Alum Notes

Alumni House, Thursday, May 21, 2020.

Zachary Kanady ’20 was hired for HHM Certified Public Accountants’ accounting and assurance department.  Photo 1

Madeline Wade ’20 was hired for HHM Certified Public Accountants’ tax department. Photo 2

Haleigh Darnell ’18 is the executive assistant to the president for Austin Hatcher Foundation for Pediatric Cancer. Photo 3

Thaddeus Johnson ’14, ’16 and Natasha Johnson ’15 authored an Op/Ed published in the Sept. 8, 2020 edition of USA Today on the topic of defunding police. Photo 4 & 5

Jack Harris ’13 was appointed director of Athletic Logistics and Support at the McCallie School. 

Zach LeQuire ’11 joined SmartBank as business deposit officer in Chattanooga. Photo 6 

Dr. Melanie Blake ’10 joined CHI Memorial and CHI Memorial Medical Group as a primary care internal medicine physician. Photo 7.

Jameson Miller ’07  is now a partner in the Chattanooga office of Mauldin & Jenkins, a certified public accounting firm. 

Daniel Barber ’05 was hired as director of accounting for Rise Partners, a Chattanooga commercial real estate development and management company. Photo 8

Susan Harris ’05, president and chief operating officer of See Rock City Inc., since 2016, is now the company’s CEO.  Photo 9

Sandra Huggins ’05 joined the staff of CHI Memorial Convenient Care — Atrium. Photo 10

Amanda Jelks ’05 was named Best Attorney by the Chattanooga Business Elite organization.  Photo 11

Rusty Posey ’05, ’12 was named vice president, senior portfolio manager and team leader at First Horizon Bank. Photo 12

Certified public accountant Ryan J. Hood ’04 established a new accounting firm: Hood, CPA & Associates.  Photo 13

Jimmy Martin ’02 was named as senior credit officer for East Tennessee by First Horizon Bank. Photo 14

Rob Praino ’02 was hired as director of membership at the Common House social club. Photo 15

Anna Massey ’99 joined Neel-Schaffer, Inc. as an environmental scientist in the firm’s Chattanooga office. Photo 16

Jennifer Cooper ’97 was appointed director of marketing and communications at Chattanooga State Community College.  Photo 17

Harriette LaVarre Spiegel ’94 received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to Canada in education to conduct research and lecture at the University of St. Mary’s in Nova Scotia. Only about 800 such awards are presented each year. 

Susan Ashcraft ’93 was named director of Alumni Relations at Lee University. Photo 18

Perry Poole ’82 was hired by the Warren & Griffin law firm, which specializes in personal injury and social security disability coverage.

Please submit your Alum Notes to magazine@utc.edu


A national magazine has recognized a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate as one of the best chemists in the country.

Erika Milczek, who graduated in 2005 with a degree in chemistry, has been selected by Chemistry and Engineering News as a 2020 “Trailblazer,” a title that celebrates female entrepreneurs in chemistry.

In 2017, Milczek created Curie Co. which researches chemicals that can kill microorganisms or stop their growth. Known as antimicrobials, they include antibiotics that kill bacteria or antifungals to kill fungi. They are used in such products as soap, shampoo and body lotions.

While many antimicrobials use chemicals that are being banned or under federal scrutiny, Milczek decided she could create them using natural ingredients that are biodegradable, safe and not being boycotted by large retailers. She also believed she could do it without making the products that use them too expensive for shoppers.

 “I am a chemist. I can come up with better solutions,” she said in Chemistry and Engineering News.

So she did. Curie Co., using recycled marine biomaterials on products now available in Walmart, Target and other retailers.


In Memoriam

Floy Wang, both a UTC student and faculty member in the Department of Performing Arts, passed away Aug. 30. Wang moved to Chattanooga in 1981 to play in the Chattanooga Symphony. She received a master’s degree in music from UTC and taught the Violin and String Methods course. Wang also was the master teacher of the federally funded UTC String Project.  

Fred Behringer, former head of the Department of Theatre and Speech, passed away July 26. Behringer was a UTC faculty member for 28 years, 10 of which he served as department head. He retired in 2008 after mentoring many students and directing more than 75 theater productions. A fan of Eastern European theater, he established an exchange program between UTC and Masaryk University in the Czech Republic city of Brno. Something of a sentimental pack rat, he archived reminders of his children’s accomplishments, including poetry by his son Gabriel and stories written by his daughter Maggie. 

Professor Emeritus Jim Lewis of the Department of Performing Arts passed away June 12. Colleagues said he provided advice and wisdom to his students, even after retirement. The studio theater in the Fine Arts Building is named for him, as is an endowed scholarship.  Lewis was active in the community as a member of the boards of the Chattanooga Ballet and the Southern Writers’ Conference. He enjoyed music, travel, great food, college basketball and good conversation. 

Kyle Knight, professor of organic chemistry, passed away Aug. 8. He joined UTC faculty in 1997 after receiving a bachelor’s from Middlebury College in Vermont and a doctorate from Stanford University in California. His research was published in international scholarly periodicals such as the Journal of Physical Chemistry  and  Journal of the American Chemical Society. He involved undergraduates in all of his research activities, mentoring over 40 students during his 23-year career at UTC. He sponsored the local chapter of Gamma Sigma Epsilon, the national chemistry honor society and was an active outdoorsman who enjoyed kayaking in the Chattanooga area. 

Linda Pickthorne Fletcher passed away April 20. From 1991 to 2000, she was dean of the College of Business Administration and held the John Stagmaier Chair of Economics and Business. She created the Institute for Women as Entrepreneurs, an outreach service of the UTC College of Business, helping local women and minorities with new venture creation and the transition to self-employment. She was a board member at EPB, Girls, Inc.; AmSouth Bank and YMCA Chattanooga, among other organizations. Her support of new, innovative programs in entrepreneurship opened careers for many students, particularly women. She broadened the horizons of many of her students by making them more aware of other cultures through international travel.  

Professor Emeritus and former University of Tennessee at Chattanooga director of bands Tony D’Andrea passed away May 14. As director of bands from 1982 to 2005, D’Andrea worked with the Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Jazz Band and Pep Band. He also taught courses in Applied Saxophone, Band Management and Organization, Woodwind Methods, Advanced Conducting, Marching Band Techniques and Teaching Instrumental Music in Secondary Schools. Before becoming a music educator, D’Andrea was a musician who toured with performers including Buddy Holly, Bobby Darin, James Brown, Pat Boone, Glen Campbell, the Everly Brothers, Sonny and Cher, Ray Charles and Andy Williams. 

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