Class Notes

We welcome any alumni or friends to submit class notes. If you are interested, you may submit your note here!

Spring 2022 Class Notes: 


Michael Walsh (B.S. '13, M.S. '17)

In 2021, Michael had his first book published. It is a fictional read titled, Trouble in the Floating City. Walsh also recently created a podcast which he calls The Mediocre Writer. In it, Walsh discusses anything and everything about writing. 

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program


Ashley Archer (B.S. '19, M.S. '21)

Ashley is currently a Speech-Language Pathologist Clinical Fellow in Destin, FL. There she serves patients alongside a team of doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists.

In the past, Ashley presented the GaitRite technology and its impact on studying the cognitive demands on gait for patients with Aphasia. This presentation was given at FAMU to doctoral students in the field of physical and occupational therapy.

During her time at FSU, Ashley was able to present her poster "The Effect of Cognitive-Linguistic Load on Gait Performance in Persons With Aphasia" to the ASHA. Her research provided professionals and caregivers feedback on possible consequences in balance and walking when diagnosed with Aphasia. Her research was awarded in the Top 3% of 1,874 submissions.

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, Honors in the Major


Kristina Lynch (B.S. '21)

Kristina received the Alumni Ambassador Scholarship at the FSU Alumni Association Spring Alumni Awards. The FSU Alumni Ambassadors Scholarship seeks students who have demonstrated commitment, vision, and potential for lifelong leadership and innovation in their communities and around the world.

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, Office of National Fellowships, Honors in the Major


Michelle Hoare (B.A. '15)

Michelle got married in April and moved to Glasgow, Scotland. She also started a new position as the International Recruitment Officer for the Americas and Norway at the University of Stirling. 

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, UROP, Honors in the Major, the Office of National Fellowships


Haley Brown (B.A. '19, J.D. '22)

Haley graduated from FSU College of Law receiving a J.D. and completing the special certificate program in international law. She is moving to London to pursue an L.L.M. in international law at Queen Mary University of London while working as a consultant on a conference series funded by the United Nations War Crimes Commission for the International Bar Association.

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, UROP, Honors in the Major


Omar Pimentel (B.S. '19)

Omar will be joining NASA as an intern this summer! He will be working at the newly established Office of Technology, Policy, and Strategy (OTPS) to provide data- and evidence-driven policy advice to NASA leadership in Washington DC.

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, The Office of National Fellowships


Fall 2021 Class Notes: 


Sarah Phinney (B.S. '20)

Sarah had an article published in the Journal of Seminars in Speech and Language. The article related to her honors in the major thesis and was titled, Augmentative and alternative communication supports for language and literacy in preschool: Considerations for the down syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. 

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, Honors in the Major


Ciara Bennese (B.S. '18)

In response to the urgent Afghan refugee crisis, Ciara was promoted to the Remote Placement Specialist role at the nation's largest refugee resettlement agency, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS). In this role, Ciara works to reunite refugees with family and friends who live in communities where there are no existing refugee resettlement service providers.

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, UROP


Omar Pimentel (B.S. '19)

Omar has been selected to join Stanford University's Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy 2023 cohort. With an average incoming class size of 24 students, this is a two-year, full-time, professional graduate degree program that is interdisciplinary in nature. Omar plans on taking courses at the business school and law school to build upon his current skillset. 

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, Office of National Fellowships, Honors in the Major


Mallory McGovern (B.A. & B.S. '20)

Mallory began her master's in American Studies at George Washington University this fall.

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, UROP, Honors in the Major


Emma Lyon (B.A. '21)

Emma became a Houston Texans Cheerleader! She says that she is "honored to be able to give back to the Texans organization as a Houston Texans Cheerleader. It is a dream come true to get to perform and do what I love for the fans and the team I love the most."

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, UROP, Office of National Fellowships, Honors in the Major

Spring 2021 Class Notes: 


Molly Rimes (B.S. '20)

After working remotely for the past few months, Molly is moving up to NYC in June! In her work as a financial adviser, she is looking forward to meeting clients in person and traveling for various speaking engagements. Once in NYC, Molly looks forward to joining the local alumni network and engaging with her fellow Noles.

HSF Affiliation: The Honors Program, Office of National Fellowships


Kerry Gilmore (Ph.D. '12)

Kerry was featured in FSU College of Arts & Sciences Spectrum Magazine in a fantastic article, Ion the Prize. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut where his research focuses on using technology (flow chemistry and machine learning) to improve how we perform organic synthesis.

HSF Affiliation: Office of National Fellowships


Fall 2020 Class Notes:


Michelle Sauer (B.A. '15)

"Because of my involvement with HSF while I was an undergrad at FSU, I got the chance to travel to the UK. In 2013, I was a recipient of a Fulbright Summer Institute and in 2014 I was awarded an URCAA grant to return to Durham, UK to pursue research for my honors thesis. These opportunities led me to meet my now fiancé. We will have our wedding ceremony in Northumberland in August 2021. I am so thankful for my time at FSU and with HSF as it has led me to find the love of my life as well as pursuing a career working in higher education in the UK — I have also just been offered a job as an International Development Officer with the University of Sunderland. It has been a very strange and difficult year, but an exciting one after all. Wishing the best to everyone at HSF!"

HSF Affiliation: Office of National Fellowships, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement, Honors Program, and Honors in the Major. 


Kelly Vasbinder (B.S. '15)

Kelly successfully defended her doctoral dissertation on Friday, October 30th at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science. Her dissertation topic is: Modeling Early Life: Ontogenetic Growth and Behavior Affects Population Connectivity in Gulf of Mexico Marine Fish.

HSF Affiliation: Office of National Fellowships and Honors in the Major. 


Mallory McGovern (B.S. & B.A. '20)

Mallory has just started a new position as a Staff Assistant at the Commisioner's Task Force on Holocaust Education.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement, Honors in the Major, and Presidential Scholars.

Spring 2020 Class Notes:


Selina Nevin (B.S. '20)

Selina has just started a new position as a Legal Assistant at Pittman Law Group. Here, she helps the attorneys with their cases and research the issues her clients face.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Office of National Fellowships, and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement


D'JuAn Sampson (B.S. '15)

D’Juan recently obtained a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, while concentrating on Pacific Asian Studies and International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. While attending Fletcher, D’Juan was President of the Ralph Bunche Society for Diversity in International Relations, Chairman of the Class of 2020 Class Gift Committee, Board of Trustees Student Representative to the Tufts University Advancement Committee, Student Assistant for the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, The Fletcher School Student Ambassador, and a member of the Ambassachords a cappella group. Upon graduating, D’Juan will join the U.S. Department of State as a Foreign Service Officer.

HSF Affiliation: Office of National Fellowships


Salma Elsheikh (B.S. '20)

Salma will be attending FSU's College of Medicine as part of the M.D. Class of 2024.

HSF Affiliation: Office of National Fellowships, Honors in the Major


Logan Love (B.S. '20)

Logan has decided to stay at FSU one more year for grad school. He will take more classes this summer and finish his Masters in Public Administration (MPA) Degree in August 2021.

HSF Affiliation: Office of National Fellowships


Robert Q. Topper (B.S.'86)

Together with colleagues at New York University, Robert recently published an article in the Journal of Physical Chemistry B on machine learning methods and their applications in molecular dynamics simulations.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program


Rima Nathan (B.S. '16, J.D. '19)

After being admitted to the Florida Bar, Rima is working as a judicial law clerk at the Florida Supreme Court.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Office of National Fellowships, Center of Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement


Sloane Haines (B.S. '20)

Sloane will be the morning meteorologist in Salisbury, MD for ABC 47 starting this month!

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program

Tisha (Crews) keller (B.A. '97, M.A. '02)

Tisha became the Marketing & Communications Director at FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

HSF Affiliation: Friend




December 2019 Class Notes:


Kathleen DeGuzman (B.a. '10)

After graduating from Florida State University, Kathleen attended Vanderbilt University, where she completed her Ph.D. in English in 2015. She is currently an assistant professor of English at San Francisco State University. Kathleen was recently awarded a sabbatical for the Spring 2020 semester, which she will use to complete a book project that examines Caribbean and Philippine literature within the context of U.S. imperialism.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major



Madison Marks (B.A. '09)

 Recently joined Expo 2020 Dubai working as Programming Manager for Expo Live. Expo Live is an innovation and partnership programme launched by Expo 2020 Dubai to fund, accelerate and promote creative solutions that improve lives while preserving our planet.

HSF Affiliation: Friend


Carrie (Dunkle) Perry (B.S. '87)

Carrie is teaching in Sarasota, Florida, returning to her home state after several years in North Carolina and Virginia, where she taught English and served as department chair (LVHS) and K-12 ELA curriculum supervisor (LCPS). She also worked at the National Communication Association, writing K-12 standards for Speaking, Listening, and Media Literacy, and co-authoring a number of books and articles focused on English and communication instruction. In the early 2000s, Carrie completed a four-year leadership term with the VA Association of Teachers of English. In the 2010s, she was elected to serve on the NCTE Research Board of Trustees. Carrie currently holds the office of past president of the Florida Council of Teachers of English.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program


Stacey Slaughter (B.A. '94)

Is a partner at the Robins Kaplan LLP law firm, was named Elite Women of the Plaintiffs Bar for 2020. The ceremony will be held in Miami, Florida in January. Ms. Slaughter was also named one of Minnesota's Attorneys of the Year for 2019.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major


November 2019 Class Notes:


Shauna n. gillooly (B.S. '16)

Shauna is in her 4th year of her PhD program in Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. She has received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowship to conduct fieldwork throughout the Pacific Coast of Colombia on the ways in which international, national, and local levels of governance interact with one another during processes of peace building and transitional justice amidst continued state and political violence.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Office of National Fellowships, Center for Undergraduate Research & Academic Engagement


Catherine Newell (B.S. '19)

Recently moved to Charlotte, NC and is working for Accenture consulting, which is a Top 5 tech consulting company. 

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program


Taylor Ney (B.S. '18)

Has been employed as a Management Development Program associate at GEICO Insurance since graduating. This opportunity guides him into management on a faster track, and he can attribute this opportunity to his standing as an honors graduate.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Center for Undergraduate Research & Academic Engagement


Ansley Schoen (B.S. '18)

Moved to Washington, D.C. immediately after graduating from Florida State University, magna cum laude. She worked for the office of U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson for about a year and recently started working for the White House Office of Management and Budget.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program


October 2019 Class Notes:


Natasha de la cruz

This past summer, she was able to conduct research using remote sensing techniques to measure the growth of harmful algal blooms in the Chesapeake Bay. Natasha was fortunate to be able to present this research at two scientific research conferences. In November, she will be presenting at the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) Conference in Mobile, AL. Next year in February, she will also be presenting this research at the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO) Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, CA.

HSF Affiliation: Student and Friend



Madison Marks (B.A. '13)

Will be taking on a new challenge as Exposure Manager with Expo 2020's Expo Live program. Expo Live is the on-going innovation and partnership program. It is designed to harness the convening power of a World Expo by engaging a broad array of participants to develop practical and innovative legacy solutions across Opportunity, Mobility, and Sustainability. Expo 2020 is a World Expo to be hosted by Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, opening on October 20, 2020. The Bureau International des Expositions general assembly in Paris awarded Dubai as the host on November 27, 2013.

HSF Affiliation: Friend

September 2019 Class Notes:



Jessica (Gonzalez-Michaels) Hill (B.S. '94, Ph.D. '10)

Last year, Jessica was awarded tenure and is now an Associate Professor.

HSF Affiliation: Honors in the Major


Jake hunter (b.s. '17)

Working for Deloitte Consulting, Jake was promoted from Business Analyst to Consultant and now serves federal clients in the policy areas of Defense, Security, and Social Justice.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program


Courtney saunders (b.s. '19)

Courtney recently relocated to Washington, D.C. She is working as a litigation paralegal at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, prior to attending law school in the fall of 2021.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major, Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement


Karen Schadow (B.A. '71, M.A. '73)

Karen has owned her company, The Voice of Success, for 20 years and has worked as a Voice and Presentation Skills Coach. For the past three years, she has been named the Top Voice Coach in New York. Karen is also being recognized this year for 30 years as Professor at New York University.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major

Stacey slaughter (b.a. '94)

Stacey is a Partner at the national law firm, Robins Kaplan LLP. Last year the National Law Journal recognized Ms. Slaughter as a Litigation Trailblazer.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major



Bethany swonson (b.a. '13)

Bethany was recently promoted to Deputy Chief of Staff for the Florida Department of Education (FDOE). She is leading the Legislative Affairs Office, continuing to serve as Executive Director for the Florida Education Foundation, and taking on greater leadership responsibilities for our states's education system. 

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major

August 2019 Class Notes:



David Boyle (B.A. '94)

David was sworn into the Bar of the United States Supreme Court in May 2019.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program 


Michelle Castaline, (B.S. '16)

Michelle recently started a job at the Federal Energy and Regulatory Commission in DC as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Judge Coffman. Michelle was also published at the beginning of this year in the University of California Hastings Environmental Law Journal: "Clearing the Air: Disincentivizing Driving and Encouraging the Use of Public Transportation to Combat Vehicle Pollution at a State Level."

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program




Beth (gibbons) Demme (B.A. '95, J.D. '99)

Beth was recently appointed by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church to serve as the Associate Pastor at Good Samaritan United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, FL. Serving as a pastor is a major career pivot for Beth who received her law degree from FSU 20 years ago. She is delighted to serve in Tallahassee at Good Samaritan.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program



lakendra (mccolumn) Fulbright (B.S. '05, M.s. '08)

LaKendra recently opened a clinic, Regenerative Therapy of Georgia, that focuses on addressing both acute and chronic conditions with regenerative therapies that include groundbreaking treatments utilizing autologous PRP and stem cells from umbilical cord tissue. LaKendra’s passion is to help as many people as possible lead a healthier, happier and pain-free life.

HSF Affiliation: Office of National Fellowships


Arnel Garcesa (B.S.16)

Arnel was recently featured in a Student Spotlight Article by FSU's College of Arts and Sciences. This article highlights the 2nd degree he is attempting to earn, as well as his professional career with Cenergistic, an energy conservation firm partnered with FSU to reduce its utility consumption.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program


Kira gurnee (B.A. '88)

Kira is a voice over actress and spokesperson was recently profiled by Authority magazine for her work behind the mic, on camera, and on stage.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major


Hunter Hamrick (B.S. '15)

Hunter has been appointed to be the Associate Program Coordinator for the Washington DC chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major, Office of National Fellowships, Center for Undergraduate Research and Academic Engagement


Charles holden leo (B.S. '89, J.D. '91)

Charles was awarded the Florida Super Lawyer for the 11th straight year by Super Lawyers/Thomson Reuters Board Certified in Workers Compensation since 1998 A.V. Rated by both peers and judiciary through Martindale Hubbell.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program


Mckinley lewis (b.s. '13)

On Monday, August 12, McKinley was recognized by Florida Politics in its Summer 2019 edition of Influence Magazine as one of the Rising Stars in Florida Politics.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major



curtis lord (b.s. '74)

After leaving FSU, Curtis worked his entire career in health care administration. The majority of his time was spent with Florida Blue in Jacksonville, Florida. His last 13 years there he served as the chief executive officer for the company's government business sector. Curtis retired from Florida Blue in 2011 and consulted with health care providers until fully retiring in 2018.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program



william ortiz (B.A. '19)

William just completed the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Summer Enrichment Program. As of earlier this month, he is now working as a Sociology and English instructor at a high school in South Florida.

HSF Affiliation: Office of National Fellowships


Trisha (dewolfe) scott (B.S.W. '09, m.s.w. '10)

Trisha has been working in the field of clinical social work treating eating disorders at residential treatment centers for the last nine years. Tricia recently received a certification as an eating disorder specialist and supervisor (CEDS-S) regarding her expertise as a therapist in the field.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program


judith tankel (B.a. '12, j.d. '15)

Judith began working as the District Director for newly elected freshman Congressman Colin Allred. Texas' 32 Congressional District covers North Dallas and the Northeast Dallas suburbs. Duties include managing constituent outreach, federal casework, and Congressman Allred's time spent in the district. 

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Office of National Fellowships


Mark woodland (B.f.a '81)

Mark welcomed a grandson, Phoenix Pan Woodland-Junkins, born last July. On August 21, he and Kelly Woodland (BA 1983) will celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary.

HSF Affiliation: Honors Program, Honors in the Major