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New SFA Logo Unveiled “SFA Over Texas”
L UMBERJACKS M AK E GREAT TE ACHERS ONCE YOU BECOME A N SFA LUMBERJACK , YOU’LL LE AR N TO BECOME SO MUCH MORE. While some only see what you are, we
see your potential and the professional you
are destined to be.
Stephen F. Austin State University is
Only SFA truly combines the full
college experience with the full support of
an outstanding faculty—all in the exceptional setting of the beautiful East Texas
focused on connecting you to your dream
through one of our 120 areas of study.
belong in Nacogdoches.
career, from geology to software development,
We believe in you, and we believe you
ERE AT SFA, we were perhaps a little happier than usual to see the first signs of spring, as last winter brought East Texans more than our fair share of cold, wet weather. Of course, if you are like me, you believe every day is a beautiful day at SFA. But there is no question that springtime on our campus, when the SFA Gardens are in full bloom, is one of the prettiest sites for a Lumberjack to behold. I am happy to share with you that our gardens are growing in an especially exciting way this year. It’s not often on a university campus that you can say a new building was paid for entirely by private donations. However, we are very proud and thankful to be able to say exactly that about our newest SFA facility, the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building located in the Pineywoods Native Plant Center. We held a ribboncutting ceremony for the new building in late January, and the faculty and staff have already begun hosting guest lectures, symposia and other educational programs in the bright, beautiful and environmentally friendly new space. The university is very grateful to our good friend, Ms. Brundrett, and to the building’s many other benefactors for making possible this unique facility, which will benefit SFA students and nature lovers of all ages for generations to come. SFA is extremely fortunate to have benefited from financial support by countless individuals and organizations throughout our history, but one could argue that there has been no better friend to our university than the T.L.L. Temple Foundation. So it was fitting that the foundation was honored during the SFA Gala in 2013, our 90th-anniversary year. Many alumni and friends were on hand as we recognized the foundation’s generous support of SFA equipment, research, teaching, training and programs, as well as numerous scholarships and professorships that will benefit students and faculty in perpetuity. Our Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture was named in recognition of the longtime support of the late Arthur Temple, the Temple family and the foundation. And this support is a primary reason the college’s teaching, research and outreach programs have achieved national prominence. Including these exceptional programs, SFA now offers more than 120 different areas of study designed to prepare our students for successful careers in an almost unlimited number of professions, from accounting to zoology. But simply providing these high-quality programs is no longer enough to ensure SFA’s long-term success in the marketplace. In today’s highly competitive higher education environment, it is more important than ever that we differentiate ourselves from other institutions of higher learning. Toward that end, this spring, the university is kicking off a comprehensive, research-based rebranding campaign that has been carefully crafted to increase positive perceptions of SFA, recruit and retain world-class faculty and staff members, reinforce internal pride in our institution, and motivate alumni and donors to invest in our future. The first of these exciting changes are being shared with you in the pages of this issue of Sawdust, and you will undoubtedly be seeing and hearing a lot more about this important, strategic marketing initiative as the year unfolds. I remain strongly committed to the success of this rebranding process, and I hope you, my fellow alumni, will soon become as excited as I am about what is in store for SFA as we embark on the next 90 years of proud Lumberjack history. Axe ’em, Jacks!
In today’s highly competitive higher education environment, it is more important than ever that we differentiate ourselves from other institutions of higher learning.
Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’68 President, Stephen F. Austin State University
BOARD OF REGENTS Steve D. McCarty, Alto chair Dr. Scott H. Coleman, Houston vice chair Brigettee C. Henderson, Lufkin secretary David R. Alders, Nacogdoches John R. “Bob” Garrett, Tyler Barry E. Nelson, Dallas Kenton E. Schaefer, Brownsville Ralph C. Todd, Carthage Connie M. Ware, Marshall Matthew L. Logan, Mansfield student regent ADMINISTRATION Dr. Baker Pattillo president Dr. Richard Berry provost/vice president for academic affairs Danny Gallant vice president for finance and administration Jill Still vice president for university advancement Dr. Steve Westbrook vice president for university affairs MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Shirley Luna executive director Donna Parish assistant director–creative Amy Roquemore assistant director–editorial Hardy Meredith university photographer
SPRING 2014 1
Spring 2014 • Volume 41, No. 1 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Craig Turnage ’00 & ’05 Executive Director of Alumni Relations EDITOR Amy Roquemore ’93 & ’12 Assistant Director-Editorial, University Marketing Communications ART 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.
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. CONTACT Sawdust P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962 (936) 468-3407 • (800) 765-1534 email@example.com • sfaalumni.com SAWDUST ONLINE Read past issues, watch video extras, submit Class Notes and preview upcoming features: sfasu.edu/sawdust facebook.com/sfasawdust
Photo by Cody Derouen
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.
AT THE BUZZER Lumberjack basketball players and head coach Brad Underwood celebrate a tip-in by junior Jacob Parker with 0.6 second remaining on the clock that sealed a 76-74 victory against Incarnate Word at home on Feb. 1.
On the Cover
SFA is adopting a new logo called “SFA Over Texas.” Read more about the university’s rebranding campaign on Pages 20-21.
FEATURES 10 Cold in July
SFA AUTHOR’S BOOK NOW A MOTION PICTURE
18 Under Her Wing
GRADUATE STUDENT CONDUCTS RESEARCH ON DECLINING SHORE BIRD
26 Livin’ the Dream
BOARD CHAIR COUNTS SFA SERVICE AMONG GREATEST BLESSINGS
32 Seeds of Change
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE GRAD LEADS SUSTAINABILITY EFFORTS IN SWAZILAND
4 New Building Opens
28 New Director Named
5 Faculty Advising
7 New Core Curriculum
39 Alumni Networks
8 SFA Understudies
40 Class Notes
9 Vista Viewpoint
43 In Memoriam
48 From the Archives
SPRING 2014 3
A ROOM WITH A VIEW
New SFA Gardens facility is flexible, forwardlooking and refreshingly green SFA’S NEWEST ACADEMIC structure, the Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building, opened in January at the SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center and is a brick-and-mortar representation of SFA’s growing commitment to environmental education and leadership in conservation and sustainability. “Our goal is to educate, entertain and enlighten kids, students and visitors to the values of clean air, clean water, healthy forests, diverse ecosystems and the joy of gardening,” said Dr. David Creech, professor emeritus of agriculture and associate director of SFA Gardens. “There’s a fresh wind blowing in forestry and agriculture, and the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture is taking the lead,” Creech said. “It’s a smart, bold undertaking, and it’s one that integrates many disciplines to educate and train the next generation of conservation leaders. This building will be part of that mission.” Funded entirely through private donations and Texasbased foundation support, the new building is designed to integrate the myriad educational and outreach programs offered to more than 17,000 annual visitors to SFA Gardens, including the Pineywoods Native Plant Center, the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden, the SFA Mast Arboretum and the Gayla Mize Garden. Comprising 128 acres and boasting an impressive diversity of plant life, the SFA Gardens also serve as a living outdoor classroom for horticulture students in the renowned Temple College. Access to these natural spaces, along with the quality instruction offered by the SFA faculty, produces highly sought-after graduates who are well-prepared for careers in many specialized fields. The new building is named in honor of Tyler philanthropist Ina Brundrett, who serves on both the SFA Gardens and Native Plant Center boards of advisers. A member of three garden clubs, Brundrett is a former president of the Texas Garden Clubs and a Certified Master Gardener. The backyard of her Tyler residence has been declared a wildlife habitat by Texas Parks and Wildlife and the National Wildlife Federation.
To read more about the new building and all of its green features, visit sfagardens.sfasu.edu.
“Education has always been very important to my family, and I have seen for myself how a college education can dramatically change the course of someone’s life,” Brundrett said. “I love the way the staff works with visitors, and the SFA Gardens are a wonderful outdoor classroom, not only for schoolchildren but for the entire community.” Brundrett’s son and daughter-in-law, Lee and Joannie Brundrett, both attended SFA, and her gift to SFA Gardens also was intended to honor them, she said. The new building features flexible laboratory and classroom space, along with storage areas and restrooms. Dubbed “the greenest building in Nacogdoches,” the facility designed by Sutton Mitchell Beebe & Babin Architects is chock-full of environmentally friendly features, including efficient LED lighting, natural ventilation and low-emissivity (“low-e”) glass, which is coated to reflect heat. There also are plans for a gutter and rain-capture system, as well as a solar array to be installed on the building’s roof later this year. The solar array was made
FACULTY ADVISING > Many nutrients naturally found in foods can protect against certain types of cancer. This list of cancer-fighting nutrients was provided by Dr. Darla O’Dwyer, SFA associate professor of human sciences in the food, nutrition and dietetics program. Probiotics are live microorganisms that benefit human health by inhibiting multiple pathways of cancer development and proliferation. Fermented foods that are high in probiotics include yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi (fermented Korean cabbage.) Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants, which are compounds that fight free radicals. They are the brightly colored pigments found in sweet potatoes, leafy greens such as kale, spinach and colorful lettuce, and butternut squash. Lycopene is a type of carotenoid with powerful antioxidant abilities. Cooked tomato products have the highest amount of lycopene (cooking increases absorption in the intestinal tract.) Apricots, watermelon, papaya and pink grapefruit are other significant sources.
possible by a $30,000 grant from the Sun Club program of Green Mountain Energy, the longest-serving renewable energy retailer in the U.S. The solar array is expected to offset as much as 80 percent of the building’s energy usage. “We are so very excited that this building has an energy-efficient design that melds into the existing forest and creates a perfect setting for a conservation education center,” Creech said. “The building also has a lowmaintenance landscape of bullet-proof native plants. Once established, we never intend to water again – except in the worst of droughts. The plantings include possumhaw hollies, parsley haws, silverbells, redbuds, dogwoods, pink muhly grass, Northwind switch grass, a wonderful colony of dwarf loblolly pines and bald cypress and will feature (SFA’s own cultivar) ‘Purple Pride’ plum, a native Chickasaw with purple foliage.” Dr. Steve Bullard, dean of the Temple College, said, most importantly, the new building will serve as an ideal vehicle for furthering the education-based mission of the SFA Gardens and its programs. “The building is fully dedicated to delivering excellent education programs to our students and visitors and will allow us to reach individuals with a true conservation message, emphasizing the need to sustain both the ecology and the economy of our community,” he said. –AMY ROQUEMORE
Isothiocyanates are compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and horseradish. These enhance the elimination of carcinogens from the body. Flavonoids are polyphenolic compounds found in plant-based foods and beverages. Besides numerous fruits and vegetables, flavonoids also are found in green and black teas, dark chocolate, red wine, and many herbs and spices. Eating the food source is better than taking supplements in most cases. There is no one “miracle” food, and eating a variety of foods that are as close to their natural state as possible is important. Other lifestyle factors that have an impact on cancer risk include regular physical activity, healthy sleep patterns, stress reduction and avoidance of known carcinogens.
SPRING 2014 5
ROBERT DICKERSON ’91
THE FAMILY AND friends of the late Robert Dickerson ’91 have endowed an SFA scholarship in memory of the man one fraternity brother describes as “a little reserved, friendly, very handy and an all-around solid guy.” “Rob was one of those rare individuals you meet in life who would do anything for you,” Brian Ratcliff ’93 said of his friend who died of cancer in 1994, just a few years after earning his SFA business degree. “You could always count on Rob when people needed help.” Shortly before he passed away, Dickerson requested that his friends, family and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brothers make
VAN SAMFORD ’41
donations to a memorial fund in lieu of flowers at his funeral. Those initial donations served to start a scholarship in his memory to benefit deserving SFA business students. “Rob was focused on that last selfless act even when he was in pain,” Ratcliff said. “That tells you more about the person he was than anything I could ever put into words.” Each year since 1995, Dickerson’s family, friends and fraternity brothers have gathered annually in Nacogdoches for a golf tournament. Proceeds from the event were used to create an endowment, allowing for the scholarships to continue to be awarded annually in perpetuity. The 20th annual Robert D. Dickerson Memorial Golf Tournament is
IN THE LATE ’60s and early ’70s, a visit to Van Samford’s office was a trip most students hoped to avoid at all costs. As SFA’s dean of men, it was Samford’s job to keep – we’ll say “unmotivated” – students on the straight and narrow path to successful completion of their college degree, and he took that job very seriously. “He was really the disciplinarian of the men, and most of the folks who encountered him were troublemakers like me,” said R.B. Pool ’69. “I was a Pike, and I think we were all troubled youths. You know the movie Animal House? Well, that was pretty much us.” So, it was no surprise when Samford came down hard on Pool for missing class more than he attended, making dismal grades and generally misbehaving in ways that may or may not have led to brief stints in the city jail. Samford told Pool, in no uncertain terms, he was down to his last chance. “From that point on, (Samford) literally came to our house every morning and walked me to my first class,” Pool recalled. “After class, he would be there waiting to walk me to the next one. It went on like that for three or four months, and I think I made a 3.8 that semester.”
scheduled for April 26 at Woodland Hills Golf Course. The hard work that has gone into organizing and hosting the event each year is a testament to the impact Dickerson had on his family and friends during his short life, and the endowment is “a fitting and lasting tribute that promises to benefit SFA students for generations,” said Trey Turner, executive director of development. “Rob’s fraternity brothers are now 20-plus years removed from the SFA campus,” Ratcliff added. “This event has provided a way for us to stay connected. What better way to honor Rob than an annual reunion of his friends and family? I do believe he is looking down and smiling on what has been created in his memory.”
Give to SFA
Contributions to these scholarships may be sent to: SFASU Foundation P.O. Box 6092, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6092. Please specify which fund you would like to support.
Pool became a model student. He earned his bachelor’s degree and went on to law school at Texas Tech University where he graduated in 1973. The Terrell attorney has now been practicing family law for more than 40 years and has made Texas Monthly’s list of “Super Lawyers” for 12 years running. He said he has never forgotten the man who recognized his potential before he discovered it himself. That sentiment is what led Pool to recently establish the Van Samford Memorial Scholarship benefiting deserving SFA students. Samford, who also was an SFA alumnus and Lumberjack basketball letterman, passed away in 2004, before Pool had an opportunity to personally thank him for the difference he made in his and many other students’ lives. “I’m not sure where I’d be if it had not been for Van Samford, but I don’t think it is overstating to say he saved my life,” Pool said. “The scholarship was the best way I knew to honor the wonderful thing that he did for me.”
Strengthening the Core STUDENTS AT UNIVERSITIES throughout the state will soon begin noticing changes in curriculum that were mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. As directed by the Texas Legislature, the coordinating board issued rules in 2011 requiring a complete overhaul in all Texas public higher education institutions of the core curriculum – 42 semester credit hours of coursework that students must take and that must be transferable from one higher education institution to another. “The courses in the core curriculum provide the educational opportunities that distinguish university education from vocational training,” said Dr. Richard Berry, SFA provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Some majors prepare students for work in specific professions, but all SFA graduates gain an in-depth understanding in their major field of study. Additionally, through the courses in the core curriculum, students are prepared to participate thoughtfully in public discourse, to become responsible citizens in a changing world and to understand the rewards of a lifetime of continued learning.” The core curriculum offered by Texas universities had centered on knowledge-based objectives that stressed the acquisition of
information and skills specific to a particular subject. The expected outcomes have been re-envisioned as a set of core objectives that cross traditional subject area boundaries and focus on the progressive development of student skills. Each course in the core curriculum now is expected to teach: • critical thinking • communication skills • empirical and quantitative skills • teamwork • social responsibility and • personal responsibility. An advisory committee appointed by the provost worked to make the necessary changes to
that the “teamwork” objective may be the biggest challenge. “Many core courses already make use of teamwork – such as students working together in science labs – but many faculty members may not be accustomed to measuring how well students’ teamwork skills improve throughout the semester,” Berry said. Because of the magnitude of the changes required to comply with the new rules, universities across the state have been working for months to make sure that core courses meet the required educational objectives. “The core requirements allow students to put their major coursework into a broader intellectual context and understand how other
The expected outcomes have been RE-ENVISIONED as a set of CORE OBJECTIVES that cross traditional subject area boundaries and focus on the PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENT SKILLS. SFA’s undergraduate core curriculum. Each department and college reviewed each core course it offers; some courses were deleted, new courses were created and most existing courses were revised. Committee members worked to balance competing needs: the expectation that core curriculum classes would achieve the new, broader objectives and ease the transfer of courses from one college to another. Beginning in fall 2014, faculty members who teach courses designated as fulfilling a component area will be responsible for assessing the core objectives for that component area. Berry said
disciplines investigate and answer important questions,” Berry said. “The core facilitates students’ exploration of prospective majors and, in some cases, serves as a foundation for more advanced coursework within the major.” The new core curriculum outcomes are based on the Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. For more information about SFA’s core curriculum, visit www. sfasu.edu/acadaffairs. –SHIRLEY LUNA
SPRING 2014 7
Nicole Novit (above, right), pictured here playing the role of Mrs. Arable in a recent SFA production of Charlotte’s Web, is serving as a student mentor to underclassmen as part of a new “understudies” program in the School of Theatre.
SFA Understudies Peer mentoring program debuts to rave reviews
IN A WORLD where visionaries in most professions are trying to figure out how to do more with less, the School of Theatre is tapping into one of its most valuable resources – the students – to help underclassmen understand the level of commitment necessary for a successful collegiate career. The School of Theatre has initiated a peer mentoring program in which junior and senior theatre majors are guiding freshmen and new students – appropriately called “understudies”– through what can be an overwhelming immersion in university-level dramatic arts. “SFA School of Theatre is a lot of theatre really fast, which is great, but it is also very intimidating for freshmen coming in,” explained CC Conn, assistant professor of lighting and sound design at SFA. “Freshmen are intimidated by faculty, so we’re trying to give them a junior or senior student who will help them – someone they can talk to.” Conn attended a mentoring conference at the University of New Mexico in fall 2012 where speakers described a variety of mentoring approaches, including formal, informal and group programs. “The ones that kept piquing my interest were the ones on peer mentoring,” she said. “We’re a small faculty, and while we all try to help students as much as we
can, I liked the idea of using our older students to reach out to our younger students.” The conference led to a pilot mentoring program at SFA in spring 2013 when about 20 interested freshmen were divided among three upperclassmen mentors. That experience led to what is now a full-blown School of Theatre mentoring program funded in part through a mini-grant from SFA Provost Dr. Richard Berry. Standards for participating were developed. Mentors must maintain a 3.2 GPA and must have a designated number of theatre credit hours. They also must submit an essay outlining their reasons for wanting to become mentors. “You have to really know SFA theatre to successfully be a mentor,” Conn said. She received 24 applications for mentors, and 19 were accepted for this academic year. Steen Library provided them with theatre-specific library resources and information about the Academic Assistance and Resource Center, and a career coach talked to them about coaching others. SFA Counseling Services trained the mentors in suicide prevention. Effective communication skills also were addressed in the training. Conn returned to the New Mexico mentoring conference last fall and gave a presentation on the SFA program. Participating understudies are giving the program rave reviews. “My mentor has helped me gain a lot of confidence,” said freshman
Sydney Whigam of Sugar Land. “I can go to him for help with auditions or classes.” Nicole Novit came to SFA as a sophomore transfer student and said she felt “lost” in those first few weeks on campus. Life for theatre students moves quickly, with auditions on the first day of class. The mentoring program helps clear up some of the confusion, she said. “I think it is really helpful that we have mentoring meetings before classes start, where all of the new freshmen and transfers get to meet each other,” said Novit, a junior from Dallas. “That helps them become friends, and it also helps an entire board of really involved upperclassmen mentors get to know them.” As a theatre student seeking teacher certification, Novit said she finds the mentoring program especially useful. “Learning how to mentor is a helpful skill, especially for anyone who wants to work in educational theatre,” she said. Conn hopes that the program will give SFA School of Theatre a recruiting edge when prospective students learn they will have a mentor to help them navigate the complexities of college life. She also hopes the program has even farther-reaching effects. “We teach information, and we train our students on the technique and the art of theatre, but there’s got to be something about a university training them to be good people,” she said. “If they find themselves in a situation where they are encouraging or teaching someone, in a lot of ways, they are encouraging and teaching themselves. “There are so many different ways we mentor throughout our lives. On the surface, the mentor can list this on his or her resumé. But the important reality of it is that mentoring makes for a stronger person.” –ROBBIE GOODRICH
Y JOURNEY TO SFA began many years before I realized I was already on the — dare I say it? — purple brick road to Nacogdoches. This university has been on my radar since I was in high school. Cheerleading was my primary identity as a teenager, so I planned to follow that avenue to college. SFA was the best of the best in this arena, and I wanted to be with the best. Sadly, the weekend of tryouts coincided with a district gymnastics meet, and I couldn’t be in two places at once — a game I am still trying to win. Hence, I pursued cheerleading at another university that was on the opposite side of the state but very similar to SFA in scope, size and feel. As Angelo State University had a very highly respected pre-med program, I began college as a biology major with ambitions of becoming a pediatrician. I went to class every morning, lab every afternoon and practice every night. My first year in college proved to be a lesson that many freshmen learn. College is far more demanding than anyone could possibly communicate. But if after your first semester, you can stand up, brush yourself off and come back for more, you are doing OK. Needless to say, neither my academic nor extracurricular activities panned out the way I expected. But something far more wonderful was already in the works. Even as I dreaded my science courses and lab practicums, I loved my liberal arts classes — history, in particular. Thanks to many wonderful people, including an assistant dean of student life, an admissions director, a certain chief of police, even the president of the university, and more professors than I can possibly count, I was on my way to becoming a member of the academy. As the old adage proclaims, it takes a village to raise a child. As a professor, I believe it takes a university to graduate a student. Several years later and just before I graduated from Texas Christian University with a doctorate in history, the chair of the SFA Department of History contacted me. Dr. Sylvia McGrath asked if I would be interested in a position as a visiting professor. “Interested” did not even begin to describe how I felt about this opportunity. We had a wonderful conversation, but in the end, I declined the offer in order to complete my
By Dana Cooper
dissertation and conclude that phase of my life, which had gone on for more years than I wanted to admit! I did, however, make it clear that SFA was a place that I would very much like to be. The university and the department, in particular, had a terrific reputation for having strong programs and a collegial faculty, which reflected the experience I had enjoyed as an undergraduate and wanted to repeat as a professor. Sadly, Dr. McGrath passed away just a few weeks later, and I interviewed for her position early the next year. More than six years have passed since I taught my first class at SFA, and I am incredibly thankful for all that the university has given me — the chance to hone my craft while living and raising a family in Nacogdoches and giving back to our students. I see so much of myself in them. Like many SFA undergraduates, I am a first-generation college student, an identity I never knew I had until a chance conversation with a TCU professor. Speaking candidly one day, she condescendingly remarked, “You can always pick out the first gens.” I nodded, remained silent and for days tried to figure out what in the heck a “first gen” was. When I finally realized what she meant, I was shocked and horrified. All these years, I had not realized that I was one of those — a “first gen.” Today, I wear the label with pride, having firsthand experience of what a university can do — one caring professor, one kind staff member, one patient librarian at a time — for a student like me. Thanks to people throughout that university, I not only earned a college degree but also was inspired to pay it forward. To have the academic shoe on the other foot today at SFA is a dream come true. DANA COOPER Chair, SFA Faculty Senate
SPRING 2014 9
Cold in July, a movie based on the 1989 novel by award-winning author and SFA writer-inresidence Joe Lansdale, recently was featured at the Sundance Film Festival. The film, starring Michael C. Hall of Showtime’s Dexter along with Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Vinessa Shaw, will hit movie theaters this summer. Music by Lansdale’s daughter, country music singer/songwriter and former SFA student Kasey Lansdale, is featured in the film. His son, journalist and SFA alumnus Keith Lansdale, got to mingle with the cast and crew during shooting, and he shared his experience with Sawdust.
SFA author’s book now a motion picture
By Keith Lansdale ’11
Photos courtesy of Keith Lansdale
From left Keith Lansdale with Cold in July actors Don Johnson and Michael C. Hall and screenplay writer Nick Damici
feeling reserved for sitting next to someone who you only identify as a serial killer. As I sat next to Michael C. Hall from Showtime’s Dexter at dinner, I couldn’t help but feel a little uneasy. Sure, he’d only been playing a serial killer, but that was the only thing I knew about him. He’s a regular guy, I thought. No reason to feel weird about that. I glanced down at the butter knife
in front of him. > 10 SAWDUST
Joe R. Lansdale, or Dad, as I call him, is a writer and has been my whole life. Hall’s best-known character, Dexter, is a serial killer who kills other serial killers. It’s an interesting look at how a psychopath tries to fit in. And Hall has played it to perfection. The ability to shift between his two realities seamlessly already hinted at what a powerful actor he was, but it wasn’t until I spent some time with him that I realized just how talented he really is. I expected him to sound like Dexter, but instead a much different voice came out. He introduced himself when I sat down and seemed almost nervous. Not because he was meeting me – I’m sure he could see that I was only moments from nerding out. No, my guess is he wanted to make a good impression when meeting Dad. Joe R. Lansdale, or Dad, as I call him, is a writer and has been my whole life. Recently though, his and Hall’s paths connected when a novel Dad wrote back in 1989 was picked up by director Jim Mickle and screenwriter Nick Damici. Cold in July is the story of an East Texas man, played by Hall, who defends his home from a burglary, setting off a chain of events of a vengeful father, played by Sam Shepard, and a big-talking, big-walking private detective out of Houston, played by Don Johnson. Dexter – I mean Hall – seemed like a normal guy. Sure, that’s the old saying – that actors are just like everyone else. But to anyone who thinks you can just look into a camera and act, watching a real actor like Hall work brings a whole new level of appreciation to the craft. He would listen to Dad and start soaking up like a sponge the way Dad talked and moved. Hall was able to parrot accents and mannerisms, really learning the ways of a true East Texan. On set, when Hall started to act out his scenes, he didn’t sound like Dexter or the nice man I talked with at dinner, but like a guy who might have grown up down the road from Nacogdoches. Between takes, Hall would walk over to Dad and say, “How do you say the word, S-C-H-O-O-L,” spelling it out. Dad would answer in his Texan accent that runs sounds together in a gentle way. Then just like that, after hearing it a few times, it was a tool in Hall’s belt. It was fun watching them all work. Co-stars Shepard and Johnson were just as talented in their craft, all of them bringing their characters to life. Shepard, whose character was very internal, also was very quiet off camera, while Johnson couldn’t have been a better pick for the role of Jim Bob, the know-it-all detective. Watching Johnson on and off camera, it was as if Jim Bob himself was hanging around, ad libbing humorous lines on camera, making people laugh between takes. There was certainly never a dull moment. Being on the set was a lot of fun, but the old line about, “Hurry up and wait,” is very true to the experience. The filming took place over five weeks. And following all the time it takes putting a film together, it won’t count for anything without one final hurdle to jump; someone has to actually like Cold in July. Just being chosen for the Sundance lineup is exciting and bodes well that it will get some real attention once it debuts. That being said, fingers are still crossed. Maybe one day, Cold in July will be in a theater near you.
Michael C. Hall
WHAT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAMMERS ARE SAYING ABOUT COLD IN JULY Michael C. Hall brings a shellshocked vulnerability to his portrayal of Dane that contrasts perfectly with the grizzled badasses portrayed by Sam Shepard and Don Johnson. Directed with an excellent eye for the visual poetry of noir, this pulpy, southern-fried mystery is a throwback to an older breed of action film, one where every punch and shotgun blast opens up both physical and spiritual wounds. Twists and turns accelerate as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a goresoaked dead end. Cold in July is as muggy, oppressive, and hard to shake as an East Texas summer.” SPRING 2014 11
WENT TO CHENA HOT SPRINGS,
NORTH OF FAIRBANKS, ALASKA, AND SWAM. THE
45 DEGREES BELOW ZERO.
CHECKED ANOTHER ONE OFF THE BUCKET LIST.
FLAUNTED MY PURPLE. AMANDA SESSIONS OLDHAM SFA FACEBOOK
OPENS SEASON WITH A
SCHOOL RECORD AT HOUSTON INDOOR OPENER #AXEEM SFA ATHLETICS TWITTER
THANK YOU SFA! THANK YOU AWESOME PROFESSORS FOR
MOLDING ME INTO THE EDUCATOR I AM TODAY!
AXE ’EM, JACKS!! DENISSE PACHECO FACEBOOK
AFTER TONIGHT, A NEW CHAPTER IN SFA FOOTBALL IS OFFICIALLY
OFF AND RUNNING. EXPECTATIONS ARE IN PLACE. GREAT DEAL OF WORK TO DO.
HERE WE GO. HEAD FOOTBALL COACH CLINT CONQUE TWITTER
AXE ’EM, JACKS! ENJOY LEARNING, LIVING AND MATURING DURING YOUR COLLEGE YEARS!
#THEREALWORLDISBONKERS! JACK WALKERS TWITTER
12 12 SAWDUST SAWDUST
IN BLOOM Springtime is the best time to visit SFA Gardens, especially the eight-acre Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden – the largest azalea garden in Texas. The garden puts on a dazzling show throughout the season, but the blooms will be at their peak during the annual Nacogdoches Azalea Trail, which continues through March 31. Dedicated in 2000, the garden features more than 550 varieties of rhododendron (mostly azaleas), 100 types of camellia, more than 200 different hydrangeas and a wealth of other beautiful flora. Since 1985, the SFA Gardens have grown from a quarter-acre patch on the south side of the Agriculture Building to 128 acres of carefully tended grounds that feature an amazing diversity of plant life. The Mize Azalea Garden, along with the Mast Arboretum, Pineywoods Native Plant Center, Gayla Mize Garden and the 60-acre SFA Recreational Trails and Gardens, are big reasons why Nacogdoches recently was designated “The Garden Capital of Texas” by the Texas Legislature.
WORK SPACE 3 7 8
What you’ll find in . . . SFA President Dr. Baker Pattillo’s office: 1. A porcelain sculpture of the president’s hand and forearm created by SFA ceramics professor Piero Fenci rests on the coffee table. To produce the mold for the sculpture, Dr. Pattillo made the “Axe ’em, Jacks” hand sign and held his arm perfectly still in a bucket of hardening plaster for 20 minutes. 2. The leather-bound Bible on display has been signed by all eight men who have served as SFA president, including Dr. Pattillo, who was appointed in 2007. 3. A painting of “The father of Texas” and SFA’s namesake Stephen F. Austin, a replica of a portrait hanging in the state Capitol rotunda, was a gift to the university from the Class of 1929. 4. As requested by Dr. Pattillo, signatures of the two men who built the president’s wooden bookcase, cabinet maker David “Mo” Mohundro and furniture finisher Glynn Hartt, can be found inside this drawer. 5. A printed sample of SFA’s newly registered purple and white tartan plaid
designed by fashion merchandising student Kelcie Brown of Bowie is displayed on the corner of the desk. 6. The desk was originally used by SFA’s fourth president, Dr. William R. Johnson, who promoted Dr. Pattillo to vice president for student affairs, and later to vice president for university affairs, during his tenure. 7. This statue bears a close resemblance to the Pattillo family’s beloved Dachshund, Heidi, who lived to be 17. The Pattillos have owned several dogs of the same breed. Currently serving as SFA’s First Dog is a 10-year-old Dachshund named ’Doches. 8. “There are no simple solutions to complex problems,” a framed quote by the Rev. Jim Sparks, retired pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Nacogdoches, is a favorite of Dr. Pattillo’s. 9. A Canadian goose, hand carved by SFA Alumni Association Executive Director Emeritus Bob Sitton ’60, rests on a cabinet top.
10. The university’s ceremonial mace was made by President Johnson and only leaves the office three times a year when it is carried into commencement ceremonies by the Faculty Senate chair. 11. The small table holding the president’s telephone was salvaged from Arp State Bank, a nod to the president’s small East Texas hometown. 12. Family photos, including a recent one of Dr. Pattillo’s new grandson, Jackson Baker Brown, and his classmates at the SFA Early Childhood Lab, occupy one corner of the desk. 13. A pair of rush-seat chairs once used in the office of SFA’s first president, Dr. Alton Birdwell, flanks a side table holding photographs and other mementos. 14. The hand-painted axe handle was a gift to Dr. Pattillo from the SFA Sawyers in 1993. DR. BAKER PATTILLO ’65 & ’66 Eighth President of SFA
SPRING 2014 13
Above Participants in a 2010 Alternative Spring Break trip to New Orleans, La., pose with the SFA flag. Below Students clear cinder blocks from outside a Hot Springs, Ark., animal shelter in 2013 to make room for a new exercise area for the animals.
ALTERNATIVE SPRING BREAK THE WORDS “COLLEGE spring break” have traditionally called to mind images of wild parties on the beach and binge drinking until dawn. But more recently, spring break activities have focused on helping others in a variety of creative and philanthropic ways. The Alternative Spring Break concept continues to gain popularity with more and more of today’s college students choosing to forego their personal interests and spend their spring holiday helping others instead. In 2010, SFA’s first ASB trip involved a group of 10 students, a graduate assistant and an adviser traveling to New Orleans to help with continuing clean-up activities in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Subsequent trips have focused on a variety of projects in Memphis, Tenn.; Biloxi, Miss.; and Hot Springs, Ark. This year, the SFA contingent will leave March 9 bound for Oklahoma City to work with one of the groups that is helping coordinate the rebuilding efforts in the wake of the EF5 tornado that struck nearby
Moore, Okla., just a year ago. They also will work with an animal shelter, a food bank and White Fields, an organization that provides housing and support for boys who have experienced abuse and neglect. Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for student engagement, said this trip, like others before it, is the result of a collaboration by students chosen for participation last fall. Once the group leaders and Bouldin settled on Oklahoma City as their target, all the team members helped identify needs and schedule projects. “We will be staying in cabins at a KOA campground,” Bouldin said. “On our sightseeing day the group will visit several area museums to learn about a major historical event (the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing) and the state’s rich Western and Indian heritage.” Lindsey Wagner, a junior nursing major, first learned about ASB during freshman orientation, and thought it was “a perfect opportunity to be able to meet other students from all areas of campus who also had a passion for community service and a willingness to sacrifice their Spring Break to help others.” Joshua Orrego ’13, an art education graduate currently serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, says his experiences with Spring Break volunteerism helped him put some of his future goals into perspective. “I knew from these trips that joining the Peace Corps after college was the right choice,” he said. “It also helped me in establishing better group dynamics as a leader.” Orrego recalls the motto, “Flexibility is key,” as words that still keep him grounded when he encounters problems in his new endeavor. The motivated young man credits Bouldin and other ASB team members for providing him help, guidance and encouragement. Alternative Spring Break trips focus on particular issues, including poverty, educational reform, youth and the environment. In the months
prior to each trip, team members study the culture and issues of the area to which they will travel. The university provides limited funding, but each participant must pay a portion of his or her expenses. Some students request help from family, friends and other sponsors, but the group also participates in fundraising. Bouldin laughs when she describes one of the more creative – and lucrative – activities, called “Trash for Change,” in which team members offer to take out trash for residence hall residents in exchange for pocket change. The trip plans include food and lodging options that are frugal, and students actually cook many of their own meals. Hard work during the day is moderated in the evenings by group activities that are fun for the students. In this, the fifth year of SFA’s Alternative Spring Break experiences, Bouldin reflects on the initial decision to sponsor the project. “We felt like we were missing the immersive service experience,” she said. “It’s great for our students to work with youth in Nacogdoches on a Saturday, but it’s powerful for them to do something selfless over Spring Break.” –PAT SPENCE
Photos courtesy of SFA Student Affairs
Below SFA Alternative Spring Breakers install new plantings near a bayou in Biloxi, Miss., in 2012 to combat erosion.
THE LUMBERJACK BASEBALL team has embarked on a challenging 55-game 2014 schedule that includes 24 games at Jaycees Field in Nacogdoches. The schedule is highlighted with the Lumberjacks’ non-conference games against Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and TCU. The ’Jacks, coming off a 28-29 year, will play six teams ranked in Collegiate Baseball’s Fabulous 40 NCAA Division I preseason poll and another six, including two Southland Conference teams, that received votes. “The quality of opponents on the 2014 schedule is unmatched by any previous schedule,” head coach Johnny
orees, while football ranked second with 22 named to the Honor Roll. Soccer placed third with 16 selections along with four 4.0 GPAs, and men’s cross country landed 13 on the list. Volleyball contributed 10 student-athletes to the honor roll.
Cardenas said. Baseball season tickets are now on sale. To purchase tickets, call (936) 468-JACK (5225).
THE LUMBERJACK BASKETBALL team has enjoyed storied success all season under first-year head coach Brad Underwood and claimed the outright regular-season Southland Conference championship with a Feb. 27 victory at New Orleans. The Lumberjacks have garnered national attention, ranked third in CollegeInsider.com’s Mid-Major Top 25 poll – the program’s highestever ranking – and third in the MidMajor Power 15 rankings. At press time, SFA also held several national marks, including being tied for the national lead in consecutive home wins (31), owning the secondlongest winning streak in the nation (23), and holding at second in the nation with 11-straight road wins. The conference tournament will be held March 12-15 in Katy.
TRACK AND FIELD
NINETY-TWO SFA student-athletes were named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll. Of those, 15 boasted a 4.0 grade-point average during the fall semester. Women’s cross country led the way with 31 hon-
first two weeks of the season, running 7.48 seconds in the 60 meters and 24.11 in the 200 meters. The Ladyjacks are looking to ride that momentum along with their 10straight Southland Conference titles to more success in 2014. SFA’s women have won both the indoor and outdoor Southland Conference Championships the last five years. Last season, the men also swept the Southland Conference Championships. Indoors, the Lumberjacks’ Colton Ross earned second team All-America honors, and the men’s 4x400 relay team received honorable mention outdoors.
SFA TRACK AND field has long been a force in the Southland Conference, and already in 2014, the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks have been making an impact. Sprinter Brarysheyia Simpson broke two of her own school records indoors in the
SPRING 2014 15
NEW ERA in Lumberjack football began in December when Clint Conque was named the 19th head football coach in program history. Coming to SFA from Central Arkansas where he served as head coach of the Bears for the past 14 seasons, Conque brings with him nearly 30 years of coaching experience. “Our goal was to find someone who had previous head coaching experience and a successful record,” said Director of Athletics Robert Hill. “Coach Conque not only has a proven record as a head coach but he also has had great success in the Southland Conference. He is familiar with SFA, and he recruits heavily in Texas. He is the perfect package.” Conque brings with him to Nacogdoches an impressive coaching résumé, posting an overall career record of 105-59 (.640) during his 14 seasons at Central Arkansas. He departed as the all-time winningest coach in Bear program history while becoming just the second collegiate head coach in Arkansas to amass 100 career victories, sitting only behind legendary Razorback coach Frank Broyles. “I am excited about the opportunity to come to Nacogdoches and help build upon the great tradition of SFA football,” Conque said. “I’ve always felt SFA could be one of the crown jewels in the Southland Conference.”
Conque has surrounded himself with an experienced coaching staff, bringing together a handful of veteran coaches who have worked at some of the top Football Championship Series programs in the nation. The staff hit the ground running during the holidays, scouring the area for some of the best high school talent available. The new recruits were introduced to the SFA and Nacogdoches communities during a press conference in early February. “It was awesome to get out across the state and the region and see how well Stephen F. Austin was received by our recruits,” Conque said. “This is a place that is so well thought of as an institution and an athletic program, and both the high school coaches and the families of these young men that we met with were incredibly excited to be a part of this program.” Central Arkansas established itself as one of the top teams both regionally and nationally during Conque’s tenure, capturing the Southland Conference title in 2008 and 2012 and advancing to the FCS playoffs in both 2011 and 2012. UCA also made a pair of NCAA Division II playoff appearances during Conque’s time in Conway, including advancing to the quarterfinals in 2005, before the program made the transition to the FCS level following the 2005 season. During the eight seasons in which Central Arkansas competed in the Southland Conference, Conque posted
Conque brings conference experience, winning record to Lumberjack football program
BY RAND CHAMPION
a 33-16 record in SLC play (.673), and was named the Southland’s Coach of the Year in 2005, 2008 and 2012. Named NCAA FCS Region 5 Coach of the Year in 2008, Conque also has been a three-time finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award with his teams boasting seven top-25 finishes since 2001. Under Conque’s tutelage, his players have been recognized for their efforts on the field time and time again. During his coaching career, 126 players have been recognized as all-conference selections with 37 earning All-America honors. Thirty-one of his former players have gone on to play professionally, including 12 signing NFL contracts. His focus hasn’t been solely on the field, however. Conque’s teams have boasted some of the highest Academic Progress Rate scores in the region and produced three Academic All-Americans. A graduate of Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, La., Conque was an All-American linebacker at Nicholls
The Conque Family
State University in Thibodaux, La. He also was named a second team LSWA All-Louisiana selection as a senior. He was selected to Nicholls’ Silver Anniversary Team in 1997 and inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame in 2005.
“I am excited about the opportunity to come to Nacogdoches and help build upon the great tradition of SFA football,” Following his playing career at Nicholls, Conque landed with the Los Angeles Raiders only to have his playing career cut short by injury in 1983. He then returned to Nicholls and began his coaching career as a graduate assistant for the Colonels before spending a pair of seasons coaching in the high school ranks. Before taking over the helm of the Central Arkansas program in 2000, he coached at McNeese State, Samford University and Louisiana Tech. Conque is married to the former Angele’ Jackson, and the couple has three sons: Chasse, Benton and Zach. Zach is a sophomore quarterback who recently transferred to SFA. Conque also is grandfather to twins, Julianna and Sydney, who were born to Chasse and his wife, Lisa, in 2012. “My family and I couldn’t be more excited to be at SFA,” Conque said. “Hopefully, we can bring a consistent winner to Nacogdoches and build something that our students, alumni and fan base can be proud of. It’s just a tremendous opportunity.”
SPRING 2014 17
SFA graduate student conducts research on declining shorebird
UNDER HER WING By Donna Parish
merge their bellies in the lake water to help cool the eggs. The Ogallala Aquifer, a vast, shallow water table located beneath the U.S. Great Plains, runs through this area and is a main source of water for humans and wildlife alike. The saline lakes are directly connected to the underlying aquifer and are considered a reflection of the aquifer’s water table. The freshwater springs from the aquifer feed the saline lakes. Extreme drought conditions throughout the region, along with crop irrigation, have caused a “draining” of the aquifer and saline lakes, which has a detrimental affect on the birds’ ability to nest. Additionally, the lack of water presence depletes the vegetation and insects. As the Ogallala Aquifer and salt lakes drain, the contaminants that naturally occur and those introduced by man may become more concentrated. Organisms and insects ingest these contaminants, and as the food chain goes higher, snowy plovers eat the insects and may ingest contaminated prey. Ashbaugh said at extreme concentrations this can result in the birds forgoing nesting, nest failure, embryo deformities, hatchling mortality, toxicosis and death. Although no direct linkages exist between declining snowy plover populations and environmental contaminants present in the Southern High Plains saline lakes, Ashbaugh said her research is designed to address this information gap. “I hope to gather the necessary data to determine if the contaminant concentrations in the environment are causing negative effects on snowy plover populations,” Ashbaugh said. “Habitat protection and conservation are critical in preserving this declining species. They are the first steps in protecting shorebirds like the snowy plover.” Conway points out that this research could have farreaching implications for other birds. “Hannah’s work is not just regional in scope, as these saline lake systems are located in the middle of the continent where shorebirds, sandhill cranes and waterfowl that breed in the Arctic and winter in Central and South America use these lakes during migration. Her work has clear continental implications on the conservation of migratory water birds throughout North America.” After graduation, Ashbaugh plans to work toward a doctorate in wildlife toxicology. “My research has created a deep love and passion for shorebirds, waterfowl and wildlife dependent upon wetland environments,” she said.
Photo courtesy of Hannah Ashbaugh
N INCREASINGLY CROWDED world has spilled over into the Texas Southern High Plains, and the effects are contributing to population declines of a small bird that relies on the region’s saline lakes for survival. The snowy plover, a shorebird about six inches in length, uses regional saline lakes for nesting and as stopover habitats during migration. Drought, groundwater pumping for crop irrigation and increased rates of nest failures have all contributed to declines in this species during the past 15 years. Hannah Ashbaugh, an SFA environmental science graduate student from Flower Mound, is on a mission to pinpoint potential impacts that naturally occurring heavy metals and other agricultural contaminants may be having on the bird’s population. “The most recent Texas Southern High Plains snowy plover population study conducted from 1998 to 2009 indicates a population decline of approximately 75 percent,” Ashbaugh said. She adds snowy plovers are important because they are part of the interconnected web of life in these saline lake systems. The number of snowy plovers nesting and fledging young is an indicator of the overall health of these regionally rare wetland systems. Dr. Warren Conway, SFA professor of wildlife management, laid the foundation for Ashbaugh’s research in the 1990s. When Conway was working toward his doctorate in Lubbock, he began studying the bird’s nesting habits and population. Then, in 2009, Dr. Sarah Saalfeld completed her dissertation at SFA by elaborating on elements of Conway’s research. Conway later introduced Ashbaugh to the project. During the past several months, Ashbaugh has been living in Lubbock collecting data on snowy plovers at Mound, Rich and Tahoka lakes. She spends her time gathering sediment, insects, vegetation and other samples and observing snowy plover nesting activity along the shorelines. “Working with partners from Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Kansas, Hannah has been successful in executing a logistically difficult project even though she’s 500-600 miles from SFA,” Conway said. “Her ability to coordinate sampling, lab work and personnel has been remarkable.” According to Ashbaugh, snowy plovers are ground nesters and breed on coastal or inland saline lakes on either sand or gravel near a freshwater source. The majority of their diet is brine flies, which swarm around the salty water. To keep their eggs cool during extreme temperatures that can reach nearly 130 degrees Fahrenheit on the salt flats, adults “belly soak.” Ashbaugh said the birds incubate their eggs by leaving a space between their bellies and the eggs to create an air pocket that allows for circulation. They sub-
SPRING 2014 19
‘SFA OVER TEXAS’ A NEW LOGO AND REBRANDING CAMPAIGN AIM TO REPOSITION SFA IN THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF TEXANS. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN State University is in the final stages of a year-long rebranding initiative meant to redefine the image of the university. The most tangible elements of the process are a redesigned university logo and a new multi-media campaign that will launch statewide on March 31. This rebranding process began one year ago when the university brought in an outside marketing consultancy––SimpsonScarborough––to assess what should be done to help SFA achieve its top goals. The goals outlined included growing enrollment, increasing positive statewide perceptions of the university and reinforcing internal pride for the institution. SimpsonScarborough’s recommendation to the university was twofold: conduct research to assess the health of the university brand and hire an advertising agency to bring those insights to life.
RESEARCH, RESEARCH & MORE RESEARCH “Before we could decide how and what to communicate to the university’s many audiences, we first had to determine current perceptions,” said Dr. Baker Pattillo, university president. “The research studies gave us the data we needed to move forward with confidence.” First, the good news. The overall perception of SFA among the groups studied was generally positive and showed that SFA is moving in the right direction. Less encouraging was the discovery that many of the respondents, prospective students in particular, were unable to identify what makes SFA unique or name any particular areas of study in which SFA excels. In short, they knew of SFA but not about SFA. As the word cloud at left illustrates, prospective students’ only strong associations with SFA were “purple” and “Lumberjacks.” Ideally the word cloud would prominently feature words and phrases related to the quality of education and flagship programs. Murky awareness of the university and its programs is a critical issue because the way universities are chosen has changed dramatically in recent years. Today’s economic climate has forced families to look more closely at the return on investment delivered by a college degree. Certainly, prospective students still want to gain knowledge. They simply want to ensure that their newly gained knowledge is marketable and will help them land a career. Naturally, the parents of prospective students put even more emphasis on the opportunity for future employment.
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THE SFA PROMISE Think of the SFA brand as a promise that the university makes each time it comes into contact with a constituent. Defining that promise explicitly is the key to ensuring conviction among all stakeholders and consistency across all points of contact, which will ultimately lead to a deeper connection with the university’s various audiences. To shape that promise, the university turned to Richards/Carlberg––an award-winning branding firm based in Houston. Richards/Carlberg performed in-depth interviews of various university personnel, students and community members. The information gathering was followed by a focused, one-day branding workshop with participants from the university and Richards/Carlberg. The workshop distilled the university’s reason for existing down to a succinct brand vision: “Challenging minds, changing lives–one Lumberjack at a time.” The vision spells out why SFA exists while giving a nod to the personal attention and school spirit that is unique to SFA. Moving forward, everything the university does should fulfill that vision.
EVOLUTION OF THE SFA LOGO Rebranding often starts with an organization’s logo, because a logo is the most common and visual representation of a brand. In the case of SFA, Richards/Carlberg designed a cleaner more contemporary evolution of the current logo. “Graphically, the new ‘SFA Over Texas’ logo reads much more clearly,” said Chuck Carlberg, principal of Richards/Carlberg. “With a new brand and the distinct purple, SFA will gain an awareness and a look that is as smart, clean and up to date as the university.”
CAMPUS NEWS THE MESSAGE
A comprehensive advertising campaign was developed in tandem with the new SFA logo and will be rolled out most heavily in Houston, Dallas and East Texas on March 31. The goals of the campaign are to communicate a compelling identity for SFA and to make a positive first impression. The campaign will appear in malls and magazines and on billboards and online/mobile banners. Each ad is proudly purple and highlights a different profession that students are able to pursue at SFA. The campaign was created to provide flexibility in promoting both the university’s well-known and lesser-known areas of study. As prospective students and parents are repeatedly exposed to ads in multiple forms of media, it will become apparent that SFA is the gateway to a career in virtually any field imaginable. “When one pictures a Lumberjack, certain stereotypes come to mind,” explained Carlberg. “That allowed us to have some fun and showcase the many incredible and, to some, surprising careers one can pursue from SFA. We feel the campaign appeals to students seeking their dream job while also generating pride in SFA alumni already successfully working in these fields.”
Replacing a logo that has been in use for more than two decades does not happen overnight. Gradually, the logo will begin to appear on university materials and campus signage on an as-needed, prioritized basis. “As materials with the old logo are used up and need to be replenished, the new logo will be implemented,” said Shirley Luna, SFA executive director of marketing and public affairs. “We aren’t requiring that items with the old logo be discarded, just that any new printing projects feature the new logo.”
One proposed extension of the campaign is T-shirts tailored to each specific area of study, so students and alumni can proudly display their chosen career path. “Our hope is that each program within SFA will find creative ways to embrace this campaign and bring it to life on campus,” said Still. To ensure consistent use of the new logo and campaign, the university will introduce a brand guideline document to define approved usage. More information is available on the Marketing Communications website at sfasu.edu/branding. “Clearly, the campaign positions SFA as a career-oriented university, which we know deeply resonates with today’s students and parents,” noted Jill Still, SFA vice president for university advancement. “What we find so brilliant about the campaign is that it also speaks to potential employers who may not realize SFA is graduating exceptional young professionals in such a variety of fields.”
THE NEXT 90 YEARS BEGIN NOW It seems very appropriate that while the university is celebrating its 90th anniversary, it is proactively looking to the future. “I am very proud of the legacy SFA has built over the last 90 years,” Pattillo said. “I think our new logo and campaign are a great first step toward continuing the university’s growth and success for the next 90 years.”
SPRING SPRING 2014 201421iii
The computer science faculty will be able to conduct research on viruses, network traffic and malware, utilizing conditions that students will encounter when they enter the workforce.
Grant award will boost SFAâ€™s capacity for STEM research, global collaboration
to the by amy roquemore
Agricultural researchers will be able to remotely monitor and manage cattle and poultry operations.
Astronomers overseeing the SFA Observatory will have the ability to transition it into a robotic research observatory, delve into the area of synoptic programs, and reliably store and transfer the huge volumes of data collected at the observatory each night.
RECENT $497,346 grant from the National Science Foundation will make way for critically needed upgrades to SFA’s cyber infrastructure network, allowing the university to greatly advance capacity and knowledge in data-driven research across a variety of STEM disciplines – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The upgrades will enhance both graduate and undergraduate curricula and increase student participation in data-intensive research across the campus. By mitigating challenges related to the campus’ geographic isolation from other major research centers in the state, the advanced networking capabilities also will allow SFA researchers to collaborate much more effectively with other institutions and to drastically increase the availability of SFA research and data to other researchers and entities. “These upgrades will directly allow for the growth of research and education activities, helping place SFA at the forefront of higher education in Texas,” said Michael Coffee, one of the grant’s principal investigators. >
SPRING 2014 23
In computational chemistry, the transfer of large data sets will enable researchers to better predict properties of macro and micro molecules.
Biotechnology researchers will benefit from the efficient transfer of genetic sequencing data to the International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas, which will aid collaborative research efforts to stop the wheat destruction around the world caused by the Sunn pest.
This is not the first time the university has received grant funding from the NSF. According to the SFA Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the university has received NSF grants totaling more than $8 million since 2001. “I very much appreciate the support of the NSF and the confidence they have shown in SFA,” Coffee said. “I look forward to the completion of these upgrades and their utilization in the academic, research and outreach missions of our university.” The new fiber optic installations made possible by the grant will increase SFA’s network speed 10-fold, according to Dr. Dan Bruton, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and another of the grant’s principal investigators. Dr. David Cook, principal investigator and associate professor of computer science, added the upgrades will give students access to state-of-the-art technologies that “further the practical aspect of their educational experience.” “In the Department of Computer Science, in particular, the increased computing and networking capabilities will allow us to pursue research in network and data security, distributed architectures and processing, and parallel processing,” Cook said. Dr. Kimberly Childs, dean of SFA’s College of Sciences and Mathematics, said the heightened technological capacity will allow faculty members to attract more students to participate in their research while
increasing the usefulness of the university’s various remote laboratories and research centers. “This infusion of technology will have even broader, societal impacts because of the opportunity for enhanced collaboration on research in a wide range of STEM disciplines,” she said. “At SFA, we are deeply invested in the national call for reform in STEM education, and these upgrades will allow faculty members across the university to contribute at a much higher level to the knowledge and research base within the STEM disciplines,” she said. “At the same time, these improvements will reinforce our outreach and recruitment efforts designed to encourage and prepare students to enter STEM careers – the key to our long-term security and prosperity as a nation.”
t SFA, we are deeply invested in the national call for reform in STEM education, and these upgrades will allow faculty members across the university to contribute at a much higher level to the knowledge and research base within the STEM disciplines.” — Dr. Kimberly Childs, Dean of sfa’S college of scienceS and mathematics
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1341010. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Photos by Stephanie Ballard
The Core of the Matter New repository aiding in student research
A NEW ADDITION to SFA’s Department of Geology is fueling opportunities for geology student and faculty research and strengthening the university’s connections to the petroleum industry. The East Texas Core Repository serves as a final resting place for valuable geologic samples originally obtained through prospecting and drilling activity that have been donated to SFA for research purposes. The repository houses cores, slabs and plugs that consist of layered earth and rock. Students and other researchers can study the samples to learn about the geological history of the land from which they were extracted. The scientific terms for this type of research are stratigraphy and sedimentology. Dr. Kevin Stafford, assistant professor in the Department of Geology in SFA’s College of Sciences and Mathematics, said the samples will be especially beneficial to graduate students conducting thesis research on the composition of rocks being studied in East Texas fields. “When drilling a new well, you want to understand the geology of the land before investing in it,” Stafford said. “Cores are valuable. They show what the subsurface consists of.” Stafford credited several SFA alumni working in the petroleum industry with helping make the new core repository a reality. The repository received its first batch of core samples in October 2013 from Trek Oil and Gas in Houston, and the university is in contact with several other companies interested in making additional donations. The facility currently houses approximately 12,000 pounds of samples. Most of the donated core samples are about three feet long and weigh approximately 50 pounds each.
The majority of the samples that have been donated were collected from Crockett and Pecos counties, while additional samples from East Texas are in the process of being transferred to the ETCR. Most of the cores are cylindrical in shape, while slabs are cut into flat samples. The plugs are much smaller sections that are drilled out of the cores and stored in glass jars at the repository. The ETCR is now one of four university-run repositories in the state and the only one located in East Texas, providing a convenient place for area industry professionals to donate and access the materials. The University of Texas operates repositories in Midland, Austin and Houston. Dr. Michael Janusa, professor and chair of SFA’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and director of the Discovery and Research Center where the ETCR is housed, said he has high hopes for the university’s new repository. “I’d like to see it rank up there with the other three in the state,” Janusa said. “I’d like to see it exist as a facility that Texas residents both use and donate to — one that operates and sustains itself.” In addition to research opportunities, the repository is expected to serve as a link between students within the department and career opportunities in the industry. Stafford said he hopes the facility will help boost enrollment numbers in the department, as well as post-graduation hiring statistics. “My main goal for the repository is two-fold,” Stafford said. “I hope and believe it will strengthen the geology department’s relationship with the petroleum industry and produce students who are experts in the East Texas petroleum industry.” While opportunities are free for students, the facility will charge minimal fees for public research use and assess archival fees when additional cores are donated. Jade Norris, manager of the Discovery and Research Center, currently oversees the daily activities of the facility and said “the potential for future growth is very exciting.” “I look forward to seeing this project continue to flourish as good things are on the horizon for both the repository and the Discovery and Research Center,” Stafford added. –STEPHANIE BALLARD
SPRING 2014 25
Athletic director turned chairman of the board counts SFA service among his greatest blessings
NSIDE THE TENSE locker room, the seasoned football coach stepped in front of each member of the 1982 Nacogdoches High School Dragon team waiting to take the field for the bi-district playoff game, looked into his eyes and, to one after the other, recited what has since become his favorite motivational quote: “Dreams come true when dreamers come through.” 26 SAWDUST
“I was never a curser or a kicker; I was always more about positive reinforcement,” Steve McCarty ’65 & ’70 said as he reflected upon the heyday of his successful coaching career. “I still use that quote all the time, and it certainly applies to SFA. Making dreams come true for students – that’s really what we’re all about.” >
Upon McCarty’s retirement from SFA in 2005, the Southland Conference created an award in his honor that annually recognizes a male and a female student-athlete who exhibits outstanding qualities in citizenship, sportsmanship, leadership and community service. “There may not be a better citizen around,” the then-conference commissioner said of the award’s namesake. “Steve’s devotion to his faith, his love for his family, his patriotism and his dedication to SFA are proof positive of that.” Never in his wildest dreams did McCarty imagine he would one day be serving as chairman of the SFA Board of Regents. He retired from SFA in 2005 after 21 years of service to the university, the last 15 as athletic director. He was appointed to the board by Gov. Rick Perry in 2009, becoming the first former staff member ever to serve the university in that capacity. McCarty was elected chair in 2013, and his fellow regents recently nominated him to lead the board for a second term. “Having the opportunity to give back in this way to the university that has given so much to me and my family is something I never expected,” McCarty said. “And for my colleagues to ask me to serve as chair is the greatest honor of all.”
When he is not working for SFA or his part-time employer Curtis and Clark Energy Services, he can often be found setting varmint traps, mowing around deer blinds or running trot lines on nearby family property, a frequent gathering spot for McCarty’s family and friends. A few years ago, the 71-year-old suffered a heart attack at home, and he has undergone two heart surgeries. He said, while he has never been one to take his blessings for granted, that experience affected him deeply. “I think I look at life a little differently now. Maybe I don’t take some of the little things quite as seriously as I used to. I definitely value my family time more than ever, and I try to live each day God gives me to the fullest.”
McCarty, a self-described “country boy from Alto,” first came to SFA as a transfer from Kilgore Junior College where he had walked on to the football team, eventually earning a scholarship. He received a bachelor’s degree in education from SFA in 1965. McCarty taught and coached in Longview and South Park ISDs and at Lamar University. He was then named head football coach and athletic director at West Orange-Stark High School, earning a master’s degree in secondary administration from SFA along the way. “Coach Mac,” as he is still known to many, joined the Nacogdoches school district as head football coach and athletic director in 1981. Soon after starting his new job, he was unexpectedly asked to speak at a big pep rally that had been organized in downtown Nacogdoches for the baseball team. “I had no idea I was going to be asked to talk to the crowd until someone handed me a microphone and told me to get up on the flat-bed trailer,” he recalled. “I had no idea what to say, and at the last second, I decided to lead an old cheer – ‘Two Bits.’ (Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for the Dragons, stand up and holler!) The crowd loved it, and they asked me to do it again the next week, and it just sort of stuck with me after that. I’ve been leading that cheer ever since, and I’ve led it for the Lumberjacks many, many times. It is one sure way for me to get a standing ovation.”
McCarty has been married to his high-school sweetheart, Sara, for 51 years, and they live on wooded acreage a few miles outside Alto. He boasts of having planted almost every tree on the property, including one within hours of the birth of each of the couple’s four grandchildren. The chairman commutes to Nacogdoches several times a week to conduct SFA business, sometimes choosing to drive his restored 1936 Chevrolet Master Coupe, the very same car he took Sara to the movies in on their first date. “We moved to Alto when I was in the fifth grade, and Sara gave me a pocket knife. It didn’t take me long after that to figure out she was the one for me.”
left “Coach Mac” is carried off the field after a victory over Lufkin in 1982
McCarty said his time on the SFA Board of Regents has been an intense learning experience. “When I first came on the board, I knew one piece of the university very well – the athletics piece. But I have really enjoyed learning about all the other aspects, especially the finances and the hard work that goes into the budget process,” he said. “These are very challenging times in higher education, especially with regard to budgeting, and I am continually impressed with the leaders in our administration and how they face those challenges head on.” Raising faculty salaries remains among the board’s highest priorities for the near future, the chairman said, along with increasing student enrollment. He stressed the importance of the comprehensive rebranding initiative SFA is launching this spring and the role it will play in attracting more high-quality students to the institution. “SFA is independent, and we like it that way. We don’t want to be a Texas A&M or a UT. We want to be who we are – we are the Lumberjacks! And we want to continue to work as hard as we can to find students who are the best fit for our university and give them the best chance we can at successful careers and fulfilling lives.” McCarty said there is no time he is more aware of the weight of his responsibility to SFA than during commencement when he looks out from the stage at a new class of graduates – many of them first-generation college students just like himself. “The first time I walked out there and saw the students and all their proud family members supporting them, my eyes filled up. To me, every one of them represents a dream — a dream that SFA has helped them achieve. I can’t help thinking – it’s an honorable trade – but I would probably be hauling a truck of pulp wood or cleaning out chicken houses if it weren’t for Kilgore College and SFA and the financial support they gave me. I just feel really blessed to be here and help in some small way to make those kids’ dreams come true — like someone did for me.”
SPRING 2014 27
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NAMED
NEW BOARD MEMBERS
One of the deepest connections you can forge with SFA is to volunteer. The SFA Alumni Association Board of Directors is made up of talented and passionate SFA supporters who invest their talents in the future of SFA. If you’re interested in serving on an Alumni Association committee, please contact Katy Crawford at (936) 468-3407 or alumni@ sfasu.edu.
BRAD MAULE ’74 Professional Actor, SFA Lecturer
Tell us what you think.
WEST TRAGEDY | SUMMER READING | BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH
ships to support SFA’s faculty and was instrumental in raising funds for the recently completed Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building. In addition to a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from SFA, Turnage earned a Master of Public Administration degree from the university. Prior to 2008, he was employed at Tyler Junior College as director of enrollment management. Turnage is president of the SFA Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity alumni association, chairman of the Whitehouse City Commission’s planning and zoning committee, and a graduate of Leadership Tyler. He is married to Tonya, also an SFA alumna, and they have two children, Brandon and Preston. Former alumni Director Jeff Davis recently resigned after accepting a similar position at Mississippi State University.
T H E M AG A Z I N E O F T H E S FA A LU M N I A S S O CI AT I O N & S T E P H E N F. AU S T I N S TAT E U N I V E RS I T Y
T H E M A G A Z I N E O F T H E S FA A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N & S T E P H E N F. A U S T I N S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y
CRAIG TURNAGE ’00 & ’05, who previously served as a senior major gifts officer for the SFA Office of Development, has been named executive director of alumni relations. As executive director, Turnage will direct the overall planning, implementation and management of programs and services that develop and enhance long-term relationships between SFA and alumni, students, faculty and the community. In addition to the daily operations of the alumni office, Turnage will direct the activities that increase alumni engagement, including reunions and special events. “It has been a long-term aspiration of mine to serve in a leadership role at SFA,” Turnage said. “I am grateful to work for my alma mater in a capacity that allows me the opportunity to build relationships with the alumni and friends of this wonderful university.” Turnage joined the Office of Development staff in 2008 and has been directly responsible for raising funds for the university. He collaborated and assisted in the creation of three new professor-
As part of our continuous effort to improve Sawdust, we are conducting an online survey to gain information about the magazine and its readers. Thank you for helping make Sawdust a better publication.
TH ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
CELEBRATIONS TO HONOR TRADITION & PROGRESS
HOPE & FOOTBALL ONE PLAYER’S INSPIRATIONAL STORY
LUMBERJACK BAND THE SOUNDTRACK TO SFA’S STORY FALL 2013
Charlotte Ashcraft ’80 Nacogdoches Activities and Events Committee
Bob Francis ’78 Jacksonville Audit and Finance Committee
Ron Hunt ’91 & ’94 McKinney Marketing and Membership Committee
Bob Williams ’70 Dallas Events and Engagement Committee
FROM THE ASSOCIATION
I At graduation this spring, SFA will surpass 100,000 living alumni. That’s 100,000 chances to pay it forward and benefit other Lumberjacks. What’s your chance going to be?
MAGINE BACK TO your graduation day at SFA. You’re sitting on the floor of William R. Johnson Coliseum dressed in your cap and gown. Your family and friends are in the stands supporting you, and you can’t believe this day is finally here. You’ve successfully completed everything that SFA has asked of you, and now you’re ready to take on your future. All you need now is for someone to give you a chance. If you look at our mission as the SFA Alumni Association, it could be summed up as: “We give people a chance.” A chance to meet their first college friends at a Freshman Send Off Party, a chance to receive a scholarship and a university education, a chance for a job at an Alumni Career Fair, a chance to reconnect with an old college friend at Homecoming, or a chance to add a new small business client at a local networking event. At some point someone gave you a chance, but when’s the last time you gave a chance to someone else? When you think about it, your diploma is only as valuable as your fellow alum’s ability to give you a chance. Without these chances, a diploma from SFA is no more valuable than one from any other university. As Lumberjacks, we all share in the value of our SFA diplomas by looking out for fellow ‘Jacks and looking for ways to increase their chances. What are some ways you can provide chances to other Lumberjacks? • Does your company offer internships? • Does your company hire college grads or attend college career fairs? • Have you networked at a local alumni event in your area? • Have you encouraged a high school student to visit SFA? • Have you considered funding a scholarship, perhaps as part of your giving or estate plan? • Are you an Annual or Life Member of the Alumni Association? At graduation this spring, SFA will surpass 100,000 living alumni. That’s 100,000 chances to pay it forward and benefit other Lumberjacks. What’s your chance going to be? Have an idea how you can give a chance to a fellow alum? Have a question about the Alumni Association or want to know how you can get involved? Just email me or connect with me through LinkedIn.n. Axe ’em, Jacks!
SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Roger Robinson ’92, Frisco president Karen Gantt ’95, McKinney president-elect Curtis Sparks ’85, Tyler past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Charlotte Ashcraft ’80, Nacogdoches Don Cox ’71 & ’76, Nacogdoches Robin Dawley ’77, Nacogdoches Bob Francis ’78, Jacksonville Mike Harbordt ’63, Nacogdoches Doris Havard, Nacogdoches James Hawkins ’83, Silsbee Ron Hunt ’91 & ’94, McKinney David Madrid ’02, Nacogdoches Justin McFaul ’04, Longview Phillip Scherrer ’99, Frisco Erika Tolar ’02, Spring Steve Whitbeck ’75, Nacogdoches Bob Williams ’70, Dallas Chris Woelfel ’95, Kingwood SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Curtis Sparks ’85, Tyler - chairman Lewie Byers, Rusk ’68 Ford Cartwright, Lufkin ’69 Rick Couvillon, Houston ’85 Shirley Crawford, Henderson ’58 & ’70 Stephen Greak, Lufkin ’92 James Hamilton, Porter ’77 Bill Roberds, Dallas ’75 Roger Robinson, Frisco ’92 ASSOCIATION STAFF Craig Turnage ’00 & ’05 executive director of alumni relations Dale Green ’99 director of marketing and membership Katy Crawford assistant to the executive director of alumni relations
Roger Robinson ’92 – Frisco, Texas President, SFA Alumni Association Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @sfa92
Samantha Mora ’08 director of events and engagement Alicia Roland Chatman gifts and records specialist Emily Carberry scholarship coordinator Derek Snyder ’01 communications and marketing coordinator
SPRING 2014 29
L UMBERJACKS M AK E GRE AT NURSES
Take the fi rst step toward your dream career. Explore 120 areas of study, from accounting to zoology, at sfasu.edu/great.
Enjoy reading Sawdust? Join the SFA Alumni Association. Members of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association receive ALL FOUR ISSUES of Sawdust during the year. Reading Sawdust is a great way to keep up with SFA activities, news and events. Your membership dues also help provide SCHOLARSHIPS FOR SFA STUDENTS and fund alumni events like Homecoming weekend, tailgate parties and alumni networking activities. Find the full list of membership benefits at sfaalumni.com.
Join online at sfaalumni.com or call 1-800-765-1534
’JACKS OF ALL TRADES
Dr. Tedd Mitchell ’83
President of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
HEN ONE OF Dr. Tedd Mitchell’s patients requests his assistance, he does not hesitate to help. So when the 1983 SFA graduate was asked by longtime patient Kent Hance, chancellor of Texas Tech University, to serve on a search committee advisory panel for the university’s Health Sciences Center, it was a no-brainer. “Serving on that advisory group allowed me to meet some outstanding folks from Texas Tech,” Mitchell said. A few years later, those same individuals asked Mitchell to submit his own name for consideration for a vacant position – president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Once again, he didn’t hesitate. Prior to becoming the eighth president for TTUHSC in June 2010, Mitchell served as the chief executive officer for the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. While at the clinic, he delivered scientific presentations, collaborated with colleagues on research projects and served as a health columnist for “USA Weekend.” He served on various boards committed to advancing the field of medicine and was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Mitchell said his past positions prepared him well for the highs and lows that come with a leadership position at a large university system. “My experience from Cooper was precisely the ‘trial by fire’ I needed.” Mitchell said he’s fortunate to have played a role in some important accomplishments for Texas Tech, including record university enrollment, the addition of a new university and nursing school in El Paso, and graduation of the inaugural class from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine. Although he no longer writes a weekly column, Mitchell has continued to lecture students in his areas of medical expertise, including internal and sports medicine. He also enjoys educating the public through a syndicated weekly television spot. Mitchell commends his undergraduate professors and the SFA pre-professional program for preparing him well for his career. “My SFA education not only gave me the academic base I needed for medical school but it also helped form my disposition, which I feel is easy going but hard working.” He earned a Bachelor of Science in biology at SFA and said his coursework in human physiology, histology and chemistry prepared him extremely well for medical school, providing him with a strong foundation that many of his other medical school classmates didn’t receive as undergrads. Mitchell also acknowledges his father, who also was a physician; his grandfather; and Dr. Ken Cooper of the Cooper Clinic for serving as important mentors throughout his career. He credits his wife Janet, a retired physician, for being the most influential person in his life. “She embodies the traits necessary to be a superb physician – compassion, competence, attention to detail and absolute dedication to that course of action which is best for the patient.” Mitchell and his wife have three children: Katherine, a first-year law student at Southern Methodist University; Charlie, a sophomore petroleum engineering major at Texas Tech; and Chris, a freshman double majoring in chemical engineering and wildlife management, also at Texas Tech. Mitchell said he enjoys his profession and works daily to ensure there is continued growth and student success within the TTUHSC system. “Ironically, I didn’t grow up hoping to become a doctor; for some reason I thought I would be a lawyer,” Mitchell said. “As it turned out, medicine has been a wonderful career for me, and I wouldn’t change anything.” –RACHEL CLARK
Mitchell is co-author of Move Yourself, an innovative, manageable program for infusing your daily life with just a few minutes of lowdose physical activity—and reaping big health benefits from the start.
SPRING 2014 31
African Christian College in Swaziland grows its own fruits and vegetables and raises its own livestock for food. Students attend class in the morning and work in the fields, gardens and groves in the afternoons.
Seeds Change By Andreya Taylor
Environmental science graduate leads sustainability efforts at African college
SFA ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE graduate Marshal White â€™13 has moved to Swaziland, a small country in Southern Africa, where he is helping lead the extensive sustainability efforts of African Christian College. > SPRING 2014 33
“It’s the lifestyle I want to live for a while – a hands-on, intentional, relational lifestyle.”
White, a graduate of Lufkin High School, first attended Harding University in Searcy, Ark. There, he was working toward a degree in biology, but he “got tired of the microscope” and wanted to do something different. His father arranged a meeting between White and someone he knows at the college, and ACC took him on as an intern from August to December of 2010. When the internship ended, White wanted to get involved in environmental policies, but realized he needed an education first. He searched for a program to meet his needs, and eventually landed in the Division of Environmental Science at SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. “Moving to SFA was one of the greatest things for me. It began a transformation in me,” White said. “I learned to objectively look at things in a scientific manner, and to have an open attitude and mindset – to be more led by what is right, instead of my feelings.” MOVE TO AFRICA White graduated last May with a Bachelor of Science in environmental science with a minor in biology. He began his work at ACC in October. A small school, African Christian College offers a bachelor of theology degree with the choice of a major in ministry, counseling or leadership. Students bring their families, and everyone lives on campus. The college as a whole strives for sustainability. “African Christian College seeks to be a truly African college – not totally or primarily dependent on outside [of Africa] funding,” said Brad Carter, president of ACC. “In order to accomplish this vision, we must find ways to change our sources of income.”
Much of the food served in the cafeteria is raised right on campus. ACC grows its own fruits and vegetables and raises chickens and cattle. Students take ownership for their education by working in the gardens to raise enough food to feed the faculty, staff, students and their families. They go to class in the morning, work in the gardens in the afternoon and have the opportunity to work extra hours to earn money for themselves. ACC CAMPUS The campus also has a 50-hectare macadamia tree grove as a part of its Tree of Life Project. The nuts are sold to HEB and Central Market stores to help cover the operational costs of the college. Project SEED, short for Sustainable Economic Effective Demonstration, is ACC’s maize seed-growing development program. A grant from an international nonprofit has allowed ACC to increase its seed production. The school grows an open-pollinated variety of maize that is suited for the Swaziland soil and climate. “Our seed is certified by the Department of Agriculture and inspected throughout the process,” Carter said. “We are one of only 30 maize seed producers in the Kingdom of Swaziland. Currently, we produce over 60 percent of the maize seeds in the country ourselves.” This is where White comes in. He is working as a leader in the college’s sustainability efforts, directly overseeing the campus gardens, heading up Project SEED, and providing leadership with the macadamia orchard and livestock programs. ACC has conducted research on how it can best
serve people in the area. Local farmers were surveyed to determine how willing they are to try new things and what their greatest needs are. The school is considering developing a microloan system. ACC would give seeds and supplies to area farmers so they can produce a greater yield, which would allow them to make enough money to repay the loan and make more for their families. “I want to find people who want to help themselves – leaders in the community,” White said. “I would really like to see Project SEED be successful and be able to make a difference with distribution.” FUTURE EDUCATION White also works to educate students, their families and campus neighbors on sustainable and effective agricultural methods for Swaziland’s soil and climate. Swaziland is plagued by poverty, food shortages and extremely high HIV/AIDS rates. “These future educational and development efforts will help alleviate these major issues and equip students with knowledge to take back to their communities,” Carter said. ACC has a diverse student body. Of the 43 fulltime students enrolled last fall, nine African countries were represented. Many students return to their home countries after graduation, taking what they’ve learned at ACC back with them. The diversity at ACC is one aspect that drew White back full time.
“It’s the lifestyle I want to live for a while – a hands-on, intentional, relational lifestyle,” White said. “Students from all over the continent are here with many different views. It’s a beautiful thing, and I am happy to be a part of it.” Ultimately, White hopes to earn a master’s degree and said he would like to teach high school biology or environmental science in the United States. He recognizes the importance of these subjects in high schools and understands how teachers can impact their students. White said his high school environmental science and chemistry teacher, Truitt Eubank, influenced and inspired him at a young age. Eubank credits White’s successes to his discipline and empathetic spirit. “He is an outstanding young man – very intelligent and a hard worker. The thing that separates Marshal from other young people is his innate caring for those that need assistance,” Eubank said. “I know that the world is a better place with people like Marshal leading the way toward the future.” Photos courtesy of Marshal White and African Christian College
SPRING 2014 35
The SFA Alumni Association is proud to present the 2014
CARLA OLIVER OF Texas City and Blake Taylor of Rowlett were chosen as the 2014 recipients of the Mr. and Miss SFA Awards, presented by the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association. The Mr. and Miss SFA title is presented each year to exemplary students who best represent and promote the university. The Mr. SFA Award was established in honor of the late Stan McKewen, a 1934 SFA graduate. The Miss SFA Award was established in honor of Arnodean Covin, who was named Miss SFA in 1940, 1941 and 1942.
Blake Taylor & Carla Oliver
Taylor is a senior business economics major and the current Lumberjack mascot for SFA. He is the son of Ken and Mary Ann Taylor and a 2010 graduate of Rowlett High School. Taylor is a member of the SFA Traditions Council and a Jack Walker for the Office of Admissions. He has served as a counselor and student director for Jack Camp and was a member of the SFA Rugby Team from 2010 to 2012. Taylor enjoys participating in community service through The BIG Event and helping with the MLK Day of Service. He assists with Showcase Saturdays and Kids Fitness Day with the United Way. Taylor is the recipient of an Academic Excellence Scholarship, Large Co-ed Spirit Teams Scholarship and First United Methodist Church of Rowlett Scholarship. Oliver is a senior elementary education major. The 2010 graduate of Texas City High School is the daughter of Ray and Nancy Oliver of Texas City. Oliver is president of the Purple Haze Association and founder of both the Purple Santa project, a campuswide toy drive for underprivileged children in the Nacogdoches community, and the Community Assistant Honors Council. She is included on the list of Who’s Who Among America’s College Students and is a member of the SFA Traditions Council. She serves as a student instructor for SFA 101 and supplementary instruction mentor in the SFA Academic Assistance and Resource Center. Oliver participates in Habitat for Humanity with her sorority Sigma Phi Lambda, Kids Fitness Day with the United Way, Jack Camp and SFA’s The BIG Event. She is a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Nacogdoches and the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter. She is a member of the St. Mary’s Catholic Student Ministry and served on the Student Activity Association for the 2010-11 academic year. Mr. and Miss SFA recipients are selected based on their scholarship, participation and leadership in academic and co-curricular activities, citizenship, and service and loyalty to SFA. Selections were made by a committee of faculty and staff members, students, and alumni. Taylor and Oliver were honored during halftime of the SFA men’s basketball game against McNeese State in February.
SLC BASKETBALL CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT Leonard E. Merrell Center 6301 S. Stadium Lane, Katy
ATO-ETA IOTA 45TH FOUNDERS DAY Nacogdoches sfaalumni.com/event/ato
3RD ANNUAL THE WOODLANDS CRAWFISH BOIL Wings-N-More The Woodlands
RING SALES EVENT Tracie D. Pearman Alumni Center 300 E. Vista Drive, Nacogdoches
Saturday TKE ALUMNI WEEKEND GOLF TOURNAMENT Nacogdoches sfaalumni.com/event/tke
SIGMA TAU GAMMA-GAMMA PI ALUMNI GOLF TOURNAMENT Nacogdoches sfaalumni.com/event/sigtau
ALUMNI MEMBER DAY AT SFA BALLPARK Softball games: 1 and 3 p.m. Baseball game: 2 p.m. sfaalumni.com/events
Monday SENIOR SEND-OFF 5:30 – 7 p.m. Nacogdoches sfaalumni.com/event/ seniorsendoff
SCHOLARSHIP STARS 5:30 – 7 p.m. (come and go) Twilight Ballroom Baker Pattillo Student Center, 1936 North St., Nacogdoches sfaalumni.com/event/ scholarshipstars
20TH ANNUAL ROBERT D. DICKERSON MEMORIAL GOLF TOURNAMENT AND ALUMNI WEEKEND Nacogdoches sfaalumni.com/event/dickerson
THE BIG DIP SPRING RING CEREMONY Noon, Grand Ballroom, Baker Pattillo Student Center, 1936 North St., Nacogdoches For more information, visit sfaalumni.com/events.
PIKES OF THE ’60S ANNUAL REUNION Middle Ground Ranch Contact Sam Altimore @ email@example.com sfaalumni.com/events
21ST ANNUAL EAST TEXAS EXES GOLF TOURNAMENT Longview sfaalumni.com/events
Times and dates are subject to change. Visit sfaalumni.com for the most recent information.
SPRING 2014 37
CAMPUS NEWS SCHOLARSHIPS
How to Endow a Scholarship THE TAYLOR AND TWINK SITTON ROSS FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP
has been established to benefit students transferring from Panola College to SFA. This scholarship was endowed in loving memory of Taylor Ross by his wife, daughter and family. Ross, who attended Panola College, proudly served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He was a 40-year employee of AT&T before losing his courageous battle with leukemia in 2010. His wife, Twink Sitton Ross, was employed by Panola College for 18 years and earned a degree from SFA in 1964. The couple’s daughter, Susannah Ross Romero, also attended Panola College prior to obtaining her degree from SFA in 2001. The Taylor and Twink Sitton Ross Family Scholarship is awarded to students who have completed 60 hours of coursework at Panola College and plan to transfer to SFA. Recipients must maintain at least a 2.5 grade-point average and may acquire a degree from any college within the university.
THE MARLA D. AND WILLIAM A. MURPHY SCHOLARSHIP is awarded
to deserving SFA students who are majoring in business. Born and raised in Garland, Marla graduated from SFA in 1973 with a B.B.A. and was an active member of Delta Zeta Sorority. In 1977, she earned her Master of Science in nutrition from North Texas State University and later earned two degrees from Texas Woman’s University: a Master of Science in healthcare administration in 1984 and a Ph.D. in nutrition in 1993. Marla spent most of her career in the field of nutrition, notably directing the clinical and food-service programs at Cook Children’s Medical Center. Bill, a Houston native, graduated from Robert E. Lee High School. He earned his B.B.A. from SFA in 1973 and was an active member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He started his career in Dallas at Texas Instruments in the supply division and has spent 41 years in industrial electronic distribution. He currently serves as a vice president at Mouser Electronics. The couple live in Granbury and have a son, Blaine; daughter-in-law, Heather; and two grandchildren, Briggs and Blakely.
Make the decision to help.
Future SFA alumni need your financial assistance. Plan your contribution today.
Name your scholarship.
You may name your scholarship after yourself or in memory or in honor of someone else.
Determine eligibility criteria.
You may include college major or GPA or restrict the scholarship to certain types of recipients.
Complete an endowment packet.
You may download and submit documents online at sfaalumni.com or request documents via U.S. mail.
(936) 468-3407 or (800) 765-1534 firstname.lastname@example.org Scholarships are endowed by cash or gifts of stocks, bonds, life insurance, memorial contributions and wills, as well as corporate matching gifts. A minimum of $20,000 is required to endow a scholarship. This can be accomplished over a 10-year period.
Your gift to support SFA students secures educational opportunities for generations of future Lumberjacks. Contact us to create your legacy today. SFA 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 Website: sfaalumni.com | Email: email@example.com
DICKERSON GOLF TOURNAMENT ALUMNI BA
SS TOURNA MENT
SAVE THE DATE
Upcoming FUNdraisers Have fun expanding your SFA network while raising scholarships funds.
We’re here to connect alumni with one another and with SFA while supporting scholarships at our alma mater. There is no better way to raise money than to join together with fellow SFA alumni and have FUN! Whether it’s at a golf tournament, crawfish boil, fishing tournament, 5K fun run or even an auction, you are sure to enjoy connecting with both old and new friends while supporting current SFA students.
Upcoming FUNdraisers: April 4-6 - ATO - Eta Iota 45th Founders Day April 10 - Third Annual The Woodlands Crawfish Boil April 12 - Sigma Tau Gamma - Gamma Pi Alumni Golf Tournament April 12-13 - TKE Alumni Weekend and Golf Tournament April 26 - 20th Annual Robert D. Dickerson Memorial Golf Tournament May 9 - 21st Annual East Texas Exes Golf Tournament June 28 - Dr. Raymond Lee Worsham Scholarship Bass Fishing Tournament Contact Samantha Mora, director of alumni events and engagement, for more details at (936) 468-3407 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SS TOURNA MENT
Visit sfaalumni.com to get involved with alumni and special interest networks.
SPRING 2014 39
CLASS NOTES 1950s
Cathryn Davis ’54 of Jacksonville celebrated her 100th birthday in October 2013. Davis spent the majority of her career as an English/language arts teacher with the Jacksonville and New Summerfield school districts.
L.H. Chandler ’66 of Carthage was inducted into the Carthage High School Athletic Hall of Honor. He also is a 2006 SFA Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.
Robert “Robby” L. Bates ’70 of DeKalb is owner of Bates Family Funeral Home in De Kalb and president of the National Funeral Directors Association. Dr. Gwendolyn Caldwell Morrison ’70 & ’71 of Fort Worth is a member of the Tarrant County College Board of Trustees and recently was named a “Great Woman of Texas” by the Fort Worth Business Press. Bonnie Brown ’74 of Coleman is the family and consumer sciences teacher at Coleman High School. Joe May ’76 & ’77 of Dallas is chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District.
Karen Elaine Gray ’84 of Dallas is a supply management specialist with LexisNexis. David Koonce ’87 of Center is president of General Shelters and Campbell Portable Buildings. Gov. Rick Perry recently reappointed Koonce to the Sabine River Authority Board of Directors. Robin Hooper ’89 of Timpson teaches language arts at Timpson Middle School. Richard M. Graves ’89 of Sulphur Springs is an orthopedic surgeon at Memorial Hospital and Clinic in Sulphur Springs.
Joe Cauthen ’90 of Jonesboro, Ark., is the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Arkansas State University.
Stephanie Meshell ’91, ’92 & ’02 of Houston is principal at Cypress Ridge High School in Houston. Douglas Wong ’91 of Arlington, Va., is the topic editor for the Washington Post. David Cook ’92 of Mansfield is mayor of the city of Mansfield.
Cindy Smoak ’80 of Tyler is vice president of SPORTyler, a sports tourism company.
W. Lane Norvell ’82 of Tyler is executive vice president for executive planning, compliance and development for Feliciano Financial Group.
Melissa Sobotka ’82 of Richardson won “Best of Show” at the Houston Quilt Show.
Trisha Jensen ’92 of Cypress is food contracts director and assistant director of Choice Partners for the Harris County Department of Education. John MacFarlane ’94 of Fort Worth is the environmental specialist for Texas airports for the Federal Aviation Administration.
A MEMBER OF the SFA Board of Regents has been named a fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists, an association whose membership includes dentists, oral surgeons and periodontists dedicated to supporting research and providing education to better serve dental patients. Dr. Scott Coleman, a 1980 graduate of SFA, is a dentist in private practice in Houston. He graduated first in his class with a doctorate in dental surgery from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, where he now serves as clinical adjunct assistant professor. A member of the American Dental Association and the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Coleman also was recently named a fellow of the International College of Dentists, the oldest and largest international honorary dental organization, with more than 12,000 members representing 122 countries. Fellowship in the college is extended by invitation only and is granted in recognition of a dentist’s “outstanding professional achievement, meritorious service and dedication to the continued progress of dentistry for the benefit of humankind.” Coleman serves as vice chair of the SFA Board of Regents and is an Eagle Scout, a licensed pilot and a martial artist.
Rebecca Carlton ’95 & ’97 of Nacogdoches is the executive director of Court Appointed Special Advocates of Deep East Texas.
Abby Swan ’03 of Lufkin was Hudson ISD’s 2013 Teacher of the Year. James Attaway ’04 of Quitman has been promoted to the rank of major in the U.S. Army.
Robin ’98 and Quentin Ariola of Flower Mound announce the Oct. 4 birth of Alexandra Ashlynn. Edward Myers ’98 of Denver, Colo., is regional vice president of institutional markets for Symetra Life Insurance Company.
Haydan Evans ’00 of Jasper is area manager of Campbell Timberland Management in Diboll and a member of the Texas Forestry Association Board of Directors. Susannah Ross Romero ’01 of Carthage has joined BankTexas as vice president/relationship banker for Carthage and Panola County. Bryan Stephens ’01 of Cross Plains is the 12th-grade environmental science and integrated physics/chemistry teacher at Kountze High School. Stephens also serves as an assistant football coach and head softball coach for the Lions. Shelia Cloyd ’02 of Lufkin is a fourthgrade language arts teacher at Central ISD and recently was named Teacher of the Year. Jack Burns Brady ’03 of Sugar Land received the 2014 Rising Stars in Real Estate Award presented by the Houston Association of Realtors.
Dr. Rhonda M. Fowler ’04 of College Station is program coordinator in the Office of Graduate Lt. Col. Michael King ’86 of Colmeneil (left) and Col. Chad B. and Professional McRee ’88 of Fort Bragg, N.C., were in ROTC together at SFA. Studies at Texas They now serve together, 26 years later, in Afghanistan. McRee A&M University. serves as commander of the COIN Advisory and Assistance Team for HQs International Advisory Security Forces, and King April Barbe ’05 of is the deputy director of InterAgency Training stationed with the Pollok is editor of Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, La. the Jacksonville Daily Progress. David Alaniz ’12 of Lufkin is a graphic Coleman ’05 & ’07 and Jennifer designer for the Lufkin News. Kielman Swierc recently relocated to Springfield, Mo. Coleman is associate Kari Houston ’12 of Bellville teaches director of sponsorship development third grade at West End Elementary at the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. School. Jennifer is lead news anchor at KOLR 10 CBS. Errol Reid ’12 of Killeen has been hired Mo Davis Williams as a management ’09 of Houston is an analyst for the city of academic adviser San Antonio. at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
Rodney Curry ’08 of Winona is principal at Boulter Middle School in Tyler.
Kassandra Davis ’10 of Richmond is a nutritionist with Houston ISD. Sean Fields ’10 of Sonora is a trainer for the Hickory Crawdads, a South Atlantic League Affiliate of the MLB Texas Rangers organization. Katie Kenny ’12 of Baytown and Dan Usher ’12 of Richardson were married June 22 in Nacogdoches.
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LIFE MEMBERS The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. We appreciate your support. 7886. Sally F. Attaway ’67, Quitman 7887. Gene A. Morrow ’93 & ’00, Midlothian 7889. Matthew B. Montes ’02, Katy 7890. Gina R. Korzekwa ’09, Stockdale
MIKE WATERS ’86 (second from right) was presented the Joe Richardson Most Distinguished Athletic Training Award from SFA’s Organization of Athletic Training Students at a recent Lumberjack basketball game. The award is given annually to an SFA graduate who has distinguished himself or herself in the field of athletic training. Waters has served as a teacher and athletic trainer at Lufkin ISD for 17 years. Josie Alexander ’13 of Wills Point is assistant director of bands at New Diana ISD.
Amy Sanders ’96 of Crockett is author of Death Shroud, the first in a new series of Christian suspense novels.
Barbara Allen ’13 of Cypress is executive director of the Nabor House Community nonprofit organization in Cypress.
7892. Donal Shane Smelley ’00, Cushing 7893. Benjamin G. Hilton ’07, Odessa 7894. Joseph Blake Wilcox ’02, Montgomery 7895. Emily C. Wilcox ’01, Montgomery 7896. Jim Roberts, Nacogdoches 7897. Jerry Roberts, Nacogdoches 7898. Michael S. Krueger ’00 Dublin, Calif.
Robert D. Dickerson M
7891. Jerry R. Thompson ’63, Benbrook
April 26, 2014 Woodland Hills Golf Course, Nacogdoches Visit sfaalumni.com/events for more information
7900. Kathleen E. Brown ’13, Houston
Y ou are cordially
7901. Bryan D. West ’13, Nacogdoches
invited to play in th 19th Annual R o b eALPHA r t TAU OMEGA D. Dickerson 45th Founder’s Day April 4-6, 2014
M e m The o brothers r i aof lthe ATOGfraternity o l will f celebrate their 45th Founder’s Day. Events include a welcome party, golf tournament, barbecue lunch, dinner, banquet and a breakfast meeting on Sunday. For more information, visit sfaalumni.com/events.
T ournament to be held at W
Golf Course in Nacogdoches, T
IN MEMORIAM Jean Louise “Jenny” Powers Aiavolasiti ’90 of Nacogdoches, Oct. 8 Marvin B. Allen ’82 of Haltom City, Dec. 23 Jerry Burns ’64 of Jacksonville, Oct. 2 Robert L. Clifford Jr. ’42 of DeBerry, Dec. 17 Ilene Cornick ’40 of Lufkin, Oct. 30 Mildred Lerlene Rowell Covington ’56 of Nacogdoches, Nov. 25 Joe Cross ’41 of San Antonio, Feb. 7 Virginia Brown Edmondson ’52 of Kenner, La., Dec. 29 Mayme Hamilton ’38 of Whitehouse, Nov. 9 Carolyn Hendrick ’83 of Lufkin, Dec. 29 William D. “Doc” Hendry ’74 of Sullivan, Mo., Dec. 4 Joe Hignett ’53 & ’57 of Silsbee, Nov. 24 Ryan Jeffress of Nacogdoches, Nov. 27 Norman Ray Johnson ’63 of Nacogdoches, Jan. 22 Denman Langford ’60 of Tyler, Nov. 30 Vanasa McCallister ’95 of Okemos, Mich., Jan. 13 William L. “Bill” McCurry ’70 of Hot Springs, Ark., Nov. 1
DR. MALCOLM RECTOR ’55 passed away Jan. 7. He was born to Norman and Leslie Pitts Rector Aug. 26, 1933, in Woden. After graduating from Beaumont High school in 1951, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from SFA, where he also met LaWanda Bowlin from Port Neches. They were married May 29, 1954, and, within a few years, the addition of three sons completed their family. Rector entered the U.S. Army in 1955 and was stationed at The Presidio in San Francisco, Calif., until 1957. Upon returning to Texas, he earned a master’s degree in education from SFA and later completed his doctorate through a distance-learning program at Walden University in Naples, Fla. Rector enjoyed a 42year career in education, serving as a teacher, coach and administrator, including a long tenure as superintendent of Nacogdoches ISD. After his retirement in 1989, he served as adjunct professor of advanced education classes at SFA for 10 years. Rector served on the board of directors of the SFA Alumni Association for 25 years. Rector was a long-time Rotarian and Republican, refereed basketball, traveled the world with his wife, taught Sunday school classes (and even preached on occasion), and served as a church elder at Ridgewood Church of Christ in Beaumont and later at North Street Church of Christ in Nacogdoches. He enjoyed the outdoors and could often be found hunting and fishing with his sons and grandsons on the weekends.
Glenda Milstead ’73 & ’78 of Lufkin, Nov. 23 Robert D. Monzingo ’47 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 9 Myrell McCormick-Myers ’09 & ’12 of Lufkin, Jan. 2 Maj. Luke G. Parker ’02 of Bandera, Nov. 17 Billy Ray Parks ’74 of Tyler, Nov. 13 John D. Pena ’69 of Lufkin, Jan. 8 Hilda “Billie” Propes ’70 & ’76 of Henderson, Dec. 11 Robert Pulcher ’81 of Baytown, Nov. 26 James Reily ’99 of Oklahoma City, Okla., Dec. 30
JUDY READ ’51 of Cleburne passed away Feb. 10 in Cleburne. She was born April 22, 1921, in Tenaha, Texas, to William A. and Lucy Bryan King. Read was elected the first Homecoming queen of SFA in 1939. She was a third-grade teacher, retiring with 28 years of service. She lived in Tyler from 1965 to 2004, teaching third grade at Bullard ISD for 15 years. She was a member of the Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Corbin Riggins of Huntington, Jan. 6 Joseph Taylor Robbins of Texarkana, Ark., Jan. 9 Alan Rowe of Longview, Oct. 12 Garth Sitton ’69 of Nacogdoches, Oct. 24 Donald Skrehot ’58 of Huntington, Jan. 13 Ray Allen Smith ’60 of Garrison, Dec. 22 Charles Waymon Tomberlain of Longview, Jan. 6 Hallye Rae Tyner ’63 of Tyler, Oct. 15 John W. “J.W.” Vawter of Nacogdoches, Dec. 18 Christopher Wethington ’78 & ’91 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 2 Christie Bowden Wiggins of Carrollton, Dec. 4 Burney R. “Ray” Young ’48 of Nacogdoches, Dec. 22 Josie Zahn ’42 of Longview, Jan. 9
JAMES KENNETH ALMOND ’52 & ’53 of The Woodlands passed away Dec. 14. Per his request, Almond’s wife, Nell, and their four children held a private service in El Paso. Almond was born Jan. 25, 1929, in Port Arthur to parents James M. and Dorothy D. Batson Almond. He served in the U.S. Marines during World War II. Almond played football and ran track at SFA from 1948 to 1952. He completed his master’s degree at SFA and coached at several Texas high schools. Almond later joined his lifelong friend and SFA teammate, the late O.A. “Bum” Phillips, as assistant coach at Texas Western College (now the University of Texas at El Paso.) He also served the Dayton ISD for two decades as head coach, high school principal and superintendent of schools. He and his wife retired to Emerald Bay on Lake Palestine where they resided for 15 years before moving to The Woodlands to be closer to family.
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M AK E GRE AT CINEM ATOGR APHERS
Take the fi rst step toward your dream career. Explore 120 areas of study, from accounting to zoology, at sfasu.edu/great.
Liberty Mutual is a proud partner of Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association
Celebrating Lumberjacks on and off the court.
Auto coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty County Mutual Insurance Company, 2100 Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, TX. Home coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty Insurance Corporation, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA. ÂŠ 2013 Liberty Mutual Insurance
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SPRING 2014 47
FROM THE ARCHIVES
The East Texas Research Center and Sawdust would like to know more about this SFA photo, marked 1956. If you have information about this photo, please contact: email@example.com 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 SFA’s Records Management Program and for 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.
From the rambling Ruby M. Mize Azalea Gardens to the breathtaking 20-mile residential tour, Nacogdoches is the undisputed Garden Capital of Texas. If youâ€™re looking for just the right natural getaway, it all starts right here.
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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
Archie McDonald Speaker Series
LYLE LOVETT G R A M M Y A WA R D - W I N N I N G TEXAS-BORN SINGER, COMPOSER AND ACTOR
7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 10
Stephen F. Austin State University Baker Pattillo Student Center, Grand Ballroom 936.468.5406 ÂŤ sfasu.edu/archie
Sawdust is the magazine of Stephen F. Austin State University and the SFA Alumni Association