Pamplin Future Fest


Meet some of the alumni from our Fall 2021 Future Fest line-up:

Photo/Digital Arts Teacher - Jessye Norman School of the ArtsJacob Boland

  • BA in Communication - Augusta University

Faculty member for after school classes at Jessye Norman School of the Arts. Responsible for teaching photography and digital arts. Additionally, in charge of the community garden at the school, the artist window display project, home school photo classes, and recently summer camp classes. I have been working at JNSA since 2019 after being offered an internship thanks to Augusta University.

Work Control Specialist - Augusta Engineering Department,Christine Clark Augusta-Richmond County 

  • Bachelor of Arts in English - Augusta University

Part of a burgeoning GIS team team who combines multiple GIS systems to analyze and manage over 80,000 stormwater assets for the Augusta Engineering Department, including the development of coded maps and data entry apps for field inspection efforts. "I also serve as the primary point of contact for all traffic concerns in Augusta-Richmond county area."

Patrick Clayton

Chief Deputy - Richmond County Sheriff Office

  • Masters of Pubic Administration - Augusta State University

Patrick Clayton grew up in the Charleston, SC area in a family of seven boys.  After attending high school, Patrick joined the U.S. Air Force and served six years as an Air Force Policeman and a Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations assigned to Albuquerque, NM and Goldsboro, NC respectively. Patrick returned to Charleston and served as a County Policeman until 1986, when Patrick joined the Naval Criminal Investigative Service as a Special Agent (Criminal Investigator) assigned to St. Louis, MO.  In 1988, Patrick joined the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as a Special Agent and assigned to Savannah and Augusta, GA.  While in Augusta, Patrick was the Task Force Supervisor responsible for the 20 counties surrounding and south of Augusta.  Augusta POD successfully concluded numerous multi-jurisdictional, multi-charge conspiracy RICO and Drug Kingpin type investigations leading to significant removal of defendants, drugs and assets.

In April 2010, Patrick retired from the DEA with over 30 years of cumulative federal service. In August 2009, Patrick appointed as the Chief of the Richmond County Board of Education Police Department.  During his tenure as Chief, Patrick established a night patrol, expanded use of cameras and an aggressive investigations program, which led to significant reductions in all crime categories.  On January 1, 2013, Patrick was appointed as Chief Deputy of Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and responsible for the day-to-day operations of Sheriff’s Office with 730 personnel and a 62 million budget.  During his tenure, the Sheriff’s Office established a community oriented policing philosophy and led Triple Crown National Accreditation in law enforcement, jail and medical correctional operations.

Patrick received a B.S. Degree in Criminal Justice from North Carolina Wesleyan College and a Masters’ of Public Administration from Augusta State University.  Patrick is also a graduate of the University of Louisville Southern Police Institute’s Police Executive Leadership Graduate Program, Harvard’s JFK School of Government’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government training program and the Police Executive Research Foundation Senior Management Institute of Policing training program.

Patrick has served as and continues to serve in adjunct faculty roles at Augusta University, University of Phoenix, and Augusta Technical College as a facilitator and instructor.  Patrick is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts of America Georgia-Carolina Council, past Chairman and Board of Directors for Easter Seals of East Georgia, member of a Leadership Augusta/Youth Leadership Augusta, Southern Police Institute Alumni Association and Police Executive Research Forum (PERF). Patrick resides in Evans, Georgia with his wife Kimberly.  They have three adult children: Mike, Nick and Macy.

Full-Time Father pursuing a Real Estate license Christopher Forde

  • Bachelor of Arts in Political Science - Augusta University
  • Leadership Certificate - Augusta University
  • MA in Intelligence and Security Studies - Augusta University
Christopher Forde is a 2020 graduate of the Master of Arts in Intelligence and Security Studies graduate program. He also graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Leadership Certificate. During his time as an undergraduate student, he worked as a JSAC manager, CREW president, Resident Assistant, and Pamplin College Ambassador. He is a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha and Order of the Sword & Shield honor societies, and participated in the Undergraduate Student Government Association. In 2019, he received the award for President of the Year for his work as CREW President. He received glowing recommendations to graduate school and maintained a full course load while being a newlywed in a pandemic, as well as a stay at home dad while working on his masters thesis. His thesis focused heavily on Peace Theory, ultimately creating the Optimific Peace and Security Theory. Currently, when he is not applying for jobs, he is researching Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies and getting his real estate license.

Leeroy Francis Jr.

Associate Operations Manager - Turner Sports/NCAA Digital

  • Bachelor of Arts in Communication, May 2019 - Augusta University

Served as Digital Operations Manager for NCAA Digital's websites and apps for the NCAA Men's March Madness Live App product.

Managed Product Development and provided Operational Support for the March Madness Live App - Connected Device platforms as well as the NCAA Men’s Final Four App: Atlanta & Indianapolis

Prepare and executing Event Operations plans for the annual NCAA Men's March Madness Basketball Tournament

Ensuring accurate event information for all 90 NCAA Championships is reflected on website and mobile apps

Coordinating and Monitoring live scoring for all 24 Collegiate Sports Division I-III

Eric Garrett

Technical Director - Department of Defense

  • BA Integrated Studies - Augusta University
  • MA Intelligence and Security Studies - Augusta University

I am responsible for developing the analytic technical health of my organization to ensure successful support to national decision and policy makers. This is done by managing resources, strategic planning for training and development, as well as analytic process management.

Graphics Specialist - National Beverage Screen PrintersMorgan Hayes

  • BFA concentration in Graphic Design - Augusta University

I create design layouts and graphics for Pepsi, Coca-Cola, and Dr Pepper for their beverage machines, and occasionally design product prototypes for new products and for their showrooms.

Associate Professor & Interim Associate Director - Reese Melissa JohnsonLibrary, Augusta University

  • BA in English Literature - Augusta University
  • Master of Library and INformation Science - Valdosta State University
  • MA in English - Valdosta State University

Melissa E. Johnson is an Associate Professor and currently the Interim Associate Director of Reese Library at Augusta University. She completed her BA in English Literature from Augusta University, her Master of Library and Information Science and Master of Arts in English from Valdosta State University. She is currently pursuing an EdD in Higher Education Leadership and Practice from the University of North Georgia where she is researching the effects of university consolidations on library culture. She has been published in several journals and edited volumes and is contracted with Rowman and Littlefield for an edited book on integrating pop culture into the academic library with two AU librarian colleagues. She teaches Library Instruction, Freshman Composition, and Inquiry.    

Professional Musician/Teacher - Self-employed/ContractorSara Lokey

  • Bachelor of Music-- Performance Track - Augusta State University

I am a professional double bassist, and music teacher. My most current employment opportunities include performing professionally in various venues and styles of music (classical, bluegrass/folk, jazz) throughout our area, teaching privately in the Augusta Prep Conservatory Program, and conducting the "Prelude" Youth Orchestra of Greater Augusta in the AU Conservatory Program. Prior to that, I taught both general music and orchestra in the Richmond County School System for 13 years, where I was the 2017 Star Teacher for A.R. Johnson Magnet School. I worked in the administrative offices of the Augusta Symphony after graduating college, before earning my teaching certificate through the GA TAP Program. I received my Bachelor of Music degree in Double Bass Performance from Augusta State University in 2003.

Suzi Nova

Screenwriter - Freelance

  • BA in Integrated Studies - Augusta University

Develop and research ideas for original movie screenplays. Create an initial framework, or treatment, for screenplays. Write or adapt a story into a script. Meet with film executives to pitch screenplays and ideas. Weave together visual elements in scenes with plot and dialogue.

Associate Attorney - Durham Bray Law FirmAndrew Palmer

  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice - Augusta State University
  • Bachelor of Arts in Sociology - Augusta State University
  • Juris Doctorate - Georgia State University

Andrew “Andy” Palmer is a local attorney who was born and raised in Burke County, Georgia. In January 2021 he joined Durham Bray Law Firm as an associate specializing in criminal defense and personal injury. Prior to this he served as the Chief Magistrate Judge of Burke County.

Andy earned his Bachelor’s degree from Augusta State University in 2013 and went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University in 2017. During law school, he served as an associate article’s editor for the Georgia State Law Review and also as a law clerk for the Cochran Firm – Atlanta, where he assisted in high stakes personal injury and civil rights cases. In 2017 he returned home to the Augusta area and began his career as an assistant district attorney where he gained valuable experience trying violent felony offenses. As a prosecutor he resolved hundreds of felony and misdemeanor offenses ranging from DUI’s to murder. He will use his experience as a judge and a prosecutor to fight for the rights of the criminally accused and to secure the largest possible awards for his clients in personal injury cases.

Naan Palmer

Development and Outreach Coordinator - Augusta Symphony

  • Bachelor of Arts in Music - Augusta State University
  • Masters in Music Performance, Choral Conducting - Valdosta State University

The Development and Outreach Coordinator at the Augusta Symphony is responsible for the Education Outreach branch of the Symphony's Community Chords program. This brings the musicians of our orchestra out to our area schools for educational music performances. It also includes presenting other community favorites like the Discovery Concert, Symphony on the Road, and The Youth Concerto Competition.

Travis Shaw

Musician/Producer/Songwriter - Four Million Suns Studios

  • Bachelor of Music-- Performance Track - Augusta University

Head of all things in a single member LLC. I write music, record, perform, handle all the aspects of audio production, book gigs, teach lessons and market. I also take the trash out once a week.

Director, Volunteer and Pastoral Care Services -Caroline Thomas University Health Care System

  • Master of Public Administration - Master of Public Administration

Responsible for the planning, development, administration, and oversight of the Volunteer Services and Pastoral Care departments of University Health Care System. Oversee 20 full time equivalent retail, administrative and pastoral care staff, and 150+ adult volunteers. Also serve as Executive Director of the Volunteer Board of University Health Care System, a 501c(3) non-profit entity and responsible for management of 7 retail businesses within the health care system’s main campus, the net profits of which are contributed philanthropically to University Health Care System and University Health Care System Foundation. Contributions to the health care system since 2010 total $3 million dollars. Responsible for all accounting and financial reconciliations, accounts receivable, accounts payable, preparation of financial records and reports including financial statement preparation and monthly presentation of financials to the board of directors. Responsible for the development and oversight of a limited liability corporation, the Volunteer Board of UHCS Resources, that serves as a disregarded entity of the Volunteer Board that houses durable medical equipment supplier, Magnolias Breast Health Boutique, as a source of revenue generation accepting Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance.

Reporter - Nexstar Media - WJBF News Channel 6Kimberly Vickers

  • BA Communication - Augusta University

Kim joined the WJBF team in August 2019 as an intern. By December, she was hired as an editor. She quickly worked her way up and by May of 2020 she started as the part time weekend reporter. She is currently the morning reporter for Good Morning Augusta. Kim earned her B.A. in Communication at Augusta University where she also minored in music.  When she isn’t doing the work she loves, she enjoys reading, acting and singing, attending the theatre, and spending time with her husband and two children.

History and Social Sciences Department Chair - Columbia County Laura WaddellBoard of Education

  • BA in History and Specialist in Curriculum and Instruction - Augusta University

"I have been a teacher with the Columbia County School System since January of 2013. I currently serve as the History & Social Sciences Department Chair at Grovetown High School. During my eight years at GTHS, I have taught AP World History, AP Human Geography, American Government, and Economics. I also work as the Instructional Specialist for my department. In this capacity, I assist teachers in developing engaging instructional tools for our content area, and serve as a mentor new teachers in our department. As Department Chair, I serve on our school's Leadership Team. The Leadership Team collaborates directly with school and county administration monthly, and works to develop our School Improvement Plan for each school year. Additionally, I have served as a Student Council class sponsor, Link Crew School Coordinator, and I was named Teacher of the Year in 2016-2017."

Program Director - Georgia Shift Joseph Wallace

  • BA in Integrated Studies

Joseph Wallace graduated from Augusta University in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Studies. While completing his last semester at Augusta University, he began working as a field organizer with a local nonprofit--Georgia Shift. Due to his 6 years of military experience, he was quickly promoted to the Leadership Development Coordinator where he created and instituted a free leadership program for minorities throughout Augusta and Georgia as a whole. Currently, Joseph works as the Program Director for Georgia Shift where he manages several different programs, grant writing and managing, staff training and development, and program development. 

Chris Wells

Executive Director - Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency

  • Masters of Pubic Administration - Augusta University
  • Political Science and Mathematics - Francis Marion University

Oversees the five programs within GVRA which aim to help people with disabilities to become fully productive members of society by achieving independence and meaningful employment.