Director of Communications and Public Relations
College of Arts & Sciences
ATLANTA—Sixteen graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences have been named to the Georgia State Alumni Association’s 40 Under 40 list.
Started in 2018, the 40 Under 40 list recognizes influential and innovative alumni of Georgia State University who are under the age of 40 and reflect the university’s values.
This year’s honorees from Arts and Sciences include a United States diplomat, an ESPN sideline reporter and a magistrate judge.
“These incredible Georgia State alumni are making their mark in every imaginable field. They’re leading, innovating and making contributions that bring pride to the university. Congratulations to this year’s outstanding class,” said Georgia State President M. Brian Blake.
The Georgia State Alumni Association will celebrate the 40 Under 40 Class of 2023 at an awards ceremony and reception on March 31 at The Foundry at Puritan Mill, 916 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd. NW, Atlanta. Tickets may be purchased for $40 at https://alumni.gsu.edu/40under40/
“This year’s 40 Under 40 honorees are dynamic leaders, teachers, innovators and entrepreneurs who exemplify The State Way and distinguish themselves in their professions and communities,” said Christina Million (MBA ‘10), associate vice president of alumni affairs and executive director of the Georgia State Alumni Association.
The Arts and Sciences graduates named to the 2023 40 under 40 class are:
Charbel Aoun (B.S. Psychology ‘18) is Founding Executive Director of the First Generation Foundation, a nonprofit working to advance student success in Gwinnett County, Ga.
Tiffany Blackmon (B.A. Journalism ‘07) is a college football sideline reporter for ESPN.
April Coleman-Bullard (B.S. Psychology ‘06) is a Georgia licensed psychologist, published author, speaker and the clinical training site coordinator at the Georgia Autism Center in Peachtree Corners, Ga.
Alyssa Combs (A.S. General Studies ’10, A.A. Mathematics ’11, B.A. Geography ’13, M.S. Geosciences ’16) is a GIS Associate III for Gwinnett County government’s Department of Water Resources.
Ashley Drake (B.A. Journalism ’07) was appointed by Chief Magistrate Judge Cassandra Kirk to the Fulton County Magistrate Court bench in 2020.
Jai Ferrell (M.A. Communication ’10) is the deputy general manager and chief commercial officer for Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest airport, where she oversees technology, innovation, commercial revenue and commercial management.
Terrence Hight, Jr. (B.A. Political Science ‘13) is an entrepreneur with more than a decade of experience who founded Hight Health to connect people from underserved populations to healthcare.
Ed Hula III (B.A. Political Science ‘09) works in the U.S. House of Representatives as the press secretary for Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05), who represents the district that contains Hula’s childhood home, his current residence and Georgia State University.
Denise Kennedy (B.A. Speech ‘06, M.A. Communication ‘14) is a corporate trainer specializing in leadership skills and the use of dynamic and effective communication tactics throughout organizations.
Tamika La Salle-Finley (B.A. Psychology ‘05, M.Ed School Psychology ‘09, Ed.S School Psychology ‘10, Ph.D. School Psychology ‘13) studies culturally responsive educational practices and school climate by using surveys to understand student experiences and guide school improvements at Georgia State University.
Sean Lamb (B.S. Psychology ‘17) is the youngest head epidemiologist appointed to a major governmental agency within the District of Columbia.
Alicia McNease (B.A. Sociology ’10, B.A. Journalism ’10, M.S. Sports Administration ’12) is a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) advocate and brand storyteller who works to create cohesive messaging and inclusive spaces so employees can thrive in their workplaces.
Amanda Puche (B.A. Journalism ’08, B.A. Anthropology ’08, M.A. Anthropology ’12) is an accomplished fundraiser, specializing in major gifts, estate planning, annual giving and strategic relationship management with strong financial acumen.
Mary Christina Riley (B.A. Political Science ’11) advises U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and other members of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor on issues in higher education, meets with constituents and higher education stakeholders, drafts legislation and helps prepare committee members for congressional hearings.
Hainer Sibrian (B.A. Political Science ’13) joined the U.S. Foreign Service in October 2020 as a member of the 204th A-100 class.
Ashwini Tiwari (M.P.H. Public Health ’10, M.S. Biology ’12, Ph.D. Public Health ’16) is an assistant professor in the Institute of Public and Preventative Health at Augusta University and the director of its B-STRONG Lab. Tiwari’s work focuses on reducing health disparities among people at high risk of or victimized by family violence.
Learn more about all the university’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2023 honorees.