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Mike Guinn ’94

Hardy’s Pic

Tennis player Alina Shazhko competes in the Southland Conference Championship Tournament held at SFA in May. The women won the tournament, as well as the regular season conference title – the first in the team’s history. Shazhko, a senior from Simferopol, Ukraine, was named 2009 SLC Freshman of the Year and received 2012 first-team all-conference honors.

“Watching our women’s tennis team compete at such a high level throughout the season and at the conference tournament we hosted was one of the highlights of the year. I have a feeling this will be the team to watch for some time, and I look forward to photographing many more of their victories.” – University Photographer Hardy Meredith


Summer 2012 • Volume 39, No. 2 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jeff Davis ’02 Executive Director of Alumni Affairs EDITOR Amy Roquemore ’93 & ’12 Editorial Coordinator, SFA Public Affairs ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Rhonda Crim Director of Alumni Publications, SFA Alumni Association STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work and service. Through the personal attention of our faculty and staff, we engage our students in a learner-centered environment and offer opportunities to prepare for the challenges of living in the global community. The SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the alumni, friends and current students of Stephen F. Austin State University through programs, scholarships and activities that create an attitude of continued loyalty and support.


FEATURES 6 Defensive Duo

Twin brothers prepare for final football season

10 Zebra Brains

Professor’s book reveals insights into brain typology


Spoken Word Social work alumnus shares love of poetry with community

24 Reel Solitude

’87 grad launches private fishing venture

10 CAMPUS NEWS 2 3 4 5 8 16

On-campus Windmill Faculty Advising President’s Message Arun Gandhi Spirit Team Victories Work Space

ALUMNI NEWS 17 18 19 26 32 35 40

Alumni Networks From the Association Graduation Garb ’Jacks of All Trades Class Notes In Memoriam From the Archives

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 alumni@sfasu.edu • sfaalumni.com


Winds of Change

Photo by Stephanie Ballard

Campus News

Student’s “Big Idea” leads to construction of vertical axis wind turbine on campus AS ENVIRONMENTAL INITIATIVES take root around the globe and more emphasis is placed on localized sustainability efforts, one student’s energy-saving endeavor is helping the SFA campus “go green.” John Elkins of Lampasas, a graduate student in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, recently proposed an idea to construct a vertical axis wind turbine at SFA that will have the ability to harness wind energy. The completed turbine, which will stand about 5 feet tall and weigh approximately 120 pounds, will generate an electric current through the force created by the circular ro-


tation of rare earth magnets around a stator in the turbine’s center core. The exact location where the turbine will be erected on campus has not yet been determined. As president of SFA’s Agricultural Technology Club, Elkins is very interested in demonstrating for the SFA and Nacogdoches communities that sustainable energy is achievable even in small towns. “Our gas prices fluctuate every day. Everyone wants to go green, and this is just another way to show that we are helping Nacogdoches work toward becoming a more sustainable place to live,” Elkins said. His inspiration for the idea came

partly from curiosity sparked by driving on the highway and witnessing the transporting of giant windmill wings, as well as his lifelong interest in the workings of movable parts. “I’ve always been very mechanical,” Elkins said. “When I was little, I took a lot of things apart to see how they worked.” Elkins and a group of other dedicated Ag Tech Club members have worked many long hours in the Agricultural Mechanics Shop on campus gathering parts, welding, riveting and cutting metal to build the turbine from the ground up. Elkins studied other wind turbines before deciding on a construction plan.


Today’s office environments are fast-paced, technology driven and increasingly casual, but professional etiquette never goes out of style. Mary Olle, instructor in SFA’s School of Human Sciences, provides this quick refresher on business protocol. KEEP IT OLD SCHOOL A heartfelt, handwritten thank you note beats an e-mail every time. Whether you are acknowledging a gift, meal, interview or job well done, the thoughtfulness of a handwritten note will mean much more to the recipient.

GET TO THE POINT Voicemails should be clear and brief. Remember to speak slowly and state your name, the reason for your call and a number where you can be reached. Leave your name and number again at the end of the message.

Environmental science graduate student John Elkins is building a vertical axis wind turbine on campus. He is the latest winner of SFA’s “Big Idea” contest, which promotes innovative thinking by SFA students.

According to Dr. Craig Morton, Agriculture Technology Club adviser and agricultural engineering technology professor in the SFA Department of Agriculture, the turbine could be used by other SFA students for future graduate-level research. “This could be an excellent research project,” Morton said. “A graduate student could easily take this project and test numerous variables.” Elkins’ proposed construction won the SFA Student Government Association’s “Big Idea” contest for 2011. The program promotes innovative thinking among SFA students and provides funds to help imple Summer 2012

ment creative ideas that have the potential to benefit the SFA campus and student body. “The originality of the project and the dedication of the group were very impressive,” said Sydni Mitchell, SGA president. “John had taken the time to fully research the idea. It wasn’t something that would only benefit him. It was an idea that would benefit the university as a whole.” –STEPHANIE BALLARD

TUNE IN During a meeting or when speaking with someone in your office, pay attention to the person – not the electronics. Checking your phone or working on the computer during business discussions is rude.

STOP AND THINK Always proofread e-mails carefully before hitting the send button. Ask yourself: Is this message public or confidential? Is it appropriate? Is it grammatically correct with no spelling errors? Is there a subject line?

DON’T GO THERE Engage in pleasant conversation. Avoid making derogatory or judgmental comments. Remember what your mother always said, “If you can’t say something nice . . .”


President’s Message


FA RECENTLY MARKED the close of the 2011-12 academic year by welcoming more than 1,300 new Lumberjacks – the largest graduating class in the university’s history – into the alumni family. Half of the students who crossed the stage at the May commencement ceremony were the first in their families to graduate from college. We join with these and the families of all recent SFA graduates in celebrating their achievement, and we look forward to their continued success as they leave SFA and pursue their dreams. I am also proud to share with you the recent success of some of our student-athletes. The SFA tennis team recently won the Southland Conference Championship, the first in the program’s history. The women also won the SLC Championship Tournament hosted at SFA and advanced to the NCAA Championship Tournament. Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’66 In addition, the Ladyjack track and field team President, Stephen F. Austin State University won both the indoor and outdoor titles, the seventh and eighth consecutive victories for the senior class, which set a new conference record. These recent victories, along with the Ladyjack soccer team’s championship season, contributed greatly to SFA recently earning the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Cup for the second time in three years. The award is given annually to the league school that compiles the highest combined total of men’s and women’s all-sports points. The Commissioner’s Cup represents the deep commitment of our coaches, staff and student-athletes to excellence both in the classroom and on the field of play. This spring we were also proud to show our appreciation for some of SFA’s most dedicated supporters by naming parts of campus in their honor. The Mast Student Investment Roundtable in the Nelson Rusche College of Business was named in recognition of the Mast family’s longtime support of the university; the James Campbell Plaza at Homer Bryce Stadium near the athletic field house honors Mr. Campbell’s dedication and devotion to SFA; and the Gayla Mize Garden was dedicated in honor of its namesake’s extensive preservation and beautification efforts both at SFA and within the Nacogdoches community. If you haven’t been to campus in a while, I invite you to plan a visit soon. Tour our new facilities, attend an athletic event or fine arts performance and reconnect with your alma mater. Thank you for all you do to support SFA. Axe ’em, Jacks!


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

UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION Dr. Baker Pattillo president Dr. Richard Berry provost/vice president for academic affairs Dr. Steve Westbrook vice president for university affairs Danny Gallant vice president for finance and administration

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


Center for a Livable World

Spring Summer 20122012

Photo by Scott Kafora


HE CENTER FOR a Livable World at SFA will benefit from guidance based on the philosophy of one of the world’s greatest leaders. Arun Gandhi, the grandson of the late Mahatma Gandhi, has agreed to serve as a senior fellow for the center. Gandhi recently visited the SFA campus and spoke to students attending the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society conference. Born in 1934 in Durban, South Africa, he is the fifth grandson of India’s legendary leader, Mohandas K. “Mahatma” Gandhi. Gandhi lived with his famous grandfather for 18 months and continues his grandfather’s work to foster positive social change through acts of nonviolence. Dr. Thomas Segady, SFA sociology professor, said Gandhi’s affiliation with SFA is a valuable opportunity for SFA students. “Mr. Gandhi said his grandfather’s mission really would not be complete until he could come to the West and share the same kind of philosophy with others,” Segady said. “He was impressed with SFA and the students.” Dr. Brian Murphy, dean of the College of Liberal and Applied Arts at SFA, said senior fellows are prominent leaders in the field of sustainability. Their involvement is designed to strengthen the capabilities of the center to conduct cutting-edge analysis of issues that touch upon sustainable development. “The Center for a Livable World explores the human dimensions of sustainable development and offers a vision for the future that emphasizes community development, personal engagement and economic responsibility,” he said. “The center serves as a crossroads for all viewpoints and promotes dialogue that leads to practical solutions and shared values.” There are commonalities in the philosophies of sustainability and nonviolence, Gandhi said. “Sustainability is an important part of the philosophy on nonviolence,” he said. “ We do a lot of violence to nature, not just to human beings. Any effort we can make to eliminate that violence serves to further the mission of our work.” Growing up under the discriminatory apartheid laws of South Africa, Gandhi was beaten by “white” South Africans for being too black and by “black” South Africans for being too white. Although he was inclined to retaliate, he learned from his parents and grandparents that true justice involves transforming the opponent through love and suffering. An active public speaker, Gandhi said he has found that the students on college and university campuses are interested in nonviolence and are open to alternatives that create a positive change. “I found the same thing with the SFA students – they are interested but don’t know what could be done,” Gandhi said. “We need to give them some ideas for a comprehensive philosophy of nonviolence. We all need to live it and practice it every day until it makes sense and becomes natural to us.” Gandhi said his primary goal is to work with others to make the world a better place for future generations through education that is more than just “textbook learning.” “You learn from every individual you meet and from every experience you have every day,” he said. “Education is a lifelong process, but only if we have an open mind. If we close our mind and think that because we now have our college degree, we don’t need to do anything more, we stagnate. We need to continue to learn, just as we need to strive every day to make ourselves better human beings.”

Gandhi worked for 30 years as a journalist for The Times of India. For the past five years, he has participated in the Renaissance Weekend deliberations with former President Bill Clinton. Gandhi is the author of several books, including A Patch of White and The Forgotten Woman: The Untold Story of Kastur, the Wife of Mahatma Gandhi, which he wrote jointly with his late wife, Sunanda. For more information about the Center for a Livable World, call (936) 468-2803 or visit www.sfasu.edu/livableworld. –SHIRLEY LUNA


O SOME THEY are just Josh and Jordan; others know them as the Aubrey twins, and Lumberjack football fans may think of them as No. 37 and No. 38. Josh Aubrey stands 5 feet 11 inches and is one of the nation’s top returning corners. His brother, Jordan, plays behind him at safety and is 5 feet 10 inches tall.


On the field, the pair has forced and recovered fumbles, returned fumbles for touchdowns, and picked passes. Their tackling performance has been honored in each of their first three seasons as college athletes. “They are leaders both on and off the field for this football team,” SFA head football coach J.C. Harper said. “Those two have been a huge reason for our turnaround

defensively and as a team over the past three seasons.” When they were being recruited out of Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler, many schools only wanted one of the twins to play for their team. “At the time we didn’t know what we were going to do,” Josh said. “It was all about getting to that next level and living the dream together.”


When we signed them, we knew we were getting two very special players. – Coach J.C. Harper Harper came to visit the boys during the recruitment process and expressed his confidence that they were good enough to be Division I players. He eventually offered Josh a position at corner and Jordan a spot on the team as a safety. “When we signed them, we knew we were getting two very special players,” Harper said. The twins’ mother, Lynn Aubrey, said she knew SFA was one of the only schools that had room for both of her sons on the roster, and she was excited they made the choice to sign with the team. “This is the best decision we made,” she said. “This was the chance for the boys to be close to home and stay together.” The twins’ childhood was not without its challenges. A single parent, their mother raised them and an older brother in a small twobedroom house. She worked double shifts many nights, arriving home in the wee hours. Still, she says, their life was built on a strong foundation of family and love. “I instilled things that were more important in life like morals and values as opposed to material things,” she said. The brothers were “homebodies” as young children, so the little house became the neighborhood hangout where friends spent a lot of nights and weekends. “(The twins) hardly ever spent the night away from home,” she recalled. Josh and Jordan were involved with the YMCA in Tyler as youths. Their older brother, Chris, was very involved in basketball, and the twins eventually became skilled at Summer 2012

the game, as well. They also played Pop Warner football, which introduced them to the sport that would become their passion. During their junior year at Robert E. Lee, the boys made varsity and were looked up to by younger players. “Little kids always ran toward them after games wanting to shake their hands,” the twins’ mother said. “I knew then that God had big plans for them; I just didn’t know where it was going to end, but I knew it was going to be something awesome.” During the twins’ first season at SFA in 2009, they experienced their first football conference championship. The following season would bring the same success, except Jordan would have to experience it from the sideline. In the third game of his second football season, he suffered a knee injury that could have ended his football career. Some doctors said he would never be able to play again. It was upsetting for their mother to see one son injured and hurting on the inside because he couldn’t play. “This was all he ever wanted to do, and to be told that he couldn’t do it anymore was devastating,” she said. Josh said it felt funny not having his brother playing with him, but Jordan’s injury taught the twins to cherish the moments they have together. “I actually played for Jordan. Every game, I had a big three on one hand and an eight on the other,” Josh said. Jordan was able to return to the field at his starting position for

the 2011 season and played “better than he’s ever played in his life,” his mother said. Although the team did not achieve the level of success it hoped to last season, the twins believe everything has happened for a reason. They say they are ready for the upcoming season and looking forward to showcasing their leadership skills on the field. “I think we have a chance to go undefeated next year,” Jordan said. Josh agreed, adding, “It’s just a matter of taking care of business and getting it done.” – MAEGAN PREJEAN Reprinted with permission from The Pine Log


“We had a FANTASTIC trip exploring the deserts, mountains and rivers of Big Bend National Park over Spring Break. One of the best highlights? Meeting park archaeologist Tom Alex ’78! Thanks for the heads up about him in the fall 2010 Sawdust!”

SFA Outdoor Pursuits (Alumni Association Facebook)

“I love that SFA is far enough away that my parents won’t pay me a surprise visit, and it’s not too far of a drive for me!” Kate Neal (The Pine Log – What I love about SFA)

Best four years of my life! Axe ’em! Zebine Bojler ’09 (SFA Facebook)

Lumberjack Baseball outfielder René Moreda's catch ranks No. 2 on ESPN's top 10 plays.

(SFA Facebook)

“What a life experience going to SFA was and, I hope, still is for the younger generations. I have many fond memories of SFA and Nacogdoches.”

We’ve Got Spirit Allison Pagnotta, a criminal justice major from Canyon County, Calif., and Alec Heffron, a kinesiology major from Emporia, Kan., won the National Cheerleaders Association Collegiate Partner Stunts Competition in April in Daytona Beach, Fla. This is the second time this year that Pagnotta and Heffron have earned a national championship. They also brought home the Universal Cheerleading Association Collegiate Partner Stunt title in Orlando, Fla., in January. In only their second year of competition, SFA’s hip-hop dance team, Jack Attack, won the championship title at the National Dance Alliance collegiate competition in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Clark Chesnutt ’75 (Alumni Association Facebook)

For a young girl from deep poverty, I came to SFA with an armload of grants and loans, far less than an armload of clothes, and little belief in myself. The only thing that I had a load of was a desire to get an education. SFA gave me that and so much more! I am eternally grateful! Brenda Cochran O'Bannion ‘84 (e-mail) 8


Vista Viewpoint By Matthew Carberry


HEN I LOOK BACK at my time at Stephen F. Austin State University, what I inevitably turn to the most are the people – not just the ones who became my close friends, but the professors I had and the community members I met. Everyone I came into contact with played a pivotal role in making me the person I am today. I graduated in December 2008 at a time when the economy was spiraling downward, and it was extremely difficult for me to find a job. Rather, I should say it was extremely difficult for me to find a job in public relations, the subject in which I received my degree. I couldn’t help but think about all the time and money that had been spent on my degree and, ultimately, where I had ended up. I was doing a job that had nothing to do with my degree. I pouted about this for a little while, thinking I had wasted my time. Where was my return on investment? How long would it be before I could say I spent my money wisely? Not long after that, I received a call from an old roommate asking me to be in his wedding. I was honored, and I was excited to see him again because we had lost touch after graduation. When I showed up for the rehearsal dinner, I recalled so many fantastic memories that he and I shared and all of the people we had met during our time at SFA. It was at this point I understood that the rewards of a college education shouldn’t be thought

Summer 2012

of in terms of dollars and cents but rather in the community it creates and the experiences you share. The classroom education was valuable because, without it, I wouldn’t be able to do the job I have today. Not only was I able to meet people who would affect my life profoundly, but I learned important social skills and life lessons that would eventually become the foundation for my current career. I owe so much to SFA, and I realize now that I’ve gotten my time and money back over and over again. While I’m grateful for everything I learned in class, SFA’s greatest gift to me is the community it creates, the people it inspires to do good, and the men and women of Nacogdoches who are ever-ready to support the school. These are qualities that you don’t find in many larger schools, but they are what drew me and so many others to SFA. The people we met and the experiences we had outside the classroom is where the value of our SFA education Matthew Carberry ’08 truly lies.




Professor’s book offers new insights into the part brain type plays in puzzling issues such as hyperactivity, autism, dyslexia, nicotine addiction – and even chronic pain.

zebrains and you D

R. JUDITH LAUTER, founding director of SFA’s Human Neuroscience Laboratory, has been studying the human brain and behavior for more than three decades. As a professor in the school psychology program, Lauter’s research spans a broad spectrum of topics including differences in personality and learning styles that directly impact the education process at every stage of life. In her most recent book, How is Your Brain Like a Zebra? (www.ZebraBrain.com), Lauter presents her theory that there are three major brain types found in humans, determined before birth.

Illustrations by Emily E. Graves

Summer 2012

Sawdust recently visited with Lauter about the Human Neuroscience Laboratory, as well as her award-winning research and the ways in which brain types impact life everywhere – from the playground to the classroom to the board room. >>


What is the Human Neuroscience Laboratory at SFA? The HNL is unique in the state of Texas, with few peers in the nation. The lab uses experimental designs and theoretical approaches I have pioneered and implemented by means of behavioral assessments along with computer-based testing such as otoacoustic emissions (OAEs), evoked potentials (EPs), quantitative electroencephalography (qEEG), eye-movement coordination, etc. What kinds of things do graduate students and faculty members study in the lab? The lab was designed to study virtually any condition affecting humans, from individual differences in personality and learning styles to nicotine addiction to disorders of aging such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Most often, we work with children who come to us with developmental and learning disorders. In many cases, using some simple tests that are fun to do, we can offer concrete suggestions about training methods to develop hidden brain skills that are just waiting to be awakened and used.

“Every brain is unique, like the fingerprint pattern of stripes on individual zebras.”

How are human brains like zebras? Your brain is like a zebra in two ways. First, every brain is unique, like the fingerprint pattern of stripes on individual zebras. And, secondly, just as there are stripe-pattern groups among zebras, there are metapatterns among human individuals that I describe in terms of three major brain types: left-only brain, middle brain and polytropic brain. What causes the variations in brain type before birth? Research has shown that sex hormones interact with genes and other factors during prenatal development to create a continuum of individual variations in body and brain, variations that I summarize as the three brain types. Because physical features such as body shape and size, general coloration and even the form of the ears are among the things that can be affected, it is possible to predict a person’s brain type just by looking at him or her. What led you to write about this subject, in particular? For many years, every time I gave a zebra talk at a conference or professional meeting, the audience – parents, teachers, clinicians, school administrators – encouraged me to write a book. So I finally did, and now I offer it to the audience whenever I speak at a conference. People love reading it – they say it explains so much about themselves, their families, clients and students, and many have told me it has given them hope that many things can be changed for the better.



Who is the book’s intended audience? The book was written for any reader who has a curiosity about what makes us tick as human beings but who does not necessarily have an extensive scientific background. I tried to keep the technical material to a minimum without oversimplifying things – this is brain science, after all. How has your book been received by parents, teachers and school administrators? They report that the book handles the diversity of students of all ages better than anything they have seen before, and they particularly like the practical recommendations for evaluation and training techniques for developing skills of all kinds. Empowering individuals in this way also can make an invaluable contribution to self-confidence and self-image. Can you give us a quick overview of the three brain types and how they compare with each other as a set? The polytropic brain is just what its name says – “many skilled.” It gives a person a full spectrum of abilities, including academic along with social intelligence. People with this brain type are also very healthy, both physically and mentally. The middle-brain individual excels at activities involving whole-body coordination such as athletics, dance, acting and musical performance. The left-only brain is best focusing on one thing at a time, particularly if technology is involved. Clearly, each of the three types has a role to play in the complex societies we live in today. How can understanding various brain types benefit me and my family in our daily lives? First of all, this neuro-psycho-biological approach can help you understand and tolerate differences. Many things people are blamed for – being hyperactive, struggling with reading or math, having social difficulties – are not “all in your mind,” but in the brain. Second, knowing about brain types points to new brainbased ways to expand our repertoire of skills and give all brain types the special care they need.

“Knowing about brain types points to new brain-based ways to expand our repertoire of skills and give all brain types the special care they need.”

What other areas of research are you currently involved in? Up to now, I have focused on psychological, clinical and academic issues, but my next step is to take the Zebra Brain into the social realm. Brain types explain not only Why Johnny Can’t Read, but also Why Sandra Doesn’t Play Well With Others. The sociology of brain types has many implications – for family, classrooms, the workplace and even larger social issues such as politics. Knowing more about brain types can guide us in making better social choices and thus enhance quality of life for ourselves and those around us.

Summer 2012


The Student Foundation Association at SFA hosts The Big Switch each year as a fundraiser for its alumni scholarship endowment.

Samantha Cain of Livingston, a junior kinesiology major, and Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president, swapped places for a few hours this spring. While Pattillo attended classes, Cain sat behind the big desk on the third floor of the Austin Building.

8:30 a.m. Cain poses for her “presidential� portrait.

9:30 a.m. No day at the office would be complete without a call to mom.

11 a.m. Cain takes care of business before lunch with the president.



8:30 a.m. Pattillo walks to class with Student Foundation President Josh Perry ’10.

9:30 a.m. A fellow student chats with Pattillo before class.

11 a.m. Pattillo enjoys a class lecture.

Summer 2012


Work Space

What you’ll find in. . . Dr. Geralyn Franklin’s office

1 Part of Franklin’s extensive collection of Tampa Bay Rays memorabilia. An avid baseball fan, Franklin claims the Rays as her favorite team, but, being a native Texan, she took a vow long ago to never root against the Texas Rangers or Houston Astros. 2 A poster of an assemblage of evil Disney characters she received as a gift from former colleagues. 3 Figurines of popular Disney characters Franklin has collected for many years, most of them gifts from friends and co-workers. 4 A VIP pass from the Texas Rangers’ 2010 Opening Day celebration inside a souvenir cup from the team’s 2011 American League Championship Series. 5 A framed Sports Illustrated cover depicting caricatures of Rays baseball players pummeling the New York Yankees, her least favorite team. 6 An etched glass award Franklin received in recognition of her service on the Board of Directors of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, the accrediting body for institutions of business education. 7 A pair of blue flip flops fitted with silver spurs and dangling miniature alligators, a gift from a colleague upon her departure from Texas for Florida. “It was his creative way of saying, ‘Don’t let those Gators get you!’” 8 A wooden plaque adorned with miniature ruby slippers and inscribed with the words “There’s no place like Texas.” Franklin’s colleagues in Dallas presented the plaque to her “after they lured me back home from Florida.” 9 More of her favorite Disney characters – a basket of tiny plush villains. 10 A Dallas Cowboy doll. Franklin, a season ticket holder, has been a serious Cowboys fan “since birth.” She doesn’t believe the Cowboys will contend for another Super Bowl until they switch quarterbacks, (she hopes she’s wrong!) and she’s happy to discuss her gridiron views with anyone who’ll listen! 11 Franklin’s favorite photo of herself, husband Kenny and son Tanner – taken in 1998. 12 An SFA cheerleader bear sharing a shelf with other plush friends, all gifts from colleagues. 13 A souvenir from a 1990 trip to the former Soviet Union. The phrase written above the two knights translates roughly to “Let’s agree to disagree” – a concept she emphasizes in her human resources courses and relies on in her administrative role. Dr. Geralyn McClure Franklin ’82 & ’85 is associate dean for student services, M.B.A. director and professor of management in the Nelson Rusche College of Business. She was named to her current position in September 2011, but she is no stranger to the SFA campus, having earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the university. (Her Ph.D. is from University of North Texas.) She also served as chair of SFA’s Department of Management, Marketing and International Business in the mid-1990s and as a member of the business faculty in the late 1980s. In addition, she has held deanships at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, University of South Florida St. Petersburg and the University of Dallas. Franklin has published more than 100 journal articles on human resource management, employment law and small business management/entrepreneurship and has co-authored four textbooks on human resource management. She has been actively involved in research and consulting in the hospitality and sports industries since 1986. Her research and consulting efforts are currently focused on the casino industry.



Alumni News Networking

Houston enjoys alumni events THE SFA ALUMNI Association rolled out its newest regional network plan in the Houston area this spring with kickoff events in seven areas. The association is having a great response from those attending these events, as more and more Lumberjacks are rallying together to support SFA. The association is in the planning stage for rolling out additional regional networks in Dallas-Fort Worth and other areas. If you missed one of the Houston area kickoff events or haven’t been to an alumni event recently, visit the SFA Alumni Association website at sfaalumni.com for a list of upcoming events. Lots of events are planned for this summer and fall with Freshman Send-Off parties, baseball games, SFA vs. SMU football in Dallas, SFA vs. Sam Houston “Battle of the Piney Woods” in Houston and, of course, Homecoming in Nacogdoches. Come on out to an upcoming alumni event and share in the success as we continue connecting alumni, honoring tradition, serving Lumberjacks and growing loyalty and pride. Be proud. Be part of it. Together, we’re 100% Lumberjack!


SFA junior from Center wins one year’s free tuition CARLTON GRANT MURPHREE of Center is the lucky winner of one year’s tuition, courtesy of the SFA Alumni Association’s annual tuition drawing. The son of Don and Cherry Murphree, he is a graduate of Center High School. SFA Alumni Association staff members announced the win to Murphree, a junior kinesiology Summer 2012

Upcoming Houston Area Network Events: Bay Area: June 28, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Cullen’s Kingwood: June 29, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Sharky’s Bar and Grill Cy-Fair: July 19, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen Inner Houston: July 20, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Taco Milagro Fort Bend: July 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Rouxpour Restaurant and Bar Katy: Aug. 16, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Another Round Wine Bar

Shown with Murphree are SFA Alumni Association staff members (from left) Jeff Davis, executive director of alumni affairs; Katy Crawford, assistant to the executive director; and Samantha Mora, director of alumni events and engagement.

major, with a surprise visit to his class after the drawing. Murphree will receive funds to cover tuition for 12 credit hours in each of the fall 2012 and spring 2013 semesters. The fundraiser generated more than $10,000 this spring to benefit the SFA Scholarship Fund administered by the SFA Alumni Foundation.


From the Association


ell, here we are in June – already halfway through 2012. Spring commencement exercises recently concluded with approximately 1,300 graduates beginning new chapters of their lives. We are proud of them and wish them future success! Just like those recent graduates beginning new chapters, your alumni association is about to begin yet another fiscal year. We are in the process of wrapping up our fiscal year ending June 30 and are already planning for the challenges of a new year as we continue to pursue our missions of alumni engagement and scholarship fundraising. As a result of your generosity and commitment, I am pleased to announce that the alumni association awarded scholarships in excess of $500,000 for the 2011-12 school year. Because of you, we are helping many students pursue their Curtis Sparks ’85 dream of a college education. I cannot say it enough President, SFA Alumni Association or with enough sincerity – THANK YOU! Last year, you endowed or started approximately 20 scholarships. Our goal for next year is to exceed that number, so if you are interested in establishing a scholarship, please contact our executive director, Jeff Davis. In addition to our scholarship endeavors, we continue to look for new ways to engage our members. Many of you have already attended one of our new networking events. These events have been held around the Houston area, and we have plans for future networking events in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. We thank you for your support and hope these activities will be the catalyst for more events in your area and more engagement with the alumni association. Homecoming is just around the corner and will be unlike any we have had in the past. There will be new events and activities for everyone in your family. We are excited about these changes and feel they are a better way to engage our alumni. There will be much more information about Homecoming in our fall issue, so stay tuned. In the meantime, please save the date and make plans to attend Homecoming Oct. 19-20. With your generosity and support, we have successfully navigated the past few years despite tough economic times. Our success is because of YOU – the lifeblood of the alumni association. We are proud of you, and say THANK YOU for your past support. I hope we can count on your continued support in the coming year. Axe ’em, Jacks!

SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Curtis Sparks ’85 - president Roger Robinson ’92 - president-elect Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Wendy Buchanan ’85 Don Cox ’71 & ’76 Robin Dawley ’77 Karen Gantt ’95 Mike Harbordt ’63 Doris Havard James Hawkins ’83 Kent Hutchison ’92 David Madrid ’02 Justin McFaul ’04 Susan Roberds ’75 Phillip Scherrer ’99 Erika Tolar ’02 Steve Whitbeck ’75 Chris Woelfel ’95 Student Foundation Association Josh Perry ’12 SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - chairman Brad Bays ’91 Lewie Byers ’68 Ford Cartwright ’69 Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 Stephen Greak ’92 James Hamilton ’77 Bill Roberds ’75 Curtis Sparks ’85 SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Jeff Davis ’02 executive director of alumni affairs Katy Crawford assistant to the executive director of alumni affairs Rhonda Crim director of alumni publications Dale Green ’99 director of marketing & membership Samantha Mora ’08 director of alumni events & engagement Alicia Roland Chatman gifts & records specialist Emily Payne ’99 & ’01 chapter coordinator Beverly Smith ’96 accountant Mo Davis Williams ’09 scholarship coordinator



The style of the graduation hat has varied throughout the centuries. The one we are most familiar with today is a square, stiff hat that is believed to have been developed in the 16th century.  At that time, a square hat was called a biretta, with a "mortar board" appearance. It first became popular at Oxford University.  Some believe the hat represents the shape of a book and gave a scholarly appearance to those who wore it. Whatever the reason, it is the shape that has remained the most popular through the years.

Graduation Garb

SFA added approximately 1,300 new alumni to the Lumberjack family this spring, celebrating the largest graduating class in the university’s history. Why do grads wear long gowns and square hats? Commencement traditions never go out of style. Original diplomas were made from paper-thin sheepskin, hand-written, rolled and tied with a ribbon until 100 years ago. This is where the phrase "hang your sheepskin on the wall" originated.  Parchment was used when paper-making techniques improved. It wasn't until the turn of this century that diplomas stopped being rolled and were given out in leather binders. Visit www.sfaalumni.com to purchase an archival quality diploma frame.

Sir Edward Elgar composed Pomp and Circumstance in 1901 for the coronation of King Edward VII. It first became associated with graduations in 1905, when it was played at Yale University. Other colleges began playing the song, and it soon became the standard for graduations.

The first class ring was developed in 1835 for West Point Military Academy. Early class rings were crude and were only a shank with a symbol (usually of the class pin that preceded the class ring by a few years) attached to the bezel of the ring. They quickly became popular, and soon stones were added and more intricate dies allowing for greater details were developed. Tradition holds that a class ring is worn on the right hand on the third finger. It’s never too late to participate in the SFA ring tradition. Visit www.theSFAring.com.

The first college yearbook was published by Yale University in 1806.

Academic dress for graduations started in the 12th and 13th centuries when universities first began forming. Clerical garb was standard dress for scholars, whether students or teachers. Most medieval scholars had made certain vows and had at least taken minor orders with the church, so clerical robes were the main form of dress. This traditional academic gown has been gradually revised to the modern form seen today. All SFA graduates wear black robes during commencement. Source: www.brownielocks.com

Summer 2012




Summer 2012


ICHAEL GUINN ’94 KNOWS firsthand the power of the spoken word to heal a broken spirit. While working for Child Protective Services in 1997, the heartbreaking circumstances of a particularly difficult case left him doubting his ability to make a difference in children’s lives. “I found myself crying at my desk, and when I finally raised my head, I had a pen in my hand. I’ve been writing ever since,” Guinn said. Writing his first poem, Love Me Nots, provided a needed outlet for the deep sadness he felt for the young victim in the case. “My life was transformed. It was therapeutic. It freed my soul.” Guinn has since authored more than a dozen books of poetry and contributed to several CDs of spoken-word performances. Spoken word is a catch-all category of literary and performance art in which lyrics, poetry, sketches or stories are shared with a live audience. The genre also is home to poetry slams, competitions in which poets and other spoken-word artists recite original works for judges chosen randomly from the audience. Guinn has competed in poetry slams all over the world and is the founder of the award-winning


Fort Worth National Poetry Slam Team currently ranked sixth in the country. “With this art form, all you have is your heart, your soul and your own thoughts, and you are able to tell a story or paint a picture with words alone,” he said. “To me, that is more powerful than any other medium of personal expression.” A native of Jacksonville, Guinn initially attended another university on a track scholarship and later enlisted in the U.S. Army. After completing his military service, he worked at Rusk State Hospital, where he first discovered his self-proclaimed “gift of gab” helped the patients feel more at ease. Eventually, he made the decision to study social work at SFA, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1994. After working for CPS in Trinity and Tarrant counties for eight years, Guinn moved to California to pursue an acting career. In 2004, he was robbed and shot twice during an attempted carjacking in Sacramento, Calif. Once again, he turned to his art to help him sort through the emotions surrounding a life-changing experience. Soon after, he returned to Texas and began hosting a weekly open mic event for poets and other spoken-word artists in downtown Fort Worth.

“I had found a niche in the fusion of poetry and other creative writing with life-skills development, social consciousness and emotional and academic literacy,” Guinn explained. “I now try to be a voice for others by teaching, through my art, about social responsibility and awareness in a way that resonates with those in the community who can benefit from that.” Aside from his work with the Fort Worth National Poetry Slam Team, Guinn has founded the DFW Youth National Poetry Slam Team, “Brave New Voices.” He also works closely with numerous nonprofit organizations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to engage at-risk youth and other disadvantaged groups, encouraging them to use poetry and other forms of creative writing as a positive outlet for expressing emotions and promoting personal growth and social responsibility. “When young people realize they can express themselves honestly through poetry and, in turn, receive energy back from an audience that feels their passion, it is very, very powerful, and I have seen it change lives,” he said. “There is just something very therapeutic about this art form, not only in expressing yourself, but also in listening and learning from what others have to say.”


Recently, Guinn introduced this concept at Phoenix House in Dallas, a residential treatment facility where he works as a licensed chemical dependency counselor. The facility has been hosting poetry slams on Saturdays with very positive results, he said. “As a counselor, I am always looking for creative ways of helping people along on life’s journey, and I truly believe that poetry and spoken word is a universal language that draws everyone and everything together. Many of my clients are really enjoying this new way of expressing themselves, and I think, for some of them, it could be the thing that prevents a relapse.” Guinn, who friends and colleagues call “the hardest working man in poetry,” will accompany both his youth and adult poetry slam teams to their national competitions this summer. This will be the first year since discovering his passion for the art form and establishing the teams that he has not competed individually. Instead, he said, he is happy to fulfill the role of mentor to up-andcoming poets and other artists who fill the Cuban-themed Embargo restaurant in downtown Fort Worth each Tuesday night to await their turn under the bright lights. Obviously at home on the mic, Guinn serves as emcee of the poetry slams and other events, supporting and encouraging novice and awardwinning performers alike. Occasionally, if time allows, he will reprise one of his own awardwinning pieces to share with the audience. His first poem, Love Me Nots, written 15 years ago to give voice to a little girl whose short, tragic life first sparked his passion for the craft, always receives a standing ovation. –AMY ROQUEMORE

Summer 2012





OU STILL INTERESTED in buying the club?” At hearing the question, Steve Alexander ’87 of Richardson held his cell phone tight to his face, closed his eyes and smiled, his heart big with the knowledge a prayer had been answered. Without hesitation, he responded, “Yes.” It had been more than a year since Alexander heard from the owner of a private bass fishing club, and the last exchange between the two had ended in Alexander’s failed attempt to purchase it. The story of how he became the owner of Private Water Fishing sounds more like a fish tale than reality, but his journey became an affirmation of faith. A finance major at SFA, Alexander became a successful businessman. He had it all – a big house, beautiful wife and children. He worked for a thriving company that supported his professional development, but something kept pulling him away from the corporate world. He was hooked on fishing. Alexander’s passion for angling dates back to when he was a boy, and his next door neighbor frequently would take him fishing. “My neighbor’s involvement in my life is a huge testament to the impact you can have on a child. His son didn’t like fishing, but I did, and he spent a lot of quality time with me,” Alexander said. After building a lucrative career as a traveling sales executive, Alexander made time for his passion as a member of a fishing club, paying a fee to have private access to wellstocked lakes. He liked the club so much he decided he would try to buy it, but the owners were not interested in selling. Alexander cast his line in new waters and made up his mind to start a club of his own. But it was difficult to recruit members as a fledgling business and even more difficult to get properties to lease out without a strong membership. Alexander said he felt like he was living in limbo. He wanted to open the business, but already had a stable job. He

Summer 2012

recalls being at the end of his rope, emotionally. So he prayed for God to either open the door or close the door, but he needed to move on. “I told my wife I could not take any more indecision; I needed God to give me an answer, to show me a sign,” Alexander said. After a meeting the next morning, he noticed a missed a call from the owner of the bass fishing club, who asked the question that would change everything. Soon, Alexander was the proud owner of Private Water Fishing. He quit his job, downsized the family home and started having the time of his life. Private Water Fishing is the only business of its kind in the United States. Popularity is growing among avid fishermen because members typically enjoy exclusive access to well-stocked waterways. “Reel Solitude,” the club’s slogan, is offered on the club’s more than 50 private lakes in Texas and Oklahoma. The club has a growing membership of 400 anglers who pay to fish. The fishing lakes range in size from one to 150 acres, with many located near Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Austin and San Antonio. Each site is well stocked with a variety of species and managed by Private Water’s fisheries biologist. Fertilization, stocking forage fish and limited harvesting of bass are exercised to help ensure balanced fisheries. Many sites are trophy bass lakes and have produced bass weighing as much as 13 pounds. Members are guaranteed uncrowded fishing, and most lakes have boats available for use. Many sites have cabins and lodges available for members and their families, as well. Alexander spends his days growing club membership and finding new lakes to lease. He also has ventured into new territory, teaching others how to maintain healthy fish habitats. But he still takes time to enjoy the serenity of a quiet lake and a great catch.

Club members enjoy the full moon and a campfire after a day of fishing. Attractive, modern cabins and a large boathouse are available to Private Water Fishing members at Hidden Springs Ranch, just 45 minutes southeast of Tyler. Read more at www.privatewaterfishing.com.



WHEN SFA ANGLER Casey Sobczak ’07 first picked up an airbrush after learning to paint custom lures on a TV show, he never dreamed that he would soon master the unique art form and create a business all his own. After winning the first collegiate bass fishing national championship in SFA’s history, Sobczak and fellow fisherman Jonathan Garrie were granted a guest appearance on the ESPN2 show Bass Tech. On the show, fishing experts taught the pair to refinish their own baits and maintain other tackle to save money while still in school. After watching the experts intently, Sobczak was given an airbrush painting kit to practice his newfound skills. This fateful introduction sparked Sobczak’s creativity, and his inner-artist emerged. He started painting baits for friends and listed a few of his lures on eBay. His miniature creations soon began to yield a profit, which helped put him through college. His hobby quickly blossomed into a burgeoning full-time small business, and professional anglers began to take note. Products from his 6th Sense Lure Company soon became the buzz of bass-fishing forums, where tournament-goers praised his baits for their excellent craftsmanship and lifelike appearance. Sobczak’s baits have reeled in more than $100,000 from anglers across the country. “It was such an honor for me to know that some of the best fishermen in the industry had confidence in my products,” said Sobczak, a Spring native. Sobczak’s product line continued to expand, piquing the interest of outfitters such as TackleWarehouse.com, one of the largest online retailers of fishing tackle. Even more big changes are on the horizon for Sobczak’s 6th Sense Lure Company. This summer, his custom-designed


Photo courtesy of Casey Sobczak

Casey Sobczak ’07, lure designer

prototypes will be manufactured, a step he hopes will introduce his baits to a larger market. After launching his new line and attending this summer’s largest bait and tackle trade show in Orlando, Fla., he hopes his products will soon be available at major sporting retailers like Bass Pro Shops and Academy Sports and Outdoors. He said his insight into the most sought-after color combinations – and being an avid fisherman himself – have led him to create a product that he hopes will continue to help anglers catch more fish. “My lures have been prototyped for two years and have shown proven success in the testing phases,” Sobczak said. “However, starting my business as a custom lure painter really helped me know which color schemes have shown to be the most productive over the years for catching fish.” More than seven years after winning the first-ever collegiate national championship, Sobczak recently received his national championship ring from SFA along with the 2011 winning team of Ryan Watkins and Andrew Upshaw. Sobczak attributes much of his success to the experience he received on the SFA Bass Team and the doors that were opened as a result of winning the national championship. “Without SFA and my opportunities with the bass team, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said. Sobczak’s lures can be found online at 6thsenselures.com. –KAYLI HEAD

Sobczak’s Crush 300DD Sawdust

Upcoming Events

June 28 June 29 July 13 July 19 July 20 July 27 July 28 July 30 Aug. 2 Aug. 3 Aug. 4 Aug. 5 Aug. 7 Aug. 11 Aug. 12 Aug. 14 Aug. 16 Aug. 30 Sept. 8 Summer 2012

Network Event, Bay Area / Cullen’s, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Network Event, Kingwood / Sharky’s Bar and Grill, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. 34th Annual Coaches Awards Luncheon, Nacogdoches / Hotel Fredonia, noon Network Event, Cy-Fair / Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Panola County / Texas Country Music Hall of Fame, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Network Event, Central Houston / Taco Milagro, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Network Event, Fort Bend / The Rouxpour Restaurant and Bar, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Southlake / Blue Mesa Grill, 3 - 5 p.m. SFA Lumberjack & Ladyjack Golf Fundraiser, Trophy Club / Trophy Club Golf Club Network Event, Dallas / Iron Cactus East Texas Exes Golf Tournament, Longview / Wood Hollow Golf Course, 11:30 a.m. Freshman Send-Off, The Woodlands / Berryhill Baja Grill - Market Street, 3 - 5 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Dallas / El Fenix, 3 - 5 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Houston / Blackfinn American Grille, 3 - 5 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Humble/Kingwood / Chuy’s, 3 - 5 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Beaumont / Café Del Rio, 6 - 8 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, San Antonio / University Bowl, 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Austin / Red’s Porch, 4 - 6 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Tyler / Spring Creek Barbeque, 3 - 5 p.m. Freshman Send-Off, Longview / Papacita’s, 6 - 8 p.m. Network Event, Katy / Another Round Wine Bar, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Alumni Tailgate, Dallas / SFA Football @ SMU Alumni Corner Tailgate / SFA Football vs. Southwestern Oklahoma


Philip Taylor Reynolds, D.D.S. Scholarship The Philip Taylor Reynolds, D.D.S. Scholarship was endowed by Dr. Philip Taylor Reynolds ’83 of Center and Center Smiles of East Texas. The scholarship benefits pre-dentistry students who are graduates of Center High School and who have a GPA of at least 3.25. Reynolds graduated Magna Cum Laude from SFA in 1983 when he received his degree in preprofessional medicine with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He was a member of the SFA Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society, the Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society and the Alpha Chi Honor Society. He was included on the Dean’s Honor Roll and President’s List. Reynolds was the recipient of the SFA Excellence in Physics Honor Award in 1980 and the Nacogdoches Booster Club Honor Student award in 1981. He has been a Lifetime SFA Alumni Association member since 1986 and is an annual SFA Athletic Booster Club member and contributor to the SFA College of Fine Arts and School of Theatre. Reynolds enjoys spending time with his six children, as well as training for and running marathons. He is a member of First Baptist Church in Center. Philip Taylor Reynolds II, Reynolds’ 20-year-old son, is a sophomore pre-dental major at SFA and will be joining his father as a second-generation pre-professional graduate of SFA in 2014.

THE CAUSE OF LIBERTY Stephen F. Austin was a man of great vision. Tempered with diplomacy, his relentless pursuit of liberty for early Texas colonists transformed an unsettled badlands into a thriving state. He made a difference in the lives of many by way of his philanthropy, ambition and hard work. Austin’s legacy embodies the cornerstone ideals for his namesake – Stephen F. Austin State University. As SFA moves toward a century of opportunity for young scholars, a keystone of much-needed financial aid is in place. The SFA Alumni Association and SFA Alumni Foundation have provided millions of dollars in scholarships and awards for deserving students. These funds help diminish financial obligations, giving students the freedom to learn. Much like the early Texas settlers, bright scholars need a place to develop and flourish. But each year, many worthy applicants are turned down due to lack of funds. By helping a student experience the intellectual environment at SFA, you can liberate a great mind. CREATING YOUR LEGACY As a scholarship donor through the SFA Alumni Foundation, you will ensure your name lives on through your endowed scholarship. The endowment will be held in perpetuity; only the endowment earnings will be used, securing educational opportunities for generations of future SFA students. SFA Alumni Association endowed scholarships may be created with various charitable giving vehicles, including: •Cash Gifts •Gifts of Property/Minerals •Corporate Matching Gifts •Charitable Trusts •Gifts of Stock/Bonds

•Bequests & Estate Gifts

•Life Insurance Policies

•Memorial Contributions

Make the decision to help secure educational opportunities for generations of future SFA students. Contact us to find out how to start creating your legacy today. Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6096 Phone: 936.468.3407 Toll Free: 800.765.1534 Fax: 936.468.1007 E-mail: alumni@sfasu.edu Website: www.sfaalumni.com



Alumni Chapters

Be proud. Be part of it. Alumni: You’re Invited! Members of the 2012 incoming freshman class are welcomed to SFA during the Freshman Send-Off parties sponsored by regional networks of the SFA Alumni Association. You are invited to attend a Freshman Send-Off party in your area. Answer questions, share your experiences and encourage the new Lumberjacks! Freshman Send-Off parties bring alumni and incoming students and their families together in a casual setting in their hometowns to celebrate the university’s newest arrivals and send them to SFA in style. Past and future Lumberjacks are given an opportunity to connect with each other and experience the SFA family together.

FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTIES Visit www.sfaalumni.com to find more information and to RSVP online. REGION




Panola County

Thursday, July 19

5:30-7:30 p.m.

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame


Saturday, July 28

3-5 p.m.

Blue Mesa Grill

The Woodlands

Saturday, Aug. 4

3-5 p.m.

Berryhill Baja Grill - Market Street


Sunday, Aug. 5

3-5 p.m.

El Fenix


Sunday, Aug. 5

3-5 p.m.

Blackfinn American Grille


Sunday, Aug. 5

3-5 p.m.



Tuesday, Aug. 7

6-8 p.m.

Café Del Rio

San Antonio

Saturday, Aug. 11

11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. University Bowl


Sunday, Aug. 12

4-6 p.m.

Red's Porch


Sunday, Aug. 12

3-5 p.m.

Spring Creek Barbeque


Tuesday, Aug. 14

6-8 p.m.


Summer 2012


LUMBERJACK! Happy Hours Networking Tailgating Freshman Send-Offs Service Projects Luncheons Family Picnics Golf Tournaments Visit our website to find alumni networks and special interest chapters. www.sfaalumni.com 29

“Mr. Rodeo” Mike Mathis Rodeo Announcer

Burt Hairgrove

Expo Director

Doug Olle

Justin Boots Healer

James Phifer Photographer



Sawdust rounded up four members of the SFA alumni family at the recent Angelina County Benefit Rodeo in Lufkin. Pictured (in front) is rodeo photographer and former SFA student James Phifer. Standing (from left) are Justin Boots Healer Doug Olle ’85, George H. Henderson Exposition Center Director Burt Hairgrove ’94 and rodeo announcer Mike Mathis ’70. Summer 2012 31

Class Notes 1940

Edward Marion ’47 of Philadelphia, Penn., is comptroller and director of Sun Pipe Line Company and manager of the transportation accounting division of Sun Oil Company.


Thomas Marion Hawkins ’50 of Odessa was honored as a distinguished alumnus by the Nacogdoches High School Alumni Association. Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 of Henderson was CRAWFORD the commencement speaker at Gary High School, where she graduated as valedictorian in 1955.


Debby Jett Allbright ’74 of Charleston, S.C., ALLBRIGHT is the CEO and owner of Fashionomics. Bob Harper ’74 of Conroe is president of the Texas Forestry Association. Ed Stephens ’74 of Arlington owns Metroplex Refrigeration & Restaurant Equipment. Clifford Todd ’75 of Carthage is a member of the Sabine River Authority board of directors. C.M. Demarest ’76 of Plano is senior vice president and a wealth management market leader at Bank of Texas. Matt Singleton ’77 of Grapevine retired as

David Seago ’65 & ’68 of Alba retired as superintendent of Rains ISD.


Janis Roberson Dial ’72 of Timpson was inducted DIAL into the 2011 Tenaha ISD Hall of Honors. Cole Pugh ’73 of LaGrange, Ga., is the superintendent of Troup County School System.


Cloverleaf Elementary in Galena Park ISD recently celebrated College Week. Principal Lee Brown ’90 & ’93 is pictured with teachers Angie Self ’87, Becky Dickmann Godell ’94 and Linda Laird Daniel ’77. They are standing beneath an SFA billboard located only two blocks from their campus.

Delta Zeta alumni will be celebrating their 50th anniversary on the SFA campus April 26-28, 2013. They will be hosting a luncheon at the Student Center on April 27 and a sisterhood soiree at Hotel Fredonia that evening. Sisters are asked to update their information at headquarters to receive an invitation. More information is available on Facebook at Delta Zeta AlumnaeZeta Psi Chapter.

the city’s Public Works director. Dr. Sherilyn Emberton ’79 & ’81 of Longview is provost and vice president for academic affairs at East Texas Baptist University.


Larry Fields ’82 of Carthage is an attorney and real estate broker in private practice and a municipal court judge for the city of Tatum. Kathy Hennig ’82 of Oakland, Calif., is purHENNIG chasing manager at City College of San Francisco.


Sid Evans ’85 of Missouri City was named “Who’s Who

in Black Houston” in 2011. In addition, he was awarded the Presidents Award for Lifetime Achievement by the Galleria Chamber of Commerce. George Bedar ’86 of Mission Viejo, Calif. BEDAR is chief information officer for LA Fitness. Martye Fluth ’86 of Pearsall teaches pre-K in the Pearsall ISD. Mike Bateman ’87 of Fort Worth is an BATEMAN account executive at Higginbotham insurance firm. Joe Finch ’87 of Lavon is a past member of the Terrell Chamber of Commerce/CVB board. Sawdust

Kristie Patton Foster ’88 of Buffalo, N.Y., is chief FOSTER administrative officer of the Links Inc. and the Links Foundation Inc.


Richard Boyer ’91 of The Colony was reelected to BOYER a second term on The Colony City Council. Stan Heisel ’91 of Terrell is a member of the Terrell Chamber of Commerce/ CVB board. John McCullough ’91 of Sulphur Springs is superintendent for Sulphur Bluff ISD. Rich Hicks ’92 of Frisco co-founded the Mooyah Burgers, Fries and Shakes restaurant franchise.

Lydell Wilson ’92 of Seven Lakes is head WILSON football coach for Seven Lakes High School. Keven ’93 and Michele Kyser of Hudson Oaks KYSER announce the Sept. 27, 2011, birth of Katherine Allesandra. Sara Lewandowski ’93 of Houston was named a National League for Nursing Ambassador. Becky Dickmann Godell ’94 of Kingwood received a master’s degree in educational technology leadership from Lamar University. Terry Rochen ’94 and Angie Rochen of Mansfield announce the Oct. 19 birth of Sarah Gaye. Kristen ’94 and Brian Weaver ’95 of Houston celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary on March 7 – “thanks to botany class with Dr. Byron Van Dover!” Jason A. Gibson ’95 of New Braunfels is president of the Houston Trial Lawyers Association.

Patrick Jackson ’94 of Mesquite is author of the book Pearls of Wisdom: Practical Action Tips For Go Getters. He is a former professional football player for the Atlanta Falcons.

Summer 2012


Terry Short ’95 of Mount Enterprise currently the

coordinator and head girl’s basketball coach at Groveton High School, is moving to Targu-Mures, Romania, to work as a full-time missionary with Livada Orphan Care. Devin Monk ’97 of Austin is managing editor of the Lake Travis View. Shane Rohrbach ’97 of Tyler is a partner in the Gollob ROHRBACH Morgan Peddy accounting firm. Marie Sesay ’98 of Houston earned a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She is an international speaker on higher education best practices, a sociology professor and has created a non-profit organization to support education in her parents’ country of Sierra Leone, West Africa.


Richard Geist ’01 of Lufkin teaches developmental math studies at Angelina College. The Rev. Wes Byas ’02 of McGregor is the new interim minister for Central Christian Church, Disciples of Christ.

Tonya Landry ’03 of Spring is a jewelry artist, creating original designs using leather, gem stones and fabric. She owns her own business, Drama Queen Accessories.

Kyle and Donica Gaines Hayes ’03 of Jacksonville HAYES Beach, Fla., announce the Feb. 22 birth of daughter Zephyr Jaymes. Zeno and Emily Brown McCoy ’03 of Allen MCCOY announce the Dec. 1, 2011, birth of daughter Elle. Tiffany A. Roberts ’03 of Houston and Michael T. Deal were married Jan. 6. Amanda Sue Williams ’05 and Matthew Robbins of Houston were married Oct. 15.

Keith Murphy ’02 of Frankston is superintendent of Frankston ISD. Melanie Pate-Bowers ’03 of Kaufman teaches at O.P. Norman Junior High.


High School.

Elijah Granger ’06 of Lufkin is principal at Duncanville


LIFE MEMBERS The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. Lt. Col. Jay P. Bullock ’93 (right) and Maj. Alex Perez-Cruz ’00 are serving in Eastern Afghanistan as security forces assistance team leaders training the Afghan Border Police. Both were commissioned in the U.S. Army as armor officers via SFA ROTC and currently serve in the 4th Brigade, 4th Infantry Division.

Matt Hardman ’06 of Lubbock received a Master HARDMAN of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in May from Texas Tech University. He has been accepted to the Ph.D. program in Fine Arts in Music with specialization in arts administration at Texas Tech. Jennifer Hyde ’06 and Ricky Smith ’05 of Grand Prairie were married Sept. 4, 2011. Jimmie Taylor ’06 of Tyler is chief financial officer at Estes, McClure & Associates. Juliah Crelia ’07 of Center is executive director for Shelby County Children’s Advocacy Center. Sarah ’07 and Casey Page ’05 of Spring announce the Dec. PAGE 27, 2011, birth of daughter Eleanor Marie.


We appreciate your support. 7735. Cassandra K. Bennett ’10 of Murfreesboro, Tenn. 7736. S. Saville Harris’10 of Nacogdoches

Dr. Thomas Wallace ’07 of Mabank is superintendent of Palestine ISD.

7737. Casey Furche ’12 of Keller

Erin Byran ’08 of Lufkin teaches pre-K for Beaumont ISD.

7739. Cody T. Camp ’11 of La Porte

First Lt. Nathan Fleming ’08 is a member of the U.S. Army’s elite Airborne Rangers. Kari Hargett ’09 & ’10 of Spring and Jared Sprague SPRAGUE ’09 & ’10 of Lufkin were married March 24 and now reside in Houston.


Dusty Brown ’11 of Garrison is a commercial lending officer with Commercial Bank of Texas. Joshua D. Williams ’11 of DeSoto graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

7738. Brittany M. Peden ’11 of Friendswood

7740. James B. Boyd ’00 of Longview 7741. Van Bruce Arrant ’98 of Dallas 7742. Dewey A. Montgomery ’71 of Schertz 7743. Justin D. Pelham ’10 of Nacogdoches 7744. Kelli L. Stanton ’11 of Tomball 7745. Jamal D. Smith ’11 of Nacogdoches 7746. Donna B. Campanello ’79 of Nacogdoches 7747. Kevin P. Hickey ’09 & ’11 of Benbrook 7748. Dr. Kelly G. Noe ’03 of Lufkin 7749. Samuel Paine ’68 of Pendleton, Ore. 7750. Julie E. Sawyer ’11 of Houston 7751. Sarah E. Giles ’11 of Jackson, Wyo. 7752. Brittany L. Tucker ’11 of Salado 7753. Thomas E. Childress ’11 of Lufkin 7754. Lee A. Fitzgerald ’11 of Nacogdoches 7755. Preston A. Vickrey ’10 of Timpson


In Memoriam Hazel Shelton Abernethy ’48 of Nacogdoches, March 22. Hubert A. “Butch” Almany ’65 & ’68 of Lindale, Oct. 14, 2011. Lee Brundrett ’74 of Dallas, March 29. Bedford Larry Covin ’46 & ’48 of Kilgore, Feb. 5. Billy D. Dunn ’78 of Lufkin, May 1. Gay Henry Ervin ’77 & ’79 of Nacogdoches, Feb. 12.

G. Franklin Weeks Jr. ’37 of Lufkin was born Aug. 8, 1915, in Burke, the son of the late Etta Gantt and George Franklin Weeks. He passed away on April 9, at his residence. He was 96. Weeks was retired from Lufkin Industries, having worked for 45 years in the Foundry Division. He attended school through the fifth grade at the Old Burke School. After graduating from Diboll High School in 1932, Weeks attended Stephen F. Austin College on and off (as many did during the Great Depression) until graduating in 1937. At SFA, he was very active in the Methodist Bible Chair, later known as The Wesley Foundation. He was very proud to have taught school at Redland for three years and taught for more than 50 years in the Sunday School of Ryan Chapel United Methodist Church. He enjoyed gardening and raising corn and butter beans. He was very involved with his church, genealogy, history and restoring cemeteries. Weeks was a member of the SFA Alumni Association and a lifetime member of Ryan Chapel United Methodist Church.

Carolyn Fenton ’76 of Gladewater, Oct. 7, 2011. James Henson Garrett ’85 of Brandon, Miss., Oct. 16, 2011. Richard Thomas Granberry ’74 of Broomfield, Colo., Dec. 18, 2010. Johnnie Faye Hattman ’45 of Orange, May 3. Mary Hopkins ’72 of Dallas, March 18.

Addijo Whitaker Williams ’39 of Longview passed away May 3. Williams was born Sept. 3, 1919, in Nacogdoches County to Charles Richard Whitaker and Addie Hogan Whitaker. She had been a resident of Longview since 1940. Williams was retired from the Longview Independent School District after 41 years of service as a teacher and administrator. She received her Master of Education from SFA. Williams was a member of the Zonta Club, the Woman’s Forum and the Longview Gregg County Retired Teachers Association. She was a member of Emmanuel Baptist Church in White Oak.

Frank Robert Lindsey ’51 of Jasper, Jan. 13. Richard Lewis “Dick” Lucas ’70 of Tyler, June 22, 2011. James P. McWilliams ’62 & ’64 of Kilgore, March 28. Robbie Javan Randall ’55 of Nacogdoches, March 18. James Van Hugh Risinger ’52 of Rusk, Oct. 14, 2011. William Rives ’58 of Georgetown, March 11. Kris Lane Ross ’94 of Abilene, Oct. 9, 2011. Gilbert Talafuse ’81 of Houston, Jan. 14.

Summer 2012

Former SFA Dean of Fine Arts Bill Parsons, 81, passed away April 12 in Nacogdoches, leaving behind an immense legacy of cultural, academic and Christian spiritual leadership. An Arkansas native, Parsons grew up in Memphis, Tenn., where he lettered in football, baseball, basketball and track at Humes High School. Parsons received his Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., and his Master of Arts and doctorate in theater arts and speech communication from Louisiana State University. He served as a speech, theatre and communications professor for more than 40 years in higher education, including 20 years as an academic dean, the last six at SFA. He later served as pastor of Fairview United Methodist Church and associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church in Nacogdoches. In recent years, Parsons worked as a leader, sponsor, mentor and servant within the East Texas Emmaus community, a Christian outreach organization.


How to Start a Scholarship We invite you to participate in a project that will forever link the past to the future: the SFA Walk of Recognition. For $100, $250 or $500, you may permanently make your mark on an inscribed brick. The Walk of Recognition is located in the Sesquicentennial Plaza around the Stephen F. Austin fountain. Your name carved in a brick will symbolize the spirit you felt when you were at SFA. The bricks are available in two sizes. They are hand-etched and laid geometrically in the plaza. Walk of Recognition bricks are ideal graduation and birthday gifts and provide a meaningful way to honor or memorialize a special Lumberjack. Printed certificates are sent upon request for such gifts. 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.

1 2 3 4 5

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.

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

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

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.

Find us on Facebook! www.facebook.com/sfaalumni

Bank • Insurance Services, Inc.

Liberty Mutual is a proud partner of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association Celebrating Lumberjacks past and present!

Coverage provided by and underwritten by Liberty Mutual Insurance and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA. In Texas only, coverage provided and underwritten by Liberty County Mutual Insurance Company and it’s affiliates, 2100 Walnut Hill Lane, Irving, TX © 2012 Liberty Mutual Insurance.

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


www.sfaalumni.com 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

From the Archives

The East Texas Research Center and Sawdust would like to know more about this SFA photo. The back of the photo is dated April 1971, but no other identifying information has been found. If you can help, please contact: alumni@sfasu.edu or (800) 765-1534. The ETRC at SFA collects, preserves and provides physical and virtual access to East Texas’ unique cultural history. It also is responsible for managing SFA’s Records Management Program and caring for the university’s archives.

If you have SFA-related photographs, journals or memorabilia you would like to donate to the ETRC, please call (936) 468-4100.



GET YOUR SFA GEAR! www.shopsfa.com caps | gifts | drinkware | tote bags clothing | auto accessories | and more!

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

SHOP Summer 2012


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

Save the Date

Sept. 8 SFA Football @ SMU / alumni tailgate

Oct. 6 Battle of the Piney Woods / alumni tailgate Oct. 19-20 SFA Homecoming / alumni corner tailgate duck dash • parade • class of ’62 reunion

Profile for SFA Alumni Association

Sawdust Summer 2012  

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

Sawdust Summer 2012  

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


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