This year’s honorees include Sara Elizabeth Denton Cox, Justin L. Davis, W. Sheriah Gibson, Andrew Gipner, Amy K. Jean, Anne Frances Lipscomb, Ryan Martin, Mary Alison Sizemore, Sara Ann Sitsch and Sydney Wallace.
The Jack Davis awards are presented to outstanding CHES alumni for their professional accomplishments. The awards have been given out since 1986, and are named to honor the first man to graduate from the College with a degree in nutrition, Dr. Lewis Clifton “Jack” Davis, Jr.
Sara Elizabeth Cox accepted the Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award for apparel design. The creative director of The Southern Shirt Company in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Cox is responsible for the design aesthetic of all company products from concept to marketing content to launch. By identifying emerging trends, she helps the company develop direction for its merchandise. Along with other duties, Cox makes sure timelines are met, and works with manufacturing partners to ensure products meet Southern Shirt Company quality and profitability standards.
Justin Davis received his award for achievement in fashion retailing. He is retail operations manager for Van Cleef & Arpels, Richemont NA in New York. After graduating in 2010, Justin began his retail management career with Belk in Columbus, Mississippi. Next, Justin secured managerial positions first with Macy’s, then Hugo Boss before he joined Van Cleef’s team in 2019. Davis is tasked with implementing operational initiatives that propel his company forward. Among other responsibilities, he has restructured the supply ordering process for boutiques in the North America markets, launched a communications portal to centralize documents and reduce paper use, and opened or renovated five boutiques within the span of eight months.
Sheriah Gibson, who earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees from CHES, was recognized for her success in the field of hospitality management. Gibson’s event experience included positions in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with Dixie Pulp and Paper, Embassy Suites and Tuscaloosa River Market before she opened her own event business, Posh Occasions by Sheriah. Crafting unforgettable events that reflect the personalities and lifestyle of their hosts is her passion. She orchestrates weddings and other events in Alabama. By offering clients a combination of fresh ideas, flawless attention to detail and logistical expertise, Gibson creates seamless events that everyone enjoys.
Andrew Gipner, CFP®, AEP®, was chosen for his accomplishments in the field of family financial planning and counseling. Andrew, a two-time graduate of The University of Alabama, got a BS in education before earning his master’s from CHES in financial planning and counseling in 2011. That same year, Gipner joined Longview Financial Advisors, Inc. in Huntsville, Alabama. There, he helped create the Cornerstone Service Model that focused on serving young professionals and has successfully brought clients to Longview under this model. He is an officer of the company, serving as its secretary beginning in 2020. Gipner is also a leader in his volunteer efforts having served as chair for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) Genesis board and been selected for the 2020 class of Leadership Greater Huntsville.
Honored for outstanding professional achievement in the area of athletic training, Amy Jean, PC-A earned her BS in Athletic Training at CHES in 2008. After working for DCH Sports Medicine and Elite Sports Medicine in Nashville, she completed a master’s as a Physician Assistant and began a new career in family practice. In 2014, she joined Southern Joint Replacement Institute in Nashville, bringing her mix of general medicine and athletic training skills to the practice. Next, Jean worked with world-renowned hip arthroscopy specialist, Dr. JW Thomas Byrd and advocated for the practice to hire their first athletic trainer in a clinical assistant role. In April 2020, she went to work at Harlem Hospital during the coronavirus pandemic, helping to meet the increased need for healthcare professionals on the frontlines in New York. Jean returned to Nashville in a new role as a physician assistant at Elite Sports Medicine and Orthopedics.
Anne Frances Lipscomb, RD, LDN, CNSC has been selected for a Jack Davis Award for her professional accomplishments in nutrition. Because of her passion for providing the best possible medical nutrition therapy to her patients, Lipscomb strives to keep up-to-date on the latest evidence-based practices and is quick to implement new strategies to ensure care. Her colleagues lean on her for input on the most current recommendations and to draw insight from her years of experience. In caring for the most vulnerable of patient populations, the critically ill, Lipscomb knows it is crucial that her patients get the precise amount of energy and protein to optimize recovery and prevent deterioration. Her attention to detail and extensive knowledge in nutrition support are invaluable. Currently, she works as the Nutrition Support Service Team Leader at DCH Regional Medical Center.
The department of health science has recognized. Ryan J. Martin, PhD, of Winterville, North Carolina with a Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award. A professor of health science in East Carolina University’s College of Health and Human Performance, Martin teaches and serves as the program director for the Master of Arts in Health Education. Prior to this appointment, he taught at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana where he got his masters. Earning his PhD at UA, Martin served as an instructor in the department of Health Science. He has a robust research program that centers around gambling behavior and alcohol disorders. With his book, Change your gambling, change your life: Strategies for managing gambling and improving your finances, relationships, and health., Martin has increased the knowledge on a recent and emerging gambling type: fantasy sports gambling.
Sara Sitsch has received a Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award for her work in the field of sport hospitality. Upon graduation, she accepted the marketing coordinator position for The University of Houston Athletics Department, and soon after was promoted to assistant director of athletic marketing. In 2018, she brought her marketing expertise to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Headquarters in Greater Houston, Texas. As the company’s corporate event and engagement planner, Sitsch created and executed events, including company givebacks, intramural leagues, holiday celebrations, health initiatives, veteran recognitions, and community service outreach. Recently promoted to regional marketing manager, she now develops partnerships with local community influencers, partners with store directors to create and execute marketing plans and supports new stores marketing efforts.
Alison Sizemore is being recognized for her achievements in early childhood education. Alison graduated from the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in 1999. After teaching in other programs in Birmingham and Vero Beach, Florida, Sizemore returned to Tuscaloosa and became a lead teacher in UA’s Children’s Program. She has served in this role for almost 20 years, promoting the physical, cognitive, and social emotional development of over 280 young children through a play-based approach. She has partnered with faculty doing conference presentations on collaboration in the classroom, partnering with parents, and creative thinking in early childhood education. The Children’s Program is a lab school for the department of HDFS, so in her role as lead teacher, Sizemore has also served as a mentor for hundreds of students pursuing a focus in Early Childhood Education.
Sydney Wallace has been selected for her achievements in interior design. Sydney is associate project manager for CBRE Commercial Real Estate Services and is assigned to their Google account. After graduating from our program in 2011, Wallace continued her education in Glasgow, Scotland earning a Master’s in Architectural Studies, Urban Design from Mackintosh School of Architecture. She has worked as an urban planner, interior designer and project manager in Baltimore and San Francisco. Wallace participated in the development of a variety of projects including a 200-acre land use study and conceptual master plan for an existing airport, a 421-acre development of a post-military site in San Francisco and a 28-acre civic center redevelopment master plan in San Jose, California. Joining CBRE in 2019, her responsibilities range from budgeting, scheduling and overall execution of projects from conception and design through closeout. Projects for Google include tenant improvement and ground up developments with programs focusing on team space, food, fitness, wellness, and outdoor amenity spaces.
CHES applauds each of our 2021 Jack Davis Professional Achievement Award recipients. We are proud of their successes and appreciate the example they set for the students who follow in their footsteps.