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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Alumni Association Announces Its “40 Under 40” Inaugural Class

In 2020, the Old Dominion University Alumni Association created the "40 under 40 Alumni Recognition Program" to honor graduates in their 20s and 30s who "have forged exceptional achievements and will leave an indelible mark before the age of 40." The inaugural class was recently announced, representing "the very best in achievement and service across a diverse array of fields."

They are:

  • Saman Aghaebrahim, 29, chief of staff, Virginia House of Delegates, College of Sciences
  • Christina Ammens, 39, project manager/civil engineer, City of Virginia Beach, Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Jean-Paul Arnaout, Ph.D., 39, acting dean, College of Business, Gulf University for Science and Technology, Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Sierra Ashe, 34, deputy director of quality assurance, Newport News Shipbuilding, Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Kent Bazemore, 31, professional athlete, National Basketball Association, Darden College of Education and Professional Studies
  • JessicaBedenbaugh, 31, marketing and communications manager, Portsmouth Economic Development, College of Arts & Letters
  • Kelly Bennett, 28, IT director, Decisions.com, College of Arts & Letters
  • Lauren Bland, 35, executive director, Hampton Roads Soccer Council, Darden College of Education and Professional Studies
  • Jeremy Bustin, 39, senior PR professional, Emerson Automation Solutions, College of Arts & Letters
  • Ronnie Cameron, 31, racial justice producer lead, Facebook, Strome College of Business
  • Katie Cirilli, 37, public school administrator, Virginia Beach School System,
    College of Arts & Letters and Darden College of Education and Professional Studies
  • Noelle Cook, 35, assistant director of Annual Fund, Norfolk State University, College of Arts & Letters
  • Rebecca Cowan, Ph.D., 36, owner, Anchor Counseling and Wellness, College of Sciences and Darden College of Education and Professional Studies
  • J. Stephen Cowan, PE, 37, principal/senior structural engineer, Speight, Marshall, & Francis PC, Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Mimi D, 36, manicurist, entrepreneur, College of Arts & Letters
  • Kayla Farrow, 27, innovator and engineer, Semicyber, Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Jillian Goodwin, 29, director of marketing and communications, Hampton Roads Alliance, College of Arts & Letters
  • Richard Groover, CPA, 35, shareholder, Wall, Einhorn & Chernitzer, PC, Strome College of Business
  • Letishia Hayslett, MEM, 37, executive fellow, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Taylor Heinicke, 28, professional athlete, National Football League, Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Akiem Jones, CPA, CGFM, CDFM, 31, senior manager, Kearney & Company, Strome College of Business
  • Tomeria Jordan, 36, training and development manager, Clements Worldwide, Strome College of Business
  • Chika Kekeocha, 38, executive director, global supply chain, Baker Hughes, Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Greg Larson, 32, independent consultant and author, College of Arts & Letters
  • Laurin Leonard, 36, CEO and president, R3 Score Technologies, College of Arts & Letters
  • Makayi Mfikeyi, 36, country manager, Barloworld Equipment, Batten College of Engineering & Technology
  • Xerxes Nabong, CFP, CRPC, 37, owner and financial advisor at Wealth AvenueTM, Strome College of Business
  • Colby Owen, 34, general manager/collegiate services, Niagara University at Van Wagner, Darden College of Education and Professional Studies
  • Hamilton Perkins, 35, founder and president, Hamilton Perkins Collection®, Strome College of Business
  • Tiffany Ray, Ph.D., 35, vice president of student services, Germanna Community College, Strome College of Business and Darden College of Education and Professional Studies
  • Danica Royster, 31, wealth consultant, First Genesis of Virginia, LLC, Strome College of Business
  • Adeja Spain, 26, manager of arena marketing, Hornets Sports & Entertainment, Strome College of Business
  • Jaclyn Spainhour, 31, director, Hunter House Victorian Museum, College of Arts & Letters
  • Daniel St. John, Ph.D., 33, director of academic development, Eastern Virginia Medical School Darden, College of Education and Professional Studies
  • Vernon Tillage, 27, school board member, Portsmouth Public Schools, and consultant, Hampton Roads Alliance, College of Arts & Letters
  • Gayle Tuckett, PharmD, BCGP, CDE, AE-C, 35, policy and special projects officer, FDA, College of Sciences
  • Justin Verlander, 38, professional athlete, Major League Baseball, College of Arts & Letters
  • Lauren Williamson, 35, director of healthcare, Dell Technologies, Strome College of Business
  • Claire Winiarek, 34, vice president of Policy, Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), College of Arts & Letters
  • Emily Zediker, 32, optometrist, Ocala Eye PA, College of Sciences

The inaugural class will be honored this fall. Additional information can be found at odualumni.org/40under40.

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