FSU to recognize young alumni in annual ceremony

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From L to R: Michael Burgess (M.S. ’13), Kristine Ramos (B.S. ’08), Ryan Kitchens (B.S. ’10, M.A. ’17) and Charee Williams (B.S. ’06).

Young Alumni Awards 900x600The Florida State University Alumni Association will recognize 18 young alumni for their significant contributions to their professions, communities or alma mater during the ninth annual Young Alumni Awards Ceremony, presented virtually Friday, Oct. 9.

“Young alumni make up the largest demographic in the FSU alumni family; nearly one-third of all living Florida State alumni are under the age of 35,” said Julie Decker, president and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association. “We are so proud of our Young Alumni Network, which serves as an avenue to connect, re-engage and leverage the talents of the young alumni base to further the mission of Florida State University.”

The Notable Noles program recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of FSU’s alumni age 35 or younger who have made exceptional achievements and significant contributions to their profession, community/society or the university through traditional channels or innovative approaches.

Four Notable Noles also will be presented with the Reubin O’D. Askew Young Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed upon young alumni by the FSU Alumni Association. Named in honor of former Gov. Askew (B.S. ’51), these young alumni continue Askew’s legacy of outstanding accomplishments built on the foundation of their education from Florida State University.

This year’s ceremony will be a fully virtual event and streamed remotely at 7 p.m. EDT. Access links are $5 for students, $10 for Alumni Association members and $15 for non-members. The event’s presenting sponsor is Crossman Career Builders, which is owned and operated by FSU alumnus John Crossman (B.S. ’93).

“Although we can’t gather in person this year, we are looking forward to recognizing these extraordinary young alumni in a new format,” said Herneshia Dukes (B.S. ’08), president of the Young Alumni Network, 2015 Askew Award recipient and the event’s emcee. “We encourage attendees and honorees to dress up in your best awards ceremony attire, pour a glass of champagne and join us in celebrating our 2020 Young Alumni Award honorees!”


The 2020 Reubin O’D. Askew awardees are:

Michael Burgess (M.S. ’13) of Melbourne, Florida, currently serves as a special agent with the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Patrick Air Force Base, where he provides research and technology protection support to the 45th Space Wing and the United States Space Force. He was named the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations 2017 Civilian Special Agent of the Year and the 2018 Region 8 Air Force Space Command Civilian Special Agent of the Year. He received his master’s degree from the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Ryan Kitchens (B.S. ’10, M.A. ’17) of Tampa, Florida, began his service in the U.S. Air Force as a special agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) in 2013 and currently serves as the resident agent in charge for the OSI Office of Procurement Fraud at MacDill Air Force Base. He was selected as the youngest lead counterintelligence agent assigned to the HQ U.S. Central Command for his performance during a deployment in the Middle East. He received his bachelor’s degree from the College of Criminology and Criminal Justice and his master’s degree from the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy.

Kristine Ramos (B.S. ’08) of Orlando, Florida, is a shining example for future generations of female engineers looking to pursue a career in the aerospace industry through her role as task lead with the Boeing Company. She has served as the chair of the Boeing REACH organization, president of the Boeing Asian Professional Association at Kennedy Space Center, and continues to be involved in her community through several professional engineering organizations. She received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a materials research background from the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.

Charee Williams (B.S. ’06) of Orlando, Florida, is a dedicated professional in human capital management, who currently serves as client delivery manager with Randstad USA. Committed to making her communities better, she has raised funds for programs in health, education, women empowerment and low-income families, and her programs for engaging young professionals were recognized by United Way International as Best Practices in 2009. She received her bachelor’s degree from the College of Business and currently serves on the Alumni Association’s National Board of Directors as president of the Black Alumni Network.


The remaining 2020 Notable Noles are:

Alvan Balent (J.D. ’10), Miami, Florida
General Magistrate, Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court of Florida
College of Law

Lauren Borg (B.S.N. ’17), Naples, Florida
Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse, NYU Langone Health
College of Nursing

Diego Corzo (B.S. ’12, B.S. ’12), Austin, Texas
Realtor, Investor & Speaker, Keller Williams
College of Business, College of Communication and Information

Qaree Dreher (B.A. ’16, M.A. ’18), Chicago, Illinois
Account Manager, Facebook
College of Communication and Information

Christherson Jeanty (B.A. ’08, M.S. ’09), Port Au Prince, Haiti
Curriculum Engineer for Data Science and Data Analysis, Hacker USA
College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

Robyn Metcalf (B.S.W. ’13, M.P.A. ’15, M.S.W. ’15), Tallahassee, Florida
Open Doors Statewide Director, Voices for Florida
College of Social Work, College of Social Sciences and Public Policy

Jesse O’Shea (B.S. ’11, M.D. ’15), Atlanta, Georgia
Infectious Disease Physician, Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases
College of Arts and Sciences, College of Medicine

Jonathan Putney (B.S. ’07), New Bern, North Carolina
Operations Director/Co-Owner, Attollo LLC
College of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Alexander Ronzino (B.S. ’16), Tampa, Florida
CEO, Coalition Recovery
College of Business

Breonni Sawyer (B.S. ’14), Miami, Florida
Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
College of Business

Zhiqiang Shu (M.B.A. ’16, Ph.D. ’17), New York, New York
Vice President, Berenberg Capital Markets
College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business

Erin Simmons (B.S. ’08, M.S. ’11), Panama City Beach, Florida
Research Physiologist, Navy Experimental Diving Unit
College of Arts and Sciences

Larry Weru (B.A. ’14, B.S. ’14), Jacksonville, Florida
Consultant, Entrepreneur, and Visual Storyteller
College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences

Antwan D. Williams (B.S. ’12), Orlando, Florida
Administrator, Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children
College of Business

For more information on the Young Alumni Awards, visit alumni.fsu.edu/young-alumni-awards.

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