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S U M M E R 2 0 11


Robert Seale ’92, professional photographer


Hardy’s Pic

Members of SFA’s large coed cheerleading team celebrate their victory on stage at the 2011 NCA/NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona, Fla., in April. Both the large and small coed teams were named national champions. The SFA Pom Squad also placed third at the event, and the Jack Attack hip-hop dance team placed fourth in its first year of competition.

“Our SFA cheer teams are some of the hardest working, most school-spirited students on campus. They have earned a reputation of being among the best in the country, and I was proud to be there with them in Daytona again this year.” – University Photographer Hardy Meredith


Summer 2011 • Volume 38, No. 2 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jeff Davis ’02, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Rhonda Crim-Tumelson, Director of Alumni Publications, SFA Alumni Association STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work and service. Through the personal attention of our faculty and staff, we engage our students in a learner-centered environment and offer opportunities to prepare for the challenges of living in the global community. The SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the alumni, friends and current students of Stephen F. Austin State University through programs, scholarships and activities that create an attitude of continued loyalty and support. SAWDUST is a joint publication of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University. It is published four times a year in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Subscriptions are included in SFA Alumni Association memberships.

ON THE COVER Robert Seale ’92, professional photographer. Photo courtesy of Todd Spoth


FEATURES 10 Daydream Doodles Echoes from Japan 17 Finding art in math

’09 graduate reflects on crisis in her homeland


Sports Portfolio



Alumnus shares favorite sports images

Naval officer serving as captain of USS Peleliu

5 CAMPUS NEWS 2 3 4 5 8 14

SFA Cinematography Faculty Advising President’s Message The Art of Alan Bean ’Jack Talk Work Space

ALUMNI NEWS 5 1 16 26 27 32 36 40

The Big Dip From the Association Scholarships Chapters Class Notes In Memoriam All Hail to SFA

Jerry Rice, former NFL football player

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


Campus News SFA Cinematography Arscott’s work of art AS A CERAMICIST and sculptor, Dr. William Arscott took lumps of clay and molded them into pieces of art. He used a similar process to create a cinematography program at SFA that is now known and respected throughout the industry. Arscott came to SFA in 1963 and started making films 34 years ago. “My degree was in painting and ceramics, and then sculpture, so when I turned to filmmaking, initially I concentrated more on the artistic aspects and less on storytelling. I began to teach myself, and I attended workshops and conferences to learn more,” Arscott explained. The fledgling program initially relied on whatever hand-me-down equipment Arscott could find. Keeping equipment up-todate remains a priority, and with expensive technology that changes frequently, Arscott still depends on donations. “Our graduates remember us when their companies buy new equipment,” Arscott said. “They believe in what we are doing here, and they know that our current students can benefit from learning to use a variety of equipment. “I don’t know of another school in the country that has an HMI arc lab, and we have had two of them donated. I don’t know of another program that shoots a summer feature every year, or that requires students to make a feature movie before they get their M.F.A. A lot of this has been made possible by donations, along with support from the university.” The cinematography program recently relocated to two nearby houses used most recently as board-

By Shirley Luna

ing houses. Arscott is excited about using the individual rooms as sets for student productions. In the entryway of one of the houses, a display of camera equipment chronicles the progression of film-making technology since the 1970s. But it represents only a part of the curriculum an SFA film student might expect to study. “Cinematography students learn pre-production skills, like script writing, budgeting and casting actors, as well as lighting, sound and production techniques. They also learn the different jobs of the production crews, from grip to director, as well as digital editing. Cinematography covers all aspects of film and video production, including feature films, documentaries, commer-

shows including General Hospital and 7th Heaven, joined the SFA faculty in 2005, a partnership was created that has allowed the program to create some of its best work yet. “I’m mostly skilled in technical things. Brad has helped with story content, and, most of all, he has taught students how to recognize good acting, how to get good acting and how to work with actors. With him, we have just leap-frogged ahead,” Arscott said. With SFA cinematography graduates working across the country, it is easy to document the success of the program. Philip Guzman ’05 has won awards at six major film festivals. Philip Roy ’06 won honors at the Milan Institute. An SFA graduate was on the editing team that won an Academy Award for the movie JFK. Many SFA alumni own their own production companies or produce industrial videos. “One reason our students are successful is that we are very honest with them in criticism,” Arscott said. “We are not interested in the number of students we have in the program, but the quality of those students. It is intense and competitive. I’m their mentor; I try to be constructive, but honest. They love me, and they hate me at the same time. If it’s not good, I’m going to tell them because there is no on-the-job training in this field.”

“I keep teaching because I love my students.”


cials, and industrial and art films.” In order to educate students on such a broad range of skills, Arscott realized many years ago that he would need assistance. Luckily, collaborating with others is his strong point, and a multi-disciplinary approach in higher education is valued at SFA. “I was never a good one to work with actors – to tell them what was good acting or bad acting, so I turned to the theatre department for help. The music department composes original music for our projects, and assistance from the English and communication departments also has been very valuable.” When SFA alumnus Brad Maule, former star of television


Wondering what to read this summer? Here are some recommendations from the SFA faculty: The Help by Kathryn Stockett “Set in Jackson, Miss., in the early 1960s, this suspenseful historical fiction has given us powerful characters in a heartbreaking story filled with humor and hope.” – Dr. Vi Alexander, professor of elementary education A Place on Earth by Wendell Berry “Berry masterfully relates the life of a community to the development of a sense of place and belonging and environmental ethic.” – Dr. Matthew McBroom, assistant professor of forest hydrology The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino “A great book that is a quick read and will inspire, encourage and motivate the reader to live each day to its fullest.” – Dr. Tim Clipson, professor of business communication

It is obvious that the vast majority of students appreciate Arscott’s honesty. He has been honored with a resolution in the Texas Senate, named a Distinguished Professor by the SFA Alumni Association and appointed Regents Professor for 198485 by the SFA Board of Regents. “I really don’t like the awards, to tell you the truth,” he said. “There are many, many art faculty members at Stephen F. Austin who are just as good at teaching as I am. I just taught popular classes. I’ve been lucky.” But Arscott admits that his own college experience allows him to relate to students very easily. “I was never an all-A student,” he said. “In fact, I had a very good time as an undergraduate. I didn’t get really focused on studying the Summer 2011

art world until I went to graduate school, so I can be very compassionate with students who are struggling. I enjoy students, and I think that’s been a big help.” Arscott began his career as a painter but no longer has gallery representation. He still does some conventional art but focuses his artistic pursuits on producing movies. Now 76, Arscott could have retired a decade ago. “When I came to SFA, I was thinking of staying for two years, and now I’m finishing my 47th,” he explained. “I keep teaching because I love my students. It is the most rewarding thing in the world to work with students to produce movies that are works of art – that say something and make people think.”

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler “One of the greatest detective stories ever written. Set in Depression-era La., it features one of the classic hardboiled detectives and will keep you turning pages late into the evening to discover the mystery at its dark heart.” – Dr. Marc Guidry, associate professor of English Catch-22 by Joseph Heller “This book shows us the absurdity not just of war, but of life itself.” – Dr. Michael Tkacik, director, School of Honors Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde “Nobody comes close to Jasper Fforde when it comes to imagining a whimsical rearrangement of our society. In this book, social status depends on your innate ability to see colors. It’s not really fantasy or sci-fi or humor – I don’t know what it is. Read it anyway.” – Dr. Stephen Lias, professor of music


President’s Message


UR COMMON SFA history, traditions and record of success give Lumberjacks everywhere a sense of pride and accomplishment. But that doesn’t mean we are content to rest on our laurels. As we turn the page on another successful academic year, SFA continues to break new ground, both literally and figuratively, ensuring the future of our beloved institution will be as extraordinary as its past. In May, one of the largest graduation classes in the university’s history received diplomas and joined the spirited ranks of SFA alumni. I congratulate these graduates on reaching a very important milestone, and I am hopeful their connection to the university will remain strong as they leave SFA to make their mark on the world. Earlier in the spring, we welcomed to our campus someone who made his mark on not one world, but two. Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon, was the guest of honor at the second annual Archie McDonald Speaker Series event. Some of his artwork, which is sprinkled with bits of lunar dust, is featured inside this issue of Sawdust. Construction on our first freshmen-only residence hall is nearing completion and will be the centerpiece of SFA’s even greater emphasis on the Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’66 first-year experience beginning this fall. Several existing halls also are being President, Stephen F. Austin designated for freshmen-only use, allowing the SFA Class of 2015 to benefit State University from more social interaction and academic support tailored to the unique living and learning needs of freshman Lumberjacks. Recently, the SFA Board of Regents approved a doctoral program leading to a Ph.D. in educational leadership. This brings the total number of doctoral degrees available in the James I. Perkins College of Education to three, including an Ed.D. in educational leadership and a Ph.D. in school psychology. A fourth SFA doctoral program leads to a Ph.D. in forestry. At SFA, we are extremely proud to offer advanced, research-based programs that prepare many candidates to serve as faculty in institutions of higher learning or engage in important research and policy-making endeavors. Even as we look forward to these new opportunities for our students’ success, we are facing a historic financial challenge at SFA. Uncertainty about state funding abounds, and the administration is working diligently to minimize the effect of budget cuts on our academic mission. With the help of the SFA faculty and staff and alumni like you, I am confident we will work through these current issues, and our alma mater will emerge stronger than ever. Axe ’em ’Jacks!

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


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


BY AMY ROQUEMORE ď ° Called The Fantasy, this Alan Bean painting depicts the three Apollo 12 astronauts posing for a photo while on the moon. Dick Gordon, center, never walked on the moon since he piloted the command module 60 miles above the moon’s orbit. Bean, left, always fantasized about having a picture with both Gordon and Pete Conrad during their mission.

“WE WERE WILLING.” That’s what Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the moon, says about the inherent danger for America’s first generation of ❝Our speaker series is astronauts. Bean delighted to feature a fellow took another great when, at the Texan who has viewed our risk pinnacle of his world from a perspective few space career, he left others have experienced.❞ NASA to become a professional artist. –Dr. Archie McDonald “The two things I know the best are art and space,” Bean said. “Art was my hobby before I became an astronaut. I didn’t think about it on the moon or when I was training, but later I realized if I didn’t

try to paint those experiences, that unique opportunity would be lost forever.” This spring, Bean offered his perspective as the only artist to have visited another world at the second annual Archie McDonald Speaker Series event at SFA. The audience heard firsthand stories about piloting the Apollo 12 lunar module in 1973. Bean also shared slides of his artistic interpretations of the moonwalk and discussed how he has incorporated mission artifacts into his paintings. “I have often thought, wouldn’t it have been nice if Magellan had taken an artist along? What I do certainly doesn’t replace the movies or the photos, or any of those things, but it does add something to the story of one of the best explorations of all time.”

 As a result of Jim Irwin’s and Dave Scott’s exploration during the Apollo 15 mission, it is now believed the moon’s region named Hadley Rille was formed by flowing molten lava some 3.3 billion years ago. The lonely boulder was most likely blasted out of the large crater seen beyond and to the right of the rover some 17 million years ago. Hadley Rille was completed in 1996.  On the Rim depicts Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charlie Duke exploring the North Ray Crater, the largest and deepest moon crater explored in the Apollo Program.

Art photos courtsey of alanbeangallery.com



 In 1961, Jim Irwin was told he would never walk again after a horrifying aircraft crash.Ten years later, Irwin not only stood, but also walked on the moon during the Apollo 15 mission. Bean portrays Irwin as he salutes the U.S. flag in Jim Irwin, Indomitable Astronaut, which was completed in 2004.  Is Anyone Out There “When I was assigned as lunar module pilot of Apollo 12, I wondered if paying close attention as we traveled out into the heavens might result in some special insight, some better understanding about who we are and why we are here. With this in mind, I scheduled times to be still and alert; times to listen and be aware and receptive.”

 Bean discusses his experiences as both an astronaut and artist with SFA history professor Dr. Archie McDonald at the 2011 Archie McDonald Speaker Series. The speaker series was created to honor and preserve McDonald’s legacy as a distinguished scholar, educator and community commentator.

 Helping Hands reminds Bean of one his favorite memories of working alongside Conrad during their mission. After pounding a hollow core tube into the lunar soil with his hammer to gather samples of the surface and subsurface soil and documenting and photographing the samples, Bean removed the sharp-edged bit and replaced it with a cap so the soil would not fall out of the open hole. Bean then noticed he still had the bit used to pierce the moon’s surface in his hand. “I stuck it in my pocket and carried it back to Earth, and it rests on the mantel in my studio today.”

Summer 2011


ROCKING my SFA Alumni Association “koozie in the British Virgin Islands today!”

Jeff McNutt ’99 (SFA Facebook)

“My fondest SFA memory is

putting a note in the little slot in the mailboxes to tell friends to meet you for lunch, etc.” Becky Robins ’72 & ’80 (Sawdust Facebook)

“Axes up to the bell tower now

working at the Griffith Fine Arts Building. The chiming of the bells gives campus a

TOUCH OF CLASS. Now, if we could

just get that hunchback out of there. . .”

The Pine Log (Chopping Block)

“I wish I was at SFA

already. Can’t wait to get out of

this high school and into a school I want to go to.”

Dylan James Moore (SFA Facebook)

“You know you are a former

Lumberjack when you are questioned by military police about the painted axe handle in your trunk.”


Nicole Hall ’10 (Facebook)

Mary Dickerson of Groveton won the 400-meter dash at the Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field Meet. She also ran the anchor legs of the Ladyjack championship 400-meter and 1,600-meter relay teams.

Two more for the trophy case

SFA sweeps track and field championships THE SFA LADYJACKS won their third consecutive Southland Conference Outdoor Track and Field title, while the Lumberjacks recorded their first outdoor conference title in program history in Natchitoches, La., in May. The victories mark the first time since the 2006 season that a university has swept both the men’s and women’s competition. The SFA men scored 162 points to outscore the competition by 16 points. The Ladyjacks scored 160.5 points to record a dominant 58.5-point victory. SFA wrapped up the day winning a total of six individual titles and two relay titles, and 19 athletes earned all-conference honors. The Ladyjacks won six titles, and had 15 all-conference selections, while the men won two titles and had four all-conference honors. Sawdust

Vista Viewpoint By Bob Sitton

Sitton reflects on 33 years at SFA GROWING UP IN the suburbs of Cushing, I lived on a small farm with no indoor plumbing, running water or electricity until around 1950. I became aware of SFA then as well, because my parents would let me get out on Highway 204 and hitchhike into Nacogdoches to watch the Lumberjacks play. In 1956, I graduated from Cushing School and started college at SFA. I made a few friends on campus, but I always had to hurry home to do a few jobs – milk 100 cows twice a day, seven days a week, study some, then head back to school. My first year was by far the hardest. I earned four Ds, but I was able to overcome. Some people might question it, but I do have a master’s degree! After I graduated in 1960, I worked as a banker in downtown Cushing for about three months. Then, the head football coaching position at Cushing became available. I got hired at 21 years of age. We didn’t win many games, but we did beat Hemphill. It was like winning the national championship! The father of one of my players loaded up the entire team on a yellow bus at 11 o’clock that night and drove us into downtown Nacogdoches to Sam Shepherd’s cafe and bought everyone a chicken fried steak. (It so happens, Sam’s granddaughter, Katy Crawford, is the  current assistant to the executive director of the SFA Alumni Association.) I went on to coach at C.E. King High School in Houston and Klein High School in Spring before returning to Cushing. Coaching was a great experience. In 1972, three members of the SFA Alumni Association Board of Directors recommended me for the job of executive director. I will always be grateful to

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Orville Todd ’47, Dr. Langston Kerr ’56 & ’59 and the late Dr. Robert A. Smith ’61 for giving me that opportunity. At the time, the A.W. Birdwell Scholarship was the only scholarship endowed through the association. Thanks to many former students, faculty and friends, the scholarship endowment has grown to more than $22 million, and thousands of scholarships have been awarded to SFA students. President Baker Pattillo and I went to work at SFA at about the same time, and there is no doubt he lives to help make SFA a better university for future students. The current alumni staff and board led by Jeff Davis continues to add to existing endowments and create new ones to help future students. The Sawdust staff has done a great job of upgrading our magazine to become an award-winning publication. Sawdust has come a long way from the first run in 1973. I know I can never repay SFA for what it did for me, but it does give me a good feeling to continue to give a little back on a regular basis. My two dogs, Harry and Daisy, and I generally make a 10-minute walk to campus about twice a week to keep an eye on things. I wish to thank all of the former students, faculty and friends who made me feel like I had the best job Bob Sitton ’60 on the campus for 33 years. executive director emeritus, SFA Alumni Association



Photo courtesy of Anansa Green

by Amy Roquemore



Summer 2011


THE GENESIS FOR much of recent graduate Anansa Green’s research of graph theory – and the unique wearable art she has created as a result – can be traced back to a doodle she created in high school. Green ’09 & ’11 recalls sitting in class one day, idly filling a sheet of notebook paper with intersecting circles using a pencil and her geometry template. She discovered back then that the design was twocolorable, meaning she was able to color in half the resulting sections with pencil while preventing any


two sections of the same color from sharing a border. “I thought it was cool, but I had no idea back then why it worked out that way,” said Green, who received her master’s degree in mathematics from SFA in May. Years later, the Hallsville native was well on her way to a bachelor’s degree in math with an art minor when she shared her doodle discovery with Dr. Brian Beavers, her math professor. He challenged Green and her research partner, Jennifer Scheers, to prove their hypothesis that intersecting circles could always be colored in such a way. First, the two set out to determine if the two-color process worked with squares or triangles (it

doesn’t) or other rounded shapes, such as ovals (it does.) Eventually, the students developed a conjecture – a proposition that is unproven but believed to be true and has not yet been disproven – and presented their work at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Texas Section of the Mathematical Association of America. To prepare for her math presentation, Green rehearsed before an audience of fellow art students and faculty, including Lauren McAdams, assistant professor of art metals/jewelry. “We listened to her presentation, and the images she was showing us were so beautiful that my first comment was, ‘You have got to make that in metal,’” McAdams


Photo courtesy of Anansa Green Copper and silver brooches created by Anansa Green ’09 & ’11 were inspired by her undergraduate graph theory research.

said. “Everyone else felt the same way, so we really encouraged her to take her interest in mathematical concepts and apply it to her art.” Green took her professor’s words to heart and began to incorporate more math into her artistic designs. She experimented with concepts such as chains, knots and origami that resulted in unique, wearable metal jewelry, including necklaces and brooches. “As both an artist and mathematician, I enjoy the juxtaposition of two seemingly opposite ideas or objects,” Green said. “I try to bridge the gap between math and art in such a way that others can see that the two worlds are not mutually exclusive. I find the

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idea of wearable art especially appealing because of its portability and because you can display your art easily and make it accessible to more people that way.” Two of Green’s brooches that were inspired by her undergraduate graph theory research were accepted for the recent 2011 Joint Mathematics Meetings Exhibition of Mathematical Art in New Orleans, La. She created those pieces by overlaying copper and fine silver in her trademark intersecting circle design. The pieces were pierced from both sheets of metal at the same time, and the alternating pieces were swapped to form a pair of twocolored designs that are mirror images of each other.

“To emphasize the complementary nature of each image, I fabricated one brooch with a convex face and the other concave,” she said. Now that she has completed her master’s degree in mathematics, Green is considering whether to begin an art graduate program or pursue her love of teaching, which she says she has developed while working as a graduate teaching assistant at SFA. “I guess I have been a math and art person all along,” she said. “And I really like showing students that you can be both, and math can be fun.”


Work Space

What you’ll find on. . . Dr. Francis E. “Ab” Abernethy’s office wall

1African walking stick from Namibia, where Abernethy researched safari camps for an African Chamber of Commerce travel article in 1996. 2Photo taken during a Time-Life film project about the Big Thicket, for which he acted and consulted in 1964. 3SFA Distinguished Professor Award,1979. 4Pouch of tobacco purchased during a boating trip through Borneo’s interior in 1992. 51930 Model A Ford convertible with rumble seat – “the most wonderful car ever made.” Abernethy learned to drive in one just like it, but this is the only Model A he’s ever owned. 6Colt .45 pistol with broken trigger mechanism for which he swapped a dud bomb with a childhood friend he remembers only as “Big Boy.” The bomb was given to Abernethy by an uncle, who “used to collect all kinds of stuff.” (Imagine that!) 7Toltec statue brought back from a caving trip in Mexico in the 1960s. Abernethy spent 20 years working in the caves of Mexico and the Yucatán, collecting insects and small animals for research. 8Didgeridoo purchased Down Under in 1986 when Abernethy and Dr. Archie McDonald gave a series of lectures in honor of both Texas’ and South Australia’s Sesquicentennial. 9Outstanding SFA Liberal Arts Professor Award for 1969-70. “I am especially proud of that award because the students selected me to receive it.” 10Photo of a charreada – a traditional Mexican rodeo – Abernethy attended with photographer Bob Mitchell in the 1970s. 111982 Mr. East Texas Award presented by the Tyler County Dogwood Festival Association, honoring “the Texan who best exemplifies the spirit and quality of leadership which advances, shapes and gives direction to the growth and progress of East Texas.” 12Hand-carved statuette of Don Quixote purchased during a tour of central Spain. 13Replica of a shrunken head made of animal hide acquired in Borneo. 14Well-worn paperback copy of Philip Burton’s You, My Brother, the former Shakespeare professor’s favorite novel set on the Elizabethan stage in England. Dr. Francis E. “Ab” Abernethy ’49 is an institution at SFA. Professor Emeritus of English and Editor Emeritus of the Texas Folklore Society, the 85-year-old Panhandle and Pineywoods Texan is the curator of exhibits for the East Texas Historical Association and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters. He has edited more than 20 books for the Texas Folklore Society, including volumes of poetry, short stories, folk music and Texas legends. A veteran of World War II, Abernethy has explored the caves of Mexico and the Yucatán, built Nacogdoches’ beloved LaNana Creek Trail, soloed in a Cessna, gone sight-seeing and scuba diving all over the world and played bass fiddle in the East Texas String Ensemble. Abernethy holds a Ph.D. in Renaissance literature and joined the SFA faculty in 1965. For the next 32 years, he taught world literature, Shakespeare, folklore and many more subjects to countless SFA students. The walls of Abernethy’s Texas Folklore Society office in the basement of the Rusk Building contain a dizzying array of artifacts and mementos he has collected during a lifetime of adventuring. Still, of SFA, Abernethy says, “There’s no place on earth I would rather be than on this campus.”

Alumni News

The Big Dip

PURPLE HANDS ARE the telltale sign of a popular tradition at SFA. The Big Dip is the official ring presentation ceremony for students who purchase the SFA Ring. The event is held on Friday of Dead Week—the week before final exams—of each fall and spring semester. Students are called to the stage, make the axe ’em hand gesture, then dip their hands in a bowl of purple liquid. After shaking hands with the university president, students receive their class ring. Students are encouraged to invite family and friends. Approximately 1,000 people attended the ceremony this spring, including more than 300 students who participated in The Big Dip. In 2002, members of the Student Foundation Association wanted to create a unique tradition for students to share before getting their class rings. The students came up with the idea of dyeing a hand purple as a way of being “dipped in pride.” In the past nine years, the number of ceremony participants has tripled, and this spring’s event was the largest ever. The SFA Ring design incorporates symbols and features specifically chosen to capture the SFA experience. Students who have earned 60 credit hours are eligible to order a class ring.

Photo courtesy of Cody Derouen

SFA Ring ceremony makes a splash

TAYLOR BROOKS: elementary education

major, first-generation college student, Dallas native, orientation leader, Jack Walker, Jack Camp counselor, Driving ’Jacks volunteer, Student Foundation Association member, Big Dipper

Photo courtesy of Thomas Motyka / The Pine Log

THE SFA RING: “It’s a tradition on campus, and I wanted to be involved. When I look at my ring, I can remember my college days. I will have a piece of SFA with me forever.”

Summer 2011

“My ring represents the years of hard work and dedication that I have put in at SFA. It has more than a monetary value. It is a permanent symbol of my education.” THE BIG DIP: “Having my ring is one aspect of the tradition, but dipping shows my pride in SFA. And, it is something my family can be involved in, too. My mother, grandmother and my aunt, as well as my SFA family, attended The Big Dip.” MAJOR DECISION: “I chose to get a degree in education because I want to do something I am passionate about.” WORDS OF ADVICE: “Don’t forget why you are here at SFA. Get involved, but always have your goal in mind.”


From the Association


Chuck Tomberlain ’84 President, SFA Alumni Association

hope your summer is going well, and you and your family are doing great! We want you to enjoy this issue of Sawdust, which introduces you to the SFA board members who will be representing you and your alma mater, Stephen F. Austin State University. This group of alumni has done a great job of planning fun events for you and your family throughout the year. Our goal as a board is for SFA to continue to be the best place in the state of Texas from which to earn your degree. We assure you, each visit you make to campus will be remarkable. Please join us Sept. 17 as we watch the Lumberjacks take on the Baylor Bears in Waco. Bring your whole family. Wear purple. Be loud. Be proud. Hopefully, I will see you on campus soon. In the meantime, let me know if I can be of any service to you, your family or any fellow Lumberjacks. Axe ’em ’Jacks!

SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - president Curtis Sparks ’85 - president-elect Mike Harbordt ’63 - past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Wendy Buchanan ’85 Don Cox ’71 & ’76 Robin Dawley ’77 Ryan Emmons ’03 Karen Gantt ’95 Doris Havard James Hawkins ’83 Kent Hutchison ’92 David Madrid ’02 Justin McFaul ’04 Susan Roberds ’75 Roger Robinson ’92 Phillip Scherrer ’99 Steve Whitbeck ’75 Chris Woelfel ’95 Student Foundation Association Josh Perry ’12 SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Mike Harbordt ’63 - chairman Brad Bays ’91 Lewie Byers ’68 Ford Cartwright ’69 Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 James Hamilton ’77 Andy Mills ’91 Bill Roberds ’75 Chuck Tomberlain ’84 SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Jeff Davis ’02 executive director of alumni affairs (fund-raising)

“Our goal as a board is for SFA to continue to be the best place in the state of Texas from which to earn your degree.”

Mitzi Blackburn director of alumni activities (activities & events) Katy Crawford assistant to the executive director of alumni affairs (operations) Rhonda Crim-Tumelson director of alumni publications Dale Green ’99 director of marketing & membership Emily Payne ’99 & ’01 chapter coordinator Beverly Smith ’96 accountant (finance) Alicia Roland Chatman gifts & records specialist Mo Davis ’09 scholarship coordinator



Echoes from


On Friday, March 11, the most powerful earthquake ever to hit Japan rocked the island nation and triggered a devastating tsunami that traveled miles inland, destroying everything in its path. The event also resulted in a crisis at the Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, forcing nearby families to leave their homes. The overall cost of the natural disaster has been estimated in the hundreds of billions, making it the most expensive on record. Yuko Matsushima ’09 was working in her home country of Japan when the world turned upside down. . .

DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE WHEN YOU HEARD THE NEWS OF THE DISASTER? Yes. I was working on the seventh floor of a building. At first, I was not really paying attention to the earthquake since in Japan earthquakes often happen. However, it was getting bigger and bigger, and it was very scary. I think it kept shaking for about three minutes. I didn’t know the tsunami hit the northern part of Japan until I actually got off work. WHAT HAS CHANGED IN JAPAN SINCE THEN? Lots of things have changed since then. Right after the disaster, a lot of food was gone from stores, and there was no gas at gas stations. It seemed like people were panicked and scared of the aftershocks. Now, we are facing the lack of electricity around the Tokyo area (Kanto area). People try to save electricity since the Fukushima nuclear plants are not able to produce as much energy as before. (Actually, the Fukushima nuclear plants are producing electricity for Tokyo and around Tokyo.) We are supposed to have a scheduled light blackout during summer since air conditioning uses a lot of energy. We all consider how to survive hot and humid summer in Japan without using a lot of energy. DO YOU FEEL YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS DONE A GOOD JOB OF HANDLING THE SITUATION? I do not think so. We all thought they could do a better job for people who lost their houses and everything. Many people still live in the shelters and are worried about their unclear future. Sometimes we did not know if the information they gave us was accurate or not, as far as the nuclear radiation. I think they should make quick and clear decisions.

Summer 2011

NAME: Yuko Matsushima ’09 HOME: Gunma Prefecture, Japan SFA MAJOR: Sociology EMPLOYMENT: Admissions office of Toyko University of Social Welfare

ARE YOU WORRIED ABOUT THE FUTURE OF YOUR COUNTRY? Yes, I am. Of course, I am worried about the problems of the nuclear plants and lack of jobs. People from other countries are scared of importing things from Japan and visiting Japan for a vacation. Because of that, I am very afraid the Japanese economy might go through a bad time. WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE BIGGEST CONCERN FOR THE PEOPLE OF JAPAN RIGHT NOW? How the Japanese government is dealing with the aftermath of the disaster seems to be the biggest concern. In the place the tsunami hit, there is still tons of junk and garbage left, people who lost everything still live in shelters, and those people who lived near the nuclear plants were forced to leave their houses. They are very worried about when they will be able to go back to wherever they live. How are those who lost houses to the tsunami going to live without money? How the government will face the problem seems to be the biggest issue. WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT JAPAN? I like lots of things about Japan, for example, food and places to visit. However, after the disaster happened, I realized that I like how Japanese people think positively and live under such circumstances. There are many people who lost their jobs, houses and whoever they love. But even in this terrible situation, they have tried to help each other and start new lives. I could not even imagine how hard it is for them to think positively and move on. They never stop appreciating people from all over the world who support them. I realized that this is how we are, and I like that most about Japan and Japanese people.

Photo courtesy of Yuko Matsushima



Sports Portfolio ROBERT SEALE ’92, recipient of the 2010 SFA Alumni Association Outstanding Young Alumnus Award, is a professional photographer specializing in editorial, corporate and advertising photography. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, double majoring in journalism and art. While at SFA, he served as editor of the Stone Fort yearbook and photo editor of The Pine Log newspaper, and he was a member of the Lumberjack Marching Band and the Phi Boota Roota drumline fraternity. Following graduation and an internship at the Houston Chronicle, Seale went to work as a staff photographer for the Augusta Chronicle in Augusta, Ga. After stints at the Houston Post and the Austin American-Statesman, Seale was hired in 1996 by The Sporting News, a national sports magazine.  As one of three staff photographers, his work included action pictures of sporting events, as well as cover portraits. He eventually amassed more than 250 covers.   After almost 11 years with The Sporting News, Seale left to pursue his own photography business. A successful product of SFA’s Department of Student Publications, he is respected by

other young photographers who have followed in his footsteps at the university’s student publications. He has mentored several SFA student photographers and has offered students the opportunity to assist him on professional photo shoots. He encourages and compliments student work when appropriate, but, more importantly, he provides tough, valid critiques of the work to help young photographers improve and prepare for the real world of work after graduation. Seale’s success and passion for the discipline of photography is inspirational to SFA students who aspire to a professional career in the business. His work regularly appears in publications including Sports Illustrated; ESPN, The Magazine; Smithsonian; Air and Space; Forbes; Businessweek; Barron’s and Men’s Health. He has worked on annual reports and advertising projects for corporations including ExxonMobil, Schlumberger, BP, Reebok and Under Armour. Seale has won awards from The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., was a finalist for Life Magazine’s Eissie Award and was featured in the Best of American Society of Media Photographers in 2008. He is vice president of the ASMP chapter in Houston. Seale regularly speaks at journalism and sports photography seminars and workshops, and he was a judge in the prestigious National Press Photographers Association’s 2003 Best of Photojournalism contest. He writes a blog that covers technical photo subjects. It can be accessed on his website, www.robertseale.com. Photos courtesy of Robert Seale

LANCE ARMSTRONG professional cyclist Austin, Texas

YAO MING Houston Rockets basketball player Houston, Texas

STUART HOLDEN professional soccer player Houston, Texas

RANDY COUTURE UFC fighter Houston, Texas

BRAD PENNINGTON champion kayaker Sugar Land, Texas



Summer 2011


NOLAN RYAN owner, president and CEO, Texas Rangers Arlington, Texas

LADANIAN TOMLINSON NFL football player San Diego, Calif.

LAURA WILKINSON Olympic diver The Woodlands, Texas



Summer 2011


Every night after the show, I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude that I’ve been able to tell this story, and gratitude for every teacher who trained me in how to do this sort of thing, because I used everything I’ve ever learned as an actor to bring this story to life.

Stephanie Cozart ’94, actress IN HER LATEST performance, actress Stephanie Cozart ’94 took on 23 roles of a lifetime. During a recent three-week run of The Syringa Tree at Portland Stage in Maine, Cozart played all of the almost two dozen characters in the award-winning play written by Pamela Gien. Set in South Africa during apartheid, the story is based on the life of Elizabeth Grace, a 6-year-old white child being raised by her beloved black nanny, Salamina. The supporting characters are Elizabeth’s friends, relatives and other members of the community, including a Catholic priest, police officer, hospital matron and the family gardener. With minimal set design and no costume changes, Cozart alone performs the heart-wrenching story of the intertwined lives of two families – one black and one white – spanning four generations in South Africa during a time of caustic, legalized racial segregation, oppression and violence. The actress says the play’s familiar themes resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds. “As exotic as the setting is, ultimately, this is a love story,” Cozart said of the play, for which she memorized 82 pages of dialogue. “It has everything that we all relate to – love, loss, hope, faith, forgiveness and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit.” Cozart has performed in The Syringa Tree previously at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Capital Repertory Theatre in New York and Lizard Head Theatre in Telluride, Colo. Before appearing in


Photo courtesy of Darren Setlow / Portland Stage

By Amy Roquemore

the one-woman show for the first time in 2002, she traveled to South Africa to hear firsthand stories about what it was like to live in the country under apartheid rule. “I just wanted to hear people’s stories about what happened to them during the horror of all that,” she said. “People were very open and warm with me. Everyone I spoke to, black or white, had gone through some sort of traumatic experience, and they were very interested in sharing their stories with me.” The actress took a mini-cassette recorder with her to South Africa and relied on recorded conversations to help her master the various accents and dialects that are integral to the play. Aside from the 23 different voices of her characters, Cozart used changes in posture, gestures and body movement to help keep the audience with her as she transitioned from role to role. “This play is definitely the toughest thing I’ve ever done as an actress,” she said. “You don’t get to leave the stage. It is an hour and 40 minutes with no intermission, no bathroom breaks. I think the most difficult thing is I can’t get any water. It’s sort of like a marathon, and you just have to keep going.” Cozart, a native of Nacogdoches, earned her bachelor’s degree in English and theatre from SFA in 1994. The actress received her Master of Fine Arts degree from the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, Colo., and is a member of the Actors Equity Association. She has acted in off-Broadway productions and appeared on stage at playhouses and theatre festivals across the country. Her television appearances include roles on Law and Order: SVU and The Good Wife. Cozart lives in New York City with her husband, Douglas Harmsen, who is also a professional actor.


Upcoming Events

JUNE 11 10th annual SFA Band Golf Tournament 16-17 Freshman Orientation

18 2nd annual Shoot for Koonce

24 Alumni Association board meeting

23-24 Freshman Orientation

Cally Belcher Golf Tournament

Dallas Chapter Rangers vs. Mets


University closed


Independence Day, university closed

21-22 Freshman Orientation

27 Alumni Foundation board meeting

23 Dallas Chapter Rangers vs. Blue Jays

28-29 Freshman Orientation

15 Nacogdoches Chapter networking lunch, Hotel Fredonia

29 Nacogdoches Chapter after-work social gathering, Flashback Café 30 Freshman Send-Off, Tyler


Houston Chapter, Astros vs. Brewers

Longview Chapter Golf Tournament, Wood Hollow Golf Club


Freshman Send-Off, University Bowl, San Antonio


Freshman Send-Off, Spring Creek BBQ, Richardson

14 Freshman Send-Off, Red’s Porch, Austin

19 Alumni Association board meeting

25 Dallas Chapter, Rangers vs. Red Sox

Freshman Send-Off, Houston

27 Alumni Foundation board meeting

29 Fall classes begin

16 Freshman Send-Off, Papacita’s, Longview

28-29 Freshman Orientation


Freshman Convocation

10 SFA vs. Northern Iowa State University

SFA vs. McMurray State University

17 SFA @ Baylor University


Labor Day, university closed

24 SFA vs. Texas State, Parents Day

Find chapter events online at www.sfaalumni.com.

*Times and dates are subject to change. Visit www.sfaalumni.com for the most recent information.

Summer 2011


How to Start a Scholarship

1 2 3 4 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Complete an endowment packet.

Scholarships are endowed by cash or gifts of

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

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

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

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

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



Alumni Chapters

Stay connected. Get involved. Have fun. Join a chapter! Happy Hours Networking Tailgating Freshman Send-Offs Service Projects Luncheons Family Picnics Golf Tournaments

The SFA Dallas Alumni Chapter and the SFA African-American Chapter hosted crawfish boils on April 30 to raise money for each chapter’s Scholarship Endowment Fund.

Visit our website to find chapter events. www.sfaalumni.com REGIONAL CHAPTERS Austin Oklahoma Coastal Bend Oregon Dallas San Antonio Denver SE Texas Houston Tarrant County Longview Tyler Nacogdoches Victoria Ohio SPECIAL INTEREST CHAPTERS African-American Nursing Agriculture ROTC Interior Design Rugby Tau Kappa Epsilon To find your local SFA chapter, visit www.sfaalumni.com and click on chapters, or contact Emily Payne, chapter coordinator, at emilypayne816@yahoo.com or (800) 765-1534.

Summer 2011


By Andreya Stephenson CAPT. JAMES THOMAS Cox ’82, a forestry graduate, achieved a U.S. Navy rank attained by few when he recently was made captain of the USS Peleliu, an amphibious assault ship that carries tanks, helicopters and jets ready for warfare. It is a promotion that has made his family, his friends and the SFA community proud. Cox is a father of three daughters. His oldest, an SFA alumnae, is currently working on her master’s degree from Purdue University. Madalyn Cox, the middle daughter, is a sophomore psychology major at SFA, and the youngest daughter is thinking about becoming a Lumberjack, as well. Cox is passionate about his alma mater and is proud his daughters have chosen to attend SFA. When Madalyn describes her father, her love and pride in his accomplishments are obvious. He came to SFA not sure what he wanted to study, just knowing that he loved the campus and the trees. Madalyn describes him as “woodsy.” Cox knew he wanted to do something that would allow him to work outside. He went to the counseling services center on campus, and they helped him figure out that he wanted to major in forestry. When Madalyn came to SFA, she was in a similar position. All she knew was that she wanted to train beluga whales. She followed in her dad’s footsteps, and counseling services helped her determine that she needed to major in psychology and minor in biology. Cox really enjoyed his time at SFA. He was close to many of his professors, and he says he still remembers much of what he learned in his classes. “Forestry was his passion,” his daughter recalled. “He still enjoys it today, and it’s because of the way SFA did it — really interactively.” Cox still enjoys the outdoors. He loves to go fly-fishing and camping, where he identifies trees and other elements of nature. He has even taken pictures of birds that have


landed on the carrier and identified them. While he was in school, Cox was active in the SFA community. He joined the Sigma Chi fraternity, where he served as party planner, and the fraternity became an important part of his life. “To this day, he keeps all the brotherhood secrets,” Madalyn said. After graduating from SFA, Cox became a forest ranger. At age 25, he joined the Navy, and “it slowly became a really big part of him,” Madalyn said. He started out as a helicopter pilot, became a flight instructor and slowly worked his way up from there. He has been in the Navy for 27 years. In December 2010, his career advanced even further when he was named captain of the USS Peleliu. “He worked so hard, and now he (made) captain, which means that he is in control of a Naval carrier,” Madalyn said. Cox credits his time spent at SFA with much of his success. “It means a lot to him that SFA gave him the talent to be able to acquire this position,” Madalyn said. At SFA, Cox was able to figure out where his talents lie, how to apply those talents to his life, leadership skills, and that he can achieve great things. These are all things he has passed on to his daughters. Cox still keeps SFA in the forefront of his life. When not in his Navy uniform, he still wears his SFA T-shirts and hats. When he first interacted with Navy leadership, he was humbled by the fact that many of the other officers had graduated from major universities like Yale, while he attended a university most of them had not heard of. Then he changed his mindset and decided to spread the name of SFA. He made a name for SFA on his ship, and now the name of SFA has followed him wherever he has gone, from San Diego to Japan, and from Australia to Indonesia. His latest duties have led him to Pakistan, where he participated in flood-relief efforts. Sawdust

“It means a lot to him that SFA gave him the talent to be able to acquire this position.�

Summer 2011

Reprinted with permission from The Pine Log Photo courtesy of Madalyn Cox


SFA Alumni Association Board of Directors The SFA Alumni Association Board of Directors is a group of volunteers who lead the organization in its service to SFA and its alumni. Leadership provided by the board is essential to the successful implementation of programs designed to accomplish the Association’s

mission: “To serve 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.” Members are chosen at the general meeting of the board in October.

“My fondest memory of SFA is . . . meeting my wife, Babette Coleman Tomberlain ’85, for the first time at the KA house. Close seconds are watching my children Morgan ’09 and Cole ’10 walk across the stage to receive their degrees from SFA, the greatest university I know and love.”

everything I did with Sigma Tau Gamma: making great friends, meeting my college sweetheart (and future wife), participating in Greek Week and intramural sports, events like Sig Tau Jaycees Haunted House and the Homecoming float contest.”

-Chuck Tomberlain ’84, president

-Ryan Emmons ’03

walking the stage at graduation to receive my diploma with my family and friends in attendance. My days at SFA were filled with fond memories, and I suppose that is one of the reasons I have stayed involved. Axe ’em ’Jacks!”

walking through campus between classes and seeing beautiful fall leaves or bright spring colors. Mostly I think of all the great friends I made through my sorority (go Tri Delt!), or SGA, or while working on campus. “

-Curtis Sparks ’85, president-elect

-Karen Gantt ’95

my entire experience, which shaped and provided much of my future. I have fond memeories of everything, from constant jobs to some very good faculty, housing and my fraternity.”

the many great times I have had since I moved here. I have met really nice people.”

-Mike Harbordt ’63, past president

-Doris Havard

one of my professors – Dr. Lynnette Solomon. She was a wonderful teacher, a mentor and a promoter of young women striving for a career.”

springtime at SFA. Campus was always beautiful with the azaleas and dogwoods blooming. KA Fight Night, EX Derby Week, intramural softball and watching the sun lizards by the Ag Pond. The lifetime friendships I made will always be cherished.” -James Hawkins ’83

-Wendy Buchanan ’85 everyone – students, faculty and staff – providing me all the experiences that shaped my future, especially meeting my wife.”

-Don Cox ’71 & ’76

my first woodsie party; first college road trip to Shreveport; first F in an academic class; first love, immediately followed by my first heartbreak; and finally, my first tattoo. SFA remains a central part of my daily life – as I wear my class ring every day, and purple shirts and ball caps fill my closet.” -Kent Hutchison ’92

the many memories that have been made while being a part of the SFA family and the Nacogdoches community and the lasting friendships that have evolved from them all!”

when April and I got married. Our wedding was in the middle of the spring 2001 semester in Nacogdoches. We were joined by family and friends from in town and from all over the country, as well as all of our SFA friends. It was an amazing celebration.”

-Robin Dawley ’77

-David Madrid ’02

“My fondest memory is of one of my professors – Dr. Lynnette Solomon. She was a wonderful teacher, a mentor and a promoter of young women striving for a career. She is the person who started the American Association of University Women’s “Expanding Your Horizons” annual math and science conference for middle school girls. She retired several years ago but still remains active in the organization. Twenty-five years later, she still inspires me, encourages me, promotes me and is my friend.”

–Wendy Buchanan ’85

playing with the Wind Ensemble at the Texas Music Educators Convention my senior year and the friendships made through the various organizations I was involved in – Student Foundation Association, Finance Club, Wind Ensemble.” -Justin McFaul ’04 living in South dorm on the third floor, everyone gathering in the student center during lunch, going to intramural games.”

-Susan Roberds ’75 the lifelong friendships. Five of the groomsmen in my wedding were friends from my freshman dorm.”

-Roger Robinson ’92 meeting my best friend and beautiful wife, Ivy. We met my last semester at SFA while she was my statistics tutor. Her smile reminds me daily of how lucky I am and how much I owe SFA, both personally and professionally.” -Phillip Scherrer ’99 attending athletic events at home and away as an SFA cheerleader.”

-Steve Whitbeck ’75 Wednesday afternoon ROTC labs with Rob Debardelaben.”

-Chris Woelfel ’95

Photo courtesy of Bria Taack

Crawford honors late husband with street naming Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70, SFA Alumni Foundation board member, named Alumni Drive for 2011 in honor of Joe A. Neel’s longtime service to SFA as a faculty member, as well as his loyalty and support of the university. Crawford won the naming right, a homecoming silent auction item, at the Lumberjack Bash hosted by the SFA Alumni Association in October 2010. The street was dedicated at a reception at the Pearman Alumni Center. Neel and Crawford married in 1971. Crawford endowed the Joe A. Neel Memorial Math Scholarship through the SFA Alumni Association in his honor in 1988 and also secured a life insurance policy to supplement the scholarship. Neel was born in Shelby County, in the Tennessee community near Timpson, on Oct. 21, 1935. After graduating from Timpson High School in 1954, he attended SFA, receiving his Bachelor of Science in 1957, majoring in mathematics and chemistry. While at SFA, Neel was a member of the Lumberjack Band, the SFA Stage Band and the SFA Orchestra. He had broad musical talent, mastering the alto and tenor sax, as well as the piano and organ. Neel received his master’s degree from SFA in 1963, then completed 30 hours of post-graduate work in mathematics at the University of Texas. He joined SFA as a faculty member in 1965. During his tenure, he became a respected colleague, trusted friend and committed teacher. He was an assistant professor in the math department until the time of his death on Sept. 17, 1988. Neel was a life member of the SFA Alumni Association.

Class Notes 1950

Johnny Burks ’64 of Frankston received a 50year service award from Handy Hardware for his family-owned business, Burks Hardware.

Jimmy Murphy ’56 of Houston is on the Board of MURPHY Directors of the First Federal Bank Texas in Tyler and its holding company, East Texas Financial Services.

Dr. Opal Stewart ’66 of Kilgore was named Preceptor Omicron Epsilon Chapter Sweetheart.

Lincoln “Link” Skillern ’50 of Silsbee is the 2011 Silsbee Citizen of the Year.


Elton Caldwell ’63 of Brownsboro is retiring after 22 years as the Brownsboro ISD superintendent. He served as an educator for 51 years. Robert “Boots” Cashell ’63 of Reno, Nev., is serving CASHELL his third term as mayor of Reno, Nev.  He  previously served as lieutenant governor of Nevada and also served as chairman of the Nevada State Board of Regents. The Rev. Ve r n o n Hedge ’63 of Raleigh, N.C., is HEDGE an accomplished Bible teacher with more than 50 years in the ministry.


Dr. Bob Browning ’69 of Marshall is retiring from Elysian Fields ISD. Browning spent the last 45 years as a facilitator at various districts across Texas and the last 13 at Elysian Fields.


Van Craddock ’70 of Longview has been named Man of the Year by the Federated Clubs of Longview for longtime community volunteering.



Wylie ISD.

Dr. H. J o h n Fuller ’75 of Wylie has retired as superintendent of

Robin Dawley ’77 of Nacogdoches is regional outreach coordinator for East Texas Community Health Services. Stephen Rainwater ’77 of Tyler has been elected RAINWATER computer science representative on

SFA grad, former Pine Log editor and SFA Alumni Association life member Bob McCullough ’70 has “failed miserably” at retirement. Early last year, he retired as head of corporate communications for CPS Energy of San Antonio, one of the nation’s largest publicly owned natural gas and electric companies, and in short order became communications director at Morgan’s Wonderland, the world’s first ultra-accessible family fun park designed with special-needs individuals of all ages in mind. Previously, he retired from SeaWorld San Antonio and the U. S. Air Force. “The opportunity to lend a hand in the opening of a truly special place like Morgan’s Wonderland was just too good to pass up,” McCullough said. “It was the same kind of excitement and anticipation I experienced in helping open SeaWorld San Antonio in 1988. It’s been an absolute privilege and pleasure working with some of my former SeaWorld colleagues, who are also retirees, and Gordon Hartman, a San Antonio businessman and philanthropist who’s been the driving force behind Morgan’s Wonderland.” The non-profit park opened March 3, 2010, and celebrated its grand opening April 10, 2010, with NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson, TV/movie actress Eva Longoria Parker and other notables. In addition, Morgan’s Wonderland has garnered attention in national media outlets such as ABC-TV’s World News Tonight, USA Today and People magazine. The park is also a finalist in the 2011 Silver Anvil awards competition for communications excellence sponsored by the Public Relations Society of America. A Port Arthur native, McCullough graduated from SFA with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and later earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism at Columbia. He is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, past president of PRSA’s San Antonio Chapter and past president of the Texas Public Relations Association. His honors include PRSA’s Silver Anvil and TPRA’s Golden Spur, Lone Star, Silver Spur and Best of Texas awards for professional excellence. He received the 2005 Tex Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award during PRSA San Antonio’s annual Del Oro Awards banquet. In addition to his public relations and corporate communications career, McCullough completed 30 years of service as a public affairs officer in the U. S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve. His assignments included duty as mobilization assistant to the commander of the Air Force News Agency and as a member of the staff of the Air Force’s official magazine, AIRMAN. He retired with the rank of colonel.


the Board of Directors of the International Society for Technology in Education. Cindy Tayem ’78 of Rockwall has been appointed vice chairman of economic development for the Terrell Chamber of Commerce. She has been employed by Oncor for 32 years.


Karen Guenther ’80 of Mansfield, Pa., was honGUENTHER ored as the Outstanding Senior Mentor at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania where she is a professor of history. Texas Forest Service fire behavior analyst B r a d SMITH Smith ’81 of Longview received the Texas A&M Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excel-

lence. Smith has studied fire behavior for the agency since 2000 and is considered a leader in his field. Larry Fields ’82 of Carthage has been re-appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the State Optometry Board. Fields is an attorney and real estate broker in private practice, and a municipal court judge for the City of Tatum. The Rev. Kerry L. Horn ’83 of Eagle Lake is the new HORN pastor at First Baptist Church of Eagle Lake. Al Schmidt ’84 of Nacogdoches was named Agriculture Educator of the Year at the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual Agriculture Appreciation and Awareness Banquet. Joe Ripple ’85 of Clute will retire this year as Brazosport ISD superintendent. Brett A. Richardson ’02, assistant director of bands at SFA, has been accepted into the Doctoral Wind Conducting program at Indiana University-Bloomington. He will serve the Jacobs School of Music as an associate instructor from 2011 to 2014. Prior to his appointment at SFA, Richardson taught instrumental music in the public schools of Texas. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Richardson regularly participates in conducting symposia across the U.S.

Summer 2011

Karen Christopher ’86 of Nacogdoches was featured in an exhibit of local black artists in the Temple Theatre gallery at Angelina College in honor of Black History Month. Jean Ann Ruth Collins ’87 of Princeton is communications coordinator for the Princeton ISD. Joe Finch ’87 of Terrell is entering his second term as a director of the Terrell Chamber of Commerce/ CVB. Finch is CEO and superintendent of Terrell State Hospital. David Lang ’87 of San Diego, Calif., has been named to the board of trustees of Bastyr University near Seattle, Wash. Lang is executive director of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership. Gary Moore ’89 of Nacogdoches joined Hydrex Environmental as business development manager.


Mike Anderson ’90 of Albuquerque, N.M., is celebrating 15 years at KOB TV, the NBC station in New Mexico. He is the senior assignments editor. Michele Muse Allen ’91 of Nacogdoches, an exclusive agent for Allstate Insurance Company, opened a new agency in Nacogdoches. Jaime Calhoun ’92 & ’97 of The Woodlands was named Teacher of the Year in Conroe ISD.

Dwight David Thrash ’92 is both a CPA and forensic CPA at Memorial Health System of East Texas in Lufkin. Dr. Trampas Bass ’93 of C l e a r Lake has been seBASS lected to represent the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals as the Texas Outstanding Assistant Principal of the Year. Paul McNutt ’94 was recently promoted to managMCNUTT ing director of investment banking at UBS in New York City. Chris Morgan ’94 of Sugar Land is the principal of Middle School No. 14 in Fort Bend ISD. Shelley Williams Beaumont ’96 of Tyler was named Pace High School Teacher of the Year in Tyler ISD. Vi r g i n i a Burkett ’96 of M a n y, La., a U.S. GeoBURKETT logical Survey scientist, was awarded the 2011 National Wildlife Federation’s Connie Award for Science at the recent NWF awards gala in Washington, D.C.


Troy Aduddell ’98 of League City is the football coach at Sterling High School in Baytown.

Dr. Michael D. McFarland ’01 of Lancaster is superintendent of Lancaster ISD.

Danny Long ’98 of Conroe is athletic director for Conroe ISD.

David ’02 & April Madrid of Nacogdoches celebrated MADRID their 10year wedding anniversary April 7 with a tour of the Hill Country, visiting Austin, Fredericksburg and Gruene.

Mandy Patrick ’98 of Houston is the county wellness coordinator for Houston County. She also hosts various classes to promote wellness and family life.


Jennifer Davenport ’00 of Crosby is director of marketDAVENPORT ing for the Houston Texans. Scott Haygood ’00 of Longview joined Bancorp South as vice president for commercial lending. Clint Shimer ’00 of Lufkin is a loan officer for the AgriLand Farm Credit lending office in Nacogdoches.

LaShondra Manning ’04 & ’06 was accepted to Texas A&M-Commerce to pursue a Ph.D. in counseling. Bridget L u n a Trawhon ’05 of Orange traveled TRAWHON to Washington, D.C., to participate in the James Madison Symposium. She and her daughter, Claire, met professional news analyst Cokie Roberts.

Ted Madkin, left, is pictured with his uncle, Clarence Watson ’36, who turned 100 in May. Clarence “Buddy” Watson ’36 of Donna celebrated his 100th birthday May 21. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in geology and a minor in biology and also played football for SFA as a guard. “We didn’t have a very good team back then. We played Center High School, and they beat us real bad,” recalls Watson. After graduation, Watson worked as a schoolteacher. He served in the U.S. Navy for eight years, then worked in education until he retired. Watson enjoys attending church each Sunday. According to his nephew, Ted Madkin, his uncle still has a great sense of humor, is full of life and never complains.

Ryan Anthony ’06 of Houston is the head football coach at Rosehill Christian School. Brian Gilbert ’07 and Nicole Natinsky ’07 of Houston were married March 6 in Austin.

Gregory Elliott ’78 & ’80 of San Antonio has been making and exhibiting sculpture for the past 30 years. He holds three degrees, including a B.F.A. from SFA with concentrations in commercial art, printmaking and ceramics; an M.A. from SFA majoring in ceramic sculpture; and an M.F.A. from Southern Methodist University majoring in sculpture. Elliott was the first artist in residence for the Ysleta Independent School District in El Paso and was on the faculty of El Paso Community College teaching sculpture, ceramics, drawing and design. He also was a faculty member at Brookhaven College in Dallas, teaching ceramics and sculpture. Elliott spent 14 years as part of the faculty at Louisiana State University beginning in 1988. From 2002 to 2008, Elliott served as chair of the Department of Art at the University of Texas at El Paso. Currently, he is a professor of art and department chair at the University of Texas at San Antonio.


Megan Hartt ’08 of Milwaukee, Wis., director of HARTT sales and marketing for the Aloft Milwaukee Downtown hotel, received the Aloft 2010 Sales Team/Director of Sales of the Year award. Kendra Rogers ’08 of San Marcos is the new director of special events at Texas Military Institute– The Episcopal School of Texas. Tim ’08 and Kelsey Siegmund ’10 of College Station announce the birth of son August Robert on Nov. 10, 2010.


Kira Kalondy ’09 of Nacogdoches showed her work in the Texas Craft 2010 show at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft and at College of the Mainland’s Art Gallery in March. Stephanie Schenck ’09 of Angleton and Adam Stroud STROUD were married March 20, 2009. Edward LeGate ’94 of Lantana is a manager at LEGATE KPMG in the Internal Audit/Risk and Compliance Practice. Daughter Brook Elizabeth was born Oct. 6, 2010. Stephanie Tilley ’09 is the development communications coordinator for the Houston Zoo.

Kathryn Thies ’09 of Allen earned a Master of Science THIES in recreation management and policy from the University of New Hampshire in May 2011. Her thesis was based on experiences with SFA’s Jack Camp.


Brett Morton ’10 of Tyler received an Accounting Excellence Award from the Texas Society of CPAs. The organization’s Accounting Education Foundation recognizes one outstanding senior accounting student from each of the 54 participating Texas universities. Daniel Longtin ’11 of Pasadena has a new art exhibit in Central Texas College library titled “Elements.”

LIFE MEMBERS The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. We appreciate your support.

7652. Robert A. Gannon ’89 BS PBAD, Plano 7653. Stacy L. Gannon ’89 BA RDTV, Plano 7654. Trey D. Schroeder ’01 BS KINE/’03 MED PHED,


7655. Holly K. Womack ’07 BSAG AGAS/’10 MS AGEN,


7656. Scott J. Bowyer ’98 BBA FINC, Nacogdoches 7657. Kimberly K. Brown-Bowyer ’98 BAAS APAS


7658. William E. Muckleroy ’48 BSF FORS, Nacogdoches 7659. Stephen Nimmo ’99 BBA CISY, Houston 7660. Meghan K. Nimmo ’99 BSIS INST, Houston 7661. John Albert Shankles ’71 BBA ACCT, Dallas 7662. Anne E. Marsh ’06 BSIS INST, Spring 7663. Brandi J. Hampton ’10 BS HADM, Nacogdoches 7664. Jeremy J. Whitten ’10 BBA MGMT, Palestine

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

7666. Jason L. Reina ’03 BBA GBUS, Nacogdoches 7667. Laura A. Reina ’05 BA JOURN, Nacogdoches 7668. Mark D. Phillips ’88 BSF FRMG, Nacogdoches 7669. Angie Phillips, Nacogdoches 7670. Nicholus W. Wiggins ’02 BS KIN, Nacogdoches

LETTERS Sawdust welcomes correspondence concerning the magazine, the SFA Alumni Association, its events and SFA. Please send letters to: Letters to the Editor, Sawdust, P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962 or alumni@sfasu.edu (subject line, Letter to the Editor.) Include your name, degree, graduation date, address and a contact telephone number. Letters selected for publication may be edited for space and clarity. Only name, graduation date, city and state will be published as author identification.

Summer 2011

7671. Marissa J. Wiggins ’06 BSIS INST, Nacogdoches 7672. Brittany N. Green ’09 BS COMS, Nacogdoches 7673. Valerie Rae Roberts ’11 BSN NURS, Rockwall 7674. Peter H. Fischer ’64 BA ENG, Elkhart 7675. Amy Hahn ’11 BSN NURS, Seabrook


In Memoriam Ronald Wade Bowman ’76 of Rushton, La., May 2. The Rev. Robert Francis ’80 of Sherwood, Ark., May 3. Sonja Gale Gambrel-Gascoigne ’73 of Yantis, Nov. 10, 2008. George Otto Hadac ’53 of Nacogdoches, May 2. Andy Kesling of Austin, April 8. Brandi Dimsdle Maldonado ’05 of Mesquite, Sept. 12, 2010.

SFA Walk of Recognition We invite you to participate in the project that will forever link the past to the future: the SFA Walk of Recognition. The Walk of Recognition is located in the Sesquicentennial Plaza around the Stephen F. Austin fountain. You may purchase bricks securely online or download an order form at www. sfaalumni.com. Contact the SFA Alumni Association at (800) 765-1534 for more information.

Maria C. Milian-Silveira ’69 of Farmville, Va., April 3. Leatrice Webber Owens ’43 of Houston, Oct. 6, 2010. Carl Snyder ’66 of Grand Prairie, May 11. Denice Wisdom of Martinsville, March 25. Patricia Witt ’68 of Longview, April 30. Charles Bertram Rees Jr.–artist, world traveler, lover of life–passed away on April 7 at the age of 83. A leap-year baby, Rees was born Feb. 29, 1928, in San Antonio. He showed an early interest in art, and studied at the Witte Museum. He graduated from Fox Technical High School in San Antonio in 1945. He enlisted in the Texas State Guard in 1945 and enlisted in the Army in 1946, achieving the rank of technical sergeant. He enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin in 1950 and completed his Bachelor of Fine Art in art in 1953. He found his love of Texas Longhorn football at UT, and made lifelong friends with his roommates at the Theleme Co-op. With his brother Arthur he opened Rees Brothers’ Watchmakers across from the UT campus. He continued to take graduate classes at UT, eventually earning a Master of Fine Arts in 1966. Shortly after graduation he taught drawing courses in the UT School of Architecture and joined the faculty of Huston-Tillotson College in Austin. In 1967, he came to SFA and joined the Art Department as an assistant professor. At SFA he taught drawing, design, painting and jewelry studio classes. He also opened his own jewelry design and repair studio, where he made and designed custom jewelry for more than 35 years. In 1970 he married Charlene Hearn, and they had two daughters, Chay Burnett and Chana Blake. Rees loved to travel and took his family on adventures all over the western United States. He loved Lake City, Colo., and enjoyed spending summers there. His travels included trips to Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Turkey and most recently China, where he visited when he was 82 years old. Rees loved light and color and shared both with the community through elaborate and legendary Christmas displays year after year. He loved his garden, and every summer he would trek to nurseries to add to his collection of plants. Rees was a member of First Christian Church, Nacogdoches. Even late in life he continued to attend UT football games, and he happily attended 60 straight Texas-OU weekends in Dallas.



Brick -Student Foundation

Walk of Recognition Mail-In Brick Order Form First Name ________________________________ Address ____________________________________ Middle Name ______________________________ City _______________________________________ Last Name _________________________________ State ______ ZIP ____________________________ Class Year (if alum) ______________

Home Phone _______________________________ Home Email ________________________________

Business Phone ________________________ Business Email ________________________________ Payment Information: Check (payable to SFA Student Foundation) Credit Card Visa MasterCard American Express


Name on Card: _______________________ Card #: ______________________________ Exp. Date: ______ / _______ Verification Code: __________ Please fill in the fields EXACTLY as you would like to see your brick(s). Leave a space between names, and before and after "&". Each space counts as a character. Omit punctuation marks. Orders received together will be laid together; brick location will be determined by architectural design. SFA Student Foundation Association reserves the right for copy approval/refusal. Only 500 bricks available for the next phase. Bricks will be placed in alphabetical order. Please return completed form to: SFA Student Foundation Special guidelines: If line and space permit PO Box 6092 - SFA Station (a) any brick may include "In Memory of" or "In Honor of" Nacogdoches, Texas 75962-6092 (b) class year permitted after name(s) (c) affiliation allowed (group, club, military, honors, social - Greek letters available)

$100 brick, 4"X 8" Two lines maximum 14 Characters per line

$250 brick, 8"X 8" Three lines maximum 17 Characters per line

$500 brick, 8"X 8" Three lines maximum 20 Characters per line SFA Engraved Seal included Summer 2011


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

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

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See these SFA Exes for your banking needs

help2achieve Nacogdoches • Garrison • Tyler • Marshall • Longview

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Summer 2011


All Hail to SFA

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



GET YOUR SFA GEAR! www.shopsfa.com

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

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

Summer 2011


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


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

OCT. 28-29, 2011

There’s no place like home.

Profile for SFA Alumni Association

Sawdust Summer 2011  

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

Sawdust Summer 2011  

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


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