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Douglas Klutz: Top-Rated College Professor

In the field of criminal justice, there is one man making an indelible impression on his college students. Student ratings of their professors have become a valuable tool for those seeking to choose the best instructor for their chosen field of study. While some in higher education see ratings as inconsequential, others view it as an important source of student feedback. Receiving consistent glowing remarks would make any professor feel a sense of accomplishment. Case in point is that of a criminal justice professor… “One of the most caring professors I have encountered throughout my college career. He is incredibly helpful with career advice.” “You learn so much in his class about your rights and different cases. He is a really great mentor.” “CJ 220 was my second class with Klutz. He is an AMAZING professor. Always is willing to help with career advice.” “Excellent professor. Fun lectures and very caring and helpful.” “LEGEND.” These are just some of the hundreds of comments that students submitted about Professor Douglas Klutz of the University of Alabama on RateMyProfessor.com, the largest online

Nigel Franklyn: Creating Mindful Luxury

Trusting his instincts, he’s reenergized the world’s finest spas and hotels into “result retreats.” Life events often create life missions for creative people; their work becoming a process of discovery and purpose. Such is the case for internationally renowned “Spa Whisperer” Nigel Franklyn. A particularly soulful treatment session at an Atlanta spa awakened in him the desire to share just how emotionally powerful and healing the spa journey can be. He set off to change the way they operate, one luxurious location at a time. Life Event #1 – Emotional Chaos The youngest of six children, Franklyn began British life surrounded by siblings and enjoying his creative talents. At 14, his beloved mother passed away and his world was thrown into emotional chaos. The sensitive child felt lost for many years, struggling to heal. When he finally came through to the other side he felt grateful for having lived it. It gifted him with a unique spiritual empathy that would ultimately revolutionize an industry. The Road to Spa-dom Franklyn originally wanted a career as an actor, and his good looks

General Ann E. Dunwoody Four Star Role Model

How does a little girl grow up to be a four-star general?  In fact, the very first female four-star general in American history? So often we think there is a ‘proven formula,’ one that typically includes growing up in the proper environment, having a dream and vision, and then following a well-planned strategy. Well, interesting enough, even though General Ann Dunwoody grew up in a military family with four generations of West Pointers (brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather), she had no intention of ever joining the Army. As far back as Dunwoody can remember, all she wanted was to major in physical education and coach.  The Proven Formula Gone Awry Ann E. Dunwoody was born an ‘army brat’ in Northern Virginia in the triumphant glow of post-World War II America. Her father, a career army officer, soon moved the family to Germany and Belgium where they participated in the post-war reconstruction of the largely decimated European continent. That’s when the ‘proven formula’ went a little awry. In her formative years, Dunwoody wanted nothing to do with the military, instead moving

Major Lisa A. Jaster: Army Ranger

For many of us, the psyche of the ultra-high achiever, the elevated standard of discipline which frames their lives, is nearly impossible to fathom. We may be impressively credentialed ourselves with successful careers, we stay relatively fit and take care of our health, and at times we rise above difficult challenges. But that’s not what we’re discussing here. This is a whole other level of commitment, something so rare that we more common folk are traversing foreign territory. Why is a person this driven, this willing to push her body and mind well beyond what common willpower and human endurance typically allows? Why would any person voluntarily experience what the majority of us consider severe punishment akin to hell on earth? What motivates such a person’s actions and behaviors?We recently had the opportunity to meet one of these most extraordinary people, to dig in below the surface and find her core. Following is our briefing: The Engineer & The Soldier Some people are competitive, others are hyper-competitive, and then there’s Lisa Jaster. She is an engineer and a soldier. That’s

Nnamdi Okonkwo: Artist of Abundance

At Throomers, we pride ourselves in our positivity and daily pursuit of a ‘thriving life.’ Said another way, we believe in the universal abundance that is available to nearly anyone who’s able to raise their awareness, spirit and energy and tap into the source. We recently discovered an artist who is tapped in deeply, whose inspirational life story fits so thoroughly with our philosophy that we needed to feature him in our inaugural edition. Born in Eastern Nigeria in 1965, Nnamdi Okonkwo is the consummate throomer. Inspired by all demonstrations of excellence and the core goodness of humanity, his fundamental calling is to bring that same essence to whatever he does as both an artist and a man. Further, his day-to-day focused intent is to strive for perfection in the cause of providing enduring positive value to society. This is a big, impressive vision and it clearly describes a man operating at a uniquely elevated level of energy. Just where did this determination come from? How were the seeds planted? When did his spark ignite? Buckle up, throomers, we delve

Oliver Clark: Behind Closed Doors in NYC

When visiting New York City, according to many travel guides, those interested in our country’s history will not want to miss the iconic American Folk Art Museum. That’s good advice. Less well known is on that same Manhattan island, a private folk art collection may be just as rare and important, just as jaw-dropping, and worthy of a visit. However, unless you’re a friend or client of the proprietor, that’s not possible. Luckily, Throomers.com is just that. Recently, we were invited to visit the duplex of Oliver Clark, the fascinating man whose passion and dedication is responsible for the existence of this extraordinary collection. Here’s what we discovered. Discovering a Passion In his youth, Oliver Clark was busy with a wholly different artistic craft. He appeared regularly as an accomplished character actor on popular television shows such as Barney Miller, Golden Girls, M.A.S.H., Bob Newhart, and St. Elsewhere, in addition to several film credits, including the original ‘A Star is Born’, starring Barbara Streisand. While living in Los Angeles, he experienced his exhilarating”wow” moment and discovered his purpose. Pioneering folk

David Gallo: Sensationally Setting the Scene

A sensational convergence of fantasy and artistry on the big stage makes this visual storyteller one of the best in the business. Let the Show Begin Spectators take to their seats. Whispers slowly cease as the curtain rises and the house lights fade. Lights up, the reveal! Instantly, the art of David Gallo overcomes you and you are swept into another realm. He has set the stage in both mood and expectation at the start of your theatrical journey. His set design provides a canvas, of sorts, for actors and directors to make a story come to life, but the set is a piece of magnificence all on its own. As a scenic designer, Gallo is responsible for the visual appearance and function of the scenic elements used in a production. But he is more inclined to far exceed usual conventions, and instead, creates awe-inspiring works of art and experiential productions. Gallo is one of the most preeminent creators of theatrical environments in the industry. In the quarter century that is his career, his imaginings have breathed life into many

Alexander McLean: Compassionate World-Changer

His organization is empowering a community of changemakers within Africa’s prison system. Stooping in a dark, dank prison cell, a young man strokes the hand of a dying prisoner. The prisoner is handcuffed to a soiled cot reeking of vomit and urine. The young man doesn’t even notice. He sees only with his heart; something not many people would accuse barristers of having. But this young legal mind, Alexander McLean has a heart large enough to embrace the suffering prisoners of an entire continent. The Happy Accident McLean should never have been born. He’s a child of accidental birth, at least to his parents; a Jamaican father and English mother. But when God wants to answer the prayers of the forgotten, He creates their solution in His own way. That solution was a little boy called Alex. Born in the southern suburbs of London, England, McLean endured the fitful reactions of 1970s society to mixed race children. Nevertheless, he grew up in a loving home surrounded by loving relatives, including a beloved gran. The Caring Soul The signs of McLean’s

Stanford Thompson: Creating Social Harmony

By his example, he’s helping the under-served through the power of music. Change the Tune For Stanford Thompson, music is more than notes and pitches. He believes, like many others, that music can heal broken communities, uplift downtrodden children, and make Philadelphia a better place. Unlike others, Thompson is a world-renowned trumpet player who uses his musical talent for social justice initiatives. His art is undeniable, he’s performed solos with Ocean City Pops Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the North Springs Philharmonic, and traveled as far China, Czech Republic, Germany, Kenya, and Austria playing his tunes. But to Thompson, the sweetest sound doesn’t come from his trumpet, it comes from helping those in need. His organization, Play On Philly, pairs world-class musicians with students who are struggling academically due to life circumstances. He shares his results about the life-changing effects of music and remains committed to the arts through his many leadership positions on the board of the Marian Anderson Award, American Composers Forum, and the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Due to his commitment to social justice through music,

Patriot PAWS: Service Dogs for Disabled Veterans

Highly trained, four-legged friends do more than just provide companionship —they serve our heroes. Man’s Best Friend Turned Helper Ever since she was a child, Lori Stevens has loved dogs for their unconditional love, loyalty, devotion, and friendship. Her love for dogs grew into a career and she became a certified professional dog trainer. In 2005, her son joined the military following in his grandfather’s footsteps which further solidified her admiration for those who serve our country. That same year, several disabled veterans contacted her for help to train their dogs. “After working with these veterans and visiting the VA Hospital in Dallas, I realized just how many of our disabled veterans are in desperate need of assistance dogs and I knew I had to help,” recalls Stevens. Watch this short video of Stevens on the importance of the work they do… It started in 2006 in a small storefront in Rockwall, Texas, where Stevens and a few friends opened up Patriot PAWS Service Dogs, a privately funded non-profit organization. They had the capacity to train only eight dogs at