Alumni Updates

Find out what's up with your fellow alumni

Career News


Darrell Pope (’78, WW) was promoted to senior vice president of flight operations at Dynamic Aviation in Bridgewater, Va. Pope joined Dynamic Aviation as a pilot in 2009. He is a retired U.S. Army pilot and holds multiple Federal Aviation Administration certifications for both rotary and fixed-wing aircraft.


John Maris (’82, ’83, ’17, DB) was named Defence Executive of the Year by the Canadian industry publication, Canadian Defence Review. Maris is founder and president of Marinvent Corporation, a Montreal-based aerospace research and development firm. He is also a former chair of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, which is the national association representing Canada’s aerospace manufacturing and services sector, and a current member of the Embry-Riddle Industry Advisory Board for the Daytona Beach Campus’ College of Engineering. In May 2017, he completed a Ph.D. in Aviation at Embry-Riddle.


Kimberly J. Becker (’97, WW) was hired as San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s second president/CEO, effective May 1, 2017. She was previously director at Mineta San José International Airport, where she had worked since 1995. She also worked at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport for a total of 10 years.


Br. Samuel Philip Hakeem (’09, PC), a member of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), was ordained a Catholic priest on May 20, 2017, at St. Pius V Catholic Church in St. Louis, Mo., by Archbishop Robert Carlson. His first mass was celebrated May 21, 2017, at St. Pius V. He celebrated a Mass of Thanksgiving on June 4, 2017, at his home parish, the Prince of Peace Catholic Church, in Albuquerque, N.M. Hakeem studied space physics at Embry-Riddle. Following graduation, he studied optics at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque for a year, before leaving the program to enter the Dominicans. In May 2017, he graduated from the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Mo., with a dual Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology degree with honors. Hakeem’s first assignment will be at Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, Wis.
The Hon. Robert L. Sumwalt III (’14, WW) was nominated by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Aug. 3, 2017, to a two-year term as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Sumwalt has been a member of the NTSB since 2006, and served as vice chairman from 2006 to 2008. Before joining the NTSB, Sumwalt was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years with Piedmont Airlines and U.S. Airways. He is also an inductee in the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame.
U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Jonathan Wright (’15, DB), who is the son of Lt. Col. John Wright (’84, DB), is nearing graduation from Air Force Pilot Training at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas. He was recently selected to fly the F-16, just as his father was in 1985.

Family News

Brett Watts (’11, ’14, PC) and Blair (Boies) Watts (’14, PC) welcomed daughter, Halsey Watts, on March 15, 2017.


Austin Donohoe (‘13, DB) married Sophia Carr on April 8, 2017, at St. John Chapel in Plymouth, Mich. The wedding party included best man Alex Tiefenbrunn (’13, DB). Donohoe is the assistant race engineer for East Lansing, Mich.-based 3GT Racing, a team that fields two Lexus RCFs in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. Carr is the assistant director of career services at her alma mater, Hillsdale College. The couple reside in Holt, Mich.


Stanley “Mike” Johnson (’14, DB) was a guest announcer for an episode of The Price is Right, during season 46 of the TV game show. He was also a former contestant on the show in 2013. Johnson worked in local radio in production and on-air duties, but recently accepted an offer with the Federal Aviation Administration for an air traffic control position. Johnson is pictured, right, with Drew Carey, center, and George Gray, the show’s usual announcer.

Athletics Halls of Fame

Nine standouts in the history of Embry-Riddle athletics were recognized earlier this year with Hall of Fame status. On April 21, 2017, the Prescott Campus welcomed three new members to its Athletics Hall of Fame: Derek Sanders (’00, PC), wrestling; Kelsey Anderson (’13, PC), women’s soccer; and Isabela (Lachowski) Martinet (’09, PC), volleyball. Earlier in the year, on Feb. 3, the Daytona Beach Campus inducted six new members into its Athletics Hall of Fame. They include (pictured, left to right) Sam Vazquez (’11, DB), men’s cross country/track and field; Jason Cruse (’00, DB), men’s basketball; Elina Johansson (’11, DB), women’s soccer; Abby Hall (’12, DB), volleyball; Phillip Reamy (’10, ’13, DB), baseball; and Russell Snyder (’11, DB), men’s cross country/track and field.