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Assistant Professor Barry Stafford and O&M student Beth Morgan

S P R I N G 2 0 11

Hardy’s Pic

Spirited fans known as the Left Fielders are shown rooting for their beloved Lumberjack Baseball Team in spring 2010.

“One of my favorite early signs of spring is making that first trip out to the ballpark to shoot a Lumberjack baseball game and seeing the crazy Left Fielders cheering on our players from behind the outfield fence.” – University Photographer Hardy Meredith


Spring 2011 • Volume 38, No. 1 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jeff Davis ’02, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs

EDITOR Amy Roquemore ’93, Editorial Coordinator, SFA Public Affairs

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Rhonda Crim-Tumelson, Director of Alumni Publications, SFA Alumni Association

STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work and service. Through the personal attention of our faculty and staff, we engage our students in a learner-centered environment and offer opportunities to prepare for the challenges of living in the global community.

The SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the alumni, friends and current students of Stephen F. Austin State University through programs, scholarships and activities that create an attitude of continued loyalty and support.


FEATURES 5 National Treasures

Resource interpretation alumni serving across the country

11 Jack Camp

Extended orientation program promotes friendship and spirit


Leadership in Training ROTC program prepares future military officers

24 Leading the Way

O&M program trains students to help blind and visually impaired

11 CAMPUS NEWS 2 4 8 10 14 15

Study Abroad President’s Message Sound Recording Pre-Professional Programs AARC Vista Viewpoint

ALUMNI NEWS 0 3 31 38 39 40 43 48

From the Association Free Spirit Scholarships Chapters Class Notes In Memoriam All Hail to SFA

SAWDUST is a joint publication of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University. It is published four times a year in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Subscriptions are included in SFA Alumni Association memberships.


Photos courtesy of Nelson Rusche College of Business

Campus News

Studying Business Abroad By Sarah Cutler SFA business students tour the corporate headquarters of global chemical company BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany.


SFA STUDENTS PARTICIPATING in the Nelson Rusche College of Business study abroad program this summer will visit “the land of the midnight sun,” a place rich with beauty, history and lessons they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Encompassing the cities of Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Norway; and Stockholm, Sweden, the journey will expose more than a dozen students to a region of Europe that blends ancient histories and cultures with thriving modern economies. Lecturer Lone Wittliff and professor Robert Culpepper, both

from the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business, will lead the two-week trip, which will include visits to professional Scandinavian venues involved in international trade and finance. The itinerary includes private meetings and tours at Maersk Line shipping, Danske Bank, H&M clothing, IKEA furniture and accessories, and Orrefors crystal. Wittliff, who grew up in Sweden and is a Danish citizen, emphasizes that academics are just one important component of the study abroad program; developing a respect for other cultures is another.

“The thing that I try to stress is tolerance and acceptance of others,” said Wittliff. “Students get so much out of travel, both in the small details and in the big picture. It’s not just about sightseeing; it’s about understanding people and other cultures, and I think that’s so important.” When Department of General Business Professor J. Keaton Grubbs began developing the study abroad program for the college in 2005, he saw it as an opportunity for students to enhance their business knowledge and engage in the enlightening and transformative experience that results from im-


Moses wins 2010 Walter Payton Award By James Dixon

top Business students and faculty members visit Lloyds of London. bottom An SFA contingent is pictured at the Mausoleum of the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China.

mersing oneself in other cultures. “Experiencing new and different things grows students personally and professionally,” Grubbs said. “It gives them new insights and perspectives – sometimes favorable, sometimes not as favorable – but always adding to their realm of knowledge and understanding.” Since the first trip to China in 2006, SFA students have traveled to Beijing, Shanghai, Singapore, Geneva, Paris, London, Strasburg, Stuttgart, Brussels, Den Hague, Amsterdam and numerous other cities. They have visited Lloyds of London, ExxonMobil Europe,

Spring 2011

Texas Instruments China, Haier Group China, the Bundesbank, German Stock Exchange, International Chamber of Commerce, European Union Parliament and EU Council, World Intellectual Property Organization, World Trade Organization, Mercedes Benz, Singapore Airlines, and many other well-known professional venues. “They have experienced international travel, international business and so many cultures,” Grubbs said. “As cliché as it sounds, I have witnessed lives literally changed through this experience.” ✯

A TWO-TIME ALL American, SFA senior quarterback Jeremy Moses was named the 2010 Walter Payton Player of the Year, becoming the first Southland Conference athlete to receive the honor in the award’s 24-year history. “It is a tremendous honor,” Moses said. “It’s a MOSES big deal, not because it is our version of the Heisman Trophy, but because SFA has never won the honor before. Similar to winning back-to-back Southland Conference titles, it is another piece of history that this team has been able to achieve.” The Payton award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player at the Football Championship Subdivision level. The winner is chosen by a nationwide panel of media members and college media relations directors. A two-time Southland Conference Player of the Year and the 2010 SLC Offensive Player of the Year, Moses led SFA to a 9-3 record and the university’s second consecutive conference title, guiding the Lumberjacks through a historical season that was capped by a return trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. Moses was the catalyst for the nation’s most prolific passing offense each of the past two seasons. The Lumberjacks led the country, averaging more than 360 yards per game, and they were ranked among the nation’s top six in scoring offense and total offense. He has ranked at or near the top in the country in nearly every statistical category in each of the past three seasons. A 2009 Walter Payton Award finalist, Moses led the nation in completions and passing yards, finishing second in total offense and sixth overall in points responsible for. He closed out his career by becoming the school’s and conference’s all-time leading passer and finishing among the NCAA FCS all-time top 10 in total offense, passing yards, touchdown passes and completions. “Jeremy has been the foundation for what we’ve been able to accomplish and for what we hope to do in the future,” said SFA head coach J.C. Harper. “Most people think he is just the product of our system, but we are able to do what we do because of his talent. He has been a model of consistency since he stepped on campus.” ✯


President’s Message


Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’66 President, Stephen F. Austin State University

HOSE OF US who are on campus regularly are celebrating the arrival of spring and the beautiful backdrop it always provides SFA. We are also enjoying watching the new four-story freshman residence hall take shape where Garner Apartments once stood. The new hall has been designed to meet the unique residential and academic needs of first-year Lumberjacks and will include a Freshman Success Center where students may access computers, tutoring and other academic support services. The new hall will be ready for occupancy in time for the start of the fall 2011 semester. Another cause for celebration came in January, when Lumberjack quarterback Jeremy Moses was named the 2010 Walter Payton Award winner. This award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player at the FCS level. Jeremy is the first SFA player to receive the honor and the first Southland Conference recipient in the award’s 24-year history. As SFA football fans, we have all enjoyed watching Jeremy lead the team to back-to-back conference championships. Although he will graduate this May, I am confident he will continue to be an outstanding ambassador for our university. The spring semester has also come with challenges. Texas is facing a projected budget shortfall that will affect SFA and other state institutions for at least the next two years. The administration is working hard to minimize the effect required budget cuts will have on the

The administration is working hard to minimize the effect required budget cuts will have on the delivery of the university’s academic mission. delivery of the university’s academic mission. I remain confident that we will work through these issues and emerge more focused than ever. Axe ’em ’Jacks!

BOARD OF REGENTS John R. “Bob” Garrett, chair, Tyler Steve D. McCarty, vice chair-elect, Alto James H. Dickerson, secretary-elect, New Braunfels Carlos Z. Amaral, Plano Dr. Scott H. Coleman, Houston Valerie E. Ertz, Dallas Brigettee C. Henderson, Lufkin Kenton E. Schaefer, Brownsville Ralph C. Todd, Carthage Sydni M. Mitchell, student regent, Spring


UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION Dr. Baker Pattillo, president Dr. Richard Berry, provost/vice president for academic affairs Dr. Steve Westbrook, vice president for university affairs Danny Gallant, vice president for finance and administration Sid Walker, vice president for development OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS Bob Wright, executive director of marketing and public affairs Shirley Luna, associate director of public affairs/media relations Hardy Meredith, university photographer Amy Roquemore, editorial coordinator Sawdust

By Kayli Steger

Photo courtesy of Victoria Mates

HEY WORK IN some of the most breathtakingly beautiful and intriguing settings in America. They are master storytellers, preserving the country’s rich oral-history tradition while incorporating modern technology to protect natural resources. And what binds them together, across state lines, mountains and valleys, is the Resource Interpretation program at SFA. Since its inception in 2003, the Master of Science in Resource Interpretation program in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture has offered interpreters in state and federal agencies the opportunity to earn a master’s degree through distance education. A joint effort of the National Park Service and SFA, the Webbased program is the only comprehensive program of its kind in the country. The online classes give

students an opportunity to network with fellow professionals located all over the country, including 40 different states and Washington, D.C. Dr. Theresa Coble, associate professor of forest recreation and interpretation, describes the program as a “hidden treasure” at SFA. “Our students have a passion to serve, and they understand the value of lifelong learning and making full use of online resources,” Coble said. “They are custodians of our park experience. They are responsible for communicating the value of our national parks to all people, especially young people.” Most graduates work in national parks, historic sites or wildlife refuges and use their skills to provide a meaningful visitor experience by promoting understanding of resources. For many, the program presents an opportunity for career ad-

vancement, which was the case for Ajena Rogers ’08 who was a midcareer interpreter when she joined the program. “Being a part of the MSRI program broadened my horizons so much. I was a good front-line interpreter, but I longed to do more, be more,” Rogers said. “By getting exposure to interpretive planning, curriculum-based programming, and interpretive leadership and research, I could see for the first time all the possibilities the field of interpretation held for me. I doubt that I would have even entertained the idea of managing a site or leading an interpretive staff without the knowledge I gained and the self-confidence I developed through working with my peers and professors in the MSRI program at SFA.” For more information about the program, visit www2.sfasu.edu/ msri/program.htm.

Victoria Mates ’06 points out a landmark at Yosemite National Park.

Mary Woodin ’09 is finance technician for Mammoth Hot Springs at Yellowstone National Park. She is pictured with her husband, Jason Murphy, left, and Vice President Joe Biden at Madison Fire Circle at Yellowstone.

Victoria Mates ’06, deputy chief of interpretation and education at Yosemite National Park, was an early graduate of the MSRI program and is proud of how it has grown. “It felt like we were contributing to piloting a program that would move the profession of interpretation forward and provide much-needed research on what interpreters are doing, achieving and perhaps needing to change to be even better.”

Julie Johndreau ’08 is education specialist at Badlands National Park in South Dakota. She manages education outreach programs at the park, including distance-learning technology, to share park information with students in kindergarten through 12th grade who may never get the chance to visit the park in person.


“Yosemite is a special place, and I view it as a privilege to work here. It is incredibly rewarding to work with a talented team of interpreters and see their creativity and enthusiasm for the preservation of Yosemite.” –Mates

Catherine McCarthy ’05 of San Antonio was the first graduate of the program and frequently works with Dr. Theresa Coble on various educational endeavors. They currently are collaborating with NASA, National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the Earth to Sky Partnership, a program designed to interpret global climate change, among other initiatives. Sky McClain ’10 is the educational outreach program manager for the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership. Sawdust

Resource Interpretation

SFA Alumni Across the Country

David Smith ’08 is serving as a Bevinetto Congressional Fellow, working with the U.S. House of Representatives on the Natural Resources Committee. He will move to the National Park Service’s Washington office for the last year of his term. Smith credits his advancement to the flexible, accommodating nature of the online courses and the customized subject matter of the MSRI program.

“The leadership skills I acquired at SFA, along with classes that emphasized writing and a good foundation in interpretation, help me immensely in my current position. The relationships I developed with other resource professionals have proven useful, as well.” –Smith

Ajena Cason Rogers ’08 is acting supervisory ranger at the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Richmond, Va. At the site, she tells the story of a black entrepreneur, community activist and pioneering civil-rights leader through the showing of Walker’s historic home, exhibits and educational programming.

Matt Hampsey ’10 is an interpretive park ranger at the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. He works to preserve the origins, early history and progression of jazz through projects like educational CDs, exhibits and films.

Abby Snow ’08 is the supervisory park ranger at Death Valley National Park in California. She manages the interpretation of Scotty’s Castle, an early 20th-century home with original furnishings and artifacts. Spring 2011

Carol Clark ’06 is a park ranger and interpretive specialist at the National Trails Intermountain Region in Santa Fe, N.M. She administers the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program and nine national historic trails, including the Mantle Rock Preserve in Livingston County, Ky., where visitors can walk the route Cherokee Indians walked in the early 1800s. 7

The Sound of Music

Music’s newest major prepares students for careers in sound recording technology By Sylvia Bierschenk ALTHOUGH IT BEGAN with only eight students, the SFA School of Music’s new sound recording technology major doubled in size within a year and is rapidly gaining recognition across the state. Program coordinator Kevin Kelleher calls the SRT program he started in 2009 “rigorous.” Not only are the students required to take 28 hours of physics, engineering and math, plus 31 hours of music technology, they also must take music theory and history and be proficient enough musicians to participate in a musical ensemble. The degree is offered as a Bachelor of Science at many schools, but SFA graduates receive a Bachelor of Music because “the best audio engineers are musicians,” explained Kelleher, who has degrees in music education and composition and experience as a professional drummer and sound engineer. After taking some SRT courses “just for fun,” Na-

cogdoches junior Adelaide Harber switched her piano performance major to sound recording technology. She likes the creativity involved in the field and considers her musical skills a strength. “And just as I had to keep practicing and improving my skills at the piano, I must keep practicing and increasing my skills with the recording equipment.” Harber will get plenty of practice time this spring while managing the seven-member recording crew that will record nearly 100 on-campus concerts and recitals and provide live sound for the jazz bands and other ensembles. The early hands-on opportunities convinced Garland freshman Andy Welker to choose SFA’s program over others in the state. Even in the first-semester classes, students apply what they’re learning by completing weekly assignments in the SRT lab, which includes an impressive industry-standard Pro Tools HD workstation.

Many cultures, one Lumberjack family

By Nicole Hall

HUMAN TRAFFICKING, DRUG abuse and domestic violence are just a few of the oppressive issues exposed at the annual interactive Tunnel of Oppression sponsored by the SFA Office of Multicultural Affairs and Lumberjack Cultural Association. “Every day, we must choose whether to confront oppression or avoid it,” said Dr. Terrence Frazier, OMA director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs. “This experience is designed to empower our community to make a difference and stand up against injustice while celebrating our own individuality.”


Students enter a portion of the Tunnel of Oppression depicting the effects of homelessness.


Some of the coursework prepares students to pass a series of four outside Pro Tools software exams, which lead to an operator certification recognized throughout the profession. SFA recently earned the right to offer two of the exams on campus and plans to eventually offer all four. “Right from the start, you see how (the profession) is going to be,” said Welker, who has already passed the first exam. Until funds become available for the program’s own recording studio, students gain experience in a professional recording setting through rotating shifts at the locally owned Encore Recording Studio. Kelleher is constantly looking for real-world experiences for SRT majors. Last fall, his students recorded the Lumberjack Marching Band’s 2009-2010 Sounds from the Stadium CD. Last summer, they provided sound for

The Tunnel of Oppression epitomizes the values of OMA to engage students, faculty and staff to create a campus culture that embraces diversity and encourages advocacy for social justice and interracial communication. OMA works with more than 25 different student organizations and campus departments in planning educational, social and cultural activities that promote a unique and diverse college experience. “Our goal here is to become one Lumberjack family instead of a bunch of groups here or there,” Frazier said. “We want students to be successful no matter what their race.”

one of the downtown Nacogdoches stages during the Texas Blueberry Festival. In the near future, SRT students will be recording audio for some of the student films produced in SFA’s cinematography program and taking a sound design course within the School of Theatre. Before graduating, each SRT student also will complete a professional internship. “There are many different opportunities within the industry,” explained Kelleher. “And as professional audio engineer Mark Hornsby told my students during a guest lecture, ‘The more you can do, the better.’ “We take that philosophy to heart,” Kelleher continued, “enabling students to find their own path and equipping them with the tools they’ll need to pursue their dreams.” ✯

OMA was started in 1990 by a group of black students. “It was founded as, first, a support group and, second, to help integrate diversity and social justice throughout the entire university,” Frazier said. “We work with student leaders to have a cultural lens.” Hannah Meshesha, a junior international business major from Dallas, became involved with OMA during her freshman year. “I saw how (OMA) interacted and had a lot going on. Ever since then, I have come up to the Multicultural Center after class and signed up for volunteer hours.”

Adelaide Harber, a junior in the sound recording technology program, makes adjustments to her recording at the Pro Tools HD workstation.

In addition to promoting diversity, OMA focuses on helping students achieve academic success. The office offers a mentoring program, as well as resources for scholarship and volunteer opportunities. OMA also invites speakers to visit classrooms and make presentations about diversity and how it relates to the field the students are studying. Jenifer Santos, a junior social work major from Nacogdoches, received a job offer from one of the speakers. “OMA has opened up a lot of opportunities for me,” she said. ✯

day, we must choose whether to confront “Every oppression or avoid it.”

- Dr. Terrence Frazier, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs

Spring 2011


Dr. Aaron Polk is one of many local physicians who allow SFA pre-med students to shadow them at their practices.


Pre-professional programs offer specialized advising and shadowing opportunities By Amy Roquemore DR. KEVIN LANGFORD likes to tell his students that preparing for medical school or other post-graduate professional programs is like holding down five jobs at the same time. “Not only do they need to be successful academically, but they also must prepare for an admission test, gain professional experience, participate in leadership activities and serve their communities.” SFA’s Pre-Health Professional Programs, directed by Langford, exist to guide students toward successful fulfillment of these and other prerequisites for the professional program of their choosing. The office is a onestop shop for students to access the study resources, advising, assistance programs, career counseling and moral support they need to achieve their professional goals. “It’s a lot more than just academic advising,” Langford said. “It’s really a nurturing of students from the time they declare their intent to pursue professional training until they graduate from SFA and go on with their education. And oftentimes, we keep up with them long after that.” SFA’s pre-health students are encouraged to apply for medical and other professional schools early, and a high percentage is admitted to the programs of their choice after graduation. Program alumni regularly report feeling more confident and prepared than their peers. “Medical school is rigorous, but I have been successful because of the education I received at SFA,” said Mike Hitchcock, who is now attending UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. “I am studying alongside graduates of Ivy League schools, and I feel I am just as well-prepared as they are, if not more so.”

SFA’s pre-health programs are housed within the College of Sciences and Mathematics and include pre-medicine, pre-occupational therapy, pre-optometry, pre-pharmacy, pre-physical therapy, pre-physician assistant and pre-veterinary medicine. The college also advises prenursing students in its Academic Advising and Student Services Center. Students interested in a career in the health profession have myriad choices for their undergraduate education, but Langford said his program’s relatively small size sets it apart from other universities’ offerings. “In pre-med at SFA, you may have 15 people in the upper-level classes for your major. It really has the feel of a private college,” he said. “No one can compete with the quality of instruction coupled with the one-on-one assistance we provide our students.” SFA student organizations, including the pre-medical honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta, the American Medical Student Association and the Pre-Dental Student Association, provide pre-health students with opportunities for service, leadership and networking. A strong emphasis also is placed on professional job shadowing. SFA has built strong relationships with local physicians, dentists and other health professionals who regularly open their practices to SFA students interested in gaining perspective about their daily work. Carthage senior Alyse Allen said her experience shadowing local doctors has given her confidence that a career in medicine is the right choice for her. “It’s one thing to look at blood and tissue in a book or under a microscope, but it is totally different when you are looking at an actual person on an operating table,” she said. “If you can’t handle that aspect of medicine, it’s better that you find that out here rather than after you are in medical school.” Dr. Bill Gandy ’68, a Nacogdoches dentist, credits his SFA education with putting him on the road to professional success. He now allows pre-dental students to shadow him at his practice, and he and his wife, Barbara, recently led a campaign to support the program through the SFA Foundation. “We have been happy to support SFA’s Pre-Health Professional Programs in the past and have enjoyed watching it grow into a program of excellence under Dr. Langford’s strong leadership,” Gandy said. “It is a real source of pride for me to see the program sending more and more quality students into the professional ranks.” ✯



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Extended orientation program promotes friendship and school spirit > > >

LUMBERJACKS By Amy Roquemore

Spring 2011


EARS OF INTENSE tribal rivalry, whipped into a frenzy by a grueling, high-speed contest of dexterity, concentration and endurance under a brutal August sun, had come down to this moment – the ultimate test of Lumberjack spirit. As the Austin and Rusk tribes prepared to go head-to-head on the field of competition one last time, boisterous sideline chants from


their leaders, counselors and other supporters echoed through the pine trees at the normally tranquil East Texas campground. “Dig deep!” “You got this, Austin tribe!” “Rusk, Rusk, Rusk, . . .” In the end, the traditional tribal competition held all the drama, suspense and surprisingly advanced dance choreography for which it has come to be known. One tribe carried the day, while the other ate humble pie. But no one was really keeping score. And with a final round of sweaty hugs and handshakes with promises to look each other up as soon as fall classes started, another memorable session of Jack Camp came to a spirited close. “I had seen pictures of Jack Camp, and it looked like fun. But I had no idea what an amazing time it was until I actually experienced it for myself,” said Dereka Brown of Arlington, one of hundreds of incoming freshmen who attended Jack Camp last summer. “This is something no new SFA student should miss.” Now entering its 10th year, Jack Camp is designed to help new Lumberjacks make friends, learn about campus life, meet student leaders

and brush up on SFA traditions – all before classes ever begin. The fourday extended orientation program is held each summer at Camp Olympia in Trinity, located about 75 miles southwest of Nacogdoches. At the start of each Jack Camp session, participants are divided into two tribes – Austin and Rusk – that participate in organized recreational activities such as games, skits, evening mixers and cheer practice. Campers also are assigned to smaller teams and family groups, which facilitate discussion times and encourage the development of new friendships. The Jack Camp itinerary also allows for plenty of down time when students can just hang out at the pool, play games and spend time getting to know each other. Jack Camp participants sleep in air-conditioned cabins and enjoy hot meals prepared for them by the Camp Olympia staff in the on-site cafeteria. “We have heard countless stories from students who met their best friend at Jack Camp or were encouraged to get involved in a student organization at Jack Camp and then went on to become a leader in that organization,” said Amanda Sawdust

“I had seen pictures of Jack Camp, and it looked like fun. But I had no idea what an amazing time it was until I actually experienced it for myself.” –Dereka Brown, Arlington freshman Horne, one of the camp directors. “The experience really gives students an extra boost of confidence and enthusiasm to help them start their college career on the right foot, excited to begin their new life as a Lumberjack.” Jack Camp participants also are more likely to stay at SFA beyond their first year of study, she said. The one-year retention rate of students who attended Jack Camp in 2009 was 87 percent compared with 64 percent of SFA’s overall student population. Incoming Pearland freshman Gavin Fish said the small-group activities at Jack Camp allowed him to really get to know some of his new peers. “I’m a real big networking person, and I feel I already have a strong network of great people to support me, and school hasn’t even started yet,” he said. “The tribal games were awesome – just a great, fun rivalry. But even though we have a lot of fun with the competition, we know we are all Lumber Spring 2011

jacks, and we all love each other.” To foster campers’ newfound school spirit, at the end of each Jack Camp session, the camp leaders ceremoniously jump into the pool to “wash off” their tribal loyalties, symbolizing that the students now are all part of one Lumberjack family. “I was really nervous about going to college and meeting all new people, and I thought Jack Camp would help me make some friends ahead of time,” said Shelby Rose, an incoming freshman from Fort Worth. Rose and Brown, one of her fellow tribe members, clicked immediately, and by the close of the session, the two girls were planning to get together again before the semester started to paint their Lumberjack axe handles in preparation for fall football games. “I’m so much better prepared to leave home for SFA than I was before I came to Jack Camp,” Rose said. “I was a little anxious before, but now I’m just excited and can’t wait to get there.” ✯

The Jack Camp fee is $150 and covers meals, lodging, materials and a T-shirt. Additional information and registration forms may be found online at www.sfasu. edu/jackcamp or picked up at summer orientation. If you have questions, call (936) 468-1367 or e-mail sfajackcamp@ gmail.com.


Student + AARC = Success By Amy Roquemore

NOTHING STRIKES FEAR in the heart of a typical college freshman like a class schedule that includes algebra and/or chemistry. But SFA students have an advantage when it comes to studying for these and other rigorous courses. The award-winning Academic Assistance and Resource Center offers private peer tutoring, walkin tables, Supplemental Instruction groups, and online math and writing labs – all with proven success at helping SFA students meet or exceed their academic goals. Housed in Steen Library, the AARC staffs walk-in tables where students can get immediate help in many subjects without an appointment. Students also may register for private weekly sessions with one of 174 certified tutors paid by the university. All tutors are SFA students, and working at the AARC promotes their own leadership and scholarship development. Each semester, the AARC facilitates 80 peer-assisted SI groups that meet twice a week. SI is a national academic assistance program that utilizes peer-assisted study sessions in which students compare notes, discuss class readings and develop study tools. Each group is led by an SFA student who has previously


made an A in the course and communicates regularly with the professor to ensure the group gets the most out of its study sessions. “We work closely with the faculty to make sure everything we do in the AARC reinforces what they are doing in their classrooms,” AARC Director M.E. McWilliams said. “We always say, ‘We are a proud number two.’ The professor is always the students’ first and best resource for ensuring academic success.” The AARC received the prestigious Star Award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and is the only learning center in the nation to have earned Distinguished Certification by the National Association for Developmental Education. The center holds the highest level College Reading and Learning Association Tutor Certification and is one of only two centers in the nation certified at all three levels. Last year, the AARC staff was asked to speak before the Texas Senate Finance Committee, promoting the center as a cost-effective program utilizing best practices in providing student academic support. The AARC’s services are available to all SFA students at no additional cost; however, the focus is on

freshman students enrolled in chemistry, algebra, developmental math and core subjects, as well as classes with historically high failure rates. “Our goal is to equip our students with transferrable study skills that will serve them well throughout the four years they are here at SFA,” McWilliams said. The AARC is on the front line of SFA’s broader effort to increase student retention after the first year. A new freshman residence hall opening this fall will include a 5,000-squarefoot Freshman Success Center with specially designed spaces and furnishings for AARC tutoring sessions and SI group meetings. “We think by integrating the proven success of the AARC’s programs with the freshman housing facilities, we can have a significant impact on freshman retention,” said Sam Smith, director of student services. “The new hall was designed primarily to support the university’s academic mission, and the AARC will play a very important part in that effort.” More SFA students are taking advantage of the AARC each year. More than 75 percent of freshmen participate in a tutoring session or workshop each semester. More than 63,000 AARC visits were logged during the 2009-10 academic year. These numbers are encouraging, McWilliams says, because records reveal that students who visit the AARC at least five times in a given semester usually see a greater impact on their grades than those who only drop in a few times. “The AARC helped me get an A in statistics,” said Shelby Pearman, a biology major now working for the AARC as an SI leader. “When I was taking the class, I always felt lost. It was like I was stuck in a hole with no way to get out. The people at the AARC helped me get through. I really don’t know what I would do without them.” For more information about the AARC and the services it provides, visit www.sfasu.edu/aarc. ✯


Vista Viewpoint By Christine Hennessey

Transplanted New Yorker finds niche in Nac IN 2004, I decided to move from Long Island to Nacogdoches. I had never even heard of Nacogdoches until my partner transferred from our art school in New York to SFA in order to major in forestry. We didn’t expect to make Nacogdoches our home, planning to stay only long enough for him to finish his degree and then immediately escape back north. Life can play some funny tricks on you. Six years later, I’m still in Nacogdoches. My partner finished his bachelor’s and his master’s and is now working for an environmental agency in town. As for me, I’ve been on the SFA campus for the last four years – first as a librarian at the Ralph W. Steen Library, and now as the research development specialist in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs. While my life here has been full of surprises, the biggest is realizing how much I’ve come to love Nacogdoches. When I first moved to Texas, I hated it. I’m a vegetarian who loves restaurants. I don’t know if you’ve driven down North Street lately, but it’s not exactly vegetarian friendly. I desperately missed my friends and family back in New York. And to top it off, Nacogdoches was boring. If you weren’t in college or retired, I concluded, there was absolutely nothing to do. At this point, you’re probably wondering why I’m still here. Those of you who graduated from SFA or have spent any time on campus will not be surprised by my answer: This community grows on you. Through my job in the library, I was suddenly a part of something larger than myself. I got to know my colleagues and made friends across campus. I was part of a community, and home no longer seemed so far away. There was a time when I saw the small size of Nacogdoches as something to overcome. Since then, I’ve realized the possibilities that a tight-knit community can present. In addition to being a staff member at SFA, I’ve also been able to take graduate-level classes in the English department through the Employee Scholarship Program. For the last two years, I’ve hosted a literary reading series at Morning Glory Yoga Studios, located

Spring 2011

downtown on Main Street, which regularly draws a supportive crowd of SFA English students and faculty. I’ve written book reviews for local magazines. I attend nearly every art opening at the Cole Art Center (and not just for the free wine!). I played roller derby for the Nacogdoches Rollergirls and found a core group of friends that I will have for life, even though I’ve since moved on to running, competing in marathons as well as local 5Ks to benefit everything from the SFA Department of Kinesiology and Health Science to autistic children to the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter. Because Nacogdoches and SFA have given me so much, I’m excited for the opportunity to return the favor through my new position in ORSP. My department’s mission is to assist faculty and staff in the researching, writing and submission of grant proposals so that they can obtain the funds needed for the important research, projects and programs that contribute both to their field and to the university community. My main duties involve working closely with faculty in general, and SFA’s various research centers in particular, to identify grant opportunities. Grant funding is important because research and sponsored activities promote the mission of SFA, provide more chances for student learning and involvement, and help faculty accomplish professional goals for tenure and promotion. I believe these causes are important, and I’m grateful for the chance to help the university achieve its goals. When I left New York, I assumed my life would be smaller for a while – less diversity, less culture and fewer experiences. What I found instead was a town, campus and community that offer a fuller life than I ever thought possible, made all the more magical for its unexpected Christine Hennessey Research Development surprises. ✯ Specialist




By Amy Roquemore

IF YOU’RE AT SFA early enough, you may see them lining up for physical training at 6 a.m. three days a week. As you stroll through the azalea garden, you might stop to watch them rappel down their training tower. You’ve probably heard them firing a cannon in the end zone when the Lumberjack football team scores. And around campus, you can’t help but notice their distinctive camouflage uniforms. They are the members of the 115-cadet-strong Lumberjack Battalion, the university’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program, which was started in 1968 and is now experiencing the largest growth in its history. Each semester, on the eve of SFA’s commencement exercises, the battalion’s graduating seniors are commissioned as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army, U.S. Army Reserve or National Guard and begin a career of leadership and service to their country. “Our growth is a testament to the quality of young men and women who choose to serve as Army officers in this time of great national need,” said. Lt. Col. Todd Reichert, SFA military science professor. “We are extremely proud of our cadets as they carry on the legacy of outstanding service established by all those Lumberjacks who have served before them.”

Lumberjack Battalion prepares future officers for military service > Spring 2011


Since the battalion’s creation during the height of the Vietnam War, SFA has commissioned 538 officers who have served in every major U.S. military conflict, including the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The cadets’ training and education requirements are defined by the U.S. Army and overseen by a cadre of combatexperienced faculty members. While pursuing their bachelor’s degree at SFA, ROTC students must abide by a strict code of conduct, meet a high academic standard and attend required military training exercises, both during the week and on some weekends, according to battalion commander Jacob Kelly, a criminal justice major from Douglass who will be commissioned when he graduates in May. “To be a cadet in the Lumberjack Battalion while you are making good grades in school and possibly holding down a part-time job, you have to really be motivated and focused,” he said. “That said, the cadre is constantly reinforcing to us that we are here first and foremost to get a col-


lege degree. We have driven people back a day early from weekend training so they could study for a test. School always comes first.” Last fall, the Lumberjack Battalion hosted the first reunion of SFA ROTC cadets in its 43-year history. Among the attendees were James Britton and Ed Hander, the first two officers commissioned at SFA in 1969. Both noted the pride they felt upon returning to campus and seeing how the program has grown along with the university in the intervening years. “I was extremely impressed with the current cadets,” said Britton, a Vietnam veteran. “Those guys are a lot sharper than we were. Their training, far superior. They were as physically fit and knowledgeable


–Lumberjack Battalion motto and well-spoken as any West Pointers I’ve ever been around.” ROTC cadets may pursue any degree they choose at SFA, but criminal justice, political science and nursing are among the most common majors. The majority of cadets minor in military science. There are 238 college ROTC programs across the country, but SFA’s wooded surroundings give its cadets a training advantage. “Most schools don’t have access to a forested area right across the street like we have at SFA,” said first platoon leader Danielle Shaffer, a senior psychology major from Copperas Cove who plans to pursue a career in military intelligence. “We are able to conduct very advanced land-navigation training exercises both on campus and on nearby land such as the SFA Experimental Forest, and that is a great benefit.”

Shaffer added that SFA cadets’ extensive land-navigation training helps them stand out among other ROTC students at the month-long Leadership and Development Assessment Course held each summer at Fort Lewis, Wash. The goal of the course is to evaluate the knowledge cadets have gained during their first three years in ROTC. There are numerous scholarship opportunities available to ROTC cadets, and all juniors and seniors in the Lumberjack Battalion currently have their tuition paid in full by the U.S. Army. “That is a prime example of the commitment the Army is making to training its next generation of leaders,” Reichert said. “The Army needs a diverse, well-educated officer corps, and it’s our job to ensure we provide our cadets with the proper training and education to fill that need.” ✯

ROTC cadets participate in various training activities in the forested areas on and around the SFA campus, including rappelling and paint-gun exercises.

Spring 2011


Photo courtesy of Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

Forestry donation helps environment, funds research By Shirley Luna STMicroelectronics has donated thousands of acres of East Texas land to SFA as part of its global reforestation efforts.

East Texas native Robert L. Banks, retired from STMicroelectronics, was instrumental in establishing the gift of property to SFA.


STMICROELECTRONICS IS A world leader in providing semiconductor solutions that improve the environment by reducing energy consumption in home and industrial usage. The company is also improving the educational environment at Stephen F. Austin State University through its support of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. Growing pine trees sequesters carbon from the atmosphere and

helps companies establish a carbonneutral “footprint.” STMicroelectronics has donated 3,449 acres of East Texas land to SFA as a part of its global reforestation efforts. “The project has currently sequestered approximately 140,000 tons of CO2, which potentially offsets the CO2 from burning nearly 17 million gallons of gasoline,” said Dr. Steve Bullard, dean of the college. The land provides an outdoor laboratory for research and teaching in forest management, wildlife management, hydrology and other subdisciplines of forestry and environmental science. “Ownership of the property allows for implementation of longterm studies, without concerns for the properties being sold or access issues due to changing ownership or ownership objectives,” Bullard explained. The Robert L. Banks – STMicroelectronics Forestry and Environmental Science Scholarship was established in 2010, and a permanent endowment by the company will enhance the research activities of SFA’s Forest Resources Institute and will support research projects, grad-

uate assistantships and fellowships. “The ST properties have generated approximately $11,000 per year in annual income from wildlife leases,” Bullard said. “We predict that timber revenues will begin with pine plantation thinning in 2014, followed by harvest of larger trees around the year 2020.” The property also provides outreach opportunities, including continuing education for landowners and professionals in forestry, wildlife and environmental science. STMicroelectronics is a leader in production of semiconductors for industrial applications, inkjet printheads, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems for portable and consumer devices, smartcard chips, automotive integrated circuits, and computer peripherals. The company holds more than 20,000 patents and has approximately 53,000 employees, 15 main manufacturing sites, and advanced research and development centers in 10 countries. The company has received more than 100 corporate responsibility awards for excellence in corporate governance, social issues and environmental protection. ✯


SFA softball players participated in intense leadership training last fall at a combat-training facility outside Nacogdoches. The women hope the team-building experience will help them take their game to the next level. >

Spring 2011



FA HEAD SOFTBALL coach Gay McNutt was looking for answers after the 2009 season. Her team had entered the year picked to win the Southland Conference title. The Ladyjacks had all the talent they needed, as evidenced by their six AllSouthland honors. But they fell short of the preseason projections and their own ultimate goal, finishing fourth in the league and bowing out of the Southland tournament in the second round. McNutt’s debut season had finished with a flourish. The 2008 Ladyjacks qualified for the Southland Tournament for the first time in 18 years, then plowed through the competition for three straight wins to earn the pro-


gram’s first NCAA Championship bid. So when the 2009 campaign ended in disappointment, the coach wanted to know what she could do to keep it from happening again. Enter Combat Shooting and Tactics. CSAT is a training facility just south of Nacogdoches that provides advanced tactical instruction for groups likely to encounter combat situations. The operation is owned by Paul Howe, a retired master sergeant with more than 20 years’ service in the U.S. Army, including time spent as both an operator and instructor in special forces. Howe’s clients run the gamut from law enforcement to military and government agencies to civilians and – for the past three years – SFA athletes. In early 2008, Howe was introduced to former Ladyjack soccer coach George Van Linder, who had been searching for a preseason retreat for his team. After reading Howe’s book Training for the Fight, he knew his team could benefit from the training CSAT had to offer. Howe and CSAT instructor Eric Corley put together a team-building program that would push the participants to their limits, both physically and mentally. Van Linder and his staff were blown away by the results and began to spread the word among SFA coaches. The following spring, McNutt remembered the rave reviews and decided to give it a try herself. “Coach came to us and said, ‘Last year we made it this far on raw talent, but we imploded at the end and couldn’t finish,’” Corley remembers. “They were looking for something that would help keep their focus and finish the fight.” Howe and Corley put together a weekend visit for the softball team similar to the training they’d put the soccer squad through. The curriculum included classroom sessions followed by field tests. There was field first-aid training with simulated emergency response situations, obstacle course competitions both as individuals and in small groups, as well as firearms training and competition.


The Ladyjacks would go on to post a 28-18 overall record and win a share of the program’s first-ever Southland title. The regular season was capped by a dramatic series win over co-champion and perennial league power Texas State that saw the Ladyjacks come from behind twice, winning on walk-off home runs both times. “Before, when we’ve played Texas State, for whatever reason, we would kind of give in a little bit and not be as tough mentally as we need to be against teams like that,” McNutt said. “Last year when we played them, we had more of a warrior mindset, and we never gave in.” McNutt attributes that mindset directly to the training and bonding her team underwent at CSAT, where the training is designed to help the players learn about themselves and their limits. “A lot of it is testing where their heart is,” Corley said. “Because they’re collegiate athletes, you’re not going to break them down physically.” “You can see everyone’s weaknesses and strengths,” McNutt said. “They find out for themselves what their weaknesses are and what they need to work on.” After another early exit from the 2010 Southland Tournament, the thing McNutt decided to work on for

2011 was leadership. This year’s training divided the team into small groups, each with its own leader. These individuals attended a pre-training leadership session the night before the rest of the team began training. “It started out being a team-building concept,” she said. “It’s evolved into much more than that. This time we focused on leadership training. We’ve seen our strong leaders step out and start to actually lead and guide the way they should.” SFA was again picked in preseason polling to win the Southland Conference championship. It remains to be seen whether the newfound leadership will be enough to carry the team through to that goal. Either way, what the Ladyjacks have gained from their unique training will stick with them long after their softball days are done. “They’re learning team tactics and team techniques, but they’re also learning things as individuals that will help them the rest of their lives,” Corley said. “It’s been one of the most important and vital processes that we go through in our program, and I’d recommend this to anybody,” McNutt said of the training. “They’ve done an amazing job for us.” ✯

“A lot of it is testing where their heart is.”

Spring 2011


Orientation and Mobility program trains students to work with blind and visually impaired



By Kayli Steger

Spring 2011


Through the pitch-black darkness of special blindfolds, students get a sense of what life is like for the nation’s 1.3 million legally blind.


N ANY GIVEN day on SFA O&M students campus, students hear recently traveled to the Stephen F. Austin Shreveport, La., to fountain bubbling and practice mobility the voices of co-eds congregating on skills in an urban the quad. They feel the crunch of pine setting.

straw beneath their feet and smell the aroma of foods being prepared in the student center food court. Though these sensations go unnoticed by most, hearing and other senses are critical tools for the blind and visually impaired navigating an unfamiliar environment. For almost four decades, SFA’s Orientation and Mobility program has trained students to teach people who are blind or visually impaired, enabling them to lead more independent lives. Students use techniques such as locating landmarks and listening to traffic sounds to safely travel to their destination. The many training exercises include planning routes to specific destinations, using public


transportation and soliciting public assistance when necessary. A long cane is the standard navigation tool used in the program, although guide dogs and low-vision technology also are used. Through the pitch-black darkness of special blindfolds, students get a sense of what life is like for the nation’s 1.3 million legally blind. The techniques the O&M students learn, such as using systematic longcane procedures along a sidewalk to find curbs or obstructions that may hinder their path, help them understand the challenging environment that they will soon help their students manage. “Explaining basic concepts such as shape, texture and color becomes a challenge,” said Elizabeth Desart, a Conroe junior in her first year of the program. “Doing the blindfold exercise makes you so thankful that it can be taken off at the end of the day. For the students we teach, that’s not the case.” Together with the university’s Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments program, the O&M program is helping meet the growing demand for vision professionals across the country. The program recently was re-awarded a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education and has received funding from the Rehabilitation Services Administration for four decades. The O&M program is one of eight in the nation and one of only four to offer undergraduate training. Each year, the SFA programs produce 11 percent of the nation’s Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialists and 14 percent of the nation’s certified Teachers of Students with Visual Impairments. An estimated 10,000 professionals are needed in each field. While there is

currently a shortage of vision professionals, the number of people with visual impairments continues to rise by 3 percent annually. Faculty members like Barry Stafford, a program alumnus, are working to prepare students to enter the workforce. Like the students he teaches, Stafford entered the field to make a difference in the lives of those who are blind or visually impaired. “I had always wanted to work with people who were blind or visu-

ally impaired, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it,” he said. “Someone handed me a brochure with a three-sentence paragraph about Orientation and Mobility, and I read it and said, ‘That’s what I want to do’ – outside, oneon-one, working with people and making a difference.” Many of the SFA program’s offerings are online, making it convenient for non-traditional students to study remotely. Many already are working as special education professionals in school districts around the state. O&M students benefit from an intimate, hands-on educational experience. But the care and concern faculty members possess doesn’t


The O&M program is one of eight in the nation and one of only four to offer undergraduate training.

stop when they leave the classroom. Dr. Dixie Mercer, professor, currently is training three SFA students recently affected by visual impairments or blindness, teaching them Braille and independence skills such as grocery shopping and cooking. SFA’s Office of Disability Services also utilizes O&M students to help university students with

by professionals in the field. Desart’s mother participated in the program, and classmate Elizabeth Coulson is a third-generation vision professional. Both her mother and grandmother are teachers of the visually impaired. The profession also runs in Yolanda Smith’s family. In the early ’70s, her father received inservice training from Bob Bryant, the SFA program’s founder, and he

ing the elderly or wounded servicemen and servicewomen regain their independence. “It is an amazing and meaningful task to be able to teach and train a person who is blind or visually impaired,” Smith said. “It is an awesome thing, to be able to give a person back a little confidence in his or her life.” ✯ O&M student Lori Graham works with Brownsboro High School student Casey Heath during her student teaching hours, assisting him and others in navigating the school setting.

To help people with visual impairments, many oncampus accommodations have been implemented, including audible crosswalk signals and textured sidewalks to assist cane users at traffic intersections. The newly installed crosswalk signals feature a countdown by an automated voice, and each crosswalk features a distinct octave denoting which intersection is being crossed. disabilities navigate campus and become familiar with their surroundings. SFA students with visual impairments also are enrolled in the O&M program, providing an opportunity for others in the class to draw from their personal experiences. O&M students have the opportunity to train children who are visually impaired or blind during Camp Independence, a summer camp designed to give kids a fun outdoor experience. Kids learn new skills like canoeing and cooking, while O&M students familiarize themselves with the challenges and rewards of teaching in the field. For many students in the closeknit O&M cohort, the decision to study at SFA was directly impacted

Spring 2011

later enrolled in the Western Michigan O&M program to complete his master’s degree. Thirty years later, Smith moved her family from Alabama to Nacogdoches to follow in her father’s footsteps. “I like helping people, and the preparation, skills and techniques that are being taught in the classroom are life-changing tools that one can use to become more independent and mobile in any environment,” Smith said. Graduates of the program work in a variety of settings helping people in all stages of life, including school children, seniors and veterans in need of visual care. After graduation, Smith hopes to work in a veteran’s hospital, help-


New research center STEMs from national initiative By Nicole Hall HISTORY SEEMS TO be repeating itself. “STEM education will determine whether the United On Oct. 4, 1957, Sputnik became the first artificial States will remain a leader among nations and whether satellite to orbit Earth. Not only was this a groundbreakwe will be able to solve immense challenges in such aring feat for the Soviet Union, it was also an important eas as energy, health, environmental protection and nadefeat for America, which had lost the race to space. tional security.” Today, America is falling behind Asian countries One of the ways SFA is promoting interdisciplinary in math and science rankings. According to Bloomberg, education is through revised majors, including the Mas15-year-olds in the United ter of Science in school States ranked 25th among mathematics teaching and peers from 34 countries on the Master of Science in the Program for Internanatural sciences. tional Student Assessment, However, before while China’s Shangai finthese majors can become ished at the top. attractive to students, “This is totally unacAmerica must “inspire ceptable in a technologya love for mathematics oriented country,” said Dr. and the sciences at earlier John Moore, SFA profesages,” said Dr. Lesa Bevsor of chemistry. erly, mathematics coordiTo answer a national nator of the STEM center call for education reform, and associate professor of SFA recently has develmathematics. “We need oped the STEM Research to make success in schoand Learning Center. lastics as attractive to the STEM stands for science, next generation as suctechnology, engineering cess in sports.” and mathematics. SFA’s planetarium, “Through the center, which is frequently visSFA faculty will have the ited by elementary school opportunity to further constudents, now will serve tribute to the knowledge double-duty as a recruitand research base within ing tool. There also are the STEM disciplines and tentative plans for SFA to engage in various outto host a science weekreach and recruitment efend to attract school-age forts designed to encour- Daisy Troop 1812 leader Debbie Tanner and Jeeana Menefee, children to campus and to age students to choose left, and Jasmine Payne recently attended STEM day at SFA for sponsor an undergraduate STEM majors and prepare area Girl Scouts. research symposium with to enter STEM careers,” said Dr. Kimberly Childs, exstudents from other universities. ecutive director of the STEM Research and Learning “The name of the game is collaboration, whether Center and interim dean of SFA’s College of Sciences within one’s own school or with another university,” and Mathematics. Moore said. “Additionally, it is the intent of the College of SciWith such emphasis on STEM education and caences and Mathematics to engage in cross-disciplinary reers, SFA is not only responding to a national need but efforts both within the college and across the SFA camalso continually improving its own disciplinary curricula. pus.” “After Sputnik, we realized we were behind as a naOnly three of the Princeton Review’s current top 10 tion. Precedent-shattering funding became available to college majors are categorized as science, technology, better educate students in math and science and recruit engineering or mathematics. Nursing ranks third; biolstudents into STEM careers,” Childs said. “We are at ogy, fourth; and information technology, 10th. Sputnik again; it’s that urgent. As a nation, we are called The September 2010 report by the President’s Counto rise up and provide leadership, and I think we are gocil of Advisers on Science and Technology stated that ing to do it through the STEM initiative.” ✯



Alumni News Alumni Association hires new marketing director THE SFA ALUMNI Association has hired Houston native Dale Green ’99 as director of marketing and membership. He joined the staff in January. Green received a bachelor’s degree in communication from SFA and will earn his Executive MBA from California State UniversitySonoma in May. Since graduating from SFA, Green has lived and worked in Texas, Indiana, Louisiana and California and most recently served as vice president/director of training for a private professional development/ corporate training firm in the North San Francisco Bay Area. “My life has taken me in many directions, and I’m most excited about being back in Texas, especially Nacogdoches,” he said. “I’m very pleased to be serving my fellow SFA alumni as director of marketing and membership

for the alumni association, and I look forward to meeting more Lumberjacks. What a great place to foster alumni relationships and get involved in the community while raising my family.” Green is married to Missy Michaels Green ’01. They have an 18-month-old son, Denver, and are expecting their second son in April. Green also wants to increase awareness of the value of membership in the SFA Alumni Association. He knows firsthand how easy it is to lose touch with the university after graduation. Although he was heavily involved on campus as a student, he didn’t make staying in contact with SFA a priority after graduation. His school pride, however, remained strong. “If you’re reading this and aren’t a member yet, join, join, join. Call us today. Tell ’em I sent ya! This is your Alumni Association.


Let’s come together and make this the most fun, exciting and rewarding resource available to all SFA Alumni.” Green also encourages alumni to come back to SFA for a visit. “If you haven’t been back to campus in a while, come visit soon. Things have really changed. I am pleased to see the growth of our fine university and am proud to be an SFA alum. Axe ’em ’Jacks!” ✯

Magazine wins awards

Publication recognized at district conference SAWDUST RECEIVED FOUR awards at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s recent District IV conference in New Orleans. The magazine earned a Gold (first place) Award in the category of mostimproved periodicals, as well as a Special Merit Award in the general university periodical category. In addition, artistic director Rhonda Crim-Tumelson earned a Silver (second place) Award in the magazine-design category for her three-page spread titled “Gossip Girl” that appeared in the spring 2010 issue. And Kayli Steger, marketing communications assistant in the Office of Spring 2011

Public Affairs, received a Special Merit Award for her feature on the SFA Bass Team in the fall 2010 issue. CASE is the organization for advancement professionals working in alumni relations, communications, fundraising, marketing and related areas. Membership includes more than 3,400 colleges, universities, independent elementary and secondary schools, and educational associates in 61 countries around the world. SFA is part of CASE District IV, which encompasses Arkansas, Louisiana, Mexico, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. ✯


From the Association


Chuck Tomberlain ’84 President, SFA Alumni Association

HOPE EVERYONE had a wonderful holiday season with their families and friends! I know 2011 will be an exciting year, especially here at Stephen F. Austin State University. We are starting our second year as Southland Conference Champions – another reason to proudly wear our purple and white and prominently display the SFA letters. I urge you to continue to support and promote SFA in your community so that we continue to bring new Lumberjacks into the fold. We have so much to be proud of here at the university, which makes it easy to discuss SFA with bright students in your area. The Alumni Association team wants you to keep “priority one” on your mind because each of us can make a difference in someone’s life through scholarships, donations, mentoring or just donating our time. Become a lifetime member of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association today and get involved! You can make a difference.

I urge you to continue to support and promote SFA in your community so that we continue to bring new Lumberjacks into the fold. The Alumni Association is always here to serve you. Call me or the alumni staff anytime – or just stop by the Pearman Alumni Center – if we can be of any assistance. May God bless you, yours and our SFA family in the upcoming year. Axe ’em ’Jacks!

SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - president Curtis Sparks ’85 - president-elect Mike Harbordt ’63 - past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Wendy Buchanan ’85 Don Cox ’71 & ’76 Robin Dawley ’77 Ryan Emmons ’03 Karen Gantt ’95 Doris Havard James Hawkins ’83 Kent Hutchison ’92 David Madrid ’02 Justin McFail ’04 Susan Roberds ’75 Roger Robinson ’92 Phillip Scherrer ’99 Steve Whitbeck ’75 Chris Woelfel ’95 Student Foundation Association Dustin Willis ’11 SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Mike Harbordt ’63 - chairman Brad Bays ’91 Lewie Byers ’68 Ford Cartwright ’69 Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 James Hamilton ’77 Andy Mills ’91 Bill Roberds ’75 Chuck Tomberlain ’84 SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Jeff Davis ’02 executive director of alumni affairs (fund-raising) Mitzi Blackburn director of alumni activities (activities & events) Katy Crawford assistant to the executive director of alumni affairs (operations)

Chuck Tomberlain ’84 903.445.2943

Rhonda Crim-Tumelson director of alumni publications Dale Green ’99 director of marketing & membership Emily Payne ’99 & ’01 chapter coordinator Beverly Smith ’96 accountant (finance) Alicia Roland Chatman gifts & records specialist Mo Davis ’09 scholarship coordinator

“I want to help and inspire people to improve their lives by living healthier.”

Brian Elliott ’05 & ’09 is the nutritionist for the Chippewa Cree tribe at Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in Montana.

THROUGHOUT HIS CHILDHOOD, teenage and college years, Brian Elliott ’05 & ’09 lived his life with unwavering enthusiasm. That steadfast spirit recently brought him to Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation in Montana where he is working as the nutritionist for the Chippewa Cree tribe. The 27-yearold Hurst native holds both a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in dietetics from SFA. Working primarily with the reservation’s diabetes program, he has been instrumental in the reorganization of Rocky Boy’s wellness center and the creation of group exercise classes. “All my nutrition classes and internships were vital to gaining the knowledge needed to effectively counsel people and offer nutrition advice,” said Elliott, who has a long-held interest in Native American culture. “My nursing degree has been beneficial in understanding the (diabetes) disease processes better and how the body works.” Using the education and hands-on training he received at SFA, Elliott is developing a fitness program for the reservation’s wellness center and plans to teach circuit training, boot camp, yoga and swimming, as well as provide personal training. In the future, he aims to add more classes, including sports and triathlon training, plyometrics, soccer, jump rope, and kettle bell. “Attending health and fitness classes, being a personal trainer, designing effective fitness programs, and the working experience gained at the SFA Recreation

Center have all played a tremendous role in my understanding of the wellness center’s inner workings and how to design, organize and teach group exercise classes.” Elliott seems to have been born with a deep-rooted fervor for life, especially in the areas of health, fitness and faith. “I want to help and inspire people to improve their lives by living healthier,” Elliott said. “My desire is to achieve a career that honors and glorifies God, which also allows me to assist numerous individuals in making healthy choices and provide for my own family someday.” Before traveling to Montana to energize the reservation’s wellness center, Elliott bicycled across America to raise money for Venture Expeditions’ Blood:Water Mission, a charity that raises funds to build water wells and medical clinics and improve sanitation in Kenya, Africa. Blood:Water Mission opened the doors for Elliott to participate in other charity fundraisers that have taken him to Thailand and Turkey. The miles Elliott has accumulated while training for marathons prepared him well for his cross-country biking expeditions, he said. “Many people say that I have more miles on my legs than on my car.” Growing up, Elliott dreamed of running a marathon, but he never thought he would be able to achieve that goal. However, he was inspired to begin training by a fellow camp counselor who shared her marathon-running experiences with him. In January 2005, Elliott ran

Photos courtesy of Zach White and Brian Elliott



BRIAN ELLIOTT: began running in 5Ks and 10Ks benefitting various charities, along with other fundraisers such as Jump Rope for Heart, in elementary school. his first marathon in Houston. “I loved the experience of running the marathon and did a lot better than I expected, so the next month I ran the Cowtown Marathon in Forth Worth,” Elliott said. “I continue running marathons and have set a goal for myself to run at least one marathon in every state.” So far, Elliott has completed marathons in 12 states, including the Boston Marathon in 2009. “I believe that a meaningful life is living it to its fullest, passionately maximizing our potential to achieve excellence for humanity that will last for eternity,” Elliott said. “I love encouraging people to live a holy and righteous life with love, care, kindness, compassion, conviction and courage to strive for something bigger than themselves.” The traits that he tries to instill in others are also what brought him to Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation, located just 40 miles south of the Canadian border. However, before Elliott made the nearly 2,000mile trip to Montana, he never anticipated the climate shock that would result from his move from Texas. He had expected cold temperatures and snow during the winter months. But all his running and cycling did not prepare him for the minus50-degree temperatures or the loneliness of the remote location. “I struggle and deal with lots of challenges just Spring 2011

like everyone else. I just make a choice to learn from obstacles and grow closer to God through them,” Elliott said. “I try to always keep a positive mindset by looking at the positives in every situation and relying on God to help me overcome the negatives.” Elliott fuels his passion for helping others achieve better health by regularly feeding his own adventurer’s soul, taking mission trips to share his faith, running marathons and ultra-marathons, and participating in triathlons and other ultraendurance events. “I am motivated by the desire to live a fulfilling and productive life, so that when I am old I can look back and know that I lived a life worth living, a life that helped and inspired others, a life glorifying and honoring to God, a life worth telling my grandchildren stories about, and a life not wasted.” ✯

says his very first bike was a Huffy. Since his first year at SFA, he has owned more than 10 bikes. helped his team raise more than $100,000 for Blood:Water Mission to build water wells and a medical clinic and improve sanitation in Kenya, Africa, during the summer of 2009. While participating in the mission, he biked approximately 3,500 miles across the nation during a 60-day period. has bicycled a 50K, run 75 miles in the mountains of Montana and summitted a 14,000-foot peak in Colorado. completed an Ironman Triathlon, a one-day endurance event. Participants swim for 2.4 miles, bike for 112 miles and run for 26.2 miles. runs marathons wearing a Batman costume to make the race more fun for himself and the spectators. 33

“and. . .Action!” By Shirley Luna

Emmy-winning television producer brings expertise to alma mater


IKE MANY YOUNG boys in Texas, Jason Anderson’s early career aspirations developed while he watched Monday Night Football. Anderson, however, was not dreaming of a future as a professional football player; it was the opening segment of the broadcast that caught his attention. “At that time, the show started with the director in the control room counting down to the broadcast,” Anderson ’85 explained. “The director was sitting in front of a bank of monitors with a headset on, and he would say, ‘three, two, one…TAKE TAPE!’ And the famous Monday night theme song would start. I thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen.” But Anderson was a middle-class kid from Waxahachie, Texas, with no contacts and no connections, so it seemed a career in television was a world away. Then, when he was a high school junior, Anderson got his first big break: Bob Phillips, host of the television program Texas Country Reporter, moved to town. “I introduced myself at church and told him I wanted to work in television. I bugged him long enough that I talked him into taking me to the station where he worked, KDFWTV in Dallas.” Anderson began volunteering at the station – doing anything they would let him do – and interned there while he was a radio/ television student at SFA. “After I graduated from SFA in 1985, KDFW hired me as news producer. I produced the 6 a.m. and noon news in the sixth largest



market in America, but I had to be at work at 3 every morning!” At 22, Anderson was promoted to producer of the 10 p.m. newscast, but when his old friend called with a job opportunity at Phillips Productions, Anderson left the broadcast news business and went to work as a producer of the Texas Country Reporter television show. Now vice president, senior producer and creative director for Phillips Productions, Anderson has earned nine Emmy Awards and dozens of other regional and national awards for film and video production. He said working for two years as news director of SFA’s radio station KSAU helped launch his career. “Dr. Joe Oliver was in charge of the station, and he gave us the freedom to do anything we wanted, as long as it was done well and with professionalism,” he recalled. “We did live remotes, baseball and basketball play-by-play, and live breaking news.” The radio station subscribed to the Texas State Network for the statewide news it broadcast, and in return, the students sent radio news packages to the network. “I interviewed everybody who came to campus from Gov. Mark White to George Strait and even G. Gordon Liddy. All the rock stars who came to town worked with us doing station promos. It was a blast, and we thought we were really something! SFA totally prepared me to work in television because I learned what news was, how to handle it, how to write it, and how to work with VIPs.” Working with Texas Country Reporter for nearly 25 years has given Anderson the opportunity to travel every square mile of Texas, meeting and interviewing interesting and sometimes eccentric people. But that is only part of his job description. “While we are most known for Texas Country Reporter, Phillips Productions is a full-service production company, public relations firm and advertising agency,” he explained. “We specialize in corporate image films, commercials and documentaries. That aspect of the company has allowed me to travel the world for companies like American Airlines, Neiman-Marcus, and hotels and resorts around the world.” Anderson has worked with both Bush presidents, three Texas governors and one U.S. ambassador; media trained CEOs of multi-billion-dollar corporations; and Sawdust

“The great thing is, it’s impossible to know what’s next. On any given day the phone could ring, and you just never know what adventure that call could bring.” interviewed “nearly everyone” in the country music industry. He is a member of the board of governors for the Lone Star Emmy Chapter and is one of two national trustees who represent Texas on the board of trustees for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which awards the Daytime Emmy Awards. “The great thing is, it’s impossible to know what’s next. On any given day the phone could ring, and you just never know what adventure that call could bring,” Anderson said. Phillips Productions recently was selected to produce a commercial and orientation video for SFA, and Anderson said he was excited to return to campus. “I hope my passion for SFA comes across in the final products,” he said. “SFA is so much a part of who I am both professionally and personally, and I am truly honored for our company to be selected for these projects. Plus, I am so impressed by the changes the school has made since I left – it makes me want to come back and be a student again.” Spring 2011

Anderson is one of five Emmy Award-winning writers on the Phillips Productions staff, and as senior producer, he approves all scripts for Texas Country Reporter. But the story that stands out as most memorable doesn’t involve a celebrity or high-powered political figure. It is a story of a football team – not one of the perennial Texas powerhouses – but a six-man football team from Blackwell, a tiny town south of Abilene. “We did a story during a season when the team consisted of only six boys,” Anderson explained. “This meant every boy played every down of every game – offense and defense. No resting, no injuries. The sheer determination of those kids was very inspiring to me. Their games were an incredible display of passion and the human spirit. And that is what Texas Country Reporter is really all about. It’s not about small towns or unusual people. It’s been a four-decade celebration of the human spirit.” ✯

Anderson gives instruction to SFA Charter School students appearing in an SFA commercial he produced in fall 2009.


Become a member of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association, and you’ll receive all four issues of Sawdust during the year. Reading Sawdust is a great way to keep up with SFA activities, news and events.

Join online at www.sfaalumni.com or call 1-800-765-1534

Your membership dues also help provide scholarships for SFA students and fund alumni events like homecoming weekend, tailgate parties and chapter activities.

Rediscover the Lumberjack Experience by becoming a member of the SFA Alumni Association. Find the full list of membership benefits at www.sfaalumni.com.



Upcoming Events

MARCH 22-23 SFA Ring Sales Event, Tracie Pearman Alumni Center 24



SFA Spirit Teams Nationals Showcase, William R. Johnson Coliseum Dallas Chapter Stars vs. Avalanche, American Airlines Center

26 Showcase Saturday 29 Nacogdoches Chapter after-work social gathering, Casa Tomás

SFA Houston Chapter Happy Hour, Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub

14 Nacogdoches Chapter networking lunch, Hotel Fredonia 21 University closes for Easter break

27 Alumni Foundation board meeting 28 Nacogdoches Chapter after-work social gathering at Texas Bar & Grill, Motel 6



SFA Tyler Golf Tournament, Hollytree Country Club Senior Send-off, Sports Shack


Big Dip Ring Ceremony, Grand Ballroom, Baker Pattillo Student Center

12 Nacogdoches Chapter networking lunch, Delacroix’s

6-8 TKE Nu Xi Chapter 40th Anniversary Weekend

29 Scholarship Donor Reception, Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House

30 SFA Football Spring Scrimmage

Student Foundation Mud Bugs & Mud Balls

Dallas Chapter Crawfish Boil, Plano

Alumni Association board meeting

14 SFA Graduation 20 Nacogdoches Chapter after-work social gathering, Lug Nutz 21 SFA Day at the Dallas Zoo


Summer I classes begin

11 SFA Band Scholarship Golf Tournament, Eagles Bluff Golf Course

24 Alumni Association board meeting 27 Alumni Foundation board meeting

Find more chapter events online at www.sfaalumni.com *Times and dates are subject to change. Visit www. sfaalumni.com for the most recent information.

Spring 2011


The Charles Stokes Liberal Arts Scholarship The Charles Stokes Liberal Arts Scholarship benefits a graduating senior from Nacogdoches High School with a grade-point average of at least 2.5. Students majoring in liberal arts or history receive first priority. Stokes was born in Beaumont Dec. 26, 1947. He attended schools in Brownwood, Corsicana and Nacogdoches. Upon graduating from Nacogdoches High School, he attended SFA, majoring in history. He assured everyone that he did not want to teach. Thankfully, he changed his mind and became a wonderful teacher, mentor and friend to many of his students. He would jokingly say that his goal in life was to educate the youth of America. With this scholarship endowment, he will continue to do so. Stokes loved the outdoors. He traveled a great deal in the western and northwestern United States where he camped and studied the historical sites. He loved to hunt and fish and was an avid sportsman.

The Dr. Dee Ann Story East Texas Archeology Scholarship The Dr. Dee Ann Story East Texas Archeology Scholarship benefits an anthropology or archeology student with an interest in East Texas archeology who holds a grade-point average of at least 3.0. Story attended Texas Woman’s University in Denton and received two degrees in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. She received a doctorate in anthropology from the University of California in 1963, becoming the first woman to graduate from that program. Story became assistant director for the Texas Archeological Salvage Project. She published many articles and monographs on Texas archeology, directing numerous major archeological and research projects in Texas. Her main field of research focused on the ancestral Caddo culture of East Texas. Story won many awards but was particularly proud of her Curtis D. Tunnell Lifetime Achievement Award, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Archeological Society and the Betty Lee Wright Award for Democratic Leadership.

The Harold and Jean Pool Athletic Scholarship The Harold and Jean Pool Athletic Scholarship benefits a qualified SFA student in the athletic department. Harold and Jean Pool both graduated from Tyler High School and attended SFA. Harold Pool graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1949 and a Master of Education in 1969. While at SFA, he was a member of the football team in 1948 and 1949. He coached for 13 years and later worked in school administration. Jean Pool graduated from SFA with a Bachelor of Science in education in 1950 and was an SFA homecoming queen. She worked as an elementary teacher. The couple enjoys raising cattle and traveling. They started this scholarship to help future SFA students obtain an education.

Make the decision to help secure educational opportunities for generations of future SFA students. Contact us to find out how to start creating your legacy today.

Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6096 Phone: 936.468.3407 Toll Free: 800.765.1534 Fax: 936.468.1007 E-mail: alumni@sfasu.edu Website: www.sfaalumni.com



Alumni Chapters Brian ’01 and Emily Payne ’99 & ’01 attempt to wrangle their children for a holiday photo (without much cooperation from said children).

Finding Time for SFA LIKE SO MANY of my fellow alumni, I have a CRAZY life these days! Between working and raising kids, I find little time for myself. Not that I’m complaining – I love my life, my family and my friends, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. As you are being pulled in multiple directions each day, squeezing alumni chapter involvement into your busy and hurried life may seem impossible. Your first thought is probably something like: “I just don’t have time to be involved in one more thing!” or “Chapters sound like a great idea in theory, but I just don’t have the time to commit to extra activities right now.” What you may not know is how much an alumni chapter can actually HELP YOU at the same time you are supporting your alma mater. Allow me to present the “three Ps”: Personally– Alumni chapters are an easy way to keep in touch with friends you made at SFA. Facebook and LinkedIn are the two most popular networking sites our chapters use to stay connected. Join your chapter’s page and get updates on upcoming events in your area, as well as exciting happenings on SFA’s campus. Professionally– With the downturn in the economy, networking has become even more important in the lives of many of our alumni. Being able to connect with others who have similar jobs or interests can open lines of communication that might lead to future employment. And, if you already have a job you love, tell your fellow alumni about it! Attend the networking events and get to know others – maybe even someone in your line of work with whom you can share ideas. Philanthropically– Giving back to our communities is a high priority for many SFA families. Often, our chapters join forces with events in local areas that benefit worthy causes. With fun runs, Relay For Life, March for Babies, Keep Nacogdoches (or any other town) Beautiful, highway cleanups, etc. – there is no shortage of philanthropic opportunities for SFA alumni chapters. As you can see, the personal, professional and philanthropic benefits of adding an alumni chapter to your plate – even though you are busy enough as it is – far outweigh the extra time commitment involved. We are so lucky to have alumni all over our great state, and we know that coming back to Nacogdoches on a regular basis can be difficult. I encourage you to connect with an alumni chapter Emily Payne today to stay connected with your alma mater throughout the year! Chapter Coordinator Spring 2011

Stay connected. Get involved. Have fun. Join a chapter! Happy Hours Networking Tailgating Freshman Send-Offs Service Projects Luncheons Family Picnics Golf Tournaments Visit our website to find chapter events. www.sfaalumni.com REGIONAL CHAPTERS Austin Oklahoma Coastal Bend Oregon Dallas San Antonio Denver SE Texas Houston Tarrant County Longview Tyler Nacogdoches Victoria Ohio SPECIAL INTEREST CHAPTERS African American Nursing Agriculture ROTC Interior Design Rugby Tau Kappa Epsilon To find your local SFA chapter, visit www.sfaalumni.com and click on chapters, or contact Emily Payne, chapter coordinator, at emilypayne816@yahoo.com or (800) 765-1534.


Class Notes 1950

The newly renovated Cushing ISD stadium and track recently was named in honor of Jerry Whitaker ’58 of Cushing. Dr. Ronald Davis ’59 of Dayton graduated from the University of California-Irvine in 1963. He retired in 2000 after practicing medicine in Seabrook from 1964 to 1999.

Tom Spencer ’78 of Huntsville, longtime Texas Forest Service employee, was honored for his work in protecting residents across the state from wildfires. Spencer, the predictive services department head, received the designation of Regents Fellow by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. Created in 1998, the Regents Fellow Service Award is designed to recognize employees who have made exemplary contributions to their university or agency and to the people of Texas. Spencer joined the Texas Forest Service more than 30 years ago after graduating from SFA with a degree in forestry. He then spent the bulk of his career working as a district forester in East Texas. During his tenure, Spencer’s department has become a national leader in the field.



Emmeline Dodd ’61 & ’65 of Houston was named “Outstanding Teacher” four times during her 39-year teaching career and is a recipient of The Kay Burnett Outstanding Friend of the Arts Award. Dr. Len Hughes ’66 of Dallas practiced medicine for 20 years and was recently inducted into the Center High School Hall of Fame. Nick A. Catoe Jr. ’69 of San Antonio was appointed CATOE associate judge of the Fourth Administrative Judicial Region sitting in San Antonio.


David King ’72 of Canton retired after serving as president of the American National Bank of Texas in Canton. Benny Gowan ’74 & ’76 of Nacogdoches is a forester with Morris Timber Holdings in Bullard and serves on the board of directors of the Texas Forestry Association. Paulette Williams ’74 of Liberty County taught for WILLIAMS 25 years and worked for the Republican Party in Cleve-

Jason Isaac ’96 of Hays County was elected to represent District 45 in the Texas House of Representatives. Since graduating from SFA, Isaac has worked to increase the efficiency and profitability of transportation companies while improving their safety records. Isaac’s work as a transportation consultant focusing on safety, compliance and operational efficiency improvements within the trucking industry – coupled with his involvement with the Texas Motor Transportation Association – has made him sensitive to the safety issues facing today’s traveler. He also owns and operates a sports-management business.

land’s past two election cycles. She serves as county clerk in Cleveland. Mike Easley ’75 of Houston is a co-founding shareEASLEY holder of accounting firm EEPB, which was named to INSIDE Public Accounting’s Best of the Best Firms for 2010. Mark Hinton ’75 of Dallas is the CEO of FC Background. Bob Peddy ’75 of Tyler is a CPA and founding partner of PEDDY Gollob, Morgan, Peddy and Co. in Tyler. Susan Pool ’75 of Mar-

shall is an artist and mastermind behind the “Art Party,” held each second Saturday in the Bradbury Building in Marshall. John Cox ’76 of Nacogdoches is retired after working for the State of Texas for 35 years, 17 of those years at SFA. Nora Jeannine Bleakney ’78 of Houston is a 2011 Peace Corps volunteer and will serve in Mexico as a university professor. She has spent the last 15 years in international education. Mitch Fralick ’79 of Houston is a co-founder and president of Producers Assistance Corporation. William Powell ’79 of Austin won gold in the 50-meter dash at the 2010 Texas Senior Games state meet and qualifies to compete in the 2011 National Senior Games.  Sawdust


Michael Bieler ’80 of Dallas is the director of information technology for CSC Americas Outsourcing. Dean McMann ’80 of Hockley is a co-founder and CEO of McMann & Ransford in Sugar Land. Tom Barton ’82 of Houston is payment cards program manBARTON ager for Shell Oil Company. S c o t t Wa t s o n ’82, ’96 & ’01 of Dallas is vice presiWATSON dent and treasurer of Woodbine Development Corporation. John Tyler ’83 of Houston is vice president of The Hulburd/Tyler Group of Merrill Lynch in Houton.


Agency owner.

Vi n c e n t Adams ’88 of Fort Worth is a State Farm Insurance

John England ’89 of Houston is a managing partner with Deloitte & Touche. Cindy King ’89 of West Columbia is interim city manager in Sweeny.

Spring 2011

Pikes of the ’60s For the past six years, a group of SFA alumni has descended on the tiny Hill Country community of Hext, Texas, (population 73) for three days of fellowship and tall tales. This “Pikes of the ’60s” celebration evolved from an initial gathering in 2004 in Nacogdoches of members of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity (Epsilon Omicron Chapter) initiated at SFA between 1960 and 1970. The following year, it was moved to the ranch of R. B. Pool ’69 on the Mason-Menard County line where it has been held annually ever since. The attendance has grown from 35 at the initial gathering to more than 70 attendees in 2010. Former Lumberjack athletes, dignitaries, professors, coaches and Navy SEALS have attended over the years to reminisce about the good old days at SFA, as well as their life experiences. This occasion allows all these former classmates to reconnect with old friends, recall memories from their days on campus and refresh their spirits. The typical reunion begins with a golf tournament at the Mason Country Club, followed by continual cooking and feasting on extraordinary concoctions prepared by Grill Master Gary Puckett ’69 and his cooking crew. Last year’s event marked the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Pi Kappa Alpha being chartered at SFA in 1960. This year’s reunion will be held April 28 to May 1, and all Pikes of the ’60s are invited.


Alan E. George ’90 of Palestine is CEO of Palestine Regional Medical Center and Palestine Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. Regina Julian ’90 & ’03 of League City is a speech JULIAN teacher at College of the Mainland.

Stacie Shirley ’90 of Dallas is the senior vice president of finance and treasurer of The Neiman Marcus Group. S F A Alumni Association Board M e m ber Kent HUTCHISON Hutchison ’92 of Nacogdoches is a corporate trainer for Etech.

B u r t H a i r grove ’94 of Nacogdoches is direcHAIRGROVE tor of the George H. Henderson Jr. Exposition Center in Lufkin. Scott Schmidly ’94 of Dallas is the COO and ethics compliance officer for Medical City Dallas and Medical City Children’s Hospital in Dallas.


Kim and Mark Tilley ’95 of Austin announce the Oct. 27 birth of LulaMae Louise. Chris Crawford ’96 & ’99 of Houston is executive director of the consulting firm Longnecker & Associates, included on the list of Best Companies to Work for in Texas 2011. Robert E. Hughes III ’96 of Huntington is a contract logging manager for Campbell Timberland Management in Diboll and is a board member of the Texas Forestry Association. Casey Randall ’97 of Leavenworth, Kan., currently serves with the Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth and has served in Iraq twice.


Sereniah Breland ’99 of Goliad is the city manager of Goliad.

Barbara Robinson ’99 of Cleburne, former Johnson County treasurer, founded Stroke Hopes, a support group in Johnson County for stroke survivors, their families and caregivers after suffering from a stroke herself in 2009.




Amanda O’Neal ’00 of Coppell is the chief operating

officer of the Metropolitan Anesthesia Consultants in Dallas. Jennifer Stevens ’01 & ’08 of Lufkin is the director of marketing for the Woodland Heights Medical Center. Chad ’98 and Emily Smith ’06 of Houston announce the April 12, 2010, birth of twin sons Parker and Peyton. Eric ’98 and Leslie Tipp ’99 of Kingwood announce TIPP the Oct. 21 birth of daughter Caroline Annagrace. Michael Wade Lee ’04 of San Antonio continues his interLEE national operatic career singing in the United States, Poland and Ireland.  Christopher ’05 and J a m i e Fussell Bouldin BOULDIN ’05 of Nacogdoches announce the Oct. 12 birth of William James.  Jeff ’05 and Esther Campbell ’07 of Nacogdoches announce the Nov. 1 birth of son Gage William. 

Samantha Mora ’08, left; Kayli Steger ’08, right; and Derek Head ’09, all of Nacogdoches, recently traveled to Australia to visit Zebine Bojler ’09 of Stockholm, Sweden. Bojler recently received her master’s degree in education from Macquarie University in Sydney. The friends are shown at the famous Sydney Opera House.

Ryane Jackson ’07 of Houston is assistant director JACKSON of annual giving at the University of St. Thomas. Rachel Rull ’07 of Baytown and Chris Arnold ’05 ARNOLD of Leander were married Oct. 9. 

Terell Garrett ’08 of Deer Park and Corey McConnell ’06 of Arlington were married Jan. 15 in Irving. Melissa Windham ’09 of Waco works as an artist and is displaying her first solo show “Wallflowers” at area studios.


Charles Russell White ’10 of Grain Valley, Mo., is in the Army Reserves and will serve as a platoon leader in the 820th Tactical Installation and Networking Co. in Seagoville.

Submit class notes and upload photos at www.sfaalumni.com. Sawdust

In Memoriam Carl O. Amonett ’79 & ’82 of Academy, Oct. 16. Dr. Arthur W. Benoy of Nacogdoches, Jan. 14. Patricia C. Bowles of Longview, Jan. 20. Donald W. Burk ’53 of Nacogdoches, Nov 24. Dimples Burns ’54 of Kilgore, Dec. 26. Alexander Celinski Jr. ’73 of Houston, Oct. 19. Albert S. Collier ’47 of Longview, Jan. 17. Aline Watkins Crump ’35 of Houston, Jan 6. Lucille S. Daniel ’58 & ’67 of Gladewater, Dec. 14. Marjorie J. Dean ’77 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 21. Mary J. Deuth of Plainfield, Ind., Jan. 9. Charleen F. Dimmick ’70 of Cheshire, Conn., Oct. 18. Deanne Erdmann ’72 & ’73 of Denton, Jan. 25. Ethelind S. Gibson of Nacogdoches, Dec. 23. Mark S. Greer of Nacogdoches, Jan. 10. Dr. Herman Lenwood Hendrix ’57 of Lufkin, Jan. 15. Marilyn M. Hogue ’41 of Overton, Nov. 20. Beth A. Howell ’55 of Hermitage, Tenn., Jan 26. Bert Jones ’91 of Nacogdoches, Jan 10. Laurell L. King ’41 of Greenville, Jan. 2. Claude Dean Lane ’78 of Carlsbad, Calif., Nov. 5. Doris Ledbetter of Nacogdoches, Nov. 27. Mary E. Lee ’74 & ’77 of Lufkin, Dec. 29. Casey A. Light-Boyles ’92 of Mt. Enterprise, Jan. 15. Charles Lovelace ’77 of Kilgore, Nov. 6. Gilbert L. Martin ’58 of Mineola, Nov. 24. Margaret Maxwell of Houston, Jan. 22. Evelyn A. Moffitt ’70 of Tyler, Nov. 28. Esterlene B. Moore ’39 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 8. Martha L. Moore ’41 & ’75 of Lufkin, Jan. 4. Roy N. Moore ’40 of Houston, Jan. 24. Bob Oates ’78 of Waco, Oct. 26. A. C. Quarles ’54 of Palestine, Jan. 16. Royce E. Peacock ’50 of Troup, Jan 1. Clay D. Peterson ’10 of Lufkin, Dec. 21. William Ellis Powell ’60 of Alexandria, La., Nov. 10. Lucette A. Sharp ’41 of Nacogdoches, Nov. 13. Alene J. Shields ’87 of Newport, Ark., Oct. 8. Katie M. Smith ’56 of Fairdale, Nov. 2. Dr. Michelle S. Taylor ’84 of Ft. Collins, Colo., Nov. 7. Debra A. Technik ’77 of Houston, Dec. 2. W. D. Thames ’45 of Lufkin, Nov. 28. Loretta S. Sorrell Tinsley ’76 of Nacogdoches, Oct. 26. Frederick F. Tucker III ’55 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 13. James E. Whiteside Jr. ’71 of Timpson, Dec. 18.

Spring 2011

Kyle Kermit Bates ’30 & ’42 passed away Feb. 9. Bates was born Nov. 11, 1909, in the Nat Community of Nacogdoches County. His parents, David Oscar Bates and Sudie Ann Elizabeth Murphy Bates, were descendants of pioneer settlers of the Republic of Texas. He started first grade in Cushing and graduated from SFA in 1930. Bates received his Master of Arts in 1942. Bates pursued additional coursework at the University of Texas, the University of Texas Law School and the University of Colorado. The SFA Alumni Association honored Bates on his 100th birthday and recognized his family’s contributions to the school. After teaching one year in the Barbers Hill Independent School District, Bates was named a teacher and principal of the Laird Hill School in fall 1931. Before his retirement in 1974, he served in nearly all the Kilgore schools, including Campus Ward, Eastview and Chandler. Bates was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Kilgore. He served on the board of the Piney Woods Chapter of the Red Cross and was active in the Kilgore Lions Club. He was a docent at the East Texas Oil Museum. The Bates Family Scholarship is endowed through the SFA Alumni Association.

Dr. Vinay B. Kothari, SFA professor emeritus, passed away Oct. 15. Kothari was born in India. He came to the United States and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri and a doctorate in management from North Texas State University.  He taught in Canada before joining SFA as an associate professor in 1973. Kothari remained interested in international issues and, due to his efforts, the local Center for International Business Education and Research was formally recognized by the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1984. In 1995, a major in international business was created at SFA, and, shortly thereafter, the department was renamed the Department of Management, Marketing and International Business. Always concerned with academic excellence, Kothari founded his department’s three honor societies in management, marketing and international business.  He served as faculty adviser for them during the last 20 years of his SFA service. Kothari retired in May 2003 after 30 years of service to SFA and was later named professor emeritus. He maintained an office on campus and continued to be intellectually active. In August 2010, his book Executive Greed was published by Palgrave Macmillan.


LIFE MEMBERS The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. We appreciate your support. 7618. Dorothy LeGail Patterson ’93 BAAS APAS, Nacogdoches 7619. Chassity R. Durham-Sukiennik ’03 BSAG/’05 MS AGEN, Flint 7620. James A. Raper ’84 BBA GBUS, Cedar Park 7621. Jean M. Raper ’84 BA ENGL, Cedar Park 7622. Brandon L. Fox ’05 BS KINE/’08 MED SCED, Nacogdoches 7623. Christy L. Fox ’08 MED SCED, Nacogdoches 7624. Matthew W. Toney, Former Student, Conway, Ark. 7625. Cody W. Derouen ’09 BBA GBUS, Nacogdoches 7626. Amy F. Minter ’09 BS KINE, Nacogdoches 7627. Samantha L. Mora ’08 BS HADM, Nacogdoches 7628. Chad E. Benoit ’01 BBA MKTG, Beaumont 7629. Kelli C. Benoit ’00 BA SPCM, Beaumont 7631. Dwayne J. Young ’08 BS EVSC, Frisco 7632. Malerie J. Dlabaj-Young ’08 BSIS INST, Frisco 7633. Megan L. Conner ’04 BSW SWRK, Houston 7634. James O. Torrence ’03 BBA GBUS/’08 MPA PBAD/’10 MED SCED, Nacogdoches 7635. Melissa A. Torrence ’07 BS BIO/’09 MED KINE, Nacogdoches 7637. Dr. Mike E. Goddard ’94 BA JOURN, Prosper 7638. Elsie W. Keeling ’76 MED ADM, Richmond 7639. Larry W. Brooks ’01 BBA GBUS, Houston 7640. Casey L. Eubanks ’10 BA HIST, Plano 7641. Pamela B. Campbell ’09 BBA GBUS, Pflugerville 7642. David O. Lilly ’77 BSED HPE, Humble 7643. Yuliya Zorka Stroud ’09 MPAC ACCT, Irving 7644. Andrew C. Boatman ’09 BSF FRSW, Nacogdoches 7645. Jennifer T. Hampton ’08 BSN NURS, Nacogdoches 7646. Latika D. Neal ’06 BA CJLA, Nacogdoches 7647. RosyLin T. Johnson ’95 BBA ACCT/’98 MBA MGMT, Little Elm 7648. Craig A. Turnage ’00 BA CJLE / ’05 MPA PBAD, Whitehouse 7649. Tonya R. Turnage ’99 BSIS INST, Whitehouse 7650. Angela L. Rushton ’10 BS EDU, Nacogdoches 7651. Paul R. Brigner ’94 BBA CISY, Great Falls, Va.

SFA alumni in all fields of study are needed as mentors for current SFA students. If you are interested in sharing your time and experience, please apply today at www.sfaalumni.com.

Change a life. Become a mentor. Apply online at www.sfaalumni.com Phone: 936.468.3407 Toll Free: 800.765.1534 Fax: 936.468.1007 E-mail: alumni@sfasu.edu Website: www.sfaalumni.com 44


How to Start a Scholarship

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Make the decision to help. Future SFA alumni need your financial assistance. Plan your contribution today.

More than $20 million has been contributed to the SFA Scholarship Fund by thousands of former students and friends to assist future students in achieving their goal of a college education.

Name your scholarship. You may name your scholarship after yourself or in memory or in honor of someone else.

The SFA Alumni Association awards scholarships through the SFA Scholarship Fund administered by the SFA Alumni Foundation.

Determine eligibility criteria. You may include college major or GPA or restrict the scholarship to certain types of recipients.

Alumni scholarships make it possible for students to enjoy all college life has to offer by helping relieve some financial burdens. The association has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to students during recent years.

Complete an endowment packet.

Scholarships are endowed by cash or gifts of

You may download and submit documents online at sfaalumni.com or request documents via U.S. mail.

stocks, bonds, life insurance, memorial contributions and wills, as well as and corporate matching gifts.

Contact us. (936) 468-3407 or (800) 765-1534 crawfordkp@sfasu.edu

A minimum of $20,000 is required to endow a scholarship. This can be accomplished over a 10-year period.

Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association | P.O. Box 6096-SFA Station | Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6096 Local 936.468.3407 | Toll Free 800.765.1534 | Fax 936.468.1007 | alumni@sfasu.edu | www.sfaalumni.com Spring 2011




SFA Walk of Recognition We invite you to participate in the project that will forever link the past to the future: the SFA Walk of Recognition. For $100, $250 or $500, you may permanently make your mark on an inscribed brick. The Walk of Recognition is located in the Sesquicentennial Plaza around the Stephen F. Austin fountain. Your name carved in a brick will symbolize the spirit you felt when you were at SFA. The bricks are available in two sizes. They are hand-etched and laid geometrically in the plaza. Walk of Recognition bricks are ideal graduation and birthday gifts and provide a meaningful way to honor or memorialize a special Lumberjack. Printed certificates are sent upon request for such gifts. Participating in the Walk of Recognition demonstrates your commitment to helping SFA students achieve their educational goals. You may purchase bricks securely online or download an order form at www.sfaalumni.com. Contact the SFA Alumni Association at (800) 765-1534 for more information.

Place your business in front of thousands of SFA alumni. Call to find out more about advertising opportunities in Sawdust magazine.


See these SFA Exes for your banking needs

Nacogdoches • Garrison • Tyler • Marshall • Longview

Find us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sfaalumni

www.sfaalumni.com Spring 2011


All Hail to SFA

Sawdust would like to know more about this SFA photo. If you can help, please contact: alumni@sfasu.edu 800.765.1534

“The photo is from a production of Godspell. I think it was summer of 1975. I recognize every face, but can only remember Mark Elliot, far left, back row. Next to him is Lenny Blackwell (I am 90-percent certain). Front row, far right, is possibly Mary Alice Askins. If you have heard from others who can verify these people, I would appreciate sending me the information (now that you aroused my curiosity).” –Allen Morris ’75, vice president of production and operations, Belay Media 48


GET YOUR SFA GEAR! www.shopsfa.com

caps | gifts | drinkware | tote bags clothing | auto accessories | and more!

A portion of the proceeds from ShopSFA goes to support the SFA Alumni Association

Spring 2011


Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Stephen F. Austin State University

Profile for SFA Alumni Association

Sawdust Spring 2011  

SAWDUST is a joint publication of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University. It is pu...

Sawdust Spring 2011  

SAWDUST is a joint publication of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University. It is pu...


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