UWF Alumni Association Presents Annual Awards

By Josh Newby, University Communications

The University of West Florida Alumni Association named its 2011 alumni award recipients during the Annual Awards Program and Celebration held April 2 during Festival on the Green. The awards are given each year in recognition of those who work to help and promote the university, the alumni association and the more than 65,000 UWF alumni. Mollye Barrows, ’96, BA Communication Arts, served as the program’s emcee for the third year. This year’s award recipients are:

Friend of the University

The law firm of McDonald Fleming Moorhead is a corporate sponsor of UWF Athletics and was the title sponsor of the 2010 McDonald Fleming Moorhead UWF Christmas Classic (men’s basketball) with an employee night for their employees during the tournament. In the fall of 2009, they hosted an event at their firm highlighting UWF Athletics. The firm hosted a UWF-themed event during Gallery Night in Pensacola in March 2011 at their own expense. McDonald Fleming Moorhead keeps UWF Athletics schedules at the front desk of their firm, and attorney Todd Harris, a UWF alumnus, sends out regular updates to firm employees letting them know of upcoming UWF Athletics events they can attend.

Honorary Alumnus

Roy Jones, Jr. is best known as a five-time world champion boxer in four different classes. More importantly, Roy demonstrates unyielding commitments to youth, education, and the University of West Florida. In October 2010, Roy was the keynote speaker for the Annual Disability Awareness Luncheon at UWF, encouraging students with disabilities to focus on their abilities (not disabilities) and to persevere in the face of adversity. Roy has also partnered with the University’s Office for Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in many other efforts designed to create greater awareness and educate individuals on disability issues. He and his basketball team, BLAZE, are regular supporters of UWF’s Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game.

Outstanding Young Alumnus:

Dr. Christopher Brill, ’03 MA Psychology. Brill obtained a research facilities grant of close to $5 million and started a new doctoral program at Michigan Tech University. He made several other significant contributions while at MTU including developing new courses and revising the curriculum that led to significant improvements in students’ standardized test scores. Currently, Brill serves as an assistant professor at Old Dominion University. He has applied for and been awarded a patent for an “electromagnetic field (EMF) tactile display interface and biosensor.”

Jason Crawford, ’04 BSBA Management, ’10 MBA. Crawford co-founded Pensacola Young Professionals and also served as co-chair of Escambia All for One, a government consolidation committee that examined the pros and cons of a unified city and county government. He has been selected by Pensacola News Journal in the ‘Top 40 Community Leaders Under 40 Years Old in the Pensacola area.’ Jason has served on the board of directors for Baptist Health Care and the Pensacola Area Chamber of Commerce. Currently, he is working as an administrative fellow with the Ochsner Clinic Foundation in Louisiana.

Jeremy Wyatt, ’98 UF/UWF BS Electrical Engineering, ’10 MBA. Wyatt has rapidly progressed in his field and now serves as the vice president of software engineering for ActiGraph, where he is responsible for the timely and accurate deployment of all the companys software applications for the global research community with customers in more than 60 countries. Jeremy served on the Grand Opening Planning Committee for the School of Science and Engineering building, was the master of ceremony at the last three BEST robotics competitions held at UWF and is currently serving on the Engineering Advisory Committee.

Distinguished Alumnus:

W. Paul Bowers, ’78 BA Political Science. Bowers joined the Southern Company system in 1979 at Gulf Power. In 1990, he was elected vice president for Georgia Power, rising to senior vice president in 1995 and joining the company’s management council. From 2001 to 2008, Bowers served as president of Southern Company Generation where he was responsible for the company’s $6.6 billion annual fuel procurement budget, energy trading and fleet dispatch, system planning, engineering and construction services, and research and environmental affairs. Bowers became chief operating officer of Georgia Power in August 2010. In January 2011, Bowers was named President and CEO of Georgia Power Company. Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. Georgia Power serves more than two million customers in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties.

Linda Evanchyk, ’79 BA Communication Arts, ’93 MA Communication Arts. Evanchyk is the most tenured journalism teacher in Okaloosa School District with 26 years of service. She was selected by the Okaloosa County Superintendent of Schools to serve as contact to Florida Deptartment of Education for National Board Teacher Certification. She has achieved designation as Master Journalism Educator from the National Journalism Education Association. Linda has been twice-named Florida Teacher of the Year by FSPA. In 2010, Linda was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame, an honor only given to five of the nation’s most outstanding K-12 educators each year. Only 90 teachers nationwide have been selected for the honor since 1992.

Clarence Gearhart, ’76 BA Sociology, 1980 MPA. Gearhart began his professional career with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Marshall Space Flight Center in 1980 as a Presidential Management Intern. Gearhart quickly established himself as a major contributor and had the opportunity to provide budgetary and financial management support to both programmatic and institutional activities, including the Shuttle Project Office, Engineering Management Office and Comptroller’s Office, among others. Gearhart was named special assistant to Marshall’s CFO in 2007 and was known agency-wide as the “point person” on many NASA budget programs, including its Full Cost Initiative and its recent reorganization around the country. Clarence Gearhart passed away on May 22, 2010 after a very brief illness.

For more information on the 2011 alumni award winners or information about upcoming alumni events, please visit or email