Thursday, April 17, 2008

Clayton State Alumni Association Welcomes Record Crowd to 16th Annual Dinner at Georgia Aquarium

The Clayton State Alumni Association welcomed a record number of attendees to its 16th Annual Dinner & Auction Saturday at the Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta, GA.

More than 170 guests made the voyage to the Aquarium for the annual event, which featured a guest speaker, the presentation of the Distinguished & Outstanding Alumni Awards and a silent auction. This year’s attendance was 25 percent higher than last year, which was the previous high in the event’s history.

“We had an overwhelmingly positive response for our dinner this year,” says Gid Rowell, director of Alumni Relations. “It was a special evening at an incredible venue. Our Alumni Dinner has blossomed into the ‘signature event’ of our Association.”

Highlights included the presentation of the 2008 Clayton State Overall Distinguished Alumnus Award, presented to Dennis C. Martino, of Fayetteville. Last year’s overall winner, Charles D. English, also of Fayetteville, spoke at this year’s event. English, a 1981 graduate, is director of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and the Office of Homeland Security.

Along with Martino, other honorees were: Monica L. Martin, Distinguished College of Arts & Sciences Alumnus; Charles E. Crownover, Distinguished College of Professional Studies Alumnus; Latoya N. Hubbard, Distinguished School of Business Alumnus; Jeff M. Wilson, Distinguished School of Nursing Alumnus; and Kristine B. Hopkins, Distinguished College of Information & Mathematical Sciences Alumnus.

Martino, who received an Associate’s degree in Business from Clayton State in 1973, is the general manager and vice president of Martino-White Printing, Inc., and has been in the printing business for 34 years.

Martino has been a member of the Atlanta Airport Rotary Club for the last 25 years, where he is a past president and currently serves on its Board of Directors. He has been instrumental in facilitating of the Atlanta Airport Rotary Mitchell C. Bishop Scholarship at Clayton State, which is the oldest and longest continuing scholarship at the University, beginning almost 30 years ago and influencing scores of students.

In addition, Martino has served as president of the Airport Area Chamber of Commerce and still serves on their Board of Directors. His community involvement includes Chris Kids, Travelers Aid and Children’s Miracle Network.

Martin holds two degrees from Clayton State, an Associate in Applied Science and an Associate in Sociology. She works as a family independence case manager at the Department of Family and Children Services in Clayton County. In 2007, she was recognized as the DFACS Employee of the Year. She received this award in large part to her strong will and determination in overcoming a disability. Prior 1999, Martin had received six years of disability before becoming employed with DFACS and thriving in her position.

Crownover obtained his Bachelors degree in Applied Science in 2002, graduating with honors. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine Corps and his commissioning ceremony was held in Clayton State’s Technology Building. He has risen to the rank of Captain and has served two seven-month tours in Iraq and is preparing for his third deployment.

A few of his noteworthy accomplishments include completing Officer Candidate School during his junior and senior years at Clayton State; serving as an AH-1 “Cobra“ Gunship Pilot; and serving as a Squadron Flight Officer. He has received the Marine Corps Service Medal, six Air Medals and a number of campaign ribbons.

After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Management from Clayton State in 2001, Hubbard was employed by Nationwide Insurance, where she has climbed the corporate ladder quickly. Initially employed as a casualty claims representative in the Atlanta area, she has risen to the regional position of agency development sales manager, and now resides in Ohio.

Hubbard is a member of The Advisory Committee of DECA, United Way, National Association of Insurance for Women, Atlanta Association of Insurance Professionals, Consortium of African American Organizations, and the National Black MBA Association. She has also volunteered with Hands on Atlanta.

Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2002. He currently is the Education Program Manager at Piedmont Fayette Hospital and is responsible for all academic affiliations between metro Atlanta colleges and universities, placing more than 100 students from multiple disciplines each semester into clinical rotations.

During his time as the manager of the Education Department, Piedmont Fayette Hospital was recognized and awarded the Outstanding Partner in Education by the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce and the Fayette County Board of Education.

Wilson also has military experience, entering the Air Force in 1992 and is currently a Captain. He was named an honor graduate from the Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine. While being assigned to the 94th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, he has flown more than 1000 hours as an Aeromedical Evacuation crew member. His most recent deployment was in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Hopkins graduated in 1991 with an Associates degree in Mathematics, receiving many academic honors. After Clayton State, she graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Chemistry, then completed her medical training at the University of Alabama School of Optometry. She completed her residency at the Southern California College of Optometry. Hopkins has also recently completed a Masters of Science in Public Health Epidemiology.

She currently holds the rank of associate professor and chief of Vision Therapy Services at the University of Alabama – Birmingham in the School of Optometry. Hopkins has won several teaching awards, including the University of Alabama – Birmingham President’s Award for excellence in teaching for 2008. She is extremely active in research, grant writing and has published numerous articles in the medical community.

She has served the community in a number of ways including, providing optometric screenings at Camp Seale Harris, a summer camp for diabetic children and at the Lion’s Club Special Olympics.

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding, comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

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