November 21, 2023

Renita Miller, BBA ’00, was appointed the Inaugural Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer for The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, she serves as the Associate Dean of Access, Diversity, and Inclusion and the Executive Director of the Presidential Pre-Doctoral Fellowship Initiative at Princeton University. Renita received her BBA from Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University and her master’s and PhD in Political Science from Rice University.

Drs. Brandon, BSEd ’00, MCG, ’01, and Karen Price, BA ’97, MA ’99, PhD ’01, of Georgetown, TX, established the Dr. John W. Seaman, Jr., Endowed Scholarship, in honor of Dr. John W. Seaman, Jr., who serves as Professor of Statistical Science in Baylor’s College of Arts & Sciences. 

Chad Ruyle, BA ’00, of San Diego, CA, established the Chad Ruyle Endowment for Entrepreneurship, which supports the Oso Launch program within the John F. Baugh Center for Entrepreneurship. 

Col. Lauren Byrd, BBA ’01, retired from the U.S. Air Force after 21 years of meritorious service to our nation. At Baylor, she was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, Detachment 810. During her career as a healthcare executive, she facilitated the delivery of medical care to men and women in uniform both stateside and overseas during combat operations. She was recognized as a trailblazer in her career field as the only Black officer to be selected twice for early promotion. Following her military retirement, she plans to continue working to improve health equity for underserved populations.

Natalie Stouffer Jones, BSEd ’01, along with other alumni, are part of St. Andrew’s Church and School in the Alamo Heights area of San Antonio — thriving and growing. Jones is the Director of Children & Family Ministries and Ginna Horn Crocker, BSEd ’99, leads the women’s ministry. The school, which is a part of the church, is run by its founder, Katherine Eversberg, BSEd ’04. Additionally, two of the school’s teachers are Cyndea Peacock Sampson, BSEd ’01, and Jennifer Blanco Allison, BSEd ’01. These Baylor women grew up together in San Antonio, went to Baylor and all were in Greek life together as Delta Delta Deltas.

Rev. Andrew Armond, MA ’02, PhD ’06, was called as the Associate Rector of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, Waco. Andrew is thrilled to be returning to Waco after 16 years, this time with his wife, Patty, BA ’03, and his three children, Thomas, Marie, and Charlotte.

Amanda Gartner Franklin, BA ’03, JD ’06, and Benjamin C.E. Franklin, JD ’06, and their children, Benjamin Paul and Brooks Samuel Franklin, of Wheaton, IL, established the Paul and Beth Gartner Endowed Memorial Scholarship, a Hord Challenge Scholarship, which honors the lives and legacies of Paul Edwin Gartner, Jr. and Beth White Gartner, devoted Baylor alumni and fans. The scholarship supports students enrolled in Baylor University. 

Yasmene McDaniel, BS ’03, was named Chief Executive Officer of HCA Houston Healthcare Southeast. McDaniel is the first Black hospital CEO appointed to serve in the Gulf Coast Division.

Nadine Redd Blackburn, MBA ’04, accepted a new role joining the Executive Team at United Minds, part of the Weber Shandwick Collective, to co-lead the Culture, Equity and Inclusion specialty designed to help clients lead in a future that is growing ever more diverse and socially conscious. The team ensures clients’ stated DE&I commitments and investments are more than mere words on a page; they are tangible, visible manifestations of how they operate.

Torshia Forte, BA ’04, married Antoine Larry on April 30, 2022, at The Venue at Oakdale in Sherwood, AR, surrounded by family, friends and other Baylor Alumni. The Larrys made their home in Little Rock, AR.

Carisa Findley, BA ’04, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and President of Freecoat Nails, was named one of the Top 50 Era-Defining Women to Watch in 2023 by Business Woman Magazine.

Maj. Loron Grantham, BSEd ’04, was promoted to Lt. Colonel on Sept. 9, 2022. Currently, Major Grantham is the Chief of Protection, HQDA G-3/5/7 Operations Directorate. He provides oversight and guidance on HQDA Strategic Risk Management and Mitigation, Emergency Management, and Plans and Policy Development efforts for the Department of the Army. 

Christopher Scott, BA ’04, of Las Vegas, NV, established the Costell Scott Endowed Scholarship for the Honors College in memory of his grandmother, Costell Scott. This scholarship supports students enrolled in the Honors College. 

Matt Barnes, MDiv ’05, and his family, including Alida Barnes, MS ’03, and their three sons, moved to Wilmore, KY, where Matt will serve as the Director of Community Formation at Asbury Theological Seminary. The role is a pastoral position serving the students, faculty, and staff of Asbury. The Barneses are happy for a new adventure, but sad to leave SoCal (where they have lived for more than 16 years) and First Baptist Church of Alhambra (where they have served for more than five years).

Tiffanie Blackmon-Jones, BA ’05, was named Chief Communications Officer in DeSoto ISD. In her work for DeSoto ISD, Blackmon-Jones will design and shape the district’s narrative and position through messaging, marketing, and public relations improving internal and external organizational awareness and engagement. In her role, Blackmon-Jones will oversee all functions of communications, marketing, and engagement for the organization. During her time at Baylor, Blackmon-Jones was a letterwinner for the Baylor women’s basketball team and a member of the university’s first NCAA National Championship team in 2005.

Monique Carter, BA ’05, was named Philadelphia Business Journal 40 Under 40 for her innovative leadership as a senior director and global regulatory strategy lead at Pfizer, Inc. in Global Product Development. She also founded the Pfizer Global Regulatory Affairs Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) as well as the Regulatory Science 101 Training Academy. 

Jessica Pantano, BA ’06, was announced as Co-President of BvB Dallas, an organization that raises money for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and awareness in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Last summer, the organization raised $500,000 for their six beneficiaries including: Center for Brainhealth, UT Southwestern, Juliette Fowler, The Senior Source, and the Center for Vital Longevity. Jessica is committed to the philanthropy within the City of Dallas, and also sits on the Board of Directors for the Junior League of Dallas.

Charletra Sharp, BSW ’06, opened the coffee shop Cup O’Vibes in Arlington , TX, with a goal of embracing the city’s diverse community and culture. Sharp lives in the neighborhood, which she says is home to the most diverse population in the city of Arlington, and she captures that heterogeneity with a menu that caters to the many different groups within the community. Sharp, who recently made a list of “40 Under 40” leaders from the Greater Arlington Chamber of Commerce, is a social worker and Baylor alum.

Matthew Busby, BA ’07, was named associate vice president of development at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi. He is a professional philanthropic advisor and leads the comprehensive fundraising efforts of the DMC Foundation team.

Col. Ali Masson, MPPA ’08, successfully completed Brigade Command in May 2022 in San Antonio — affording a Waco homecoming appearance, and is now assigned in an executive position, to Headquarters Department of the Army, Pentagon, VA. The best part of the last assignment was living in Texas. Ali will take care of soldiers and families—it is still an honor to serve.