Listee Features — September 2021

Imogene Mixson


Having always known that she wanted to become a teacher, Imogene Mathison Mixson, PhD, received early recognition in her education and was the valedictorian for her sixth, ninth and 12th grade classes. She embarked on her higher education studies at Troy University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in 1959. That same year, she began teaching English at Dothan High School while working toward her Master of Science at Auburn University, which she attained in 1963. In 1966, she joined Enterprise State Community College as an English instructor and became chair of the English department in 1968. She stayed with the college until 1982, during which time she obtained her Doctor of Philosophy from Florida State University in 1972

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A musician all her life, Nadine Sherry “Vic” Guckeisen first began playing the piano and organ when she was three and a half years old. Predominantly self-taught, she began by teaching herself how to imitate the songs she heard on TV. After earning a diploma from Kiel High School in 1969, she joined Lakeland University, where she graduated with a degree in business administration in 1973. Subsequently discovering her love of education while volunteering with local schools, she entered the field of education as the volunteer director with the Kiel Area School District from 1998 to 2004 and as a teacher’s aide with the Holy Rosary School from 1998 to 2002. In 2002, Ms. Guckeisen accepted a position teaching at

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Ruth Edwards


Holding considerable expertise in residential real estate, Ruth O. Edwards has excelled as a realtor with Coldwell Banker Next Generation Realty in Florida since 2019. Her primary duties involve work with both buyers and sellers and ensuring that both parties achieve the best outcomes in their transactions. Active as a realtor since 2015, she previously spent 30 years as an emergency medical technician and paramedic in New Jersey. In 2011, she moved to Florida to take care of her aging parents, a task that was not well suited for continued work in emergency services. With the encouragement of a friend, who was also a realtor, she took the realtor exam, passed with flying colors, and began work on January 5,

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Amy Stevens


A highly versatile, hands-on and results driven human resource professional, Amy I. Stevens holds considerable expertise in recruiting, onboarding and training, and retaining and talent building, while prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion. Since 2018, she has contributed her skills in strategic and creative problem solving to Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc., and has held the role of human resources manager since 2021, following the receipt of her human resource professional certification in 2020. Priding herself on her ability to attain results while helping to foster meaningful relationships within the company, Ms. Stevens is always willing to offer advice, guidance and mentorship to help her team meet and exceed their goals. Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber and Composites, Inc. is

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Deciding she wanted to pursue a career in health care while still in high school, Natalie A. Solomon-Brimage joined the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Africana studies and a Bachelor of Science in psychology in 1999. She then completed graduate coursework at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health before returning to the University of Pittsburgh and achieving Master of Public Health in behavioral and community health sciences in 2006. Beginning her career as a research analyst with Health Systems Research in 2000, she worked her way through her graduate studies as a graduate student researcher before becoming a public health fellow at the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health in

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Parris Smith


Inspired to her career out of a desire to help people in the community where she grew up, Parris M. Smith made a promise to herself that she would stay in Lorain County, Ohio, following the completion of her education in order to empower and grow the community that raised her. Embarking on her studies at Lorain County Community College, she earned an associate degree before joining Cleveland State University and graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 2013. She concluded her formal studies at Walden University, where she obtained a Master of Science in psychology, with a focus in public administration and social change, in 2016. Working throughout her time in higher education, Ms. Smith began her

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G.G. Meredith Smith


Born to father Lawrence Meredith Clampson Smith and mother Eleanor Houston Smith, G.G. Meredith S.S. Smith was initially inspired to pursue a musical education due to her parents’ love of classical music — both her mother and sister played the piano. After earning her high school diploma from the Germantown Friends School, she completed coursework at Hollins University in Virginia where she discovered her love of string instruments. She subsequently joined the New School of Music in Philadelphia, and obtained a diploma in viola after three years of study. Following her graduation, Ms. Smith realized that a musical career wasn’t what she had expected it to be and began to look elsewhere for inspiration. She found the answer in philanthropy

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Kay Trotter


Holding considerable expertise in child and adolescent therapy, equine-assisted mental health care, play therapy and parenting, counselor supervision, and business consulting, Kay Trotter, PhD, attributes much of her success to being self-driven in addition to being continually inspired to learn. It was this drive to learn that led to her attending college at the age of 35, while she served as president of K. Graphics, which she founded in 1989. Earning a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in sociology, cum laude, from Texas Woman’s University in 2000, she was inspired to focus her further education on child and adolescent health care following work with teenagers at a youth ministry. Matriculating at the University of North Texas, she

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Frances Sutton


Having started her career as a division secretary and procurement assistant for the Central Intelligence Agency in 1959, and later serving as a secretary in the aerospace division of Minneapolis-Honeywell from 1962 to 1963, Frances “Fran” Hammer Sutton left her career to follow her husband, Thomas Townsend Sutton, who was in the U.S. Coast Guard. When they moved to Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Ms. Sutton decided it was time to pursue her dream of attending college. At the suggestion of a friend, she joined a computer course at a local community college and achieved the highest grade in the class. Seeking to further her knowledge of computers in order to return to the secretarial field, Ms. Sutton continued her studies

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Liz Ryan


Attributing much of her success to hard work and optimism, Liz Ryan began her professional life as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley following her graduation from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Arts in sociology in 1981. She subsequently switched paths and completed training with the Directors Guild of America with the intent of becoming a producer. Specializing in large film projects, Ms. Ryan now excels as a producer and director with Ryanworks Inc., an entertainment and film production company. With considerable skill in all aspects of the filmmaking process, from writing to post-production, Ms. Ryan’s day-to-day tasks encompass overseeing market research for productions, communications and program management, budgets and finances, and scheduling, casting and crew. Over the course

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