» Board of Directors | Executive Committee

photo of Akin Ceylan
Akin Ceylan
B.S./B.A. management '90
President
After graduating from Chapman in 1990, Akin Ceylan received a Certificate in Contract Management from the University of California Irvine in 1995. He is also a Licensed California Real Estate Broker since 2008.
Akin is currently the COO of Home Entertainment for Lionsgate. He joined Lionsgate Entertainment in October 2005 and sets the strategic direction for Operations in Home Entertainment. Akin also served as SVP Domestic Operations at MGM Studios and was responsible for overseeing the Home Entertainment Group’s operational activities for North America.
Akin currently lives in Thousand Oaks with his wife Cyndi Ceylan. He and Cyndi have a daughter, Paige, who currently attends Chapman University majoring in communications and a son, Rob, who graduated from Northern Arizona University in Spring 2014. Akin enjoys yoga, biking, golfing, stand-up paddle boarding, hanging out Lake Arrowhead and boating.
photo of James Blalock
James Blalock
JD '09
Past President
Jimmy Blalock graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Riverside in 2006 with a dual degree in business administration and political science, with a minor in religious studies.
As a student at Chapman School of Law, Jimmy served as president of the Student Bar Association, Symposium Editor of the Criminal Justice Journal, Secretary of the Mock Trial Executive Board, and a Student Ambassador. He received his Juris Doctorate and was sworn in as a member of the California State Bar in December 2009. He currently serves as in-house council for Pacific Compensation Insurance Company (PCIC) practicing insurance defense litigation in and around Orange County.
In his free time Jimmy competes in marathons and triathlons. He is also an active member of the Chapman community. He serves on the Law School Alumni Board and as the chapter advisor to the Chapman chapter of Delta Tau Delta.
photo of Connie Benson
Connie Benson
B.A. legal studies ‘93
Vice President of Engagement
During her time at Chapman, Connie served as president of Delta Gamma Sorority and Commissioner of Justice, was a member of the Chapman Dance Ensemble and danced in multiple American Celebration productions. She graduated magna cum laude and was named Outstanding Senior Woman.
Connie earned a juris doctorate from California Western School of Law. She works as a senior attorney at Williamson Law Group in Santa Ana and has participated in mentoring programs with the Fowler School of Law.
In addition to her professional endeavors, Connie volunteers her time with the Miss America Organization, serving as the executive director for the Miss City of Orange Scholarship Pageant, which is held annually at Chapman. Connie has enjoyed mentoring many Chapman women through this program. She also serves as a deputy field director with the Miss California Organization.
Connie lives in Tustin Ranch and is an avid runner, having completed numerous full and half marathons.
no photo available for Ariana Burris
Ariana Burris
JD '09
Vice President of P.R. & Marketing
Prior to attending Chapman University, Ariana earned a B.A. in American studies with a minor in art history from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. As a student at Chapman School of Law, Ariana was active in student government, serving all three years as a representative to the Student Bar Association. As a third year student, Ariana was Chapman's liaison to the American Bar Association. She was also involved with the Mock Trial team, and competed across the country in numerous competitions.
After being sworn into the California Bar in December 2009, Ariana has primarily worked in the area of Social Security Disability, representing clients nationally in administrative hearings and advocating before the national Appeals Council.
Ariana is married to fellow Chapman graduate Jason Burris '02 (JD '08) and they live in Cowan Heights with their dog, Wheaties. Ariana competes in half and full marathons and she and her husband practice yoga together. They love to cook, eat and travel.
photo of Dona  Constantine
Dona Constantine
B.S. health sciences '84
Vice President of Career
After passing the exam for the Registered Nursing State Boards and becoming licensed to practice as a nurse in 1967, Dona continued her education at Chapman, receiving a bachelor’s degree in health sciences in 1984.
During her years at Chapman, Dona was able to explore various subjects such as Victorian literature, British history and oceanography, along with the required courses for her major. These classes filled her with a sense of wonder, fulfillment and an appreciation for a broad based education. Her years at Chapman were thought provoking and life changing. She will be forever grateful for her experience at Chapman and now feels it is time to give not only resources, but time back to her alma mater.
Currently, Dona works as a senior risk and patient safety specialist for the Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. She and her husband, Paul, have two adult sons, Jason and Paul-Abram.
photo of Adam Coughran
Adam Coughran
B.A. political science '04 (M.A. organizational leadership '10)
Vice President of Development
As an Orange County native, Chapman University seemed like the obvious choice for Adam. While attending Chapman as an undergraduate student, Adam participated in several programs including the Orange County Internship Program, where he was a law clerk for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Upon graduating, he became a member of the Southern California law enforcement community. Adam returned to Chapman in 2008 to pursue a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership and a Graduate Certificate in the Administration and Leadership of Criminal Justice Organizations.
Adam is an adjunct faculty member at several local higher education institutions and a professional trainer and consultant for a number of businesses and private universities. He also serves on several association boards in both the public and private sector and is a member of Chapman’s 1861 Club, Alumni Legacy, President’s Circle and the Charles C. Chapman Heritage Society.
photo of Patricia Elliott
Patricia (Wood) Elliott
B.A. education ’60 (M.A. education ’74)
Vice President At-Large
A native of Orange County, Pat received her high school diploma from Orange High School the last year it was located on what is now the Chapman campus.
After 33 years an educator, Pat retired in 1996 from the Garden Grove School District. During her tenure at Garden Grove, she taught kindergarten, first, third and fourth grades, while also teaching continuing education classes for teachers at Cal State Fullerton and Chapman University. She also does professional floral arrangements and has provided the flowers for American Celebration for more than 20 years.
Pat has been actively involved on campus for many years. In addition to serving on the alumni board, Pat is a member of Town & Gown, and along with her husband (and Chapman sweetheart), Tom Elliott ‘60, and is involved with the Chapman Heritage Society.
photo of Aaron Flewellen
Aaron Flewellen
B.S. business administration ’04
Vice President of Strategy & Operations
At Chapman, Aaron was a Founding Father of and held many positions in the Chapman chapter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and was selected to serve as one of ten members of Delta Tau Delta's Undergraduate Council. Aaron was also a Resident Advisor, an Orientation Assistant, Associated Student Senator and Chapman Ambassador.
In 2009, after starting an agency that focused on employee benefits, Aaron was recruited by Orange County-based EBA&M to launch and manage a new program that helps small and medium sized companies self-fund their health insurance.
Aaron currently lives in Old Town Orange with his wife Kelsey (Smith) Flewellen '05. In addition to his work with the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Aaron is an adviser to the Chapman chapter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity. He joined the Alumni Association Board of Directors to help build a strong and beneficial network of alumni in Southern California and beyond.