Also in this issue: Ross Sherman wins state educator of year award UT Tyler honors 3 distinguished alumni
Bolstering the Regionâ€™s Medical Sector UT Tyler Unveils New Fisch College of Pharmacy
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THE UNIVERSIT Y OF TEX AS AT T YLER MAGAZINE THE UNIVERSIT Y OF TEX AS AT T YLER MAGAZINE
Contributors The University of Texas at Tyler Magazine Volume Eleven, Issue One Dr. Rodney H. Mabry, UT Tyler President Beverley Golden, Marketing & Communications Director UTâ€ˆTyler Magazine Editor Emily Battle Art Director Carolyn Halbert Photography: Frank Curry FJ Gaylor Alex Maldonado Randy Mallory Clarence Shackelford David White Lang White Jeff Williford Thinkstock.com Contributing Writers: Emily Battle, Magazine Editor Hannah Buchanan, Public Affairs Specialist Jennifer Hannigan, Special Assistant to the President for Communications Shelly Roark, Roark Creative Staci Semrad, Portico Communications Jeff Williford, Sports Information
The University of Texas at Tyler Magazine is published by the Office of Marketing and Communications at UT Tyler. UT Tyler is an equal opportunity employer and educational institution. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The University of Texas at Tyler Office of Marketing and Communications 3900 University Blvd. Tyler, TX 75799 ph. 903.566.7170 www.uttyler.edu
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SPRING 2014 In Every Issue
Focus On: Faculty
Focus On: Alumni
Focus On: Students
Focus On: Benefactors
Patriot Athletics: Golf Program Achieves Excellence, Looks for Even Better Future
Bolstering the Region’s Medical Sector UT Tyler Unveils New Fisch College of Pharmacy
on cover: Architectural rendering of W.T. Brookshire Hall, which will house UT Tyler’s new Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy.
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Presidentâ€™s Letter After I became president of this wonderful institution more than 15 years ago, university leaders committed themselves to a new strategic plan. Our goal was to create a thriving university that would offer options to incoming freshmen, doctoral candidates and every student in between. It was an ambitious plan, one that would require diligence, support and dedication to innovative thinking. As I look around campus today, much of what we set forth to do in that original plan has been accomplished. However, there was one key piece of that early plan that did not come to fruitionâ€”until now. For many years, we have been resolute in our goal to one day establish a college of pharmacy, and thus add to the medical focus and economic power of Tyler. Through a concerted community effort, the support of the Texas Legislature and the dedication of countless friends of this university, our vision of a college of pharmacy is now a reality. We are proud to be in the building process for the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy. The name acknowledges a generous, multi-year gift for start-up operations and endowment from the Ben and Maytee Fisch Foundation. Today, construction crews are diligently working at the site of W.T. Brookshire Hall on the shores of Lower Harvey Lake. As a result of a large multi-year commitment for the building from the Brookshire Grocery Company, the home for the Fisch College of Pharmacy will be the ideal place for our students to learn. Within these pages, you will find a special report detailing our progress on the Fisch College and Brookshire Hall. You can read about how our vision of this venture finally came to be. In that section, we will tell you how our dedication to innovation is shaping everything about the pharmacy program, from the funding model to the pedagogy. I am proud to say that, in just a few years, many of the pharmacists helping East Texas patients will have been educated right here in Tyler. One day soon, when I am standing in front of a counter talking to a pharmacist with a UT Tyler lapel pin on his or her jacket, I will be proud to know that this community came together to make the education of such successful individuals possible.
Rodney H. Mabry President Dr. Ben R. Fisch Professor of Economics and Finance THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT TYLER MAGAZINE
AROUND CAMPUS Nationally Accredited for Excellence UT Tyler’s music program has received full accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Music, the accrediting agency for music and musicrelated disciplines among collegiate and postsecondary schools. Accreditation was granted after a careful self-study examination, full on-site peer review and final vote by the association’s commission. Institutional membership in NASM represents an investment in the stature and health of the profession, in the maintenance of conditions and resources necessary for student learning
and in a system of national review and accountability. “We are very proud of this accomplishment,’’ said Dr. Michael Thrasher, director of the UT Tyler School of Performing Arts. “Achieving NASM accreditation is a significant external affirmation of the quality of our music program.” UT Tyler offers bachelor of music and bachelor of arts in music degrees. Graduates go on to become successful music teachers, performers and church musicians. Many pursue graduate studies as well. n
UT Tyler has been designated by The Military Times as one of the leading fouryear public universities for student veterans. The independent publication set out to find the nation’s best schools for veterans among two-year, four-year and online institutions. Representatives from about 600 schools responded to this year’s survey. Schools were evaluated in five categories: university culture, student support, academic quality, academic policies and financial aid. In the 2014 results, UT Tyler ranked
sixth out of all four-year public Texas institutions, including UT Arlington and UT Austin. “The UT Tyler Veterans Resource Center is proud to support the university in achieving this ranking by The Military Times, and we are equally proud to be ranked so highly out of 600 institutions,” said Christopher Cox, UT Tyler Veterans Resource Center coordinator. “To be among this outstanding group of universities validates UT Tyler’s continued effort to help and encourage our student veterans.” n
Patriots Shine in International Cyber Security Challenge UT Tyler students performed among the best internationally in a cyber security competition at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University-Brooklyn. The Ninja Trojans team mentored by Dr. David Hoe, UT Tyler assistant professor of electrical engineering, was one of 11 finalists chosen from nearly 50 collegiate teams worldwide in the Embedded Systems Security Challenge. UT Tyler placed third in the final competition, topping teams from eight other institutions including UT Dallas, UT San Antonio, Iowa State University, NYUPoly and Grenoble INP – Esisar, France. This was UT Tyler’s first time to participate in the challenge. “I am very proud of our student team,” Hoe said. “They were competing against some top engineering schools – many with graduate programs in cyber security. Despite the rather steep learning curve required to compete in the event, the students were undaunted.’’ The contest challenged students’ knowledge in one of the newest and most difficult fields within cyber security: testing and protecting electronic hardware. In the first round, each team was asked
to submit a technical paper discussing the best ways to insert Trojan circuits while avoiding detection. Each finalist was asked to submit three circuit designs for the final competition. Graduate student Mukesh Reddy Rudra represented UT Tyler in New York.
Other team members were Lakshman Raut, Varun Nagoorkar, Lagadapati Yamuna Sri, Rajeshwar Rao Pinninti, Vrunda Tony Chitavaduta, Elizabeth Minu Joseph, Shyam Sai Prashanth Haran, Nimmy Anna Daniel, Mani Kumar Bikkumalla and Dinesh Veramachineni. n
UT Tyler student Mukesh Reddy Rudra (right) accepts award from Polytechnic student Jeyavijayan Rajendran.
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We’re Among the Best Universities for Veterans
Childs Leads Alumni Relations Brittany Childs is the new director of alumni relations for UT Tyler. Joining the university in 2008, she previously served as student life and leadership assistant director and Greek life coordinator. As alumni relations director, Childs handles all external communications to UT Tyler alumni and serves as a university liaison to the Tyler community. She also oversees the university’s annual Alumni Gala. Childs follows Derrith Bondurant, who accepted a position as the associate vice president of institutional advancement and chief development officer for UT Health Northeast. “Derrith did a wonderful job in all of her endeavors during her six years at UT Tyler. Brittany is just the person to add to what has already begun,” said Jerre Iversen, vice president of university advancement. Before serving UT Tyler, Childs served Baylor University as the graduate assistant for campus activities and special programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree in speech communication and a master of science in education with an emphasis in student affairs administration, both from Baylor. n Brittany Childs
Patriot Talon & Patriot Pulse Magazine Publishing Team
Talon Wins Record 39 TIPA Awards UT Tyler’s Patriot Talon won a record 39 awards at the 2014 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association Conference, topping last year’s 23 awards. In on-site events, where all students compete in one division despite school enrollment and publication schedule, Patriot Talon editor-in-chief Morgan Jones won first place in public relations release writing and honorable mention in feature photography. Web editor Austin Countryman placed second in magazine design. Sports editor Bryan Savens placed second in TV news writing, multimedia editor John Edward placed third in live news video and online managing editor Lauren Barnes won honorable mention in PR crisis management. For previously-published content submitted in Division II competition, the Patriot Talon won Best in Show, Patriot Pulse Magazine won honorable mention for overall excellence and Jones received the Frank Buckley Scholarship.
Division II awards also included: First Place – Countryman, feature story and information graphic categories; Jones, feature story; Savens, sports news story and sports feature story; Victor Texcucano, general news photo; Jake Waddingham, news feature story and sports feature photo; Barnes, single subject design; and Andy Taylor, Page 1 design. Second Place – Jones, news story; Alec Bryant, ad design; Misty Butler and Nizia Alam, news feature story; and Waddingham and Taylor, photo illustration. Third Place – Waddingham, feature photo and feature story; Texcucano, sports column and feature photo. Honorable Mention – Countryman, overall and Page 1 design; Jones, illustration and feature page design; Samantha Copus, critical review; Barnes, opinion/editorial page design; Savens, sports action photo; Waddingham, picture story, general news photo, sports page design and sports feature photo. n
Dr. Richard Helfers, UT Tyler assistant professor of criminal justice, received the SAGE Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award from SAGE Publishing and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. Helfers was one of 10 professionals nationwide to receive the award for excellence in criminal justice and criminology education. He also won a travel stipend to attend the professional development teaching workshop at the 2014 ACJS Annual Meeting. “There are numerous members of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences who were considered for the award, and it is an honor to be selected,” Helfers said. “The
Dr. Richard Helfers
junior faculty teaching workshop I attended at the conference not only provided me with valuable ideas to sustain a healthy
learning environment for my students at UT Tyler, but also provided me a network of faculty members across the country who are committed to enhancing the quality of teaching for criminal justice students.” Helfers joined UT Tyler in 2013, after working since 1987 with the Richardson Police Department, where he rose in the ranks from officer to captain. He is a former adjunct instructor for Richland College’s School of Learning Enrichment and Academic Development in the Dallas County Community College District. Helfers holds a bachelor of science in criminology from Indiana State University and a master of public affairs and Ph.D. in criminology, both from UT Dallas.n
The UT Tyler Houston Center for Engineering was created in partnership with Houston Community College and is located on the HCC Alief-Hayes Road Campus.
Vasselli Directs Houston Engineering Programs
John J. Vasselli
John J. Vasselli has been named director of the UT Tyler Houston Center for Engineering. Vasselli served as executive director of the university’s Texas Allergy, Indoor Environment and Energy Institute since 2010 and is the Mary John and Ralph Spence professor of research. He has more than 35 years of experience associated with indoor and outdoor air quality, technology-driven product and services development and academia/industry research collaboration. The UT Tyler Houston Center for Engineering was created in partnership with Houston Community College and is located on the HCC Alief-Hayes Road Campus, offering programs in electrical, mechanical and civil engineering. Houston-area students have the convenience of taking lower division courses at one of the community colleges in the
Greater Houston area and upper division courses to complete the degree with UT Tyler. Students can earn a four-year degree for about $20,000, making it one of the most affordable baccalaureate engineering degree programs in Texas. “I am excited that John has accepted our offer to serve as director of the center,” said Dr. James Nelson, dean of the UT Tyler College of Engineering and Computer Science. “He knows the Houston area and is a dynamic forward-thinking individual. There is no question he is the right man for the job.” Vasselli holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology and master’s degrees in biomedical/electrical engineering and research systems management from Air Force Institute of Technology and University of Southern California, respectively. n
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Helfers Receives National Teaching Award
ALL IN THE FAMILY. Dr. Ross Sherman is a professor of educational leadership and dean of the UT Tyler College of Education and Psychology and his wife, Cynthia, is a senior lecturer in the School of Education. They are pictured with their son, Geoff, a UT Tyler graduate and Jones Elementary School assistant principal.
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The Educator of Educators, the Leader of Leaders UT Tyler Professor Wins State ‘Educator of the Year’ Award Dr. Ross Sherman remembers,
in his first year as an assistant professor of educational leadership at The University of Texas at Tyler, when he and a colleague went to Dallas for a meeting. It was Sherman’s first time to interact as a peer with those who attended the meeting of the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration — professors whom Sherman deemed “icons in the field.” “I was then a fairly newly minted doctorate and just months earlier had been learning at the feet of some of these people,” said Sherman, who has taught educational leadership at UT Tyler since 1987 and was promoted last May to dean of the College of Education and Psychology. “It was pretty awe-inspiring to sit in that meeting with them and realize that
I was going to be a colleague of theirs. It inspired me, but I also recognized what important work I had to do, because I had to continue this chain of educational leadership preparers from one generation to the next.” Last fall, more than two decades later, Sherman returned to Dallas for another meeting of the TCPEA, this time to receive the organization’s highest teaching honor, the “Educator of the Year” award. “Being recognized by your colleagues is one of the highest honors that you can get, and being recognized by this group that I’ve held in such high esteem for the last 26 years is really an honor for me,” Sherman said. As dean, he oversees the college’s School of Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
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Studies, and Department of Psychology and Counseling. He previously served for 22 years as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. “It’s our pleasure to honor somebody who makes a difference in the lives of students, who truly impacts leadership across the state of Texas by his commitment to leadership preparation and his students,” said Dr. Stacey Edmonson, executive director of TCPEA and chair and professor of educational leadership and counseling at Sam Houston State University. The award confirmed what people at UT Tyler already know, which is the positive impact Sherman has had on Texas primary and secondary schools, said Dr. Alisa White, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at UT Tyler. “Dr. Sherman has a unique ability to analyze issues facing education today,” White said. “He’s able to look at the needs of schoolchildren, the preparation that teachers need and the challenges that teachers face every day, and see the big picture.” An Acorn in the Forest The youngest of three children, Sherman grew up in a blue-collar neighborhood in Philadelphia, Pa., where most of his friends’ parents worked in factories. His mother worked as a secretary, and his father — one of the few in the neighborhood with a college degree — managed a drugstore. Sherman’s older sister became a teacher and suggested to him during his early college days to take some education courses. “I took classes in elementary education and started to realize that I really enjoyed it,” Sherman said. After earning his bachelor of science in
elementary education from Temple University in Philadelphia, he was soon teaching sixth grade in New Jersey. He went on to earn his master’s in education from Temple University and his doctor of education degree from the University of Houston, and worked for 14 years as an elementary school teacher, assistant principal and finally principal. The school where he became principal was a low-socioeconomic, high-minority elementary school in the Alief school district in Houston. “We faculty worked hard, and our students were successful,” he said. “That’s when I remembered what Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote — ‘The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.’” For Sherman, that concept was analogous to the efforts of faculty and their potential to grow a forest of learners. “Every child is important and every child deserves the best teacher he or she can have, and the best principal that he or she can have,” he said. “So my passion for the last 26 years has been to train the best principals possible for the state of Texas.” In 1987, Sherman transitioned into higher education at UT Tyler, where his research has primarily focused on instructional leadership theory and principalship. In 1990 he was appointed chair of his department, and in 1999 was promoted to full professor. “That recognition by my colleagues of being worthy of becoming a full professor is to me the crowning achievement of my professional career,” Sherman said. Crisis Hits Home Within a few years of reaching the pinnacle of his career, he suffered a serious
setback. He became ill in 2004 and was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called acute myeloid leukemia. He spent a week in intensive care in an induced coma and one month in the hospital. He underwent chemotherapy and was so ill that he couldn’t go to work. “I had a lot of support here from the university and a lot of support from my colleagues, who pitched in and helped cover my classes when I couldn’t be there,” Sherman said. He then went into remission and sought help from the blood and bone marrow transplant program at the Baylor College of Medicine Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas, which extracted and froze some of his stem cells just in case the cancer were ever to relapse. Through his nine months of chemotherapy, the consensus of his doctors was that he would stay in remission. Eighteen months later, though, the leukemia came back. Sherman’s doctor told him his only option was to get a bone marrow transplant. His family members’ cells were tested for donor compatibility, but no match was found. However, because his stem cells had been saved when he was in remission, doctors were able to perform the bone marrow transplant using Sherman’s own cells. “I was very fortunate that I was able to have my own bone marrow transplanted, as opposed to an external, because there was less likelihood of my body rejecting it, and I’ve been cancer-free for about six or seven years,” Sherman said. At a recent checkup, the doctor told Sherman he could finally consider himself cured. “To be honest with you, I would not be here if it weren’t for my wife, Cynthia. She
was my primary care provider and my rock 24-7 going through everything that we went through,” Sherman said about her, a senior lecturer in UT Tyler’s School of Education. “But I will tell you that it changed my perspective on life. I see every day as a blessing that I’ve been given, and I need to make the most of each day that I can.” Devoted ‘Shermanites’ Sherman has taught and mentored hundreds of educators who have become principals, superintendents and administrators across the state, and who in turn have taught and mentored countless schoolchildren. Dr. Wesley Hickey, himself a former student of Sherman’s, worked as a teacher and principal before moving into higher education and coming to work at UT Tyler. An associate professor of educational leadership at UT Tyler, Hickey was promoted this year to fill Sherman’s former position as chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. “I spend a lot of time at schools in this area,” Hickey said, “and it’s amazing the number of times when you walk in, and teachers and principals hear you’re from UT Tyler and they say, ‘Oh listen, I’m a Shermanite. I took Ross Sherman’s courses and they made all the difference in the world.’” Several Shermanites drove to Dallas last fall to see Sherman be presented with the Educator of the Year award, Hickey said, adding, “I can’t think of anybody who is more deserving of the recognition.” In addition to being named “Educator of the Year,” Sherman has received other honors through the years, including the Outstanding Distance Learning Faculty Award from the Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities in 2011, and the 2008-09 UT Tyler White Fellowship for Teaching Excellence. Another former student of Sherman’s, Cristi Parsons chose to get her master’s in educational leadership degree from UT Tyler for its quality education program. “Dr. Sherman has a reputation for having high learning expectations, and his name brings prestige to the Department of Educational Leadership. I knew it would be an honor to learn from him and others in his department,” said Parsons, who last year was named the Texas Distinguished Principal of the Year by the Texas Elementary Principals
“(Sherman) truly has impacted my life and the lives of many other educational leaders in Texas.”
— DR. HUGO IBARRA, UT Tyler alumnus Navarro Elementary School principal
and Supervisors Association. Sherman is an especially effective motivator with a knack for helping students identify their strengths, said Dr. Hugo Ibarra, principal of Navarro Elementary School in the Bryan Independent School District, who got his master’s in educational leadership at UT Tyler and now assists in the college’s master’s program. “Until I first met him, I hadn’t considered getting a master’s degree, much less a doctorate,” Ibarra said. “He truly has
(Left) Sherman’s Educator of the Year Award. (Right) Sherman with former student Dr. Wesley Hickey, who chairs the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies formerly chaired by Sherman, dean of the College of Education and Psychology.
impacted my life and the lives of many other educational leaders in Texas.” For Sherman, it all goes back to that acorn in the forest. “There’s nothing more fulfilling than to hear from one of my former students that they’re excited because they got their first administrative job and are on their way professionally,” Sherman said. “That’s the most rewarding thing of anything that I’ve ever done educationally. … That to me makes everything worthwhile.” n
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“It is truly our pleasure to recognize these Distinguished Alumni for their works of service, commitment to the mission of UT Tyler and success in their professional careers.” — Brittany Childs, Director, UT Tyler Alumni Relations
(From left) David King, Dawn Franks and Michael Wysocki with President Rodney Mabry at the UT Tyler Alumni Gala.
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Distinguished Alumni UT Tyler Honors Dawn Franks, David King and Michael Wysocki From Family Law to international careers,” Brittany Childs, alumni relations business to the world of philanthropy, this year’s Distinguished Alumni from The University of Texas at Tyler couldn’t be more different in their chosen careers. But they all have one thing in common— success. The three alumni recognized this year by the UT Tyler Alumni Association have each gained respect and notoriety in their profession. But the similarities do not end there. In addition to professional achievements, each graduate has made significant contributions to society and shown tremendous support of the university. Recognized in March at the annual UT Tyler Alumni Gala, the 2014 honorees are Dawn Franks and David L. King, Distinguished Alumni, and Michael Wysocki, Distinguished Young Alumnus. “It is truly our pleasure to recognize these distinguished alumni for their works of service, commitment to the mission of UT Tyler and success in their professional
director, said. “Their lives have all been shaped by their time spent at UT Tyler, and their stories will serve as an inspiration to current and future Patriots.”
Dawn Franks Distinguished Alumna Franks earned bachelor of science and master of public planning and administration degrees from UT Tyler in 1979 and 1989, respectively. An advocate and friend of the university and
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UT Tyler Alumni Association, she currently serves as president of Your Philanthropy, a private consulting firm. “I work with private family foundations and major donors in the community,” she said. “I have worked in the philanthropy community for about 13 years. Prior to that, I spent the first 20 years of my career in nonprofit service. My goal is to provide support and encouragement to major donors and philanthropists in the community with the focus of helping them find joy in giving and making successful major contributions.” A native Tylerite, Franks gives back to the East Texas community in many ways. She serves as the executive director of the Ben and Maytee Fisch Foundation, co-founded the East Texas Crisis Center and is past president and CEO of United Way of Tyler/Smith County. She also works with the Louis and Peaches Owen Family Foundation and mentors numerous nonprofit leaders and families in giving strategically. When Franks was ready to complete her higher education, UT Tyler made that possible. “It was the only place locally that allowed me to do that,” she said. “The faculty was very supportive and allowed me to do research that was very helpful in my position at the East Texas Crisis Center at the time.” She is a lifetime member of the UT
Tyler Alumni Association and has served as president and board member. “UT Tyler has become a leading institution in this part of Texas and provides a very high quality of education to the students,” she said. “Because so many of the students who attend the university stay in the area, it means that the quality of education leads to a quality of community.”
DAVID KING Distinguished Alumnus King earned a master of business administration degree from UT Tyler in 1983. He serves as chief operating officer for Primoris Services Corp., after recently retiring as president of CB&I Engineered Products – a global technology, engineering and construction organization, which is part of the global CB&I organization with more than 50,000 employees worldwide.
“I came to Tyler in the early 1980s to work for what was then Howe Baker Engineers as a project engineer,” King said. “I found out that UT Tyler offered an MBA degree and that was a godsend for me. It allowed me to work during the day and attend night school. I felt to advance in my field I needed a solid business education, while still working my way up in my career. UT Tyler offered me that opportunity while taking courses that fit with my schedule.” By the time he had earned his degree, King was already advancing in the company. In 1987, he became executive vice president at Howe Baker. He was part of a team that worked to grow the company and then sell it to CB&I in 2000. King stayed with the company and lived and worked all over the world, in places like London and the Netherlands. “Then, we decided it was time to move back to Tyler where we wanted to reside,” he said. “It is a great community and UT Tyler is part of that. I have nothing but accolades about UT Tyler. It has grown so much; it is not even the same campus as when I attended. As it has continued to grow, it brings a higher professional class of people to the area. That is why we support the university financially.” Facilities like the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center are phenomenal, King said. “The events
David and Janis King (center) with Regional Alumni Council members Jerry Woolverton and Gay Smith at the Alumni Gala.
and performances they bring into the local community are absolutely equal in my opinion to anything they have in Houston or Dallas. I know. I’ve lived in both places.” He added, “I do believe that UT Tyler has helped put Tyler on the map and offers a great education for students, and has made a social and economic impact on Tyler. Now that we are residing back in Tyler, my wife and I want to both dedicate more time to giving to the university.’’ King has more than 30 years of experience in the energy, petrochemicals and engineering and construction industries. He has served on several boards of directors including Texas Tech University’s Advisory Board for the Department of Chemical Engineering, Rice University’s Continuing Education Program and Texas Tech University’s Distinguished Academy of Mechanical Engineers, among others. He currently serves on the Texas Tech University College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council.
Michael Wysocki Distinguished Young Alumnus Wysocki earned a bachelor of science degree in political science with summa cum laude honors from UT Tyler in 2003. He then received his J.D. from Texas Tech University School of Law in 2006 with magna cum laude honors. Today, he is a family law litigator/partner with the McCurley, Orsinger, McCurley, Nelson and Downing LLP Family Law Practice in Dallas. Wysocki joined the firm in 2012 and was quickly promoted to partner earlier this year. He is board certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. His work for clients has helped him earn recognition on the annual Texas Rising Stars listing of the state’s top young attorneys three different times, most recently in 2013. The Rising Star designation is an annual honor limited to the top 2.5 percent of eligible attorneys, based on a multiphased selection
process including independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. The young professional said UT Tyler helped prepare him for success. “My professors at UT Tyler were some of the best and brightest, not just in the state, but in the country,” Wysocki said. “That was very apparent for me from the beginning. I had the pleasure of meeting and attending classes with people I found to be incredibly brilliant . . . people who kept my attention and professors who I looked forward to seeing every day. I was excited about class Distinguished Young Alumnus Michael Wysocki with every day.’’ wife Ashley during a recent visit to campus. Both He said UT Tyler has attorneys, the Wysockis spoke to UT Tyler’s Pre-Law “everything you could expect to Society about career preparation. find at a large university. But at the same time, it offers you the opportunity to be more than just a number. “My professors Learning that ability to develop relationships with professors and others has helped me as at UT Tyler were I’ve moved forward in my career. I attribute a significant portion of my success to the some of the best foundation that I was able to obtain through my studies at UT Tyler.” and brightest, Already, Wysocki sees the need to give back to the community. He has served as not just in the director of the United Way-Early Learning Centers in 2009 and is a Leadership Class 2010-Dallas Area Young Lawyers state, but in Association member. In fact, Wysocki recently returned to the country. campus to speak to UT Tyler’s Pre-Law Society about how to prepare for a career in … I was excited law. He shared with them the importance of working hard, adapting to change and about class forming relationships. “I learned from a very young age that every day.’’ if I was going to get anywhere, I’d have to work hard, period,” Wysocki told the students. —Michael Wysocki “And it didn’t matter what I was doing. If I was chopping firewood, I was the best firewood chopper. If I was mowing yards, I did the best job. I didn’t miss a blade of grass, period. If I was raking leaves, there wasn’t going to be any leaf left in that yard when I was done, period. Hard work is the key.” UT Tyler is proud to say that all of the Distinguished Alumni for 2014 have lived by that work ethic. Whatever their endeavors, they’ve worked hard to see success. Congratulations! n
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Soothing Mental Pain UT Tyler Psychology Students Serve Community With Low-Cost Counseling As a counselor in training, Scott Martin has now come face to face with the kind of suffering he had read about for years in textbooks. In the process, he has discovered the vast difference between having a theoretical understanding of counseling and an experiential understanding of counseling. He likened the difference to that between experiencing war and reading about it. “By reading about it, you can have this intellectual understanding of what’s going on, but if you’re somebody who’s being bombed at a wedding, then that’s probably a different experience than reading about it in the newspaper,” he said. “And it’s kind of like that in counseling. You can read about how people are suffering from depression and anxiety, but when you get face to face with somebody and they share their suffering with you, you feel this compassion arise in you.” Martin is among the graduate psychology students at The University of Texas at Tyler providing low-cost professional counseling and other psychological services to adults in the community and surrounding area. The students provide these services at the UT Tyler Psychology and Counseling Training Clinic as part of the required practicum experience for getting their master’s in
clinical psychology or clinical mental health counseling. In the last year of their master’s program, students are required to perform 600 hours of counseling through internships at the clinic or at hospitals or other agencies. “The internship really puts a face to the issues and concerns that people have,” said Jennifer Goddard, another advanced graduate student working at the clinic this semester. “When someone comes into the clinic, it’s not just a disorder that you see; it’s a person and the experiences they’ve lived. They have a story, and I think that’s a very different experience than what you read about in something like a clinical psychology textbook.” People come to the UT Tyler clinic because they suffer from distressing thoughts, feelings or behaviors and often lack other avenues for help. Through oneon-one counseling, students help individuals, couples and families gain insight, resolve personal issues and make better life choices. Students work with clients to identify and cope with a variety of problems, including anxiety, depression, stress, fears, job concerns, relationship issues, grief and loss, unhealthy habits and unwanted behaviors. At the UT Tyler clinic, student interns are supervised on site by clinic director
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“Service to the community is a way for students to make a difference, as opposed to just having an academic product to demonstrate their learning.” —Dr. William Geiger, Vice Provost of Academic Affairs
Dr. Christine McNichols, a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and a National Certified Counselor. “Their purpose is to assist the clients in helping themselves,” McNichols said. “We don’t do counseling with the approach that we’re going to heal the person or completely fix their problem. So, it’s about working collaboratively with clients to empower them.” The students understand the importance of the collaborative process. “Our job is to make sure that the clients know they’re understood and that where we go from there is really up to them,” Martin said. Most individual counseling sessions last 50 minutes and take place in a private room where the counselor and client sit in comfortable chairs around a coffee table. A box of tissues is within reach. “It’s a relaxed, casual and comfortable setting,” McNichols said. Before the students begin the internship, they have already gained 100 hours of experience counseling volunteer undergraduate students in a laboratory on campus, under the supervision of course instructors. In the internship, they continue to learn how to apply their counseling skills, practice ethical standards and work cross-culturally with clients. They also learn coping skills for themselves, McNichols said.
“The kind of work that counselors do can be very difficult and draining. There’s lots of burnout,” McNichols said. “So part of what students learn during the internship is a lot about themselves—how to take care of themselves, how to not take stuff home, and how to balance life and career. So it’s a very intense process for the students because they’re learning so much.” In the internship, they are also trying out different techniques they learned in their coursework and getting a feel for which ones feel most comfortable to them. “It’s an opportunity for us to discover what works and what doesn’t work for us,” Martin said. About five students work part time or full time at the clinic each semester and are unpaid volunteers. Just in the past year, the students have counseled more than 60 people, with multiple sessions per client, McNichols said. Over the years, students working in the clinic have touched many dozens of lives. “Service to the community is a way for students to make a difference, as opposed to just having an academic product to demonstrate their learning,” said Dr. William Geiger, vice provost of academic affairs and dean of The Graduate School at UT Tyler, who holds the Mary John and Ralph Spence Endowed Professorship. “The work of these graduate psychology students is a perfect example of service
learning. They’re able to show they can meet a need by transforming and improving a situation as part of the process of learning and applying new skills and knowledge,” he said. One of the most satisfying aspects of the internship is being able to apply the techniques learned in class to an actual situation. “It’s a very rewarding experience to see that what we’ve been trained in does actually work, and to gain an experiential trust in the process of counseling,” Martin said. Goddard especially feels satisfaction in seeing clients meet their objectives. “You always want to see your client succeed. That’s what counseling is all about,” she said. “It is really rewarding whenever you see that they’ve accomplished something or that their dreams are finally coming true.” Powerful Partnerships Because of its training nature, the clinic does not treat more severe psychological problems; however, it is located at the Andrews Behavioral Health Care Center in Tyler, whose mission is specifically to serve people with those problems, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression. As a result, the two entities have a complementary relationship. “Many people who come to the Andrews Center need help with problems outside of those categories we serve, so are ineligible for our services,” said Cindy Grace, chief
operating officer of the Andrews Center. “Because the UT Tyler clinic is on site, our staff doesn’t have to turn those people away. If they don’t qualify for our services, we can refer those people to the UT Tyler clinic. So the student counselors being on site comes in really handy.” Likewise, when someone who is severely mentally ill comes to the UT Tyler clinic, they can often be referred to the Andrews Center staff. “If we need to refer someone or have that assistance, they’re right there, which is really nice,” McNichols said. Many people referred to the UT Tyler clinic also lack health insurance or sufficient income to pay for counseling elsewhere and appreciate the clinic’s fees being well below typical rates, Grace said, adding, “People are just so grateful that they can get help that doesn’t cost them a lot of money.” The community’s need for mental health
services was one reason why the UT Tyler Department of Psychology and Counseling established the clinic in 2008, said Dr. Charles Barké, professor of counseling and chair of the department. “It really is a significant number of people who either don’t have health insurance and/ or don’t have the income that would allow them to pay for services at other mental health agencies in town,” he said. The clinic was originally located in downtown Tyler at the Bethesda Health Clinic, which provided office space free of charge. When Bethesda expanded its services and wound up needing that space last year, the UT Tyler clinic relocated to the Andrews Behavioral Health Care Center, which likewise provides office space virtually rent-free. The department is actively seeking philanthropic funding and ways to generate more revenue, Barké said, noting, “We would
like to expand our services to extend our hours and reach more clients, particularly those in the Latino community.” Goddard shares his enthusiasm: “I think everyone could benefit from counseling. That’s something that I wish was more widely known. You don’t have to have a life crisis or a huge problem to go to counseling. It can help anyone grow and be a process of selfdiscovery.” While the presence of the clinic has changed many clients’ lives, the clinic has also changed the lives of many students. “This program has just been one of the greatest things of my life,” Goddard said. “I have changed a lot since I’ve come here. I’ve really grown into myself, as a counselor and a human being, and it’s really helped me see the good in people.” Like Martin, Goddard aims to become a licensed professional counselor: “I’ve realized that counseling is my calling and my passion.” n
Photo Illustration THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT TYLER MAGAZINE
Bolstering the Region’s Medical Sector UT Tyler Unveils New Fisch College of Pharmacy The University of Texas at Tyler is making a major effort to ease the shortage of pharmacists regionally and around the state. The Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy is set to open by fall 2015 as the first pharmacy education program in East Texas. The degree offered will be the doctor of pharmacy or Pharm.D., which is the standard professional degree in the United States. Graduates of the four-year professional program will be prepared to fill retail pharmacy positions as well as clinical positions in hospitals and other institutions. Research will be conducted at the Fisch College of Pharmacy through a partnership between UT Tyler and UT Health Northeast. “The Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy will be a feather in this area’s cap and will signal again that Tyler is a medical powerhouse and that UT Tyler makes a difference,” said President Dr. Rodney Mabry, who led the initiative to create the college after conceiving the idea in 2003. “I am pleased that we have been able to secure the services of Dr. Lane J. Brunner, a seasoned leader in pharmacy education who has started other pharmacy colleges, to be the founding dean of UT Tyler’s Fisch College of Pharmacy.’’` The birth of the college is timely, given that East Texas, like other non-urban areas, continues to suffer an especially serious shortage of pharmacists, Mabry said. “While slightly less severe in urban areas, the need for pharmacists also outpaces supply all across Texas. As a result of this imbalance, Texas has been importing hundreds of pharmacists from other states to fill critical positions.’’ However, Texas employers—including those in East Texas—have found it difficult to attract and keep pharmacists who come from elsewhere, like Arizona or Illinois. Pharmacists
from out of state tend to stay only a few years before returning to their home states, creating a revolving door at hospitals and retail pharmacies, Mabry noted. “Medical costs rise when employers are constantly having to train replacements,” Brunner said. “One benefit of the new college will be that we’ll provide some stability for pharmacy positions in East Texas.” The Fisch College of Pharmacy also will provide an educational program to East Texas students who previously had no local or regional options for studying pharmacy, said Dr. Alisa White, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at UT Tyler.
Lakeside entry to W. T. Brookshire Hall.
“It will allow some people to become pharmacists who otherwise couldn’t have considered the profession,” she said. “This is truly an historic addition to UT Tyler and the entire East Texas community.’’ Pharmacists will play an increasingly important role in health care, given national changes, and the field is an expanding area of health care due to other factors, too, Brunner said. “Because of advances in medicine and technology, pharmacy is an exciting profession that faces perpetual change. There are always new drugs, new treatments and new information sources.” The college, officially created by the
Board of Regents in August 2013, received a generous multimillion dollar contribution from the Ben and Maytee Fisch Foundation. Strong supporters of the university, Dr. Ben Fisch, a longtime Tyler physician, and his wife, Maytee Fisch, first met when they were pharmacy students together. The college will be housed in W.T. Brookshire Hall, named for the founder of the family-owned Brookshire Grocery Company and its generous support of the new college. With the addition of pharmacy students, faculty and staff, the new college will bring many professional people to Tyler. Including the research enterprise, the college also is projected to add $20 million directly to the local economy each year and $50 million annually once those new direct expenditures are multiplied around the economy, Mabry said. A Regional Effort That the college finally came to be is testimony to its many supporters who persevered in the face of adversity. During the rough economy of the past decade, the idea for the college faced the oppositional forces of politics and money—forces finally overcome with the foresight, creativity and determination of medical, business, political, philanthropic and university leaders from all corners of the region and beyond. Mabry thought of the idea for the college after a long-term strategic planning process involving key university and community leaders in 1999 determined that UT Tyler needed to grow. “I put two and two together. Our need to grow plus the fact that the medical sector here was thriving meant that UT Tyler should look at medically related possibilities,” Mabry recalled.
A REGIONAL EFFORT. UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry (second from left), Bradley W. Brookshire (center) and state legislators involved in passing the bill to create the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy take part in groundbreaking for W. T. Brookshire Hall, which will house the new college. Legislators pictured are (from left) Rep. Bryan Hughes, Rep. Matt Schaefer, Rep. Travis Clardy, Rep. Chris Paddie and Sen. Kevin Eltife.
Including the research enterprise, the college is projected to add $20 million directly to the local economy each year and $50 million annually once those new direct expenditures are multiplied around the economy.
Dr. Rodney Mabry and Dr. Alisa White show a model of buildingâ€™s interior.
Front entry to W. T. Brookshire Hall.
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Sen. Kevin Eltife of Tyler took great He also noted the university’s own summer day in 2012, Mabry came across a interest in the project, drafted the Senate bill health-related assets – UT Tyler’s College of news article that gave new life to his plan. Nursing and Health Sciences and its strong The article was a success story about East and became the leading proponent of the undergraduate programs in chemistry and Tennessee State University in Johnson City, project in the Legislature. Rep. Matt Schaefer biology. The latter departments had long Tenn., which had recently faced a similar drafted a companion bill for the House. During the 2013 legislative session, succeeded in graduating students problem of needing a pharmacy who were then admitted to college in the region while lacking Mabry worked the education circuit and medical school. Mabry weighed state funding to make it happen. managed to get the presidents of all the public different options and realized by Mabry read about how his universities in East Texas and two junior 2003 that what the region really counterparts in East Tennessee colleges in the region to join health care and needed educationally was a went to the Tennessee governor business leaders in signing a letter to Gov. Rick pharmacy college. and asked for permission to form Perry in support of establishing a self“When we looked at the a privately funded college of sustaining pharmacy college at UT Tyler. The Dr. L. Douglas Ried data, it was clear that there was a pharmacy supported by tuition, actual idea for submitting a region-backed Associate Dean letter came from banker Jeff Austin III, a UT tremendous gap between the sans state money. supply and demand for pharmacists in East “The governor said yes, that if they could Tyler alumnus. “It was important to get the other Texas, and local pharmacies were having raise $5 million over the next few months, he trouble recruiting pharmacy professionals would approve it. I read that article and felt universities on board,” Mabry said. “The letter was evidence to our regents, the governor’s into the area,” he said. really inspired,” Mabry said. Early on, Mabry spoke with members of Mabry called the new pharmacy dean in staff and the governor himself that there really the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Tennessee and was pleased to hear that all had was a united front. It was strong evidence to Board and with state politicians about the gone well. The college had many more student legislators that these other universities thought Tyler was the right place and they possibility of adding a pharmacy college to applicants than could be granted would not be asking for their UT Tyler. admission, and there was plenty own pharmacy colleges sometime “Various legislators, friends and backers of demand for the college’s in the future.” of our university were very supportive, but graduates. There was plenty of Among those who testified there were other schools in line for the next demand in Texas, too. The state’s in support of the bill before the one in those first years,” Mabry said. “Then, existing pharmacy schools were House and Senate higher when our prospects should have been then receiving thousands of education committees was Rick better, the economy started receding. By the applications for only about 800 Dr. Kathleen Snella Rayford, president and chief time the state legislative session began in total first-year seats, and about Associate Dean executive officer of Brookshire spring 2009, there wasn’t any way we were 600 Texas residents were Grocery Company, which owns more than going to get a new program that would cost attending pharmacy school outside the state. the state something.” Mabry applied that same market-driven 150 stores. He recalled testifying that hiring principle to his plan and spoke again with qualified pharmacists had long been a Harnessing the Forces of Friends various state legislators from East Texas. challenge for his company, whose stores are The idea for the college had been buried Seeing the merit in his market-driven model, mostly within a three-hour radius of Tyler. among other projects for a few years when one they became enthusiastic about it. He testified how in trying to fill a recent
Active Learning—A Transformation Gone are the days of students filing into crowded auditoriums to sit and watch their professor deliver yet another lecture in a dark room brightened only by the steady flash of PowerPoint slides—or at least that routine won’t be the norm at the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy. UT Tyler pharmacy students will be among the first in the country to benefit from a curriculum that centers exclusively around team-based learning. Instead of students receiving content through class lectures and waiting until later to study for exams, material will be assigned that they must learn in advance to come prepared for interactive class sessions. Each time pharmacy students come to class, they will first take a quiz to assess their readiness, then take that same quiz as part of a six-member team. They’ll discuss
with each other and the faculty leader how they reached solutions and solved problems. Classes will last two to three hours and be quite active as dozens of students chatter away while working together in small groups. The 60,000-square-foot W.T. Brookshire Hall—an architecturally stunning building — has been designed specifically to facilitate this interactive, group-learning style. The building will feature several classrooms designed for students to work collaboratively in teams of six around hexagonal desks. Team work spaces will be equipped with electrical outlets so students can plug in their laptops and other computing devices. And there will be multiple screens around the room so several student groups can show and see visuals of their work at the same time and from almost any location.
“To have those conveniences in place makes the learning much easier for students, because the environment is not in the way,” said Dr. Lane J. Brunner, founding dean of the college. The students’ first three years of study will be classroom-based. In their fourth and final year, they will go off campus for the “experiential” application of their knowledge at practice sites in community and hospital pharmacies, such as at Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, where Paul Troiano is administrative director of system pharmacy. “The experiential gives us the opportunity to get to know the student and the work habits of the student, so when opportunities do become available, we have that relationship,” Troiano said. n
opening in Tyler, the two finalists were from Arizona and Virginia. “Having a school would definitely help us attract and hire new talent and have a big impact on our communities,” Rayford said. “It is important for our future, because with health care laws changing, the pharmacist becomes more important than ever to providing advice and counsel to patients.” Paul Troiano, administrative director of system pharmacy for Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals and Clinics, also testified before legislators about the shortage of quality pharmacists in the region and the high turnover of pharmacists hired from out of state who lack local roots. Troiano remembers the legislators’ reaction when Mabry told them he was not looking for public funding: “Most of them had been sitting with their heads down and were busy doing other things, and as soon as he said that, he got their attention. All of a sudden their shoulders were back.” Legislators had been hesitant to approve new programs, because they were still scrambling to fund existing higher education programs and keep tuition costs down, said Eltife, who introduced the bill that finally passed in both the Senate and House. “What made this a success in the Legislature was the model that was presented,” Eltife said. He noted that another key to victory was enlisting an East Texas member of the House Higher Education Committee, Rep. Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, to carry the bill in the House. Final co-author when the bill passed was Sen. Robert Nichols of Jacksonville. Co-sponsors in addition to Clardy and Schaefer were Reps. Trent Ashby, Lufkin; Byron Cook, Corsicana; Bryan Hughes, Mineola; George Lavender, Texarkana; John Otto, Dayton; Chris Paddie, Marshall; David Simpson, Longview; and James White, Woodville. The governor signed the bill into law in June, authorizing the UT System to establish a pharmacy college at UT Tyler. “Not only did Tyler’s business and public sectors come together to support this effort at UT Tyler, but communities all over the region supported it, because the pharmacy college will benefit everyone,” said Tom Mullins, president and chief executive officer of the Tyler Economic Development Council and the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. A Unique Vision UT Tyler’s Ben and Maytee Fisch
Dr. Lane J. Brunner, Dean
College of Pharmacy will be one of only three pharmacy colleges nationwide to offer a doctor of pharmacy program centered exclusively around team-based learning—an active-learning method proven to engage students in learning more effectively than traditional classroom instruction via lecture. The vision for the college’s curriculum, advanced by Brunner, follows UT Tyler’s current effort to transform its teaching methods to emphasize active learning techniques and minimize passive lectures. Brunner was instrumental in developing team-based-learning at the other two pharmacy colleges in the country that exclusively use team-based learning. Graduates of these programs impressed their employers with a higher level of communication and criticalthinking skills, he said. “Pharmacists working with our students told us that they communicated more effectively, thought more critically and integrated more easily into teams than students from other pharmacy programs,” Brunner said. Brunner, who holds the Sam A. Lindsey Professorship, previously served as chair of the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences at California Northstate University College of Pharmacy. He also served as founding dean at the Regis University School of Pharmacy in Denver. Earlier in his career, he was a tenured professor of pharmacy at The University of Texas at Austin. “It’s pretty rare to have a pharmacy dean applicant with that experience in team-based learning,” White said. “We were already moving toward this concept of active student learning throughout the
university, so we knew Dr. Brunner was a good fit for UT Tyler.” Brunner is overseeing the initial accreditation process with the goal of accepting applications this fall for the first class of students to enter in fall 2015. The W. T. Brookshire Hall, which is under construction, has been specially designed to accommodate team-based learning for the Fisch College of Pharmacy. “The commitment from the university and the community has just been fantastic,” Brunner said. Joining Brunner in leading the Fisch College are Dr. L. Douglas Ried, associate dean of academic affairs, and Dr. Kathleen Snella, associate dean of student affairs. Ried will play a key role in developing and implementing a comprehensive array of academic policies and procedures in support of student success. He joins UT Tyler from the College of Pharmacy at California Northstate University, where he served as senior associate dean for academic affairs. Snella will help develop and implement services in support of student excellence. She previously served as the associate dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Pharmacy Satellite Program. Students must complete at least two years of prerequisite study before being admitted to the four-year program for the doctor of pharmacy degree. The college will benefit many people, not the least of whom will be the students, White said. “This college really does meet an important need in the region,” she said. “I’ve already had calls from students who can hardly wait to apply.” n
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FAITHFUL FRIENDS OF UT TYLER. Mary John Spence, center, with son and daughter-in-law, Ralph Spence Jr. and Tancy Spence (left), daughter Louise Spence Griffeth and President Rodney Mabry. They are showing the dedication plaque for the UT Tyler Alumni House boardroom to be named for the late Ralph Spence Sr.
“Ralph was an excellent person to lead, And God placed him where he should be. I feel that way very strongly. Education is very important to our family and we have always loved Tyler. Ralph was always promoting Tyler.”
— Mary John Spence
Conceptual renderings of the future Alumni House, including the boardroom named for Ralph Spence, founding chair of the UT Tyler Development Board.
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Love in Action Mary John Spence Continues Passion for Helping People The late Ralph Spence loved people.
served from 1982 until his death in 1995. In He and his wife, Mary John Spence, fact, he was a leader in the establishment of spent their lives together putting that love UT Tyler from its inception, and politically into action through their kindness and worked toward the goal of creating a fouryear university in East Texas. generosity. “Ralph was an excellent person to lead,” The University of Texas at Tyler has Mrs. Spence said. “And God placed him been blessed to be one of the ways they where he should be. I feel that way very reached out to the community. strongly. Education is very important to our “Nowhere has the spirit of philanthropy family and we have always loved Tyler. Ralph been more exemplified than in the Spence was always promoting Tyler.” family,” Dr. Rodney H. Mabry, UT Tyler Mr. Spence led the building campaign president, said. “Mary John and Ralph have for the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and been real champions of philanthropy . . . Performing Arts Center. And the beautiful partners for the cause of higher education. Spence Fountain and Plaza at the Cowan And Mary John continues to carry that Center’s entrance was created through the banner as an example to all of us.” generosity of the Spence family. “UT Tyler is grateful for the continued The Spences have generosity of Mary John, a given land for the future lifetime member of our expansion of UT Tyler UT Tyler Development and supported students Board,” said Jerre Iversen, and faculty with the vice president for establishment of numerous university advancement. endowed scholarships and “She, along with her faculty positions. Mr. husband, is among the Spence also was a charter true philanthropic giants member of both the UT in the history of UT Tyler. Ralph and Mary John Spence Tyler Eisenhower Golf It is my great pleasure to Classic Society and know Mary John, and President’s Associates, and served as a wish I had known Ralph Spence as well.’’ member of the State Educational Board of Mrs. Spence joined UT Tyler recently UT Tyler. to honor the memory of her husband by In 1985, Mr. and Mrs. Spence were giving to the UT Tyler Alumni House, now named Patriots of the Year—an honor given in the planning stages. The single largest to the university’s leading philanthropists. room in the facility will be named the Ralph “I love living in Tyler because of people Spence Board Room and Gallery. like the Spences,’’ said state Sen. Kevin Eltife. Mr. Spence was the founding chair of “They’ve done so much for this community. the UT Tyler Development Board and
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They were kind and generous to me before they even knew me.’’ Eltife recalled visiting the Spence home as a child trick-or-treating and as a high school student soliciting donations for a schoolrelated trip. “I grew up on the corner of Kennedy and Mockingbird, a block off of Vine Street, and every Halloween, we traveled to the nice part of town to trick-or-treat … because there was no candy in our neighborhood,’’ the senator said. “The first house I’d go to was the Spence house. Ralph Spence would show up at the door with a full-size candy bar for each of us and he could not have been nicer or kinder. The kindness the Spences showed to us was incredible,’’ Eltife said. “And every Halloween I load up candy to give to children who come to our neighborhood and I think about Ralph Spence and how kind he was to us.’’ Eltife remembers visiting the Spences again while attending Robert E. Lee High School: “Mr. Spence answered the door and I said, ‘I’m a Robert E. Lee Cannoneer and we’re raising money for our summer trip. He didn’t know me from Adam, but he took me in his home and sat me down. We had a 30-minute conversation and he wrote me a check. I’ve never forgotten that. I’ve never forgotten the kindness of the Spence home.’’ Mr. Spence was involved in several facets of the community, from director of the former Citizens First National Bank to chairman and life member of the Salvation Army board of directors. While he often took leadership roles in the community, those who knew them best said his beloved wife never stood behind him – they stood together in their passion for the community.
The Spences are known for their courtesy and thoughtfulness, evidenced by the many gracious letters of thanks and encouragement they’ve written over the years to leaders at UT Tyler and in the community. Eltife said those notes can make all the difference. “I’ve been in office 20 years and sometimes you have good days and sometimes you have pretty bad days. Maybe three times a year, I’ll get a clipping of something in the newspaper with a handwritten note from Mary John Spence, saying ‘Kevin, great job. God bless you.’ It makes my day. It makes me want to do a little bit more for someone else.” This portrait of Ralph Spence will be permanently displayed in the Alumni Center’s Spence Board Room.
WHERE THE STORY BEGAN Mrs. Spence said she met her husband on a blind date while they attended the University of Texas at Austin. They continued to date throughout college, and he escorted her when she was rose queen in the 1940 Tyler Rose Festival. “Ralph served in World War II, and we became engaged and got married right before he went overseas in January of 1943,’’ Mrs. Spence said. “After the war, we came right back here to Tyler. He got involved in the oil business and absolutely loved every minute of it. We were happy to be here.” The couple raised their three children — Ralph Jr., Louise and Judy — in Tyler where Mr. Spence was the president of Ralph Spence Oil Company Inc. “We’ve always loved Tyler,” Mrs. Spence said.
A PARTNERSHIP WITH UT TYLER The Spences believed a university was critical to Tyler’s growth and were UT Tyler supporters from the start. Unselfishly, many of the Spence’s early gifts to the university were for scholarships, professorships and chairs to honor others – friends like H. J. McKenzie, Dr. Jim Stewart, J. Burns Brown, Charles Childers and Dr. George Hamm. In addition to the gifts named for others, the Spences endowed the Mary John and Ralph Spence Distinguished Professorship, the Mary John and Ralph Spence Endowed Presidential Scholarship, and the Mary John and Ralph Spence Engineering Scholarship. A favorite story about Mr. Spence involves the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center. During a dinner the Spences hosted for development board members, Dr. Hamm, the president of the university at the time, invited all the members to meet him on campus the next day at 9 a.m. to walk the property and get a vision for
“The … Alumni House will serve as the headquarters for our 35,000 alumni and as the center of the university’s philanthropic efforts. How fitting to name the boardroom for the development board’s founding chair.’’ — Jerre Iversen, Vice President for University Advancement
Conceptual rendering of the Alumni House to be constructed at UT Tyler.
where a new fine and performing arts center could be built. Mr. Spence was the only board member to show up. But rather than be discouraged, he decided to lead the charge. “Mr. Spence took this as a challenge,’’ Iversen said. “He was a cheerleader. He was a champion for the cause.” “Ralph was all for it,” Mrs. Spence said. “You get Ralph behind something and it gets going. The dream eventually came to fruition. That’s the story of Ralph Spence. Anything he was behind, he accomplished.”
A LEGACY OF GIVING Mrs. Spence has continued that passion for people in the years since her husband’s death. She purchased critical land across from campus and donated it to the university for future growth. Most recently, she gave a generous gift to name the UT Tyler Alumni House boardroom in honor of her husband. UT Tyler is finalizing plans for the twostory alumni center and raising funds toward the building’s construction. “The soon-to-bebuilt Alumni House will serve as the headquarters for our 35,000 alumni and as the center of the university’s philanthropic efforts,’’ said Iversen. “How fitting to name the boardroom for the development board’s founding chair.’’ Iversen added, “The historic leadership and enthusiastic financial support of Ralph Spence will serve as an ongoing example to boards, councils and volunteer groups who meet in the room that will proudly bear his name. It will be a beautiful space in which development boards will work to advance UT Tyler for generations to come.” Thank you, Mrs. Spence, for continuing to put your love of people and the community into action. Your support will impact lives for generations. n
The Spences believed a university was critical to Tyler’s growth and were UT Tyler supporters from the start.
Mary John Spence
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The UT Tyler men’s golf team won the 2013 NCAA Division III National Championship.
“It is such a great feeling to win the championship . . . . . . To win it for our coach.” — Buddy
Pictured with head coach Grant Spencer, the UT Tyler women’s team finished the 2013 season as the NCAA Division III runner-up. They won the ASC championship this spring.
Hallman, sophomore, Houston, Texas
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division
Patriots golfer Laura Lindsey.
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CHAMPIONS! Golf Program Achieves Excellence, Looks for Even Better Future A decade ago, golf at The University of
Texas at Tyler was a brand new program, one of the early sports launched by UT Tyler’s fledgling athletic department. Today, UT Tyler golfers are among the best in the nation . . . and have the championship titles to prove it. In 2013, the men’s golf team won the NCAA Division III National Championship, the first NCAA title in UT Tyler’s history. UT Tyler’s Laura Lindsey earned the NCAA individual women’s title and the women’s golf team finished 2013 NCAA Division III runner-up. “You just can’t get any better than that,” said King Campbell, who retired as head coach after the 2013 season. “It is a great feeling to know that both
UT Tyler golfer Dayton Cargill
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of your programs had a chance to go to the championship.” “It is such a great feeling to win the championship . . . to win it for our coach,” said sophomore Buddy Hallman of Houston, who helped lead the way for the men’s team. He finished as the individual runner-up. “We went out there and had fun. We were just excited to be there and be given a chance to play,” Holman said of the team, chosen as an at-large entry. Lindsey agreed, “It was amazing. Everyone on both teams worked hard.” “The golf program at UT Tyler has consistently been successful,” said Dr. Howard Patterson, vice president for student affairs. Intercollegiate athletics is one of the areas Patterson oversees. “Our program here is on par with most golf programs across the country,’’ he said. “We have developed the type of athletic program that faculty and students are proud of and that complements all the other programs of UT Tyler.” Over the years, the golf program has delivered six All-Americans, five on the men’s
side and one on the women’s. They have also won four American Southwest Conference championships, two with the men (2012, 2010) and two with the women (2014, 2009). They have reached five national tournaments, and now won championships. BEGINNING WITH A VISION The golf program is one of 17 sports developed at UT Tyler in the past decade or more, Patterson said. “UT Tyler President Rodney Mabry had a vision for an athletic program when he arrived. Today, I believe the result has even exceeded his expectations. The golf program is a part of that.” In spring 2002, David A. Cline was named the first golf coach at UT Tyler and immediately began recruiting players for the fall. “David was part-time, but he did a great job,” Patterson said. A few years later, Cline left and UT Tyler hired Campbell, the university’s first full-time golf coach. “King was able to recruit a lot of great student-athletes; high-ability students and solid golfers,” Patterson said. “He was able
to elevate all of their games and make them better golfers.” Lindsey said she came to UT Tyler “because I could play golf and they have a good engineering program. I’m really glad I came. I joined the golf team and met great people. It has been a blessing to come here and step into a leadership role on the team. I know this is where I belong.” Campbell said, “I felt like we could win with players in Texas. I didn’t go out of state to recruit. I thought there were enough good players in Texas that we could compete at a higher level, and that was an accurate assumption. We had some players who really wanted to win and who were serious about getting better.” Campbell said after a few years, when he was able to hire Grant Spencer as a fulltime assistant coach, the teams accelerated at an even faster rate. “He was instrumental in improving the program, especially the women’s team.” Spencer said of the program’s success: “We have stepped it up every semester for the last couple of years in our quality of play.’’
Patriots golfer Marina Rhodes
“We have developed the type of athletic program that faculty and students are proud of and that complEments all the other programs of UT Tyler.” — Dr. Howard Patterson Vice President Student Affairs
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UT Tyler’s Buddy Hallman
LOOKING AHEAD With Campbell’s retirement last year, the university named Grant Spencer as head coach of the women’s golf team and hired Craig McConnell as head men’s golf coach. The women’s team has a lot to build on, Spencer said. “When the women finished second in the nation, that was huge for the university. We got a lot of support from other coaches and teams on campus and we have definitely garnered the respect of other programs in the nation. We are in the top five schools in the nation and we want to be even higher. With this success, we are ready to keep going.” McConnell sees great things ahead for the men’s team. “This squad has a lot of depth. With a roster full of guys who have the potential to shoot par or better, the top scores on a given day could come from anywhere in our lineup. Coach Campbell did a great job of bringing in competitive players willing to work to play great golf. I’m trying to do the same with the upcoming recruiting classes,’’ McConnell said. “We have the pieces in place to be one of the premier golf programs in our division.” n
“WE HAVE THE PIECES IN PLACE TO BE ONE OF THE PREMIER GOLF PROGRAMS IN OUR DIVISION.” — Craig McConnell, UT Tyler head men’s golf coach
Men’s golf coach Craig McConnell (left) with former men’s and women’s golf coach King Campbell.
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Patriot Athletics: Season Highlights Holding fast to the UT Tyler tradition of excellence, Patriot student-athletes won championships, set new school records, made top national rankings and earned prestigious honors during the 2013 fall and 2013-14 winter seasons.
Distinguished Scholarship Athletes Five UT Tyler student-athletes were named ASC Distinguished Scholar Athletes. Honorees must earn at least a 3.20 grade point average while competing as a starter or important reserve on their team
for the first time, finishing at No. 14 in D3Hoops.com and No. 17 in USA Today Coaches’ Poll.
Highlights of UT Tyler sports included:
Patriot honorees were Matthew Markert of men’s cross country; Missy Hebert, women’s cross country; Enoch Shipman, men’s soccer; Kathryn Haag, women’s soccer; and Breanna Brummett, volleyball.
All-Region – King and head coach Kevin Baker were each named to the D3Hoops.com All-South Region. King was a First Team honoree. Baker was South Region Coach of the Year.
Sportsmanship Award The UT Tyler men’s soccer and men’s cross country teams each received the ASC Student Athlete Advisory Committee Team Sportsmanship Award.
All-ASC – Honorees were Baker, ASC Coach of the Year; King and She’Cara Humphrey, First Team All-ASC; Danai Woods, Third Team; Teylor Seals, honorable mention; and Makenzi May, ASC All-Freshman Team.
The honor is given to the member institution in each ASC championship sport that best displays positive qualities of sportsmanship and fair play. This is the third time UT Tyler men’s cross country has won the award and the first for men’s soccer.
ASC Players of the Week – King (twice) and Humphrey (twice).
All-Academic Honor Roll Forty-seven UT Tyler student-athletes were named to the American Southwest Conference’s fall 2013 All-Academic honor roll. Fall honors are given in cross country, soccer and volleyball to sophomores, juniors, seniors or graduate students with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. UT Tyler honorees were: Men’s Cross Country – Kyle Clawson, Alex Wilson, Cesar Rodriguez, Ryan Davis, Gerardo Viera, Conner Benson, Daniel Dee, Matthew Markert and Carl Kornman. Women’s Cross Country – Jennifer Cook, Missy Hebert, Brittany Brunson, Taylor Campbell, Christina Rowlands, Paige Maly and Carly Kitts. Men’s Soccer – James Winkler, Elijah Shipman, Enoch Shipman, Erick DeSantiago, Taylor Nelson-Cook, Austin Fletcher, Sergio Gardea, Trevor Self, Douglas Leighton, Jose Barron and Diego Gutierrez Chavez. Women’s Soccer – Kathryn Haag, Shelby McDonough, Cristina Mendoza, Taylor Hernandez, Caitlin Cronan, Lindsey Halbrook, Alyssa Quini, Jordan Johnson, Melissa Miller, Meagan Stewart, Nikki Gordon, Chana Forstall, Kayla Akin, Bailey Martin, Laurel Boyd and Ashley Keeter. Volleyball – Breanna Brummett, Logan Smoak, Rachael Harvey and Lauren Cude.
Highlights PER SPORT:
All-American – Brittany King earned D3Hoops.com Second Team All-American.
Men’s Cross Country The Patriots finished first at the 2013 ASC championship, winning the program’s eighth title overall and earning their seventh consecutive NCAA regionals berth. Nick Huff won his second consecutive ASC Individual Championship.
Men’s Basketball UT Tyler men’s basketball reached the ASC Championship tournament semifinals for the first time in program history. With 15 wins, head coach Jamon Copeland set a new program mark for wins by a first-year coach.
All-Region – Huff, Matthew Markert and Conner Benson were named to the United States Track and FieldCross Country Coaches Association’s All-Region team.
All- ASC – Honorees were Bryce Kemp, ASC Newcomer of the Year and Second Team All-ASC; and Travis Dykman, Third Team All-ASC.
Women’s Cross Country UT Tyler finished first at the ASC championship for the second time in program history. Carly Kitts won the ASC individual championship and was the first Patriot women’s runner to qualify for the NCAA Division III championship.
Women’s Basketball The Patriots won the ASC regular season and championship tournament title. Finishing the year with a 27-4 overall record, they reached the NCAA Div. III Sweet 16 for the first time. The team also made the national Top-25 polls
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ASC Runners of the Week – Huff and Jason Hamilton.
All-Region – Kitts was named to the United States Track and Field-Cross Country Coaches Association’s All-Region team.
All-ASC – Kitts won ASC Newcomer of the Year award and head coach Grant Spencer was named ASC Women’s Coach of the Year. Brittany Brunson and Missy Hebert earned First Team All-ASC. Second-Team honorees were Bethany Cox, Holly Nohavitza, Lauren Halliday, Christian Rowlands and Paige May. ASC Runner of the Week – Kitts was honored three times during the season. Men’s Golf The Patriots won first place, with Chapman Herwood placing first overall, at the fall Louisiana College Invitational. At the Alamo City Classic, the No. 6 nationally ranked team placed three golfers in the Top 15 finishers – Herwood, Charley Graves and Alex Trivanovich. ASC Golfers of the Week – Herwood, Graves and Buddy Hallman. Women’s Golf UT Tyler won three out of four tournaments and were nationally ranked (No. 6-Golfstat, No. 3-Golf World/ WGCA). They started the fall with a win at the Paris Community College Invitational and continued the winning streak at the Al Jones Jr. Memorial and Alamo City Classic. ASC Golfers of the Week – Taylor Sloane and Laura Lindsey. Men’s Soccer The Patriots made it to the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, finishing as runners-up at the conference championship tournament. They ended the season with a 10-3-5 overall record. All-American – Enoch Shipman received Second Team All-American honors from the National Soccer Coaches of America and won ASC Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year.
All-Region – NSCAA West Region Team honorees were Shipman, First Team All-Region; David Lopez-Molinar, Second Team; and Alfonso Rocha, Third Team.
In the singles bracket, Jennifer Payne won Flight 3; Nicole Musngi, Flight 5; Haley Albro, Flight 6; and Emily Evans, Flight 7.
All-ASC – Honorees were Rocha, Lopez-Molinar, Enoch Shipman and Elija Shipman, First Team All-ASC; Parker Hood, Second Team; and Taylor Nelson-Cook, honorable mention.
In women’s doubles, Musngi/Payne won Flight 2. Albro/ Musngi won Flight 3.
ASC Players of the Week – Lopez-Molinar and Rocha. Women’s Soccer UT Tyler clinched a spot in the ASC postseason for the seventh consecutive year and entered NCAA rankings for the first time, reaching No. 5 in the NCAA Division III West Region. The women closed out their season with an overall record of 12-6-0.
Volleyball The Patriots set a new record for wins in a season with 24. Finishing the ASC regular season in fifth place, the team secured a spot in the postseason for the fourth time in program history. ASC Players of the Week – Breanna Brummett and Rebecca Floyd.
All Tournament Team – Honorees were Chestley Strother and Macy Hurley. ASC Players of the Week – Hurley and Kathryn Haag. Men’s Tennis The Patriots won several flights at the ASC Conference individual tournament in the fall. Winners included Ryan Spencer, Flight 2; Daniel Budd, Flight 3; Chris Wootton, Flight 4; Edward Timponi, Flight 5; Doug Kierstead, Flight 6; Jack Puckey, Flight 7; and Jacob Van Der Schans, Flight 8. Jake Cunningham won the final men’s flight. In men’s doubles, Budd/Ramon Martinez won Flight 2; Kierstead/Ryan Elwood, Flight 3; and Timponi/Drew Reid, Flight 4. Women’s Tennis UT Tyler clinched several flights at the fall ASC individual tournament.
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Awards and Achievements 1990 Dr. Neil Gray (B.S.) was one of five professors inducted into The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers. The academy recognizes outstanding educators at UT System academic institutions. Gray is a professor and chair of the UT Tyler Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He has received numerous teaching awards and co-directs UT Tyler’s UTeach program, which prepares highquality science, technology, engineering and mathematics teachers. 1992 Pam Anderson (B.A.) was honored by the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce as Outstanding Businesswoman. A native of Jacksonville, Anderson is director of outreach for A Circle of Ten Inc., a nonprofit agency that trains and supports leaders to multiply partnerships impacting economic development. She has 20 years of experience in the nonprofit arena, from service delivery to supervision and management. Anderson is married to David Anderson, owner of David Anderson Consulting. They have three children and serve in
various leadership positions at Calvary Baptist Church. 1996 Judith Herman (Onstead) (M.S.N.) is an honoree of Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities and a member of the Sigma Theta National Honor Society for Nurses. She is a former Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Australia. 2001 Michael Lujan (M.Ed.) is founder of Mentoring Minds, which was named one of the 2014 Best Companies to Work for in Texas. This is the third consecutive year for Mentoring Minds to receive the designation. The Tyler-based company is an educational publisher focused on the success of students. Delinda Neal (M.Ed.) was appointed to the School District Mentoring Program Advisory Committee by Gov. Rick Perry. The committee will develop recommended guidelines that align teacher induction and mentoring activities with expectations for new teachers, based on teaching practice standards. Neal is executive director of instruction for New Caney Independent School
District, an executive member of the New Caney ISD Education Foundation, and a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators and East Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. 2006 Gavin Rasco (B.B.A.) (M.B.A. 2009) was honored in Texas Bank and Trust’s People Who Make a Difference awards program for his involvement in the Tyler community. Rasco serves as an event volunteer, coach and board secretary for The First Tee of Greater Tyler, which impacts young people through educational programs designed to build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Rasco is director of knowledge management with Mentoring Minds educational publishing company. He and his wife, Staci, have been married seven years and have two daughters. 2012 Leigh Callis (B.A.) was accepted to the graduate program in psychology and counseling at UT Tyler.
Dr. Kenneth Hall (B.S. 1974) was keynote speaker for the 2014 Alumni Gala, held at UT Tyler Ornelas Activity Center.
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Members of the Regional Alumni Council are pictured at the 2014 Alumni and Friends Awards Gala.
Alumni Updates 1980 James Brady (B.B.A.) owns Brady’s Coffee Shop in Tyler, serving the community’s needs for whole gourmet coffee products for more than 13 years. 1984 Christie Osuagwu (B.S.) (M.S. 1986) holds a doctorate degree in public health and is a certified family nurse practitioner at UT Physicians of North Tyler. She also is an adjunct assistant professor of community health and preventive medicine at UT Health Northeast. 1985 Francie Batten Hodges (B.B.A.) is a full-time wildlife rehabilitator serving East Texas. She worked several years as a professional photographer with Batten Photography, which was established by her parents, Carolyn and the late Jim Batten. Hodges’ mother
retired from the photography business, after 36 years. Both women are now focusing on animal rescue and rehabilitation. John Teel (B.B.A.) is the owner of Southern Maid Donuts, located on West Gentry Parkway in Tyler. 1991 Kent Crowell (M.S.) is a robotics and technology education teacher at San Jacinto Junior High School in Midland Independent School District. He has taught for 25 years, beginning at Morton ISD in 1987. In Midland ISD, Crowell taught at Lee Freshman High School and Alamo and Goddard junior high schools before joining the San Jacinto faculty. 1995 Susan Coit Williams (Jones) (B.S.) serves as adjutant treasurer for Disabled American Veterans Chapter 175 in Mesquite.
Williams also is a member of Telegraph Hill Dwellers and the Protect Coit Tower group in San Francisco. She is involved in the George Coit House and the Coit Supporters in Buffalo, N.Y. 2001 Trey Cheney (B.S.) (B.A. 2013) serves his community as a board member for Troup Independent School District. He also is involved in youth sports, coaching youth baseball, football and basketball teams for several years. Cheney and his wife, Jennifer, have five children. 2002 Tiffany Hawkins (B.B.A.) joined the new Tyler branch of Federal Title Inc., part of Heartland Security Insurance Group. Hawkins is in charge of business development and assists with closings as a licensed escrow officer. She has been employed with Heartland for 11 years.
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2008 Terrence Ates (M.Ed.) coordinates the Community Transformation Grant program for the North East Texas Public Health District. The community-level program supports the implementation of environmental and systems changes to increase access to nutritious foods, promote physical activity and reduce chronic disease. Marquette Falbow (B.S.) is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and nutrition coach. She teaches group fitness classes and trains clients at Equinox in Dallas. 2011 Ebubekir Orsun (M.Ed.) is assistant principal at Albuquerque School of Excellence in Houston. Orsun previously served as assistant principal, college guidance counselor and a math teacher at Harmony School of Advancement. Paul Uhles (B.B.A.) is a funeral director and embalmer at Radar Funeral Home
in Longview. Uhles became interested in helping others cope with death when he was 21 and his grandfather passed away. Uhles earned an associate of funeral service degree at the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service and is completing his provisional license for embalming. Benjamin Wood (B.F.A.) began teaching animation at Marshall High School this school year, after working in banking. Wood took an interest in teaching while employed at Citizens Bank in Kilgore. He headed the Citizens Student Bank Board, which educates students about banking and finance. Wood teaches basic and advanced animation at Marshall HS. 2012 Tracey Moore (B.A.) is a graduate student in clinical psychology at UT Tyler. She is a member of Alpha Chi and Phi Kappa Phi. Lenore Ward (Strickland) (B.S.N.) is a graduate student in clinical psychology at UT Tyler.
Deja Rollins (B.S. 2012) was Alumni Gala emcee.
2013 Andrea Caldwell (B.S.) is a first-year journalism teacher at Whitehouse Junior High School, after graduating from UT Tyler with a bachelor of science degree in mass communication. At UT Tyler, she was advertising manager and a photographer for the Patriot Talon media outlet. Stephanie Harber (M.S.N.), a certified family nurse practitioner, recently spoke to the Rotary Club of Gilmer about the benefits of nurse practitioners to the health of Americans and the increasing prevalence of NPs in the medical community. Jennifer King (B.S.) is an engineer for CivilTech Engineering Inc. in Cypress. Preston Parker (B.M.) was commissioned by Jacksonville High School band director Joey Brunson to compose a Spanish opener and closer for the band’s marching show “Espana en Fuego.’’ The band performed Parkers’ works last fall in an Area C marching competition and for JHS halftime shows. Lindsey Temporal (Kear) (B.S.) is pursuing a master’s degree in human resource development at UT Tyler.
Distinguished Alumnus David King and wife Janis with “Swoop.’’
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