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Hardy’s Pic

Snow covers the Rusk Building and nearby trees on the morning of Feb. 12, 2010.

“When we get one of our rare snowfalls at SFA, I always try to be one of the first people on campus the next morning. I like to photograph the trees and buildings before the snow is disturbed or melts away for another season.” – University Photographer Hardy Meredith


Winter 2010 • Volume 37, No. 4 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jeff Davis ’02, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs EDITOR Amy Roquemore ’93, Editorial Coordinator, SFA Public Affairs ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Rhonda Crim-Tumelson, Director of Alumni Publications, SFA Alumni Association STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work and service. Through the personal attention of our faculty and staff, we engage our students in a learner-centered environment and offer opportunities to prepare for the challenges of living in the global community. The SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the alumni, friends and current students of Stephen F. Austin State University through programs, scholarships and activities that create an attitude of continued loyalty and support.


FEATURES 5 Cultural Exchange

Teacher learns from Chinese students

10 Lights Out

Student’s “Big Idea” leads to energy-saving program


Class Act Alumnus reflects on SFA, art and fatherhood

28 On the Job Training

Strength and conditioning specialist works with NBA star

20 CAMPUS NEWS 2 4 8 8 12

Accounting Service Project President’s Message SFA iPhone App Chemistry Renovations New Main Entrance

ALUMNI NEWS 5 1 16 26 27 32 35 40

Mentor ’Jacks From the Association Scholarships Chapters Class Notes In Memoriam All Hail to SFA

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

ON THE COVER watercolor by Brady Smith ’94


Campus News

Accounting service

Students helping local homeless shelter SFA ACCOUNTING STUDENTS are volunteering their time to help a downtown Nacogdoches homeless shelter improve its financial systems and operations. For the past year, the SFA chapter of Beta Alpha Psi has worked closely with Godtel Ministries staff members as they transition to a new system for financial recordkeeping. Beta Alpha Psi is an honorary organization for accounting students and professionals. “Imagine my delight when I received an e-mail from a Beta Alpha Psi representative at SFA of-


fering to train our office personnel in the use of QuickBooks,” Godtel assistant director Nancy Gentry ’73 said. “They were also willing to review our accounting procedures and make suggestions as to how we might improve our methods and internal controls.” The Beta Alpha Psi chapter also purchased and donated the Microsoft Office Suite and an online file back-up system for Godtel and provided additional training for the staff. The students plan to continue working with Godtel through the spring 2011 semester to ensure

By Amy Roquemore

the new financial systems and operations are functioning efficiently. “The students have been energetic, prompt and respectful, as well as very capable teachers,” Gentry said. “It is much less stressful learning new software when you know help is just a phone call away.” The community service project recently won first place in the Best Practices Service Learning competition at the 2010 Beta Alpha Psi southwest regional meeting in San Antonio. “Students who are part of the School of Accountancy are very


SFA ranked by U.S. News & World Report By Amy Roquemore

left SFA students Ashley Stilley (left) and Vicki Tippit make a follow-up visit to Godtel Ministries. above Beta Alpha Psi students discuss accounting procedures with Godtel assistant director Nancy Gentry.

involved with hands-on learning as demonstrated by this project,” said Dr. Treba Marsh, director of SFA’s Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy and former faculty adviser for Beta Alpha Psi. “It is an example of student learning at its very best. The students learned a lot, and Godtel benefited tremendously.” Participating students include Fort Worth graduate student Miranda Etkind, Sealy senior Ashley Stilley, Abilene graduate student William Hawkins and Houston graduate student Vicki Tippit.

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Hawkins said the students are continuing to make regular followup visits to Godtel to assist with the software conversion and also have volunteered their time to serve meals at the shelter. “Helping Godtel was an excellent opportunity for us to not only learn more about how a nonprofit operates, but also to use the knowledge we have gained in school to help an organization that provides assistance to countless people in the community,” he said. “I think this was a very meaningful learning experience for all of us.” ✯

SFA IS RANKED in the first tier among the best regional public and private universities in the western United States, according to the 2011 edition of “Best Colleges” by U.S. News & World Report. The rankings, which include more than 1,400 schools nationwide, are available at www.usnews.com/colleges and were published in the September issue of U.S. News & World Report, hitting newsstands Aug. 31. During the past two decades, the U.S. News college rankings, which group schools based on categories created by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, have grown to be a comprehensive research tool for students and parents considering higher education opportunities. “While college rankings should never be the primary consideration for those seeking higher education, this designation by U.S. News & World Report certainly validates our belief that the quality, personalized education offered by SFA makes us an excellent college choice,” said SFA President Baker Pattillo. “Best Colleges” provides a thorough examination of how accredited four-year schools compare on more than a dozen indicators of excellence. Among them are peer assessment, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, and alumni giving. The other Texas public regional universities joining SFA in the first tier of regional institutions in the western United States are Texas State University, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, University of Texas San Antonio, Texas A&M International, University of Texas at Tyler, West Texas A&M University and University of Texas of the Permian Basin. The western United States grouping includes schools in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. ✯


President’s Message


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

S STEPHEN F. AUSTIN State University Lumberjacks, we celebrated a number of significant firsts during the fall 2010 semester. Our university recently was ranked in the first tier among the best regional public and private universities in the western United States, according to U.S. News & World Report. While rankings should never be the primary consideration for college-bound students, this designation certainly confirms what Lumberjacks already know – the quality, personalized instruction provided at SFA makes us an excellent choice for higher education. In October, for the first time, the SFA-Sam Houston State football game was played before a spirited crowd of almost 25,000 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. This exciting event marked the start of a new tradition in the two schools’ 85-year-old rivalry, and Lumberjacks around the state are already looking forward to returning to Houston for the game next year. Construction began this fall on the first freshmen-only residence hall at SFA. The new building, which will open in late summer, is designed to meet the unique living and learning needs of our newest Lumberjacks. This facility is the most visible part of a campus-wide effort to enhance the first-year experience of all SFA students. Our new purple rotating lights atop Steen Towers were used for the first time this fall to alert Lumberjacks far and wide of SFA victories, both at home and away. The new lights have taken the place of those that formerly topped Garner Tower, which was razed earlier this year to make room for the new

In October, for the first time, the SFA-Sam Houston State football game was played before a spirited crowd of almost 25,000 at Reliant Stadium in Houston. freshman residence hall. And I am very happy to report the new purple lights were a common sight in the night sky this fall. All these firsts have made for much excitement on campus, but I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention one very significant second. That is, for the second year in a row, SFA posted a record-breaking fall enrollment with 12,954 Lumberjacks attending classes. With so many talented and motivated students choosing to attend SFA, Lumberjacks are sure to enjoy many more meaningful firsts in the years to come. Axe ’Em Jacks,

BOARD OF REGENTS Melvin R. White, chair, Pflugerville John R. “Bob” Garrett, vice chair, Tyler Richard B. Boyer, secretary, The Colony Carlos Z. Amaral, Plano Scott H. Coleman, Houston James H. Dickerson, New Braunfels Valerie E. Ertz, Dallas Steve D. McCarty, Alto James A. Thompson, Sugar Land Sydni Mitchell, student regent, Spring


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

Middle school teacher Sedric Hudson, a 2005 graduate of the James

By Kayli Steger

I. Perkins College of Education, used the skills he learned at SFA to expand the minds of students on the other side of the globe while opening his own eyes to a different culture at the same time.


“This experience is something that I will never forget or regret, and I think everyone should do it.�



S A WORLD cultures teacher at Dessau Middle School in Pflugerville, Texas, Sedric Hudson felt like something was missing. The Baytown, Texas, native had little world travel experience under his belt, making it difficult for him to bring the lessons he taught to life for his students. So Hudson decided to immerse himself in a new culture and gain insight he could share with his own students upon his return. He accepted a one-year position in Shenzhen, China, with the company English First and became an English teacher to Mandarin-speaking students. “I thought that this position would be a great opportunity to live what I teach and then be able to truly share with our kids,” Hudson said. With no prior Mandarin language skills, Hudson set off to teach English reading, speaking and writing, and to prepare the Chinese students for study-abroad opportunities in English-speaking countries. At first, the difficulties of the language barrier and the unfamiliar setting wore heavily on the 27-year-old. “It was the biggest culture shock of my life,” Hudson said. “Many Chinese had not seen many foreigners, and even fewer had seen an AfricanAmerican. There is no right of way for pedestrians, people don’t wait in lines and there are more people there than I have ever seen in my life. “However, after being there for a while, I came to find out that although the language is different, it is worth learning,” he said. “The people there are the most generous. The kids are the cutest and most loving. The society works so hard and takes pride in all they do. This experience is something that I will never forget or regret, and I think everyone should do it.”

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Photos courtesy of Sedric Hudson

Hudson relates his ability to thrive in the unfamiliar setting to his post-graduate career as a teacher and the preparation he received at SFA. “I was challenged at SFA, and, therefore, unlike many first-year teachers, I was comfortable and confident going in.” While at SFA, Hudson immersed himself in the campus culture, actively participating in Student Activities Association, Student Government Association, Orientation and SFA 101, to name a few. He also was named Mr. SFA in 2005 and served as assistant director of Jack Camp. “As far as life, I attribute much of what I am professionally, emotionally and mentally to SFA,” Hudson said. “Through the faculty, organizations, friends and relationships with people, SFA molded me into a great man.” Now that Hudson has returned to the United States, he plans to continue teaching and eventually become a basketball coach for a college or NBA team. He also hopes to continue traveling to at least one new place a year so that he can share a variety of first-hand cultural experiences with his students. ✯


SFA: There’s an app for that By Robin Johnson SFA RECENTLY UNVEILED a free application for Apple iPhone users, and it will soon be available for other mobile devices, such as the Blackberry and Android. The SFA application was developed by the Web Services Department of the Ralph W. Steen Library. SFA Web design specialist Michael Gillen says early feedback from users of the app has been extremely positive, and he has received some great suggestions for improvement, which he plans to incorporate into future versions. “The highest item on our priority list is making the app truly crossplatform, as we plan to roll out the app on other smartphone platforms,” he said. “From there, we will work on adding more content and features, such as new sections for alumni, MyCourses, an improved library research interface and, hopefully, integration with MySFA.” Information currently provided in the SFA app includes campus news and events, online library catalog, campus maps, directory, athletic news and scores, and course information. To download the SFA app to your iPhone, access Apple’s iTunes store and type Stephen F. Austin State University in the search box. ✯


Chemistry Building receives more than $7 million in upgrades By Robin Johnson AFTER FOUR MONTHS of renovations and safety updates, SFA’s historic Chemistry Building reopened just in time for the start of the fall semester. The $7.35 million renovation budget addressed safety issues and infrastructure needs, including new windows, doors, lighting and restroom upgrades. The project included a sprinkler system for the three-story building, electrical rewiring, new plumbing and lab facility upgrades needed for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Chemistry Building, originally the Science and Agriculture Building, was built in 1938 and is the oldest academic building on SFA’s campus. Designed by Nacogdoches architect Hal Tucker, the building housed the Department of Agriculture and the farm shop on the first floor. Biology occupied the second floor, while chemistry, physics and physical science filled the top floor. Classes being taught in the newly refurbished building include chemistry, biochemistry, and organic, inorganic, physical, and analytical chemistry. Renovations included: • Air conditioning • Emergency sprinklers • Plumbing • Electrical wiring • Asbestos abatement • ADA-standard labs and restrooms • Safety showers in each lab • Two vented hoods in each lab • A research lab for each chemistry professor • Air-locked building entrances • Hot water in every lab • Refinished cabinets and workstations • A chemical storage room with digital barcodes for electronic inventory • Energy efficient sensor lights in every classroom and lab ✯ Sawdust

Vista Viewpoint By Pam Fitch

Campus holds memories for SFA grad TWENTY YEARS AGO, I was enjoying my sophomore year at SFA. I remember those days like they were yesterday. I was serving as an assignments editor for the student newspaper, The Pine Log. I have such fond memories from my years working on the newspaper staff. At that time, my career aspirations revolved around a newsroom. Of course, that was before the advent of the Internet and social media—two industries that have had a devastating impact on newspapers. But social media is not all bad. It has allowed me to reconnect with many former “Pine Loggers” as we have all gone in different directions in life. While several of my former classmates have moved out of state (and at least one is out of country), I consider myself fortunate to call Nacogdoches my home. Every few months, someone will stop by for a visit, providing the opportunity to reminisce about our college days. And while the landscape has changed considerably during the past 20 years, one thing remains the same: SFA epitomizes the storybook college campus. If you haven’t visited SFA recently, you might be surprised to know just how much has changed. The sentimental side of me is always sad to see a building, like Garner Apartments, demolished. But my Lumberjack pride glows brightly as I watch the construction of a new 400-room freshman residence hall slated to be complete by the start of the fall 2011 semester. As college students in the early ’90s, we often lamented the lack of parking garages. Today, the campus boasts four multi-level parking garages for the recordsetting student enrollment. A renovation of the student center, completed in 2007, provides additional amenities, including a movie theater, visitor welcome center and on-campus restaurant choices. The new Student Recreation Center features wonderful facilities, such as Winter 2010

a sand volleyball court, rock climbing wall, horseshoe pit and lazy river. Living on campus has changed, too. The newest residence halls, Lumberjack Lodge and Lumberjack Village, offer apartment-like residences with private bedrooms and shared living areas. Academics have also benefited from recent campus construction projects. The James I. Perkins College of Education recently opened a $31 million Early Childhood Research Center, and the DeWitt School of Nursing occupies a new $13 million state-of-the-art facility. The Chemistry Building, originally constructed in 1938 and the oldest academic building on campus, recently underwent a $7 million renovation. As alumni, we should be proud of all the changes taking place on campus. It is exciting to see our university grow and gain national attention. U.S. News & World Report recently ranked SFA in the first tier among the best regional public and private universities in the western United States. Through all these changes, the campus still maintains its charming appeal. I may be 20 years older, but I still love shuffling my feet through the leaves and pine straw as I walk across campus in the fall. And I eagerly await the beautiful colors of azaleas blooming across campus in the spring. For me, like so many others, SFA is a special place with special memories. ✯

Pam Fitch ’93 and her husband, Alan ’98, own Jack Backers College Bookstore in Nacogdoches. She is the daughter of Gary Galloway ’68 of Bossier City, La.

Pam Fitch ’93


By Haley Sailers

Student’s “Big Idea” leads to energysaving program

ONE SFA STUDENT’S light bulb moment has led to more light bulbs on campus going dark. Austin senior Holley Gaskill’s Polar Bears on Parade program is the first student-led effort to lower the university’s electric bill and raise environmental awareness among students at the same time. The initiative seeks to involve all students in cutting energy usage as a means of minimizing future tuition increases. Gaskill got the idea from similar programs at Dartmouth College


in Vermont and Brooks School in Massachusetts. Her initiative emphasizes doing a lot of small things, such as turning off lights and unplugging phone chargers when they are not in use, to reduce SFA’s overall energy consumption. “If students and parents don’t like seeing how much tuition is going up each year, here is a chance for us, the students, to have an effect on that,” Gaskill said. “All we have to do is flip the switch off.” Gaskill explained conserving

energy is important, not only to save money, but also to help the environment. “This program can teach us accountability to our world.” Polar Bears on Parade was the Student Government Association’s “Big Idea” winner for 2010. The program provides funds to help students implement creative ideas. “We selected Polar Bears on Parade because we knew it could do so much for our campus and environment plus raise awareness for


10 EASY AND FREE WAYS TO SAVE ENERGY: 1. Unplug  your  phone  charger  and other appliances when not  in use. DID YOU KNOW: 95% of the electricity that your phone charger draws from  the  wall  when  you  leave  it  plugged  in  is  never  actually  used?  As  long  as  your  appliances  and  chargers  stay  in  a  socket,  they  are  drawing  electricity,  even when those appliances are off.

2. Love the sunlight! Open curtains  and  use  natural  light  to  save  electricity,  and  turn  off  lights when you leave a room. DID YOU KNOW: The electricity generated  by  fossil  fuels  for  a  single  home  puts  more  carbon  dioxide  into  the  air  than two average cars.

3. Put  on  a  sweater  when  you  feel cold. Save on energy used  for heating. DID YOU KNOW: For every 20 degrees  you  turn  down  your  heating  in  winter,  you can save up to 4% on energy costs.

the whole community,” said SGA Vice President Sarah Feye of The Woodlands. Gaskill said the program can help on-campus residents develop healthy environmental habits that will benefit both their pocketbooks and the environment once they are responsible for paying their own electricity costs every month. “Right now students pay their electricity bills up front before the semester starts,” she explained. “But once they have an apartment

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4. Choose an LCD or CRT television set rather than a plasma  TV. Plasmas use up to four times  more energy. DID  YOU  KNOW:  Televisions  account  for up to 4% of the total energy used in  the United States.

5. Use  the  microwave,  not  the  oven,  to  heat  food.  Quicker  heating uses less energy. DID  YOU  KNOW:  Avoiding  using  appliances  like  ovens,  dishwashers  and  dryers  during  peak  demand  times  (from 5 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m.)  saves on energy costs.

6. Only wash clothes and dishes  when you have a full load to run. DID  YOU  KNOW:  If  one  million  people  washed their clothes in cold water instead of hot, it would eliminate 250,000  tons of CO2 annually (and keep colors  brighter!).

or house, they may find themselves quite surprised every month at the cost of electricity.” The biggest challenge Gaskill has faced so far has been making students aware of the program and convincing them to do their part, she said. But many students are already participating in the program. “Ever since my roommate heard about Polar Bears on Parade, she has been keeping the lights off,” said Paige Miller, a Winnie freshman who lives in Hall 10. “We’ve

7. Take the stairs instead of the   elevators, which use electricity  to run. DID  YOU  KNOW: Taking the stairs also  is good exercise! Avoid the “freshman 15.”

8. Shave  one  minute  off  your  hot  shower.  Just  60  seconds  saves  a  lot  of  heating  energy  when  thousands  of  students  are working together. DID  YOU  KNOW:  Heating  water  accounts  for  about  25%  of  the  home’s  energy use.

9. Store perishables in the back  of your fridge. Items stored in the  door take more energy to cool. DID  YOU  KNOW:  If  one  million  people  upgraded  to  an  Energy  Star  fridge,  we’d  eliminate  556,000  tons  of  CO2  emissions annually.

10. Spread the word! Tell a friend  how to save energy! DID YOU KNOW: Spreading knowledge  is the best way to save the world.

made a game of it to see who can use the lights the least.” After tackling the residence halls, Gaskill plans to focus on the other SFA buildings. She is planning to organize a 15-minute blackout on campus in the spring. “I’m hoping this will eventually spread to other universities, and we can actually have competitions against each other,” she said. “We can make it a big deal and make it a norm around campuses to see how much electricity we can all save.” ✯




New SFA main entrance now complete By Amy Roquemore

SFA STUDENTS WERE welcomed back to campus this fall with a new main entrance and limestone signage. The project at North Street and Griffith Boulevard began last March and included the construction of a new entrance plaza roadway, a large monument sign with the university’s name, decorative pillars on Vista Drive, street and traffic signal reconfiguration, and extensive landscaping. Large American and Texas flags wave above it all. “The new SFA entrance was a collaborative effort between the university, the City of Nacogdoches and the Texas Department of Transportation, and the result is a main entrance that is not only beautiful but also safer for Nacogdoches residents and our students,” said SFA spokesman Bob Wright. Replacing traffic lights that were more than 30 years old, new signals have been installed at the old Vista Drive and Griffith Boulevard intersections to better accommodate traffic patterns around the new entrance. All traffic at the new entrance now enters from the southern end of the plaza and exits at the northern end. The old entrance sign, which was constructed in the mid-1960s, was removed from the site in pieces and reconstructed at the northern end of Homer Bryce Stadium near the field house.

“As soon as we announced there would be a new sign at the main entrance, we began receiving phone calls from alumni who have very fond memories of the old sign and wanted to make sure it would be preserved in some way,” SFA President Baker Pattillo said. “It was decided the old sign would have a new home at the football stadium where it can be seen and enjoyed by our students, alumni and fans for many years to come.” The limestone pillars placed at the entrance to Vista Drive from the new plaza roadway are a historical nod to pillars that framed the original Vista Drive entrance beginning in the early 1920s. “I think the new entrance looks very impressive and has a more prestigious feel,” said SFA senior Adrianna Daniels of Garland. “When you drive in, you know you are in a special place.” Within the past year, complementary limestone signage also has been placed at the corner of North and East College streets and outside the university’s two newest academic buildings, the Early Childhood Research Center on Raguet Street and the DeWitt School of Nursing on North Street. ✯

left SFA’s new main entrance at North Street and Griffith Boulevard above Limestone pillars once again frame the Vista Drive entrance.

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SFA enrollment on the rise By Amy Roquemore

FALL SEMESTER ENROLLMENT at SFA was up approximately 1 percent to 12,954 students, surpassing the all-time enrollment record set in fall 2009. The number of SFA students attending classes increased by 109 between fall 2009 and fall 2010. Summer enrollment also rose slightly, increasing 0.4 percent in summer I and 2.6 percent in summer II. The fall SFA headcount marks the 11th consecutive reporting period with an enrollment increase. “I am extremely proud that SFA is able to report another record-high enrollment for the fall 2010 semester,” said Dr. Baker Pattillo, university president. “I want to express my appreciation to the enrollment man-

agement team, as well as the entire SFA faculty and staff, for their tireless efforts to recruit and retain topquality students to our university.” The record-breaking fall 2010 enrollment comes on the heels of the largest graduation class in the history of the university last spring when 1,131 Lumberjacks received diplomas. “The administrators and Board of Regents continue to make decisions that help make SFA a progressive university,” said Monique Cossich, executive director of enrollment management. Recent renovations to the Chemistry Building and a planned freshman residence hall designed to promote academic success are

two of the latest ways in which the university is working to attract and retain a qualified student body, she said. SFA also will increase academic standards for freshmen admission in fall 2012 as part of the university’s Strategic Plan 2013: Preparing for the Future. “Our increasing enrollment is a reflection of a comprehensive effort by the entire campus community to attract and retain quality students to our university,” Cossich said. “As we continue to increase our online programs, strengthen recruitment efforts, build community college relationships, and focus on student success, the future looks very bright for SFA.” ✯

Alumni News THE MENTOR ’JACKS program serves to connect alumni, students and community members to support personal and professional growth. This innovative program encourages relationship building and networking through mentoring. It offers an exceptional opportunity to create and enhance connections with established professionals. Due to an interest in expan-

Mentor ’Jacks FAQ

sion, we are excited to an-

How do I become a mentor? • Becoming a Mentor ’Jack is easy. Complete the mentor information form on the SFA Alumni Association website at www. sfaalumni.com. Once you have registered, you will be contacted by the alumni office with more information.

• Provide tips on résumé writing, networking, interviewing and other related effective business practices, should your mentee request it. The SFA Alumni Association will provide materials to use as a guide in this process. • Encourage students to become active in the SFA Alumni Association as a mentor upon graduation. • Foster a climate of pride and support for current and future students, the university and the SFA Alumni Association.

classified as upperclassmen. By

How much time will be involved in the mentoring relationship? • The time commitment is very flexible and can range from a few hours per month to several hours per week, depending on the preferences of both the mentee and the mentor. It is up to the student and the mentor to decide together what works best for them.

wards that come from helping

Why should I be a mentor? • Whether you graduated recently or 40 years ago, there are Lumberjack students seeking advice from graduates like you. Students appreciate guidance about the simple things, as well as more complex issues–such as enhancing their résumés, preparing for interviews and finding internships or jobs. What are my responsibilities as a mentor? • Personally contact your mentee either by e-mail, letters, handwritten notes or telephone throughout your mentee’s junior and senior years at SFA.

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nounce that we are opening the program to all students expanding the program, we are now able to offer that same experience to more students. We invite you to participate in a novel opportunity to connect and make a difference. The SFA Alumni Association realizes the potential for this program is great, and we hope all participants appreciate the great refellow Lumberjacks. If you have any questions about the Mentor ’Jacks program or know any alumni who may be interested in giving back and investing their time as a mentor, please contact Mo Davis, Mentor ’Jacks coordinator, at (936) 468-3407 or modavis@sfasu.edu. ✯


From the Association


hat a great time in Houston at the SFA-Sam Houston game. We hope you all enjoyed the tailgate party and had a chance to catch up with some old friends and classmates. We appreciate all those who worked hard on this event to make it a huge success. Homecoming 2010 was a lot of fun and a chance to showcase all the new buildings, residence halls, parking garages and the grand entry to our beautiful college. When you arrive on campus, you cannot help but feel a sense of pride when you see that SFA is on the cutting edge of progress and continues to do what it takes to bring quality students to SFA. Our football team is having another great season with playoff hopes alive. Please Chuck Tomberlain ’84 come back to campus to support all of our President, SFA Alumni Lumberjack teams and contribute to SFA’s Association home-field advantage. When we pause to reflect on our blessings, we need to give God the glory during this holiday season. I wish many blessings on you and your family. Please let us know how we can serve you best, what we can do to make Homecoming better and what we need to do to get you plugged in to our alumni team. You can make a difference. Priority one is you! Visit with me on campus, or give me a call at (903) 445-2943. Axe ’em ’Jacks! Chuck Tomberlain ’84

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 Ron Hunt ’91 & ’94 Kent Hutchison ’92 Don Keasler ’61 Katie Nelms ’05 Susan Roberds ’75 Roger Robinson ’92 Phillip Scherrer ’99 Steve Whitbeck ’75 Chris Woelfel ’95 Student Government Association Andy Teel ’11 Student Foundation Association Dustin Willis ’11 SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Mike Harbordt ’63 - Chairman Brad Bays ’91 Lewie Byers ’68 Ford Cartwright ’69 Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 James Hamilton ’77 Andy Mills ’91 Bill Roberds ’75 Chuck Tomberlain ’84 SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Jeff Davis ’02 executive director of alumni affairs (fund-raising) Mitzi Blackburn director of alumni activities (activities & events)

. . . you cannot help but feel a sense of pride when you see that SFA is on the cutting edge of progress and continues to do what it takes to bring quality students to SFA.

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



LIGHTS, CAMERA, AXE ’EM! SFA’s Hollywoodthemed Homecoming provided a spirited and memorable weekend for students, alumni and friends this fall. Favorite SFA Alumni Association events, including the annual golf tournament, alumni picnic and Duck Dash, were well attended and helped raise much-needed scholarship funds for deserving SFA students. Additionally, the silent auction at the Lumberjack Bash raised more than $13,565 for the Alumni Scholarship Fund. Alumni Awards Dinner honorees included Distinguished Alumni Bill Owens ’73, former governor of Colorado, and Doug Higgins ’71, executive and entrepreneur. Professional photographer Robert Seale ’92 received the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. The traditional Friday-night bonfire and annual Homecoming Parade in downtown Nacogdoches rounded out the exciting weekend. Homecoming was capped off by the football game against Texas State University, when this year’s Homecoming King Johnnie Beavers ’11 and Queen Tessa Gerall ’10 were introduced to the crowd. Be sure and save the date for next year’s SFA Homecoming Oct. 28-29. ✯

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Brady Smith '94 20


A former editorial cartoonist for SFA’s Pine Log student

newspaper, Brady Smith ’94 is now a nationally-recognized artist. His work has been featured on NBC’s The Tonight

Show and in publications, including Texas Monthly and the

Houston Chronicle. He also is a professional actor and author of The Brady Chronicles, a series of illustrated travel

journals. Smith resides in Los Angeles with his wife, actress Tiffani Thiessen, and their newborn daughter.

Sawdust recently visited with Smith about his time at SFA and his career as an artist.

Winter 2010


Q: What is your favorite memory of SFA? A: My favorite memories of SFA are simple things, like hanging out with friends between classes on “the wall” in front of the library, hiking the trails and creeks on and around campus, the Steps ceremony after rush week, drawing artwork for T-shirts at Tattoo Productions with my buddy Jimmy Crow, the way campus smelled when winter was coming on. Living in Southern California, I really miss things like campfires and leaves changing colors. Palm trees don’t really change colors, ya know?

Q: What did you do for The Pine Log? A: I did a cartoon strip for The Pine Log my freshman year and a bit of my sophomore year called “Lost in ’Doches.” I also did political cartoons (or at least my idea of political cartoons) about stuff going down in Nacogdoches.

Q: Anyone in particular at SFA instrumental in your success? A: John Daniel taught a class that was called “Expressionism,” if I remember correctly. Peter Liesheski Andrew and Gary Frields were


both instrumental to me as an art student. They really helped me focus and think outside the box as a young artist.

Q: How did you start acting? A: I started acting my senior year. I had one more three-hour credit I needed to take, and I chose acting over ceramics. Acting was a 50-minute class, and ceramics was a three-hour lab. Being a senior, I wanted to enjoy the extracurricular things about campus life as much as possible before graduating and heading back to Houston. I ended up really digging the craft of acting because it was new and a challenge to me. I did a play my last semester called Am I Blue. A majority of my buddies went to see it simply to heckle me.

Q: You also write travel books? A: The Brady Chronicles are a series of illustrated travel journals that I started doing by accident. I had never kept a journal before, and when I backpacked across Europe after college I started keeping one. It ended up being a daily documentation of six months of travel. Now every trip I go on, I bring a sketch pad. Great white shark diving in the Guadalupe Islands, running from bulls in

Pamplona, Spain, working as a ranch hand in Montana, dog-sledding 150 miles across the Arctic Circle, surfing in Costa Rica and climbing Machu Picchu in Peru are just a few. I have illustrated over 30 trips. I’ve done over half a dozen shark dives, and they’re my favorite by far.

Q: What professional work are you most proud of to date? A: The professional work I’m most proud of to date is a two-hour movie for NBC called The Jensen Project. Now, granted it’s not the best film ever made, but it was my first lead in a movie. I’ve done over 40 guest appearances on episodic TV for everything from The Mentalist to Castle to ER to CSI: Miami to Las Vegas, but those jobs were alBrady Smith ways just a few ’94 and Tiffani wife, Thiess en days’ work. The Jensen Project was five weeks of 15-hour days filming on location. I had a blast.

Q: How do your talents inform each other? A: I feel like art, writing and acting all inform each other because they’re all a form of creativity. It’s all coming from the same place. I don’t know really how to explain it.

Photos courtesy of Brady Smith


"I really miss things like campfires and leaves changing colors. Palm trees don't really change colors, ya know?"

sequel to her film 2 Days In Paris. It’s another small role, but my scene is with Chris Rock. I’m looking forward to it.

N e w Yo r k City while she worked on her show, White Collar, and I loved being there, too. And Montreal–I was there earlier this year working, and it’s a fantastic city.

Q: What’s next?

Q: Favorite place you’ve lived so far and why? A: I don’t know if I have an actual favorite place I’ve lived. I try to find things I like about wherever I am. I dig Los Angeles for the weather and the close proximity to the ocean. Southern California has easy access to mountains, islands and anything an outdoor person desires. My wife and I just spent three months in Winter 2010

A: The next thing I’m doing is two movies that are shooting in New York City. The first is called Young Adult written by Diablo Cody, directed by Jason Reitman and starring Charlize Theron. I have a small role, but it’s a huge film. And my scene is with Charlize. I auditioned for the lead, which was ultimately offered to an established star (that’s the way it works, folks), but Reitman remembered me and offered me the role I’m going to do. It was a pretty cool phone call to get. The second film is 2 Days In New York written and directed by the French actress Julie Delpy. It’s a

Q: How has being a father changed your perspective on life? A: My perspective on life has changed in every way possible. My mind just works differently. Everything revolves around my child. It’s hard to describe. I just don’t have enough time to think about me anymore. Maybe that will change when she’s a little older and my wife and I are getting some sleep. . . nah, I’m kidding myself. I’ll just say this: My heart has multiplied by a thousand since she’s been born, and it’s the best feeling in the world when she smiles.


THE SECOND-OLDEST FOOTBALL rivalry in the state of Texas traveled to Houston this fall for the annual grudge match between the SFA Lumberjacks and the Sam Houston State University Bearkats. The game was played Oct. 23 before a crowd of almost 25,000 fans in Reliant Stadium, home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. SFA hosted an elaborate tailgate party to feed and entertain the fans before the big game. The Lumberjacks were victorious, beating the Bearkats 31-28 in an exciting game that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle. The SFA-Sam Houston game will return to Reliant Stadium for at least the next three seasons. âœŻ



Upcoming Events


Big Dip Ceremony

11 SFA Gala


Senior Send-Off Party

18 SFA Commencement


Nacogdoches Chapter Networking Lunch at Chili’s

24 University closes for holidays

Find chapter events online at www.sfaalumni.com

JANUARY 12 Men’s Basketball: SFA vs. Central Arkansas

17 Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday for faculty and students

13 Nacogdoches Chapter Networking Lunch at Dickey’s Barbecue

19 Spring classes begin

26 Alumni Association Foundation meeting

28 Nacogdoches Chapter After Work Social Gathering at Nine Flags Bar & Patio at Hotel Fredonia

Women’s Basketball: SFA vs. Sam Houston State University


Nacogdoches Chapter Networking Lunch at Union Café


Presentation of Mr. & Miss SFA at halftime of SFA vs. McNeese State basketball game


24 Scholarship Donor Appreciation Dinner

15 Austin Chapter Reception

25 Nacogdoches Chapter After Work Social Gathering at Flashback Café

16 SFA/Nacogdoches Reception in Austin

26 Showcase Saturday 16-17 SFA Days at the State Capitol


11 Alumni Association Board meeting

Men’s Basketball: SFA vs. Same Houston State University Nacogdoches Chapter Networking Lunch at The Barbecue House

8-12 Southland Conference Basketball Tournament in Katy 12 Spring holidays begin

22-23 SFA Ring Sales Event 26 Showcase Saturday 29 Nacogdoches Chapter After Work Social Gathering at Casa Tomás

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

Winter 2010


Siggins/Turell TKE Memorial Scholarship



The Siggins/Turell TKE Memorial Scholarship benefits an active member in good standing of the Nu-Xi Chapter of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity who most exemplifies the character and integrity of Mike Siggins and Jon Turell. Alumni of the Nu-Xi Chapter established and funded the scholarship through proceeds from the annual Siggins/Turell TKE Memorial Golf Tournament, which has been held for the past five years. Sgt. John Michael Siggins of Houston was born Oct. 2, 1979. He attended SFA in 1998 and 1999 and was a proud member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Siggins enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in June 1999 and proudly served his country for six years. Jonathan Alan Turell of Houston was born April 19, 1961. Turell attended SFA in the early 1980s and was a proud member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He served as a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Nu-Xi Chapter Alumni Board of Directors, and he became chairman of that board in the early 2000s. He had a deep love for the fraternity, his family and his friends.

F.R. “Sonny” Lewis Memorial Scholarship The F.R. “Sonny” Lewis Memorial Scholarship benefits qualified SFA students who have a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher and graduated from Cushing High School with financial need. Born in Henderson Aug. 11, 1930, he was the son of David Swann and Monnie Bell Ashby Lewis. While attending Cushing High School, he was proud to play on the school’s first football team. After graduating, Sonny served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He later went on to be successful in the highway construction business with his own companies, F.R. Lewis Construction and Pinto Construction Company.

The Agriculture Chapter Scholarship The Agriculture Chapter Scholarship benefits SFA agriculture majors with a grade-point average of 2.5 or higher. First preference is given to students from a dairy family background and children of SFA agriculture graduates. The endowment was started by Texas agriculture science teachers who met annually at the Texas Ag Science Teachers Conference. The group wanted to give back to students majoring in agriculture at SFA, especially those students who are children of ag science teachers. They started by collecting annual dues, which went toward the endowment. After several years of collecting dues, they added to the annual giving by having a silent auction each year at the conference. The auction allowed the chapter to build the endowment more quickly and reach the level where scholarships could be awarded.

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 2010 chapter award winners honored at Lumberjack Bash EACH YEAR AT Lumberjack Bash during Homecoming weekend, the SFA Alumni Association recognizes the significant contributions to alumni, students and friends of SFA made by chapters and chapter leaders during the past year. The award for 2010 SFA Alumni Chapter of the Year was given to the Dallas Chapter. This chapter continually works hard to saturate the Dallas area with fun activities and events. This past year, they have done an outstanding job hosting networking lunches, happy hours and multiple SFA gatherings at local sporting events. The Dallas Chapter also has worked hard to have a presence in the social networking world and has seen many become a part of these groups, which leads to future participation. Chuck Tomberlain ’84, president of the SFA Alumni As The 2010 Outstanding Chapter sociation Board of Directors, presents the award for SFA Leader Award was given to LaCresha Alumni Chapter of the Year to the Dallas Chapter. AcceptLamb ’03 and Amanda Williams ’05 of ing the award is Phillip Scherrer ’99. the Houston Chapter. Lamb and Williams have put in a lot of time communicating with Houston alumni through e-mail, social events and social networks. They are constantly sending updates of events happening on SFA’s campus, as well as events that are hosted in the Houston area. Both chapter leaders are outstanding advocates for the Alumni Chapter program. The constant dedication to the success of the Houston chapter is of upmost importance to them, and their hard work is evident at their chapter events. The Chapter Fundraiser of the Year Award was given to the Agriculture Chapter for its efforts to endow a new scholarship. ✯

LaCresha Lamb ’03 and Amanda Williams ’05 of the Houston Chapter accept the Outstanding Chapter Leader Award.

Winter 2010

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




“I loved sports as a kid, but I didn’t have the God-given ability or size to be successful. Once I discovered that physical preparation could take me from the sideline to the playing field, I was sold.” – Anthony Falsone ’92

Winter 2010

By Amy Roquemore


“My passion lies

in helping people get all they can out of life.”

NTHONY FALSONE ’92 learned the value of strength training and conditioning as an undersized high school football player with average athletic ability. Hard work in the weight room and commitment to his training during the off-season gave him the edge he needed to be competitive on the playing field. Today, the certified strength and conditioning specialist uses his education and unique professional experience to help one of the world’s elite athletes achieve peak performance on the basketball court. As the personal strength and conditioning coach for Houston Rocket Yao Ming, Falsone is credited with the all-star center’s physical development and conditioning improvement since he entered the NBA in 2002. “My passion lies in helping people get all they can out of life,” he said. “I am very fortunate to have had people throughout my life teach me the importance of continuously working to improve – not only in sports and fitness, but also as a person – and I enjoy the opportunities my career has given me to provide the same type of encouragement to my clients.” Falsone was the head strength and conditioning coach for the Houston Rockets for 10 seasons before leaving the team to work solely with Yao in 2005. During his time with the Rockets, he also spent three seasons as the head strength and conditioning coach for the Houston Comets of the WNBA. Falsone worked with the Chinese Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in preparation for the summer games in Athens, Greece, in 2004. He directed training for Team China again in 2006 in preparation for the World Championships in Japan, and he assisted prior to the Beijing Olympics in 2008. He has written extensively on training, conditioning, nutrition and fitness and has been published in magazines such as Sports Illustrated, Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness.


Falsone began his career in Houston in the late 1980s working for industry pioneer Tim Hallmark, the long-time personal strength and conditioning coach for heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield. “Tim was the one who gave me a career to love, and I couldn’t have been mentored by anyone better than him,” Falsone said. “I had found my passion, but while working for Tim I realized if I was going to make a name for myself in the business, I needed to get a college degree.” He enrolled in freshman classes at SFA, chipping away at a Bachelor of Science in kinesiology while working part-time at local gyms. At that time, the kinesiology program was tailored for the vast majority of his classmates who were planning to enter the teaching and coaching field. However, Falsone’s intention always was to return to his work with professional athletes, so he was able to work Sawdust

with the faculty to design a non-teaching degree program to fit his individual needs. “My biggest influence at SFA was Dr. Carolyn Mitchell,” he recalled. “She always reinforced to me the value of education. Even years later when I started working on a master’s degree, I have to say it was her influence that pushed me in that direction.” After earning his SFA degree in 1992, Falsone returned to Houston and went to work for the Houstonian Club and, later, Southwest Sports Medicine, where his clientele included NBA great Hakeem Olajuwon. Working with professional athletes once again, he specialized in helping his clients overcome injuries and fine-tuned his core philosophy of balance to help them stay in top physical condition. Along the way, Falsone earned a master’s degree in fitness and human performance from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, studying under Dr. Eugene Coleman, long-time strength and conditioning coach of the Houston Astros. He first met Yao when the player was drafted by the Rockets in 2002. As the head strength and conditioning coach for the team, it fell to Falsone to design the conditioning and strength training strategy the 7-foot-6-inch player needed to play successfully in the NBA. “Yao got a lot stronger during that first season,” Falsone said. “It was a long process, but we were able to

build up his strength and lower his body fat. Big guys like him have a lot of problems with their feet, knees and legs. So we spent a lot of time working together to try and prevent those types of injuries.” Falsone left the Rockets in 2005 and now works solely for Yao. He no longer travels with the team, but meets with Yao up to three times a week at the Toyota Center in Houston. During the off-season, he trains with the player daily. Yao’s career-threatening foot injury in 2009 that required reconstructive surgery and a long, grueling rehabilitation process presented both athlete and trainer with the biggest challenge of their professional lives. The two have worked very closely ever since to get Yao ready for his return to the court earlier this season. “I love Yao, and I will do this as long as he needs me,” Falsone said. “But I also have a passion for helping ordinary people. I worry a lot about the obesity problem we have with our kids these days, and I hope to one day be able to do more outreach in that area. “I feel very blessed to be making a living doing something I truly love.” ✯

below Anthony Falsone ’92 is pictured with NBA greats Yao Ming and Hakeem Olajuwon at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Houston Rockets photography courtesy of Bill Baptist

Winter 2010


Class Notes 1950

Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 of Henderson is executive CRAWFORD director for the United Way of Rusk County.


Glenn McCathern ’67 of Amarillo retired as associate pastor of education and administration position at Coulter Road Baptist Church. Peter (Pete) Peltier ’69 of Houston retired from Peltier Brothers Construction Company. Scott Rhame ’69 of Arp received the 2010 Texas RHAME Outstanding Director and Program Award from the American School Band Directors Association.


Kenneth Beamesderfer ’72 & ’78 of Hemphill is a retired educator. Earl Beets ’73 of Eustace is postmaster in Eustace. Debra Hill ’73 of Friendswood is the coordinator for secondary science at Cy-Fair ISD. Wayne Mason ’73, ’76 & ’99 of Woden is an administrator at Excelsior ISD. Horace D. Stearman ’73 & ’87 of Grand Prairie is associate provost for institutional effectiveness at the University of North Texas at Dallas. Robert Carr ’74 of Lufkin is a world history teacher and athletic coach at Ganado ISD.


Terri Silver Morgan ’75 of Eagle Lake is

Dr. Nancy Dickey ’72 of College Station was selected for the 2010 Texas Women’s Hall of Fame by the Governor’s Commission for Women. She is president of the Texas A&M Health Science Center and vice chancellor for health affairs for the Texas A&M System. Dickey served as the first female president of the American Medical Association and holds five honorary doctoral degrees. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and the Society for Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine.


Charles Runnels ’48 of Pacific Palisades, Calif., is chancellor emeritus of Pepperdine University. He was honored Sept. 13 in a ceremony as the Waves’ athletics complex was dedicated as the “Charles B. Runnels Sports and Recreation Village.” Runnels was the 1987 recipient of the SFA Distinguished Alumnus Award. He joined Pepperdine University in 1967. After serving as vice chancellor from 1971 to 1984, he was named chancellor Jan. 1, 1985. In 2006, he assumed the role of chancellor emeritus.

senior associate attorney of Rapp & Krock, PC in Houston, specializing in civil litigation and employment law. Stacy Mills ’77 of Rowlett is principal of Elliott Elementary. Jana Lowman ’79 of Grand Prairie is the new principal at Monaco Elementary School.


Mike Parham ’80 of Fort Worth is co-owner PARHAM and president of Pepco Sales & Marketing. Parham was named the Supply House Times 2010 Rep of the Year. Dr. Paul Frank Lanier ’82 of Carrollton received the posthumous Distinguished Alumnus award for 2010 from Henderson ISD. Laraine Waughtal ’84 of Granbury is a United

Methodist pastor. She participated in a mission trip to Haiti and will be leading a team back to Haiti in 2011. Edwin ’85 and Kelly Lusk Pickle ’87 of Paris PICKLE recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with a week-long trip to New York City. The couple has two sons attending college, Connor, 21, and Cooper, 20. Gene Harrison ’87 works for the Wells Fargo HARRISON Private Bank in Reno, Nev., as a senior investment manager. Cynthia Lemke ’87 of Porter teaches journalism and serves as sponsor of the yearbook and newspaper at Porter High School.


Wayne Callaway ’89 of Farmersville is the principal at Farmersville High School. Donna Savage ’89 of Queen City is the director of curriculum and instruction for the Mexia ISD.


Wayne and Katherine Beeson Wauters ’91 of WAUTERS Houston announce the May 19, 2009, birth of Jacob Ryan. Martha Hernandez ’93 of Diboll was appointed to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct. Gioconda and Cory Sanders ’93 of Leander announce the Nov. 25, 2008, birth of daughter Fabianna Frances. Salvatore and Amy Michaud Calabrese ’94 of Philadelphia, Pa., announce the Oct. 3 birth of daughter Sofia Elisabetta. Dr. Amy Schochler ’94 of Orofino, Idaho, joined the medical staff at Memorial Health System of East Texas. Dr. William Lee Powell Jr. ’95 & ’98 of Seguin is an assistant professor of physics at Texas Lutheran University. His wife Julie Goree Powell ’00 is a middle school science teacher.

Winter 2010

Lakeisha Sanders ’95 graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a master’s degree in educational leadership. Malcolm Marshall ’96 of Garland is the lead chaplain MARSHALL for the Houston Rockets. Jason Chiappardi ’97 of Austin and Heidi Rieger O’Neil ’98 of Dallas were married May 29. Ryan Slott ’97 & ’10 of Nederland has been named recreation manager for the City of Beaumont. Jason Wright ’97 of Tyler was elected to the WRIGHT Tyler City Council. Artie and Laura Hoffman Rypple ’98 of Red Oak RYPPLE announce the July 1 birth of daughter Vivian Jane. Laura is a Pre-K teacher at Ennis ISD. Sereniah Breland ’99 of Houston is the city administrator for Goliad. Keith Brooks ’99, ’03 & ’05 of Stafford is a principal at Sealy ISD.

Betty Ford and Bob Sitton ’60 (right), executive director emeritus of the SFA Alumni Association, are pictured with Grady Scott Irwin ’32, who turned 100 in September. Older than sliced bread? That is a fact for Grady Scott Irwin ’32. Born to John and Emma Irwin in Reklaw, Texas, Grady rang in a century Sept. 24. Irwin, affectionately known as “Pop,” is one of 11 children. He worked on the family farm in Reklaw until he finished high school in Jacksonville and his first two college years at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville. He graduated in 1932 from Stephen F. Austin College with a degree in chemistry/biology. He also was a member of the Sawyers organization. While attending SFA, he met and later married Addie Mae Chambers, his wife of 66 years. The couple has an SFA Alumni Association scholarship endowed in their names. They moved to Port Arthur where Irwin worked for Gulf Oil Refinery for 31 years. The couple raised three girls: Emmeline Dodd of Clear Lake, Annette Feemster of Montgomery and Betty Weeks of Ivanhoe. Upon retiring from Gulf in 1972, they returned to Reklaw where he managed a farm and homestead. The Irwins always enjoyed Tyler County and shared a love of fishing at Lake Amanda in Colmesneil. They were one of the first homeowners in Haralson Estates in 1959. Irwin moved to Tyler County shortly after his wife’s death in 2002. He always passionately tended a garden and still grows a few plants today. He remains an avid fisherman and tinkers with repairs, inventions and crossword puzzles. He corresponds with family and friends through e-mail every day. When asked the secret for such a long life, Irwin replied, “I was an unhealthy baby, so my mother gave me buttermilk to strengthen me–much to my chagrin. I wanted the sweet milk that my brothers and sisters had. I think that buttermilk gave me a healthy start in life.”  To family and friends, “Pop” is one of the greatest things since sliced bread–even if he was around before it was invented. Submitted by Emmeline Dodd ’61 & ’65


Jimmy Thompson ’99 of Ganado is athletic director at Ganado ISD.


Jessica Mills ’03 of Sherman Oaks, Calif., is the writer and producer of Awkward Embraces.

Krystal R. Lucero ’05 of Austin joined Austin LUCERO Community College as a construction and remodeling project coordinator. Casey Dawson Page ’05 and Sarah Nicole Wood ’07 were mar-

Angela and Patrick J. Riley ’03 announce the Aug. RILEY 23 birth of Patrick J. Riley Jr.

ried Aug. 21.

Matt and Lindsey Wright Ewers ’04 of Houston announce the June 20 birth of daughter Adley Elisabeth.

Chad ’98 and Emily Smith ’06 of Houston announce the April 12 birth of sons Parker and Peyton.

Hardy Meredith ’04 of Navasota is employed as a direcMEREDITH tor and producer for KBTX-TV in Bryan.

Brian and April West ’06 of Forney announce the Aug. WEST 2 birth of son Brian Steven West Jr.


Carissa Camarillo ’07 of Tomball and Daniel ImIMRECKE recke ’07 of Coppell were married March 14. Erica Casillas ’08 of Katy is an academic adviser 1 for the Master of Science in Accountancy program in the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.


Malina Meng ’10 of Ganado is a teacher and coach at Ganado ISD. Brandi Ramdohr ’10 of Ganado is assistant band director and music teacher at Ganado ISD. Angela Thomas ’10 of Tyler is the public relations officer for Henderson ISD.

Dr. Paul L. Patrick ’76 of Arlington is doing contract evaluations with the Social Security and Workman’s Comp Administrations. He also is an anatomy and physiology instructor at Arlington Medical Institute. He has practiced general medicine for 15 years in the Arlington area. In addition, he is a former microbiology instructor at Navarro College in Waxahachie, Texas. His professional memberships include The American Osteopathic Association and Texas Society of the American Academy of Osteopathic Family Physicians. He graduated from SFA in 1976 with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He was a member of Beta Beta Beta. He received his doctorate in osteopathic medicine from the University of North Texas Health Science Center.

LIFE MEMBERS The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. We appreciate your support. 7617. Kerry M. Lacy ’92 BAAS AAS, Watauga 7618. Dorothy LeGail Patterson ’93 BAAS APAS, Nacogdoches 7619. Chassity R. Durham-Sukiennik ’03 BSAG/’05 MS AGEN, Flint 7620. James A. Raper ’84 BBA GBUS, Cedar Park 7621. Jean M. Raper ’84 BA ENGL, Cedar Park 7622. Brandon L. Fox ’05 BS KINE/’08 MED SCED, Nacogdoches 7623. Christy L. Fox’08 MED SCED, Nacogdoches 7624. Matthew W. Toney, Conway, Ark. 7625. Cody W. Derouen ’09 BBA GBUS, Nacogdoches 7626. Amy F. Minter ’09 BS KINE, Nacogdoches 7627. Samantha L. Mora ’08 BS HADM, Nacogdoches 7628. Chad E. Benoit ’01 BBA MKTG, Beaumont 7629. Kelli C. Benoit ’00 BA SPCM, Beaumont 7631. Dwayne J. Young ’08 BS EVSC, Frisco 7632. Malerie J. Dlabaj-Young ’08 BSIS INST, Frisco 7633. Megan L. Conner ’04 BSW SWRK, Houston



In Memoriam Gregory Scott Allen ’89 of Longview, Aug. 26. Robert Birch ’63 of Huntsville, Sept. 20. Joy Brown ’90 of Mansfield, Sept. 29. Donald William Warner ’75 of Alexandria, Va., Aug. 12. John C. Crank ’71 of Dallas, Aug. 6. James Crews Sims ’43 of Tulsa, Okla., Aug. 20. Edgar Dorsett ’57 of The Woodlands, June 2. Albert H. Evans ’55 of Good Springs, Aug. 31. Dr. Ronald Keith Frazier ’79 of Tyler, Aug. 25. Santiago Garcia ’63 of Orange, Sept. 14. Jim Harvey ’71 of Houston, March 29. Mitch Liles of Garland, July 2. Johnny M. Matthews ’62 of Midway, Sept. 1. Ronald Moore ’67 of Gladewater, Oct 8. Samuel Charles Mozingo ’95 of Lawrence, Sept. 10. Dorthy Patterson ’45 of Lufkin, Aug. 10. Vera Hanks Rodrigues ’50 of Nacogdoches, Oct. 7. Loyce Samford of Nacogdoches, Aug. 22. Robert Shindler ’58 of Fredericksburg, Oct. 2. James C. Sims ’43 of Tulsa, Okla., Aug. 20. Thomas L. Sims ’91 of Houston, Sept. 8. Raymond Vowell III ’77 of Denton, Oct. 1. Shirley W. Walker ’71 of Conroe, Sept. 19. Mayme Watson ’37 of Timpson, Sept 22. James H. Whitton ’51 & ’54 of Pineland, Sept. 26.

Winter 2010

Dr. Robert Aaron Smith ’62 died Sept. 29 in Nacogdoches. He was born May 28, 1940, in Troup. Smith attended SFA on a football scholarship. He lettered in football and was the team’s captain. Additionally, he was the senior class president, Mr. SFA, and a member of the Sawyers and the Biology Honor Society. Smith also was as a member of the SFA Rodeo Club. After earning a Bachelor of Science in biology, he attended Baylor College of Dentistry and graduated in 1966 as the Psi Omega Outstanding Senior. Returning to Nacogdoches, he distinguished himself as an accomplished dentist and surgeon specializing in implantology. Smith was a founding member and stockholder of Nacogdoches Medical Center and served as a board member for several decades. He and his wife, Vida Smith, also helped found Nacogdoches Telecommunications Inc. A life member of the SFA Alumni Association, Smith was involved for more than 30 years with the association and the Alumni Foundation, serving two terms as president of the Alumni Association and as a board member for the SFASU Foundation. In 1979, Smith was elected into the SFA Athletic Hall of Fame for his accomplishments on the football field. In 2003, he received the SFA Distinguished Alumnus Award. A 32nd-degree Mason and Shriner, Robert was a lifetime member of Milam Lodge No. 2 in Nacogdoches. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church and Nacogdoches Rotary Club. Memorials may be made to The Robert A. and Vida Smith Athletic Scholarship endowed through the SFA Alumni Association. Dr. Billy Jim ‘Doc’ Blankenship ’53 & ’54, a retired captain in the Medical Corps of the U.S. Navy, died Oct. 22. Blankenship was the 2009 recipient of the SFA Distinguished Alumnus Award. Blankenship was born in Longview on Feb. 13, 1928, and raised in Mineola. He was a fifth-generation Texan who had an illustrious career as a military officer, doctor, dentist, pilot, professor and entrepreneur. He earned two degrees from SFA, a Bachelor of Science in 1953 and a Master of Education in 1954. He also earned a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Texas Dental Branch in Houston in 1958 and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1963. Blankenship’s military career included service in the Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. During his career, he logged miles in 90 foreign countries and all 50 states. He received 55 military decorations and a certificate of appreciation from the U.S. State Department for his service. From 1957 to 1988, he served as a physician and dentist for the Navy, Air Force and Marines. Blankenship worked as a professor of surgery and pharmacology for the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, and he was the medical director of hyperbaric medicine at Spohn Memorial Hospital and Spohn Shoreline Hospital in Corpus Christi. Blankenship also served as director of the Dental Department at Del Mar College in Corpus Christi.


Scorecard 2008-2010 Statistics at-a-glance

about select SFA Alumni Association programs and services DATA FY10 FY09 FY08 Living Graduates 92,476 90,483 88,190 Addressable Graduates 79,998 77,986 75,007 Percent Addressable 86.51% 86.19% 85.05% Alumni E-mail Addressess 32,022 22,944 18,462 Percent with E-mail 34.63% 25.36% 20.93% ENGAGEMENT FY 10 FY 09 FY 08 Affiliated Chapters 23 22 21 Regional Chapters 15 14 13 Special-Interest Chapters 8 6 6 Number Events & Activities 100 90 65 Chapter Events 49 41 31 Total Attendance 32,000 26,000 20,000 Chapter Event Attendance 1,499 1,194 912 SFA Official Ring Participants 426 349 342 Full Time Staff 8 8 7 MEMBERSHIP FY 10 FY 09 FY 08 Membership Total 7,626 7,452 6,973 Penetration 9.53% 9.56% 9.30% Member Recruitment/Retention • Renewed Annual 287 227 110 • Retention Rate 39.05% 51.95% 30.55% • New Annual Members 453 508 250 • New Life Members 42 103 38 By Category • Annual 740 735 437 • Life 6,644 6,629 6,529 • TAG 242 88 7 ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIPS FY 10 FY 09 FY 08 Scholarship Dollars Awarded $515,801 $674,656 $672,290 Students on Alumni Scholarships 561 633 595 Total Endowed Scholarships 480 473 466 Newly Endowed Scholarships 7 7 7 COMMUNICATIONS FY 10 FY 09 FY 08 E-mail Newsletter Circulation 104,398 13,437 N/A SFAAA Website Community 2,158 1,288 N/A SFAAA Facebook Members 3,370 2,213 N/A SFAAA Twitter Followers 419 103 N/A SFAAA LinkedIn Group Members 2,075 515 N/A Sawdust • Circulation 112,000 81,000 73,000 • Average Page Count per issue 38 34 34 FUNDRAISING FY 10 FY 09 FY 08 Membership Revenue $72,728 $78,016 $48,186 General Revenue $49,839 $45,087 $35,955 Affinity Revenue $123,831 $114,160 $372,358 Event/Sponsorship Revenue $20,716 $19,825 $11,958 Scholarship Revenue $830,196 $734,636 $462,063 Total Revenue $1,097,310 $991,724 $930,520



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

We Back the Jacks! As alumni, we are committed to supporting SFA and its students. So much so that a portion of all sales are re-invested into university programs and scholarships. We are particularly proud of the scholarship part!

Stephen ‘12

Shop online 24/7 at www.jackbackers.com and support the next generation of SFA alumni.

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


SFA’s Only Alumni Owned Bookstore 2301 North Street • www.jackbackers.com • 936-462-7328

Winter 2010

www.sfaalumni.com 37

See these SFA Exes for your banking needs

Nacogdoches • Garrison • Tyler • Marshall

These days, having the right financial expertise in your corner is essential. Help from a one-on-one relationship with an advocate who knows you and knows where you want to go. And help from tailor-made advice for this new financial landscape from two of the leading financial companies in the world. A Merrill Lynch Financial Advisor, now with access to the resources of Bank of America, can help you plan, imagine, diversify, rebalance and believe. Learn more at ml.com/help2.

help2achieve REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters

Investing involves risk. Diversification and rebalancing do not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. Merrill Lynch Wealth Management makes available products and services offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S) and other subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. MLPF&S is a registered broker-dealer and member SIPC. Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A. and affiliated banks. Member FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation. Investment products: Are Not FDIC Insured Are Not Bank Guaranteed May Lose Value © 2010 Bank of America Corporation. All rights reserved.


REAL is an international literary magazine dedicated to publishing the best contemporary fiction, poetry and nonfiction. The acclaimed journal is housed in the Department of English within SFA’s College of Liberal and Applied Arts. For more information: Website: http://real.sfasu.edu E-mail: reallitmag@gmail.com Sawdust

Winter 2010


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 40


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

Winter 2010


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Profile for SFA Alumni Association

Sawdust Winter 2010  

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

Sawdust Winter 2010  

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


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