Thomas J. Mason (PhD 1973)

In 1993 Thomas J. Mason joined the graduate faculty at the College of Public Health, University of South Florida ( USF ). He served as the Chairperson of Epidemiology and Biostatistics for six years, and has served as the Director of the Global Center for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Action since 2000. He holds Joint Professorships in the Medical Ethics and Humanities and Global Emergency Medical Sciences in the Department of Internal Medicine, USF College of Medicine. Tom has been actively engaged in 'global activities' which range from serving on a Scientific Advisory Committee to the Ministry for the Environment, Nature and Forests, State of Schleswig-Holstein, Germany to serving for eleven years as the Co-Director of the PAHO Summer Program in Intermediate Epidemiology. He has stated that he wants to excite the same passion he has for the 'public's health' in the next generation of public health practitioners before he retires. However, he is quick to share that he will never 'retire/ retire'. Tom is married to Anya Shevchenko. He worked with Anya at the National Cancer Institute. Their team published the first Atlas of United States Cancer Mortality at the county level in 1975. This started a global trend in utilizing Geographic Information Systems to identify areas where additional epidemiologic studies were likely to identify local determinants of disease. Anya went on to pursue her graduate work in Anthropology both in Physical Anthropology and Primatology at George Washington University and the University of Pennsylvania. Over the years, since they married in 1974, Anya has expanded his interests/ activities to include birding, wildlife photography, reading mystery novels and, most recently, has introduced him to ballroom dancing!!

Walter Akins (BS 1971)

Walter Akins graduated in June of 1971 with a BS in Statistics. "I believe there were a total 6 Statistics Majors who graduated at that time. I worked for the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the College of Veterinary Medicine as a Wildlife Statistician until Feb of 1974. I earned a BS in Agricultural Mechanization Technology in 1979. I transferred to the Horticulture Department in Plant Sciences Building in 1974 and retired in January of 1995. Since that time I have moved to Panama City, Florida where I got an Electrical Contractors License and, for a hobby, I earned a U. S. Coast Guard Captain's License and operate a charter fishing boat. My two sons are also captains and my 16 year old daughter is working on getting her license. My wife is the former Debra Bramlett who worked in the UGA College of Pharmacy until 1997. I have been a co-host of 2 television fishing shows called, "Living My Dream" and "What A Life" with my two brothers, Bill and Rocky Akins. Rocky and I now have a Saturday morning radio show called, "The Rocky and Randall Show" on a local country radio station here in Panama City. I also am a writer for the PANAMA CITY COAST LINE newspaper here in the Panama City area."