Welcome to the September Edition of the Barry University Class Notes and Alumni News
"Class Notes" gives you the chance to share your personal and professional accomplishments with the Barry community. We want to hear from YOU! Send news of jobs, weddings, births, degrees, vacations, or anything else you’d like.
In addition to appearing in this e-newsletter, Class Notes are also included in Barry Magazine.
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Vanessa Gilyard will start as an Adjunct Humanities/History professor at Strayer University.
Omar Rodriguez is growing his team at Newsmax and is seeking three National Acct Execs to sell Digital Media, two TV Sales Execs, one TV Sales Mgr, and one Advertising Sales Analyst for positions in Boca Raton and New York. Connect with him via LinkedIn for more information: www.linkedin.com/in/omarjrodriguez/
Sharon Marlene Katz, MSW ‘01 died in New York City on Wednesday, September 4th, after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer. Sharon was a kind, sweet, gentle person with tremendous inner strength who loved her friends and family dearly and was beloved by all. She had a powerful intellect and work ethic which she used to help others, especially those less fortunate than herself. In her work as an LCSW, she made a positive, sometimes life changing difference in so many young peoples' lives. She had an extraordinary gift of communication with no barriers. Her kindness, her commitment to service, her excellence and her ability to experience and share joy and fun touched everyone that knew her. She inspired her colleagues with her creativity, love and respect. Her courage and strength in the face of serious illness was a gift to all. She was an involved, loyal, loving and devoted daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Sharon was born and raised in Miami. She attended elementary school at Temple Beth Am Day School and middle and high school at Ransom Everglades where she graduated as valedictorian in 1989. Sharon's academic excellence continued at Yale University where she received her B.S. in Psychology, summa cum laude in 1993. She worked at the Yale Child Study Center before receiving her Master's in Social Work from Barry University in 2001. She then moved to Lexington, KY where she worked at the University of Kentucky Center on Trauma and Children. She moved back to Miami in 2006 and spent the last six years as Program Director and then Director of Supervision and Research at Casa Valentina, an organization which provides housing, guidance, medical care and educational and psychosocial support for youth who have aged out of foster care. In 2011, Sharon received an award from the Miami-Dade Community Based Care Alliance for her "unfaltering commitment and support of the youth in the foster care community and for ensuring that they are prepared for their successful transition to adulthood."
Charles Thomas “Chase” Smith, BPA 2010, a member of the Central Florida Barry Alumni Chapter and high-profile aide to top Orlando politicians of both major political parties, died on August 28, 2013 at the age of 41. His recent cancer diagnosis and sudden death stunned those who knew or worked with him.
"He was a loyal and trusted friend, and the definition of a public servant," Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan said in a statement. "He will be deeply missed by his city and county family and forever remembered." Smith, a Democrat who won an elected city post at age 20 in rural Hardee County, worked as Sheehan's chief aide from 2004 to 2011. He left that well-known Democrat's office to take a front-line post with Republican Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. She and Sheehan were with him on his last day.
Smith was a crucial adviser of Jacobs during efforts to create a county domestic-partner registry. He also was the county ombudsman, a position Jacobs created as a clearinghouse for citizen concerns and whistle-blowers. "We are simply devastated by this loss," Jacobs said in a statement. "Chase was absolutely made for public service. He cared so deeply about people and was steadfast in serving our community. He served as inspiration for young people, and for me as well. Along with his family, I am heartbroken to have lost him at such a young age."
Smith was a fourth-generation Floridian from the small city of Wauchula, where he served on the City Council for 12 years.