Jacksonville State University's Alumni Association will present
special awards to four alumni and one faculty member during halftime
ceremonies at Homecoming on Saturday, October 29.
The honorees are:
L. WILLIAMSON, ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR. Williamson, of Gadsden, is a certified public accountant
and a senior partner in the accounting firm MDA Professional Group,
P.C., which has offices in Albertville, Fort Payne, and Gadsden. He is a 1971 graduate of JSU and
holds a B.S. in accounting. Williamson worked seven years as an IRS
agent and pension plan specialist for the IRS before joining the firm
of MDA as manager of the Fort Payne office in 1977. In 1998, Williamson
was named Diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Accounting. "CPA
Magazine" selected Williamson as one of the Top 100 Most Influential
Practitioners in 2005. He and his wife, Dianne, a JSU alumna, have
two children and two grandchildren.
JESUS JAVIER (JESSIE) GAMEZ, YOUNG
ALUMNUS OF THE YEAR. The son of migrant farm laborers, Gamez and
his family traveled during most of his childhood and early teen years.
In 1992 his parents and seven siblings settled at a horse farm in
Henagar. After graduating from Sylvania High School, Gamez attended Northeast Alabama Community College before transferring to JSU, where
he received the Ronnie Harris Award for outstanding service to the
HPER Club and graduated in 2000 with a B.S. in health and physical
education. Gamez taught Spanish in the DeKalb County school system one year and is in
his fifth year in the Fort Payne school system, where he has taught
English as a second language (ESL) to middle school Hispanic students.
He now teaches Spanish at Fort Payne High School. For two consecutive years he co-chaired
the Latino Festival at Northeast Alabama Community College. Gamez is a member of the Rainsville First Baptist Church, where he participates in choir and
IMELDA JOAN WEDDINGTON, MILITARY ALUMNA OF THE YEAR. Col. Weddington,
of Gadsden, graduated from JSU in 1984 with
a B.S. in nursing. She was commissioned as a second lieutenant in
the nurse corps. She returned to JSU and earned a master's in psychology
in 1994. She also holds a B.A. in communications from Cameron University and a master's in nursing from Troy State University. She has served at Ft. Sam Houston,
Tex.; the Presidio in San Francisco; Ft. Sill, Okla.; Cairo, Egypt; and Bahrain during Desert Shield/Storm. Her military
service has been with the Army, National Guard (Alabama and Oklahoma), and Army Reserves. When performing
military service, she is assigned as chief of the department of nursing
at Madigan Army Medical Center, Ft. Lewis, Wash. In civilian life, she teaches on
the faculty in the department of nursing, Boise State University, in Idaho.
ED BELLMAN, OUTSTANDING JSU FACULTY MEMBER. Dr. Bellman, of Jacksonville, is professor of technology and engineering
in JSU's College of Education and Professional Studies. Bellman
has taught at JSU since 1999 and holds bachelor's and master's degrees
in industrial technology and business from East Texas State University. He earned his doctorate from Texas
A&M. At JSU, Bellman has served as a faculty mentor for five years
and serves as advisor to Sigma Phi Epsilon. He is a member of the
Gamecock Club. Before joining the JSU faculty, he worked for Lockheed-Martin
for 20 years. He and his wife Barbara have two children.
ALICE CUSIMANO, ALUMNA OF THE YEAR. Dr. Cusimano, of Gadsden, graduated from JSU with a B.S.E.
in biology in 1970 and earned a master's in counseling in 1972. She
is a life member of the Alumni Association and has been a long-time
financial supporter of the Etowah County Alumni Chapter's scholarship
program and the Visual Arts Society. She joined the JSU staff as a
counselor from 1975 to 1982 and returned in 1988 as director of freshman
experience. She retired in 2003 as associate vice president of student
affairs and was named as an Emeritus Faculty Member. She devotes time
to volunteer work in Etowah County, assisting with such projects as
the Rose Haven domestic violence shelter, St. James Catholic Church,
and the local master gardener program. She and her husband Greg have
11 grandchildren, nine under the age of 14.