ALUMNUS Spring 2022 - Mississippi State University

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The late Thomas Coleman (M.S. electrical engineering, ’64; Ph.D. biomedical engineering, ’67) was posthumously awarded the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s School of Graduate Studies. Coleman, who died in February 2021, was a 45-year faculty member of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at UMMC. His wife, Peggy Coleman, a longtime faculty member of the School of Health Related Professions, received the award on behalf of her husband.


Dennis Truax (M.S. civil engineering, ‘78; Ph.D. civil engineering, ’86) is now president of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is a professor emeritus of MSU’s Richard A. Rula School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, from which he recently retired as professor, director and the James T. White endowed chair. He also retired from the directorship of the Mississippi Transportation Research Institute to serve ASCE full time. Tommy Glenn (B.A. psychology, ’79) has been selected as president elect of the Fort Worth Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization board of directors. Glenn is founder and CEO of Essential Lending LLC. He previously served as president of NetBank Payment Systems Inc. and founder and CEO of its predecessor Financial Technologies Inc. Howard Haygood (B.S. social studies education, ‘79) has retired after 42 years with the Meridian Public School District.


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His final day was June 30, 2021. He began his career teaching ninth grade Mississippi history and civics at Kate Griffin Junior High School. He was a classroom teacher for 25 years and a district administrator for 17 years, serving as principal, dean of students and director of the district’s behavioral interventions program.

member chosen as the most impactful teacher. Brown is vice president and partner with Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates in Flowood and Madison. He previously served as an associate professor and a program director in the UMMC School of Dentistry and has been part-time clinical faculty since 2016.


James R. Crockett (Ph.D. accounting, ’98) has released a new book “Rulers of the SEC: Ole Miss and Mississippi State, 19591966,” which recounts how the two Magnolia State universities won 10 of 24 championships during that time. It is the latest of his four books available through the University Press of Mississippi. Crockett is a professor emeritus at the University of Southern Mississippi.

Marvin Adams (B.S. nuclear engineering, ’81) was named to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. A nuclear engineer at Texas A&M University, he is considered one of the nation’s foremost university-based experts on maintaining the nuclear stockpile. David Garrett (B.A. communication, ’82) has earned certification as a patient experience professional from the Patient Experience Institute and the Beryl Institute. The credential recognizes health care professionals' commitment to improving the patient experience. Garrett is the director of patient experience for North Mississippi Health Services. He is on the Mississippi Hospital Association’s Health Care Quality Society board and is chair of the MHA Patient Experience Forum.


Dr. Jeffrey Brown (B.S. biological sciences, ’95) was honored with a development fund in his honor by the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry. The Outstanding Faculty Award in recognition of Drs. Jeffrey Brown, Stephen Gandy, George May and Daniel Quon will be awarded annually to a full-time faculty

Cashenna McCullough Cross (B.S. political science, ’98) was elected mayor of Glenarden, Maryland. Developed in 1919, the city lies just outside of Washington D.C. Cross retired from the Air Force after 20 years of service before joining the Department of Defense. During her career, she has accumulated more than 30 years of experience in government, planning and project management, and philanthropy. Dr. Sarah Fratesi (B.S. microbiology, ‘99) received the 2021 Dr. David Sullins Jr. InfantSEE Award. The honor is presented annually by the American Optometric Association’s InfantSEE and Children’s Vision Committee to an optometrist who makes a significant professional contribution to their community. Fratesi is an optometrist with Starkville’s Crigler Family Vision Clinic. She is a member of the Starkville Rotary Club and is an active community volunteer,