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26 Awesome People, Places & Things About Our Alma Mater

HARDY’S PIC HE SHOOTS, HE SCORES! Desmond Haymon, a junior from Durant, Miss., hits a three-pointer during a February game against Central Arkansas in William R. Johnson Coliseum. The basket contributed to the Lumberjacks’ 72-36 victory over the Bears and kept SFA in the top spot for the Southland Conference Tournament and a much-hoped-for NCAA Tournament appearance.

“Shooting SFA sports is exciting, no matter the season. But being on the sidelines or under the basket at a conference basketball game when the ’Jacks are having a season like they are having this year is about as exhilarating as it gets. Being just one step away from the action, and seeing and feeling the athletes’ intensity, you get a perspective of the game that you just don’t have watching from the stands.” – University Photographer Hardy Meredith


Spring 2013 • Volume 40, No. 1 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jeff Davis ’02 Executive Director of Alumni Affairs EDITOR Amy Roquemore ’93 & ’12 Editorial Coordinator, SFA Public Affairs ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Rhonda Crim 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 nonprofit 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. SAWDUST is published four times a year by the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University. Full subscriptions are included in Alumni Association memberships. SFA alumni and friends receive complimentary issues twice a year.



FEATURES 16 Finding His Game

Late-blooming SFA basketball player contributes to team success

20 SFA to Z

Twenty-six awesome people, places and things about our alma mater


The Art of Rock Alumnus hits high note with poster designs

33 A Lumberjack’s Tale

Former regent recounts journey from football field to board room

CAMPUS NEWS 2 3 5 6 13 15

Senator’s Room Faculty Advising President’s Message Lumberjack Band Vista Viewpoint Sports

ALUMNI NEWS 1 From the Association 3 36 Legislative Update 38 Scholarships 39 Alumni Networks 40 Class Notes 43 In Memoriam 48 From the Archives

CONTACT Sawdust P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962 (936) 468-3407 • (800) 765-1534 alumni@sfasu.edu • sfaalumni.com



Senator’s room unveiled in Steen Library Hutchison to headline 2013 Archie McDonald Speaker Series event

FORMER U.S. SEN. Kay Bailey Hutchison will return to SFA this spring as the featured guest of the fourth annual installment of the Archie McDonald Speaker Series, but she will be the first such speaker to have an honorary office located across campus in Steen Library. Hutchison is expected to discuss her latest book, Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas, at the April 11 event. It’s a topic that Hutchison knows well. She served as senator from 1993 through January 2013, and she remains the only woman to have represented Texas in the U.S. Senate. Hutchison did not seek re-election to the Senate in 2013 and chose to donate some of the artifacts from her historic political career to SFA. The artifacts, which include service awards, photographs taken with world leaders


and other items of historical interest, are now on display in the Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Room in the Ralph W. Steen Library. Hutchison was on campus during her final days in office for the grand opening and reception for the exhibit and also offered the commencement address at fall graduation ceremonies. “We are extremely pleased to have been given the opportunity to help preserve Sen. Hutchison’s proud legacy of service to our university, our community, our state and our nation by caring for and displaying her historical artifacts in Steen Library,” said SFA President Dr. Baker Pattillo. “During Sen. Hutchison’s tenure in the Senate, SFA has received federal funding to support important ongoing research in many areas, including education, forestry and agriculture,”

he said. “She has been one of SFA’s strongest proponents in Washington, and the university is eternally grateful for her strong support and friendship throughout the years.” The new room’s design and furnishings replicate as closely as possible the office Hutchison occupied in Washington, D.C. Display cases hold many of the donated artifacts, which include a Houston Oilers football jersey bearing Hutchison’s name, a large-scale model of Space Shuttle Discovery, keys to many Texas cities and an 1853 Mitchell’s Universal Atlas once owned by Texas hero Thomas J. Rusk. Rusk was the first Texan to hold the U.S. Senate seat Hutchison occupied. He and Hutchison’s great-great-grandfather, Charles S. Taylor, were friends, and both signed the Texas Declaration of Independence.



ot sure what to do with Grandma’s handwritten letters? Do you have shoeboxes of old photographs gathering dust in the attic? Are your precious memories trapped on old VHS tapes that your family hasn’t watched in years? Linda Reynolds, director of the East Texas Research Center at SFA, offers these solutions for rescuing aging documents, photos and videos and preserving them for future generations to enjoy.

Store: Family documents are best stored in

archival safe containers in a stable environment – 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit with 40- to 50-percent relative humidity. Archival safe containers come in a variety of shapes and sizes, are relatively inexpensive, and are easily found both in stores and online.

Check: Plastic pages of photo albums left SFA President Baker Pattillo accompanies Hutchison on her first visit to the Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Room.

Hutchison served in the Senate leadership. She was first elected vice chairman of the Republican Conference and later was elected chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, becoming the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator. When she left office, she was the ranking member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science. She is a former chairman of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee and served on the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. Hutchison was a member of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly National Advisory Committee. In 2012, she was unanimously elected chairman of the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

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She previously served as chairman of the board from 1998 to 2000 and from 2008 to 2009 before being re-elected to serve again this year. Hutchison grew up in La Marque and graduated from the University of Texas and UT Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives and, in 1990, was elected Texas state treasurer. In June 2000, she and several colleagues co-authored Nine and Counting: The Women of the Senate, and, in 2004, she released her first book, American Heroines: The Spirited Women Who Shaped Our Country. Hutchison published her most recent bestseller, Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers, in October 2007.

should pass the Photographic Activity Test, meaning they are made from uncoated pure polyethylene, polypropylene and polyester and not made of polyvinyl chloride. When in doubt, look for labels that say “archival safe.” Paper album pages should be both acid free and lignin free.

Digitize: Magnetic tapes (VHS, Beta,

cassette, etc.) do not have long life expectancies, and formats become obsolete relatively quickly. Copying tapes into a digital format gives them longer life, and the digital versions can easily be shared with friends and family members.

Save: Digitized records should never be

considered replacements for originals, so hold on to your old tapes as long as possible. Should a digital copy ever get lost or become corrupted, having the original available makes it possible for additional copies to be made.

Donate: If you are unable to properly

care for family documents, photos and other items important to your family history, or if you want to ensure they will be available for future generations, items can be donated to the East Texas Research Center at SFA or another local archive. For more information, email asketrc@ sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-4100.


Chesapeake Energy sponsors SFA math and science conference FOR THE SECOND consecutive summer, Chesapeake Energy Corporation is providing support for SFA’s summer iMAS Academy, a five-day investigative learning experience for middle school students. New this year, SFA also will host a four-day intensive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) experience for advanced middle school students. This academy, “iMAS Unleashed,” will not only provide hands-on investigations at a more advanced level, but also will include a field trip to NASA. The goal of the iMAS (Investigations in Math and Science) Academies is to challenge students mathematically and scientifically through real-life, interactive, hands-on activities and to expose them to available careers in the STEM disciplines. About 100 students from five area school districts attended the inaugural iMAS academy. SFA’s STEM faculty members and local master teachers guided students in the discovery of academic skills necessary for careers such as forensics, engineering, astronomy,

health care and environmental science. The 2013 iMAS Academy is scheduled for June 17-21, and “iMAS Unleashed” will be held June 24-27. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The iMAS Academy is a collaborative effort between the College of Sciences and Mathematics STEM Research and Learning Center and the James I. Perkins College of Education’s East Texas GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) for Success project. “iMAS Unleashed” is sponsored by the STEM Research and Learning Center. “We at Chesapeake find it remarkable how students are able to incorporate science, technology, engineering and math into an entertaining environment,” said Jeffrey Holliday, Chesapeake’s public affairs manager. “Investing in programs that promote technology and innovation is a key to our country’s success. For this reason, we are proud to once again support hands-on learning for students and teachers through SFA’s iMAS Academy.”

Dr. Darrell Fry, SFA assistant professor of chemistry, looks on as 2012 iMAS Academy participants conduct a forensics experiment.

Southern Power endows SFA forestry scholarship SOUTHERN POWER, ONE of the largest wholesale energy providers in the southeastern United States, recently endowed a scholarship for SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. The scholarship will be awarded each semester to a deserving undergraduate student studying forestry at the university. The news was announced by Oscar Harper, president of Southern Power, at a recent ceremony commemorating the opening of the company’s newest biomass plant. The Nacogdoches Generating Facility, located in northwest Nacogdoches County, is the largest wood biomass power plant in the United States. Fueled by non-merchantable wood waste, the plant can provide enough energy for 60,000 homes.


Pictured, from left, are Dr. Hans Williams, associate dean of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture; Oscar Harper, president of Southern Power; Dr. Steve Bullard, dean of the college; Jill Still, vice president for university advancement; and Dr. Richard Berry, provost and vice president for academic affairs. Sawdust



HE CAMPUS OF our alma mater is beautiful yearround, but many would say that springtime is when SFA puts its best face forward. The SFA Gardens and campus grounds put on a colorful show that is a source of pride for the university and the entire community. If you haven’t been back to campus lately, I encourage you to return soon and see for yourself the changes – seasonal and otherwise – taking place at our beloved university. Soon, SFA will break ground on a new conservation education center on the wooded grounds of the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. The building, which will feature an energy-efficient design, will be used to develop and present environmental education programs to schoolchildren and other visitors from throughout East Texas. Extensive improvements to Jaycees Field, home of the Lumberjack baseball team, recently were completed, and a substantial renovation of the recital hall inside the Wright Music Building is under way. All of these projects are being funded largely through private donations and are just a few of the most recent examples of how the university benefits from the generosity of loyal alumni and friends. The SFA community also has been enriched through recent visits from two high-profile guests. One is a longtime friend of the university, and we consider the other to be the newest honorary Lumberjack. Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison was on campus in December for the unveiling of the new Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Room in the library. She also served as our fall commencement speaker and will be returning to SFA in April for the Archie McDonald Speaker Series. Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former lieutenant governor of Maryland and former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general, spent several days on campus in February. She spoke to SFA students and other campus and community groups about issues close to her heart, such as volunteerism and public service. The opportunity for our students to meet and converse with these and other distinguished guests is part of what makes the SFA experience extraordinary. I am happy to share with you that recent efforts to improve the educational and social experience of our newest Lumberjacks are producing dividends. Peer-involvement counseling is producing greater levels of on-campus involvement among first-year students, while more availability of academic support programs is resulting in higher retention rates for those students who participate. Already in its second academic year, the First-Year Commons program continues to focus its efforts on creating a nurturing, supportive environment designed to help new students adjust to living and learning in an unfamiliar college environment. Our efforts to support and retain more of our quality students beyond the critical first year will continue to gain importance as the Legislature looks toward tying more of state universities’ funding to graduation rates. Lastly, I want to offer my congratulations to the Lumberjack Marching Band for its outstanding performance leading the 2013 London New Year’s Day Parade. I, along with many of the band’s alumni and supporters, had the opportunity to see the parade in person. I’m sure those in attendance would agree with me that hearing and seeing the band march down the streets of London before a crowd of hundreds of thousands was an unforgettable moment in SFA history. Axe ’em, Jacks!

BOARD OF REGENTS John R. “Bob” Garrett, Tyler chair Steve D. McCarty, Alto vice chair James H. Dickerson, New Braunfels secretary Carlos Z. Amaral, Plano Dr. Scott H. Coleman, Houston Brigettee C. Henderson, Lufkin Kenton E. Schaefer, Brownsville Ralph C. Todd, Carthage Connie Ware, Marshall Jourdan Dukes, Dallas student regent

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 Jill Still vice president for university advancement

OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS Shirley Luna executive director of public affairs and marketing Hardy Meredith university photographer Amy Roquemore editorial coordinator

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

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The Lumberjack Marching Band took its “Boldest Sound from the Oldest Town” across the pond during the holidays, leading the 2013 London New Year’s Day Parade. Approximately 150 student band members participated in the 27th annual event, which was watched by more than 600,000 spectators and televised to 280 million people around the globe. The LMB joined groups from more than 20 countries represented in the parade and associated concert performances.




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Kilgore Livability Study

SFA STUDENT AND faculty researchers recently completed a year-long study of the quality of life in the East Texas city of Kilgore, investigating issues like walkability, residential and retail development, availability of amenities, and education. The multidisciplinary study, which consisted of nine separate research projects, is the pilot study for the university’s Center for a Livable World. Created by the SFA College of Liberal and Applied Arts in 2010, the center conducts research on the “triple bottom line” of livability – economics, environment and society – and draws on expertise in diverse programs across campus, including economics, health science, geography, government, history and social work. Financial support for the pilot project was provided by the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation and IHS, a leading source of global market and economic information. The SFA research team consisted of 15 undergraduate students, three graduate students and 10 members of the SFA faculty. Findings were presented to the Kilgore City Council late last year, and, according to City Manager Scott Sellers, the information already has led to positive changes for the city. “The study lent a lot of credence to ideas that had been discussed in Kilgore for many years,” he said. “For us, the greatest benefit is finally having the tangible data needed to justify spending the time, energy and dollars in some areas that are critical for the city’s future growth.” The project culminated in a slate of recommendations for improv-


ing the quality of life for Kilgore residents, according to Dr. William Forbes, associate professor of geography and director of the livability center. These included increasing available housing and retail businesses and enhancing walkability. “One of the reasons I think this project has been so well received is we worked very closely with the city of Kilgore throughout the entire process,” Forbes said. “We didn’t just take a cookie-cutter approach to this research and hand the city a report that would just sit on a shelf. We found out exactly what issues they wanted to study, and we focused on getting them the data they really needed to have in order to make the best decisions going forward.” The impact of the study already is being felt in the community, Sellers said. Based on the researchers’ findings, the city has embarked on the largest annexation in its history, established a revolving loan fund promoting housing development and hired a firm to conduct a retail economic development plan for Kilgore. Dr. DawnElla Rust, SFA professor of health science, led students in their study of the city’s walkability and identified ways to improve safety, aesthetics and connectivity along streets, sidewalks and trails. “In January, we put together our first-ever trail plan and submitted a grant application to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for $200,000 to conduct the first segment,” Sellers said. “If we are successful, the city has committed to match that grant with $300,000 for a total project value of $500,000.”

Dr. Emmerentie Oliphant, Master of Social Work director for the SFA School of Social Work, participated in the study, along with several of her students. There is no better way for students to learn how research is conducted than for them to actually take part in the process, she said. “And because this is a real-life project, we can actually present papers on this research and take the students with us to conferences,” she said, adding that some of her students were co-authors on a paper presented at the National Rural Social Work Conference last year. SFA’s new bachelor’s degree in sustainable community development will involve students in similar applied projects and internships. Lauren Skinner ’12 conducted focus-group research for the project while working on a master’s degree in social work from SFA. “Having the responsibility of going out and conducting that research on my own gave me a lot of confidence as a professional social worker,” said Skinner, who now works for a private foster and adoption agency. “Also, understanding the research process will help me in my own future research endeavors, as well as improve my ability to understand research articles I read for my job and further professional development. “Best of all, it is really neat to think that I was involved at the ground level in a process that may ultimately improve the lives of a lot of people.” –AMY ROQUEMORE


Work Space

What you’ll find in. . . theatre Professor Angela Bacarisse’s creative space

1. A decorative plate featuring period clothing. Bacarisse scours resale shops for these and similar treasures, which she gives as prizes during the “Jeopardy Round” of exam reviews in a History of Clothing course. 2. The Girl Scout sewing badge the professor earned when she was 11 years old. 3. Fabric swatches collected during research for last year’s SFA production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her bulletin board is covered with remnants of past projects to spark creativity and “enliven my eye.” 4. Early evidence of the artistic talent of Bacarisse’s son, Nicholas. He is 8 now

and has since moved on to computer-assisted drawing. The theatre professor is married to Stephen Bacarisse, technical director for Turner Auditorium. 5. The drafting table where Bacarisse does most of her sketching and other creative work. 6. Her grandfather’s straw “pork pie” hat. The box on which the mannequin sits holds a collection of hats worn by Bacarisse’s grandmother. 7. “The Hammer of Doom,” a reminder of an unfortunate incident in which a student production crew didn’t clean up after itself and left a bunch of tools and equipment lying around on the floor. Suffice it to say, this did not sit well with the professor. 8. A stash of basic art supplies that Bacarisse reaches for whenever her students are creatively blocked. She encourages them to use the supplies to quickly make something – anything – to help inspire their creativity. 9. Volumes of plays lining the office shelves, along with books on drawing, painting, stage design, literary criticism and history of theatre. 10. Handmade gifts from SFA students working on recent theatre productions, including artwork by the costume designer from How I Became a Pirate, a model pirate ship featuring a photo of the show’s cast and an assistant designer’s miniature replica of the carnivorous plant from Little Shop of Horrors. 11. A black-and-white photo of Ruth St. Denis, a pioneer of modern dance and co-founder of the famed Denishawn School of Dance. As a college sophomore, Bacarisse worked as an intern at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, also co-founded by St. Denis. 12. A stack of old magazines, including Life, McCall’s and American Girl, dating as far back as 1918. Their pages are graced by the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Marilyn Monroe, and Princess Diana and have served as inspiration for some of the professor’s costume and set designs. 13. Storage tubs holding makeup supplies and venting lace, which is used in wig making. 14. A bolt of brightly colored fabric Bacarisse purchased in Dallas and is saving for the right project. “Part of my job is being a professional shopper.” 15. A student-made jacket she called “a good example of Elizabethan shape.” Unfortunately, the piece is falling apart. Bacarisse plans to create a pattern from it, so at least the design can be salvaged. Behind it is a band uniform donated by a local school. These are easily transformed into doublets and other period garments, and the department has been gifted band uniforms in a variety of colors, including this one in SFA purple. Angela Bacarisse is a professor of theatre in the College of Fine Arts and supervises all costume and makeup designs at SFA. She joined the faculty in 2001 and has taught courses in design, stage makeup, costume technology, history of clothing, costume techniques and stage management. Her professional design credits include Playhouse on the Square in Memphis, Tenn., the Texas Shakespeare Festival, Blowing Rock Stage Company in North Carolina, Opera East Texas and Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre. She also has worked as a costume technician at the Alley Theatre in Houston, the Texas Shakespeare Festival, Georgia Shakespeare and the Mac-Haydn Theatre in New York, as well as movies like Great Balls of Fire, Hearts of Dixie and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls.

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SFA forestry professor returns to his roots for study abroad

DR. YANLI ZHANG would have been a great bicycle repairman. Had he remained in his home in China and not pursued a college education, he would have inherited his father’s repair shop in a small town in Shaanxi Province. Fortunately, Zhang performed well on the National College Entrance Examinations in 1989 and was admitted to Beijing Forestry University, one of the key universities in China. “Among my 70 classmates, only four were able to enroll in a university or college,” said Zhang, now an assistant professor of forestry at SFA. “The college entrance rate now is about 80 to 90 percent for my home high school.” Zhang had never visited Beijing before arriving there as a college freshman. “I was so excited and overwhelmed the first time to visit Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City. It is a place with such great cultural and historical significance in Chinese history; it was a place I had read about in books hundreds of times, but it became real for me as an 18-year-old.” Zhang returned to Tiananmen Square 23 years later with a dozen women in tow – all graduate students or administrators of SFA’s Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership. He served as both interpreter and tour guide for the group, which was participating in a 12-day study abroad course. In addition to Tiananmen Square, the group visited elementary and intermediate schools associated with Beijing Normal University, Beijing Forestry University, the Xi’an University of Science and Technology, and Shaanxi Normal University. They met with university administrators and school teachers, and toured the British School of Beijing and the Meixian County Middle School in Shaanxi Province.



“I wanted to present the country in the best possible light, but also to be honest about the improvements that need to be made. I felt like I was a bridge between these two cultures.” At the schools, the guests from SFA were surprised to see so many students in each classroom – sometimes as many as 70 students sitting elbow-to-elbow, with paperwork stacked between them, leaving very little space for writing and schoolwork. Zhang also was surprised to see the changes that have taken place in the schools. “The improvements in all the schools were beyond my imagination. The painting and handwriting activities also impressed me,” he said. After earning a bachelor’s degree and serving in Beijing Forestry University’s foreign affairs office, Zhang came to the United States in 2002 and earned a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He joined the SFA faculty in 2009 and is the primary investigator for U.S. Department of Agriculture research regarding the impact of forest changes on water resources in East Texas. “We use spatial modeling to predict water quality and quantity change based on land cover and use, topography, temperature and precipitation,” he said. Zhang has used his expertise with geographic information systems to develop a data distribution website and soil erosion modeling software now being used by scholars from all over the world. He is currently working with other faculty members in SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture to develop forest inventory calculation software to be used in East Texas. Zhang and his wife, who holds a doctorate in forestry engineering from Beijing Forestry University, are now permanent U.S. residents. In 2011, Zhang returned to China for the first time since leaving for the United States. “For a lot of the time, I was so sentimental and just couldn’t speak,” he said. “The feelings were very complex and may only be understood by a person who has been far away from his or her hometown for many,

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many years. I like the statement, ‘Maybe you had to leave in order to really miss a place; maybe you had to travel to figure out how beloved your starting point was.’” Just one year later, his trip with the SFA contingent was very different. “I’m Chinese but also a team member,” he said. “I wanted to present the country in the best possible light, but also to be honest about the improvements that need to be made. I felt like I was a bridge between these two cultures.” The group’s 11-hour train ride from Beijing to Zhang’s home city Xi’an was a disconcerting journey for many of the SFA students. Cold drinking water was unavailable during the overnight trip, and no showers or comfortable bathroom facilities were available. The train’s sleeping cars barely contained the ladies’ American-sized suitcases. Zhang just smiled as the students commiserated with one another. He had made the same journey many times as a university student. However, when Zhang traveled between his hometown and his university home, he did not travel in the much higher-priced sleeper compartment cars of the train; he traveled in the front of the train where hundreds sat upright in chairs – or stood – for the entire trip. The train he took was slower, and the trip typically lasted at least 20 hours. “I understood how the ladies felt,” Zhang said. “My kids could not have handled the trip. It all has to do with what you are accustomed to. It was a learning experience for all of us, and we may begin to treasure the things we usually take for granted, such as drinkable tap water everywhere. The preparation for this class and the trip helped me remember the reasons I wanted to come to the United States but also the things I enjoyed from China.” –SHIRLEY LUNA


Kinesiology master’s graduates land ‘dream jobs’ AS GRADUATE STUDENTS in SFA’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Science, Lilly Kemp and Nathan Frischmann both had their hopes riding on a job at the world-renowned Cooper Clinic in Dallas. A Facebook posting by a friend prompted Kemp to apply. Frischmann had sent in his application months earlier after hearing Dr. Kenneth Cooper, founder of Cooper Aerobics Center, speak at a conference. Initially, neither student knew of the other’s application. It was a busy time of year. The two were graduating in just a few weeks and spending almost every spare minute studying for finals. When the pair finally crossed paths, they learned they were vying for the same job. Later, both received phone calls and traveled to Dallas to interview for the position of health screens technician. As their 2012 graduation approached, Kemp and Frischmann were becoming increasingly concerned that neither had heard back from the clinic. Then, just one week before graduation, Frischmann got the call he’d been hoping for – a job offer.

When Kemp heard the news, her heart sank. “I was devastated because I had my hopes on landing that job, but I also was excited for Nathan. After working alongside him as a graduate assistant, I knew he’d do great. It was just really hard not to feel down.” But just as the realization she hadn’t been hired for her dream job began to set in, Kemp got a phone call that drastically altered her mood. It was the clinic, calling to offer her the same position. “Neither Nathan nor I knew they were hiring for two health screens technicians,” she said. “I was so thrilled.” Kemp and Frischmann, who both received bachelor’s degrees from SFA in 2010, are settling into their new careers at Cooper Clinic where patients undergo physical exams and medical testing and receive individualized health plans. “We do everything from body composition and pulmonary screenings to eye exams, hearing tests and the occasional electrocardiogram,” Frischmann said. “I think my favorite part of working at Cooper is being able to share my

passion for health with the patients and help them realize what they can do to live healthier lifestyles.” Kemp shares Frischmann’s enthusiasm. “What most attracted me to Cooper Clinic is that it revolves around preventive medicine. I love working with clients who are focused on being healthy and trying to prevent illness,” Kemp said. Alicia Baker ’07, senior team leader at Cooper Clinic, said both Kemp and Frischmann are excelling in their positions. “Lilly has taken every task assigned to her and is extremely self-sufficient and needs little guidance from supervisors. She always looks to help coworkers in any way she can,” Baker said. “Nathan has quickly progressed through his training to move up within the Exercise Physiology Department,” she said. “Being a fairly recent SFA graduate myself, I knew from the coursework and training that was provided to us through the kinesiology department that these two SFA graduates would be an excellent fit at Cooper Clinic.” –DONNA PARISH

Photo courtesy of Cooper Clinic




Woo Hoo! I TURN 50 this year, so retirement is certainly something I ponder. Maybe I will be like my good friend Dr. Bill Clark and never retire. But if I do, here is what I will say upon my departure: WHY SFA IS GREAT We focus on teaching. SFA faculty members are not researchers who feel “stuck” in the classroom. They teach because they love being in the classroom. The benefits to the students are dynamic lectures, interesting class projects and full attention during office hours. My son insists that Dr. Jim Towns (communication studies) is better than any professor he had at Baylor. Dr. Towns, like many other SFA faculty members, takes the time to extend personal attention to individual students. We transform students. Most of the students at UT, A&M and Baylor arrive there with long histories of academic success. SFA students are often those who were either not accepted to those schools or, if they were eligible for admission, lacked the confidence to believe they could flourish there. Therefore, many SFA students arrive with gaps in learning and confidence. SFA programs like the Academic Assistance and Resource Center work to close those gaps, as evidenced by enthusiastic comments on AARC surveys, such as: “This place saved me!” and “It’s the reason I’m still in school!” WHAT I HOPE FOR SFA I hope that SFA students learn the value of civil discourse. I hope professors come to SFA to stay the way they used to back in the days of the Coxes, McDonalds, Browns and Rainwaters. I hope that the staff will treat our students the way they want staff at other universities to treat their own children. I hope SFA always will be willing to take a chance on students whose academic records are less than stellar but whose motivations are high.

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WHY I LOVE SFA My life has unfolded at SFA. Even as a little girl, I accompanied my father, Judge Jack Pierce, to many SFA functions, as he believed it was good training for a young person. My first professional job was here. Two of my children graduated from here. My work here led to my marriage. (The joke was that I said I would do anything to win faculty members over to the AARC – even marry one!) My SFA family has seen me through divorce, death, scandal (my father’s as-yet-unsolved arsenic poisoning) and catastrophic loss. I have known deep disappointment, but I have also known my dearest friends here. WHAT I GAVE TO SFA When I was a kid, I thought I might be a famous Broadway actress. In the end, my fame only spread from Starr Avenue to College Street. It is not unusual for the cashier at Kroger to say, “Hey, aren’t you the AARC lady?” or for the highway patrol officer pulling me over to say, “Weren’t you my English teacher?” I spent my life working a small job in a small town, but it may have led in some small way to big things for others. I am okay with that being my legacy at work. Early on at the AARC, I developed a habit of getting a group’s attention by standing on a chair to be heard and shouting, “Woo Hoo!” It became my signature line. On that last day, I intend to leave everything behind but my fish painting M.E. McWilliams and my slinky, and out the door Director, Academic Assistance I will go with one last “Woo and Resource Center Hoo!”


Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow speaks with SFA students

SFA WELCOMED A member of the Kennedy family to campus for a weeklong visit in February. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, former lieutenant governor of Maryland and former U.S. deputy assistant attorney general, is the eldest child of Ethel Kennedy and the late U.S. Senator and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. She participated in a public interview on campus and met with students and spoke to classes throughout the week, addressing topics such as volunteerism and public service, poverty, and religion’s role in politics. Townsend, a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow, was interviewed by Judy McDonald, former president and CEO of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation. McDonald served on the Nacogdoches City Commission for 18 years and was the first female mayor of Nacogdoches. McDonald said Townsend’s experiences during some of America’s most turbulent times give her an interesting perspective on both historical events and current issues.


“As a 12-year-old, she lived through the death of her uncle, President John F. Kennedy, and as a 17-year-old she faced the death of her father, Robert Kennedy,” McDonald said. “Immediately following the death of her uncle, her father sent her a note challenging her as the oldest grandchild to ‘work for your country.’ She responded to the devasting events by dedicating her life’s work to social justice.”

During her years of public service, Townsend’s work focused on issues like public safety and improving access to higher education. As the first female lieutenant governor of Maryland, Townsend led a variety of major cabinet departments, and in the attorney general’s office, she worked diligently on the Police Corps, a program granting higher education scholarships to those who pledged to work as police officers. For the past six years, Townsend has worked in the private sector and is now a senior adviser at a hedge fund managed by the former treasurer of the World Bank. She is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Inter-American Dialogue and serves on the boards of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the Robert Kennedy Memorial and the Brady Campaign. Townsend said the overarching

goal of her SFA visit was to encourage students to “get involved, get engaged.” “Politics is where the action is, and it’s interesting and it’s fun,” she said. “I obviously came from a family that taught me that, but a lot of kids don’t know that, and I want them to know they can.” Townsend is the author of Failing America’s Faithful: How Today’s Churches Mixed God with Politics and Lost Their Way. She has appeared on Meet the Press, The Colbert Report, Larry King Live and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren. For more than 35 years, the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellows program has brought prominent artists, diplomats, journalists, business leaders and other nonacademic professionals to campuses across the United States for substantive dialogue with students and faculty members. The visiting fellows program is sponsored by the Council of Independent Colleges, a national service organization that advances independent liberal arts colleges and universities by forming collaborations to strengthen programs and foster institutional effectiveness. –SHIRLEY LUNA



Cordell Roberson came to SFA four years ago as a tall, speedy receiver with a lot of potential. Although he was highly sought after during the 2008 recruiting season, it is doubtful anyone could have imagined just how remarkable a player he would become. Although he played sparingly his rookie season, there were flashes of brilliance from the Jefferson native. He averaged 19 yards per catch on 20 receptions and recorded four touchdown grabs. Roberson took on a starting role in 2010 and established himself as one of the nation’s premier receivers. A second-team All-America selection, Roberson hauled in 61 catches for 1,011 yards and led the nation with 16 touchdown receptions while guiding SFA to its second-straight Southland Conference title. During his junior season, Roberson became the school’s all-time leader in receptions (221), receiving yards (3,191) and touchdown receptions (39). Had it not been for an injury that sidelined him for two of his final three games, Roberson would have left SFA as the conference’s all-time leading receiver. He finished his career as the conference all-time leader with 39 touchdown receptions, and only eight catches and 82 yards shy of the lead in those two categories. Following a senior season that saw Roberson catch 77 passes for 1,006 yards and 10 scores, he was named to the 2012 Walter Payton Award Watch List.


Although it is a relatively young program, the SFA Ladyjack soccer team has brought a great deal of success to Nacogdoches. Since its establishment in the mid-’90s, SFA has won seven Southland Conference regular-season titles and has advanced to the NCAA Championships three times. That success has been taken to another level during the past two seasons. The Ladyjacks’ accomplishments during the last two years have gone from noteworthy among the conference to noteworthy on a national scale. SFA has recorded 25 shutouts during that time, including a school-record 13 in 2011. The team just missed tying that

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Lumberjack baseball is being played under the lights this season for the first time since the mid-’90s. As a result of donations from two families, including Joe Max and Jane Green, SFA added lights to Jaycees Field this winter. A separate donation by Richard Campbell allowed SFA to purchase new fencing and add a warning track to the facility. Since Lumberjack baseball was re-established as a varsity sport for the 2005 season, the team has played only day games in Nacogdoches. The program is under the leadership of fifth-year head coach Johnny Cardenas, and the team’s recent success has been unprecedented in terms of wins, advancement in the conference postseason tournament and players moving on to the next level. The ability to play after dark should bring postseason baseball to the area. The lights will give SFA the opportunity to bid on the Southland Conference Championship tournament and host summer baseball events, as well as high school playoff games. Attendance at the games also is expected to increase. The addition of night games to the schedule will have a positive impact for the players academically, as well. In previous seasons, players were required to miss classes due to mid-week home games. All remaining weekday games are slated to begin at 6:30 p.m. Weekend games will continue to be played in the afternoon.

record last season when the women posted 12 shutouts. SFA went a combined a 32-7-1 (.813) during that stretch, including a programbest 17 wins in 2012. The Ladyjacks also won their second-straight Southland Conference regular-season title in 2012 and advanced to the NCAA Championships where they dropped a heartbreaking 1-0 decision to nationally ranked Texas A&M. This came following a season in which SFA recorded a program-best RPI ranking (28th). The Ladyjacks finished the season ranked ninth nationally in scoring, fifth in shutout percentage and 13th in goals against average. SFA also received a vote in the final top-25 poll of the season. In addition to the team’s success, SFA players have been compiling individual honors. SFA has boasted 16 All-SLC selections, including 13 first-team honors, as well as the league’s player of the year each of the past two seasons and the conference freshman of the year in 2011. Along with the conference honors, the Ladyjacks have had five NSCAA All-Region selections and one NSCAA AllAmerican. The rest of the nation has taken notice of the Ladyjacks’ success, causing major conferences to beat a path to Nacogdoches in search of a coach. SFA coaches have parlayed their time in the Pineywoods into head coaching stops at Oklahoma and Nevada. And, most recently, two-time SLC Coach of the Year Tony Amato was named head coach at Arizona. Former Texas A&M assistant coach Wally Crittenden was named the new SFA head soccer coach in January.




FINDING HIS GAME SFA senior guard Antonio Bostic was not a blue-chip prospect coming out of high school, but since making his way to Nacogdoches, he has turned himself into an invaluable part of Lumberjack basketball for each of the past three seasons.

A NATIVE OF Shawnee, Kan., a small town outside of Kansas City, Antonio Bostic did not even make his varsity basketball squad until his senior season and spent two years at Neosho County Community College before coming to SFA. He averaged fewer than 12 points and four rebounds per game as a redshirt freshman at NCCC and helped lead the Panthers to a second-place finish in the East Division of the always-tough Jayhawk League. But even after a solid start on the collegiate scene, Bostic was still being overlooked and eventually paid his own way to Nacogdoches. It did not take long for the 6-foot-2-inch swing man to make an impression. With a long wingspan and a highly developed mid-range game, Bostic was an ideal fit for head coach Danny Kaspar’s defense-first philosophy. He started more than half of SFA’s 29 games as a sophomore in 2010-11 and shot better than 40 percent from the field in 22 minutes per game. But it was during his junior season that he truly elevated his game. After starting the season just 5-7, the ’Jacks caught fire after the calendar turned to 2011, thanks in large part to Bostic. He led the team with an average of just 11.3 points per game but logged more than 34 minutes per contest, including six games in which he played at least 40 minutes. He also was given the unenviable task each night of guarding the opposition’s top perimeter player for an SFA team that finished third in the nation in scoring defense. “We had a great season Antonio’s junior year, and we wouldn’t have done it without him,” Kaspar said. “He carried a big load for us and helped us win 20 games, and, fortunately, he has carried that over into his senior season.”

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SFA finished 20-12 during Bostic’s junior campaign, finishing second in the Southland Conference and advancing to the semifinals of the Southland Conference Tournament, just two wins shy of the NCAA Tournament. But this season, the ’Jacks have been even better, starting off the year 21-3 and leading the nation in scoring defense – all with Bostic squarely in the middle of the success. At press time, he had started every game this year and 58 games in a row dating back to his sophomore season. In addition, he was averaging just under 10 points a game while not having to log nearly the workload that he did a year ago. But that does not mean that his defensive assignments have been any easier. “Game after game, we always end up putting Antonio on the biggest perimeter threat our opponent has, and it just seems that, game after game, Antonio always wins that battle,” Kaspar said. “Offense gets so much of the headlines in basketball, but defense is where our bread is buttered. He has turned himself into a very good defensive player with the effort and work that he has put in.” With March Madness inching closer and closer, Bostic and the ’Jacks have positioned themselves for a deep postseason run, beginning at the Southland Conference Tournament in Katy. Since Bostic arrived in Nacogdoches, SFA has improved on its post-season runs. The next step could be the ’Jacks punching their ticket to a second-ever NCAA Tournament. –BEN RIKARD


"I fell in like with Texas State & FELL IN LOVE with SFA. Decision…made."


“Walking around this gorgeous campus and seeing a friendly face that cares about you is what makes this place special.” Jared Burleigh (The Pine Log – What I Love About SFA)

“AXES UP to the 354 students who participated in the 2013 MLK Day of Service. Way to keep Nacogdoches beautiful, guys.” (The Pine Log – The Chopping Block)

“Cleaning my car. I have three broken axes, two new axes and three umbrellas in my trunk. Yeah, I go to SFA. . .” Emily Brewer (Twitter)

“My son gave me an SFA Fathead for Christmas. I put it up in my classroom. SFA is gettin’ represented!” Lela Wilson Hogan ’83 (SFA Alumni Association Facebook)

“These players HAVE GREAT CHEMISTRY. They like each other, and you can tell on the court. It’s just a tremendous camaraderie.”

SFA head basketball coach Danny Kaspar (USA Today)

“Remembering Columbia: Those lost in the space shuttle Columbia tragedy will always hold a special place in the hearts of the SFA community.” (SFA Facebook)


Academic standards on the rise FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS ENTERING SFA this academic year have met higher academic standards than any previously admitted students. The higher admission standards were approved by the Board of Regents in 2010 based on a recommendation by a committee of faculty and staff members. Another increase in admission standards is scheduled to be implemented in 2015. “Increased admission standards will have a significant impact on the quality of students we attract to our university and will help us meet our long-term goals of increased enrollment and retention of students,” said Dr. Richard Berry, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Those rates are often used in measuring an institution’s success, and it’s important to us that the students we bring to campus are academically prepared for the rigors of university study.” The average standardized test scores of SFA freshmen also are on the rise, surpassing the state average on the SAT and exceeding both the state and national averages on the ACT. In addition to increased admission standards and higher freshman scores on standardized tests, SFA has reported significant gains in the graduation rate of Hispanic students. In 2004, the institution was graduating 23.3 percent of Hispanic students within six years. By 2010, six-year graduation rates for Hispanic students had risen more than 16 points to 40.1 percent. SFA is one of the “top 25 gainers” among the studied American public institutions of higher learning in the area of Hispanic graduation rates, according to a recent report by The Education Trust. Texas Tech University is the only other Texas institution included on the list. Closing the Gaps by 2015 was adopted in October 2000 by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board with strong support from the state’s educational, business and political communities. The plan is directed at closing educational gaps in Texas, as well as between Texas and other states. It has four goals: to close the gaps in student participation, student success, excellence and research. “We are very pleased with the progress we have made in increasing the six-year graduation rate for Hispanic students,” Berry said. “It is good to have evidence that the measures we have established to assist students down the pathway to degree completion are effective. SFA is dedicated to doing our part in the state’s Closing the Gaps initiative.”


WHEN RON ANDERSON, former director of the SFA School of Music, had a vision of promoting the school’s regionally prestigious reputation on an international level, one couple recognized his dream as an opportunity to foster and promote the classical music they loved. As a result, the George and Peggy Schmidbauer International Young Artist Competition was created, bringing musicians from across the United States and around the world to Nacogdoches and the SFA campus to compete for prize money. The first Schmidbauer International Young Artist Competition was held in 2008, and the event, which alternates each year between piano and strings, continues each January, furthering the hopeful careers of exceptionally talented young artists and bringing notoriety to SFA and its School of Music. “It’s an exciting time for Nacogdoches to be able to bring in all these musicians,” said Dr. Gene H. Moon, director of orchestral studies at SFA and of the competition. “We already have a great music program at SFA, but a competition like this

brings notoriety to the entire community.” Applications are accepted worldwide, and the lengthy list of hopeful candidates is narrowed to a group of semifinalists invited to compete. The two-day event features these musicians performing 30-minute recitals in the semifinal round on Saturday. The top three finalists in the junior division (15- to 18-yearolds) and senior division (19- to 27-year-olds) are announced Saturday afternoon. The junior-division final concerts are Saturday night, and the senior-division concerts are Sunday afternoon. During the final rounds, first-, second- and third-place finishers are determined by a panel of jurors who are highly esteemed worldwide in their respective music disciplines. Moon and members of the SFA Friends of Music who serve on the contest committee are hoping the local community embraces the competition in the years to come by attending the semifinal and final rounds and serving as mentors and host families for the Texas, U.S. and international musicians who compete. It’s an opportunity to put SFA and Nacogdoches on the international stage in piano and strings competition. “The support of friends like the Schmidbauers has transformed our music performance program into something with international visibility of the highest artistic endeavor,” said Dr. A.C. “Buddy” Himes, dean of the SFA College of Fine Arts. “We already have a great orchestra program. But the Schmidbauer Competition brings an entirely new height of stature to our program by attracting internationally renowned artists to our campus and community.” The Schmidbauer Competition is quickly becoming known as the competition to list in a résumé or biography, Moon said. “I believe that when young pianists and string players consider the competitions they must be involved in throughout the year, the Schmidbauer competition is a ‘must do,’” he said. “It’s going to continue to build a great reputation for the university and for the community.” Moon likened the future possibilities of the Schmidbauer Competition for Nacogdoches to what has evolved for Fort Worth with the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. “That’s my dream for the Schmidbauer Competition – that when the competition comes around each year, the community comes together, welcomes these competitors and sends them home saying Nacogdoches is one of the greatest towns in the country,” Moon said.

Hans Kristian Goldstein, a cellist studying at the University of Southern California, was awarded first prize in the senior division. The native of Oslo, Norway, will return to SFA during the 201314 academic year to perform Antonín Dvorák’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra in B Minor with the Orchestra of the Pines. In the Junior Division, South Korean cellist Charles Seo, who attends the Houston School of Performing and Visual Arts, won first prize.

–ROBBIE GOODRICH Associate Professor Ronald Petti accompanies semi-finalist Siwoo Kim

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26 Awesome People, Places and Things About Our Alma Mater

William E. Arscott In his 50th year at SFA, William E. Arscott holds the distinction of being the longest-tenured faculty member at the university. Originally a professor of painting, ceramics and sculpture, he turned to filmmaking more than three decades ago and remains the director of and creative force behind the School of Art’s renowned cinematography program. His many professional accolades include being honored with a resolution in the Texas Senate, named a Distinguished Professor by the SFA Alumni Association and appointed Regents Professor by the Board of Regents. However, he says, it is his relationship with students that keeps him coming back to SFA year after year. “When I came to SFA, I was thinking of staying for two years,” Arscott said. “I keep teaching because I love my students. It is the most rewarding thing in the world to work with students to produce movies that are works of art – that say something and make people think.”




The Big Dip

Purple hands are the telltale sign of this popular SFA tradition. The Big Dip is the official ring presentation ceremony for students who purchase the SFA Ring. The event is held on the Friday before finals week during long semesters. Students are called to the stage, display the Axe ’em, Jacks hand symbol, then dip their hands in a bowl of purple liquid, the recipe for which is a closely guarded secret. After shaking hands with the university president, students receive their rings and pose for official photos. Lumberjacks are encouraged to invite family and friends to witness the ceremony held in the Grand Ballroom. Approximately 1,000 people typically attend, with several hundred Lumberjacks participating each semester. The Big Dip first came to be in 2002, when members of the Student Foundation Association set about creating a unique tradition surrounding the SFA Ring. The students came up with the idea of dyeing a hand purple to show Lumberjacks are permanently “dipped” in SFA pride.


Chester The Ghost

We’ve got a spirit, yes we do! Cold drafts, echoing footsteps, strange voices, slamming doors and the occasional on-stage cameo all have been attributed to a ghost by the name of Chester that is said to haunt W.M. Turner Auditorium. According to Lumberjack lore, Chester first made his presence known in 1967 during a run of Edward Albee’s Tiny Alice, and he returned for an encore during a production of Macbeth later that same year. Reports of luminous apparitions, vaporous human-like shapes and blurred visages on the stage curtains have abounded in the ensuing decades and have occasionally been captured on film. Although the ghost’s origins are unknown (a long-standing claim that Chester is the spirit of the building’s disenfranchised architect has been soundly debunked), he is generally considered harmless, if a bit mischievous. The theatre building’s students, faculty members and other flesh-and-blood inhabitants maintain a peaceful coexistence with their elusive colleague, even calling out a friendly greeting upon entering parts of the building Chester is known to frequent.


Early Childhood Education

Early childhood education at SFA has been an integral part of the university’s academic mission for more than four decades. Originally named the University Kindergarten, the SFA Early Childhood Laboratory opened in 1969 and consisted of just one classroom used as a laboratory for elementary education students planning to teach in the newly funded state kindergartens. The program eventually evolved to include both the nationally accredited SFA Early Childhood Lab and the “gold performance” rated SFA Charter School. SFA is the only university in Texas operating both an early childhood laboratory and a charter school in conjunction with educator-preparation programs with a proven track record of success. Today, more than 2,000 SFA students use the programs for observation, participation and other educational purposes during each long semester. Housed in the newly named Janice A. Pattillo Early Childhood Research Center, the early childhood program at SFA is recognized as one of the most outstanding in the nation. Serving thousands of education majors and approximately 330 children each year, this dynamic program continues to meet the demands of a changing university, community and state.

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DeWitt School of Nursing

Recently recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board as a Program of Excellence in Nursing Education, the Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing enrolls more than 250 SFA nursing majors, along with more than 1,000 pre-nursing students. The school boasts the university’s newest academic building, a 41,000-square-

foot facility teeming with technology. The heartbeat of the school’s curriculum is the 9,000-square-foot Ed and Gwen Cole Simulation Lab where more than 16,000 hours of simulation clinical experiences are conducted annually. The lab is equipped with the most advanced computerized patient mannequins available. Able to simulate almost any patient condition, the mannequins’ symptoms are manipulated remotely by faculty members in a nearby control room. “The nursing program has always excelled in committed, dedicated faculty who use state-of-the-art teaching strategies to produce graduates recognized as exceptional nurses,” said Dr. Glenda Walker, director. “With the opening of our new facility in 2010, the school is now also recognized as a national leader in simulation as a teaching and learning strategy for students.”


Father of Texas Born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Missouri, our university’s namesake, Stephen Fuller Austin, is considered the founder of Anglo-American Texas. He graduated with distinction in 1810 from Transylvania University in Kentucky. An unassuming man with a kindly presence, he was deeply respected by all, and he achieved unparalleled influence over the often unruly settlers in Anglo Texas. He is remembered in history for his many efforts on behalf of Texas before, during and immediately after the Texas revolution against Mexico. His contributions to Texas included: long and perilous pilgrimages to Mexico; his unwillingness to counsel his people to take up arms against the Mexican government as long as any hope for peace remained; his firm and decided voice, speaking words of encouragement and hope during the darkest days of the revolution; and his laborious travels in the United States to obtain needed support for his struggling countrymen. After devoting his life to the cause of Texas, Austin was overcome by disease, and on Dec. 27, 1836, he died an untimely death at age 43.


SFA Gardens

What started in 1985 as a small garden project for SFA agriculture students has blossomed into a living laboratory and recreational resource encompassing 68 acres. Collectively known as the SFA Gardens, the Mast Arboretum, Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, Pineywoods Native Plant Center and Gayla Mize Garden attract thousands of schoolchildren and other visitors each year. The gardens are home to several nationally recognized plant collections, including camellias, hydrangeas, maples, magnolias, western USA and Mexico oaks, and the best collection of Taxodium varieties and genotypes in the nation. Educational programs stress conservation while highlighting rare and endangered plants native to East Texas and beyond. The handson, field-based experience provided gives SFA students and visitors a unique perspective that cannot be achieved in a classroom-only setting. “Connecting kids to the natural world and the joys of gardening is no easy chore these days,” said Dr. David Creech, professor emeritus of agriculture and associate director of the SFA Gardens. “But when it’s done in the right setting, with the right people and good programming, it works.” The program will be greatly enhanced by a planned conservation education facility soon to be constructed at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center.



Homer Bryce

From distinguished alumnus to SFA regent to namesake of one of the university’s most high-profile landmarks, Homer Bryce will forever be tied to SFA athletics and Lumberjack football in particular. Bryce attended SFA in the 1930s and maintained close ties with the institution throughout his lifetime. The Henderson brick tycoon served as chairman of the Board of Regents from 1978 to 1980, and the university’s first $1 million scholarship program was established in 1985 by friends and business associates in honor of Bryce and his wife, Velma. The football facility was named Homer Bryce Stadium in 1986. Bryce also received SFA’s first honorary degree, the Doctor of Humane Letters, during the December 1993 commencement ceremony. The late SFA historian Dr. Archie P. McDonald once wrote about Bryce: “Almost everyone called him ‘Homer,’ including this lowly history professor, when talking about him because, despite possessing great wealth, he retained the flavor of an East Texan. In his presence, ‘Mr. Bryce’ was more commonly used because he was, after all, the Boss.”



Intramural Sports

Not all of the game-day action at SFA involves elite Division I athletes. The university’s popular intramural sports program helps thousands of SFA students stay active each semester. But, it’s not all fun and games. Well, mostly it is, but there are also serious bragging rights at stake, and many of the evening and weekend sporting events draw respectable crowds of spectators to the gymnasiums and playing fields. The program offers a variety of sports ranging from single-day tournaments to multi-week league play. Lumberjacks can choose from traditional team sports like soccer, flag football, volleyball, basketball and softball or hone their skills at wiffleball, flickerball, cornhole, dodgeball and sand volleyball. Between 2,500 and 3,000 SFA students participate in intramural sports every semester, and many SFA alumni count intramural sports participation among their fondest college memories. The program is run by student site managers, and student officials ensure the program’s rules for fun, safety and fairness are enforced at all times.


Dr. Joseph Kennedy

Dr. Joseph William Kennedy, an American chemist and a member of the SFA Class of 1935, famously co-discovered the element plutonium, a transuranic radioactive chemical element with the symbol Pu and atomic number 94. A native of Nacogdoches, Kennedy attended Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College, as well as the University of Kansas and the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his Ph.D. and began his teaching career. In 1941 he produced, isolated and chemically identified plutonium, along with Glenn Seaborg, Edwin McMillan and Arthur Wahl. The team was later recruited to work at Los Alamos National Laboratory where scientists were designing and building the first atomic bomb. Following World War II, Kennedy and other members of the Los Alamos nuclear chemistry team joined the faculty of Washington University, St. Louis, where Kennedy served as chair of the Department of Chemistry for 10 years. In 1955, the Atomic Energy Commission awarded the SFA alumnus and his colleagues $400,000 for the plutonium discovery. Kennedy died of cancer two years later, just shy of his 41st birthday.

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The first minor planet (aka asteroid) discovered at the SFA Observatory originally was given the designation J99P03Q by the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass. On the night of Aug. 13, 1999, Dr. Dan Bruton and a graduate student discovered the asteroid in the constellation Capricorn using an 18-inch diameter telescope. Originally used by NASA for lunar studies prior to the Apollo program, this telescope has been in operation at SFA since 1976. The minor planet is about the size of Nacogdoches and orbits the sun between Mars and Jupiter. After many years of careful observation, the university earned the right to officially name the asteroid. J99P03Q is now called Linenschmidt in honor of the student who originally inspired the search for minor planets at SFA. A total of 11 asteroids have been discovered by university students and faculty members, including one officially named “Nacogdoches” and another called “Sfasu”. 


The Lumberjack

Our beloved mascot, the Lumberjack, has been a part of SFA for almost as long as the institution has been in existence. In 1923, the students and faculty met in an assembly to decide upon a moniker for the school’s athletic teams. Several mascots were considered (the fighting “Pine Cones” among them), and those proposing the names led yells to demonstrate the appropriateness of their nominations and garner student support. By vote, the assembly chose Lumberjacks, the name submitted by T.E. Ferguson, an SFA professor of English. Almost 90 years later, the Lumberjack remains the university’s most recognizable and enduring symbol. Lumberjacks and the equally popular shortened form, ’Jacks, are part of everything at SFA from student organizations’ names to residence halls to the university’s most recent marketing campaign – “The Lumberjack Experience.” The spirit-filled, plaid flannel-clad Lumberjack and Ladyjack mascots can be found on the sidelines of SFA athletic events, interacting with fans and cheering the teams to victory. The name has come to stand not only for SFA athletes but also for all students, faculty members and staffers, as well as all friends, fans and community supporters of the university. Axe ’em, Jacks!




Jeremy Moses

Nowadays, he goes by “Coach Moses,” serving for the first time last season as an assistant coach for the Lumberjack football team. But Jeremy Moses is better known around campus as SFA’s two-time All American quarterback and 2010 Walter Payton Award winner – the first and only Southland Conference athlete to receive the honor in the award’s 26-year history. The Football Championship Subdivision’s answer to the Heisman Trophy, the Walter Payton Award is presented annually to the most outstanding college football player at the FCS level. 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 in 2010, guiding the Lumberjacks through a historical season that was capped by a trip to the NCAA FCS Playoffs. As SFA quarterback, Moses was the catalyst for the nation’s most prolific passing offense during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. As an assistant football coach, the 2012 SFA graduate is helping the Lumberjacks reach their goal of bringing another football championship home to SFA.



Recently nominated one of the friendliest towns in America by USA Today and Rand McNally, the East Texas town Lumberjacks affectionately call “Nac” has been home away from home to SFA students for nearly a century. Its citizens are credited with originally convincing lawmakers to locate one of the state’s new teacher’s colleges in Nacogdoches in 1917. (Demands of World War I postponed the opening until 1923.) Residents of the “oldest town in Texas” continue to serve as gracious hosts to the student body year-round. The city’s scenic backdrop of towering pines and a charming small-town vibe make Nacogdoches an idyllic college setting. And, as both the literal and figurative center of town, SFA’s economic, cultural and educational impact on Nacogdoches cannot be overstated. Simply put, it is hard to imagine the university would be the institution it is today without the support of the surrounding community and the countless honorary Lumberjacks who live and work here.

Outdoor Pursuits

Whether it’s whitewater canoeing on the Guadalupe River, hiking the Appalachian Mountains or simply riding the local bike trails, the Campus Recreation Department’s Outdoor Pursuits program is all about connecting Lumberjacks with the great outdoors. The Outdoor Center located in the Student Recreation Center can safely equip students for everything from a weekend campout with friends to a weeklong, out-ofstate wilderness adventure. The staff is dedicated to teaching SFA students the skills they need to get the most out of their outdoor experiences, so instruction for everything from changing a mountain bike tire to steering a tandem kayak is offered. Outdoor enthusiasts may choose from numerous organized trips each semester or access the Trip Resource Center for help planning their own private getaways. Indoor and outdoor rock climbing, skydiving, skiing, beachcombing and day trips to nearby lakes, parks and scenic areas are available to all students – novices and experienced thrillseekers alike.



The Pine Log

SFA’s award-winning independent student newspaper, The Pine Log, dates back to 1924, just one year after the university itself was founded. Along with its sister publication, the Stone Fort yearbook, the twice-weekly newspaper is staffed and operated entirely by students and funded through advertising sales. Published on Mondays and Thursdays during the fall and spring semesters, The Pine Log provides coverage of campus, local, national and international stories, as well as sports reports, entertainment news and opinions. Regular features such as “The Crime Log” and “The Chopping Block” are especially popular with readers. Besides providing an on-campus forum for the discussion of current events and other issues important to the campus community, the newspaper offers real-world experience for students preparing to enter journalism, advertising and related fields. A frequent winner at the annual Texas Intercollegiate Press Association awards competition, The Pine Log is well respected among its peers and has launched countless successful careers. An impressive list of editors, reporters, photographers and artists have earned their professional chops at SFA’s student newspaper and gone on to make names for themselves throughout Texas and beyond.




An essential component of SFA’s recent reaffirmation of accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools was the development and implementation of a new QEP, or Quality Enhancement Plan. This broad-based initiative is the result of faculty and staff input from across campus and is aimed at improving students’ higher-order thinking skills and overall academic success by incorporating High-Impact Practices at the undergraduate level. Such practices have been shown to promote these outcomes and, ultimately, lead to a better-prepared workforce. More commonly known around campus as “Make an Impact @ SFA,” the QEP promotes teaching and learning methods known to improve students’ ability to solve complex problems. These skills not only help students succeed in college but also are in high demand by today’s employers. HighImpact Practices at SFA emphasizes collaborative assignments and projects, mentored undergraduate scholarship, and field-based learning experiences in targeted undergraduate curricula.



Hard-fought sports rivalries are a big part of the American college experience, and SFA’s time-honored football traditions are no exception. Two of the fiercest involve fellow Southland Conference foes that all Lumberjacks love to hate: the Sam Houston State Bearkats and the Northwestern State Demons. These highprofile grudge matches are played out annually in the Battle of the Piney Woods and the Battle for Chief Caddo, respectively. Dating back to 1923, the year of SFA’s founding, the Battle of the Piney Woods is one of the oldest and most storied football rivalries in Texas. Since 2010, the game has been played at Houston’s Reliant Stadium before crowds exceeding 25,000. The annual Battle for Chief Caddo against Northwestern State alternates between Nacogdoches and Natchitoches, La., home of the Demons. Along with bragging rights, to the victors go the spoils of two of the most unique traveling trophies in college sports. Standing 7 feet 6 inches tall and weighing more than 320 pounds, Chief Caddo is the largest trophy passed between NCAA universities. Since 1960, SFA and Northwestern State have battled for this statue of a mythical Indian chief whose tribe is fabled to have settled the locations that eventually became the rivals’ hometowns. Since 2007, the Battle of the Piney Woods winner has earned a 21-pound cedar trophy featuring two pistols attached to a wooden base. The SFA and Sam Houston logos are engraved on the guns, which are replicas of a pair of actual Colt Walker pistols originally awarded to the battle’s victor. These have since been lost to history.

Student Activities Association One of the most active of SFA’s more than 200 student clubs and organizations, the Student Activities Association provides opportunities designed to culturally enlighten, intellectually stimulate and entertain the university community. SAA is the largest student-run programming board on campus, producing more than 200 special events per year that include major musical performances in William R. Johnson Coliseum, comedy shows, outdoor concerts, coffeehouse socials and more. The group also sponsors blockbuster movies each week on the largest screen in East Texas, located in the Baker Pattillo Student Center. SAA is open to students who subscribe to the organization’s core values of trust, leadership, truth, courage, pride, creativity and diversity. One of the best student networking opportunities on campus, SAA involvement also helps members sharpen their leadership skills while expanding the entertainment and recreational opportunities available to the student body outside the classroom.

Spring 2013




While it is no longer used to represent SFA, the letter T holds an important place in the history of our university. During the early years of the institution, it was a very recognizable symbol for the school, and, in particular, the athletic teams. The letter T was significant to SFA’s original founding as a teacher’s college, as well as a state institution in Texas, and its charter membership in the state’s Lone Star Conference. The letter was worn to identify members of the “T-men” who later became known as Lettermen, star members of the university’s athletic teams. As a testament to the letter’s importance to the university’s early alumni, the letter T was incorporated into the original logo of the SFA Alumni Association. It also is prominently featured in the design of the official SFA Ring.


Urban forestry is one of the more than 120 areas of study offered at SFA, including approximately 80 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees and three doctoral degrees. Students earning a Bachelor of Science in Forestry with a major in urban forestry benefit from the high-quality, field-based programs in forestry, environmental science and horticulture offered through SFA’s renowned Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. Students studying urban forestry get hands-on training in disciplines such as forestry, arboriculture, horticulture, plant pathology, entomology, turfgrass management, urban wildlife and recreation. Because urban foresters’ domain is populated areas, students also receive extensive training in communication and humanresource management. SFA urban forestry graduates are engaged in the establishment, care and management of individual trees and entire forests located in and near urban areas, and, because of increasing urban expansion into rural areas, these professionals are in high demand nationwide. They are currently employed by city, state, and federal government agencies; commercial tree companies; consulting firms; golf courses; and utility companies throughout the country.

W The Vista

The beauty and symmetry of the university’s main entrance leading from North Street to the stately stairs of the Austin Building has been a source of pride for SFA students since they first stepped foot onto the wooded campus. Now a major thoroughfare leading to, among other places, the main entrance of the recently remodeled Baker Pattillo Student Center, the original Vista was a wide, grassy promenade restricted to pedestrian traffic. Recently, the main gateway to the university, now called Vista Drive, was remodeled, and limestone pillars similar to those framing the old entrance were incorporated into the new design. The original Vista was a popular location for parades, picnics and socials and provided an elegant backdrop for official SFA team and organization photos. In a Pine Log editorial from the late 1920s, the student body was chastised for parking motor vehicles along the tree-lined walkway and reminded that “the view from (North) Street when the Vista is clear is one of the most beautiful natural pictures in all Texas.” Dr. Francis Abernethy, SFA professor emeritus of English, couldn’t have agreed more. A student at the time, he recalls taking a photograph of the Vista with him when he left campus to join the service. “I guess I just wanted to have a picture of home.”



Urban Forestry

Wisely Hall

Wisely Hall is a small, co-ed residence hall that houses SFA’s Academic Excellence Center. The Residence Life Department collaborates with the School of Honors to provide this academically focused learning community that houses 78 students a semester and enforces 24 quiet hours a day. Residents must maintain a 3.25 grade-point average in order to remain in Wisely. The hall’s occupants are active members of the Residence Hall Association and also host a variety of programs, including a Murder Mystery Dinner and Wisely Prom. Opened in 1935 and named for the university’s first auditor, J.H. Wisely, the campus’ first dormitory housed male students only. A cafeteria operating in the building’s basement fed both men and women for 11 cents a meal.



X-Ray Diffractometer

SFA’s Department of Geology has an X-ray diffractometer that students and faculty members use to examine the crystalline structure of minerals located within rocks. It enables researchers to characterize samples based on the molecular structure and atomic arrangement within the crystals that make up rocks. Professional geologists use the tool not only for identification of the minerals that compose a rock but also to gain insights into environmental conditions (i.e. pressure and temperature) under which the rocks were formed or altered. According to Dr. Kevin Stafford, assistant professor of geology, “This instrument enables us to more accurately characterize samples than simple hand or microscope identification because it gives us information on the crystalline structure of solids not just the external physical characteristics of a specimen.” The X-ray diffractometer is heavily relied on in courses like GOL 525, X-ray crystallography, a graduate class offered by the geology department. Access to this state-of-theart technology provides students with the hands-on experience they need to prepare them for jobs in the field.

Yvonne Gonzales Redman

This 1991 SFA graduate has enjoyed a 15-year career as a main stage soprano at the Metropolitan Opera. Her voice has been heard on many radio and television broadcasts.An associate professor of voice in the School of Music at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, Redman’s career highlights include Zerlina in Don Giovanni conducted by James Levine; Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore with Luciano Pavarotti for his 30th anniversary gala; and Jouvenot in Adrianna Lecouvreur in Mirella Freni’s final performances of this work. Additionally, she has performed at the Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Seattle, Minnesota and Pittsburgh operas, Wolf Trap, Opera Illinois, and the Houston Grand Opera, where she sang the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazones. She also was featured in the role of Mimi in La Bohème in the Bregenz Festival in Austria. Redman has shared the stage with some of the greatest operatic artists of all time, including Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, Samuel Ramey, Nathan Gunn, Bryn Terfel, Teresa Stratas and Renee Fleming.

Zoca “Tex Mex to the Max” – that’s what’s on the menu at Zoca, one of numerous unique eateries located within the recently remodeled Baker Pattillo Student Center. Its made-to-order nachos and burritos are popular with students, faculty and staff whose dietary preferences lean toward the spicy. Other dining choices within the student center include local and national brands like Panda Express, Chickfil-A, Starbucks, Jack’s Brick Oven Bistro and Bleeker St. Deli. Students also can order sushi at Sushic or a smoothie or frozen yogurt at Freshens, and the nearby Sawmill grill and Einstein Bros. Bagels round out the retail restaurant options on campus. Two “all-you-care-to-eat” dining halls offer produce markets with an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies; a made-to-order deli; pizza, pasta, smoothie and dessert stations; soups and sandwiches; a variety of international and homestyle entrees and sides; and six flavors of hand-dipped Blue Bell ice cream. Lumberjacks also love chocolate chip cookies. According to ARAMARK, SFA’s food service partner, we consume 247,360 of them a year!

Spring 2013


ALUMNI NEWS Tee time in Longview

Chapter shoots for quarter of a million dollar goal TWENTY YEARS AGO on a hot August day, 36 golfers braved the East Texas heat to start a new SFA alumni tradition. Bob Sitton, the Alumni Association’s executive director at the time, had encouraged the Longview Chapter to plan a fundraiser and create an endowment fund. Chuck Tomberlain and Dave Spurrier responded by starting the East Texas Exes SFA Alumni Golf Tournament. From these humble beginnings, the tournament’s popularity grew, and the chapter now hopes to reach its $250,000 goal in 2013 with more than 100 sponsors and 136 golfers. “Like any new charitable event, the early years were a struggle,” recalls Spurrier. “However, once we got our sponsors to buy into our dream, we were able to retain many of them from year to year while we continued to add to the group of loyal supporters.” Since the temperatures for the tournament’s afternoon tee times usually topped 100 degrees, the event was eventually nicknamed the “Hotter than Hell Tournament.” This year, in honor of the 20th anniversary, the golf

tournament will be played in cooler temperatures. It is scheduled for Friday, May 10, at Wood Hollow Golf Course in Longview, and it will continue to be held on the second Friday of May each year. “We truly are grateful for all of the support we receive,” Tomberlain said. “This tournament wouldn’t be possible without it.” Many of the scholarship recipients are the first in their families to attend college, he said. The Longview Chapter has assisted students from Longview, Pine Tree, Spring Hill, White Oak, Hallsville, Marshall, Kilgore and other area schools. As the Longview Alumni Chapter has grown over the years, so has the number of events it sponsors. The chapter hosts an annual Freshman Send-Off, Business After-Hours events, Tailgates and TV Watch Parties for the big games. However, the golf tournament continues to be the biggest event of the year. The rivalry between chapter members doesn’t stop with competition for the most sponsors and teams signing up; it carries over onto the course.

Not all of the members have the luxury of playing come tee time, however. Master chefs Ronnie Rice, Ross Morgan and Mark Adkisson make sure all six food stations are running smoothly, and all of the beverages are kept ice cold. The tournament started with just a burger lunch before tee time, but it has evolved into a food festival with a little golf on the side. Multiple barbecue smokers allow players to feast on everything from pork chops to steak kabobs. For more information about the golf tournament, contact Cole Tomberlain at (903) 806-3338 or Cole@Tomberlain. com. Like the chapter’s Facebook page (SFA Alumni Longview Chapter) to keep up with all the chapter’s events.

Members of Delta Kappa of Kappa Alpha Order


Association welcomes new staff member THE NEWEST ADDITION to the SFA Alumni Association team is Emily Martin, alumni scholarship coordinator. Martin is a graduate of the University of Kansas where she earned two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in sports management and a Master of Science in education. She also was captain of the university’s women’s varsity rowing team. Martin previously served in the SFA Department of Campus Recreation where she worked in safety and special events. Prior to coming to SFA, she served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for the





University of Kansas varsity rowing program. Martin’s duties with the association will include managing the Alumni Scholarship Program, advising the SFA Student Foundation Association and overseeing the SFA Alumni mentoring program. “I understand the meaning of belonging to an alumni organization and the value they add to an institution,” she said. “I am extremely excited for the opportunity to serve and work with SFA students, alumni, faculty and staff, and the Nacogdoches community.”




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THE ART OF ROCK Todd Slater ’02, poster artist FROM HIS HOME studio in Round Rock, Todd Slater ’02 designs stunning silkscreen concert posters for some of the biggest names in the music industry. Slater’s modern works of art have represented a “who’s who” of rock ‘n’ roll, from legendary songwriters Bob Dylan and Neil Young to alt rockers Edward Sharpe and the Magnetics Zeros. Through the use of silkscreen printing, vivid colors in each of his pieces come to life, while metallic inks and holographic papers provide textural depth. Initially drawn to Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha paintings in museums, Slater’s powerful and intricate imagery has music managers seeking out his creative talents to portray their bands’ images. Many of his works feature psychedelic images, elements inspired by nature and clever typography to form ornate shapes. For inspiration, Slater may listen to the band’s music or follow a gut instinct while brainstorming. “One of my professors at SFA, Robert Kinsell, preached the importance of not making art according to any sort of formula, and that’s always stuck with me.” Slater earned an art degree from SFA with an emphasis in advertising and design, along with minors in both painting and cinematography. Although he never took a printmaking course in school, Slater was immersed in the art of screenprinting while completing an internship at a local T-shirt and graphic design shop in Nacogdoches. “I did an internship at Tattoo (Productions) while I was still in school, and that realworld experience turned out to be invaluable.” When first breaking into the gig poster industry, Slater would tenaciously contact band managers for a shot at designing a poster for tours. “I kinda feel like I was faking it until I made it with the bands early on,” Slater said. “I always pretended to know what I was doing, and eventually the jobs started coming in more regularly.” Although he’s sold prints at venues the night of a show, he says he’s stayed away from meeting the bands for the most part. “There came a point where I had to graduate from fan boy to professional. I may

still geek-out about a bigger project, but it’s done through silently high-fiving my wife and fist pumping at my desk.” However, one of his most prominent clients, Jack White of The White Stripes, is highly involved in the design process. “Jack White is very hands on and has a lot of thoughts on imagery,” Slater said. “He’s someone I feel people will be listening to in 10, 20, 30 years and beyond, and I feel lucky to be associated with his work.” As Slater continues to make a name for himself in the poster art industry, he remembers the passion of SFA faculty members who influenced him. “I have to say that the art department at SFA is amazing, and here’s why: all of the professors are accomplished artists in their own right,” Slater said. “I learned a lot from Robert Kinsell, Peter Andrew, William Arscott, Gary Parker and Gary Frields. If I arrived early for class, I’d sneak in the back of Dr. (David) Lewis’ art history lectures, which is a testament to his passion, I think. The course he taught on art history spanning from 1940 to present was particularly important to me.” Aside from the music business, Slater has ventured into poster design for movies, TV series and pop-culture icons. Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles admired his gig poster work and commissioned prints for such movies as The Big Lebowski and Back to the Future 2, while Alamo Drafthouse’s Mondo Gallery has sought out Slater’s artwork for classics like Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. His works recently made their way to Nacogdoches, as The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House displayed a collection of Slater’s posters in the “The Art of Rock” exhibit last fall. –KAYLI HEAD

Photos courtesy of Todd Slater

Spring 2013





SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Curtis Sparks ’85 - president Roger Robinson ’92 - president-elect Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - past president ASSOCIATION BOARD

LTHOUGH THIS COMES a little late – Happy New Year!! I hope your new year is off to a great start. The Alumni Association Board of Directors has held its first meeting of 2013, and we are looking forward to another great year. Your alumni association fulfills a number of objectives, but our primary purpose is to engage alumni, students and friends of SFA through programs, activities and scholarships. There are many alumni association activities planned for the upcoming months. If you are in the Nacogdoches area, I hope you will join us for one or more of these special events: SFA Ring sales event, scholarship donor reception, Barn Burner Old Town Jam Music Festival, Senior Send-Off, Big Dip (for anyone who purchases the SFA ring – even those who have already graduated,) and the Student Foundation Association’s Mud Bugs and Mud Balls. In addition to these local events, other activities are planned in Houston, Austin and Dallas. The Southland Conference basketball tournament will once again be held in Katy March 13-16. For those of you in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, we will be sponsoring several network events throughout the spring and summer months, and the Dallas chapter always has some fun events planned. The alumni association also is helping several fraternities and sororities with their reunion events here in Nacogdoches. If you are interested in having the alumni association help with your special events, please contact the alumni office. So, as you can see, we are engaging alumni in a number of ways and have a busy few months ahead. All of these events are in addition to our other responsibilities of increasing membership and raising funds for scholarships. Speaking of which, I want to thank the 12 families and individuals who have recently endowed new scholarships. Thanks to your generosity and support, we will be able to help more deserving students get an education, and that is a great thing! This is just a small sampling of the activities and events the alumni association has in the works. I encourage each Join the SFA Alumni of you to get plugged in with other alumni in your area Association at these and help us support our alma mater. For more information exciting events: on joining the association, making a donation or staying informed on upcoming events, please visit our website at www.sfaalumni.com.

SLC Basketball Tournament March 13 – 16

Scholarship Stars Donor Reception April 19 Homecoming Oct. 18-19

Axe ’em, Jacks!

Wendy Buchanan ’85 Don Cox ’71 & ’76 Robin Dawley ’77 Karen Gantt ’95 Mike Harbordt ’63 Doris Havard James Hawkins ’83 Kent Hutchison ’92 David Madrid ’02 Justin McFaul ’04 Susan Roberds ’75 Phillip Scherrer ’99 Erika Tolar ’02 Steve Whitbeck ’75 Chris Woelfel ’95 Student Foundation Association Dorian Nero ’13 SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - chairman Lewie Byers ’68 Ford Cartwright ’69 Rick Couvillon ’81 Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 Stephen Greak ’92 James Hamilton ’77 Bill Roberds ’75 Curtis Sparks ’85 SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Jeff Davis ’02 executive director of alumni affairs Katy Crawford assistant to the executive director of alumni affairs Dale Green ’99 director of marketing & membership Samantha Mora ’08 director of alumni events & engagement

Curtis Sparks ’85 President, SFA Alumni Association

Alicia Roland Chatman gifts & records specialist Emily Payne ’99 & ’01 chapter coordinator Beverly Smith ’96 accountant Emily Martin scholarship coordinator Judith Barroeta ’10 coordinator of marketing & communications

Spring 2013


Investing in America AT AGE 22, SFA senior John Ramsey is wise beyond his years. The grandson of SFA Hall of Fame inductee Justin Robert Howard ’37, Ramsey became a millionaire in 2010 when his grandfather passed away and left him a sizable inheritance. Instead of spending the money on material possessions, Ramsey decided to invest in America, starting a Super Political Action Committee and financing several innovative projects he hopes will promote entrepreneurship and help build a more free and prosperous America. “In my opinion,” Ramsey said, “the true wealth of a person is not determined by the amount of money they are worth, but instead by their compassion for mankind. I believe indulging in material things with money I didn’t earn is not only childish and shallow, but it is ultimately very irresponsible. “I see my fortune as a unique opportunity to create new businesses and organizations that add value to society in the form of private-sector job creation and superior products and services, which improve people’s lives.” Incorporated in March 2012, Ramsey’s Super PAC, Liberty for All, is a non-partisan organization that supports political choice. He describes it as a national institution seeking to restore Americans’ civil liberties and expand economic freedom one candidate, one district and one election at a time. In addition to the Super PAC, Ramsey invests in technology, livestock, real estate, entertainment and alternative agricultural methods. He believes that by supporting these businesses and the entrepreneurs who run them, he can help spread liberty, peace and prosperity and affect positive change. Ramsey actively encourages college graduates to become entrepreneurs rather than employees of other existing organizations. He said his modest East Texas upbringing played a major role in shaping the values he holds dear. He chose to attend SFA because of its close proximity to his grandfather’s home in Hemphill. The economics and finance double major lacks just 18 hours to complete his dual-bachelor’s degrees. “I have been very fortunate to be deeply engaged in the SFA Department of Economics and Finance. A course I took in macroeconomics introduced


me to the Austrian School of Economics, which began my intellectual development on the principles of Libertarianism. In addition, the (Mast) Student Investment Roundtable served as a platform to help develop my investment-management skills.” Ramsey’s grandfather graduated from SFA in 1937 and was inducted into the SFA Hall of Fame in 2007. The Hall of Fame induction is the highest honor bestowed by the SFA Alumni Association. “J. Robert Howard was truly an East Texas treasure. His passion for and knowledge of the law, business and history were unmatched, as was his love for East Texas and SFA,” said Jeff Davis, executive director of the alumni association. “He was a true believer in higher education and a true benefactor of our university.” Ramsey said he most remembers Howard for his dedication, leadership skills and strong belief in higher education. He said his grandfather could best be described as a banker and attorney, but he also was a very successful investor, most notably in real estate, cattle, timber and antique firearms. “His wisdom was spectacular in several areas, including capital budgeting, financial markets, money, banking and farming,” Ramsey said. “He also had an impressive military career, commanding a transportation unit in the Normandy campaign during World War II. I am not only grateful for the significant head start he has provided me, but I also realize it will be crucial for me to continue to develop the incredible work ethic that came naturally to him.” Ramsey points out that through investing in the Super PAC and his other ventures, he also is investing in the people who come to work for and believe in his vision. “As an unconventional venture capitalist, I truly enjoy empowering talented and dedicated individuals who might not otherwise be given the opportunity

to shine. The true thrill is provided when the invested time, energy and capital pays off, and the particular venture becomes profitable,” he said. “Finally, I am refreshed to know that every venture I choose to organize has a direct connection to the advancement of the free and prosperous world I envision.” Ramsey said his most gratifying moment so far came when his initial investment in the Super PAC led to other investors’ belief in Liberty for All. He said he hopes his efforts help alter the stereotype that young people are the leaders of tomorrow. “Many people think of college-age students as future leaders,” Ramsey said. “Being at the forefront of a national political movement and spending the past year promoting free markets, sound money, peace, and individual responsibility and innovation, I firmly believe that my generation can and should be leaders today.”




A Lumberjack’s Tale Melvin White was inducted into the SFA Football Hall of Fame in 2004. He was appointed to the SFA Board of Regents in 2005 and was elected chairman of the board in 2010. He has served on the board of directors of the SFA Alumni Association and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 2012. He also served as a director of the Athletic Letterman’s Association. Despite all those honors and accolades, it must have felt surreal in 2012 when he stepped to the podium at an SFA graduation ceremony, pulled out his notes and began to deliver the commencement address. >> Spring 2013


HIRTY YEARS AGO, a talented young player stood on the sidelines of the football field at Hebert High School in Beaumont and dreamed of a collegiate career. Although Melvin White’s teachers might not have expected him to attend college – perhaps assuming he would seek employment at the local refinery – he knew that a college education meant more than a stadium full of cheering fans. It was the ticket to a future filled with opportunity. White, one of 12 children, had never heard of Nacogdoches when an SFA recruiter offered him a scholarship. He chose SFA’s offer over those from other, larger schools where coaches weren’t sure he was tall enough to play. It was a wise decision. White started all 44 games in his college football career and led the nation in sacks as a freshman. His senior year, the Lumberjacks won the conference championship. After graduation in 1986, White went to Austin to work for Tracor, a defense contractor. Twelve years later, when the company’s headquarters moved to California, he elected to remain in Austin where he had established his own business, MRSW Management, a full-service information technology company. White’s wife, Djuana, a school teacher, was teaching an after-school program in an urban community in Austin with high unemployment rates. “I volunteered in her class and was impressed with the educational enrichment the children received, but I asked what could be done for their parents,” he said. “Children are most often influenced by their parents, and if the parents don’t feel empowered and good about themselves, it’s unlikely that those children will ever reach their full potential.” White created a human development and job training program for parents, and the equipment to learn the technical skills required to work in the information technology field was made


Children are most often influenced by their parents, and if the parents don’t feel empowered and good about themselves, it’s unlikely that those children will ever reach their full potential.

available at the center. “We established a data cabling lab, a Cisco Lab and an Oracle Lab, and a computer hardware/ software lab,” White said. Clients were assessed to determine their placement in a lab. “We were able to offer programs for participants to earn nationally recognized certification.” When participants completed the program, White used his MRSW agency to place them in internships. He was so successful that he earned the statewide Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year award and was a finalist for the national award. Wishing to replicate the program in his hometown, White established the Golden Triangle Empowerment Center and the Golden Triangle Business Incubator serving the Beaumont, Port Arthur and Orange area. “While the computer technology surge in Austin caused an increased need for workers with technology skills, the booming petrochemical industry is causing a similar increase in the demand for welders and pipefitters,” White said. “Unlike Austin, where there are hundreds of nonprofits providing services, there are few available in the Golden Triangle, so this is greatly needed.”

In Port Arthur, White began operating from a 3,000-square-foot metal building but eventually was able to move downtown to a 20,000-squarefoot space. After a $2.6 million renovation, it now includes an auditorium, three training spaces for 100 participants, offices for the business incubator program and a full-service restaurant. “We begin with two weeks of lifeskills training,” White said. “We bring clients in and give them job-readiness education. We help them realize how they’ve gotten where they are and show them the road map to self-sufficiency.” The majority of clients are between 21 and 35 years old. “Our client may be an 18-year-old high school student in danger of dropping out or the student who does go to college but doesn’t


do well for whatever reason,” he said. “They realize they are going to need some skills to qualify for employment that pays more than minimum wage. That’s who we serve, and that’s our goal: to help develop capacity in people.” White said many clients also suffer from a lack of self-confidence. “Many of these people could probably get a job in one of the plants if they just filled out the application,” he explained. “They stay away because they don’t know how to access the system – what goes on in the plant, what kinds of jobs are available or how to qualify for employment.”

to the west coast of Africa. “Elmer’s wife, Ophelia, is a native Liberian, and we have been working for three years to build a team to launch a fiber network throughout the country to provide voice, video and broadband service to the government and companies that are investing in the country,” White said. “One of our roles will be to train and empower local Liberians to benefit from the country’s natural resources, including oil and gas exploration, iron ore mines, timber companies, and other resources.” There is an 80-percent illiteracy rate and an 85-percent unemployment rate in the war-torn country, which is rebuilding and has shown stability during the past 10 years.

Far from the technology hub in Austin, Liberia’s government operates entirely by cell phones. “There are only 100 hotel beds in the entire country, and some of the villages haven’t had running water for very long,” White said. “Going to Africa was never in my plans, but making the trip was a lifechanging experience. You have to be willing to take a risk, but risks that are purpose-driven deliver results that are truly meaningful.” –SHIRLEY LUNA

That’s who we serve, and that’s our goal: to develop capacity in people. When clients begin their “textbook” training, they also have the equipment to work with for hands-on practice, White said. “When they have access to both classroom and hands-on instruction, they are much more successful.” When clients in either the Austin or the Golden Triangle locations complete training, they are placed in paid temporary positions with a cooperating employer. “Clients are often hired to stay on in permanent positions,” White said. “If they aren’t offered permanent employment, it is still advantageous to them to have the training plus on-thejob experience.” Other clients may already have fulltime jobs. “The training they receive here helps them qualify for a higherpaying position,” White said. Thanks to a connection with a former teammate, Elmer Mosbey, White is now expanding his work internationally

Spring 2013


Legislative Priorities for the 83rd session

1. Preserve current base funding while the Legislature considers new outcomes-based funding measures. 2. Restore general revenue funding lost during the last biennium and consider additional funding for growth. 3. Support access to Texas higher education by increasing state student financial aid funding. 4. Approve a $50 million Tuition Revenue Bond (TRB) for a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) facility. SFA seeks to be a leader in preparing more students to enter STEM careers. Accomplishing this goal requires an expansion of current campus facilities. This proposed STEM facility will support the research and outreach mission of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. This proposed building would house the STEM Research and Learning Center, the Discovery and Research labs for K-12 outreach programs, the SFA Planetarium, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Physics, the current Pre-Engineering Program, the Robotics Laboratory, computer labs and a large auditorium to accommodate STEM Summits. 5. Provide funding for water research - $500,000 for each year of the biennium. Balancing the creation and protection of water sources with the need to provide adequate water supplies to support growth and business in Texas is an obvious critical issue facing the state. As SFA’s Waters of East Texas (WET) Center currently conducts water research for federal, state and private entities, these challenges are nothing new. The expansion of the work needed to quickly and effectively address these issues requires additional funding support. The funding requested will support water research focused on enhancing the available water supplies in Texas while minimizing the impact on water quality and maintaining the health and productivity of Texas rivers and estuaries. 6. Allow SFA to remain an autonomous institution of higher education.

How alumni can advocate for SFA: • • • •


Explain the value of SFA to the state of Texas to people in your community. Share your experience at SFA and how it has impacted your career and life. Contact your state representative and senator and encourage them to support these initiatives. Encourage other SFA alumni and parents to support these initiatives.



March 13-16

March 19-20

SLC Basketball Tournament, Leonard E. Merrell Center, 6301 S. Stadium Lane, Katy

March 26 Fort Worth Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., The Pour House, 2725 W. 7th St., Fort Worth

April 3

April 4

Addison Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., BlackFinn American Saloon, 4440 Belt Line Road, Addison

Denton Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., GreenHouse Restaurant, 600 N. Locust St., Denton Fort Bend Network Event, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Razzoo’s Cajun Café, Stafford

Ring Sales Event, Tracie Pearman Alumni Center, Nacogdoches

April 6 Alumni Member Day at the SFA ballpark, 2 p.m., Nacogdoches City Baseball Complex, 3715 Old Tyler Road, Nacogdoches

April 26 Frisco Network Event Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., The Lemon Bar, 5566 W. Main St., Suite 110, Frisco

April 11

April 12

Irving/Arlington Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Humperdinks, 700 Six Flags Drive,  Arlington

Garland Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Primo’s Tex-Mex Restaurant, 4861 Bass Pro Drive, Garland

Houston Network Event, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Benjy’s, 5922 Washington Ave., Houston

April 26-27 Delta Zeta 50th Anniversary Celebration, Nacogdoches

April 13 Tau Kappa Epsilon Alumni Network Golf Tournament, Nacogdoches Sigma Tau Gamma Alumni Golf Tournament, Nacogdoches

April 27

April 29

2nd Annual Crawfish Boil, Woodlands Area Network, Wings-NMore, The Woodlands

Senior Send-Off, 5:30 – 7 p.m., The Barn Bar and Grill, 2304 North St., Nacogdoches

Mudbugs and Mudballs, Nacogdoches

April 19 Scholarship Stars Donor Reception, 5:30 – 7 p.m. (come and go), Hotel Fredonia, 200 N. Fredonia St., Nacogdoches

May 1 Fort Worth Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Bar Louie, 2973 W. 7th St.,   Fort Worth

April 5

April 5-6

McKinney Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Cyclone Anaya’s, Fairview Bay Area Network Event, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Delta Delta Delta Don Pico’s Mexican Reunion, Nacogdoches Restaurant,  2110 Bay Area Blvd., Houston

April 20

April 25

The Barn Burner Old Town Jam Music Festival, The Barn Bar and Grill, 2304 North St., Nacogdoches

Dallas Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Prime Bar, 2520 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas

May 2

May 3

Plano Network Event Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Brix Bar and Grill, 1410 K Ave., Suite 1109A,  Plano

SFA Alumni Night – Astros vs. Tigers, 7:10 p.m., Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford St., Houston (post-game fireworks show)

SFA Spring Football Game

May 3 The Big Dip Spring Ring Ceremony, Noon, Grand Ballroom, Baker Pattillo Student Center, Nacogdoches

Spring 2013

May 9 Lewisville Network Event - Kickoff, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Abuelo’s, 2520 S. Stemmons Freeway, Lewisville

May 10 Southlake/Keller 20th Annual East Texas Network Event - Kickoff, Exes Golf Tournament, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Longview Wildwood Grill, 2700 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake

May 17

SFA Alumni Night – Rangers vs. Tigers, 7:05 p.m., Rangers Ballpark, 1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington (post-game fireworks show) *Times and dates are subject to change. Visit sfaalumni.com for the most recent information.

May 22-25 SLC Baseball Tournament, Constellation Field, Sugar Land


Endowed Scholarships

Barton Family Scholarship

The Barton Family Scholarship provides funds for students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education or a doctoral degree in educational leadership. Doyle and Pat Barton both grew up in Russellville, Ark. They were married in 1958 and have two daughters, Paula and Deidra. In 1968, the Barton family moved to Sherman, and became franchisees with Sonic Drive-In. The couple retired in 2001. Although the Bartons did not attend college, they recognized the value of a degree and made provisions for their daughters and grandchildren to pursue higher education. Paula Barton Griffin holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in early childhood education from SFA, and she currently is pursuing a doctoral degree in educational leadership. The late Deidra Barton Meyers earned a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Texas. Grandson Sean Michael Griffin is an SFA alumnus, and granddaughter Jenna Lynn Griffin also completed coursework at SFA.

Waymon Bullock Music Education Scholarship

The Waymon Bullock Music Education Scholarship supports music education majors. Bullock was raised in Lufkin, entering the school district’s beginner band program and continuing until graduation. After college and teaching stints in Diboll and Dayton, Bullock returned to Lufkin in 1964 and served as band director for the next 22 years. His close ties with SFA led him to pursue a master’s degree in music, as well as a 60-hour administrator’s certificate in public education. Bullock retired as Lufkin band director in 1987. In 1994, he was inducted into the SFA Band Director Hall of Fame and, in 2000, was awarded the Lifetime Meritorious Achievement Award by the Texas Bandmasters Association. He serves as an adjudicator and band clinician and devotes time to his long-time passion for designing marching drills and arranging and composing music. Bullock and his wife Kay have four children: Mike, band director at Jacksonville High School; Holly Jo, an elementary music teacher in Lufkin; Connie, a teacher in Lufkin; and Kelley, a resident of Tyler.

Jim and Lela Eaves Scholarship

The Jim and Lela Eaves Scholarship provides funds for eligible Lumberjack football players. The couple met as students at SFA and became faithful fans of the Lumberjack football team. The late Jim Eaves was born in Pampa and grew up in Longview, earning a bachelor’s degree from SFA in 1952. He participated in athletics for 50 years as a player, coach and official and was given an honorary life membership in the Great Southwest Officials Association. He also was selected as an inductee of the SFA Letterman’s Association Jacks of Honor and placed in the Alumni Association’s Hall of Honor. Lela Chism Eaves, a Kilgore native, received her bachelor’s degree in education in 1955 and went on to earn a master’s degree in special education from Texas Women’s University. She continued her studies at the University of Texas at Tyler and Lamar University in Beaumont. She had an exceptional teaching career spanning 50 years before retiring in 2003.

James M. Garrett Scholarship

The James M. Garrett Scholarship supports students pursuing a degree in chemistry or biochemistry. Dr. James M. Garrett joined the SFA faculty in 1967 and retired in 2005. His SFA accomplishments include the 2005 Distinguished Professor Award from the Alumni Association, the 2003 SFASU Foundation Faculty Achievement Award in Teaching, the 2004 Teaching Excellence Award and the 1991-92 Student Government Association Outstanding Professor Award. He was the first to receive the SFA Regents Professor recognition in 1980. The founding sponsor of the SFA Chemistry Honor Society, he authored and co-authored more than 20 publications and served as a reviewer for the Journal of Chemical Education. Garrett and his wife Mary Beth have three children, Dr. James B. Garrett, a 1990 SFA graduate and research chemist in San Diego, Calif.; Laura Garrett Davis, a 1991 and 1992 SFA graduate and former third-grade teacher; and Wendy Garrett Sowell, a 1992 SFA graduate who teaches kindergarten in Bryan.

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. 38

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 Email: alumni@sfasu.edu Website: sfaalumni.com Sawdust



SFA ALUMNI NETWORK KICKOFF To better serve SFA alumni, 11 networks have been identified in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Socials, watch parties and other events will be conveniently located in multiple locations. See below for upcoming events! Visit www.sfaalumni.com to find more information and to RSVP online.

Be proud. Be part of it.


LUMBERJACK! Happy Hours Networking Tailgating Freshman Send-Offs Service Projects

Fort Worth

March 26, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., The Pour House, 2725 W. 7th St. May 1, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Bar Louie, 2973 W. 7th St.


Irving/Arlington April 11, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Humperdinks, 700 Six Flags Drive, Arlington


April 12, Primo’s Tex-Mex Restaurant, 4861 Bass Pro Drive

April 3, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., BlackFinn American Saloon, 4440 Belt Line Road






April 25, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Prime Bar, 2520 Cedar Springs Road

April 4, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., April 26, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., GreenHouse Restaurant, 600 N. Locust St. The Lemon Bar, 5566 W. Main St. #110

April 5, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Cyclone Anaya’s, 241 Stacy Road,   Fairview

Spring 2013


May 9, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Abuelo’s, 2520 S. Stemmons Freeway


May 10, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Wildwood Grill, 2700 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake

Luncheons Family Picnics Golf Tournaments Visit our website to find alumni networks and special interest chapters. www.sfaalumni.com

May 2, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Brix Bar and Grill, 1410 K Ave., Suite 1109A




David Cozadd ’74 is owner of Galleria Z – Custom Picture Framing & Beyond in Nacogdoches. Dr. Donnya Stephens ’74 of Lufkin recently was recognized at SFA’s Leadership Legacy Celebration. A portrait of Stephens was unveiled for the Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership’s Legacy Hall. Cynthia Phaup ’75 of Sunnyvale has retired after 36 years of teaching in Mesquite ISD. Jim Phaup ’75 of Sunnyvale is in his 12th year of service as mayor of the city of Sunnyvale. Marila Palmer ’76 of Hallsville works in the Office of Academic Success and Graduate Service at East Texas Baptist University, where she is assistant provost and an assistant professor of education.

Susan Gwin ’77 of Dallas is senior director for CASE Commercial Real Estate Partners. Gwin focuses on raising capital for acquisitions, as well as handling the disposition of office and industrial properties. Walt Gruenwald ’78 of Watauga is pastor at Pilgrims Way Baptist Church in Sanger. Judith Phillips ’78 of Corpus Christi is a professor of kinesiology at Del Mar College. The Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance recently gave Phillips the 2012 Honor Award. Nina Partin ’79 & ’80 is interim chair and assistant professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.


Rhonda McWilliams ’80 is the assistant superintendent for Fort Bend ISD in Sugar Land. She has worked in public education for 31 years.

Noel Tovar ’08 of Flower Mound and Estrella “Star” Muñoz ’09 of Texas City were married on Sept. 1 and reside in Lewisville.


Jo Ann Hunt ’82 of Lufkin recently retired from Memorial Medical Center-Lufkin, where she was a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery for more than 30 years.

The late Bruce Bradshaw ’58 & ’68 has a new stadium named after him at West Rusk where he spent eight years as head coach and athletic director. Bradshaw graduated from Center High School in 1954 where he earned all-district accolades in football and baseball. He attended Tyler Junior College before transferring to SFA where he played football and ran track. He was a football coach at Center, Jacksonville, Wills Point, Sabine, Bridge City and West Rusk schools. While at West Rusk, he won two district championships and one bi-district championship. His final record there was 60-15-5, and 40 of those wins were shutouts. Also, during his time as athletic director, the Raiders track team won four league championships. In an article printed in a West Rusk football program last fall, Bradshaw was quoted as saying, “I loved coaching and loved to work with kids. There are so many good things that sports do for youngsters. It’s definitely a very integral part of the education system.” Bradshaw passed away in 2010 at age 74. Last fall, he was remembered in a special ceremony before kickoff of the first game played in the new stadium named in his honor. Gary Bagley ’83 of Cranston, R.I., is senior pastor at Edgewood Congregational Church.

Andra Self ’85 of Lufkin was named 2012-13 vicepresident of the Texas Association of School Boards. Self has served as a Lufkin ISD board member since 1996, and she is the current board president.

John Drake ’83 of Irving has been selected for a second year for the faculty of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s Madison Institute in Wisconsin.

J. Michael Dinges ’86 of Sugar Land is president of Lowery Bank serving Fort Bend County.

Kevin Krug ’85 of Nacogdoches is owner of The Great Outdoors Company, a landscaping business in Lufkin. The company recently celebrated 22 years of business.

Beverly S. Farmer ’88 retired as director of student activities at SFA after 30 years of service to the university.

The law firm of Brown McCarroll announces the election of Rhonda Bear Mates ’95 of Austin to partner. Mates is a member of the Bankruptcy and Business Restructuring Section and serves clients in bankruptcy litigation, commercial litigation, and white collar criminal defense. Mates also is a member of the Construction Law Section of the firm. She has experience defending toxic tort and personal injury cases. Mates earned a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law.


William Clayton “Clay” Keith ’08, RN, PCCN, is director of the medical, surgical and intensive care units at ETMC Henderson. He joined the hospital’s staff in 2008, working as a nurse in the medical surgical unit.  Since that time, he has cross-trained and worked in almost every nursing unit in the hospital.  Most recently, he served as lead nurse in the cardiology department. Last spring, he received the Sue Malone Award for Clinical Excellence in Nursing at the hospital’s annual service awards banquet. The Bill Davis and Shirley Crawford Nursing Scholarship was endowed at SFA in honor of Clay’s grandfather, the late Bill Davis. Jason Petersen ’88 of Hallsville was awarded Austin Bank’s 15-year service award. Petersen is the executive vice president/ regional president for Austin Bank of Longview. Kathy Manley ’89 of Houston is a performing musician in the Houston Grand Opera. Manley also is a music teacher for Houston’s Sacred Heart Schools.


Bryan Barbay ’91 of Coldspring is the football coach for Coldspring-Oakhurst High School. Carol Barham ’95 of Nacogdoches teaches third-grade math and science at Thomas J. Rusk Academy of Fine Arts. Scott Brooks ’95 of Newton is the environmental coordinator at Port Freeport. Jennifer Cyr ’95 of Kennard is administrative assistant/ program director clerk for Kalin’s Center, a child advocacy center serving Houston and Trinity counties. Dr. Greg Sherman ’95 & ’01 of Lewisville is a physics professor at Collin College and was named Texas Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

Spring 2013

Melinda Turner ’95 of Duncanville is principal at Hyman Elementary in Duncanville ISD. Melissa Spain MacGregor ’96 published the first novel in a steampunk mystery series with Penguin/InterMix. The Curious Steambox Affair is available as an e-book. Mandy Pierce Scott ’96 is principal of Santa Fe High School. Dr. Larry Hygh ’97 of Marshall is director for the California-Nevada Annual Methodist Conference. Shawn Clynch ’98 is a sports reporter and anchor at KVUE in Austin. Dr. Marie Sesay ’98 of Houston is dean of instruction at Lone Star College in Kingwood.

Matt Warnock ’98 of Coppell is principal at Barbara Bush Middle School in Irving. Warnock recently earned the 2012 Texas Public Schools Ambassador of the Year Award. Sereniah Breland ’99 is city manager of Guthrie, Okla.


Magen Bunyard ’00 of Marshall is the new full-time counselor at North Central Texas College. Dr. Hollie Gammel Smith ’00 & ’02 of Nacogdoches received the Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators’ Dissertation of the Year Award.

Hailey Hunt, captain of the McKinney Boyd soccer team and daughter of Ron Hunt ’91 & ’94 and Maile Israelson O’Brien ’93 & ’95 of McKinney, signed a national letter of intent to play for the SFA Ladyjack soccer team. Erin Murphy ’00 of Houston was named to The College of the State Bar of Texas, an honorary society recognizing lawyers who make an extraordinary commitment to professional education. She is a partner with Lee Murphy Law Firm in Houston.

Deloitte has named John England ’89 the new leader for its oil and gas sector in the United States, part of the organization’s energy and resources industry practice. In his new role, England will be responsible for strategic oversight of all Deloitte’s professional services work for a wide range of oil and gas companies. England boasts nearly two decades of experience with Deloitte. Most notably, he has served as its audit and enterprise risk services industry leader for energy in the United States, and he has held a similar global role. In addition, England has experience leading Deloitte’s global capital markets team for energy and has served as the Deloitte & Touche LLP lead relationship partner for a long roster of brandname oil and gas companies. “John’s deep oil and gas industry experience, coupled with his regulatory and energy risk management expertise, give him a unique set of skills crucial to helping oil and gas companies navigate the rapidly transforming energy landscape,” said John McCue, Deloitte’s energy and resources national industry leader. “At this time of regulatory uncertainty, John’s insights, experience and enthusiasm will bring a fresh perspective to the variety of challenges facing our clients.”


Lucie Lechler ’06 and Adam Blye ’06 of Austin were married Jan. 5. Cristin Crofford ’07 of Douglass is a banking officer at Commercial Bank of Texas in Nacogdoches. John Glaze ’94 of Houston, president of Fast Track Specialties Inc., is chairman of the board for Liberty Path Inc., a nonprofit Christian Counseling Center. He also serves as marketing chair for the University of Houston Construction Management Industry Advisory Board and is a member of the American Subcontractors Association Houston Chapter Board of Directors. Recently, Fast Track Specialties Inc. was selected as one of the Houston Business Journal’s 2012 “Best Places to Work.” Cristy Famulari ’01 and Clint Resendez were married March 24, 2012, and reside in Humble. Polly Maines ’01 & ’07 is director of the southern region for Heart’s Way Hospice of Northeast Texas. Stacy Rhodes ’05 and Marty Flach of Cypress announce the birth of Andrew Riley Flach on Nov. 22.

Kevin Mahoney ’08 of Flower Mound is the special needs teacher at Mike Moses Middle School in Nacogdoches. He teaches math, reading, writing, social studies and science. Justin Roland ’08 of Porter is head baseball coach for Porter High School. Josh Fort ’09 is an accounts specialist with Fast Track Specialties Inc. in Houston.


Hanse Ellison ’11 of Bronson is human resources director for the Sabine County Hospital.

LIFE MEMBERS The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. We appreciate your support. 7795. Katie E. Soeder ’05 of Houston 7796. Candace Ellis ’71 of Boerne 7797. Brittany M. Elbert ’11 of Magnolia 7798. Jenni L. Howsman ’11 of Haslet 7799. Sean M. Finley ’09 of Nacogdoches 7800. Allison Flake ’12 of Friendswood 7801. Noel D. Cotton of Nacogdoches 7802. John H. Hurlbut ’86 of Highland Village 7803. Jill Hurlbut ’86 of Highland Village

Igor Gusyakov ’11 of Khmelnytsky, Ukraine, is a Spanish teacher at Nacogdoches High School.

7804. Elliott J. Soeder ’06 of Houston

Christopher Strong ’11 and Shaina Jordan ’11, both of Nacogdoches, were married Jan. 5 at Fredonia Hill Baptist Church in Nacogdoches.

7808. Courtney E. Short ’11 of Little Elm

Laura White ’05 and Lott Blackman, both of Gatesville, were married Oct. 20.

7805. Leslie R. Anders ’05 of Lufkin 7806. Caitlin M. Connelly ’12 of Cypress 7807. Wayne E. Ramsey ’11 of Nacogdoches

7809. Gordon R. Graves ’74 of Nacogdoches 7810. Janet F. Graves ’11 of Nacogdoches 7811. Erin C. Goodman ’00 of Houston 7812. Emma M. O’Neill ’10 of Spring 7813. Courtney L. Burrell ’11 of Spring

Braylon Lester ’05 of Dallas received the “2013 Quest For Success Award” presented by the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce. Lester is president of Xtra 21 Express Trucking. More than 15 years of trucking and construction experience helped Lester produce a collective earnings that surpass $4.5 million since inception. 


7814. Amanda L. Plano ’01 of Live Oak 7815. Craig Wright ’13 of Flower Mound 7816. Chrystina E. Wyatt ’11 & ’13 of Cedar Hill


IN MEMORIAM Don Cartwright ’71 of Greenville, Jan. 6. Dixie Cook ’47 & ’69 of Lufkin, Nov. 25. Lorene Davidson ’36 of Waco, Jan. 7. Jimmie Davis ’69 of Longview, Dec. 14. Jack Dillon ’54 of Cleveland, Dec. 5. Karen Erwin ’68 of Hallsville, Jan. 11. Carrie Fuller ’97 & ’99 of Nacogdoches, Nov. 14. Fred Fuston ’55 of Enchanted Oaks, Nov. 17. Joyce Gaddis ’62 & ’66 of Richardson, Dec. 21. O. G. Johnston of Gladewater, Nov. 29. Rachel Guillory ’68 of West Lake, La., Dec. 29. Troy Hargis ’39 of Nacogdoches, Jan. 20. Tim Hayward ’89 of Nacogdoches, Jan. 5. Rodrick Jacquet ’98 of Beaumont, Feb. 2. Edward Jecmenek ’61 of Bay City, Dec. 14. Rachel Renee Johnson ’86 & ’89 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 11. Leneda Kay ’69 & ’76 of Marshall, Dec. 25. Robert Lippard Jr. ’52 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 19. Viola Bailey Nesbitt ’51 of Oklahoma City, Okla., Dec. 16. Ronald Neill ’60 of McKinney, Jan. 14. Cheri Orchin ’80 of Jasper, Jan. 12. Louis Pacheco III ’91 of Hitchcock, Jan. 23. Jo Pevey ’71 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 20. William Hoyt Pilkilton Jr. ’64 of Pottsboro, Dec. 10. Mildred Pinkston ’42 of Center, Jan. 17. Louise Sexton ’75 of North Richard Hills, Dec. 26. Roy Alford Spradley ’52 & ’58 of Lufkin, Oct. 14. Julia Staggs ’71 of Longview, Jan. 13. Carrie Synnott ’58 of Montgomery, Dec. 23. William Rial “Bill” Taylor ’49 & ’55 of Garrison, Jan. 19. Thomas R. “Bo” Templeton of Lumberton, Jan. 10. Robyn Ungaro ’98 of Chulota, Fla., Nov. 27. Jeannie Wallace ’74 of Longview, Dec. 25. Robert Watson ’66 of Terrell, Dec. 6. Linda White ’82 of Houston, Jan. 6. Robert Wilson ’78 of Arlington, Jan. 16. JoAnn Wisener ’71 & ’75 of Nacogdoches, Jan. 7. Truman Wright ’61 of Melrose, Jan. 16. Robert Heath Akins ’58 of Nacogdoches passed away Jan. 12. He was born in Omaha, Neb., on Sept. 19, 1931. Akins grew up in New Boston, where he graduated from New Boston High School in 1950. He then served in the U.S. Navy and was discharged in 1954 after serving in the Korean War. He earned a Bachelor of Science from SFA and began a distinguished teaching and coaching career. He was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2005. Akins retired in 1986 and moved to Nacogdoches with his wife, Tyann. They opened Stacy’s Deli in 1987 with their son, Stacy. Akins enjoyed skeet shooting and SFA athletics and served on the Board of Directors for the Nacogdoches Central Appraisal District.

Spring 2013

Former Lumberjack basketball coach Harry Miller, who compiled a 170-112 record at SFA from 1978 to 1988, passed away Feb. 13. Born on Jan. 26, 1927, in Brown County, Ind., Miller lived in Nacogdoches after he retired following the 1988 season. He coached SFA to five 20-win seasons in 10 campaigns, including a 22-5 mark in 1985-86 and 22-8 in 1986-87. The 1986-87 team won the Gulf Star Conference with a 10-0 record and advanced to the NIT Tournament. Before SFA, Miller coached at Wichita State, North Texas, Eastern New Mexico, Fresno State and Western State. Ronald L. Neill ’60 of McKinney passed away Jan. 14. He was born in Tyler on Dec. 30, 1936, and attended Tyler public schools and earned a bachelor’s degree from SFA where he played for the football team. He earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas in 1963. Neill practiced in a Dallas law firm for five years and later joined Mobil Oil Corp. in the U.S. Marketing and Refining Division, working in Texas, Chicago and New York. In 1981, he moved to the Office of General Counsel for Mobil Oil in New York City. He became chief legal counsel of Mobil Chemical Co. in Connecticut and later in Virginia, retiring in 1994. Neill was a recipient of the All-Time Letterman Award by the SFA Letterman’s Association and the Distinguished Alumnus Award by the SFA Alumni Association. Concert violinist Dr. Isidor Saslav, who established and headed the SFA strings program for more than a decade, passed away Jan. 26. Born in Jerusalem, Palestine, in 1938, Saslav came to the United States as a child and studied violin under Detroit Symphony concertmaster Mischa Mishakoff, becoming one of the youngest members of the Detroit Symphony at 17. He graduated from Wayne State University and received a doctorate in music from Indiana University. During his distinguished career, Saslav served as concertmaster of numerous orchestras, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Minnesota Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, New Zealand Symphony, the Dallas Opera and Kennedy Center Opera. He recently retired as the longtime concertmaster of the Longview Symphony Orchestra under conductor Tony Kalam, and he served as the concertmaster of the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra. James Douglas “Doug” Swearingen Sr. ’42 of Nacogdoches passed away Dec. 15. A member of “The Greatest Generation,” he was born in the Roaring ’20s, grew up in the Great Depression and fought in World War II. After the war, he married his college sweetheart and settled down to make a living, raise a family and serve his city. Swearingen was born in Hoy, La., on Dec. 11, 1922, and was raised in Deep East Texas. He graduated from Woodville’s Kirby High School and earned his bachelor’s degree from SFA. Swearingen might be best remembered for his work raising money and managing the business office during the building of Nacogdoches’ Fredonia Hotel. He also was a founding director and president of the SFA Friends of Music, and his greatest pleasure was attending musical events at SFA.














APRIL 20, 2013


Purchase Tickets @ www.outhousetickets.com Tickets also available at The Barn Bar & Grill

Spring 2013



$25 In advance $30 At the door

available at The Barn



General Admission

VIP tickets


SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE! For more information call (936) 569-9092




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. Spring 2013



The East Texas Research Center and Sawdust would like to know more about this SFA photo. From the Charles Robin Photo Collection, the photo is labeled “Hootenanny November 1963.” We would like to know more about the Hootenanny, as well as the identity of the performers. If you know more about this photo, please contact: alumni@sfasu.edu or (800) 765-1534. The ETRC at SFA collects, preserves and provides physical and virtual access to East Texas’ unique cultural history. It also is responsible for managing SFA’s Records Management Program and caring for the university’s archives. If you have SFA-related photographs, journals or memorabilia you would like to donate to the ETRC, please call (936) 468-4100.



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 2013


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

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

SLC basketball Tournament: March 13 – 16 Alumni Awards Nomination deadline: June 1 Homecoming: Oct. 18 – 19 Battle of the piney woods: Nov. 2

Profile for SFA Alumni Association

Sawdust Spring 2013  

Sawdust is the magazine of the SFA Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University

Sawdust Spring 2013  

Sawdust is the magazine of the SFA Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University


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