flavor, and fermentation chemistry; and manufacturing plant trouble-shooting.

He served for approximately 10 years as biotechnology awareness gatekeeper for Tate and Lyle North America establishing a network of contacts in all phases of chemicals and biochemicals that could be derived from carbohydrate feedstocks. He served on the U.S. Department of Energy Plant Vision 2020 and Chemical Vision 2020 Platform Document Committees in addition to the Tate and Lyle designated representative to technical committee of the Corn Refiner’s Association. He established working relationships at various organizations including a wide variety of biotechnology start-up companies and major chemical companies in the U.S. One liaison established the links that led to the DuPont/Tate and Lyle joint venture for the development and manufacture of Bio-3G used in production of DuPont’s new Sarona fiber.

Dr. Bradford retired in 2001 and has continued to consult on product and process development with the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and served as an adviser on renewable energy to USDOE. He participates in the Blue Ridge Orchestra in addition to tutoring students in math and science in order to get GED equivalency with the Blue Ridge Literacy Council.


Andrew Farkas [M.A. Economics ’73 | Ph.D. Geography ‘78]

Dr. Z. Andrew Farkas is the Director of the National Transportation Center and Professor of Transportation at Morgan State University in Baltimore. Prior to his arrival at Morgan State, he was an engineering economist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a research associate for the Georgia Department of Transportation. Currently, he manages a federally funded university transportation center including its research, education, and technology transfer programs at Morgan State. The governor of Maryland appointed him to the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Council in 2011 in order to advance the state plan and prepare for electric vehicles. He has also served as president of the Council of University Transportation Centers.

Dr. Farkas’ research and teaching focuses on transportation economics and policy, logistics, public transportation, and land use. More recently, his focus is on commuting with electric vehicles and willingness-to-pay for connected vehicles. He has presented many papers in the U.S. and abroad in addition to publishing numerous research articles on transportation-related topics.

The American Road and Transportation Builder Association presented Dr. Farkas with the S.S. Steinberg Outstanding Educator Award in 2011.


 Barry Fields [M.S. Medical Microbiology ’83 | Ph.D. Medical Microbiology ‘86]

Dr. Barry Fields is a microbiologist and Legionnaires’ disease expert at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. He currently is the lead of the Diagnostic Coordination and Evaluation Laboratory, Division of Global Health Protection, Center for Global Health at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  At the CDC, he worked in the newly formed Legionella Laboratory, was the lab director in bacterial respiratory diseases, then was Associate Director for Laboratory Science for the Division of Bacterial Diseases. In 2010, he moved to Nairobi, Kenya to focus on international disease control as Laboratory Director at the CDC Kenya Global Disease Detection Program. He returned to the U.S. in 2015 and became the International Laboratory Team Lead for the CDC Emergency Operations Center’s Ebola Response until the end of the response.

Dr. Fields investigates outbreaks of infectious diseases domestically and abroad. He travels to outbreaks such as SARS, the anthrax exposure, and Legionnaire’s disease. Internationally, he coordinated responses to outbreaks in Africa and established the first CDC Ebola laboratory in Liberia at the height of the Ebola outbreak in 2014. They set up a molecular lab in a tent on hospital grounds within three days with 700 pounds of imported equipment from Kenya.

While at the CDC, Dr. Fields has mentored many students and fellows who are now accomplished scientists. He has received recognition for the anthrax and SARS investigations in addition to the William C. Watson Metal of Excellence, the CDC’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He plans to retire at the end of 2019 after 39 years of service at the CDC.


Ed R. Hays [M.S. Food Science ‘81 | Ph.D. Food Science ‘85]

Dr. Ed Hays retired from The Coca-Cola Company in March 2019 after 34 years. He served most recently as the Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer. His supervision included Coca-Cola Freestyle, Commercial Products Supply, Flavor Manufacturing and Supply, Global Sustainable Procurement, Quality, Safety and Environment, Research and Development, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs and Technical Governance.

Dr. Hays joined The Coca-Cola Company in 1985 as a scientist in Corporate Research and Development. During his career, he advanced to Product Development Director in Corporate R&D, Director of R&D in Tokyo, Japan for the Middle and Far East Group and Director, Corporate R&D. In 2000, he was elected Vice President of The Coca-Cola Company. In 2001, he assumed responsibility for the Science Function and in 2015 was named Chief Technical Officer.

Dr. Hays has served as President for the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and on the Boards of FEMA and the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aromas Trades. Additionally, he has served on the Advisory Board of the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Board of Directors of The Atlanta College of Art, the Science and Technology Museum of Atlanta and committees of the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.


James Hindman [Ph.D. Theatre ‘71]

Dr. James Hindman has spent most of his career in cinema and performing arts, creating and leading professional and public education programs at major institutions. He served as Head of Graduate Studies in the Performing Arts Department at American University, Washington, D.C., and taught at the University of North Carolina. He spent 24 years at the American Film Institute (AFI) and served as Co-Director and Chief Operating Officer in addition to Provost of AFI Conservatory, producer of the feature documentary Visions of Light and the television series Starring the Actors. He developed the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, as well as numerous television projects and international film and television festivals.

After leaving AFI, Dr. Hindman developed and led film schools in the U.S. and internationally. These schools include the Red Sea School of Cinematic Arts in Aqaba, Jordan, and New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute in Las Cruces.  He currently sits on the Board of the New Mexico School for the Arts in Santa Fe, and is charged with creating a new cinematic and media arts program and facilities for the school.

Dr. Hindman co-authored Becoming AFI: 50 years Inside the American Film Institute for the Santa Monica Press, TV Acting for Hastings House, The Practice of Filmmaking: The AFI Conservatory remembers Toni Vellani for the AFI Press. He has served on the Boards of The AIDS Service Center and LAMP in Los Angeles.


Chancellor Robert J. Jones [M.S. Agronomy ‘75]

Dr. Robert J. Jones is Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the first African-American appointed since the office’s creation in 1967 and serves as a tenured faculty member in the Department of Crop Sciences. Since arriving in Illinois in 2016, he has implemented programs to increase diversity, to build partnerships in a way that promotes the land-grant mission of the university, and to drive economic vitality statewide.

Prior to becoming Chancellor, Dr. Jones was the President of the University at Albany, State University of New York where he launched the university’s largest and most strategic academic expansion in 50 years. He established the nation’s first integrated College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, and the university’s first College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Chancellor Jones spent 34 years at the University of Minnesota as a faculty member, becoming an internationally respected authority on plant physiology. He was named the Vice President for Academic Administration and played a leadership role in establishing a new four-year campus and establishing the university’s first urban research and outreach/engagement center designed to help address challenges in an economically depressed urban community. The center was recently named after Dr. Jones.


Pat Mitchell [M.A. English ‘97]

Ms. Pat Mitchell has broken new ground for women, leveraging the power of media as a journalist and Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated producer to tell women’s stories and increase their representation on- and off-screen. She assumed an executive role as president of CNN Productions, and the first woman president and CEO of PBS and the Paley Center for Media. Her new book, Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World will be published later in October 2019.

Ms. Mitchell is chair of the Sundance Institute and the Women’s Media Center boards and a founding member and trustee of the VDAY movement to end violence against women. She sits on the boards of the Skoll Foundation and the Acumen Fund. She had a congressional appointment to The American Museum of Women’s History Advisory Council, is an advisor to Participant Media, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Women’s Media Center honored Ms. Mitchell with its first-annual Lifetime Achievement Award, now named in her honor to commend other women whose media careers advance the representation of women. Recognized by Hollywood Reporter as one of the most powerful women in media, Fast Company’s “League of Extraordinary Women” and Huffington Post’s list of “Powerful Women Over 50,” she also received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Leadership.


Thomas Rainer [Master of Landscape Architecture ‘02]

Mr. Thomas Rainer is a registered landscape architect, teacher, and author. He is a leading voice in ecological landscape design and has designed landscapes for the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden. He is a celebrated public speaker who has garnered acclaim for his passionate presentations across the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He serves as a Principal for the landscape architectural and consulting firm Phyto Studio in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Rainer was previously a Principal at Rhodeside & Harwell. He has a broad range of experience in project types ranging from intimate residential gardens to expansive estates, large-scale green infrastructure design and implementation, and national memorials. His work has been featured in The New York Times, Landscape Architecture Magazine, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and Architectural Digest.

Mr. Rainer specializes in applying innovative planting concepts to create ecologically-functional designed landscapes. He is a widely sought out consultant who applies the technologies of plant systems to bring essential natural functions back into our cities and towns.

Mr. Rainer’s book co-authored with Claudia West, Planting in a Post-Wild World, was selected by the American Horticultural Society as one of the 2016 books of the year.


 Denise A. Spangler [Ph.D. Mathematics Education ‘95]

Dr. Denise A. Spangler is the Bebe Aderhold Professor in Early Childhood Education, Professor of Mathematics Education, and Dean of the College of Education at the University of Georgia.

Dr. Spangler is a member of the UGA Teaching Academy and a recipient of the Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. The majority of her teaching has involved helping elementary education majors learn to teach mathematics to children in ways that build on the numerical and spatial thinking that children develop from interacting with the world. She also teaches graduate courses on mathematics teaching and teacher education and has graduated over 30 doctoral students during her time at UGA.

Supported by $4.5 million in external funding, Dr. Spangler seeks to understand how novice teachers put into practice what they have learned from their teacher education programs, their experiences in schools, and their own experiences as students. She has authored approximately 100 journal articles, book chapters, or books.

Dr. Spangler has served on and chaired a number of committees and task forces at UGA. She was an elected member of the Clarke County School District board of education for 12 years, serving 2 terms as vice president of the board. Her national service includes chairing editorial panels for prestigious journals in mathematics education and serving on the board of directors for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.


 Page Walley [M.S. Clinical Psychology ‘82 | Ph.D. Clinical Psychology ‘84]

Dr. Page B. Walley is President and Chief Public Policy Officer for Saint Francis Ministries (SFM), a national and international social services provider and consultation organization. SFM strives to provide healing and hope to children and families. He serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Prior to coming to SFM, Dr. Walley served as Managing Director of Strategic Consulting for Casey Family Programs based in Seattle where he worked with states to reduce the number of children in out-of-home care. He served as the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Human Resources and as Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Children’s Affairs. As commissioner, Dr. Walley helped advance the department to national recognition as a leader in providing for the safety, permanency placement, and well-being of children and families in the state. While presiding over the department’s successful exit from long-standing federal oversight of its child welfare program, he also helped lead the Food Stamp Program to national recognition in its response to the Hurricane Ivan disaster.

Dr. Walley was Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and elected to serve in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1990 to 2000. He is currently the Vice-Mayor of Bolivar, Tennessee. He is also a licensed minister. Dr. Walley and his wife Terry have three children, and three grandsons.


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