Class Notes – Fall 2017


Dr. Martha Rhodes Roberts, ’60, was named Florida’s 2017 Woman of the Year in Agriculture.

Dr. Roberts dedicated 35 years of service to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, where she championed policy changes for the advancement of Florida’s agriculture industry, trade and production practices.

The award, now in its 33rd year, recognizes women who have made outstanding contributions to Florida agriculture.

Ken Spencer

Ken Spencer, ’69, was promoted to senior auditor GCP at Pearl Therapeutics Inc., in Morristown, New Jersey. After graduating from UNG, Spencer attended the University of Georgia, where he earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1974, and then conducted research at the University of Pennsylvania from 1974 – 1976.

Efforts in his current role at Pearl Therapeutics since 2014 have led to the recent FDA approval of Bevespi Aerosphere, a treatment of COPD including chronic bronchitis and/or emphysema.

Spencer, his wife Marjorie and their dog Charlotte Ann live in northern New Jersey and enjoy hiking and kayaking near their vacation home in the Pocono Mountains near East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.


Donna Andrews, ’82, was appointed to the Georgia Sexual Offender Registration Review Board. Andrews retired as a United States probation officer after 25 years of service. She has 20 years of experience as an intensive supervision specialist with emphasis on location monitoring and sex offender supervision. Andrews has been nationally recognized as an expert in the field of electronic monitoring. She is a former member of the Federal Probation and Pretrial Officers Association and the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. Andrews earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of North Georgia. She and her husband, Robert, have one child and two grandchildren. They reside in Ball Ground, Georgia.

John Meredith, ’84, has been selected as Chief Operating Officer for the national law firm Chamberlain Hrdlicka. In his new role, he manages more than 245 employees in the firm’s offices in Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and San Antonio. He also oversees strategic planning and budget management for the firm, as well as business development, facilities and human resources management, recruitment and diversity, professional development, pro bono, and other important initiatives.U. S. Army Col. John Thompson, ’87, (right) retired after almost 30 years in the military. The University of North Georgia alumnus followed in his parents’ footsteps by attending UNG. He then joined the Army, like his father, and became a helicopter pilot.

His son, Bryce, followed the same path, graduating from UNG and becoming a helicopter pilot with the Army. He is stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Thompson now works for Cox Enterprises and lives with his wife, Lashelle, in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Col. John Thompson

Christine Thornton, ’88, has joined Carolina Youth Development Center as vice president of finance and operations. Previously, she was chief financial officer for Pain Specialists of Charleston and Clinical Trials of South Carolina. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of North Georgia and a master’s degree in business administration from Webster University.

Maj. Gen. Paul T. Calvert, ’88, was recently promoted to Maj. Gen. and now is commanding general of the 1st Cavalry Division. He was most recently the Fort Hood 1st Cavalry Division deputy commander for manuever. Prior to that, he served as deputy director for operations, National Joint Operations and Intelligence Center, J3, Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. He has served on teams that have been awarded the Joint Meritorious Unit Award (one oak leaf cluster), the Valorous Unit Award (two oak leaf clusters) and the Meritorious Unit Citation.


Joy Bell, ’97, was promoted to president of Client Focused Media. She is responsible for management of staff and client services, community engagement and long-term strategy. Bell earned a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from UNG.


Amber Mitchell, ’00, was selected as West Fannin Elementary School’s teacher of the year. The fifth grade science teacher began her teaching career at the school in 2013. She earned a degree in early childhood education from UNG in 2000.

Andrew Ainslie, ’02, vice president and commercial lender at the Bank of Madison, has been elected by his peers in the state as vice president of the Leadership Georgia Bankers Association Executive Committee. Leadership GBA is committed to developing the future leaders of the banking industry. The goals of the program are to promote leadership development, educate the public about banking, create networking opportunities, and provide bankers with the opportunity for involvement in the legislative process.

Andrew Ainslie

Joseph D’Angelo, ’09, has been appointed Athens-Clarke County’s first Geographic Information Services Officer. D’Angelo previously worked for the Gwinnett County Government, the Georgia Mountains Regional Commission, the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Science, and the University of Georgia’s D.B. Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Spatial Analysis from UNG, a post-baccalaureate certificate in GIS Operations, and a Master of Public Administration with a GIS concentration from Jacksonville State University.


Cheryl Nix, ’10, has joined the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) as a Special Agent in the Investigative Division. While at UNG, she was captain of the pistol team, a national Junior Olympics finalist (top 8 in the nation), a collegiate national champion in women’s air pistol, an All-American, and graduated in 3 years.

Luke Pilgrim, ’15, and Brad Kennedy, ’15, owners of Sozo Bear Films featured their short film in the 2017 Macon Film Festival. The duo’s debut short film “The Apology Service” was also featured in last year’s Macon festival.