Class notes


Greg Anderson, ’80, recently retired from the Cartersville (Georgia) Parks and Recreation Department. For the past 38 years, Anderson’s department has won numerous awards and increased the park acreage from 155 to more than 655.
Maj. Gen. William K. Gayler, ’88, who graduated from UNG with a degree in marketing, was assigned as director of J-3 Operations/Cyber at U.S. Africa Command in Germany. The Distinguished Military Graduate commissioned as an Aviation Officer directly out of college.



Jay Parrish, ’99, who was previously deputy chief at the Gainesville (Georgia) Police Department, took over as chief Feb. 1. Parrish served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve for six years after graduating from UNG with a degree in management.



Katie DeFoor, ’01, was chosen as the 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year for Jack P. Nix Elementary School in Cleveland, Georgia. The mother of four is a third-generation teacher who has taught art to middle and elementary school students for the past 14 years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in art education.


Butan Amedi, ’06, who graduated from UNG with an associate degree in civil engineering, had an op-ed article published in the Jerusalem Post after a recent visit to Israel. Amedi, a native of the mountaintop town of Amadiya located in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, said his background influenced his take on the subject matter.

John Simpson, ’08, was named interim head of school for Lakeview Academy in Gainesville, Georgia. Simpson has worked at the academy for 14 years and served as admission and external relations director, dean of students and a coach. He is also chairman of the Gainesville Parks and Recreation board and pastor at Lanier Christian Church and previously was honored as the Gainesville Jaycees’ Young Man of the Year. Simpson graduated from UNG with a master’s degree in education.


Frank Zamora, ’10, was recognized as the 2019-2020 Teacher of the Year in Hall County, and was named a finalist in the statewide competition. He received an Associate of Arts degree in history from UNG and serves as the social studies department chairman at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia.
Melissa Simpson, ’17, executive director of Film Impact Georgia, judged the South Georgia Film Festival in Valdosta, Georgia. She graduated from UNG with a bachelor’s degree in film and digital media and contributed to both the Atlanta Film and Rome Film Festivals.
Aaron Friedman, ’17, was sworn in as a probation officer after graduating in the top 10 percent of his class. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Anita Renfroe, ’17, was selected for a regional interview for the White House Fellowship. Only around 15 Americans are chosen every year to serve as a White House Fellow. Renfroe was both a David L. Boren Scholarship and a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship recipient while at UNG. She graduated with a degree in Arabic.
Lyric Jones, ’18, was the first UNG graduate selected for the prestigious Hopkins Nanjing Master of Arts Program — the only Chinese MA in the world recognized by both countries. The program is a joint venture between Johns Hopkins University and Nanjing University. Jones graduated with a major in Chinese and completed the Chinese Language Flagship Program.