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2012 Alumni of Year named at Coastal Carolina

October 29, 2012

Coastal Carolina University announced its 2012 Outstanding Alumni of the Year during weekend Homecoming festivities at the annual meeting of CCU's Alumni Association.

Candidates nominated for the alumni awards are chosen by a panel of faculty judges that considers such characteristics as integrity, loyalty, leadership and civic involvement.

Stephen Jachec of Melbourne, Fla., was named the Outstanding Alumnus of the Year. Jachec graduated from CCU in 1995 with a bachelor's degree in marine science. He is an assistant professor of ocean engineering at Florida Institute of Technology and has returned to CCU on numerous occasions to present seminars to students on his research efforts and travels.

Jachec earned a master's degree at Florida Tech and a Ph.D. at Stanford University. He recently won a prestigious Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award.

Alexandra Tamburro received dual honors; she was named Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year and Outstanding Alumnus for the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Tamburro graduated with a political science degree in 2010 and served with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). During that time she worked on projects including disaster relief in Joplin, Mo., and Madison, Ala.; Wildlands Restoration in Boulder, Colo.; Piton Foundation's tax help in Denver; and Project Homecoming in New Orleans. For her service work, she was recently awarded a Congressional Award and the President's Volunteer Service Award.

Outstanding Alumni of the Year awards were also presented to representatives of the University's other four colleges: Amber Campbell for the College of Science; Jennifer Johnson Smith for University College; Melanie B. Dozier for the Spadoni College of Education; and Olin Utterback for the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business Administration.

Campbell, who earned a bachelor's degree in psychology in 2004, has represented Team USA for three World Outdoor Championships and the 2008 Olympic Games. She also qualified for her second Olympic Games in London, England, where she placed 13th. She competed for the Lady Chanticleers of Coastal Carolina University from 2000 to 2004, winning 16 conference titles and five All-American honors. Campbell is a volunteer assistant coach for throwers at CCU. In her free time Amber enjoys volunteering with different community services and speaking to children about dreaming bigger dreams, and overcoming difficult circumstances.

Smith graduated from CCU with a degree in interdisciplinary studies in 1987. For a number of years, she and her husband Mac, a 1982 CCU graduate, have been living and working in Dongguan, China, where they started True Children's Home, a facility for Chinese children with special needs. Since opening the orphanage in 2006, 111 children have been adopted into families around the world.

Dozier, who graduated in 2011 from CCU with a master's degree in educational leadership, is an assistant principal at Johnakin Middle School in Marion. She earned a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Francis Marion University. Dozier is recognized as a master teacher providing coaching for language arts lessons, and she co-authored a $200,000 grant for resources for Marion schools.

Utterback, who earned a bachelor's degree in business administration in 1998, is a senior manager at Ernst & Young's New York Financial Services practice with more than 11 years in the financial services industry. He earned an MBA from the University of South Carolina.