October 25, 2016
VSU Presents Distinguished Alumni, Graduate of the Last Decade Awards
Pictured are Britney C. Vickery, 2016 College of the Arts Distinguished Alumna of the Year, and Dr. Kelli R. Brown, interim president of Valdosta State University.
Pictured are Robert “Brian” Strickland, 2016 Graduate of the Last Decade Award, and Dr. Kelli R. Brown, interim president of Valdosta State University.
VALDOSTA — The Valdosta State University Alumni Association recently recognized seven alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their professions, communities, and even the world. They are:
Britney C. Vickery, 2016 College of the Arts Distinguished Alumna of the Year
Britney C. Vickery graduated from Valdosta State in 1997 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in organizational communications. She began her career at a Fortune 100 company and later decided to leave the corporate world to start her family. From a spare bedroom in her home, she launched Initials Inc. in 2005 and today she serves as chief executive officer of this direct selling enterprise that utilizes home parties to sell handbags, accessories, and other home organization products. Her company has been ranked one of America’s fastest-growing private companies four years in a row. She resides Clarkesville, Ga., with her husband and two children and is an active member of the North Georgia community.
Dr. Timothy Jameson Brewer, 2016 James L. and Dorothy H. Dewar College of Education and Human Services Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
Dr. Timothy Jameson Brewer graduated from Valdosta State a 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in Education in secondary education. He went on to earn a Master of Science in social foundations of education at Georgia State University and a Doctor of Philosophy in educational policy studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a former high school history teacher from Atlanta public schools and currently serves as a lecturer at the University of Georgia in the Department of Lifelong Education, Administration, and Policy. Much of his scholarly work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and has appeared in major news publications. He and his wife have two daughters.
Tim Golden, 2016 College of the Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
Tim Golden graduated from Valdosta State in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in American history and political science. He later played a key role in helping the college gain university status in 1993 and was instrumental in helping the university secure funding for many of the buildings on campus. He served a total of 12 terms in the Georgia Legislature. He was elected to the Georgia House in 1990, and in 1998, he was elected to the Georgia Senate, where he served until his retirement in 2014. Devoted to serving the South Georgia region and the state of Georgia, he currently serves as a member of the Georgia Department of Transportation’s State Transportation Board for the 8th Congressional District. He and his wife have one son.
Dr. Tracy M. McClelland, 2016 College of Nursing and Health Sciences Distinguished Alumna of the Year
Dr. Tracy M. McClelland graduated from Valdosta State in 2000 with a Master of Science in nursing. She went on to earn a Doctor of Philosophy in nursing from the University of California. A registered nurse and an educator in the health care arena, she has served as a clinical instructor for South Georgia College, director of nursing for East Central Technical College, and clinical educator for Coffee Regional Medical Center. She is the owner of Ycarté Health Career Center, a health education training facility located in Douglas, Ga. In 2010, she founded the National Health Career Training Coordinators Association, where registered nurses can learn to become entrepreneurs by opening their own nursing businesses. She is an active member of her community in Coffee County, Ga. She and her husband have one daughter.
Stuart B. Parker, 2016 Harley Langdale Jr. College of Business Administration Distinguished Alumnus of the Year
Stuart B. Parker graduated from Valdosta State in 1983 with a Bachelor of Business Administration, where he was also a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps program. He later earned a Master of Business Administration in finance and Certified Financial Planner certification from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. He served in the United States Air Force for nearly 10 years and flew combat missions during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Upon earning his wings, he was selected as an instructor pilot in the T-38 Talon and became a wing flight examiner. He joined the United Services Automobile Association in 1998. He served as president of USAA’s Property and Casualty Company, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer before becoming chief executive officer in 2015. He and his wife have one daughter.
Natalie Trotter, 2016 Graduate of the Last Decade Award
Natalie Trotter graduated from Valdosta State in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training. She went on to earn a Master of Science in sports and fitness management at Troy University in 2008. She is currently in her fifth season as an athletic trainer at the University of Arkansas, where she works with women's basketball and women's golf. She previously served at Arkansas State University. Her career as an athletic trainer has allowed her to travel as part of the International Sports Connection Basketball Exchange in Uganda, where, during the summers of 2012 and 2013, she lectured on prevention and treatment of injury; nutrition; and speed, strength and agility. She was awarded Athletic Trainer of the Year for Arkansas 2015.
Robert “Brian” Strickland, 2016 Graduate of the Last Decade Award
Robert "Brian" Strickland graduated from Valdosta State in 2006 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in economics. He then attended Florida Coastal School of Law, where he graduated with a Juris Doctor in 2009. Prior to becoming partner with Smith, Welch, Webb & White LLC, he worked as an associate for the firm of Smith, Welch & Brittain LLP from 2009 to 2011. He serves the citizens of Henry County as a state representative for District 111, having been elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2012 and re-elected in 2014. He is a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Health, as well as on the Economic Development and Tourism, Industry and Labor, Intragovernmental Coordination, and Judiciary Non-Civil committees. He also serves as a deputy whip to the majority caucus. He and his wife reside in McDonough, Ga.