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Class of 2011

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Alumnus finds value and application in a popular Saint Leo University course on terrorism in Israel.

Charlie Bird ’05 ’11 ’14 followed a time-honored path over the course of three decades to emerge as the head of law enforcement  in his Central Florida hometown. He started as an outdoorsy, active young man who was introduced to the career through a friend who was a police dispatcher, and found the work suited him. He earned his degrees near home and advanced through the ranks. 

Now, as the director of public safety for the same small city, Winter Haven, FL (population: 43,000), Bird is a proponent of providing police and other emergency professionals with an international educational perspective. Even in smaller-population cities such as his, the threats to public safety and well-being are real, he said. Parkland, the Florida city victimized by the infamous Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, estimates its current population at 32,000, he pointed out.

Through his experiences at Saint Leo, Bird came to the conclusion that approaches to keeping the public safe now have to be researched worldwide, and not just within our country’s framework.

Bird earned an associate degree from Saint Leo in 2005 and later earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the university, studying part time, while working and raising a family. Then he followed that degree with a master’s in criminal justice with a concentration in critical incident management.

That was all sound training, he says, but what made him a more forward-leaning leader was his participation in an eight-day group trip to Israel. The tour is a learning experience that is organized periodically by Saint Leo’s departments of public safety administration and criminal justice in partnership with a respected security training company for law and safety students and professionals. The group learned about Israel’s approach to counterterrorism through its public infrastructure, various protective agencies, and planning capabilities.

“It was one of the best things I ever did,” Bird said of his 2014 experience. While many fellow travelers on the trip were from large-city police forces, Bird encountered many lessons that he applies in directing safety operations for Winter Haven, and that he thinks could work for other smaller municipalities.

New perspectives

What meant the most to Bird was the emphasis placed on the prevention of attacks and cooperative measures, along with strong tactical response capabilities. For instance, he realized in Israel, police and firefighters may coordinate and act immediately at a mass casualty, rather than in a sequence with police first, then firefighters. “You’re looking at it from a different perspective,” he said.

Charlie Bird, left, with Saint Leo faculty member Dr. Robert Sullivan on a tour during a study trip in May 2014 to Israel.

The Israeli thinking about keeping schools safe from intruders and active shooters also intrigued Bird. “Their security layers for schools are not just on campus,” he said. “They are outside that. They patrol the perimeters outside the school property.” His department could examine and adjust patrol routes, he immediately realized.

When he returned to Florida, the ideas stayed, and advancement opportunities followed. Bird became Winter Haven’s police chief early in 2015 after the previous chief, a mentor, left for another position in the region. After another few years, the city’s fire chief retired.

The local city manager in 2018 proposed a new organization bringing the fire and police departments, along with code enforcement, under one city department overseen by Bird. Bird agreed and was appointed the director of public safety, a new position. He now oversees 91 police employees and a force of 71 firefighters and emergency medical personnel.

One of Bird’s current initiatives involves taking police, fire, and code enforcement officers on team walks through neighborhoods where some of the homes and yards are out of code compliance or are about to be because of overgrown grass, debris, or other deficits. Team members walk and knock on doors to talk to residents, Bird said, taking an informative approach first, and asking what the public servants can do to help the residents bring the property into code compliance.

Community members who help agency personnel may come along, too, Bird said, and sometimes identify easy solutions. Firefighters look for features of buildings that might be fire hazards and add to their knowledge of the properties under their protective watch.

Cross-functional teams

The police presence also reassures residents the department is serious about keeping the area safe from personal and property crime and fighting drug dealing. This cooperative venture is also a data-driven exercise that will track results, including numbers of code citations and calls to police for help, Bird said.

He has his eye on the longer term, too. Now that some safety department managers have been working more holistically for more than a year, he would like to send six of them on the next Israel trip that Saint Leo is able to arrange. (A May 2020 date has been rescheduled for November 2020 in hopes of better travel conditions domestically and internationally, in light of the coronavirus outbreak.)

Bird wants the group to be able to see for themselves the kinds of things he did and develop more ideas for improving the safety and well-being of the residents of Winter Haven. An anonymous foundation board has come forward to fund most of this training so that taxpayers will not have to foot any costs. The donating board—unknown even to Bird—considers the donation a way to help the 53-year-old public safety director have strong successors in place when he eventually retires. Bird said he is “extremely appreciative.” The foundation’s board is “making a heck of an investment into the future of this department and into the future of this community.”


For More Information

If you are interested in learning more about the course and trip, please contact Dr. Robert Sullivan, faculty member with Saint Leo University’s Department of Public Safety Administration and Department of Criminal Justice, at robert.sullivan02@saintleo.edu.

Photos courtesy of Charlie Bird

A Note from the President’s Corner of the Alumni Association

On behalf of the Saint Leo University Alumni Association Board of Directors, it is my honor to welcome the Class of 2019 as valued members of the Saint Leo Alumni Association. I also want to welcome all students who are beginning or returning to their studies at Saint Leo. It is important for you to get to know about our association, too. Whether this is your first or 15th year as a Saint Leo alumnus or alumna, I challenge you to get connected and get involved. There are a number of ways to meet this challenge. Join an alumni chapter in your area, come to campus for homecoming weekend, suggest Saint Leo to a prospective student, or be a part of the conversations on the alumni social media channels from the comfort of your home. With more than 95,000 alumni worldwide, the Saint Leo alumni community is a network worth your time.
As a note of interest, this year begins a new chapter in our alma mater’s history with the inauguration of Dr. Jeffrey D. Senese as our 10th president. 

The strategic vision he has for Saint Leo is already becoming a reality with new academic programs, new education center locations, and the largest 

freshman class ever at University Campus. I encourage you to stay informed of everything that is 

happening across the university, and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Go, Lions!
John E. Holladay ’75
President, Saint Leo Alumni Association


New Alumni Chapters Established 

We are excited to announce that two new regional alumni chapters are up and running. Welcome to the pride, Ocala and Jacksonville! 

If there is not an alumni chapter in your area, we’ve got you covered. Check out our new virtual alumni chapter to connect with alumni from across the globe.

Details about all of our alumni chapters, along with a full calendar of events, are available online: your.saintleo.edu/chapters


Connect with your Saint Leo Career Services Office on Handshake

The Saint Leo Career Services office can be a resource to alumni well beyond graduation, helping you find new opportunities and connecting you with fellow Lions:

Services for Alumni
Whether you’re a recent graduate searching for that first job or a working professional looking to advance, Career Services offers a wide range of valuable resources online or in person. The team can help review your résumé, help you prepare for interviews, or provide you with access to job-search tools. Use the information below to connect with Career Services by phone or email, or come in for a one-on-one appointment. Career Services is located on the first floor of Kirk Hall at University Campus. 
Engage with Current Saint Leo Students
Give back to your alma mater by leveraging your network to help current students. Here are a few ways you can help them achieve their career goals:

  • Become a mentor and share your experiences, insights, and network.
  • Host students in your place of work for informational interviews, job shadowing, or credit-bearing internships.
  • Facilitate an information session or career workshop for a group of Saint Leo students.
  • Advocate that your organization’s Human Resources department recruit at Saint Leo.
  • Direct job and internship opportunities (student, entry-level, and experienced hires) through Handshake.
  • Volunteer to appear in Career Services webinars. 

careerservices@saintleo.edu  |  (352) 588-8346
www.saintleo.edu/career-services-handshake


Your Saint Leo is Hitting the Road

A variety of alumni events are planned throughout the country this winter and spring. Be on the lookout for your invitation if you are in: 

  • Atlanta, GA
  • Savannah, GA
  • Charleston, SC
  • Houston, TX
  • Key West, FL
  • New York, NY

Established in 2016, the Roaring Onward recognition program celebrates outstanding alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years. Selection is based on professional success, contribution to their communities, and living the university’s core values. Recipients possess the qualities that embody the spirit of Saint Leo and a commitment to further strengthen the alumni community. They are Lions who are truly making a difference!

Frank Carillo ’11 graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is a mental health case manager in the Richmond, VA area. He works with intellectually and physically disabled adults, as well as at-risk youth, and is working toward his doctorate at Walden University. Carillo’s fondest memories of Saint Leo include two of his professors, Drs. Stephen Ellsworth and Toni Bailey. He encourages current students to stay in touch with their professors after graduation and says that being a successful student is not a matter of what you learn, but how you use your God-given abilities.

Caleb Fuddy ’13 earned his bachelor’s degree in sport business and is employed by Crawford Healthcare, in Tampa, FL. After graduation, Fuddy worked in the operations department for the Boston Red Sox. When the team won the World Series last year, Fuddy was fortunate to receive a World Series ring. He credits Saint Leo for the opportunities he has received. While a student, he built strong relationships in classes and through athletics that he continues to maintain.

Jocelyn Morales ’16 graduated from Saint Leo with a Master of Business Administration degree and is a senior analyst in the securities processing department at the Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation. In addition, Morales is a board member of the Refugee and Migrant Women’s Group, which provides resources and life skills to refugees. She is proud to have received her MBA from Saint Leo because it has helped provide growth and development educationally, professionally, and personally.

Joshua Paul ’09 earned his master’s degree in sport business and is working toward his doctorate in business administration through Saint Leo. He is a pharmaceutical underwriter with Cigna and received the Cigna Champion Award for consistently going above and beyond. He is a member of the East Brainerd Youth Athletic Association in Tennessee, where he also coaches baseball. Paul is proud to be a member of the original cohort for Saint Leo’s doctoral degree in business administration and continues to strive for balance in life experiences and academic achievements. 

Seven alumni were inducted into the Saint Leo University Athletic Hall of Fame during homecoming weekend in November. Since 1986, the athletic hall of fame has honored former students, coaches, and administrators who excelled in Saint Leo athletics throughout the university’s history. Please join us in congratulating the following alumni.
 

Ernie Robinson ’68 was a dual-sport athlete, competing for the men’s basketball and baseball programs as a Monarch at Saint Leo. During his senior year, Robinson was voted as the J. Barthle Scholar-Athlete of the Year for carrying a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom. He was the 1968 captain with a .335 lifetime batting average on the baseball team where he caught for Saint Leo Athletic Hall of Fame pitchers Thomas Crosby, Fred Cambria, and Raymond Korn. Today, Robinson is retired from a 33-year teaching career in New York. In 1973, he was named teacher of the year in New York where he helped bring several cross country, basketball, and baseball championships. He was a founder of a baseball camp, which gave free instructions in baseball and life skills for 41 years in New York.

Brian Dayett ’78 was a member of the 1978 NCAA tournament baseball team and a two-year student-athlete, where he led the team in multiple categories. In two seasons, Dayett logged 197 total bases, 78 runs batted in, 26 doubles, 11 home runs, and 10 triples. During his sophomore season, in which he played every game, Dayett put together a .311 hitting percentage. He followed with a .381 average his junior season. In 1978, the New York Yankees selected Dayett in the 16th round of the draft. In 1982, he was named the AA Southern League Player of the Year, with 96 runs batted in and 34 home runs—a Nashville Sounds single season record that still stands today. In 1983, he was named New York Yankees Minor League Player of the Year. After playing five years in the major leagues with two clubs (the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs), Dayett played in the Japanese Pacific League before beginning to coach in 1997.

Pierre Augustin ’90 remains as one of the top all-time leading scorers in Saint Leo men’s basketball history, competing for the Monarchs for two seasons during which he amassed 1,037 points. His highlight night was against the University of Tampa. On January 25, 1989, he scored 40 points—the program’s first ever win over the Spartans. While competing on the hardwood for the Monarchs, he played in 53 games with a .483 shooting percentage and a .417 three-point percentage. Augustin hauled in 272 rebounds in two seasons and dished out 126 assists. He was the executive secretary and founding father of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity chapter at Saint Leo. Following his time at the university, Augustin started Universal Distributor Inc. in 2003.

Eusebio Herrera-Montoya ’09, who was named a National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-American as a senior, was a four-year member of the Saint Leo men’s soccer program. He ranks third in the Saint Leo record book for career goals with 46, and career points with 115. He was a three-time All-Sunshine State Conference (SCC) honoree, including a pair of first team nods, and the 2005 SSC Freshman of the Year, helping the team win its first championship and No. 2 national ranking. As a sophomore, he received the Personal Improvement Award at the Saint Leo athletic banquet. Herrera-Montoya works at Saint Leo as a Financial Aid manager.

Ashley Urbanik ’09 enjoyed a strong four-year career with the softball program, both at the plate and inside the circle. A two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection, Urbanik ranks among the top 10 in 10 career categories inside the Saint Leo record book, including seventh as a pitcher and third as a hitter. She sits in second for career homeruns; third in wins, shutouts, strikeouts, and appearances; fourth in runs batted in (RBIs) and complete games; fifth in innings pitched; and sixth in earned run average and at bats. She helped lead the team to a pair of NCAA tournament appearances in 2006 and 2008 and ranked among the top in NCAA Division II in 2008 in her earned run average, wins, hits allowed per seven innings, home runs per game, and strikeouts per seven innings.

Kyle Marceau ’10 is the first Saint Leo men’s lacrosse student-athlete to enter the university’s athletic hall of fame. Despite only playing for three seasons, Marceau put his name all over the Saint Leo record book. He scored 77 career goals in just three seasons, while dishing out 53 assists. He still ranks among the top 10 at Saint Leo in points, goals, assists, shots, shots on goal, and man-up goals. He was named the Saint Leo Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a senior and was also a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Academic All-American that season. A 2010 US Lacrosse All-American, he was a two-time, Deep South Conference first team selection and was named to a pair of Deep South All-Tournament teams. He was Saint Leo’s first representative for the USILA North/South All-Star game following his senior campaign. Marceau works for Lincoln Financial Group in Concord, NH, and is an assistant lacrosse coach for Concord High School.

Kaitlin McKenna ’11 was a four-year standout on the Saint Leo volleyball team and holds the career records for attack percentage and block assists, while ranking in the top 10 in four other categories. She is second in total kills, total blocks, and games played, and seventh in solo blocks. She posted the best single season attack percentage in program history as a freshman at .452. As a junior, she was a College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District First Team selection for her prowess in the classroom and on the court. In 2007, McKenna was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association South Region Freshman of the Year and the Sunshine State Conference Freshman of the Year. She is also an honorable mention and two-time All-Sunshine State Conference selection and three-time NCAA South Region All-Tournament Team honoree. McKenna works for Ernst & Young in Detroit.

Leslie Sukup ’07, ’11, ’17 is special for many reasons, and here is just one example: She is the first person to earn a bachelor’s, a master’s, and a doctoral degree from Saint Leo University.

Years ago, when Sukup was on active duty with the U.S. Air Force, she wanted to pursue her education. However, every time she moved—which was every two or three years—she would lose credits. Then she discovered Saint Leo. Online education was a fairly new phenomenon, and Saint Leo’s program gave her the flexibility she needed. Even when she was deployed, she “could get access to a computer and keep up with my schoolwork,” she said.

Sukup was amazed that even as an online student, she received personal attention from the faculty. “I loved the experience and loved how I was treated—like everyone else who had been on campus for four years.”

When it came time to graduate with her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems, Sukup happened to be stationed in Washington, DC, at the Pentagon. When offered the chance to come to University Campus to walk for commencement she jumped at the opportunity. Sukup was impressed with how the university treated online students for the commencement activities.

Sukup then went on to earn her Master of Business Administration (MBA). As she took classes, the knowledge she was gaining helped her with her job in the Air Force. In that role, she worked in knowledge management, handling information (both paper and digital), network security, and secure network administration.

She has vivid memories of notable deployments. For instance, soon after the attacks on September 11, 2001, she was deployed to Guam. She spent a few months there at a refueling station, supporting bombers that were headed to Afghanistan. While deployed to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, she took advantage of that location and proudly walked across the commencement stage at University Campus with her MBA. At another point, she was assigned to the Pentagon and spent four years in presidential flight support. Working with the Department of Defense “was eye-opening, and I was on call 24/7.”

Sukup finished her MBA in 2011 and applied for the Doctor of Business Administration program the following year. At that time she was still on active duty, but she always wanted to earn her doctorate. Saint Leo University’s DBA program had just launched, and she knew it was perfect for her.

According to Sukup, the DBA program in management is rigorous, and it “absolutely prepared me to be a professor. The dissertation process, doing research—all that gave me a unique aspect into teaching. I focused on resilience and grit.”

Sukup walked across the commencement stage again on April 29, 2017, as part of the first group of students to earn DBAs from Saint Leo.

In September 2017, after 25 years of service, she retired from the U.S. Air Force, and today she is an assistant professor of management at Ferris State University (MI), teaching organizational behavior and operations management.

“Going into teaching was a lifelong dream for me, a goal since high school,” Sukup said. “I love seeing the lightbulbs come on with students. It’s very rewarding.”

“From day one, Leslie was a model doctoral student,” said Dr. Russell Clayton, assistant professor of management. “Earning a doctorate requires a different mindset than pursuing an MBA, and Leslie definitely figured out quickly how to think like a doctoral student. This showed in everything she did in the DBA program from coursework to her dissertation. I’m happy that she has joined higher education and will be sharing her knowledge with the next generation.”

When she is not teaching class, she spends time with her family: husband, Steven, and two daughters, Sky (age 3) and Sage (age 1). Thinking back to juggling work and school, she explained with a laugh that she learned she was expecting Sky just as she started the DBA program. Then she learned she was expecting Sage just as she started her dissertation.

Her life is full and busy, but what’s next? “I’m a lifelong learner,” Sukup said. “There is always something out there for me to learn and help me be better.”

Remembering Mike Macekura

Macekura,-MikeCountless young people first heard of Saint Leo University because of the work of Mike Macekura. He worked as an associate director of admissions and often traveled to college fairs representing Saint Leo. He liked to place a palm tree on the Saint Leo display table. It was a conversation starter when he was chatting with families in the Northeast and explaining the advantages their students would enjoy if they attended college at University Campus in Florida. His daughter Vanessa ’11 followed that advice and proved him right.

Macekura, who lived in Marlton, NJ, passed away on December 19, 2017, at the age of 61. He proudly served his country as a major in the U.S. Army and as part of the Infantry 82nd Airborne Division. He was the first commandant of the Army Sniper School. In addition to his professional accomplishments, he was a man who loved antiques and who was trained in Italy to make violins.


Lorinda (Cindy) Eldredge,Honors Graduate 2008 (1/2+)

Cindy-'08-and-James-EldredgeMy darling wife, your spirit is with me as I see your name
written in stone.
I know that I shall never, nor will you ever, be alone.
Always and forever,
Husband Jim (1/2= 1)
P.S. — 1/2 each made us whole


John Sosin ’50
September 3, 2016

Victor (Vic) Helton ’53
April 21, 2016

Edward (Eddie) Herrmann ’53
October 21, 2017

Ronald L. Taylor ’58
December 20, 2016

Jay J. Miniet ’64
July 18, 2017

Elizabeth Allison ’69
May 22, 2017

Glen J. Swette ’72
September 15, 2017

Glover P. Manning ’76
January 7, 2017

Susan E. Huysman ’77
April 18, 2015

Karl Pedersen ’77
June 18, 2017

James O. Wallace ’77
September 16, 2014

Jack D. Hunn ’78
September 10, 2017

Lester J. Rarick ’78
January 30, 2015

Boyd M. Weber ’78
August 28, 2017

Charles W. Bishop ’81
May 6, 2014

John R. Moll ’81
March 17, 2015

Manuel Faria ’83
August 10, 2017

Donald (Don) McDowell ’83
March 30, 2017

John W. Winter ’83
November 5, 2016

Columbus H. Mize ’84
July 18, 2017

Benjamin A. Sablan ’84
October 5, 2017

Hollis C. Turner ’84
May 30, 2015

Charles E. Willie ’85
May 23, 2017

Moses C. Baines ’93
April 4, 2017

Ronald G. Bondurant ’00
May 26, 2006

David Cox ’03
May 10, 2017

Greg Fusco ’03
December 16, 2017

Lorinda (Cindy) Eldredge ’08
September 9, 2017

David M. Smith ’09
February 28, 2017

Kajuansa A. Jones ’11
January 19, 2017

Brett T. Bassett ’16
November 18, 2017

Anderlei Cunha Mello Jr. ’20
October 31, 2017

Roaring Onward is a recognition program established by the Saint Leo University Alumni Association to celebrate outstanding alumni who have graduated within the past 10 years. Selection is based on professional success, contribution to their communities, and living the university’s core values. Recipients possess the qualities that embody the spirit of Saint Leo and a commitment to further strengthen their alumni community. They are Lions who are truly making a difference!


M.Lydon_8Michael Lydon ’07 is the director of North American Talent Acquisition for INC Research/inVentiv Health, a fully integrated bio-pharmaceutical solutions organization in the market. In his role, Lydon leads a department of 40-plus managers and recruiters who are responsible for hiring more than 1,500 employees in North America and 3,500 employees globally. He regularly participates in a number of local community charities, including the Pancreatic Cancer Center, Trinity Cafe, and Hope Children’s Home. His most memorable Saint Leo moment was when he first met his wife, Jamie (Porrevecchio) Lydon ’08. Given the university’s diversity, Lydon credits Saint Leo for helping him learn how to collaborate and communicate with individuals from all over the world. These invaluable skills have accelerated his success and enabled him to make a positive impact in the corporate world.


Latoya-GaryLatoya Gary ’11, MBA ’13 is a senior accountant for the Marion County (FL) Public Schools finance department. She plays a vital role in the day-to-day operations of the district—from handling budget preparations to analyzing financial data. She participates in United Way fundraisers hosted by the district and regularly volunteers at church by serving on the Hospitality Committee. Her favorite Saint Leo memory is the networking receptions. While she attended Saint Leo online, these receptions allowed her to network and meet new friends.

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Latoya Gary ’11 MBA ’13 receiving her award from Dr. Lennox


ShermanSherman Milton III ’13 is a Realtor® for Florida Heritage Real Estate Group in Dade City (FL). Since joining the real estate world, he has helped many first-time buyers fulfill their dreams of becoming homeowners. Being one of the youngest agents in his association, he has a busy work schedule, but he still finds time to give back to his community. During his free time, he tutors at the Boys and Girls Club and mentors for the Pasco Education Foundation. Milton’s favorite memory of Saint Leo is his SERVE (Students Engaged in Rewarding Volunteering Experiences) trip to Ecuador during his freshman year. There he had the opportunity to teach English and computer skills at a local school.


Kim_PattersonKimberly Patterson ’15 is a crime scene technician with the Lakeland (FL) Police Department. She works in all aspects of criminal investigation, including forensics, crime scene investigation/reconstruction, forensic photography, and courtroom testimony. Patterson has received numerous meritorious service awards from the Lakeland Police Department, and she actively participates in community projects sponsored by the department. She says that Saint Leo’s core values create a foundation upon which students can build to become morally responsible professionals and leaders.


J-ProphetJeri D. Prophet ’13 is the founder and CEO of lntellecTechs, Inc., a Virginia Beach (VA) firm specializing in a full range of information technology products and services. Prophet has been recognized for numerous awards, including the 2015 Still Hope Foundation’s Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, the 2014 Entrepreneurial Excellence Honoree, the 2012 Women in Business Honoree, the 2012 Still Serving Award, and the 2009 Top Forty Under 40 Honoree. A service disabled veteran, Prophet started NowHiringVeterans.com, a free veteran/employer matching job placement service website. Her favorite Saint Leo memory is walking into Professor Elliott Seagraves’ music class and realizing Professor Seagraves was as passionate about music as she was about computers, and there would be no leaving early.

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Jeri Prophet ’13 with Dr. Lennox


JesseJesse Suarez ’11 is a second-year internal medicine resident at Brandon (FL) Regional Hospital. Following completion of his residency training, he plans to enroll in a fellowship in cardiovascular medicine. Born and raised in the Tampa Bay area, he is engaged with community-based activities involving the American Medical Association and his residency program. He also volunteers frequently with the American Heart Association. Following completion of his training, he plans to return to the Tampa Bay area and serve his community as a cardiologist. Suarez says his favorite Saint Leo memory was being a member of the baseball team, through which he formed lasting relationships with his coaches and teammates, and served as captain during his junior and senior seasons. To Suarez, being a Saint Leo Lion means being a part of a collective that embodies the university’s core values.


Brendan Cahill ’10 is the senior manager for Payer Marketing and Strategy at Valeant Pharmaceuticals, in Bridgewater, NJ. He is an active member in Team Red, White & Blue, an organization whose mission is to enrich the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity. Cahill’s proudest professional moment is when he placed first in his class in Basic Training with the National Guard. In fact, he is still active in the Guard and serves as the executive officer of his unit, with the rank of first lieutenant. His fondest memories of his time at Saint Leo are playing on the lacrosse team and creating lifelong friends.

2017-2018 Alumni Association Board of Directors

_DSC4663
Front row: Amber Loring ’06, ’07, Ken Thomas (treasurer) ’06, ’09, Ken Swan (president) ’67, Ann Marie Lombardi (vice president) ’77, Kristen Brady ’08, ’13. Second row: John Bucher ’05, Melissa Hendrick ’02, John McDonald ’87, Ramone Pierce ’11, ’13, Allison Walker ’09, Deborah Changnon ’07, ’10, Bud McKechnie ’52, Maggie Beaumont ’57, Laura Chirichigno ’10, ’12, Akshita Sahgal (student representative) ’18. Third row: John Holladay ’75, Juliette Stratis (student representative) ’19, Keith Middlemark ’04, Harv Whitney ’68, Tonya Moore ’96, Anthony Santa ’12, Greg Greiwe ’80, Jim Irvin ’70, John Flaherty ’67, Andy Flanagan ’70. Not pictured: Jason Barcomb ’00, Chris Delaporte (past president) ’80, Margaret Gary ’08, ’10, Tony Porrevecchio (secretary) ’05, Tommy Poston ’06, ’09, Glenda Russel ’06, Erik Shafer ’03.


Coming Home to You Tour Returns

CHTY-5In July, your Alumni Engagement & Sustained Giving team hit the road with the return of the Coming Home to You Tour. With stops in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and Hampton, VA, alumni and students had a chance to network and have fun.

The tour will return this spring—so be on the lookout for the stop closest to you, and join in the fun!


Welcome Class of 2017

With commencement season behind us, it is time to welcome our newest graduates into the next phase of their Saint Leo experience. Be sure to keep your contact information up-to-date and visit your.saintleo.edu often to learn about all of the exciting things taking place.

Whether you are just graduating or simply haven’t had time to get involved yet, be sure to:


Alumni Chapters

TB-Alumni-Ch-zoSaint Leo has made its mark in New York City and Tampa—what cities will be next? Alumni chapters provide a great opportunity for Saint Leo alumni to come together to network, help spread the word to potential new students, complete community service projects, and have fun—all in their own backyards. To find out how to start an alumni chapter in your area, visit your.saintleo.edu/chapters.

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Calling All Animal Lovers!

ernieDo you have a unique, special, or just plain wonderful pet? Please send us your photos (high-resolution, print quality if possible) for possible inclusion in an upcoming issue of Spirit magazine. Dogs, cats, pigs, horses, iguanas, parakeets, and more—all are welcome! Be sure to supply: your name and class year, the pet’s name and breed, and what makes your pet great. Send to news@saintleo.edu, subject line: Saint Leo Pets


This Is My Saint Leo!

Class-of-62-reunion-group_LOcopy1
In May, members of the Class of 1962 (above) celebrated their 55th reunion. The weekend included a reception on campus, providing an opportunity to revisit familiar places as well as tour new ones.

Fred Edwards ’47 shared the images (below) with classmate Mickey McLinden ’47. The left photo was taken the day the pair “borrowed” the Benedictine brothers’ truck and took it to Dade City, something they got docked for weeks by Father Raphael for doing. The other photo was taken 60 years later in front of the same model truck. “Those were the days!”

DSC_3426_LOcopy2 DSC_3426_LOcopy1

Dr. Tanya L. Higgins, who taught sociology at the Fort Eustis Education Office in Virginia from 1999 to 2010, passed away on August 5 in Williamsburg.


Marc-NewberryMarc Newberry, a University Campus rising junior who was majoring in management, passed away on April 28, following a boating accident near his home in Naples, FL. Marc was well known in his hometown for his talents as a high school football player. The Naples community remembers him as “the man with the hard hit and the big heart.” Regarding the accident, Marc’s father, John Newberry, explained, “He died doing what he loved to do, and that’s out and about having fun with his friends.”


Roberta-Wright_LOcopy1Roberta Frazier Wright, a business administration student at the Savannah Education Center, passed away on March 23. She had been a Saint Leo student since summer 2015. Her daughter, Malaysha Hall, also is a Savannah Education Center student.


Henri “Pete” de Sibour ’48
June 7, 2017

Robert “Bob” Biegalski ’59
April 22, 2017

Kathleen “Kathy” Peugh ’62
January 7, 2017

Paul Byrne ’70
May 24, 2017

Joseph L. Frisch ’75
May 8, 2016

Carmen Corrado ’77
May 14, 2014

Michael J. Kosiba ’77
December 14, 2016

Donald “Don” Dempsey ’79
December 31, 2016

Lemuel Pearsall ’83
February 16, 2015

Howard E. Dow ’86
October 2, 2015

Patrick J. “Buddy” McFaddin ’86
October 24, 2015

Brian Danis ’92
February 26, 2016

Wesley K. Stewart ’94
April 8, 2017

Sam Tollett ’95
November 21, 2016

Kevin P. Osterberger ’97
February 6, 2017

Colin P. Saunders ’98
March 5, 2017

Annie Acksel ’99
June 26, 2017

Anton “Dick” Sorenson ’03
December 24, 2015

Anthony Rosso ’04
February 24, 2017

Christopher DeVino ’09
May 29, 2017

Diane Moriarty ’10
April 5, 2017

Chung Yim ’11
April 24, 2017

Robert W. Ridley ’12
February 12, 2017

 


Alex “Pancho” Carrera, a junior at University Campus, passed away on September 11, 2016. A graduate of Fort Pierce Central High School, he was born in Guerrero, Mexico. Fellow students remember him for his “huge smile and contagious happiness.”


Brother Benedict Cooper of Saint Leo Abbey passed away on December 30, 2016. He lived on the Abbey grounds following the death of his wife, and he made his oblation in 2011. The monks of Saint Leo Abbey remember him for his smile and happy demeanor. He dutifully worked in the sacristy, keeping everything orderly and clean, and he prided himself on being a singer in the St. Petersburg cathedral choir.


Nicholas Cusson-Ducharme (aka Nickk Cusson) passed away on December 31, 2016 near his home in Winooski, VT. A senior majoring in accounting, Nickk took classes at University Campus and online. He was active in the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.


Clarence H. Johnson, an MBA student at the Tampa Education Center, passed away on October 31, 2016. He was a resident of Temple Terrace, FL. Before enrolling at Saint Leo, he earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Florida. An enthusiastic traveler, he found joy in music, food, and art.

 


J. Roy Dee ’49
September 30, 2016

Richard T. Slade ’50
January 9, 2017

Martha (Pike) Huizenga ’61
January 3, 2017

Patrice M. Chardain ’62
August 9, 2015

George J. Kennedy ’67
November 23, 2016

Michael F. Miron ’67
September 1, 2016

Michael A. Milardo ’68
August 16, 2016

James “Jay” Kenney ’69
June 18, 2016

Pierre P. Lafitte ’69
September 24, 2016

William “Ernie” Chatman ’72
July 24, 2016

Charles M. Durian ’73
November 6, 2015

Kevin J. Kiernan ’77
November 7, 2016

LTC Harold G. Beddow ’80
May 9, 2014

Joyce M. Dudley-England ’80
December 17, 2015

Foriest S. Rivenbark ’81
July 18, 2016

Walter C. Capron Jr. ’82
January 5, 2016

Kenneth A. Kozbiel ’82
September 29, 2016

Laurence E. Higgins ’84
August 24, 2016

Shelley L. Kelly ’84
January 24, 2014

Jennifer B. Canalizo ’86
December 9, 2014

Hugh U. Downing ’87
August 7, 2013

Ronald W. Hinson ’89
August 31, 2016

Kevin Flynn ’95
July 27, 2016

Philip P. Royal ’98
July 18, 2016

David S. Flowers ’00
November 3, 2016

Tommy W. Reagan ’03
August 22, 2016

Robert A. Behnke ’11
September 1, 2016

Helen Crittenden ’11
March 20, 2015

Elimisha M. Gates ’13
August 23, 2016

Yvonne Johnson ’13
August 23, 2016

Ann Marie Gildemeyer ’14
July 22, 2016

Tiffanie M. Hughess ’15
July 18, 2016

The Saint Leo University alumni ranks grew to more than 80,000 this year with commencement ceremonies taking place from coast to coast. At University Campus, close to 1,200 students graduated during three ceremonies held April 29 and 30. Those events kicked off the “commencement season” for Saint Leo with 15 more ceremonies being held near education centers throughout May and June. Click the photos to learn more.

Abena_Ankomah

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Abena Ankomah ’11, ’16 earning her MBA


achonwaFlashback to 2014:
Chukwudi Peter Achonwa ’14

Originally from Imo state in southern Nigeria, Chukwudi Peter Achonwa has lived and worked across the Niger River in neighboring Delta state for more than 20 years. His home is in the city of Warri, which is not far from the Gulf of Guinea.

His entire life, Achonwa had never been outside Nigeria.
That was until May 2014, when the Saint Leo University online student—and now alumnus—boarded a plane and traveled for nearly 24 hours to arrive in Florida and attend commencement at University Campus.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting that day, and now he is an accountant in his native country. He hopes to earn a master’s degree and a PhD in his field.

Mary Beth Erskine, web content writer, posted a longer story about Chukwudi Peter Achonwa on Saint Leo’s online blog.


grad_4Want to see more photos from the Class of 2016 ceremonies? Be sure to visit
this page.