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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. 

The 2017-2018 academic year concluded with 13 commencement ceremonies. Ceremonies took place in Florida, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, California, and Texas for the university’s education center and online students.

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Alysa Nantarojanaporn of Homestead, FL, was awarded the Thomas B. Southard Leadership Award Sabre at the undergraduate commencement on April 28. The sabre was presented to her by Virginia M. “Ginger” Judge, a member of the Board of Trustees. The sabre is given to the Army ROTC graduate who demonstrates leadership achievement in ROTC advanced camp, classes, and labs. Nantarojanaporn is the middle child of nine and the first college graduate in her family. She graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice.

About your Alumni Association 

Whether you are among our newest alumni or have not been active within the alumni association, here are some details to know:

  • The alumni association is led by the board of directors, which holds open nominations every January. Eight to 10 positions open each July as current members’ terms expire.
  • Homecoming weekend is held the first weekend in November at University Campus and is a great opportunity to reconnect with former classmates or to expand your network.
  • A variety of alumni events are held throughout the country, including happy hours, professional networking, community service projects, and outings to local sporting events. Bring a friend or come on your own. Either way, you will be glad you came.
  • Regional alumni chapters provide a great opportunity to get involved with Saint Leo right in your own backyard. Don’t see your city listed? Contact the Alumni Engagement office to find out how to start a chapter.
Photo: Front row: Keith Middlemark ’04 (secretary), Harv Whitney ’68 (treasurer), John Holladay ’75 (president-elect), Ann Marie Lombardi ’77 (president). Second row: Bud McKechnie ’52, Brittany Hahn ’15, Ray Pennick ’16, Kristen (Cabot) Brady ’08, ’13, Sandy Watkins ’03, ’17, Rebecca Matthews ’14, Amber Loring ’06, ’07, Akshita Sahgal ’19, Allison Walker ’09, Maggie (Herrmann) Beaumont ’57. Third row: Luckson Abraham ’16, Iskra Sbraccia ’05, ’09, Bill Meneely ’71, Ken Finch ’89, Andy Flanagan ’70, John McDonald ’87, Greg Greiwe ’80, Gary Gustafson ’07, John Flaherty ’67, Juliette Stratis ’19, George Gano ’85

Details on all this and much more are available at your.saintleo.edu.


Ann Marie Lombardi, Class of ’77 President, Saint Leo Alumni Association

Note from the from the Alumni Association President

A special welcome to the Class of 2018! You are now a valued member of our Saint Leo University Alumni Association family.

We encourage all 93,000 alumni around the globe to actively support our many activities and programs; stay connected with the latest news and happenings on our website and social media channels; join your fellow alumni during networking and chapter events; and give back your time, talents, and treasures in support of our university. Visit your alumni website—your.saintleo.edu—to learn more.

I also would like to recognize and thank this year’s Saint Leo University Alumni Association Board of Directors for their dedication to our mission. Together, we are working to foster a mutually beneficial relationship between Saint Leo University and alumni. We hope our leadership actions, volunteerism, and giving inspires all alumni to engage and support our alma mater.


Saint Leo Launches a New Online Career Platform

Saint Leo Career Services is excited to announce the launch of Handshake, the go-to career services platform for Saint Leo alumni and students. The new online site offers several resources for alumni and students who are looking for career guidance, seeking a new job, or looking to find that perfect new employee.

Visit Career Services Handshake and check out the site today.

As a job seeker, you can:

  • Schedule an appointment with one of our career advisors (phone, video conference, or in person)
  • Easily search for jobs using an upgraded tool
  • Read different career profiles

As a prospective employer, you can:

  • Share job postings
  • Announce internship opportunities
  • Connect with students and alumni as a mentor

Alumni Chapters are Growing

We are excited to welcome the Virginia Peninsula Alumni Chapter and the Virginia Southside Alumni Chapter to the pride! If you are in the Tidewater, VA, or Tampa Bay, FL, area, be sure to check out the alumni chapter events for great opportunities to network, participate in service projects, and have fun. Chapters will also be forming in Ocala, FL; Savannah, GA; and Jacksonville, FL, this fall.

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Virginia Southside Alumni Chapter social

Our alumni, students, faculty, and staff enjoy a variety of special events throughout the year. Take a few moments to experience Saint Leo in Pictures. Click on any photo below to learn more.

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Teens, parents, and mentors from 28 robotics teams rocked the Marion Bowman Activities Center on February 13, as Saint Leo University hosted the Florida statewide FIRST® Tech Challenge for the second consecutive year.

Saint Leo University’s governing board is a group of volunteers who exemplify the university’s six core values. They all give generously of their time, talent, and treasure to enhance the education our students receive. This year, we welcome eight new members to the board. Click the photos to learn more.

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Peter Biscardi ’70 graduated from Saint Leo College with a bachelor’s degree in political science and went on to hold a number of management positions in the automobile industry. These include positions at the Hertz Corporation, as well as president and then partner at National Auto Care Corporation. He was also city manager at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. An avid sports fan, he remains a loyal supporter of Saint Leo Lions Athletics. Since retiring, he continues to be active as a business consultant and is involved in local charities. He and his wife, Linda, live in Bonita Springs, FL, and maintain part-time residences in New York City and Dublin, OH. They have two grown children and a grandson.

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.

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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.

 

 

 

griffin-clark-hsGriffin Clark, 21, a sophomore criminal justice major and member of the men’s golf team, passed away on July 4. He was involved in a car accident near his home in Chesterfield County, VA. Griffin helped lead the golf team to its recent NCAA Division II National Championship, in Denver, CO, playing in the final match-play pairing against Chico State (CA) and winning by three strokes.
“Griffin was an outstanding young man. We were so blessed to have him be part of our Saint Leo family,” Saint Leo men’s head golf coach Chris Greenwood said. “I have so many good moments with Griffin, but the one I will always remember is standing in the 18th fairway together the final day in Denver.”


Frederick “Fred” William Colby Sr. ’84, registrar emeritus, passed away on July 7. A decorated veteran of the U.S. Navy, he served from 1952 to 1979, including tours of duty in Singapore and Tokyo, as a Naval intelligence specialist. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Saint Leo College and was a member of the Saint Leo staff for 24 years, retiring as registrar.


Dr. Diane Johnson passed away on May 10. She was an assistant director of the Center for Online Learning from 2005 to 2014. After retiring from that administrative role, she continued to teach as an online adjunct professor. She is remembered for being supportive of Saint Leo’s students and guiding them through their educational development.


On May 20, Dr. Kurt Van Wilt passed away at his home. A humble and devoted English professor, he dedicated his life to the education of Saint Leo University’s students, to their spiritual and intellectual growth and development. A respected poet, he was the master of the sonnet, a form that appeals to the kind of artisan who enjoys the rigor of structure, the triumphs achieved through simplicity. An expert in comparative mysticism and Native American literature, he authored three critically praised books for Millichap Books. He was also a co-founder of The Sandhill Review literary arts magazine, The Lightning Key Review electronic journal, and The Green Rabbit chapbook series.


William “Bill” Sharp ’48
May 27, 2016

Robert E. Shoyrer ’49
April 5, 2010

Glenda W. Rusin ’52
February 7, 2015

Mary (Corrigan) Grant ’54
April 11, 2016

Richard Cobb ’60
March 4, 2016

Henry Pike ’61
July 7, 2016

Mary Ellen McGrath ’62
April 13, 2016

Peter E. Feuge ’69
November 22, 2015

Eugene Fischer ’72
February 12, 2016

Beth (Dempsey) Moore ’74
May 27, 2016

E. “William” Vanderbilt ’75
March 23, 2016

Richard A. Carter ’77
December 17, 2015

Jesse J. Dean ’77
November 17, 2015

 

Stanley P. Juds ’77
October 16, 2015

Patricia (Kennedy) Lemmerman ’77
January 7, 2016

Audrey S. Henries ’79
December 16, 2015

Marie Gagne ’82
July 23, 2012

Timothy “Tim” Murphy ’82
January 29, 2016

William A. Denton ’83
December 13, 2015

Kyle A. Miller ’83
January 1, 2009

Frederick “Fred” Colby ’84
July 7, 2016

Wayne Dupree ’86
April 36, 2016

Claude H. Bader ’93
August 2, 2014

Russell “Russ” Swart ’96
May 13, 2016

Jonathan E. Weaver ’01
April 16, 2015

William T. Campbell ’04
March 31, 2013

Animated, effervescent, driven—all are adjectives that describe Saint Leo University alumna and instructor Keisha Armistead.

Armistead is an adjunct faculty member and a virtual curriculum instructor at the Fort Eustis (VA) Education Office. She teaches compensation, organizational training and development, risk management, recruitment, selection and placement, business principles of management, and human resources management in the evening while managing a demanding career at NASA.

In federal service at NASA for 25 years, she is lead management and program analyst for the Advance Composites Program at the NASA Langley Research Center, which specializes in government aeronautics, in Hampton, VA. “I’ve supported multiple launches and research and development projects,” Armistead says. “And I share a lot of that project management experience with the students. I keep them enthusiastic about becoming future leaders.”

As the “Friday night teacher” at Fort Eustis, Armistead said she knew she had to keep the students excited about being in a classroom and learning online. “I try to keep them involved,” Armistead explains. “I say, ‘I’d love to have a hot date, but now we are here to focus on our education.’ I understand where they’re coming from. I had to do it, too.”

Keisha Armistead's pets Sprocket and Klutchiz

On occasion, her furry friends, two Maltese named Sprocket and Klutchiz, wander into view on camera while she is teaching. “They break the ice with the students,” she comments. “We always have pet lovers in our virtual room and share during first night introductions.”

The dogs get their unique monikers from Armistead’s love of motorcycles. She formerly owned a motorcycle shop and drag-raced a modified Suzuki Hayabusa 1300 motorcycle. A YouTube video of her racing dubs her “Da Professa.”

Keisha Armistead racing a modified Suzuki

The need for speed translates into her teaching as she focuses students on being efficient and effective. “It can be difficult,” she says of the mainly adult learners she teaches. “Many of my students still have to get dinner on the table before 5:30 while taking classes. I teach about app [for cellphones], shopping online.”

Armistead strives to keep a relaxed atmosphere for her online students while keeping them focused. “Even when we’re online, you have to focus on what you’re doing,” she says. “Students are trying to do laundry or other things at home hoping I don’t call their name. But I will! I talk fast!”

She earned her bachelor’s degree in management in 1999 from Saint Leo and her master’s degree in human resource management from Troy State University. In addition, she has completed some coursework in applied management and decision sciences from Walden University. Prior to studying at Saint Leo, she earned two associate degrees from Thomas Nelson Community College in Newport News, VA.

“I motivate my students,” Armistead says. “You should never stop learning. Keep taking classes. But not just through academia. Read, share your experiences with others, and formulate your legacy. Education is an ongoing process. It’s something everyone should continue.”

Armistead returned to teach at Saint Leo because she enjoyed the support she received while a student. “I really liked the fact that Saint Leo educators treated me like an adult. They treat you like family. If I had any difficulties, they reached out to do all they could to help me achieve my educational goals. It is a welcoming environment, and it worked.”

For her students, Armistead tries to relate learning objectives to issues going on in the workplace, home, or private lives of her students.

“The same techniques we are studying to use at work, we can do at home,” she explains. “It’s managing both your home and work life. In my organizational training and development class recently, I asked, ‘Who is responsible for your career?’ Some students said, ‘My boss.’ I said, ‘No, bosses are responsible for your work performance. They don’t care about you.’ You are responsible for your life and career. If you’re not happy, only one person has the real power to change it . . . you.”

Some people are known for bringing work home, but Wayn MacKay instead brings his work to the classroom at Saint Leo University’s Fort Eustis (VA) office.

MacKay earned his undergraduate degree in criminal justice with a specialization in homeland security in 2012 (at Fort Eustis and online) and his master’s in criminal justice with a concentration in critical incident management in 2013 (at the Newport News office and online). He now teaches criminal justice at Fort Eustis.

“The degree I got my undergrad in has a lot to do with what I do in my day job,” MacKay explains. “I work for a police department within the federal government. I write local policies, conduct risk assessments, identify threats, develop plans to mitigate those threats, and also do some intel [intelligence work], as well as a long list of other things.”

And that’s just what he teaches current Saint Leo students. In the fall, he taught Local Response to Terrorism. He now is teaching Terrorism and is scheduled to teach Exploitable Weaknesses in Terrorism and Intro to Homeland Defense in upcoming semesters. “I’m loving it,” he says. “The students are engaged and want to learn, and I’m very proud of them.

“Saint Leo has given me the opportunity to share my experience and knowledge, and I find that to be very rewarding,” MacKay says. “I’m engaged in it during the day and then when I teach at night; I’m among a crowd of people who want to be engaged in law enforcement and terrorism issues.”

Being at Saint Leo allows MacKay to be around “likeminded folks,” he said. He enjoys teaching students who want to excel in life and often want to start a new career.

MacKay practices what he preaches and plans to make the security industry a lifelong career. He served 20 years in the Navy and in such positions as patrolman, watch commander, career counselor, military customs agent, criminal investigator, protective service supervisor, antiterrorism officer, and physical security officer.

During his tenure as a protective service agent, he provided protection for many celebrities, high-ranking military officials, members of the U.S. House and Senate, and presidential cabinet members.

He enjoys using the critical-thinking skills necessary for intelligence, anti-terrorism, and homeland defense training. “You have to develop and maintain those skills. That’s what employers look for—critical thinkers.”

MacKay uses real-life situations students may encounter to teach them proper responses. “I give them a scenario, and then we talk about how they would deal with it,” he said. “The scenarios are challenging and require the students to think about how their particular strategy may affect or not affect operational planning and execution. It’s important to be able to identify and manage multiple challenges simultaneously.”

He retired in 2009, and the following year, he enrolled at Saint Leo using benefits from the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Thinking back on his years of studying at Saint Leo, MacKay says, “There have been many professors throughout my undergrad and graduate programs who have helped to shape me as the professional I am today. I like to think of life as a buffet . . . take a little of everything you like. Almost everyone has some quality to emulate and taking a little here and there can be of great value.

“Saint Leo is an institution that provides the foundation for personal growth through the core values coupled with many different professions. For me, it’s about the core values combined with law enforcement and homeland security.”