On Friday, October 2, the USA National Alumni Association will host a one-day virtual Alumni Reunion. Although we are not able to gather in person this fall, this is the perfect time to reconnect with your fellow Jaguar alumni, and find out everything that is happening at the University of South Alabama.
There is no charge to attend any of the events, but you must register to receive the Zoom link. All events will be available to view after the Reunion as well.
We can’t wait to “see” you there!
Schedule of Virtual Events – Friday, October 2
(All events are central time zone)
University of South Alabama President Tony Waldrop kicks off the Alumni Reunion with a welcome address to alumni and friends. Following, join one of our USA Southerner student ambassadors for an exclusive tour of South’s beautiful campus.
Join USA National Alumni Association immediate past president Patrick Dungan on a virtual tour of the beautiful MacQueen Alumni Center, the new home for all Jaguar alumni.
Join us for a live Zoom conversation featuring a panel of alumni leaders and the current USA Student Government Association President to discuss how USA can continue to foster and enhance a community for students, faculty and staff that is inclusive and supportive of all members and celebrates diversity.
Panelists include Julian MacQueen ’73, Tia Nickens ’21 (SGA president), Dr. Laurie Owen ‘80, Margie Tuckson ’73 and Ken Simon ’76. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Joe’l Lewis Billingsley ’97, M.S. ’02, Ph.D. ‘06, associate professor in the USA department of professional studies and co-producer of Mobile in Black & White.
About our panelists:
Dr. Joe’l Lewis Billingsley ’97, M.S. ’02, Ph.D. ‘06
A native of Mobile, Dr. Joe’l Lewis Billingsley received a B.S. in human resource management, a M.S. and Ph.D. in instructional design and development from the University of South Alabama. Lewis Billingsley is currently an associate professor in instructional design and development at USA and administrator of Youth Leadership Mobile. She is co-producer of the documentary film Mobile in Black and White. In 2014, Lewis Billingsley received the Gulf Guardian Fellowship from the Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy to conduct a storytelling project on race relations in Mobile.
She has received professional accolades including the Lisa Mitchell Bukstein Foundation Scholarship for Developing Faculty in Education, Pillans Middle School Leadership and Service Award, Mortar Board: National College Senior Honor Society – Top Professor Award, Leadership Alabama Initiative participant and the Young Professionals Alabama Social Justice Champion of Mobile.
Julian MacQueen ‘73
Born in Birmingham, Alabama, Julian MacQueen received a B.A. in psychology from the University of South Alabama in 1973. MacQueen is president and founder of Innisfree Hotels, a hotel development and management company that owns and operates a collection of hotels in the Southeast. Innisfree’s success is attributed to the MacQueens’ commitment to foster a workplace culture that celebrates diversity, creativity, dignity and principled corporate citizenship.
Tia Nickens ‘21
Tia Nickens is the current SGA President at the University of South Alabama. Born and raised in central Illinois, she brings a different geographical perspective to the table. She is majoring in secondary education with the hope of putting her leadership skills into action as a K-12 administrator. While serving as SGA President, her administration has put a focus on diversity and inclusion, leading them to help create a training that will go out to all faculty, staff and students at the University here soon.
Laurie Owen ‘80
Laurie Owen, Ph. D. is a nationally-renowned cancer researcher, entrepreneur and USA alumna. She received a B.S. degree in medical technology from the USA College of Allied Health Professions, and earned a Ph.D. in microbiology/immunology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. After completing her postdoctoral work at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), she accepted her first faculty appointment at MDACC and held progressively higher administrative appointments at MDACC and the University of California reaching the rank of full professor of biomedical sciences in 2000. Owen served as Barbara Colle chair and associate director of basic and translational research at the USA Health Mitchell Cancer Institute from 2008-2017 and as assistant vice chancellor for research at the University of California San Diego until 2020.
Dr. Owen holds four patents related to the development of novel cancer therapeutics forming the basis for a spin-out biotechnology company that became a publicly traded company in 1994 and served as founding scientific director of a second biotechnology start-up in 2003. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications and her research has been profiled in Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, BBC and NPR. She received the Distinguished Scientist and Outstanding Alumni award from the University of South Alabama in 2005 and has served on the life sciences advisory group for the Alabama Science and Technology Roadmap, the Alabama Innovation Council, the Gulf Coast Angel Network Technical Advisory Council for Biotechnology, Melton Center board for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at USA, BioAlabama, the American Cancer Society board (Mid-South region), and the Mobile Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Owen currently consults for start-up companies and academic institutions and serves as advisor to life-science investor groups.
Margie Tuckson ‘73
Margie Tuckson is a 1973 graduate of the USA Mitchell College of Business and has served as the chief financial officer for Tuckson Health Connections since 2013. She began her career with IBM in Mobile, where she served in various roles for 18 years. Tuckson also worked with Northup Grumman in Los Angeles and for the city of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. She has been active with Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, Morehouse School of Medicine, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, National Council of Negro Women, United Negro College Fund, the Iota Nu Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in Mobile, Hank and Billye Aaron Scholarship Fund, Pre-School for the Deaf, Daniel Freeman Hospital and Tuckson Health Connections Community Outreach Programs.
Ken Simon ‘76
Ken Simon is a Birmingham attorney who practices mediation and legal work through his law firm, Ken Simon Law. A native of Mobile, Simon received his B.A. in history and political science from USA in 1976. He received his law degree from the University of Alabama in 1979. Simon practiced law in Mobile for several years and, in Washington, D.C., was a White House Fellow and served as a special assistant to Attorney General William French Smith. He also served as an assistant director of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division. Simon later served as a Circuit Judge in Jefferson County, Ala. In Mobile, he served on the boards of the United Way and Volunteer Mobile and was the initial president and founding member of the Bay Area Food Bank. In 2007, he received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the USA National Alumni Association.
The USA Health Culinary Medicine Program aims to motivate individuals to eat more fruits and vegetables and arm them with the cooking skills they need to prepare the meals. Dr. Robert Israel, a board-certified internal medicine physician with USA Health, will lead you in creating a meal that is healthy, quick and delicious.
More about Dr. Robert Israel:
Dr. Israel earned his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and completed his residency at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
“I gradually learned over years of practice that most chronic diseases I was treating in the office -- cancer, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, falls with injury and such -- were actually lifestyle diseases or related to unhealthy lifestyle choices,” Dr. Israel said. “The way we in healthcare were dealing with that was not working. In fact, it was failing miserably.”
Israel looked into what other universities were piloting and delved into Michael Pollen’s “Food Rules,” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” What he learned was life changing. “I also realized that saying, ‘Go eat more vegetables and fruit’ to a patient, who might not even know how to hold a knife, made no sense,” he said. “So we had to start where our grandmothers and great-grandmothers started, in the prep."
College of Arts and Sciences: Conversations with the Dean | 2 – 3 p.m.
Graduates are invited to meet with Dr. Andrzej Wierzbicki, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, to learn about the college's latest news.
College of Education & Professional Studies Reunion | 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Hear from administrators on the state of the College of Education & Professional Studies. Reconnect with fellow alumni and share your stories.
College of Engineering Virtual Reunion | 2 - 3 p.m.
Join Dr. John Usher, Dean of the USA College of Engineering, for college and department updates, faculty and alumni discussion and research highlights.
College of Nursing Administration Meet & Greet | 2 – 3 p.m.
Learn what is happening at the College of Nursing and have a conversation with College of Nursing administration to ask questions and reconnect. Hosted by Dr. Heather Hall, dean of the College of Nursing.
College of Nursing Alumni Society Continuing Education | 3 – 4 p.m.
Join the College of Nursing Alumni Society board and guest speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Vandewaa, for Controlled Substances and the Effects of the COVID Pandemic, as part of their continuing education series.
Global USA Reunion | 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Join Dr. Richard Carter, associate vice president for global engagement to learn more about our newest University division.
Honors College: Honors in the Lamplight | 2 – 3 p.m.
Join current honors students along with Dean, Dr. Kathy Cooke, for Honors in the Lamplight. Dr. Cooke and the students will give an update on the Honors College, share intellectual curiosity and research, and answer questions from alumni.
Mitchell College of Business: Redefining Possibilities | 2 – 3:15 p.m.
Join Dr. Bob Wood, dean of the Mitchell College of Business, for The Mitchell College of Business: Redefining Possibilities.
School of Computing State of the School | 3 – 4 p.m.
Join Dr. Alec Yasinsac, dean of the School of Computing, for a "State of the School" event that will include updates from the dean, department chairs and School of Computing alumni officers.
Get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the newly-opened Hancock Whitney Stadium. USA athletics director Joel Erdmann, Ph.D. and Southpaw host the tour of South’s first on-campus stadium. Following the tour, President Tony Waldrop will close out the Alumni Reunion with a few remarks.
Class of 1970 – Golden Jaguars – 50th Reunion | 5:15 – 6:15 p.m.
Join your fellow Class of 1970 graduates for a virtual happy hour and reunion. Grab your favorite beverage, reconnect with your classmates and celebrate your Golden Jaguar Reunion!
Class of 1995 – 25th Reunion | 5 – 6 p.m.
Join your fellow Class of 1995 graduates for a virtual happy hour and reunion. Grab your favorite beverage, reconnect with your classmates and celebrate your 25th Reunion!
Class of 2010 – 10th Reunion | 5 – 6 p.m.
Join your fellow Class of 2010 graduates for a virtual happy hour and reunion. Grab your favorite beverage, reconnect with your classmates and celebrate your 10th Reunion!
The Alumni Association is selling t-shirts to commemorate the 2020 Alumni Reunion. All proceeds from the t-shirt sales will benefit undergraduate student scholarships at South. These proceeds are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar through the Mitchell Moulton Scholarship Initiative. Purchase a shirt to show your Jaguar pride, and support our students. Visit bonfire.com/southalabamareunion and get yours today!
For questions or more information, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org or (251) 460-7084.