Department of Mathematics and Statistics Newsletter 2015 Newsletter - Page 17

Alumni highlights • Chris Cilluffo (‘95) has been named vice president for production finance for the Universal Television Studio finance team. Cilluffo has been with Universal Television for six years, most recently in the role of production controller. He served as lead accountant for NBC’s television show, Parenthood. Before joining Universal Television, Cilluffo was a show accountant on various television series over a span of nine years. • Kumer Pial Das (’05), associate professor of mathematics at Lamar University in Texas, is one of three people from the U.S. and Canada to receive the 2013 Mathematical Association of America’s Henry L. Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching by a beginning College or University Mathematics faculty member. In 2003, the Henry L. Alder Award was established to honor beginning college or university faculty whose teaching has been extraordinarily successful and whose effectiveness in teaching undergraduate mathematics is shown to have influence beyond their own classrooms. An awardee must have taught fulltime in a mathematical science in the United States or Canada for at least two years, but not more than seven years, since receiving a doctorate. Each year no more than three college or university teachers are honored with the national award and receive $1,000 and a certificate of recognition from the Mathematical Association of America. Award recipients are expected to make a presentation at one of the national Mathematical Association of America meetings. • Saad El-Zanati (’91) was named Distinguished Professor of Illinois State University in 2014. • Jessica Godwin (’13) was one of six award winners of the 2014-15 Auburn University Graduate School Master’s Thesis Awards. Her major professor was Nedret Billor. Godwin is now a doctoral student in the Department of Statistics at the University of Washington in Seattle. • Guy-vanie Miakonkana (’13) participated in an IMA workshop on Careers and Opportunities in Industry for Mathematical Scientists at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota in April 2014. Miakonkana is an Industrial Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota. • Carl Pettis (’06) is chair of the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Alabama State University. • Ted Porter (’00) gave a special seminar on March 16, 2015, titled, “On monotone covering properties.” Porter is now a full professor at Murray State University in Kentucky. • Julie Rogers (’11) accepted an associate professor position at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. • John G. Trawick (’90), senior vice president of the Southern Company Commercial Operations and Planning, member of the COSAM Leadership Council, and a strong supporter of the department, shared his story of success with students and faculty members on June 9, 2015. • Scott Varagona (’12) won his fifth Alabama Chess Championship (2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2013). Currently an assistant professor of Mathematics at the University of Montevallo, he kindly wrote a PhD Graduation Guide prior to leaving Auburn. • David Zalik, a mathematics alumnus and son of departmental colleague Professor Richard Zalik, was recognized at a luncheon on April 24, 2015, by the Auburn University Harbert College of Business, in conjunction with Business Alabama and Warren Averett. They launched a program to recognize the fastest growing Auburn alumni-led companies. Zalik is the CEO of GreenSky Financial in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Bloomberg. com, “Mr. Zalik has 15 years of experience in creating and growing companies that leverage the power of information and technology to manage better business process.” 17