Alumni Profiles

Rolf Barber
Gwendolyn E. Boyd
Rufus Daniels
Cassandra Duncan
Brenda Brown Hunter
Reginald Lawrence
Juliette McNeil
LTC Gus L. Sankey (Retired)
Ida Duncan Sankey
Deborah Scott Thomas
Oatice Thomas
Tammi Palmer Thomas
Booker T. Wheeler, II


Rolf Barber

Rolf BarberRolf Barber is Job Developer/Placement Specialist for Montgomery College (MC). MC is the #1 community college in the Washington, DC area and was ranked #11 nationally by the New York Times. Mr. Barber joined MC in 2001. In his position, he has taught a career development course and has helped students to get internships and scholarships to 4-year schools. Most recently, he helped Mr. Ezenwa Dike get a full tuition scholarship to Alabama State University for Fall 2012.

In his 22 years in higher education, he has helped many students get internships, scholarships, fellowships and guided them with life decisions. Before joining MC, Mr. Barber worked at Georgetown University, United Negro College Fund, The Washington Center for Internships and Management Leadership for Tomorrow. Mr. Barber is a native Washingtonian (Wilson HS) and received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from Alabama State University (ASU) which he attended on a full tennis scholarship. In doing so, he became the first college graduate from either side of his family. He went on to obtain a master’s degree from Georgetown University in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Social/Public Policy. Further, he started a male mentoring group called “The Young Lions.” In 1999, he received the “Alumnus of the Year” award from the ASU Washington, DC area alumni chapter. He is a life member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Mr. Barber is the proud father of his son, Cole. They reside in Washington, DC.


Gwendolyn E. Boyd

Gwendolyn E. BoydEngineer; Activist
Education: Alabama State University, BA, mathematics, 1977; Yale University, MS, mechanical engineering, 1979.

Dr. Gwendolyn Elizabeth Boyd returns on February 1, 2014 to her alma mater as its 14th President, after an extraordinary career of leadership and public service that has spanned more than three decades in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area. A Montgomery, Ala., native, Boyd earned her undergraduate degree from Alabama State University (ASU), with a major in mathematics and a double minor in physics and music. Upon graduation, Boyd received a fellowship to pursue graduate work at Yale University, where she was the first African- American female to earn a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from this Ivy League institution. She also has earned both the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Ministry degrees from Howard University.

John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, engineer, 1980-98, assistant for development programs, 1998-2004, executive assistant to the chief of staff, 2004-.

Life's Work
In her career as an engineer at Johns Hopkins University's Applied Physics Laboratory, and in her dedicated community service, Gwendolyn E. Boyd has been a prominent advocate for women's equality and for the recruitment of black Americans into science and engineering.

Became an Engineer
Attending public schools in Montgomery, Boyd enjoyed math and science. She began to think that she might become an engineer, although she had no role models or knowledge of what engineers did. However while attending Alabama State University on a four-year scholarship; Boyd realized that engineering was a profession in which she could apply her interests in mathematics and science to practical problems. In 1977 she graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a double minor in physics and music. A graduate fellowship enabled Boyd to enter the Yale University School of Engineering where she was the only woman and the only black among her program's 25 students. Specializing in acoustics, Boyd earned her master's degree in mechanical engineering in 1979 and went to work for IBM in Kingston, New York. The following year Boyd joined the Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) as a team engineer. For almost two decades in APL's Strategic Systems Department, Boyd used her background in acoustics to test and evaluate submarine navigation systems for the Department of the Navy. Most of her research work remained classified.

Joined the APL Administration
In 1998 Boyd combined her scientific background with her administrative skills–garnered through years of community service–to become the APL Assistant for Development Programs. In this role she served as liaison for APL's external programs, including research programs at other universities. Boyd helped develop the Atlas Scholars Program–the APL Technology Leaders Summer Internship Program for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Minority Institutions. ATLAS provides paid summer internships for qualified college seniors majoring in electrical engineering and computer science. The president of JHU appointed Boyd to the JHU Diversity Leadership Council, which worked to expand diversity among the university's faculty, staff, and student body. Boyd served as chair of the Council between 2003 and 2005. In 2004 Boyd became executive assistant to the APL chief of staff.

Devoted Herself to Service
Boyd joined the board of directors of United Way of the National Capital Area in 1984. Between 1997 and 2001, Boyd served as board chair. Boyd joined the board of directors of the APL Federal Credit Union in 1993, eventually serving as vice-chair and chair. As of 2004 she was immediate-past chair. She was the founding chair of the board of directors of the National Partnership for Community Leadership, based in Washington, D.C. Boyd also served as the Honorary Vice Chairperson for the Bethune Visionary Committee Bronze Statue Project. In 2004 she joined the ministerial staff of the Ebenezer African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Fort Washington, Maryland. In 2005 Boyd joined the national board of the Alzheimer's Foundation. Boyd told Contemporary Black Biography in November of 2004 that she was particularly proud of her work since 1994 as a mentor with the Meyerhoff Scholars Program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Record numbers of minority students from this program have gone on to pursue doctoral research in mathematics, science, engineering, and technology. Drawing on her experiences at APL, Boyd oversaw the 2003 launch of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, INC. SEE Connection, a five-year initiative promoting "Science and Everyday Experiences." In conjunction with the American Association for the Advancement of Science and funding from the National Science Foundation, SEE was a component of a broader effort to encourage women and minorities to consider careers in science and engineering. Delta SEE radio programs, primarily distributed to HBCU and other stations with large black audiences, featured interviews with black scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. The SEE program also produced websites and various print materials, including science pages for children and their families in black newspapers. In addition, Boyd served on the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Foundation Board, on the Advisory Council of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Physical Science at Tuskegee University, and as a member of the Metropolitan Area Network of Minority Women in Science. In 2005 Boyd joined the Bennett College for Women Board of Visitors.

Recognized for Her Achievements
Boyd has been the recipient of the 1996 Black Engineer of the Year Public Service Award. Boyd has received congressional citations and acknowledgements in the Congressional Record and has been presented with keys from more than 20 cities, for of which have declared "Gwendolyn E. Boyd Days." Ebony named Boyd among the "100+ Organization Leaders" in 2001 and 2002 and among the "100+ Most Influential Black Americans" in 2003 and 2004. In 2003 she was recognized by US Black Engineer magazine as one of the nation's "Most Distinguished Black College and University Graduates." As a sought-after lecturer, Boyd frequently addressed groups ranging from small classrooms to international conferences. In addition to technical presentations, her subjects have included non-profit board development, leadership development, black American history and women's history, as well as inspirational and motivational topics. In March of 2004, as reported in America's Intelligence Wire, Boyd spoke at the U. S. Department of Energy's Office of Economic Impact and Diversity celebration of National Women's History and National African American Months: "Women are everywhere and doing everything…. We need to make sure that we celebrate those women who challenged the debate, those who have been part of making the change, those who know that education is the key, and that knowledge is powerful."

Selected: Black Engineer of the Year, Outstanding Alumnus Achievement, 2000; Black AIDS Institute, "Heroes in the Struggle," 2004; Johns Hopkins University Women's Network, Women's Leadership Award, 2004; U. S. Secretary of Energy, Special Recognition Award, 2004; Lincoln University, honorary doctorate of humane letters, 2005; the 2005 Maynard Jackson Leadership Award from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (Atlanta Chapter); Who’s Who Among African Americans; the 2004 Women’s Leadership Award from the Johns Hopkins University Women’s Network; and citations for public service and leadership from the Congressional Black Caucus; the Governor of Maryland, the Maryland State Senate, the Maryland House of Representatives, the Mayor of Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, MD.

“Gwendolyn E. Boyd Day” has been declared in some of the following cities: Selma, AL; Mobile, AL; Shreveport, Louisiana; Jacksonville, NC; Rochester, New York; and in the District of Columbia.


Rufus Daniels

Rufus Daniels is a native of Dozier, Alabama and a product of the public schools of Covington County. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Education, summa cum laude, from Alabama State in 1958. He earned an MBA in Finance from Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University) in 1962 on a full tuition scholarship. A Supervisory Labor Economist, Mr. Daniels retired in 1994. During his tenure he was Chief, Division of Labor Market Information, Research and Analysis for the State Employment Security Agency for the District of Columbia, (the Department of Employment Services) in Washington, DC.

He directed the collection, processing, analysis and dissemination of labor force (employment, unemployment and unemployment rates) and labor market (employment by industry) statistics for the District of Columbia and its Metropolitan Statistical Area, using data from operational databases and primary external sources. He monitored installation and operation of hardware/software systems for conformance to prescribed operational and functional standards. Mr. Daniels served as the District of Columbia Official Representative in the Federal/State Cooperative Statistical Collection Program under the auspices of the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and oversaw the delivery of statistics as prescribed. He provided statistical and analytical presentations for purposes of program administration and evaluation, policy formulation, and official briefing purposes; and reports for the Agency Director in response to official requests. He served on national/regional labor market information panels and task forces. Prepared and presented information and analysis to legislative bodies, to the press, and in the electronic and visual media. And he served as one of only two African American Chiefs of Labor Market Information Divisions for State Agencies in the nation in the 1990s.

During his college years he was a work study assistant in the Student Finance Office for all four years of college. He held the following positions as an ASU student: President of the Student Christian Association, Assistant Superintendent of the College Sunday School, Keeper of Records and Seal, Gamma Sigma Chapter, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Member of the College Choirs, President of Sophomore and Senior Class (and remains President of the Class of 1958 to this date).  His alumni activities include: founding member of the Washington Metro Chapter, Chapter President for 25 consecutive years and represented the Chapter at Regional and National Meetings, Chapter Chaplain, and leader of The Dynamic Class of 1958 in the largest delegation of Golden Returnees to date in 2008.

His community activities include the following: President, EECA Community Foundation; Secretary, Enterprise Estates Civic Association; Ruling Elder, Chancel Choir President, Board of Trustees Chair, Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church; Baritone/Bass Section Leader, and the Heritage  Signature Chorale. 

Mr. Daniels is married to Blanche Andrews Daniels (for 49 years). They are proud parents of Laurence Christopher Daniels, Staff Attorney for the DC Office of the Peoples Counsel; parents-in-law of Gilda Williams Daniels, Law Professor, The University of Baltimore School of Law; and the doting grandparents of Lauren Christin and William Dexter.


Cassandra Duncan

Cassandra  D. DuncanCassandra D. Duncan is Chief Operating Officer for Data Solutions & Technology Incorporated (DST). Data Solutions & Technology, headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, provides a full spectrum of professional services in Information Technology, Aviation Management, Logistics and Operations, Management Support, and Scientific and Technology Support that result in cost-effective solutions of strategic value to its customers and a rewarding work environment for its greatest assets, its employees.  DST provides support services to state and federal agencies as well as private industry clients by helping them to successfully manage, staff, develop, and operate their programs.  This emphasis on customer satisfaction has resulted in DST having over 200 Federal contracts and major task efforts and 450 employees worldwide.

Ms. Duncan joined DST in 2001, initially serving as Vice President of Contracts Administration where she coordinated, established and monitored the company’s contractual activities.  She was also responsible for corporate management functions of several large federal agency contracts for the organization.  Ms. Duncan was promoted to Chief Operating Officer (COO) in 2010 to establish a sharper focus on business execution and efficiency while gaining an edge in client relationships by more effectively aligning internal operations and technology teams.  She assumed responsibility for day-to-day operations and reports to the president and chief executive officer.

In her 32 years in the industry, Duncan has gained extensive knowledge in defense contracting and has a thorough command of management theories. She consistently applies quality improvement techniques to exceed quality standards.  Since 2007 DST has been certified by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards.  Ms. Duncan conducts ISO internal process audits to ensure the company’s continued compliance with ISO standards of which DST was recertified in June 2010 for another three years (until 2013).  She has also led DST in achieving CMMI-SVC Maturity Level 3. CMMI was developed by government, industry and the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI), and is recognized as the standard for independent benchmarking within industry for maturity in critical technical and managerial processes.

Before joining DST in 2001 she worked at several companies in Huntsville, Ala. to include: Teledyne Brown Engineering, Inc.; Barrios Technology Incorporated; New York Life Insurance Company; and USBI/UTC.  Duncan has a multidisciplinary background; she has served in the capacity of systems analyst, programmer, auditor, accountant, program support manager, staff engineer, and operations engineer.   She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Alabama State University and her Masters of Administrative Science degree from the University of Alabama Huntsville. Duncan lives in Bowie, Md.


Brenda Brown Hunter

Brenda Brown Hunter is the Science Advisor in the Office of Defense Programs at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).  She assists the Deputy Administrator in directing the Stockpile Stewardship Program (SSP) which is responsible for maintaining the safety, security, and reliability of the Nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile.  The NNSA’s nuclear weapons complex includes three national research laboratories, the Nevada Test Site, and four production plants.  Ms. Hunter is the representative on the Science Council for all of the production plants.  NNSA approximately $5.2 billion program, with over 25,000 people around the country, encompasses operations associated with manufacturing, maintaining, refurbishing, and dismantling the nuclear weapons stockpile.  Defense Programs also provides oversight and direction of the research, development, and engineering support to maintain the safety and reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile in the absence of underground testing, and assures the capability for maintaining the readiness to test and develop new warheads, if required.

Prior to her current duties at NNSA, Ms. Hunter served as the NNSA Headquarter Liaison for Y-12 where she coordinated all flow of information regarding Y-12 nuclear operations to NNSA and Department of Defense officials and to the United States Congress. 

Ms. Hunter has held prior positions as Director of Internal Audit at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Vice President of Internal Audit and Ethics on the Yucca Mountain Project in Las Vegas, Nevada; Project Manager and Auditor in the Office of the Inspector General at the Tennessee Valley Authority in Knoxville, Tennessee; and Auditor/Evaluator of the United States General Accounting Office in Huntsville, Alabama.  In addition, Ms. Hunter has been a successful entrepreneur by owning her own travel agency. 

Ms. Hunter holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Alabama State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Tennessee.  Among numerous other awards, she is most proud to have received the Levi Watkins President’s Award while attending Alabama State University.  She is the recipient of the 2008 YWCA Tribute to Women in Business and Government award.  Her talents and drive are visible within the organizations she serves.  She expends her energy and leverages her network of contacts to raise funds to support the mission of organizations such as the American Cancer Society and United Way.  Brenda Brown Hunter can be summarized as a real person of compassion and deep desire to effect positive impacts on her community and its citizens.

Ms. Hunter takes great pride in her relationship with her lifelong partner and friend, James Hunter and her children James Jr. (Jay) and Dana Lynn.  Jay is in the United States Navy and Dana works for the NNSA as a Site Office Liaison in Washington, DC.


Reginald Lawrence

Reginald B. Lawrence, a resident of Brandywine, Maryland, has recently retired from the United States federal civilian sector with over 35 years of distinguished career service with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Silver Spring, Maryland.  He served in a number of key technical, supervisory management, physical scientist, program/project planning positions during his tenure.  These positions ranged from Program Manager of advanced ground systems Information Technology (IT) development projects;  Director of a 24hr x7day operational weather data processing center; and Project/Program Manager of a tri-agency NOAA, NASA and Department of Defense (DoD) satellite ground systems IT development project.

Mr. Lawrence received his bachelor of science degree in Mathematics in 1977 from Alabama State University, Montgomery, Alabama, and master’s of science degree in Computer Science from The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, in 1984.  In addition, Mr. Lawrence completed graduate studies in Oceanography at The Johns Hopkins University as well as in Electrical Engineering at The George Washington University, Washington, DC.  He received additional advanced masters certificates in Information Security (Villanova University); Project Management (Villanova University);  Software Testing (Villanova University); and in Government Contract Management (The George Washington University and ESI).  He also received a certificate of accomplishment in Enterprise Architecture from the USDA Graduate School and was recently certified as a Federal  Enterprise Architect (Federal Enterprise Architecture Institute (FEAI) and California State University at East Bay).

Mr. Lawrence has been active, passionate and career -focused in the areas of education and training in a part-time capacity during most of his 35 yrs of career service with the federal government.  Mr. Lawrence has served in several educational capacities–as adjunct and associate professor at a number of colleges and universities in the Washington metropolitan area including University of the District of Columbia, Montgomery College, Prince Georges Community College, and United States Department of Agriculture Graduate School – and as a professional trainer and consultant in Washington DC Public Schools community education.

Mr. Lawrence plans to continue his career in the foreseeable future within private industry as an independent consultant in enterprise architecture planning.


Juliette McNeil

Juliette McNeil was born in Birmingham, Alabama. She is a 1975 graduate of Alabama State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Economics. She is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute.

Ms. McNeil had a very distinguished and impressive career with the Federal Government attaining a GS-15 at the age of 38 (Navy Computer and Telecommunication Command), and was selected as a member of the Senior Executive Service in her 40s (Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)). During her career she received numerous awards and commendations for outstanding service and was recognized by President George W. Bush for exceptional service to the EPA. As the EPA Director, Office of Financial Management, Ms. McNeil was responsible for the financial management infrastructure (i.e., accounting system; payroll system; cost accounting system; financial management policies and procedures; Superfund Cost Recovery; and financial reporting, including the financial statement audit) to support an $8 billion annual budget. She retired from the EPA in 2004, missing her goal of retiring at 50 by only 8 months.

In her private life she is devoted and committed to the community, with a special interest in helping children. She serves on the Trustee Board of Hopkins House (HH), a learning center for children ages 5 weeks to 5 years old, and on the HH Budget and Personnel Policy Committee. Ms. McNeil also is an active member of the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church (ASBC) and currently serves as an officer on the ASBC Nominating Committee, which is responsible for selecting candidates for select church leadership positions. She is also the former Vice Chair of the ASBC Trustee Board and former Chair of the ASBC College Ministry. Ms. McNeil is also honored to serve as a volunteer in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Correspondence Office, and recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Northern Virginia Urban League.

In 1976 Ms. McNeil married her husband James L. McNeil, also an ASU graduate, and is the proud mother of a 29 year old daughter, Ashley.


LTC Gus L. Sankey (Retired)

Gus Sankey is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. He graduated from G.W. Carver High School in 1966. While at Carver, Gus was a member of the National Honor Society. Gus is a 1970 graduate of Alabama State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in history and political science. While at ASU he joined the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. Gus graduated on the dean’s list and was offered a fellowship with a concentration in history to Miami University in Ohio, but had to decline the opportunity because he was drafted into the Army in 1970. Upon completing his military obligation, Gus returned to Alabama to teach social studies in Wetumpka, Alabama and to earn a Master of Education degree from ASU in 1973.

While teaching from 1972-1992, he also continued his military career by joining the Alabama Army National Guard in 1974. He graduated from officer’s candidate school in 1977. Gus became full time active military in 1992 and received the assignment of an Army ROTC instructor at Tuskegee University. In 1993 he was assigned to the National Guard Bureau in Washington, D.C., where he served as a logistics officer until his retirement as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2004.

In 1974, he married his college sweetheart, Ida Duncan Sankey. Their union has been blessed with two lovely daughters, Anissa and Alecia (Omar), and two beautiful and active granddaughters, Aryanna and Antoniya.

Gus is a lifetime member of the ASU Alumni National Association.


Ida Duncan Sankey

Ida Duncan Sankey is a 1973 graduate of Alabama State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Chemistry. Ida was very active while at ASU serving as a math tutor, president of the Beta Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, maintained Dean’s List status, selected to Who’s Who Among American College and University Students, and a member of the Beta Kappa Chi Honorary Science Society.

After the brief adventure of teaching Math at Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1973, Ida began working with the Montgomery, Alabama field office of Social Security Administration. In 1993 she transferred to the Social Security Administration Central Office in Baltimore, Maryland. She retired in 1999 after 25 years with the agency.

Ida was born in Montgomery, Alabama. In 1974 she married Gus Sankey. They are the proud parents of two daughters, Anissa and Alecia (Omar Sillah), and two beautiful granddaughters, Aryanna and Antoniya.

Ida is a lifetime member of the ASU Alumni National Association.


Deborah Scott Thomas

In 1994, Deborah Scott Thomas founded Data Solutions & Technology Incorporated (DST). DST, headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, provides a full spectrum of professional services in Information Technology, Aviation Management, Logistics and Operations, Management Support, and Scientific and Technology Support, which result in cost-effective solutions of strategic value to our customers and a rewarding work environment for our greatest assets, our employees. DST provides support services to state and federal agencies as well as private industry clients by helping them to successfully manage, staff, develop, and operate their programs.

As president and chief executive officer, Ms. Thomas provides leadership, supervision, and program direction for all phases of business development – from identification of opportunities through satisfactory completion of customer's requirements. The company's clients include a who's who of federal agencies to include the Defense Logistics Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Information Systems Agency, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, Drug Enforcement Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Treasury, and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. Deborah Scott Thomas' philosophy is “Vision of Excellence,” which is based on making customer satisfaction her number one priority. As a result, DST has over 450 employees.

Ms. Thomas is also associated with Ambit Energy. To learn more about an amazing Ambit Energy opportunity click here.

Deborah Scott Thomas is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She graduated from Alabama State University (ASU) with a bachelor of science in accounting and management in 1974. She received her United States Air Force commission as a second lieutenant from ASU's Detachment 019 in 1975. She earned a master's in public administration in 1977 from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Ms. Thomas retired as a Colonel from the United States Air Force Reserve, having served her country for three decades. She has worked for Fortune 100 companies as well as small businesses. She is a recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including: the Black Engineer of the Year (BEYA) STEM Trailblazers award; the Greater Baltimore Committee’s Bridging the Gap Achievement Award; the National Black Coalition of Federal Aviation Employees (NBCFAE) Eleanor J. Williams Bronze Eagle Award; the Legacy of Leadership Award from Spelman College; the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Center for HBCU Media Advocacy, Inc; and the Distinguished Hornet Entrepreneurial Award from the ASU National Alumni Association, Inc. Philadelphia Chapter. She was also the first recipient of the Silhouette of Service Award from ASU”s College of Business Administration and she was named one of The Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in 2011. Her overall combination of ongoing education, significant training, extensive business background, high personal standard of ethics and limitless enthusiasm forms the cornerstone of DST and its winning formula for “Developing Solutions for Tomorrow.”

Ms. Thomas is married to Oatice Thomas, President and CEO of Operations & Technology Incorporated, and has three sons.


Oatice Thomas

Oatice Thomas is president and chief executive officer of Operations & Technology Incorporated (OTI) in Annapolis, MD.  Oatice graduated from Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM) with a Bachelor of Science in marketing and was commissioned as a United States Air Force second lieutenant from Alabama State University’s ROTC in 1978.  He earned a Master’s of Science degree in public administration in 1986 from Troy State Europe.  Oatice served in the United States Air Force from 1978 – 1990.  His duties included serving as a logistics officer supporting the 66th Electronic Combat Wing and the 5th Combat Communications Group and a missile combat crew commander.   He received numerous awards to include the Air Force Commendation Medal and Armed Forces Humanitarian Medal.

Mr. Thomas dreamed of serving in the military and owning his own businesses. As he commented, “ASU provides you with the tools, and helps you understand how to use them, to successfully meet the challenges of being a commissioned military officer and business owner.  Both, ASU’s College of Business Administration and ROTC programs are invaluable to my success.”  Today, OTI is performing contracts with the Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, Defense Logistics Agency, Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, Defense Intelligence Agency, and Office of Naval Research.  Most of his work is focused on supporting our military troops state-side and overseas in accomplishing our nation’s mission.

Mr. Thomas is actively engaged in community outreach and believes in giving back.  He volunteers for the March of Dimes, Big Brother Big Sister of America, and the Salvation Army.  He is a board member for the March of Dimes National Chapter and is the National Volunteer Liaison for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and the March of Dimes.  He also is the fraternity’s National Walk team chairperson.

Oatice Thomas and his wife, Deborah Scott Thomas, are both ASU graduates committed to their alma mater and are life members of ASU National Alumni Association. They were honored to receive the Distinguished Alumni Award (2009) during the 30th NAA Biennial Convention and the ASU Outstanding Alumni Award (2008) and Black and Gold Standards Award (2009) during Founders’ Day ceremonies.  Mr. and Mrs. Thomas have also launched a major drive to raise $7 million dollars for Alabama State University. The Thomas have three sons and their second son, Darius, is an ASU 2013 graduate.  These proud ASU parents are often communicating with campus members volunteering to work with faculty, staff, and students.


Tammi Palmer Thomas

Tammi Thomas, a seasoned administrator, has extensive managerial experience in the higher education sector and possesses a record of success in jump-starting initiatives and helping them flourish. She has served as advisor and consultant to senior level executives in industry and academia; developed and executed comprehensive strategic, marketing and communications plans; coordinated and managed internal and external partnerships and initiatives; prepared talking points for speeches for university presidents, federal agency administrators, and chief executive officers; and facilitated large scale panels, workshops, and discussions involving a variety of executive and managerial-level individuals in the technology, government, and higher education communities.

As chief of staff, Ms. Thomas will serve as a member of the President's Cabinet. She will provide strategic leadership and support for the President’s initiatives and priorities, working closely with other senior administrators, and serving as the lead support person in the day-to-day operation of the President's office.

Previously, Ms. Thomas served as vice president of Strategic Management for Data Solutions & Technology Incorporated (DST). The company, headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, provides a full spectrum of professional services in information technology, aviation management, logistics and operations, management support, and scientific and technology Support. Prior to this position, Ms. Thomas served as the director of University Relations and Marketing at Bowie State University for more than three years. Previously, she was director of Business Development and Marketing at the University of Maryland Baltimore County’s Research Park and Business Incubator, where she served for eight years. She has taught courses at Bowie State and the University of Baltimore as an adjunct professor.

Ms. Thomas earned her Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Alabama State University and a Master of Business Administration in International Marketing from the University of Baltimore. She is a lifetime member of the Alabama State University National Alumni Association. In addition, Ms. Thomas is a contributor to A Practical Guide to Business Incubator Marketing (NBIA Publications, 2007).

She is married to Richard A. Thomas II and they have a daughter, Sydney.


Booker T. Wheeler, II

Booker T. Wheeler, II is the Deputy Chief, Engineering and Logistics, Business Enterprise, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA).  He provides oversight of DTRA's worldwide facilities, engineering, support agreements and logistics functions (transportation, supply, property management, graphics, printing, and mail services). He supervises 4 supervisory Division Chiefs in grades up to GS-14, and provides direction and leadership to a multi-functional workforce consisting of 65+ employees.  He develops, defends and exercises discretionary authority to approve the allocation and distribution of funds in his office’s $33 million operating budget. 

Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Wheeler served 27 years in the military.  His military service began when he enlisted in the Alabama Army National Guard.  Private Wheeler completed Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training, rose to the rank of Sergeant and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery Branch.  Upon graduation from college, he entered active duty in the Quartermaster Corps and rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

During his career in the Regular Army he served in Korea; Saudi Arabia; Germany; Iraq; Fort Lee, Virginia; Fort Hood, Texas; Northern Virginia; and Fort Meade, Maryland.  His most rewarding assignments were all at Fort Hood, and they were as Commander, 647th Maintenance Company (Light Equipment General Support) (a.k.a. The Super Leggs), Commander, 254th EQUATE Detachment and Commander, 511th EQUATE Detachment, commanding all three units concurrently, and as Assistant Brigade S-4, 2nd “ST. LO” Brigade, 2nd “Hell On Wheels” Armored Division.

Noteworthy assignments were in headquarters, battalion, company and platoon level positions in the 19th Support Command, 13th Corps Support Command and 3rd Corps Support Command.  He has three assignments in metropolitan Washington, D.C. in positions as Secretary of the General’s Staff U.S. Army Security Assistance Command; Department of the Army (DA) Intelligence Inspector; DA Logistics Staff Officer; DA Executive Officer; and Installation Command Inspector General Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  He has two combat tours including a one-year tour in Iraq as an Operations Officer. 

He is a summa cum laude graduate from Alabama State University with a BS in Finance and he earned an MBA from Troy State University. 


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