TRANSFORMING LIVES The College of Education & Human Development at Texas A&M University
AN OFFICER AND AN AGGIE
Aggies serve as psychologists in the U.S. armed forces pg. 8
FIGHTING FOR CHANGE MAROON ONLINE
GETTING HEALTHY ON “HEAVY”
pg. 26 2011 | Transforming Lives |
FROM THE DEAN Dr. Douglas J. Palmer We are living in exceptionally challenging and interesting times. In light of the state’s budget reduction, I want to publicly thank the college’s faculty and staff whose efforts move the college forward. Every day they work to support the teaching, research and service activities that benefit our students, state and nation. At home and at work, the economic downturn has been stressful for many. However, it has been encouraging to see how our friends and former students continue to make a difference in their professions and communities through their time, talents and resources. Some of these individuals are highlighted in this issue of Transforming Lives. You will read about Aggies who overcame obstacles to make unique contributions that impact the education and health of families in Texas and beyond. You also will be introduced to donors who have supported our students and faculty. These individuals are educators, administrators, and health and business professionals who believe that education is the key to addressing challenges and embracing opportunities for a better future. Technology is revolutionizing the ways in which we are able to teach and deliver courses and degree programs, and it is expanding our options for communicating with current and former students and friends.
The convenience and flexibility of Maroon Online, a collection of the college’s distance education degree programs, offers students access to high-quality doctoral and master’s programs as well as certification and training programs. This is particularly helpful for working professionals who want to earn advanced degrees while continuing to live and work in their home cities. Read more on Maroon Online by turning to page 14. I also encourage you to “like” the college on Facebook and join in on the discussion about what is going on in the lives of your classmates and in the college. If you prefer, send an e-mail to email@example.com to let us know what you have been doing since graduation. Also, we would appreciate any suggestions you may have for future Transforming Lives articles. We would love to hear from you! You may have noticed that this magazine has a new look. We hope that you enjoy the updated format with articles that focus on how our current and former students, faculty and friends are transforming lives. Gig ‘em,
TRANSFORMING LIVES The College of Education & Human Development at Texas A&M University
AN OFFICER AND AN AGGIE
FIGHTING FOR CHANGE
GETTING HEALTHY ON “HEAVY”
A number of Aggies serve as military psychologists, providing mental health services to fellow soldiers and veterans. Captains Aaron Resch ’11 and Ginger Pezent ’11 are among them. Both studied counseling psychology at Texas A&M University and earned the competitive U.S. Air Force residency internship. pg. 8
Laura Dean-Mooney ’82 never imagined the positive impact she would have on thousands of lives. Nor did she imagine the personal tragedy that would eventually lead her to become president of the national organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). pg. 10
Why not enjoy the quality education that comes with being enrolled at Texas A&M, but in the convenience of an online, flexible community? Be a part of the College of Education and Human Development online community and see for yourself. pg. 14
Britny Fowler ‘06 helps to shape other people’s lives for the better. And she has a national audience — the Texas A&M University graduate is showing adults how to lose weight and live healthier lives on the TV show “Heavy.” pg. 26
ACADEMICS & ATHLETICS................................... 4 HELPING IN HAITI................................................... 6 FROM THE GROUND UP......................................12 A PASSION FOR SUCCESS..................................16 AGGIES HELPING AGGIES..................................18 THE STORY BEHIND THE GIFT...........................20
REMEMBERING JOHN..........................................22 THE TEAM APPROACH..........................................24 THANKS FOR GIVING...........................................28 2011 OUTSTANDING ALUMNI NOMINATIONS...................................................... 30 OUTSTANDING IN THEIR FIELDS.....................31
Connect with us!
http://www.facebook.com/TAMU.Education On The Cover: Captain Aaron Resch ’11 meets with servicemen and women as part of his internship at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio. Military psychologists like Aaron bring a passion for helping others to their profession while serving the country they love. Photo credit: Airman Hook, Medical Photographer, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB 2011 | Transforming Lives |
ACADEMICS & ATHLETICS Mentorship and support strategies provide student athletes opportunities to excel inside and outside the classroom
Photo credits: Texas A&M Athletics
TRANSFORMING LIVES Helping Athletes Succeed In The Classroom. Whether making the winning shot or crossing the finish line, some student athletes make success look easy. But, balancing demands on the field with those in the classroom can be a challenge. Fortunately, for the more than 600 student athletes that participate in the 20 sports offered at Texas A&M University, a team of Aggie educators is ready to assist. Two full-time academic advisors and half of the 22 learning assistants who coordinate the academic progress of Aggie athletes are former students or faculty of the College of Education and Human Development. John Thornton, senior associate athletic director for Texas A&M Athletics, knows how invaluable these faculty and advisors are in supporting and guiding student athletes to achieve their goals. “Not only do they address academic needs, but they handle eligibility issues that arise with degree progress and sport requirements,” he says. And for the 100 student athletes enrolled in programs within the College of Education and Human Development, the additional support available both inside and outside the classroom is what makes being a student athlete in the college manageable. Carson Smith ’11 agrees. A junior sport management major and member of the Texas A&M men’s track team, Carson credits the guidance he receives from his education professors and advisors for helping him stay on trackand keep his priorities in perspective.
“Balancing basketball and my studies is not easy... Coaches, professors, learning assistants and administrators have helped me on and off the court.” -Maryann Baker ‘11 “My priorities are my faith, family, friends, academics and sports,” he says. And as Carson and other student athletes will admit, life as a student athlete can be demanding. Classes, studying, practice and physical conditioning take up a large part of the day, and that doesn’t include time to eat or sleep. Missing classes due to travel and competition adds even more stress. Getting everything done requires constant
attention and personal sacrifice. “Balancing basketball and my studies is not easy. It’s a challenge every day, but it’s what I signed up for and what I love,” says Maryann Baker ’11, senior sport management major and guard on the 2011 NCAA Women’s Basketball National Champion team. “Coaches, professors, learning assistants and administrators have helped me on and off the court.” Jim Kracht, executive associate dean for academic affairs and holder of the Marilyn Kent Byrne Chair for Student Success, says that the college offers additional support for all students, including student athletes, through the Marilyn Kent Byrne Student Success Center.
Carson Smith ’11 balances track and classes by taking advantage of resources in the college.
“The center provides support on time management, budgeting, tutoring and referral services,” Jim says. “And we work to individualize support for each student.” With the help and guidance of so many in the college, most student athletes realize early on that academics, like sports, are a team effort. “It was important for me to utilize my resources to do well,” says Bailey Schroeder ‘10, who graduated with a degree in allied health and was a member of the Texas A&M women’s softball team. “Being able to study and compete as a student athlete was a team effort that required support from family, professors, staff, coaches and friends.”
Bailey Schroeder ’10 says being a successful student athlete is a team approach.
By: Diane L. Oswald 2011 | Transforming Lives |
HELPING IN HAITI Volunteer Noelle Gonzalez lives through massive earthquake and returns to Haiti to put nursing skills and education to work
Photo credits: Noelle Gonzalez
TRANSFORMING LIVES Teaching Haitians About Healthy Living.
“People would tell me, ‘I am so sorry you had to go through that,’ but honestly, there’s no place I would have rather been on this earth.” - Noelle Gonzalez ‘11 Noelle Gonzalez ’11 was only 10 miles from the epicenter of one of the deadliest natural disasters of her lifetime. Noelle, who has since graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in allied health, was on her third mission trip to Haiti in early 2010, volunteering and training in hospitals around the capital of Port-au-Prince and working at Jacob’s Well Youth Camp, a Christian day camp for children ages 8 to 14. On the afternoon of January 12, everything changed. Noelle’s days of nursing training were about to be put to the test. “My bed started moving,” Noelle says. “I looked down, and my roommate was in the middle of the room, eyes wide as saucers. We reacted like it was a hurricane — which isn’t what you’re supposed to do — and covered our heads and started praying.” Once the earthquake was over, Noelle and her roommate made sure the children at the camp were safe. The clinic where Noelle was volunteering also was intact. Still reeling from the aftereffects of her first earthquake, Noelle helped prepare for the injured to arrive. “All I could do was put my gloves on and pray for strength,” she says. The injured started arriving — those with crushed legs and broken backs. Hundreds injured from a nearby flour plant also arrived at the hospital, including 15 men with third-degree burns over 80 percent of their bodies. No one is sure how many people were treated in the hours after the earthquake. “That whole night is a blur to me,” Noelle says. “I had seven people lined up on a bench and would spend a minute or two with each of them because I couldn’t give any one of them all the care he or she needed.” After days of assisting at the clinic and realizing she may be in Haiti for at least a month, Noelle sent word to her advisor at Texas A&M that she may have to be dropped from her spring semester classes. Fortunately, a charity
plane en route to the United States had room for anyone needing to return. Since graduating in December, Noelle has returned to Haiti to continue her humanitarian work. She teaches English to children and educates the women of Little Guinea about cholera and other health topics through her affiliation with the Jacob’s Well Youth Camp. “Jacob’s Well had a long-term goal of opening a school and a clinic in the future, but because of local schools closing and the current cholera epidemic, both needs have been forced to the top of the list,” she says. While there have not been any cases of cholera originating in the village of Little Guinea, patients infected with cholera have been admitted to a hospital in Limbe, a larger village upstream, and Noelle has started to see cholera infections beginning in her village. Besides educating her people about water safety, general sanitation, hygiene and nutrition to help prevent the spread of this infection, Noelle will use her first-aid and response training to help in routine and emergency situations.
Using her education and training, Noelle Gonzalez ’11 impacts the lives of Haitians, both during and after the 2010 earthquake.
Listen to Noelle’s story in her own words: http://bit.ly/helping_in_haiti
“After my experience in 2010, I know that I want to be in Haiti helping those in need,” she says. “I want to build relationships with the women of the village and help them provide better lives for their families. I want to teach with love and encouragement, and if these people learn how to be healthier along the way, than I have succeeded.”
By: Dell Billings 2011 | Transforming Lives |
AN OFFICER AND AN AGGIE Serving as psychologists in the U.S. armed forces gives Aggies the opportunity to serve their country and impact society
Photo credit: Airman Hook, Medical Photographer, Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB
TRANSFORMING LIVES Helping Soldiers Cope With Wartime Stresses. A number of Aggies serve as military psychologists, providing mental health services to fellow soldiers and veterans. Captains Aaron Resch ’11 and Ginger Pezent ’11 are among them. Both studied counseling psychology at Texas A&M University and earned the competitive U.S. Air Force residency internship. And both were scholarship recipients, with Ginger earning a Regents’ Scholarship and Aaron being awarded a Diversity Fellowship. “I’d always had a strong interest in human behavior and how the brain works,” Ginger says. “After having several jobs that felt like they just brought in a paycheck, I was ready to pursue a career that would be truly fulfilling, always interesting, and continue to challenge me throughout my career.” Ginger and Aaron learned about Air Force psychology career options from other Aggies who visited campus and shared their experiences. The talks piqued their curiosity, and they applied. Aaron, who is finishing his internship at Lackland Air Force Base near San Antonio, spends most of his time on patient care. His provides stress management, relaxation techniques and other therapies to patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic medical problems combined with a behavioral disorder, and mental health issues like depression and anxiety. “My part in supporting my fellow servicemen and women in their worldwide mission may be relatively small, but I am grateful to be part of such amazing work,” Aaron says. “My days are spent serving the country I love while engaging in the profession I love.”
“After having several jobs that felt like they just brought in a paycheck, I was ready to pursue a career that would be truly fulfilling, always interesting, and continue to challenge me throughout my career.”
“I enjoy helping active duty members successfully adapt and cope under high-stress jobs and the multiple transitions involved in military life — whether adjusting to the deployment cycle or to a new base, community or coworkers,” she says. Both Ginger and Aaron note the quality education they received through the counseling program and Texas A&M. From knowledgeable faculty to clinical experience available through the program’s Counseling and Assessment Clinic, they emerged well prepared to serve in the mental health field.
Capt. Ginger Pezent ’11 is directly involved in patient care at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana.
“The training and education I received was just amazing,” Aaron says. “Texas A&M has had an enormous impact on my education and career.” Long-term, Ginger’s goal is to move into more leadership positions to positively impact the lives of service members. “The Air Force allows me the opportunity to give back to society in a way that is more far-reaching than just one patient at a time,” Ginger says. “It also significantly increases the sense of fulfillment I get because I’m part of something bigger than myself.”
- Capt. Ginger Pezent ‘11 Ginger, who is stationed in Louisiana at Barksdale Air Force Base, spends the majority of her time directly involved in patient care. But she also is called on to consult with command and provide briefings on PTSD, suicide prevention and other topics to different groups across the base.
By: Kara Sutton-Jones 2011 | Transforming Lives |
FIGHTING FOR CHANGE Through MADD, Aggie leads effort to educate others on the consequences of drunk driving
TRANSFORMING LIVES Educating Others On The Dangers of Drunk Driving. Laura Dean-Mooney ’82 never imagined the positive impact she would have on thousands of lives. Nor did she imagine the personal tragedy that would eventually lead her to become president of the national organization Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). “As national president, I am the face of MADD,” she says. “I am the victim/survivor that the public sees.” And Laura is a survivor. In 1991, Laura and her husband Mike, both native Texans, had just moved to Denver with their infant daughter. On November 21, Mike left a business meeting in Oklahoma to visit family in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Mike was traveling on a Texas highway when a drunk driver going the wrong way struck his car head on, killing Mike instantly. After the crash, Laura relocated to College Station and decided she wanted to keep tragedies like this from happening to others. “In 1993, I approached MADD’s Texas chapter in Austin about making a designated gift,” Laura says. “I designated it for public policy use in Texas — making sure better drunk driving laws got passed so that families like mine would not have to go through the tragedy of losing a loved one in a drunk driving crash.” Laura, who earned a bachelor’s in curriculum and instruction, used her background in education to play an active role in MADD Brazos Valley and eventually, as a state board member of MADD. In 2008, Laura took office as MADD’s national president. As national president, Laura’s job is educating others, but she has found other ways to teach as well — both as a trained victim advocate and certified trainer of law enforcement officers, in which she teaches officers how to deliver a death notification.
“We believe that in the next 15 years, drunk driving will be eliminated through the use of technology in automobiles. Turning cars into the cure is a real possibility.”
media, law enforcement and many others about the dangers and consequences of drunk driving. She also is an instructor in a new MADD initiative called Power of Parents, It’s Your Influence. Supported by the National PTA, the program provides coaching for parents and other adults on how to talk to children about underage drinking. “We give the parents tips and tools on how to begin the conversation,” Laura says. Despite its many successes, Laura believes tough challenges still lie ahead for MADD. “While MADD has made a great deal of progress in our 30-year history by reducing the number of alcohol-related deaths by about 45-50 percent, we still live in a country that kills over 10,000 Americans every year in drunk driving crashes — a 100 percent preventable crime,” she says.
Laura Dean-Mooney ’82 serves as a spokesperson for those who do not have a voice. She is pictured at MADD’s downtown Bryan office in front of photographs of local drunkdriving victims.
“To me, that is unacceptable. The hope is that we’ll get to the day when drunk driving is eliminated. We believe that in the next 15 years, drunk driving will be eliminated through the use of technology in automobiles. Turning cars into the cure is a real possibility.”
- Laura Dean-Mooney ‘82 Now in the last year of her three-year term, Laura primarily serves as MADD’s official spokesperson, educating and informing government officials, the
By: Kara Sutton-Jones 2011 | Transforming Lives |
FROM THE GROUND UP President of Texas A&M-San Antonio leads effort to build a new institution
Photo credit: Brandon Oliver
TRANSFORMING LIVES Building A Foundation For The Future. It’s not every day that you get to build a university from the ground up, but that’s exactly what Maria Hernandez Ferrier ’93 is doing. Maria currently serves as the inaugural president of Texas A&M University-San Antonio, which was established as a stand-alone institution in 2009. “The chance to be a part of building a university from the foundation — to be a part of history — is a oncein-a-lifetime opportunity, and I value it each and every day,” she says. “Texas A&M-San Antonio will change the landscape of San Antonio, and it all began with the dream of the late Senator Frank Madla, who worked tirelessly to bring an institution of higher education to San Antonio’s historically underserved South Side.” Maria, who earned her doctorate in educational administration, has long served in the field of education. Last year, the Administrative Leadership Institute at Texas A&M presented her with the Golden Deeds Award, which is considered the highest recognition for distinguished service to education in the state. Maria’s service is evident in her vision of what Texas A&MSan Antonio can do for the city and for the residents of Texas — serving as a transformational force in the lives of its students, the community and the state. “The majority of our students are Hispanic, and many are the first in their family to go to college,” she says. “My goal for our university and students is that we prepare them to be experts in their chosen field of study as proud Texas A&M-San Antonio Jaguars, who not only lift the socio-economic conditions for their immediate families, but for the state of Texas and beyond.”
English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students in the U.S. Department of Education. She later was assistant deputy secretary and deputy undersecretary. Her leadership is seen and felt in other positions around San Antonio as well. She sits on the boards of directors for KLRN-TV Public Television, the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and other local organizations. She also serves on the Hispanic-Serving School Districts/Hispanic-Ser ving Institutions Advisory Council for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities and is a member of the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors.
At left: Maria views the futre site of Texas A&M-San Antonio from the air.
But she notes her position as president of Texas A&M-San Antonio holds the most meaning for her. “It‘s an extraordinary opportunity to build an institution of higher learning that truly becomes a beacon of light for thousands who thought that an education — especially one with ‘A&M’ in its name — was beyond their reach,” Maria says.
“The chance to be a part of building a university from the foundation — to be a part of history — is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I value it each and every day,”
As a leader, she knows the direction and success of the university rests with its people and what they bring to the institution.
- Maria Hernandez Ferrier ‘93
“A title does not make a leader. A commitment to the organization and its people defines a leader,’” she says. “The greatest asset a leader has is the people he or she chooses to have as part of the team.”
Maria, who got her start working in a low-income school district as a school counselor, has held a number of national education posts. In 2002, President George W. Bush appointed Maria to direct the Office of
As president of Texas A&M-San Antonio, Maria Hernandez Ferrier ’93 wants her university to prepare students to lead change in Texas and the nation.
By: Kara Sutton-Jones 2011 | Transforming Lives |
DO YOU SEE ANOTHER AGGIE DEGREE IN YOUR FUTURE? WE DO. Programs Offered: Master’s • Bilingual Education • Curriculum & Instruction • Health Education • Human Resource Development • K-12 Educational Administration • Special Education Doctorate • Curriculum & Instruction Certification/Training • Accelerate Online • Applied Behavior Analysis • Bilingual/ESL Prep Course • Virtual Instructor Program
Why not enjoy the quality education that comes with being enrolled at Texas A&M, but in the convenience of an online, flexible community? Be a part of the College of Education and Human Development online community and see for yourself. U.S. News and World Report ranks our college 34th among all professional schools of education and 24th among all public professional schools. And with seven approved distance education graduate degrees, we’ll help you decide the next step in your professional journey. Now it’s your turn to make the next move.
“I chose an online program because it allows me to work full time and complete my school work at night. A great thing about online courses is that you get to know people from various places who have experience and knowledge to share.” - Michelle Wiederhold ’08
Learn more by going online today: maroononline.tamu.edu Or, download a QR code-reading app on your smartphone, and scan this to be redirected to the website.
2011 | Transforming Lives |
A PASSION FOR SUCCESS Local principal receives prestigious national honor for her leadership in school reform
TRANSFORMING LIVES Reforming A Local School.
“School leaders are responsible for building a sense of urgency in our kids, community and nation that education must be a priority.” - Tracy Spies ‘11
As principal of Ben Milam Elementary School in Bryan, Texas, Tracy Spies ’11 has a simple but powerful approach to motivating her students. “Praise, praise, praise and model, model, model,” she says. “You must praise every little step they take to help them understand that learning is a journey.” Tracy, who is currently pursuing her doctorate in bilingual education, began teaching in Aldine ISD in 1997 as an elementary bilingual teacher. She became Milam’s assistant principal in 2004 and principal in 2006. During the school’s first year as a member of TAP™: The System for Teacher and Student Advancement, Tracy was instrumental in leading Milam to achieve a solid achievement growth score of “3” as compared to peers across Texas. And in 2010, under Tracy’s leadership, Milam earned an achievement score of “5” — the highest value-added score possible — demonstrating the “far above average” results that Tracy expects of her students. “Our kids are bright, creative and unique individuals. Many of them have had difficult experiences and do not believe in themselves,” she says. “Peeling back the layers to build their confidence and a ‘can do’ attitude has been a challenge, but we are getting there.” And it’s not just her Milam family that recognizes her passion for school reform. Tracy received a big surprise when she and the rest of Milam’s administrators, teachers and students gathered for a visit from Texas Governor Rick Perry, who was supposed to present on the importance of education. Instead, the governor honored Tracy with the 2010 Milken National Educator Award, which recognizes exemplary K-12 educators and emphasizes the connection between quality classroom instruction and student achievement.
“I just go to work every day to do what I hope is right for the kids. It is truly a team effort, and I work with incredible people that make Milam run,” says Tracy, who was one of 55 educators nationwide to be honored with the $25,000 award. “It has been an incredible journey, and I realize the magnitude of what we are accomplishing.” Tracy says that a big reason for Milam’s recent successes in student achievement stem from the school’s supportive environment, where teachers take care of each other and treat the students as their own children. “Our kids come from a variety of backgrounds, and our teachers do an amazing job uniting them into a tight group,” she adds.
Tracy Spies ’11 and Ben Milam Elementary School have been in the spotlight twice in the last year, with Milam most recently being awarded the $50,000 TAP Founder’s Award.
In addition to the satisfaction she receives from seeing the individual achievement growth of her students, Tracy admits that her passion for creating a culture of success goes beyond the walls of Milam. “I do what I do because it’s important,” she says. “School leaders are responsible for building a sense of urgency in our kids, community and nation that education must be a priority.”
By: Callie McCullough 2011 | Transforming Lives |
AGGIES HELPING AGGIES Internships offer students opportunities to gain professional work experience before graduation
Photo credit: The University of Texas Health Science Center
TRANSFORMING LIVES Gaining Professional Experience To Impact Society. After hearing first hand from education students about their internship experiences at Texas A&M University, Kathy Denton ’82 recognized an opportunity — one that would help both fellow Aggies and cancer survivors. “The students were excited they were able to help their respective organizations and realized the difference their professional connections made on their careers,” she says, “so establishing an internship to benefit our patients and Aggie students made sense.” So Kathy, education manager at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, established the hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Program. Rose Annie Trevino, who graduated in 2009 with a degree in health, was the first cancer survivorship intern. “I wanted to do my internship at MD Anderson because I had heard so many great things about the institution,” Rose Annie says. “Cancer had recently affected my family, and I wanted to make a difference in this area.” Cancer survivorship interns are responsible for drafting the individualized comprehensive care summaries for each patient. These Patient Passport Plans for Health are then used by patients and health care providers to manage post-treatment care, such as diagnosis, treatments, screening and preventive care recommendations, and referrals. Rose Annie says the passport empowered patients to be active participants in managing their care and gave her hands-on experience. “One of the benefits of the internship was the opportunity to network with other professionals, which helped me get my first job,” Rose Annie says. A variety of semester-long internships like Rose Annie’s are available for education students in a number of industries.
“The students were excited they were able to help their respective organizations and realized the difference their professional connections made on their careers.” - Kathy Denton ‘82 “Internships provide opportunities for applied learning, practical experience and invaluable networking,” says Ann Gundy, clinical associate professor of human
resource development and undergraduate program chair. “And, in today’s marketplace, new graduates are better positioned for employment after completing an internship.” Several organizations have standing requests for interns, but some students create their own opportunities. “We surround students with resources to help them research possible internship opportunities,” Ann says. “It is important that students work in areas that are of interest to them. Although not guaranteed, it is not unusual for internships to lead to permanent employment.”
The Cancer Survivorship Program at MD A n de r s on provide s Aggie interns professional work experience before graduation.
Jacklyn Flores ’10, a human resource development major who also interned at MD Anderson, was hired by the cancer center as a clinical data abstractor after graduation. “I didn’t get the morning coffee, pick up lunch or file mounds of paper,” Jacklyn says. “I was treated like a professional who had real work to do and deadlines to meet.” Now, Jacklyn is in a position to help fellow Aggies. “I have truly come full circle since my internship. I first learned about the theories in my undergraduate classes, then I experienced them first hand as an intern, and now I help educate and guide a new group of cancer survivorship interns,” she says.
By: Diane L. Oswald 2011 | Transforming Lives |
THE STORY BEHIND THE GIFT Reta Haynesâ€™ endowed learning community offers students academic & leadership success
TRANSFORMING LIVES Encouraging Community. Reta Haynes invested in the future of young people when she established an endowment to support the Reta Haynes Learning Community in the College of Education and Human Development. The impact of her investment will have a multiplier effect on education for generations to come. “Making this gift gives me a great deal of joy,” Reta says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to do something worthwhile, not only for the Aggies who will become teachers, but for their future students, who are the future leadership of our country.” Learning communities promote academic success by establishing a structured support system for students. Through shared curriculum and experiences, freshmen and transfer students in the Reta Haynes Learning Community are able to develop stronger connections with their peers and faculty. “We have designed this learning community for students who are studying to become classroom teachers,” says Shailen Singh, director of the Byrne Student Success Center and faculty advisor of the learning community. “What makes this experience unique is that in addition to academic success, we emphasize the development of leadership skills.” Learning community students are matched with academic mentors who provide individualized support and encouragement. Students meet weekly to hear presentations on academic excellence and leadership, and to socialize with their peers and advisors. Participation in teambuilding exercises and fieldtrips provide additional opportunities for student interaction.
“Since the first learning community was established in the college about eight years ago, we have seen the number of students on academic probation decline by more than half.”
“This way, we can offer students a real-world application of the leadership skills they developed as participants,” Shailen says. Through the support of annual gifts, the college has been able to offer students the opportunity to participate in learning communities for almost a decade, which have helped improve student retention and academic performance. “Since the first learning community was established in the college about eight years ago, we have seen the number of students on academic probation decline by more than half,” Shailen says. “Our math and science tutoring and individual referrals to other campus resources have proved highly effective in helping our students succeed.” Reta and her late husband Bill have generously supported Texas A&M. Reta honored Bill by establishing three Corps of Cadets 21st Century Scholarships and continues her own tradition of giving through the Reta Haynes Singing Cadet Endowment Fund and her Reta Haynes Learning Community.
Providing current Aggies the opportunity to connect with classmates and succeed academically is just one reason Reta Haynes’ gives to Texas A&M.
Learning communities offer students like Leah Snow ’14 opportunities to succeed, such as individualized tutoring sessions in a comfortable environment.
- Shailen Singh ‘01
When the first group of Reta Haynes Learning Community students begins its second year at Texas A&M University, the students will be invited to participate as student mentors.
By: Diane L. Oswald 2011 | Transforming Lives |
REMEMBERING JOHN Endowed scholarship honors commitment of former Aggie and supports sport management students
Photo credit: Cheryl Trott
TRANSFORMING LIVES Supporting Future Generations of Aggies. “Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical, and expecting more than others think is possible.” - Anonymous Born and raised in Yoakum, Texas, John E. Trott Jr.’66 left an indelible mark on his company, community and university. With common sense and uncommon dedication, he volunteered his time, donated his resources and invested his energy for the benefit of others. On October 28, 2010, John passed away. As a former student in the College of Education and Human Development, John had a passion for young people. When he saw a need, he became part of the solution. In recognition of John’s commitment to students, his wife Cheryl established the John E. Trott Jr. Memorial Scholarship in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, which benefits students preparing for careers in sport management. “Over the years, I received numerous phone calls and e-mails from John asking me to look out for specific students. These students were young people John encouraged to attend Texas A&M,” says Jim Kracht, executive associate dean for academic affairs. “Even though he was president of a large insurance company, John always took the time to stay in touch with his kids.”
“John volunteered in public schools and encouraged his employees to do the same. And he encouraged many young people to go to college and pursue their dreams.” - Tom Davis John, who began his career as a teacher and coach with the Yoakum Independent School District, was recruited into an administrative position with the Hochheim Prairie Farm Mutual Insurance Association in 1978. Although his responsibilities with the company grew progressively over the years, eventually becoming president and CEO, he remained fully engaged with the youth in his hometown of Yoakum. “Throughout John’s tenure with Hochheim Prairie Insurance, he continued to mentor local students and serve in leadership positions in organizations
that supported education,” says Tom Davis, John’s friend and classmate. “He believed that educating our youth is everyone’s responsibility and that education ensures a better future for America.” An active member of the Yoakum A&M Club for 43 years, John established the club’s scholarship committee in 1983. He served as chair for 27 consecutive years, and during his tenure, approximately 125 scholarships were awarded to area students. And John knew each and every one of them. “He volunteered in public schools and encouraged his employees to do the same,” Tom adds. “And he encouraged many young people to go to college and pursue their dreams.”
Cher yl Trott accepts the Outstanding Alumni award on behalf of her late husband John for his dedication and service to education.
The impact John made on the lives of those he inspired, supported and mentored was recognized in 2007 when he was honored as a Fish Camp Namesake. That same year, a recruiting award was established in his name in the College of Education and Human Development, and John was the inaugural recipient. In 2010, he was posthumously honored as an outstanding alumnus of the college. John’s life of service was the tangible evidence of a man living up to a motto he adopted as a guiding principleh for excellence. And through his scholarship, future generations of Aggies also will know of John’s commitment to their continued success. By: Diane L. Oswald 2011 | Transforming Lives |
THE TEAM APPROACH Scholarships help former Aggie become a teacher and invest in the future of his students
TRANSFORMING LIVES Teaching And Mentoring Children. David Childers ’96 knows the secret to winning the outdoor children’s game Capture the Flag, and he makes sure to share that secret with his students. “It’s simple. I tell my students that we’ve got to work together as a team,” David says. “There’s nothing an individual can do alone that will win the game. Everyone has a job to do, and if we do our part, we’ll win every time.” It seems this is also David’s strategy for successful living. This third-generation Aggie had plans initially to follow in his father’s engineering footsteps, but a summer job he accepted after his freshman year of college changed his life. “I worked at a day camp for the College Station Independent School District and loved it,” David says. “Working with kids is energizing, and after camp, I knew that I wanted to be a teacher.” And during his time at Texas A&M University, juggling the Corps of Cadets and his studies as a kinesiology and biology major, David learned firstzhand the power of achieving more with the help of others. “I was fortunate to receive a King Scholar Loan and a Sul Ross Scholarship, which allowed me not only to attend Texas A&M, but to focus on my classes and Corps activities,” David says. “Without scholarships, it would have been difficult to accomplish everything I did in college. It meant a lot to have someone invest in my future.”
“Getting to know students as individuals and understanding what their challenges are goes a long way towards helping them in school and in life.”
changed the course of his career for a second time. “I discovered that I relate better to this age group and can offer them more as their teacher,” David says. “Middle school is a transitional period — physically, emotionally, socially and intellectually.” And David’s decision to chart a new course for himself has served his students well. In 2002, he was named Teacher of the Year at Cypress Grove Intermediate School, and in 2008, he was honored at the College of Education and Human Development Dean’s Roundtable for his contributions to education.
David Childers ’96 teaches physical education to students at Cypress Grove Intermediate School in College Station.
Now in his 13th year with College Station ISD, the impact David has made in the lives of his students is a clear return on his scholarship donor’s investment. “Getting to know students as individuals and understanding their challenges goes a long way toward helping them succeed in school and in life,” David says. “Whether they are having trouble with their classmates or a rough time at home, they know I am here to listen. They know I care.”
- David Childers ‘96 As a result of David’s commitment to academics and leadership development, he was recognized as a Distinguished Student in the College of Education and Human Development and named Outstanding Commanding Officer in the Corps of Cadets. David’s first teaching position was as a science teacher at A&M Consolidated High School. But a summer appointment at a middle school science academy
By: Diane L. Oswald 2011 | Transforming Lives |
GETTING HEALTHY on “HEAVY” Aggie motivates, teaches individuals to shed pounds on TV show
Photo credits: Emily Spitale (A&E) & Britny Fowler
TRANSFORMING LIVES Changing Attitudes On Healthy Living. Britny Fowler ’06 helps to shape other people’s lives for the better. And she has a national audience — the Texas A&M University graduate is showing adults how to lose weight and live healthier lives on the TV show “Heavy.” Britny, who earned her degree in sport management in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, is a physical trainer participating in the A&E television show. Show producers approached her after spotting her on the job at Lifetime Fitness in Austin. “The producers saw me in the gym talking, living life and having fun,” Britny says. “And, it’s always a goal of mine to inspire and change just one life.” “Heavy” features people who face life-threatening obesity. Each episode follows two people embarking on a six-month treatment program to lose weight and become more active. Unlike most weight loss shows, “Heavy” does not offer money or prizes as an incentive. The participants have to continue practicing healthy living habits when they return home. Trainers are not there to encourage them to hit the gym or cook portioned meals. “In the real world, a lot of people don’t have the opportunity to take six months off to turn their life around,” Britny says. “This is the true challenge people find.”
“Texas A&M is a tight-knit community. I had some of the best professors and was surrounded by people that I wanted to become one day.” -Britny Fowler ‘06 Britny’s clients have to be personally motivated to make healthy life changes. They weigh in periodically to track their progress, and viewers witness firsthand the physical and emotional trials of losing weight. “The show documents how hard it really is in daily life to move your body or eat healthy,” Britny says. “Our objective is to support our clients in a natural environment so people watching from home can relate to them.”
Britny says that her time at Texas A&M prepared her for this role, teaching her everything from science to social skills.
Britny Fowler ’06 lays out a healthy eating and exercise plan with one of the contestants on “Heavy.”
“Texas A&M is a tight-knit community,” Britny says. “I had some of the best professors and was surrounded by people that I wanted to become one day.” “Aggieland inspired me to be a better person and prepared me to apply my knowledge for the benefit of others,” she adds. “I hope the show will motivate at least one person out there to get moving or seek professional help to get back on track with his or her emotional and physical challenges.” “Heavy” airs Mondays at 10/9C on A&E.
By: Dell Billings 2011 | Transforming Lives |
THANKS FOR GIVING The College of Education and Human Development would like to thank the many donors recognized in these pages. The individuals, corporations and foundations listed below have given one or more endowed or planned gifts benefitting students, faculty or programs within the College of Education and Human Development through the Texas A&M Foundation. An asterisk denotes a planned gift as a portion of the total amount. President’s Endowed Scholarships
General Rudder Corps Scholarship
Mora Waddell & James L. Boone Sr. ’21 Grace A. & Carroll W. Phillips ’54 Patricia & Charles R. Wiseman, Vince Wiseman & David Franklin
Karen & Steven Morris Susan & Bill Ouren Sue & Rick Rickman III* Gary W. “Buddy” Williams Diane & Bob Winter
Foundation Excellence Awards
Endowed Opportunity Awards
James L. Boone
George W. Brackenridge Foundation Joyce Ann & Col. Thomas M. Jackson Sue & Patrick Mahoney
Luann & Richard Dolan Mary Evelyn Dunn Hayes* Mildred F. & Carl Henninger ’49*
Endowed Scholarships, Faculty & Program Gifts
Claudia & Rod Stepp* Sadie & William P. Stromberg* Deanna & Tom Yates Bob Winter
≥ $1,000,000 Gina & William H. Flores* Houston Endowment, Inc. Sydney & J.L. Huffines Dorothy & Artie McFerrin Ed Rachal Foundation Joan & Thomas Read Ammon Underwood
$500,000 - $999,999 Claude H. Everett Jr.* Reta Haynes Carl B. & Florence E. King Foundation Sue & Patrick Mahoney* Lynn & Gary J. Martin*
$100,000 - $499,999 John W. Anderson Foundation Robert G. Cherry* Kay & Jerry Cox W.L. Gerner* Susan Gulig* Mary Evelyn Dunn Hayes* Herman F. Heep & Minnie Belle Heep Foundation Carolyn & Tommie Lohman Eddie & Joe Mattei Betty & David Smith/Wilda Smith Scott Trust Karen & Terry O. Smith* Omar Smith/Omar Smith Enterprises, Inc.*
Transforming Lives | 2011
≤ $99,999 Barbara J. & Walter E. Anderson Mary Barnhill* James L. Boone Mora Waddell Boone Geraldine Longbotham Bowers Janie & Ralph Bowler* George W. Brackenridge Foundation Beth & Sherman Bradley Lynda M. Brown Michelle Thornberry Bunch Capital City A&M Club Betsy Carpenter* Todd Christopher Class of ’66 Michele & Tom Davis* Gogi & John Dickson James K. Dougherty Jr. Foundation Dow Aggies Louis C. Draper* Sally & Ralph C. Duchin Juanita B. Felder Sylvia & Raul Fernandez* Janie H. & Gordon R. Flack* Donna & Donald Foster* Suzan E. & Steve R. Furney W.L. Gerner* Mary Ann & Gordon F. Gibson Don Hinton Thomas Hogan
Cheryl L. & Gregory G. Knape Mickey & John Pate
Sul Ross Scholarships
Diane Jackson* Alma Dell & Robert M. Johnson Jean & Skip Johnson Kyle Kepple Patsy & Warren Kirksey Erin & Jim Kracht* Arno W. Krebs Linda & Robert Lacey Joan C. & M. Allen Landry Mary Jo & Billy Lay Jack & Elisabeth Longbotham Harry Lucas Andrea “Sissy” & John R. McKenna Ellen Breaux Morris Nancy & Brock A. Nelson* Susan & William Ouren Carol & M. Michael Park Carroll W. Phillips ’54 Marlene & Robert Powell* Ed Rachel Foundation Sue & Rick Rickman III* William B. Roman Jr. Suzy & Arnold Romberg Langston Terry Janice & John Thomas Nancy & Fred Thornberry Cheryl Trott Robert Walker Molly Thornberry Whisenant Patricia & Charles Wiseman Janeen Holland Wood* Zachry Construction/The Zachry Foundation Michael Zerbel
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2011 | Transforming Lives |
The College of Education & Human Development
& Dr. James Kracht, executive associate dean for academic affairs
Call For Nominations 2011 Outstanding Alumni Award Eligibility Requirements • Earned undergraduate or graduate degree (and its predecessor majors) from the college • Contribute to Texas and the nation through dedicated careers in teaching, research and/or service • Support activities that promote access to education, achievement and health for all • Establish and promote diversity • Engage in work to support the mission of the college One award will be presented to an early career graduate earning his or her degree within the past five years What is this?*
Award winners will be recognized at the College Awards Celebration in fall 2011. Visit http://bit.ly/outstanding_aggie to download the nomination form. For additional information, contact Diane Oswald at 979-845-5355 or email@example.com *Download a QR code-reading app on your smartphone, and scan this to access the online nomination form.
2011 Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Education and Human Development Sonja Adams
Carolyn & Tommie Lohman
Sue & Patrick Mahoney
Barbara & Pablo Marvin
Michele & Tom Davis
Patsy & Pat Kirksey
Gogi & John Dickson
Dee & Tom Yates
Sue Ann Lockard
Transforming Lives | 2011
Claire Selman Betty & David Smith Donna Stauber Betty Thompson Ellen & Rod Thornton
OUTSTANDING IN THEIR FIELDS Awarding Aggies For Dedication And Service. Four Outstanding Alumni were honored at the 2010 College Awards Celebration. They were Carla Chapman Amacher ‘93 and ‘95, Xiato Fan ‘93, John Trott Jr. ‘66 and ‘72, and Jennifer Milam ‘08 who was the early career recipient. Carla Chapman Amacher has an innate ability to inspire positive change in the lives of everyone in her school district. After 10 years as a classroom teacher, instructional technology coordinator and campus principal in McKinney Independent School District, Carla accepted a principal position at Brushy Creek Elementary School in Round Rock, Texas. As principal, she set high standards and encouraged teachers and students to achieve success, which was realized when the school earned exemplary status after her first year of service. Three years after being named principal, she became director of elementary education for Round Rock ISD, where she leads a team of district instructional coaches and provides support to the district’s 31 elementary school principals. Carla received her bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies and her master’s in educational psychology from Texas A&M University. Xitao Fan’s passion for measurement, statistics and research methodology has not wavered since his time as a doctoral student at Texas A&M University. Over the past 17 years as a faculty member at Utah State University and now the University of Virginia, Fan has produced quality work and inspired his colleagues and students. Fan served as editor of Educational and Psychological Measurement and since 2000, has been the Curry Memorial Professor of Education at the University of Virginia. Fan received his bachelor’s from the Kumming Institute of Technology in China, his master’s from Brigham Young University and his doctorate in educational psychology from Texas A&M.
Carla Chapman Amacher ’93 & ’95
Xitao Fan ’93
Throughout John Trott’s career as a teacher, coach, and president and CEO of the Hochheim Prairie Farm Mutual Insurance Association, he was an advocate and supporter of education, Texas A&M University and his community. Although John’s volunteer work in numerous civic, church, university and professional organizations resulted in public accolades, he was happiest working behind the scenes to make a difference. John received his bachelor’s in business management and his master’s in educational administration from Texas A&M. Sadly, John passed away on October 28, 2010. His wife Cheryl accepted the Outstanding Alumni Award on his behalf. Jennifer Milam is an assistant professor of education at the University of Akron. Although she only recently completed her doctoral degree, Jennifer is already well known in the field of curriculum studies. She is a member of several professional organizations, is well published and is an assistant editor of the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy. Jennifer earned her bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University.
John E. Trott Jr. ’66 & ’72
Nominate a former student for the 2011 Outstanding Alumni Awards online at: bit.ly/outstanding_aggie What is this?
Jennifer L. Milam ’08
Download a QR code-reading app on your smartphone, and scan this to access the online nomination form.
2011 | Transforming Lives |
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