Distinguished Alumni Award

Each year, the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy presents its Distinguished Alumni Award for professional achievements, contributions to society and support of the college and university.

This year the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy announced the recipients of its Distinguished Alumni Awards, given to four exceptional graduates for their professional achievements, contributions to society, and support of the College and University.

The honorees — Mark P. Barnebey, Doby L. Flowers, Fred H. Flowers, and Thomas M. Henderson — will be honored during the College’s Annual Distinguished Alumni Gala on Friday, Nov. 17.

“Our cohort of 2023 Distinguished Alumni are leaders in their respective fields and anchors in their communities. Each of our honorees showcases the power of our graduates to make the world better in ways both big and small,” said Dean Tim Chapin. “We are immensely pleased to honor this esteemed cohort as COSSPP celebrates its 50th Anniversary this academic year.”

Mark P. Barnebey, J.D.

B.S. Finance ’78; M.S. Urban and Regional Planning ’83; J.D. FSU College of Law ’83

Mark P. Barnebey, J.D. is a Principal with Blalock Walters, P.A. in Bradenton, Florida, and a three-time FSU graduate. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance, a Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning, and a Juris Doctorate Degree.

Barnebey is Board Certified in City, County and Local Government Law and has practiced in land use and local government law for the past 40 years. He has successfully represented clients regarding a wide variety of development projects including obtaining approvals to developing a 5,000-acre new town agri-hood and various other mixed use, residential, commercial, and industrial projects. He has also obtained land use approvals for a multi-sport arena and a power plant.

He served as the Senior Land Use Attorney for Manatee County for 13 years and as School Board Attorney/Special Counsel for another 12 years. He has served as the City Attorney for the City of Palmetto for nearly 15 years, and Counsel for several special districts and agencies. Barnebey has also served as a Mediator, Special Magistrate, and Hearing Officer for various governmental entities on purchasing, land use, and other government aspects. Among his lecture presentations, he has spoken on land use at all 27 of The Florida Bar’s City, County and Local Government Law certification review courses; in The Florida Bar’s first live simulcast seminar, speaking on the topic of quasi-judicial proceedings; as well as the time he’s spent returning to our College to speak with current students in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

He has the unique experience of serving as Chair or President of three statewide organizations: The Florida Planning and Zoning Association; The City, County and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar; and the Florida Municipal Attorney’s Association. He also served as the Chair of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation and various non-profit boards, including those for the Manatee County Library Foundation, Manatee Historical Commission, and Take Stock in Children.

He received both the Ralph A. Marsicano Award and Paul S. Buchman Award from the City, County and Local Government Law Section of The Florida Bar and the George W. Simons Award from the Florida Planning and Zoning Association.

Additionally, he and his wife, Marianne Barnebey – Councilwoman for Ward Two in Bradenton, Florida – are benefactors of Florida State University on many levels. They are benefactors of Florida State University’s state-of-the-art Mark & Marianne Barnebey Planning & Development Lab, which with their support has become a nationally recognized resource connecting our students and faculty with public and private partners to provide capacity and innovative planning for the sustainable growth and long-term viability of Florida communities. Both Mr. and Mrs. Barnebey have also shared of their time and expertise with students across our College through presentations and classroom visits.

“I am thrilled and humbled at being selected as one of the Florida State University College of Social Sciences and Public Policy’s 2023 Distinguished Alumni,” Barnebey said. “It is difficult to imagine, as an undergraduate student attending classes in the Bellamy Building in the 1970s, that I would be considered for such an honor. I have been fortunate to utilize my training and studies from my degree in Urban and Regional Planning in shaping and improving the communities in which I have worked both as a land use attorney and local government attorney. The College of Social Sciences and Public Policy has unlimited potential because of its excellent administration, faculty and students and holds a special place in our hearts.”

Doby L. Flowers

B.S. Social Work ’71; M.S. Urban & Regional Planning ’73

A trailblazer, civil rights leader, and expert in community relations, Doby L. Flowers has received many awards and recognitions throughout her career, including being honored with New York City’s “Woman of Distinction” Award, for her excellence in the field and service to the communities she works in.

As a young woman, Flowers enrolled at Florida State in 1967, earning her Bachelor’s in 1971 and her Master’s in 1973. As a student, she was extremely involved. She was the first African American Greek female student at our University as a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Service Sorority. She was also involved as a Phi Alpha honorary, a member of the Que-Hearts club, and a member of the Black Student Union.

Doby Flowers was elected FSU’s first African American Homecoming Queen for the 1970-71 academic year.

“People are getting to the point of accepting beauty in both races,” she said at the time. “This open-mindedness means much to me, not only for myself but as a member of the black community of FSU.”

This moment was just one of many where she inspired change over the course of her career.

After earning two degrees from Florida State University and a certificate in Executive Management from Harvard University, Flowers worked for high-profile mayoral administrations in Boston and New York — those of Kevin White and Ed Koch.

After leaving public service, Flowers was hired by W. R. Grace & Company and became the first global African American executive, where she established the Executive Development Department.

In 2012, the Florida Commission on the Status of Women recognized Flowers with the FCSW Florida Achievement Award, which recognizes its recipients for their work in improving the lives of women and families in their communities.

Most recently, she founded “The Magnolia Leaf Bed and Breakfast” in Thomasville, Ga., where she provides a place for women business leaders from Florida to organize retreats, network, and learn.

Today, the bronze likenesses of Doby and her brother – Attorney Fred H. Flowers, the first uniformed African American athlete at Florida State University – grace the center of FSU’s campus as the “Integration Statue.” The Integration Statue is an enduring testimony to their achievements as civil rights pioneers at Florida State University.

Both Doby Flowers and Fred Flowers were the inspiration and prime forces in establishing the Civil Rights Institute (CRI) at FSU. Established in 2018, the institute commemorates, celebrates, and studies the U.S. civil rights movement to promote justice and equality at FSU and in the communities it serves.

“Things can change, and things do change when people are change agents for that which is good,” Flowers said at the CRI inauguration.

In 2020, Doby Flowers and her brother also received FSU’s prestigious Vires Torch Award, an honor bestowed by FSU’s Faculty Senate, for their many contributions to furthering the University’s academic excellence.

“Receiving this award, probably in the last quarter of my life, serves as a culminating event that recognizes that I have attempted to right many human wrongs through my life and through my career choices,” she said of the Distinguished Alumni Award. “Never knowing exactly what I wanted to be, the experiences, training and knowledge garnered at FSU, and specifically from the Department of Social Welfare and the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, allowed me the confidence to be open and flexible to all opportunities presented.”

Fred H. Flowers, J.D.

B.A. Philosophy ’69; M.S. Urban & Regional Planning ’73

Fred H. Flowers, J.D., Attorney at Law and Principal of Flowers Law, LLC, is an expert trial attorney. He completed his Bachelor of Arts Philosophy in 1969 and went on to earn his Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning in 1975. Later he graduated with his Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida in 1979.

Attorney Flowers’ story is unique, as he entered FSU in 1965, during a time when post-secondary institutions were still segregated despite the 1954 overturning of the “Separate But Equal” doctrine in public education. FSU modified its admissions policy in 1962 to admit African-American students, including Attorney Flowers, without litigation prompting the change.

The same year he stepped onto campus Fred Flowers became the first African American athlete to wear an FSU uniform. He was also a founding member of the Chi Theta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, which was the first African American Greek-letter organization on campus.

In 1970, Attorney Flowers’ sister, Doby Lee Flowers, became the first African American Homecoming Queen at FSU.

This event was celebrated through the unveiling of the “Integration Statue” during the Heritage Day Celebration in Jan. 2004. The statue shows three of FSU’s first African American students symbolizing “Books, Bats, and Beauty.” During his speech at the unveiling, Attorney Flowers praised FSU for being a beacon of diversity and multiculturalism.

Attorney Flowers is a native of Tallahassee and has served as a member of The Florida Bar since 1981. The same year, he founded his own law firm, drawing on his firsthand experience in the civil rights movement to fight for his clients’ rights today.

Flowers has litigated hundreds of cases involving civil rights, personal injuries, wrongful deaths, wills, probate, and guardianship during his 40-year career.

Both Fred Flowers and Doby Flowers were the inspiration and prime forces in establishing the Civil Rights Institute at FSU in 2018. The institute commemorates, celebrates, and studies the U.S. civil rights movement to promote justice and equality at FSU and in the communities it serves.

In 2020, Fred Flowers, along with his sister, also received FSU’s prestigious Vires Torch Award, an honor bestowed by FSU’s Faculty Senate, for their many contributions to furthering the University’s academic excellence.

In 2023, FSU’s Alumni Association inducted him into the Circle of Gold, which recognizes those whose service and achievements personify Florida State University’s tradition of excellence.

“This award is a recognition of my work as a lawyer and of my continued work at FSU with the newly created FSU Civil Rights Institute,” Flowers said about receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award. “My time here at FSU shaped and fostered my passion for social justice. I believe that it is important to ‘give back’ by doing the very best you can, wherever you are with whatever tools you possess.”

Thomas M. Henderson

B.S. Political Science ’74

Thomas M. Henderson

Thomas M. Henderson is a highly regarded public works and solid waste management administrator in South Florida, California, and Washington, D.C. Before his career in local government, he worked as a journalist for several Florida newspapers and United Press International and for the Florida House of Representatives and Senate.

During his time at FSU, he was active in Student Government and served as a News Editor for the FSU Flambeau, Florida State’s student newspaper.

His time in the Florida State Legislature was particularly impactful, as he helped develop key revenue provisions in the public schools financing formula, that are still used to this day, which equalized per student funding between County school districts.

Henderson moved back home to South Florida in 1973, where he rose through the ranks of the Miami-Dade County government. Starting as a Budget Analyst in the County Manager’s Office, he worked his way up to Assistant Director of the Miami-Dade Public Works Department.

After a stint as the General Manager for the North Santa Clara Solid Waste Management Authority, he made the move to Broward County in 1984, where he worked for 15 years. There Mr. Henderson served as the Director of Resource Recovery Project and the Director for the Office of Integrated Waste Management, where he oversaw operations for one of the country’s largest solid waste management programs. This garnered him a number of awards, including the Career Achievement Award from the Municipal Waste Management Association in 1996.

In 1999, he moved to the nation’s capital and took over as the Administrator of Solid Waste Management Administration for Washington, D.C., where he helped to expand collections services and improve urban cleanliness.

After eight years, he moved back to South Florida to become a consultant for Arcadis Inc., where he still offers his expertise from time-to-time.

He’s been an active COSSPP graduate over the years, most recently helping to establish the Department of Political Science’s first endowed professorship.

“Having your career achievements recognized and honored by one’s college is most gratifying and truly humbling. I am truly thankful for this honor,” Mr. Henderson said. “I could never have the successful career and full life I have had without the public education I received at Florida State University. I feel a great obligation to do what I can to give back so others can have the same opportunities I had.”

Previous Honorees

2022: Cecelia Bonifay, J.D. (B.A. ‘71 Political Science, M.S.P. ‘73 Urban and Regional Planning, J.D. ’84 FSU College of Law), chair of Akerman’s Land Use and Development Practice, helps developers navigate the governmental approval process for their real estate projects; Daniel M. Gropper, Ph.D. (M.S. ’85 & Ph.D. ’89, Economics) has served as Dean of the College of Business at Florida Atlantic University since July 2013; Jimmy Patronis (B.A. ‘96 Political Science) serves as the State of Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, State Fire Marshal, and a member of the Florida Cabinet; Nigel Parkinson, Sr. (M.S.P.A. ’75, Public Administration and Management) is President and CEO of Parkinson Construction Company, the oldest and largest African American owned, self-preforming construction company in the Washington metropolitan area.

2021: Dan Berger (B.S. ’89 Economics), president and CEO of the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions; Rosemary Magee, Ph.D. (B.A. ’73 Sociology), an accomplished higher education professional who has served in a variety of capacities at Emory University, including as faculty, dean, director and vice-president; Mel Martinez (B.A. ’69 International Affairs), Chairman of the Southeast U.S. and Latin America for JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Former Senator and United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; and Karen Rasler, Ph.D. (M.S. ’77, Ph.D. ’81 Political Science), a dedicated academician with decades of research and teaching at major universities throughout the U.S.

2020: Jeff Butler (B.S. ’95 Interdisciplinary Social Science), entrepreneur and senior executive in the healthcare and technology industries; Jorge Gonzalez (B.S. ’87 Political Science, M.S.P. ’89 Urban and Regional Planning), real estate professional and CEO of St. Joe Company; Robert Hummer (M.S. ’90, Ph.D. ’93 Sociology), distinguished professor of sociology at UNC and acclaimed scholar of population health and mortality patterns and trends; Angela Riley Santone (B.S. ’93 Sociology); Angela Riley Santone (B.S. ’93 Sociology), Senior Executive Vice President for Human Resources at AT&T

2019: William Desvousges (M.S. ’74, Ph.D. ’77 Economics), natural resource damage assessment specialist; Joyce Godwin (B.A. ’65 Political Science), philanthropist and corporate/nonprofit/education board member and consultant; Patrick D. Sargent (B.S. ’85 Political Science), commander of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School Health Readiness Center of Excellence

2018: Eric Reading (B.S. ’92, M.S. 93 International Affairs): Executive Vice President of Chemonics International development firm

2017: Marshall Cohn (B.S. Economics, Social Sciences ’81): Founder of real estate firm The Dunhill Companies; teaching assistant for online MBA classes at FSU in real estate finance and valuation; sponsor of the university’s annual Real Estate Trends Conference; Florida State University Real Estate Network Award in 2014

2016: Susan MacManus (B.A. Political Science ’68, Ph.D. Political Science ’75): Distinguished Professor, Department of Government and International Affairs, University of South Florida; political expert for state and national media

2015: Ed Moore (M.P.A. Public Administration ’76, Ph.D. Public Administration ’07): President, Independent Colleges and Universities of Florida; former president and CEO, James Madison Institute; former executive director, Broward County Community Mental Health Board; Fulbright SpecialistFlorida Advisory Council for U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

2014: Gordon Gaster (B.S. Economics ’58): Financial consultant, Florida State University Foundation trustee and vice chair, FSU Alumni Association president, founder of the Gordon D. Gaster Endowment Fund supporting the Gus Stavros Center for Economic Education and its Economic Literacy Initiative, 2010 Circle of Gold honoree

2013: Mark Ellis (B.A. Economics ’79): Executive Director of International Bar Association, director of American Bar Association Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative, Fulbright Scholar, media commentator, author

2012: Stephen Lawry (B.S. Political Science ’73, M.S.P. Urban and Regional Planning ’75): Global Practice Lead for Land Tenure and Property Rights at consulting group Development Alternatives, Inc., president Antioch College, associate director for Africa programs at University of Wisconsin Land Tenure Center, director Ford Foundation Office of Management Services

2011: Lettie Bien (B.S. Political Science ’76): Retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel, Senior Adviser to Iraqi Ministry of Industry and Minerals, South Florida Area Coordinator for Admissions at West Point, recipient of Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star, and the Meritorious Civilian Service Award

2010: Harry Lerner (B.S. Economics ’82, M.S.P. Urban and Regional Planning ’84): President of Maxcy Development Group, Inc., member of Association of Florida Community Developers and Urban Land Institute, City of Jacksonville planner, planning project manager for private firms

2009: Victor Holcomb (B.S. Economics ’76): Senior principal Holcomb & Mayts law firm, trustee Kaul Foundation; and John Holcomb (B.S. Political Science ’77): Partner with Hill, Ward, & Henderson law firm, National President of American Board of Trial Advocates, trustee Kaul Foundation

2008: Clyda S. Rent (B.A. Sociology ’64, M.S. Sociology ’66, Ph.D. Sociology ’68): President Emerita of Mississippi University for Women; and George Rent (Ph.D. Sociology ’68): Associate Provost at Mississippi State University; faculty at University of North Carolina at Charlotte; consultant to U.S. Office of Higher Education, National Science Foundation, and United Family Services

2007: Laird Anderson (B.S. International Affairs ’58): Professor Emeritus of Journalism, School of Communication, American University; retired Colonel, US Army Reserves; reporter for Wall Street Journal, Chicago and Washington bureaus; Tallahassee bureau chief, Miami News and Palm Beach Times; international lecturer U.S. State Department

2006: Thomas M. Culligan (B.S. Political Science ’73, M.P.A. Public Administration ’77), M.S. Public Administration): Executive Vice President of Business Development for Raytheon Company, CEO of Raytheon International, Inc.

2005: Janice Kaminis Platt (B.S. Political Science ’58): Hillsborough County Commissioner

2004: Mark Filteau (M.S.P. Urban and Regional Planning ’76): President, Facilities Division, Johnson Controls

2003: Manuel H. Johnson (M.S. Economics ’75, Ph.D. Economics ’77): Senior Partner Johnson Smick International; Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (1982-86); vice chair Board of Governors of Federal Reserve System (1986-90);

2002: Carl Blackwell (B.S. Education ’58, M.S. Political Science ’59): Interim Chancellor of Florida Board of Education, Associate Vice Chancellor of of Planning and Budgeting of Florida Board of Regents, Associate State Budget Director and Chief of Bureau of Budgeting in Department of Administration

2001: Barbara W. White (Ph.D. Political Science ’86): Dean of School of Social Work,University of Texas (Austin); Associate Dean School of Social Work, Florida State University

2000: Alan Sundberg (B.S. Political Science ’55): Florida Supreme Court Justice 1975-1982, Chief Justice 1980-82.

1999: Arnold Greenfield (B.S. Social Sciences ’58): Investment banker, managing director of Lehman Brothers, Chair of Florida Preservation Advisory Council

1998: Barby Barone (B.S. Political Science ’69, M.S. Political Science ’70): Founder of Biltmore Advisers Inc., strategic investment management and financial planning

1997: Melvin Magidson (B.S. Economics ’48, M.S. Economics ’49): President and CEO of MCM Financial Corp.; and Lynda Keever (B.S. Political Science ’69): Publisher of Florida Trend magazine; board member of Florida Chamber of Commerce, Leroy Collins Center, Florida Education Foundation, Florida Council on Economic Education; Board of Trustees Florida State University and Leadership Florida

1996: Peter F. Romero (M.A. International Affairs ’72): CEO Experior Advisory, U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador, Assistant Secretary of State of Western Hemisphere Affairs Bureau, Chief of Mission for U.S. Embassy in San Salvador

1995: James Ammons (M.S. Political Science ’75, Ph.D. Political Science ’77): President of Florida A&M University, Chancellor of North Carolina Central University

1994: Alan Bayer (M.S. Sociology ’63, Ph.D. Sociology ’65): Professor Emeritus Virgina Tech; and Reuben O’D. Askew (B.S. Public Administration ’51): 37th Governor of Florida (1971-79)

1993: Parris Glendening (B.A. Political Science ’64, M.A. Political Science ’65, Ph.D. Political Science ’67): 59th Governor of Maryland

1992: David Coburn (B.S. Political Science ’73, M.S.P. Urban and Regional Planning ’77): Chief of staff in Florida House and Senate; staff director of Senate Rules Committee, Senate Ways and Means Committee, House Appropriations Committee