Shackelford Alumni Achievement Awards

Dan-Brown-bw.jpgThe Rev. Dan Brown '76

The Rev. Dan Brown ’76 of Roswell is senior pastor at Dunwoody United Methodist Church.

He received his bachelor’s degree in Social Work from LaGrange College and completed his master of divinity degree at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He has done extensive doctoral work at both McCormick Theological Seminary and Asbury Theological Seminary.

Brown, a native of Florida, joined Dunwoody UMC in 2014 after 38 years as an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference. He has served as an adjunct professor of religion at Reinhardt College in Waleska, Georgia, and at Young Harris College in Young Harris, Georgia.

He has served multiple churches in his career, including past pastoral appointments in the metro Atlanta area and in Augusta. Before coming to DUMC, he was District Superintendent of the Griffin and Atlanta-Roswell UMC Districts.

At the college, he served on the Board of Trustees from 2010-2018, and began a second term in 2019.

He has been active in such organizations as the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce, the YMCA, the Lion's Club, and the Rotary Clubs in Griffin and Augusta. He serves on the board at Wesley Woods Senior Living in Atlanta. He has also served as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees of Reinhardt College.

The Rev. Brown is married to the former Carol Blanton, and they have two children: a daughter, Kathryn Brown Curkin (Scott), and a son, Christopher (Ashley); and five grandchildren, Maxwell Curkin, Anny Curkin, Ellie Curkin, Grace Brown and Meredith Brown.

Miriam-Harris-bw.jpgDr. Miriam C. Harris ’00

Dr. Miriam C. Harris ’00 of Washington, D.C., is the assistant chief of procurement compliance service (policy) at the U.S. Secret Service in Washington.

She earned a bachelor’s in Business Administration/Management with a minor in Sociology from LaGrange in 2000, a master’s in public administration (general business concentration) in 2005 from Georgia College & State University and a doctorate in organization and management (general business specialization) from Capella University. She recently completed the Washington Executive Seminar with the Department of Homeland Security chief procurement officer executive development program.

Dr. Harris began her career with the federal government in the Outstanding Scholar Intern Program with the U.S. Air Force in Warner Robins, Georgia, as a contract specialist. In 2016, she launched her own business, Workforce Evolution, designed to inspire and enhance organizational inclusivity through transformational leadership development.

She has continued to pursue higher education with research focused on leadership and inclusion with an emphasis on bridging generational gaps, conflict resolution, effective leadership and career development.

Her awards and recognitions include the Commander’s Letter of Commendation and the Director’s Strategic Goads award. She is a member of the Defense Acquisition Corps, Federally Employed Women and a founding advisory council member for Arts Conservatory for Teens. 

Dr. David L. Dycus ’05

david-dycus-bw.jpgDr. David L. Dycus of Annapolis Junction, Maryland, earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from LaGrange College and a master’s degree and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Mississippi State University.

Dr. Dycus completed a small-animal rotating internship at Auburn University and a three-year residency at MSU. During his time as a surgical resident, he completed his master’s degree with research focused on canine osteoarthritis. While at MSU, he received several scholarships for outstanding academics but also was actively involved with research.

In 2015, he earned his credentials as a certified canine rehabilitation practitioner through the University of Tennessee. He is an orthopedic staff surgeon at the Veterinary Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Group where he is involved in total joint replacement, minimally invasive fracture repair and ACL reconstruction. In addition, he oversees the mentorship of the surgical interns and assists in research with surgical residents at multiple academic and private institutions.

Dr. Dycus is also the co-founder and co-director of the Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Institute, an online learning platform. He is frequently asked to lecture locally, nationally and internationally. He has published numerous research articles and authored or co-authored several book chapters. He also is the co-editor of the textbook “Complications in Canine Cruciate Stabilization Techniques.” 

He was named by as one of the 10 veterinarians to watch in 2018.

Dr. Dycus has been featured on Sirius XMs Doctor Radio’s segment on Pet Health and Orthopedics. He serves on the editorial review board for Veterinary Surgery, the official publication of the American and European Colleges of Veterinary Surgeons. He has served on the research committee for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Currently Dr. Dycus is on the Board of Trustees for the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and is a council member for the Association for Veterinary Orthopedic Research and Education.

Dr. Dycus currently resides in Anne Arundel County Maryland with his wife, Brooke; daughter, Kennedy; and their three dogs, Maveryck, Cohen and Harper. 

Stuart C. Countess M’92

stuart-countess-bw.jpgStuart C. Countess M’92 of LaGrange is senior vice president and chief operating officer at Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Alabama and a master’s in Business Administration from LaGrange College.

He began his career at Hughes Georgia as a quality engineer, then at AUTECS Inc. as a senior engineer. He worked for Mercedes Benz in quality operations before moving to assembly operations. He joined Kia in 2008 on the operations side and was named vice president of the quality division in 2014 before being appointed to his current position in 2019.

Countess is a member of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, where he serves on the Board of Governors and a member of the State Workforce Development Board.

At the college, he serves on the Leadership Council. He is an elder at First Presbyterian Church, board member of the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce and LaGrange Academy, and on the Board of Councilors for the Carter Center.

He is married to Dana Countess and they have four children – Laura Presnell, Thomas Countess, Raymond Countess and Anna Countess. 


Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

Katie Hearn ’12

Katie-Hearn-bw.jpgKatie Hearn ’12 of Atlanta serves as digital and accessible services coordinator for the Atlanta Braves.

A native of Palmetto, Georgia, she graduated from Arlington Christian School in Fairburn before enrolling at LaGrange College, where she majored in Political Science and minored in English.

Following graduation, she taught high school history for two years.

In 2015, she was hired by the Atlanta Braves as their first digital service representative, monitoring social media during games, assisting fans with issues and finding ways to make game days memorable for the fans. She was soon named digital services trainer, working full time in the front office to monitor social media and updating with relevant information about game-day experiences.

She also was involved in the move from Turner Field to SunTrust Park, providing continual updates about the new ballpark while creating the new website,

 In 2016, she was named digital coordinator for the Braves. That year, she was put in charge of the social media command center and led a team of digital service representatives who answered guest questions on social media, email and through the team’s app. She hired and trained new representatives and created all their materials.

 But in 2017, she was diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri, a rare disorder that causes high pressure around the brain because of too much spinal fluid. Within months, she was legally blind. However, she underwent vocational and technology training that allowed her to return to her job with the Braves.

She received the Walter Banks Hospitality Award in 2018, an honor given annually to a member of the Braves staff who exemplifies a level of service consistent with longest-standing usher, Walter Banks.

This year, she moved to guest services to focus on accessible services, as well as maintaining her social media duties. She also co-leads orientation for all new staff.


Honorary alumni

Becky Carter

Becky-Carter-bw.jpgRebecca “Becky” McClain Carter of LaGrange is a graduate of LaGrange High School. She retired from LaGrange College in 2018 after 19 years of service.

At the college, she was a student accounts specialist working closely with families to come up with a plan to pay any balance owed after financial aid was considered and applied to the student’s account.

Before that, she worked in the Troup County school system for 17 years as a secretary, a Title I teacher’s aide at Berta Weathersbee, lead secretary at Hollis Hand Elementary School and bursar at LaGrange Academy.

She sings in the ladies ensemble, Faithful Hearts, at First Baptist Church on the Square.

She is married to Ken Carter, and they have two children, Mary Beth Carter Pelt (Garret) and Matthew Yater Carter ’08 (Katie); and two grandchildren, Saralynn Elizabeth Pelt and Carter Jackson Pelt. Another granddaughter is expected in December.

Tim Taunton

tim-taunton.jpgTim N. Taunton of LaGrange earned his bachelor’s degree in ceramics and painting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, participated in graduate studies at Arizona State University and holds a master of fine arts in ceramic sculpture from Louisiana State University.

He is retired professor emeritus in ceramics and sculpture at LaGrange College, where he taught from 1984 through 2015.

Taunton was a studio artist, teaching assistant and graduate assistant at LSU; a self-employed carpenter; art instructor at Maumelle Community Center in Maumelle, Arkansas; and studio potter in Little Rock, Arkansas.

At LaGrange, he received the Candler Professorship Award for 2012-14 and the Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award for 2000-2001. In 2000, he was the visiting artist at the World Ceramic Biennial Workshop and Exhibition at the Yeo Joo Institute of Technology in South Korea.

Taunton is a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa Society and was a recipient of a Georgia Council for the Arts individual artist grant. He was featured at the Scripps Annual Ceramic Invitational at Scripps College in Claremont, California; the American Crafts Council “Spotlight 91” Exhibition at the Mississippi Museum of Fine Arts in Jackson, Mississippi, where he received the Charles Brown Memorial Award; the Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in Lenoir, North Carolina, where he won first place; and he was named the Emerging Ceramic Artist at the 1986 NCECA Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

His work has appeared in publications including Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics: Art and Perception and World Sculpture News.

Taunton has led workshops, lectures and demonstrations at local K-12 schools K-12 and served as a juror for the Creative Youth Art League. He also coached Little League Baseball in Troup County from 1992-96. He is married to Susan R. Taunton and they have a son, Will Taunton (Susan) and two grandchildren in Rutherfordton, North Carolina.

Jerry Wilkinson

jerry-wilkinson-bw.jpgAtlanta businessman Jerry Wilkinson is founder and chairman of The Wilkinson Companies, a real estate advising and property management group in Atlanta. Since 1984, he has directed the operations and growth of the Wilkinson Companies and its subsidiaries, including properties in LaGrange.

He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Duke University and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He also did postgraduate work at Harvard University. He holds a Certified Commercial Investment Member designation, writes for national publications and is a guest lecturer at various organizations and schools. 

He was a member of the LaGrange College’s Board of Trustees from 2015 to 2019. In 2018, his family donated $1 million to support the college’s “From Promise to Prominence Campaign,” helping fund what is now known as the Wilkinson Family Servant Scholars Program.

Wilkinson served as 2012 chairman of the National Apartment Association. He has previously served as president of the Georgia Apartment Association and the Atlanta Apartment Association. He is one of 20 members in the 79-year history of the NAA Hall of Fame.  He has served on the board of directors of St. Joseph Hospital, Duke University School of Engineering and Atlanta Community Food Bank.

He currently serves on several boards including Apartment Life Inc. and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Wilkinson and his wife, Beverly, have three daughters and eight grandchildren, and split their time between Atlanta, Georgia, and Amelia Island, Florida.


Sports Hall of Fame

Amanda Daniel Wallace, Softball, 2006-08

Amanda-Wallace-bw.jpgAmanda Daniel Wallace was a three-year letterman as a pitcher. She was a three-time Great South Athletic Conference All-Conference selection and on the GSAC All-Freshman team.

She ranks in the top 10 in nine school individual season pitching categories – lowest earned run average 0.82 (first), wins 16 (tied for second) and strikeouts 130 (first). Daniel ranks in the top 10 in seven school career categories – lowest earned run average 1.66 (first), wins 45 (second), strikeouts 375 (first) and shutouts 16 (first).

She graduated in 2008 from LC with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry and earned a master’s in physician assistant studies from Medical College of Georgia in 2011. Daniel is employed as a physician assistant with the Athens Orthopedic Clinic in Athens, Georgia.

She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Physician Assistants in Orthopedic Surgery and the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants. Daniel has been a lecturer at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and had an article, “Managing the Aftermath of Prostate Cancer,” published in the March 2011 issue of Clinical Advisor.

She and her husband, Blake, reside in Athens.

Kim Woodard, Softball, 2004-07

SHOF-Kimberly-Woodard.jpgKim Woodard was a four-year letterman at shortstop for the Panthers. She was the Great South Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2007 and Freshman of the Year in 2004.

Woodard was a four-time GSAC All-Conference selection, a two-time USCAA All-American and on the All-Atlantic Region teams another three times.

Part of three GSAC championship teams as a player and as a coach, she ranks in the top 10 in nine school individual season hitting categories including batting average .424 (eighth), runs scored 43 (eighth) and RBIs 45 (tied for sixth). She ranks in the top 10 in 11 school career categories, including batting average .393 (third), runs scored 150 (third), hits 211 (second) and RBIs 122 (second).

Woodard graduated from LC in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and a masters in Education in 2010. She was the softball graduate assistant coach for two years before becoming the Maryville College head coach for four years.

She serves as the special education self-contained ABA teacher at Martin Elementary School in Hall County (Georgia) and head junior varsity coach and assistant varsity coach for softball at Cherokee Bluff High School.

Woodard and her husband, Nathanael, reside in Gainesville, Georgia.