COL (Ret.) Christopher “Chris” Bagley, ’85, attended the investiture of Dr. Frank Gilliam, new chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, on behalf of UNG on October 7.
Deana Harper, ’88, was honored by the Georgia Association of Career and Technical Education as Work-Based Learning Coordinator of the Year in July. Harper, who earned her bachelor’s degree in business, has taught at North Hall High School for 19 years. She is the state chair for Work-Based Learning.
Janeann Carter Allison, ’91, has been named administrative services director for the City of Gainesville (Georgia). Allison has served as the city’s human resources director since 2014 and was the Habersham County manager and county clerk for eight years.
MAJ Robert Stone, ’91, has been awarded the Bronze Star posthumously. Stone passed away in 2015 from cancer and was interred at Arlington National Cemetery on May 23, 2016.
Dr. Christine Ware Cook, ’94, was honored as the Virginia Optometric Association’s 2016 Optometrist of the Year. She is immediate past president of the VOA, and was recently appointed to the Southern Council of Optometrists’ Board of Trustees.
Col. Patrick M. Duggan, ’95, became the commander of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia on June 28. Duggan earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and commissioned into the infantry. A Special Forces officer, Duggan is proficient in four languages – Arabic, Spanish, Tagalog and French. During his 21-year Army career, Duggan has had multiple tours of duty overseas, including service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After graduating from the Army’s Command and General Staff College, Duggan was assigned to staff positions within Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Arabian Peninsula in 2006. From 2007 to 2008, he was commander of Advanced Operating Base 5120 during the height of the Iraqi surge. From 2008 to 2009, he served as a battalion operations officer, where he orchestrated Special Operations Forces’ operational and combat deployments across U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility.
Tiffany Hancock, ’95, was selected as the 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year at Rocky Branch Elementary School. Hancock was featured in The Oconee Enterprise newspaper in September for her teaching career in Oconee County.
LTC John E. Steen II, ’98, took command of 6th Squadron, 17th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Combat Air Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, at Fort Carson, Colorado, on May 13.
John Whidden, ’98, won his fourth NRA Long Range National Championship in August. As a student, he competed on the UNG Rifle Team. He currently lives in Nashville, Georgia, and is married to Carrie Lanier Whidden, who attended UNG for two years before transferring to the Medical College of Georgia.
Jeremy Perry, ’99, is the new chief financial officer for the City of Gainesville (Georgia). Perry previously served as finance director for the City of Flowery Branch and as financial manager and budget officer for Hall County from 2005. He earned an associate degree in criminal justice and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UNG.
Joseph W. Hansen, ’05, has been named the vice president of the Central Florida division of RealManage, a property management company.
Jennifer Westbrook, ’10, of Gainesville, Georgia, is the new principal at Mount Vernon Exploratory School in Hall County. She previously was assistant principal at Enota Multiple Intelligences Academy in Gainesville. Westbrook earned an educational specialist degree in school leadership from UNG.
Aaron Brown, ’13, and Caitlin Chalmers Brown, ’14, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, and have lived in the metro D.C. area for two years. Aaron is currently a grant writer for Americans for Prosperity, and Caitlin is an orthopedic nurse at Virginia Hospital Center. They celebrated their third wedding anniversary in June and are expecting their first child at the end of October.
Zack Agerton, ’13, is currently living in Samoa serving with the Peace Corps. His blog recently won the Peace Corps Blog It Home competition. As the winner, he made a trip to Washington, D.C. in October to give presentations on the culture of Samoa.
Sam Tidaback, former UNG catcher, was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 21st round during the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft.
Daniel McCrary, ’14, became the new district executive for the Jayhawk Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America in Topeka, Kansas.
Megan Jacques, ’15, became the new alumni relations officer of communications for UNG’s Office of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving in September.
Michael DeNoia, ’15, spent a year after graduation working at UPS and traveling to Africa on a mission trip. He also traveled to North Carolina, Maine and Massachusetts. He is now in Pensacola, Florida, beginning his master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology at the University of West Florida.
Nick Smith, ’16, completed his training at the police academy and is now in the Dalton Police Department’s field training program. Smith graduated from UNG with a bachelor’s degree in business management.
Lt. Col. Bruce Gannaway, ‘98, who lost a leg after being injured by an IED in Iraq, returned to active duty after rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and even competed in the Department of Defense’s Warrior Games.
In December, he took command of the Warrior Transition Unit at Fort Hood, Texas, to help other injured soldiers make a successful journey to recovery as he has done.
“I never felt I could be defeated by my injuries. I wanted to continue an active lifestyle, and my recovery continues today,” Gannaway said. “Physically I’m healed, so now I focus on mental recovery. After a disabling injury or illness there is a grief, anger and frustration about what’s been lost, and then acceptance of a new normal. Some days I still struggle accepting my new normal. As we age we all confront disability. We can wallow in sorrow about what we’ve lost, or choose to be positive and find adaptations that allow us to continue what we love.”
Gannaway also credits the leadership experiences and education at UNG for helping prepare him to lead the unit.
“It was hammered home during my cadet time that leaders get to know the whole person. If you’re a cadet squad leader inspecting uniforms and barracks and you’re not having a discussion about grades, family and plans for the weekend, you’re missing an opportunity to get to know your people,” he said. “Soldiers deserve the same personalization in leadership that cadets do because leadership should never be cookie cutter. I think this is uniquely important when leading a soldier who’s wounded, ill or injured like the soldiers in my unit.”