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Tom Alex ’78 archaeologist Big Bend National Park

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Hardy’s Pic

SFA students converge at a recent homecoming bonfire on the Intramural Field. This year’s bonfire will be held Friday, Oct. 29, the night before the homecoming football game against Texas State University.

“The homecoming bonfire has always been one of my favorite SFA traditions, and every fall I look forward to being there with the students and trying to capture the spirit of that moment in a unique way.” – University Photographer Hardy Meredith


Fall 2010 • Volume 37, No. 3 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 Lunker Jacks

Bass team making a splash in collegiate fishing

12 Mining for Education

East Texas teachers brush up on energy and the environment

14 Home Field Advantage SFA soccer player celebrates World Cup in native South Africa

24 Taking the Long View Alumnus preserves history and culture of national park

12 CAMPUS NEWS 2 4 9 10 17 21

SFA Scene Shop President’s Message Investment Roundtable REAL Literary Magazine Vista Viewpoint International Students

ALUMNI NEWS 8 2 29 32 36 37 38 41 48

From the Association Lumberjacks Give Back Homecoming 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.


Campus News

Set rendering from Beauty and the Beast courtesy of Dana Gloege, assistant professor of theatre


Behind the Scenes By Sylvia Bierschenk

FOR MORE THAN 40 years, pink neon SFA letters beneath a circled pine bough beckoned countless university students to a two-level, 700seat movie theater located just two blocks north of campus. Owned and operated by SFA alumnus and Lumberjack Basketball All-conference Player William Marshall Matteson ’40, the SFA Theater opened on July 20, 1950, and closed in the early ’90s when Matteson’s widow put the building up for sale. Shortly thereafter, in an ironic twist of fate (or foresight), the SFA movie theater became part of the SFA theatre program. When the university purchased the building in 1995, the original plan was to convert the building to a new performance venue for the then Department of Theatre, explained Dr. Richard Berry, SFA provost and vice president for academic affairs. “But due to size limitations, the decision was made to use the space, instead, for theatre’s long-needed scene shop.” For a number of years, only minor modifications were made to the building, but a recent allocation of approximately $700,000 has been

used to create what SFA’s technical director Mark Porter calls “one of the best university scene shops in the state for a school of this size.” In actuality, there are now five separate shops within the building. The area to the north of the original lobby is now home to a craft shop, and the area to the south of the lobby, where Matteson had his shoe shop from 1972 until his death in 1990, now houses a props fabrication shop. The once-sloped main floor seating area with its high ceiling serves as the principal scene shop. Scenic construction begins at a cutting area at the far wall where the movie screen was once secured, moves to a fabrication area with multiple work tables in the middle of the room and ends with an assembly area near the stairs that lead to the second floor. From there, the 8- to 14-foot set pieces can be lifted to the upper level’s 1,400-square-foot paint shop. The far northwest corner houses a spray booth, complete with an exhaust system and explosion-proof lights. The 5,000-square-foot facility also includes new heating and airconditioning systems, a loading dock, state-of-the-art safety fixtures and

dust evacuation system, and emergency eye wash stations. Outside, a welding shop and 18-by-30-foot storage building have been added. “Combined with the extraordinary number of theatre design and technology opportunities our many productions offer for our students, this state-of-theart facility makes SFA one of the best places in the state to learn these fields,” said Dr. Scott Shattuck, director of the School of Theatre. Even though the smells of paint and freshly cut wood have replaced the aroma of buttered popcorn, and the whirring of power tools is now heard in place of a movie sound track, the neon tubes still light up SFA, and the Nacogdoches landmark lives on. ✯ Sawdust

SFA names two new deans By Robin Johnson

The old SFA theater on North Street has found new life as a scene shop for the university’s School of Theatre.

Fall 2010

SFA HAS FILLED two dean positions: Dr. Danny R. Arnold will lead the Nelson Rusche College of Business, and Dr. Judy A. Abbott will head the James I. Perkins College of Education. Arnold earned his doctorate in 1976 from ARNOLD Louisiana Tech University, as well as his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1969 and 1973. “I realized during junior or senior year of college I was being pulled towards education because I would find myself sitting in class trying to think of better ways to explain the topic at hand,” Arnold said. “I also knew that I wanted to do something that was important to society.” Arnold worked as an assistant professor at SFA from 1976 to 1979. He served as dean at New Mexico State University from 1994 until 2003 when he was named dean at Frostburg State University. He has served as dean of Missouri State University’s College of Business since March 2009. Abbott earned her doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1996. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Oklahoma in 1977 and 1983. Abbott was promoted to associate professor in 2001 and named assistant dean of the College of Human Resources and Education at West Virginia University in 2006. Abbott also served as director of the Office of Teacher Education at WVU from 2006 to 2009. “The James I. PerABBOTT kins College of Education is similar to the college in which I’ve been working during the past 15 years, making my step into the deanship a reasonable stretch of my knowledge and skills,” Abbott said. “I feel that I can contribute to helping the college grow and become more successful.” ✯


President’s Message


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

F YOU ARE searching for something to read that will lift your spirits, the stories in this issue of Sawdust are just what you need. While we are proud of each SFA graduate who leaves our university and builds a successful career, the stories of Lumberjacks working to help others are particularly heartwarming. You’ll find several such stories in this issue, and we hope what you read will inspire you and possibly motivate you to assist in these efforts. You may even be inspired to create a philanthropic legacy of your own. It was a spirit of philanthropy that led the Temple family to support forestry at SFA. While the goals included providing scholarships for SFA students and attracting top-notch faculty members, another goal was even more far-reaching. The Temple endowment has produced research findings that are currently being utilized in conservation efforts nationwide and that will benefit mankind for years to come. While some other universities are downsizing their forestry departments, SFA is continuing to positively impact southern and national resource management issues. The upcoming SFA football season promises to hold much excitement for Lumberjack fans. On Sept. 4 the Southland Conference Championship team will take on Texas A&M in College Station, and on Oct. 23 the Lumberjacks will face conference rival Sam Houston State University in the firstever Battle of the Piney Woods to be held at Reliant Stadium in Houston. Our athletics teams experienced a banner year in 2009-2010. The Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks combined to win five Southland Conference championships — football, women’s indoor track and field, women’s basketball,

The Temple endowment has produced research findings that are currently being utilized in conservation efforts nationwide and that will benefit mankind for years to come. softball, and women’s outdoor track and field, and finished near the top in 16 other sports. SFA won the Southland Men’s All-Sports, Women’s All-Sports and Southland Commissioner’s Cup championships. It was the first time in school history that we have won the Commissioner’s Cup, and only the second time in conference history that any school has swept all three trophies. I hope you will plan to join me in congratulating the Lumberjacks and cheering them on this season. 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 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

LUNKER JACKS Making a splash in collegiate fishing By Kayli Steger


n his newly wrapped bass fishing boat emblazoned with big-name sponsors,


SFA Bass Club president Ryan Watkins and fellow fisherman Eric Silva spin cast and crank bait their way across Lake Nacogdoches, searching for big-mouth bass.


WHEN THEY AREN’T hitting the books, SFA Bass Club members are hitting the lake, honing their angling skills in hopes of competing for big grand prizes and national bragging rights in the world of collegiate fishing. With a handful of national and regional championships and a current top-10 national ranking, the SFA Bass Club has built an awardwinning program that has captured the attention of national media and sponsors. Although the club has been in existence for more than 15 years, recent accomplishments in collegiate tournaments and invitationals have thrust the team of 25 into the national spotlight. About a dozen members actively compete and consistently rank in the top slots of collegiate bass tournaments, and the frequently televised events have SFA’s name buzzing on ESPN and Versus. Collegiate bass fishing is one of the fastest growing college sports in the nation, with more than 235 colleges and universities competing at the national level. With top prizes exceeding $10,000, the college anglers come to the lake equipped with determination, perseverance and, most of all, patience. The team of Watkins and Blaze Platt recently won the National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Division event on Toledo Bend,



FISHING IS IN MY BLOOD, IT’S WHAT I LOVE TO DO, and if I could make a career out of doing what I love, well, that would be a dream come true.


marking back-to-back FLW tournament wins for Watkins. “I think SFA has the best college bass fishing program in the

Eric Silva (left) and Ryan Watkins

country, and the school has been so supportive of us,” Watkins said. Watkins and Platt took home the $10,000 prize from the regional qualifier and will advance to the

Texas Division Regional Championship in October. The prizes won at the tournaments are reinvested into the bass club, while a portion goes to scholarships for the university. Although top prizes can help offset some of the costs of travel and tackle, the club actively seeks sponsorships to fund the tournaments and allow more anglers the opportunity to compete. Because of their love of the sport, club members spend countless hours and bear out-of-pocket costs to trailer a boat across the country for the thrill of the competition. Bass Club members compete in 15 to 20 tournaments a year in the ESPN, FLW and Boat U.S. circuits. With several nearby lakes, including Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, SFA is nestled in a prime area for big bass fishing, making it an ideal area to host invitationals and tournaments.


Watkins (right) receives the team's $10,000 prize for the 2010 Texas Division tournament.

of intramural sports. “They really love to fish and have such pride in their organization. They are unbe-

Photo courtesy of FLW Outdoors/David Brown

The club soon will have hometown advantage as it hosts the 2010 National Guard FLW College Fishing Texas Division Regional Championship at Sam Rayburn Oct. 2830. The top five teams from each of five qualifiers will compete for a Ranger 177TR boat wrapped in their school colors as well as a $25,000 cash prize. The nationally televised event falls on this year’s SFA Homecoming weekend, with the tournament’s final weigh-in to be held at the Ag Pond following the Lumberjack football game. A college fishing festival also will be held at Sam Ray-

Watkins holds a six-pound bass that helped secure the team’s 2009 Texas Division victory.

burn featuring games, contests, food and other activities. “The Bass Club is an example to all of our other sports clubs,” said Brian Mills, SFA assistant director

Fall 2010

lievable and work really hard to do what they love.” Due to the club’s recent successes, its popularity has grown and attracted the attention of incoming

students interested in following their passion for angling. According to Mills, at freshman orientation organization fairs, students and parents commonly inquire about getting involved with the club, saying, “Where’s the Bass Team? I’m here to fish.” Anglers of all experience levels are welcome to join the club to hone their skills. With increasing popularity of the sport and media attention on the club, Watkins expects the sport to explode in the next couple of years. “The SFA Bass Club has been a great opportunity for me to get my foot in the door in this profession, and we’ve been very fortunate to have a lot of media exposure and sponsorships come through for us,” Watkins said. A third-generation fisherman, Watkins comes from a family of saltwater tour guides on the Gulf Coast. SFA’s Bass Club was a major deciding factor in his college decision and, like other club members, Watkins hopes to make a career of his favorite pastime. “Fishing is in my blood. It’s what I love to do, and if I could make a career out of doing what I love, well, that would be a dream come true.” ✯


Arthur Temple (1920 – 2006) transformed his grandfather’s lumber company into the Temple-Inland wood products company. He was widely respected as one of the leading pioneers and founders of the Texas timber industry.

One to Grow On Dr. Chris Comer, assistant professor of forest wildlife management, uses radio telemetry equipment to study threatened Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bats, whose presence indicates a healthy bottomland hardwood forest.


Temple gift supports long-term research, conservation efforts By Shirley Luna MOST PHILANTHROPISTS HAVE one primary goal in mind: to create a legacy that will benefit mankind, both presently and for years to come. Arthur Temple achieved that goal through his support of the Forest Resources Institute at SFA. While some universities are downsizing their forestry departments and furloughing faculty, SFA is reaping the benefits of the significant, positive impacts the college

has had on southern and national forest resource management issues. Funding from the T.L.L. Temple Foundation created the institute at SFA in 1997, and the programs and initiatives created during its first five years of operation remain visible in departments throughout the college and across the campus. “This funding planted seeds that have grown into a great harvest,” said Dr. James Kroll, Rockwell Professor of Forestry at SFA. “For example, we wanted to produce a computer database system that would be beneficial to scientists from many different disciplines.” The system developed at the FRI is now a model for universities and research centers at the University of Texas at Austin, Texas Tech University, Lamar University, the University of Texas at El Paso and Texas A&M International University. “Not only does this system allow for our original purpose of forestry and wildlife conservation, but its other uses affect almost every aspect of daily life,” Kroll said. Because of the funding SFA received from the Temple Foundation, the Temple College of Forestry was able to create professorships and hire top-notch faculty members who were motivated to use their research as an educational tool to create hands-on learning environments for SFA students. Those faculty members came to SFA and began research that garnered funding from a variety of government and private-sector sources. The funding, in turn, was used to create state-of-the-art teaching

and research laboratories with technology that surpasses that which is found in almost any university or industrial facility in the United States. “One of the 21st-century requirements for any forest resources management professional is training and expertise in geospatial sciences,” said Dr. Steve Bullard, dean of the Temple College. “Only graduates with these abilities can compete in the modern job market, so the technology we have at SFA makes our graduates extremely attractive to employers. “This technology has allowed SFA to remain at the forefront in offering the most up-to-date educational programs, including one of the first wildlife geospatial programs in the country.” Research conducted by the Texas Intensive Silviculture Study and the Alto Experimental Watershed Study at SFA has led to SFA’s partnership with the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement. Similarly, other research conducted by SFA scientists and technologists supports agencies including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the U.S. Forest Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the National Guard. “The Temple legacy is more than just the name on the front of the forestry building on our campus – it is the technology and intelligence that is literally affecting the air that we breathe and the water we consume,” Kroll said. “In his gift to the SFA forestry program, Arthur Temple gave a gift to us all.” ✯


Bulls and Bears Roundtable gives business students real-world experience By Nicole Hall SFA BUSINESS MAJORS are gaining valuable investing experience in the Student Investment Roundtable, which recently returned to campus after a three-year hiatus. The Roundtable is a hands-on business course that gives students real-world experience, both in investing in the stock market and reporting to clients about monetary gains and losses. Ultimately, their goal is to invest the funds in a manner that outperforms the S&P 500. The class invests more than $100,000 from the Alumni Association and the SFA Foundation and reports to the organizations’ boards of directors to share the quarterly results. The Alumni Association uses the proceeds from the investments for scholarships and other expenses. The class meets once a week and is coordinated by Drs. Todd Brown and Emiliano Giudici, SFA assistant professors of finance. To be considered for the course, upperclassmen and graduate students must excel in finance prerequisites. Evaluating the students’ performance “provides an extra incentive for the students to care about their education,” Brown said. Additionally, they must undergo an application process that includes an essay and review by Brown and Giudici. Once accepted, students serve on the Roundtable for two consecutive semesters. They work as sector analysts during the first semester and as portfolio managers the second half of the term. “Students say they are more nervous about presenting in this class than in any other because they

are dealing with real money,” Brown said. “It is great for these concepts to be learned while students are still in school instead of waiting until they get in the real world to experience it. I can’t recreate that in a traditional classroom.” Beginning this fall, the Roundtable will have access to a Bloomberg Terminal donated by Mike Hopkins ’70 of Hopkins Commercial Real Estate in Dallas. The terminal provides real-time data and analysis to help the students evaluate the stock market. It is the current industry standard data provider, and experience with it gives the Roundtable members an advantage when looking for a job. Geremy Anderson ’05 is a former member of the Roundtable. Six months after graduating from SFA, he was hired as a financial adviser to manage a multi-million dollar book of business and is currently employed by one of the top five national firms. “It was probably the most genuine experience in college that applied to the real world,” Anderson said. “The class really gave me scope and perspective, and you can’t get that from a book.” Kevin Reaves ’10, another Roundtable alumnus, said that the employers came to him when it was time to look for a job. “The Roundtable was that extra experience-based course that really made my résumé stand out,” Reaves said. “It’s a great confidence booster during the interview process knowing that you’ve already performed tasks that are going to be expected of you in the industry.”

Dr. Todd Brown, assistant professor of finance, is pictured in the Student Investment Roundtable room in the Nelson Rusche College of Business.

Not only does the class give participants a leg up in the professional world, it also helps recruit students for the Nelson Rusche College of Business. “You can’t just teach football; you have to go out and do it,” Brown said. “The same is true with the stock market. You have to use real money to learn.” The Roundtable’s portfolio can be viewed online at https://cobweb. ✯

The Student Investment Roundtable relies on donations to use the Bloomberg Terminal. If you would like to help, contact the SFA Office of Development at (936) 468-5406.

Fall 2010


The REAL Story

Literary magazine features budding authors By Sarah Cutler EACH YEAR, WRITERS from across the country and around the globe submit their work in hopes of being published in SFA’s acclaimed literary journal, REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters. Dr. Christine McDermott, assistant professor in the Department of English and editor-in-chief of REAL, receives 500 to 800 submissions per issue, including works of fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. The selection process is extensive and time-consuming, and it is not exclusive to well-known authors. “What you find with a lot of the established journals is that they are publishing established people,” said McDermott. “What I really am committed to is publishing work because it is of high quality, but there’s also a dedication on our part to publishing new people. I would say over half of our content is from new authors, and I’m really proud of that.” Being published in REAL seems to give many writers the boost they need to take their work to the next level. “A lot of people who have been in REAL have gone on to become significant writers,” said McDermott. “Roy Kesey was in the issue of The Best American Short


Stories that was chosen by Stephen King, and a couple of Jason Tandon’s poems were recently read on Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac.” Tandon, an award-winning poet and lecturer in writing at Boston University, has a deep respect for McDermott and her willingness to give new writers an opportunity to have their work published. “Having poems published early on, when I had few credits to my name, gave me confidence to keep sending work out,” he recalled. “I’ll always be grateful to Christine McDermott for supporting my work in the beginning and for her continued support five years later.” REAL not only gives blossoming writers a home for their work, but also provides valuable hands-on experience for SFA students who aspire to become successful writers and editors themselves. “SFA has the only Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing in the state of Texas,” said McDermott. “What has been great about that is we have a lot of undergrads who are extremely talented and very interested in working with REAL. Right now I have four undergraduate interns who work on a volunteer basis. They don’t get credit of any kind. They’re just volunteering out of the goodness of their hearts, and they are amazing.” The staff and interns of REAL work tirelessly yearround to produce 250 copies each spring and fall, and undergraduate interns play a major role in the production of the journal. By reading and logging in submissions for the journal, they gain valuable insight into the publishing world while also finding inspiration to pursue their own creative writing aspirations. “Thanks to REAL, I now know what goes on behind the scenes, and that insight helps me in my own publishing endeavors, “ said M. Brett Gaffney, a senior English major and creative writing minor who interns for the journal. “This experience has definitely taught me how to juggle creativity with professionalism, and in the duality I have found a great deal of confidence in myself.” For Tyler Heath, a junior creative writing major and literature minor, interning for REAL has given him the courage to send his own work out into the world. “I get a chance to read pieces of writing from across the country, sometimes around the globe,” he said. “After reading so many submissions, you have to ask yourself, ‘What do these writers have to lose?’ They are taking chances. I should, too.” The simple fact that SFA has a literary journal does not distinguish SFA from other universities. However, the hands-on experience that students gain from REAL is a major draw to SFA’s creative writing program. “REAL is a huge recruitment tool for our program,” said McDermott. “Many universities have literary journals, but they are graduate-run, faculty-run or exclusively undergraduate-run. It’s very rare for undergraduates to be able to work on a national literary journal, so we’re giving them a unique opportunity at SFA.” ✯


The Actress

By Jason Tandon

Spectrometer expands SFA’s research capability By Robin Johnson

Walking home in a heavy drizzle after a game of darts, which I won with three consecutive bull’s-eyes, I passed behind the dinner theater where I heard a woman yell, I’m dying for love. She stood outside the stage door gripping the railing— I asked for her autograph. She wrote my name the date and in loops and scratches her name which I tried to make out the rest of the way holding it up to the occasional street light, and when I got inside my name the date and whoever she was were blue-grey smudges, like clouds threatening rain.

Originally published in REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, volume 31.2. For more information about Tandon, visit www.

Fall 2010

BEHIND DOOR 129 in SFA’s Math Building isn’t a classroom but rather a science research hub housing a newly purchased nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer. The 400 MHz spectrometer helps the university comply with the American Chemical Society’s guidelines for a chemistry department. The new instrument will enhance SFA’s overall research capacity and increase research productivity and funding opportunities. “The spec trometer is necessary for advanced study in spectroscopy and biochemistry,” said Dr. Anthony Duben, dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics. “Without the evidence that the spectrometer provides, the structure of many molecules in organic chemistry or biochemistry becomes mere guesswork.” A big advantage of the $300,000 instrument is that it is an interdisciplinary resource that yields readable data for not only chemistry analysis, but also for researchers within the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Duben said. Since 1995, NMR spectral analysis has been a critical tool for researchers at SFA’s National Center for Pharmaceutical Crops. To obtain high resolution NMR data, SFA researchers previously had to travel more than three hours to conduct analyses. “The distance, travel cost and frequent unavailability of NMR instruments limited research productivity and restricted student access,” said

Dr. Shiyou Li, research professor and director of SFA’s NCPC. “Availability of a modern, multi-nuclear, high resolution NMR will make the educational value for students of chemistry and biochemistry at SFA more attractive and competitive.” The NMR spectrometer is expected to impact the university’s future research in the fields of pharmaceutical crops, chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, environmental science and biology. ✯

Dr. Kefa Onchoke, assistant professor of chemistry, is pictured with SFA’s the new 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer.


East Texas teachers brush up on energy and the environment

By Amy Roquemore

OUTFITTED WITH YELLOW hardhats, safety glasses, ear plugs and reflective vests, the 20-person crew arrived at the front gate of Luminant Energy’s Martin Lake lignite mine near Carthage seeking answers. Though heavy June rains had slowed plant operations and muddy roads prevented a scheduled close-up view of the dragline, the resilient group was determined to learn all it could that day about the process of producing energy from coal. The inquisitive visitors peppered Luminant officials with questions throughout the tour and will take the answers along with their personal experiences back to their classrooms this fall. The field trip was one of the highlights of a two-week SFA workshop for East Texas teachers titled “Energy, Economics and the Environment.” Luminant contributed $28,000 to fund the workshop, which also included a visit to a nearby power plant. The annual training is designed for elementary and secondary science teachers to learn more about the power generation pro-


cess while emphasizing environmental stewardship and the importance of alternative energy sources. “Luminant strongly believes in the benefits of education and is proud to support programs that help teachers explain the important role of energy in our country even better to students,” said Dirk Hughes, director of Luminant’s employee focused continuing-education center, Luminant Academy. “Providing continuing education to our state’s educators is a powerful way of ensuring that knowledge is shared with our youth.” The workshop was led by Dr. Alan Sowards, professor of elementary education in SFA’s James I. Perkins College of Education. Many of the East Texas teachers who participated in the workshop are SFA alumni, including Kenna Patton ’95, a seventh-grade science teacher at Van Junior High School. She said she is looking forward to sharing what she learned at the workshop with her students in the coming school year. “We talk a lot in seventh grade Sawdust


East Texas teachers observe the dragline at Luminant Energy’s Martin Lake lignite mine near Carthage.

about renewable resources and protecting the environment, and this workshop has given me a lot of ideas for hands-on activities I can take back to my kids to help them better understand some of the subjects I’m teaching,” she said. The teachers participated in classes led by Luminant Academy instructors and received three hours of graduate credit upon completion of the workshop. Many in the group are pursuing post-graduate degrees at SFA. “The success of this workshop is due in large part to the interest and commitment of the talented educators who dedicate their time to learning more about energy and our environment,” said Robert Gentry, Luminant Academy curriculum manager. “The rest of the credit goes to our experienced employees who share their knowledge and time, ultimately making the workshop possible.” Deanna Greene, a chemistry teacher at Hallsville High School, said seeing first-hand how coal is mined and used to make energy for everyday comforts like lights and air conditioning helps her explain the concepts to her students.

Photos courtesy of Cody Derouen

Fall 2010

“Not only do we get to see how this all works for ourselves, but we are also learning ways to integrate these ideas into our lesson plans, and students are always interested in seeing how things work in the real world,” she said. As Texas’ largest power generator, Luminant is committed to improving the environment through cleaner, more efficient energy and consistent, measurable environmental stewardship. Teachers at the workshop were briefed on the company’s award-winning land reclamation and forest management programs, which also are of interest to researchers in SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. “SFA is fortunate to have corporate partners like Luminant, as such relationships are extremely beneficial to both parties,” said Sid Walker, vice president for development at SFA. “Corporate partners recruit our graduates, gain exposure through campus programs such as the energy workshop and have access to the most current research by our faculty and grad students.” ✯


By Brian Ross

SFA soccer player celebrates World Cup in native South Africa SOCCER HAS ALWAYS been a big part of South African Kylie Louw’s world. So, when FIFA, the governing body of international soccer, announced in 2004 that her home country would host the 2010 World Cup, Louw was understandably excited. She attended a large gathering to watch a live broadcast of the ceremony when FIFA president Sepp Blatter announced the decision. “The atmosphere at that was crazy,” Louw recalled this summer. “We all watched in suspense as we saw old Sepp pull South Africa out of the envelope. We went absolutely insane. I can tell you I have never hugged so many people in my life. I was jumping around like a mad person along with hundreds of other people. We were ecstatic.” Like any soccer fan, Louw was elated for the chance to watch the biggest tournament on the planet in her own homeland. For a country where apartheid rule limited chances for international competition in the past, a World



Cup bid was seen as a double bonus and a huge opportunity. “We knew it would unify us as a nation, which it certainly has,” Louw said. “Not only that, we knew it would portray Africa in a new light. It would connect us with the

rest of the world and change their perceptions of our country, and of course boost our economy. We as soccer players knew that it would promote soccer here and help with new development and bridge relationships with other countries.” She didn’t know it at the time, but soccer would eventually provide Louw with some big opportunities of her own. By 2004, she was already affiliated with the national team training program, which is how she gained an invitation to the FIFA announcement ceremony. During the next few years, Louw would continue to excel on the field, earning a spot on the under-20 national team in 2006. Three years later, she joined the women’s national squad — nicknamed “Banyana Banyana” (The Girls) — and currently serves as the team captain. In 2009, she parlayed her success with the national team into an opportunity to play collegiate soccer in the United States, accepting a scholarship offer to play at SFA.


Having completed one tour of duty with the Ladyjacks six years after the World Cup announcement, Louw is candid about which opportunity means the most to her. “The scholarship, definitely, because it was self-benefit, you know, like long-term,” she said. “The World Cup is just an experience and short-lived and doesn’t really benefit me in the long run. Perhaps it benefits the country but not me. Also, the fact that I’m physically playing and not just having to watch in the stands is a big part of it.” In her first season on campus, Louw did quite a bit more than watch. She immediately earned a starter’s role and finished the season as the team’s leader in scoring.

ence squad and the league’s Freshman of the Year award. “The game isn’t too different, although the system SFA played was different for me,” Louw said when contrasting collegiate play to international play. “I think my game has changed in that I’ve learned to keep possession at all costs. I have learned to make quicker decisions and not to panic too much with the ball. I am a lot more confident.” Louw is looking forward to an even better campaign in 2010 with a Ladyjack team that should be a contender for a Southland Conference championship. She continues to make strides in her career with the South African national team, as well. This spring, she took a week off

knew it (the world cup) “ we would portray Africa in a new light. “

Louw posted a team-best 21 points with six goals and a team-leading nine assists that stands second on the SFA single-season record list. She was rewarded with a spot on the First-Team All-Southland Confer-

Fall 2010

from school to rejoin her comrades for the Cyprus Cup, an annual invitational tournament. Louw also is a candidate for South Africa’s national player of the year award, which will be announced in November.

Louw is already making the most of the opportunities soccer has given her. In mid-June, she journeyed home for the first time since Christmas to see for herself if South Africa would make the most of its chance. At the time of the interview, she had already seen five games in person with the Ghana-Uruguay quarterfinal match still on the docket. Among the matches she witnessed were an exhibition between South Africa and Columbia at Soccer City — “a new stadium, which is absolutely breathtaking” — and South Africa’s 2-1 win over France in pool play — “the atmosphere was beyond describable.” “It’s been an absolutely huge success; there have been no problems whatsoever,” Louw said. “All our stadiums are in excellent condition. People are loving it. The ‘football fever’ as they call it is crazy.” Soccer has provided opportunities for South Africa, just like it has for Kylie Louw. They’ve both taken full advantage so far and have the prospect of bigger and better things on the horizon. ✯


SFA earns Commisioner’s Cup By Brian Ross

NEARLY EVERY CONTEST’S outcome can be traced back to a turning point, a moment when victory hangs in the balance, and a crucial play can decide the fate of an entire season. It takes a collection of these moments to put together a year like the one the SFA athletics department enjoyed in 2009-10. The Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks combined to win five Southland Conference championships — football, women’s indoor track and field, women’s basketball, softball, and women’s outdoor track and field. SFA took second in four other sports, and 12 of 14 sports finished in the league’s top four. The result was a dominant finish in the league’s all-sports competition. SFA won the Southland Men’s All-Sports, Women’s All-Sports and Southland Commissioner’s Cup championships. In the Commissioner’s Cup race, SFA totaled 158 points, the highest tally under the current scoring format. The ’Jacks also finished with a 29-point edge in the contest, giving SFA the largest margin of victory in league history.



“Winning the Commissioner’s Cup says several things about your program,” SFA Athletic Director Robert Hill said. “It says you’ve got good infrastructure, good coaches, good support staff and good backing from the university administration. Most of all, it says you’ve got the best student-athletes in the conference and that they came through for their team and their school when it mattered.” One such moment came during a big play in a mid-season Lumberjack football game. With SFA up 16-13, and No. 7 McNeese State driving in Lumberjack territory in the final minute, Kenneth Charles stripped the ball from the Cowboy quarterback, and SFA’s Derrick Choice smothered it to preserve the win. The ’Jacks went on to win five of their last six games and tie McNeese for the Southland title, the program’s first in 10 years. Some last-second heroism in a crucial Ladyjack basketball contest kept that team’s championship dreams alive. Tammara Marion’s buzzer-beating three-pointer gave the Ladyjacks an 88-86 win over Central Arkansas in the home finale. SFA had rattled off a season-best five-game win streak coming into that game to keep the Ladyjacks within reach of a league title. Marion’s game-winner held that goal within reach a little longer, and SFA grabbed a share of the championship three nights later with a 77-61 verdict at UT San Antonio. A great individual effort by Camelia Sams inspired her teammates to perform to their fullest at the Southland Indoor Track and Field Championships. She competed at noon on both days of the

meet and pushed the Ladyjacks out to a strong start with individual titles in both the long jump and triple jump. Sams was named the meet’s Outstanding Field Athlete, and SFA won the women’s title by a 29-point margin. Clutch softball performances made for a storybook ending to stand-out careers by seniors Kendal Harper and Briana Bishop in the Ladyjack team’s final home series of the season. SFA trailed in both games of the series-opening doubleheader against first-place Texas State, but the Ladyjacks pushed each contest to extra innings. Harper wrapped up the first one with a twoout, walk-off home run for a 3-1 win. Bishop went deep in the eighth inning of Game 2, giving SFA a 4-3 verdict and a share of the program’s first-ever Southland title. No such turning point was needed during the Ladyjacks’ performance at the conference outdoor championships. After their title at the Southland Indoor Championships, the women came out on fire for the outdoor meet and led from wire to wire on the way to the most dominant team performance in league history. SFA won the meet by almost 100 points, scoring a conference-record 201.5 points. The Ladyjacks posted 18 All-Southland performances and two individual titles and recorded scoring performances in every event but one. Hill hopes the 2009-10 year will serve as a turning point of sorts for his department. Hopefully, it will be looked back on as the start of a long run of dominance at the conference level, which will translate into more regional success and, eventually, greater national prominence. “Getting to the top is hard,” Hill said. “Staying there is harder. But our goal is to keep getting better, in the classroom and on the field, and our staff and coaches are ready for this challenge.” ✯ Sawdust

Vista Viewpoint By Dr. Michael Tkacik

School of Honors welcomes ‘late bloomers’ IT IS IN some ways ironic that I have become the director of the School of Honors. My cumulative grade-point average in high school was on the level of a C minus. My teachers, friends and even parents weren’t expecting too much of my college career. Yet, college turned out to be a life-altering experience for me. Many of the rules of high school disappeared. For example, I no longer had to ask to go to the restroom. (For some reason I always found this particularly galling.) Indeed, I didn’t have to go to class if I didn’t want to. Now I know the psychiatrists among you will have a field day with this, but once it became apparent that there were no longer rules, I began behaving much more appropriately. I attended class, I did my homework, and I became intellectually engaged with the material. In short, once people got off my back, I began to act like a civilized human being. My grade-point average in my first semester at the university was a 3.0, and I was very proud of it. It had been a long time since I’d earned good grades. In my second semester I earned a 3.8 and never looked back. (Well, except for that semester when my girlfriend dumped me.) Though I earned very good grades in college, no one really recognized this until graduation. Freshmen with good SAT scores were invited to join the Honors program, but students who excelled in college courses were ignored. This is something I have always remembered. When I became director of the School of Honors at SFA, I vowed to search out those students who, while not having the super SAT scores, were excelling in class. Each semester we review those students who

Fall 2010

have earned a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average or better. We invite them to join the School of Honors, and many have. This strategy has resulted in an enrollment increase of almost 50 percent. We provide these students the same benefits as our incoming freshmen, though they are not eligible for freshman scholarships. While we have a small scholarship pool for sophomores and juniors, I hope to increase these funds in the near future. There are challenges for students who enter the School of Honors late. Most significantly, it is more difficult to earn the 24 hours of Honors credits necessary to graduate with an Honors diploma. It is possible, of course, but it takes diligence and effort on the part of the student, as well as some flexibility from me on Honors School procedures. The culture of Honors is sometimes not as developed among such students, but they often make up for this with enthusiasm. In the end, these “late bloomers” are usually grateful to be recognized for their efforts and appreciate the benefits of Honors, sometimes even more than those who have been on the Honors track from the start. I’m proud that the School of Honors recognizes both the accomplishments and the potential of scholars like me who took a little longer to hit their academic stride. ✯ Dr. Michael Tkacik director, School of Honors


Collecting History By Amy Roquemore

THE SECOND FLOOR of SFA’s Steen Library holds a treasure trove of East Texas history for genealogists, teachers, authors, students and other researchers interested in exploring the region’s past.



“You don’t have to be famous for researchers to benefit from your family history. We all contribute to the heritage of our place and time.” The East Texas Research Center houses manuscripts, photographs, maps, books and other primary resources, including oral histories, county records, political papers and the permanent inactive records of the university. It also is the official repository for the East Texas Historical Association and the Texas State Genealogical Society. “We are here to support the missions and goals of the university, and in doing so we also collect and preserve items relating to the culture, economy and history of East Texas,” said ETRC director Linda Reynolds. The ETRC dates back to 1924 when it was known as SFA’s Special Collections Room. Shirley Dickerson, director of the Steen Library, was a student worker in the room in 1970. “In those days, we may have seen one or two people during a four-hour shift,” she said. “Now we welcome entire classes, and we are accessible not only to genealogists and researchers, but also to our SFA students and the entire community for free.” The collection has grown exponentially in the intervening years. Visitors may now comb through newspapers from more than 200 Texas municipalities, as well as more than 1,000 East Texas maps and more than 17,000 catalogued photographs and slides arranged by subject. The ETRC also maintains rare and out-of-print books. The oldest, a Spanish religious text, was published in 1647. Diaries, letters, land records, memoirs and other personal papers provided by East Texas families are included, along with the

Fall 2010

complete archives of many notable East Texans, including the late U.S. congressman Charlie Wilson, poet Karle Wilson Baker and author/historian Archie McDonald. The ETRC welcomes donations of any items related to the culture and history of East Texas. Families and individuals may also loan materials, which can be scanned and added to the center’s digital archives. “You don’t have to be famous for researchers to benefit from your family history,” Reynolds said. “We all contribute to the heritage of our place and time.” East Texas native Archie Rison of Dallas, a frequent visitor to the ETRC, has traced his family tree back many generations with the help of U.S. Census records and other historical documents. His trips to the library have also been helpful in his efforts to restore several East Texas area cemeteries that have fallen into disrepair. “We are all very lucky to have a resource like this available to us at no charge,” Rison said. “The ETRC has been very beneficial, and the staff there is so helpful. I would recommend that anyone who has an interest in their own family’s history or just East Texas in general to take advantage of the vast amount of records they have there.” The ETRC is a nonprofit organization and relies on donations of materials to protect its collections for future generations. The temperature and humidity level must be carefully maintained in the archives, and mold is a constant concern. For more information on how you can help, contact the ETRC at (936) 468-4100. ✯

ETRC Director Linda Reynolds displays some of the oldest volumes in the center’s historic book collection.


FUN-Raising By Nicole Hall LUMBERJACKS LOVE CRAWFISH. Every spring, the SFA Student Foundation Association gets the two together in the spirit of friendly athletic competition for Mudbugs and Mudballs, the university’s annual crawfish boil and mud volleyball tournament benefiting student scholarships. The event is just one of several fund-raisers hosted each year by the Student Foundation to raise money for the Leadership Scholarship, which benefits incoming freshmen who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities in high school. Other fund-raisers include SFA’s Chili Cook-Off, Roses for Grads and Walk of Recognition, for which personalized bricks are purchased and installed in Sesquicentennial Plaza near the statue of Stephen F. Austin. “Not only do these events bring in money to support the scholarship, but they also fulfill the goals of the organization by creating a sense of tradition for our students,” said Mitzi Blackburn, director of alumni activities and events.


The Student Foundation, created in 1993, is a collaborative program between the Alumni Association and the Office of Development that strives to develop community-minded student leaders. The foundation supports and promotes SFA through raising leadership scholarship funds, increasing school spirit and strengthening relationships among students, alumni, donors and supporters. Blackburn advises the Student Foundation, along with April Smith, assistant director of development, and Longview senior Dustin Willis, the foundation’s student executive director. “Many former foundation students keep in touch with SFA,” Smith said. “We instill in them the importance of keeping the line of communication with the university open, so they come back and take care of SFA, which is what we need our alumni to do.” For information about purchasing bricks for the Walk of Recognition or other ways to support the SFA Student Foundation, visit ✯


By Kayli Steger

ing r b s t en d u t s FA na l S o i o t t a n y Int er a l div er sit cu lt u r

Fall 2010


“We learn as much from our i n t e r n at io n a l students as they learn from us.”

ADJUSTING TO LIFE on campus can be challenging for any new college student. But imagine adapting to a class schedule, new friends and dorm life on top of learning the language, traditions and culture of an unfamiliar country. More than 160 students from 42 different countries, from Iceland to Nigeria, Germany to Japan, currently are navigating such a higher education experience at SFA. The result is a mutually beneficial cultural exchange between the international students and the rest of the SFA student body. SFA’s Office of International Programs helps students transition to their home away from home, assisting with everything from acquiring visas and immigration services to locating accommodations and connecting with student activities. Visits also are made to U.S. embassies and international recruiting fairs in search of the best and the brightest international students for SFA. Upcoming trips to Dubai, Paris, Moscow and Sao Paulo are planned to recruit talented students for a variety of SFA programs.

Director Murali Venugopalan and his staff work to market the university globally, building memos of understanding between SFA and universities abroad, opening the door to easier exchange processes between institutions. “Our goal is to help international students succeed academically, socially and culturally during their time in the U.S.,” Venugopalan said. “We learn as much from our international students as they learn from us.” Graduate student Ruslan Khamadaliev came to SFA for his master’s degree through a partnership with his hometown university in Ufa, Russia. Master’s programs in the U.S. are highly regarded internationally, said Khamadaliev. After obtaining his degree in biotechnology, he hopes to complete his Ph.D. in Germany and eventually become a professor. “I have had the fortune to travel the world through an international exchange program,” said Khamadaliev. “I’ve learned that when you understand a culture, you become more tolerant and open-minded, and you don’t see the borders that separate you anymore.” Alina Shazhko, an international business major from Simferopol, Ukraine, attends SFA on a tennis scholarship,

-Murali Venugopalan



“I hope to go back and make a change in India through the research I’ve done here.” -Akash Kaushik

an SFA sport that has a large number of international students. Popular academic programs among international students include biotechnology, mathematics and computer science. Although being so far from home may be challenging, international students often build strong connections with faculty members and friends. “Your professors become like family,” said Jazi Hiriart, a political science major from Saltillo, Mexico. “They really do care about you, even outside of the classroom.” Being able to focus on research in a small-town setting is one of the things graduate student Akash Kaushik of India enjoys most about SFA. After finishing his master’s degree in biotechnology and earning a Ph.D., Kaushik hopes to use his education to benefit his home country. “I hope to go back and make a change in India through the research I’ve done here,” said Kaushik. Exposure to international culture on campus is an important but underappreciated experience, said Hiriart. The International Student

Fall 2010

Association at SFA works to educate the campus community with several events each year, including cultural presentations, international food festivals and fashion shows. Former president of ISA, Hiriart recently was elected by her peers to serve as offcampus student senator for the Student Government Association. Through this position she hopes to continue to build awareness and involvement within the international community. “The international student population is one of the reasons I love SFA,” Hiriart said. “You don’t have to travel far to learn about other cultures and ways of thinking.” ✯


As the archaeologist for Big Bend National Park, Tom Alex ’78 works to preserve the history and culture of one of the country’s scenic treasures.

By Amy Roquemore



HE VIEW OUT of Tom Alex’s pickup window as he drives to work each morning in Big Bend National Park resembles the painted backdrop of an old Western, spectacular cliffs and majestic mountain peaks jutting into a cobalt sky almost too beautiful to be real. The sweeping panoramic views offered in the diverse 801,000-acre park, are a feast for visitors’ eyes. But as park archaeologist, Alex ’78 is most interested in preserving what can’t be seen: the history and cultures of a melting pot of humanity – Spanish explorers, European settlers, Native Americans, miners, soldiers, ranchers, entrepreneurs – long since departed from the land but whose stories remain to be told. Thousands of archaeological and historic sites dot the landscape of the park, which gets its name from the pronounced curve of the Rio Grande forming the border between Texas and Mexico. They include Indian rock art, abandoned homesteads, ancient campsites, cemeteries and mining ruins, to name only a few. Each location re-

veals something about how countless generations of people have carved out livelihoods in rugged Big Bend Country. “This is a fascinating place,” said Alex, who has lived and worked in the area for almost 30 years. “It gets in your blood and becomes part of you. It’s my job to ensure that we preserve and protect as much of the history and culture of this area as possible for future generations.” Originally from Corpus Christi, Alex first visited the area shortly after earning degrees in both fine arts and cultural anthropology from SFA in 1978. As a student he participated in the late Dr. Jim Corbin’s first archaeological field school and worked on early excavations of the Washington Square Mound site in Nacogdoches. He fondly recalls serving as Corbin’s field supervisor on excavations at Mission Nuestra Señora Dolores De Los Ais in nearby San Augustine and as an archaeology lab assistant and teaching assistant at SFA. Alex returned to Big Bend to stay in 1982, taking a job pumping gas at the park station “because that was the only job available at the time.”

His park responsibilities have changed drastically over the years, but the reverence for the land that first drew him to Big Bend remains at the heart of his daily work. Any time the National Park Service plans to build or renovate a structure in the park, Alex conducts an impact assessment to ensure nothing of historical or cultural significance is disturbed. When a bulldozer is needed to gain access to damaged power lines or a ditch must be dug for a water line, Alex is there to make sure the environmental and aesthetic impact to the park is kept to an absolute minimum. He also provides historical and cultural information for the various interpretive programs conducted at the national park. “We are very protective of the land and make every effort to preserve things just the way they are so that people can get a sense of what this place was like when the Indians were here or when the ranchers were here,” he said. Alex has discovered numerous archaeological sites during his time at Big Bend. He says his most exciting find was a Native American medicine wheel or “spider rock,” which he had previously only read about in the field notes of a local landowner, now deceased. Constructed of rocks radiating out from a central stone and encircled by an outer stone band, the medicine

wheel is used in Native American spirituality for various astronomical, ritual, healing or teaching purposes. “I spotted it from an airplane we were using during a search-andrescue mission in the early 1980s,” Alex said. “Once we knew the location, we were able to find it on foot. It is a couple hundred feet across, and it is the southernmost medicine wheel located in the United States.” The park also is a Mecca for geologists and paleontologists. Fossils of dinosaurs, pterosaurs and prehistoric crocodiles have been excavated at Big Bend. “One of the most complete fossil records anywhere in the world can be found right here,” Alex said. The national park originally was set aside for scenic and recreational opportunities without much thought to its historical value. Later, authorities attempted to return it to a more natural setting. Many of the structures were destroyed, and some of the park’s history was lost forever. Part of Alex’s job is ensuring such mistakes are never made again. Alex said Big Bend National Park is one of the largest, most remote and least-visited national parks in the country. “We like to say Big Bend is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.” Only about 300,000 visitors enter the park each year. Guests who, usually with the best of intentions, collect or move artifacts in the park pose one of the biggest problems the archaeologist faces. The laws and policies governing the National Park Service compel it to preserve sites and artifacts in their original lo-

cation and condition. “One of our biggest efforts is to educate visitors that if they are exploring the back country and they find something interesting, definitely take a picture and let us know where it is, but please leave it where you found it,” Alex said. “Once you’ve moved an artifact, you’ve taken it out of context. It’s sort of like ripping pages out of a history book. The story is incomplete.” Alex recently wrote a book containing many of the stories he has collected during the past three decades in Big Bend. Images of America: Big Bend National Park and Vicinity also includes numerous photos provided by the National Park Service, park visitors and families whose ancestors settled the area. Alex’s wife of 28 years, Betty Alex, works alongside him at the

park’s Science Resource Management Office as the park’s GIS specialist. The couple lives “off the grid” in the nearby town of Terlingua, using wind and solar energy to power the straw-bale house they built themselves. The Alexes are fixtures in the small, close-knit community, which hosts a steady flow of tourists lured by the picturesque landscapes and outdoor adventures on the Rio Grande. They are regulars at the historic Starlight Theatre restaurant and bar, where they seem to know everyone on a first-name basis. “One of the most beautiful sunsets anywhere in the country can be seen right here from the front porch of the Starlight Theatre,” Alex said. The best view of the Terlingua sunset, he explained, is not to the west, but to the east where the setting sun ignites the mountains in the colors of fire. Like his scenic commute to work, Big Bend sunsets are a daily affirmation of Alex’s decision many years ago to make the majestic park in West Texas his home, and to spend the rest of his life helping to preserve and protect it.

“One of the most complete fossil records anywhere in the world can be found right here.”

“We like to say Big Bend is not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.” –Tom Alex

Tom Alex ’78 Terlingua, Texas

Fall 2010


New lights to continue SFA tradition By Amy Roquemore A NEW SPIN on an old Stephen F. Austin State University tradition will be visible in the night sky following the first athletic victory of the fall semester. Two rotating purple beacon lights placed atop Steen Towers will now be used to alert SFA students and supporters of all sports wins, both at home and away. For many years, the top of the 14-story Garner Tower was illuminated in purple every time the Lumberjacks prevailed on the field, track or court. But Garner was razed earlier this year to make room for a new four-story freshman residence hall and 1,000-car parking garage. A committee of students and staff members was appointed by SFA President Baker Pattillo to study how best to preserve the long-standing tradition. The committee considered several options before choosing the beacons as the most fitting symbol of future Lumberjack victories. Administrators viewed an on-campus demonstration of the lights during the summer.

“I have to tell you I was somewhat skeptical of how well the purple lights could be seen at night,” Steve Westbrook, SFA vice president for university affairs, reported to the Board of Regents recently. “But after seeing the demonstration, we were pleasantly surprised at how bright the lights appeared.” The committee checked with officials at A.L. Mangham Regional Airport to ensure the lights will be in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations. The beacons will be operational by Sept. 4, when the Lumberjack football team takes on Texas A&M University in College Station. However, Westbrook said a win that night may necessitate a break from tradition. “If we beat the Aggies, we might just leave the purple lights on for the entire week.” ✯

Sponsor a duck! The 20th annual SFA Alumni Association Duck Dash will be held at noon Oct. 30, at Lumberjack Alley. Toy ducks race to win prizes totalling $2,675. You don’t have to be present to win. Each duck entered in the race has a number that corresponds to the number on the assigned number sheet.

Sponsor ducks securely online at

Your lucky duck could win one of these great prizes! Grand prize - $1,000 SFA scholarship*, Jack Backers College Bookstore 2nd prize - $750 value, life membership, SFA Alumni Association 3rd prize - $500 set of tires, Boatman Tire and Service Center

Grand Prize $1,000 SFA Scholarship*

4th prize - $100 gift card, Walmart 5th prize - $50 gift certificate, Casa Tomas 6th prize - $50 gift certificate, Olde Town General Store 7th prize - $50 gift certificate, Fuddruckers 8th prize - $50 gift certificate, Sonic 9th prize - $50 gift certificate, Cotton Patch

* If the winner is not an SFA student, he or she must designate an SFA student as the recipient.


10th prize - $50 gift certificate, Cotton Patch 11th prize - $25 gift certificate, Raising Cane’s


Alumni News Alumnus funds scholarships for hometown students

Photo courtesy of Mark Low Imagery

By Amy Roquemore THE GRATITUDE ONE SFA alumnus feels for the small East Texas high school he attended led him to create scholarships for deserving graduates who otherwise may not have been able to afford college. During each of the past four years, the Gilbert I. “Buddy” Low Scholarship Program has covered the cost of tuition and fees for three graduates of nearby San Augustine High School. A total of 12 students have been awarded the scholarships, which are named for three retired San Augustine High School teachers. “When I got to SFA, I did well because of the quality education I received from my teachers in San Augustine,” said Low ’54, a Beaumont attorney. “I had a job on campus and did pipeline work – hard, hot work – and saved during the summers to pay for my education. I wanted to help kids LOW like me who really couldn’t afford to go to college be able to go to SFA and concentrate on their studies.” The annual scholarships are awarded based on financial need, as well as potential for academic success in college. Interested students are screened by the school district and participate in an interview with representatives of the Beaumont Foundation, which administers the scholarships. “When the recipients are chosen, we don’t just give them the money and wish them luck,” Low said. “We follow their progress very closely, and if they need a tutor or some other special assistance, we make sure they get it. We also encourage them to keep in contact with each other and support each other however they can.” Roy McLerran, a 2009 Buddy Low scholar, said the personal attention is a key component of the program’s success. The music education major said he is grateful for the scholarship, which relieved his family of a heavy financial burden, so he is happy to comply with the program’s requirements. “We report back two times each year on the goals we have set and some of the achievements we have made both personally and academically, and we also have to tell our grade-point average,” McLerran said. “Mr. Low and the folks at the Beaumont Foundation are constantly reminding us that if we need anything, we just need to ask. They really do their very best to take care of us and make sure we are successful.” Once the scholars have successfully completed their first academic year at SFA, they are recognized at a spring scholarship luncheon and rewarded with a personal laptop computer. Sid Walker, vice president for development at SFA, said scholarships of all kinds are a direct way to invest in the university’s students. “Scholarships also can be a great team effort from alumni groups, parents clubs, Greek affiliations, hometown organizations or any group wishing to help students with college tuition and fees,” Walker said. “Gifts of any size make a difference, and the students enjoy the benefits of their SFA education for the rest of their lives.” ✯

“I wanted to help kids like me who really couldn’t afford to go to college be able to go to SFA and concentrate on their studies.”

Fall 2010


From the Association


Chuck Tomberlain ’84 President, SFA Alumni Association

We need more members of the SFA Alumni Association family, so please consider joining as a life member today.

EAR FELLOW LUMBERJACKS, I hope you had a terrific summer and are ready for another exciting fall at SFA. Great things are continuing to occur, and we look forward to seeing you on campus in the near future. Our football team will start its season on the road, taking on Texas A&M in College Station. What a thrill it will be to face the Aggies and begin the trek toward another Southland Conference Championship! I encourage you to stop by the Alumni Association tailgate spot at this season opener and the rest of the games, both home and away. SFA Alumni tailgates are one of the best ways to catch up with old friends and get the latest on what’s happening on campus – all while enjoying something delicious off the grill. I hope this year you will consider joining a local alumni chapter. Chapters put on events for alumni, current students and future Lumberjacks to enjoy. These groups are a great way to connect to SFA and network with other Lumberjacks. Please contact me or the staff at the Alumni Association to let us know how you would like to get involved. We will make sure it happens. We need more members of the SFA Alumni Association family, so please consider joining as a life member today. Bleed purple and white and take part in your great alma mater! See you on campus and Axe ’em ’Jacks!

SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - president Curtis Sparks ’85 - president-elect Mike Harbordt ’63 - past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Wendy Buchanan ’85 Don Cox ’71 & ’76 Robin Dawley ’77 Ryan Emmons ’03 Karen Gantt ’95 Doris Havard 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)

Chuck Tomberlain ’84 903.445.2943 P.S. I was proud to represent SFA at the June 25 Texas Rangers game against the Astros and very honored that they allowed me to throw out the opening pitch!

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



Some of the most inspiring SFA stories come from alumni who are using their diverse talents to help others.

Lumberjacks Give Back

Fall 2010

By Shirley Luna


Larissa Linton ’92

Phillip Yates ’03 & ’05

LARISSA LINTON LIVED through every parent’s worst nightmare when she lost her four-year-old daughter Taylor to leukemia. However, she also experienced the blessings a community can bestow through acts of compassion. She became a co-founder of Heroes for Children because she saw some families in need of more assistance than their communities were able to provide. “Families were losing their homes, having their electricity shut off and struggling to make everyday payments,” Linton said. “My friend, Jenny Scott, who also lost her daughter to leukemia, and I both saw the problems resulting from treatment expenses or lost income when a full-time caregiver was needed. We wanted to allow families to focus more on their child’s treatment and less on their financial concerns.” Since its inception almost six years ago, Heroes for Children has donated more than $2.5 million to families with children in Texas hospitals, working closely with social workers to determine need. “Each social worker does a thorough check of a family’s needs, and we get assistance checks to those families within seven days,” Linton explained. “When a family is facing eviction, having the car repossessed, or being unable to travel to the hospital, they can’t wait long for help.” Heroes for Children raises funds through events including Heroes and Handbags, a brunch and silent auction of vintage and one-of-a-kind designer handbags in Dallas and Houston and an annual 5K Run/Walk in Dallas. Hold ’Em for Heroes is a men’s poker tournament in Dallas, Houston and Austin.

WHILE PURSUING A bachelor’s degree and MBA at SFA, Phillip Yates was active with the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Yates has continued his interest in community service and is co-founder of the Alief Alumni Group, a non-profit utilizing mentors and after-school programs to inspire area high school seniors to pursue opportunities through higher education. In addition to awarding eight scholarships this year, the group sponsors beautification projects and a community-based back-to-school celebration. “This all began in 2006 with a class reunion,” Yates said. “We realized the dynamics had changed in the community, and the kids just didn’t have the same role models that were around when I was growing up.” The Alief Alumni Group was created the following year. In addition to partnerships with Alief businesses, support is received from Alief alumni, including the Orlando Magic’s Rashad Lewis, a former Alief basketball star and frequent participant in the alumni group’s events. “Rashad’s visits are very popular, and he has donated autographed items to help benefit the group,” Yates said. “But the assistance we have received from all of our Alief alums has been important, and the business community’s involvement is vital, as well. We want to provide the knowledge, experience and skills to form a powerful network dedicated to assisting the Alief School District in preparing responsible and productive leaders for tomorrow.”


YATES (left)

Marlene Woolsey Summers ’76

Carrie Conn ’94

THE NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION Marlene Woolsey Summers founded in 2005 was inspired by the care packages she received as an SFA student and a chance meeting with a young soldier who reminded her of her son. Summers, a member of SFA’s first women’s golf team, was preparing for a national amateur tournament when she met Michael Johnson, a soldier about to be deployed to Iraq. “I sent a couple of care packages to him, and he always wrote back to thank me. One day I received a letter from him, and he sounded a little down. He told me that the morale was really low, and that many of the people in his troop felt they had been forgotten. It broke my heart, and I wanted to do something to help.” Each Grammy’s Cookie Convoy shipment includes cards, letters and 5,000 chocolate chip cookies that Summers likes to think of as a “warm hug from home.” More than 95,000 cookies have warmed the hearts of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since the project began. “I remembered the cookies and care packages my grandmother sent to me when I was a student at SFA,” Summers said. “Those packages were very special, not because of what was in them, but because of the love behind them.” Monetary donations are used solely to fund shipments of cookies, not for administrative costs. Equally important are contributions of cards and letters written to soldiers. “I know those mean more to the troops than the cookies do,” Summers said. “We post responses on our website, and it is easy to see from their comments that these soldiers benefit most from the words of encouragement. It is a simple way of thanking the brave heroes who serve and protect our nation.”

WHEN SHE WAS a teenager, Carolina “Carrie” Conn was a day-camp counselor to children with special needs. The SFA alumna now works as a special education teacher for students with multiple disabilities. She founded the Houston-based nonprofit Carrie’s Heart because she knows that all children, despite their disability or economic status, deserve to have basic needs met, as well as the opportunity to enrich their souls and minds, allowing them to achieve their greatest potential. The organization provides financial support for summer enrichment opportunities for children with special needs, including animal-assisted therapies, art and theatre classes, and music and swimming lessons. “We collaborate with community organizations and businesses to sponsor activities that encourage children with disabilities to interact with their peers,” Conn said. “These inclusive activities provide great rewards and meaningful relationships for everyone involved, and they help to tear down the misconceptions and social barriers that typically prevent meaningful relationships from developing.” Internationally, Carrie’s Heart provides medical, nutritional and personal care needs and in-home support to children with disabilities in the Yucatan. Camp Corazones, a summer day camp in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, brings together a diverse group of children and youth to experience two weeks of friendship and fun. “We sponsor the complete care of 14 children with severe disabilities in Mexico,” Conn said. “These are children who receive no education, and there are very few resources for families trying to raise them in poverty-level situations. The work we do literally changes their lives.”


CONN (left)

October 29-30 FRIDAY

10:30 a.m. – Alumni Homecoming Golf Tournament, Piney Woods Country Club. $150 1 p.m. – Sylvans Forestry Club Lumberjack Day, Ag Pond. Axe throw, log rolling, tug-o-war, pole climb and more 6 p.m. – Lumberjack Bash, Grand Ballroom, Baker Pattillo Student Center. Ends at 7:30 p.m. The SFA Alumni Association will hold its annual open business meeting during Lumberjack Bash. 7:45 p.m. – Alumni Awards dinner presenting the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus and Outstanding Young Alumnus Awards, Twilight Ballroom, Baker Pattillo Student Center. $30, purchased in advance 8:30 p.m. – Torchlight Parade Kick-Off Party, Baker Pattillo Student Center Plaza 9 p.m. – Torchlight Parade begins behind Baker Pattillo Student Center 9:30 p.m. – Bonfire, pep rally and fireworks at Intramural Field (Homecoming Court announced during bonfire)



7:30 a.m. – Registration begins for 5K Fun Run, parking lot behind the Schlief Tennis Complex. Pre-register online at 8 a.m. – Golden ’Jacks Reunion Breakfast, Hotel Fredonia Convention Center. Join the 1960 SFA graduates in celebrating their 50-year reunion. $25 8 a.m. – Lettermen’s Breakfast, Hotel Fredonia Convention Center. $25 9 a.m. – Early Bird Coffee, Hotel Fredonia lobby. Grab a donut and coffee before heading to the parade. Free 9 a.m. – SFA Bass Club Kid Fish Catfish Tournament, SFA Ag Pond. Contact Doug James at (936) 552-2102 for more information. Ends at 11 a.m. 10 a.m. – Homecoming Parade begins downtown. 11:30 a.m. – Alumni Picnic at Lumberjack Alley. Enjoy a hamburger or hotdog at the Alumni Association’s tailgate spot. Ends at 1:30 p.m. $5 Noon – Duck Dash at Lumberjack Alley 2 p.m. – SFA vs. Texas State University. Contact SFA ticket office to purchase game tickets. (936) 468-JACK


Return by Oct. 16


Please contact the alumni office via e-mail:, call toll free: (800) 765-1534, locally: (936) 468-3407, or visit if you have questions about Homecoming events.

Golf Tournament

Register your team for the annual Homecoming SFA Alumni Golf Tournament. Entry fee is $150 and includes tournament play, cart, refreshments, box lunch and post-tournament hors d’oeuvres. Registration forms are available at

Duck Dash

Lettermen’s Breakfast* Golf Tournament Alumni Awards Ceremony* Golden ’Jacks Breakfast* Alumni Picnic kids 7 & younger eat free Duck Dash Sponsor Unrestricted Gift to the SFA Alumni Association *Pre-registration required

5K Fun Run / Walk


$25 $150 $30 $25 $5 $5 each $25/6

Total Payment

Name Address City

Sponsor a duck for the 20th annual Duck Dash, where toy rubber ducks race to win prizes totaling $2,675. Ducks are $5 each or 6 for $25. Deadline to sponsor is Oct. 16.




Contact phone number (required) E-mail

/ (circle one) Check | Visa | MasterCard | Discover | AmEx Exp. Date

Run will meander through the new Hunt’s Woods Recreational Trails and the arboretum. Visit www. for more information.

Lumberjack Bash

Reception with light hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and events, including silent auction, Golden ’Jacks 50th Reunion, Chapter Awards presentation, Alumni Association business meeting and Benefit Drawing. Free admission. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Return order form to: SFA Alumni Association P.O. Box 6096, Nacogdoches, TX 75962 Fax order to: 936.468.1007 Order securely online:

CVV Code on back of card (required)

Stephen F. Austin State University alumni association

Oct ober 8 p.m 29 .

Honoring the 2010 Lumberjack superstars!

Distinguished Alumnus

Distinguished Alumnus

Outstanding Young Alumnus

Bill Owens ’73

Doug Higgins ’71

Robert Seale ’92

40th Governor of Colorado

Executive & Entrepreneur

Professional Photographer

Awards ceremony dinner tickets $30 per person Please purchase in advance by Oct. 15. 34


Upcoming Events

SEPTEMBER 1 Welcome Week cookout behind the Baker Pattillo Student Center, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hot dogs and hamburgers served to first 200 students, faculty and staff


Tailgate in Bryan/College Station, SFA vs. A&M


Labor Day

11 Lettermen’s Day reception, Lumberjack Alley, 4 to 6 p.m., SFA vs. Albany

25 Parent’s Day cookout for alumni and TAG members and their parents, SFA vs. Lamar

17 San Antonio chapter Happy Hour

OCTOBER 8-10 SFA Rugby Alumni Weekend 16 Athletic Hall of Fame Day reception, SFA vs. Central Arkansas

Dallas chapter Watch Party

23 Tailgate in Houston, Battle of the Pineywoods at Reliant Stadium 27 Alumni Foundation Board of Directors meeting

28 Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting 29 Lumberjack Bash, Alumni Awards Dinner, Benefit Drawing

30 Homecoming, SFA vs. Texas State

Alumni Golf Tournament

FLW college fishing tournament weighin, Ag Pond

NOVEMBER 19 San Antonio chapter

13 Tailgate, SFA vs. Southeastern Louisiana

20 Student Foundation Chili Cook-off, SFA vs. Northwestern State

Happy Hour

Find more chapter events online at

25 Thanksgiving


Big Dip Ceremony


Senior Send-Off Party

Registration information online at

18 SFA Commencement 24 University closes for holidays

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

Fall 2010


The W. Allen Owen Baseball Scholarship The W. Allen Owen Baseball Scholarship benefits SFA baseball players. After attending Marshall High School, Owen graduated from SFA in 1970 with a Bachelor of Science. He later completed a degree from the Southern Methodist University Graduate School of Banking and Finance. He is employed by Wells Fargo & Co. as senior vice president, overseeing the operations of branches in southwest Houston and Fort Bend County. Owen currently is serving as mayor of Missouri City. He is a lifetime vice president and member of the board of directors of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, chairman of METRO Multi-City Coalition and a member of First United Methodist Church of Missouri City. He has been married for 43 years and has three grown children and one granddaughter.

The Lauren Alston Memorial Scholarship The Lauren Alston Memorial Scholarship benefits SFA hospitality majors. The scholarship honors Lauren Alston, an SFA senior who was pursuing a degree in hospitality management. Alston graduated with honors from Lufkin High School in 2006. She was a member and officer of the Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society and volunteered with numerous charitable organizations in Lufkin and Nacogdoches. Her family recently accepted a posthumous SFA diploma awarded to Alston, who passed away March 7. She grew up attending First United Methodist Church of Lufkin. Her grandfather, Dr. Roy Dean Alston, retired from SFA in 2008 after teaching in the mathematics and statistics department for 40 years. One of Alston’s favorite quotations comes from C.S. Lewis: “If I find in myself a desire which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” She knew Jesus and through her actions shared His love.

The James C. “Chris” Walters Scholarship The James C. “Chris” Walters Scholarship benefits qualified SFA students who have a grade-point average of 2.0 or higher. Chris Walters graduated from SFA in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science. He has worked as a financial adviser for 22 years, specializing in wealth management and estate planning, and he is the vice president of Wells Fargo Advisors in Longview. He and his wife, Linda, have two sons, Erik and Scott. Walters spends a great deal of time at his ranch near Longview where he enjoys working cows and driving tractors. He is an avid trophy hunter and recently completed the Texas Slam.

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: website:



Alumni Chapters

Nacogdoches chapter members enjoy food and friendship at a local restaurant. Chapters provide SFA alumni, friends and parents the opportunity to play a positive role in the future of SFA and the SFA Alumni Association.

Leveraging Your Chapter Network Employee loyalty to companies appears to be becoming a thing of the past, if not already an obsolete concept. This routine changing of jobs has placed more value and necessity on an individual’s social and professional network to ensure each transition is as smooth and beneficial as possible. While online social networking has really taken off in the last few years, it just cannot replace the quality of information gathered during face-to-face interaction. While most people realize they need a strong network, the challenge is how to grow a network in a reasonable and cost-efficient manner. SFA Alumni Chapters offer many excellent opportunities for alumni to interact, and you will always have at least one thing in common with the fellow attendees: your time at SFA. Between happy hours, lunches, sporting events and other activities, there is bound to be an event that piques your interest. Keep in mind that chapter events are not just for alumni. Many events also are appropriate for family and friends to attend. In addition, chapter events provide a unique and irreplaceable opportunity for current SFA students to begin building their networks and opening themselves up to internships and potential employment upon graduation. If you are mentoring a current student, please recommend this avenue to your mentee. As the economy of the past few years has taught us, it is never too early to start building your network. All of this sounds good in theory, but I have also experienced firsthand the networking opportunities provided at chapter events. I personally know numerous alumni who, through networking at chapter events, secured employment or successfully promoted their business. By attending these events, I have met alumni working in various industries and have been exposed to interesting careers and business concepts that were previously unknown to me. Since becoming involved with the Dallas Chapter a few years ago, I have acquired an extensive network, which I use often in both my professional and personal life. It has been enlightening to hear the paths alumni transitioning from SFA to solid careers have taken and also rewarding helping young alumni start their journeys. If I haven’t yet convinced you of the benefits of leveraging your local alumni chapter network, I will leave you with these simple closing thoughts. Events are usually pretty fun and do not take up a lot of time. What do you Ivy Scherrer have to lose? Dallas Chapter leader

Fall 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. 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 and click on chapters, or contact Emily Payne, chapter coordinator, at or call (800) 765-1534.


Class Notes 1940

Jack Cook ’41 of Victoria was posthumously inducted into the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. Sheila Hurtte ’48 of Daingerfield has been awarded the 2010 James Bowie Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award. Former NFL head coach Bum Phillips ’49 of Goliad is the special adviser to the Goliad ISD Athletic Department.


Isabel Davis ’65 is coauthor with her husband, Walt, of Exploring the Edges of Texas. Merilyn Godwin ’67 of Tomball retired from Waller ISD.


Sharon Davis ’71 & ’79 of Palestine retired from Palestine ISD.

Donnis Baggett ’73 of Waco is publisher of the BAGGETT Waco Tribune-Herald. Barbara Trube ’75 of Athens, Ohio, is assistant dean of TRUBE the Patton College of Education and Human Services at Ohio University. Donald Willett ’76 of Galveston has been promoted from associate professor to professor at Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Dr. Jeffery L. White ’87 of Stillwater, Okla., recently received a Fulbright Scholar Award from the United States Department of State. White, who majored in chemistry at SFA, will conduct collaborative research at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, during the fall 2010 semester. The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries. Currently, White is a full professor in chemistry at Oklahoma State University, and he previously held a tenured faculty position in chemistry at North Carolina State University. White’s research in macromolecular science is funded by the National Science Foundation, and he has authored approximately 75 peer-reviewed scientific journal publications, book chapters and patents. A past recipient of a DuPont Science and Engineering Award for his work in macromolecular science, White serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the American Chemical Society journal Macromolecules, the leading international journal devoted to macromolecular science and engineering.

Ed Krevit ’78 of Midland is president of the Texas Chief Deputies Association.

Rose Pate Huckaby ’79 of Dickinson received a National Endowment of the Humanities stipend to study the Missouri/Kansas Border War that preceded the Civil War.

Dr. Sherilyn Emberton ’79 & ’81 is provost and vice president for academic affairs at East Texas Baptist University.

Becky Hunnicutt ’79 of Mount Vernon was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Mount Vernon Rotary Club.


Kathy Ellis ’81 of Allen is retiring from Vaughan Elementary School. Karen E. Gray ’84 of Dallas was named LexisNexis’ Business Insights Solutions Consultant of the Year and honored with the LexisNexis Circle of Excellence Award.

Kevin Lovell ’77 of El Paso (left) and Brad Streit ’79 of Tyler (right) visit with U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in Washington, D.C. Lovell and Streit joined a contingent of ABC affiliate general managers in a “Call on Congress” to lobby for broadcast interests. Streit, a former Theta Chi fraternity member, is group vice president of Raycom Television. Based in Tyler, Streit is responsible for management of the following stations: KLTV-Tyler, KTRE-Lufkin, KCBD-Lubbock, KAIT-Jonesboro, KSLA-Shreveport, KPLC-Lake Charles, WAFB-Baton Rouge, WTNZ- Knoxville and WTOL-Toledo. Lovell, a former member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, works for the News-Press & Gazette based in Missouri. He is the general manager of KVIA-TV, with ABC and CW affiliations in El Paso. Lovell oversees KECY-TV (with Fox, ABC, Telemundo and CW affiliations) in Yuma, Ariz. Although they didn’t know each other in college, Streit and Lovell work together on the ABC Affiliate Board of Governors and have both served on the Texas Association of Broadcasters Board of Directors.



Lt. Col. John Manning ’87 of Carlisle graduated MANNING from the U.S. Army War College and National Security Policy Program and is deploying to Afghanistan. Janet Cowey ’88 of Nassau Bay is the project manager in the marketing department of San Jacinto College.


Bonnie Perkins Robinson ’90 of Lewisville is a communications specialist at Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry. Cliff Shackelford ’90 & ’94 of Tyler is the statewide non-game ornithologist for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Darrin Robinson ’91 of Lewisville is premium audit supervisor of Commercial Lines for Republic Underwriters Insurance Company based in Dallas. Rodney and Linda Boyd Walker ’91 of Cleburne WALKER announce the Sept. 4, 2009, birth of son Brennen Reid. Walker is a kindergarten teacher at Cleburne ISD. Kerry Lacy ’92 of Watauga received the Lockhead Martin Leader-

Fall 2010

ship Association’s Manager of the Year Award in LACY recognition of his leadership skills, managerial abilities, and the positive effects his efforts have had on promoting civic leadership and quality management within the city. Bob Frost ’93 of Tomball is the principal of Tomball Intermediate School. Lance Johnson ’94 of Gatesville is the superintendent at Warren ISD. Chris Peace ’94 of Kaufman is chief appraiser of the Kaufman County Appraisal District. Kevin Moye ’97 of Longview is the head baseMOYE ball coach at Westfield High School in Houston. Tricia Rudisill Bentley ’98 & ’04 of Houston BENTLEY joined the Harris County Flood Control District as the agency’s Public Outreach Manager. Carrie Curtis ’99 of Houston is a first-grade teacher. She recently was a guest on the Rachael

Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell ’83 is the eighth president of the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Prior to his current appointment, Mitchell served as president and chief executive officer of Cooper Clinic in Dallas and McKinney. In addition to working full time as a staff physician, he participated in numerous studies looking at the effects of activity and lifestyle on health, authoring or co-authoring dozens of research papers and abstracts. He also lectured often to both lay and scientific groups, fulfilling his longstanding interest in teaching. He is a former member of the Phi Theta Kappa national junior college honor fraternity, as well as the Gamma Sigma Epsilon National Chemical honor society. He also was selected as the outstanding senior of SFA’s Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. Mitchell attended medical school at The University of Texas Medical Branch from 1983 to 1987. After graduation he pursued training in internal medicine and upon completion of his residency remained to serve as the chief medical resident for the University of Texas Medical Branch. Mitchell is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and has subspecialty certification in sports medicine. From 1988 to 1996, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves (Medical Corps). He is the contributing health editor and a weekly columnist for USA Weekend. He has received national recognition, including the 2006 Clarion Award and the 2008 Walter C. Alvarez Award for Excellence in Medical Communication (presented to him by the American Medical Writers Association). Mitchell’s love of writing has led to collaborative efforts with other health experts, culminating in the publication of the books Fit to Lead (2004 St. Martin’s press) and Move Yourself (2008 Wiley Press). He has enjoyed a role in developing public policy regarding health and fitness by serving on the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports (to which he was appointed in 2002 by President George W. Bush) and a member of the board of trustees for the American College of Sports Medicine in 2007. Mitchell is married to Dr. Janet Tornelli-Mitchell. They met in medical school and have worked together since. They have three children: Katherine, Charlie and Chris.


Ray show. Curtis skates with the Ring City Rollers, CURTIS a roller derby team. Her skating persona “Rachael Rayge” inspires her to live a healthy lifestyle.


Thomas Condell ’00 of Ithaca is the assistant head football coach at Cornell University. Dr. Michael Morris ’00 of Dallas has been MORRIS selected as president-elect of the Dallas Psychological Association for 2010-11.

Paul and Martha Spelman ’01 of Houston announce the July 16 birth of Kaylee Elizabeth.

Captain Wilford L. Garvin III ’05 of Tyler will take command of a second company in Iraq.

Kimberly Frangesh ’07 of Castroville is marketing coordinator for the Castroville Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Eason ’03 of Detroit is the Texas Parks and Wildlife Biologist for Houston and Cherokee counties.

Bryan Price ’05 of Palestine is head football coach and athletic director for Westwood High School.

Tyle and Kelli Fore ’03 of Nacogdoches announce FORE the Feb. 21 birth of Kastyn Ray.

Sarah Bedgood ’06 of Tyler married Paul Rucker on March 13.

Cydney Tucker ’09 of Nacogdoches was awarded “Best in Show/ Feature Film” at The Accolade Competition in LaJolla, Calif.

Kasey Van Norman ’03 & ’05 of Nacogdoches is a public speaker and author of Named by God. Mike Wood ’04 of Kilgore is head football coach and athletic director at Kilgore ISD.


Dr. Micah Dyer ’06 & ’10 of Lovelady is the district superintendent of Lovelady ISD. Holli Conley ’07 of Bryan-College Station is the CVB’s communications and public relations manager.

Micah Love ’01 of Houston and Candice Coleman of New York were married April 17.

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

7595. Leah R. Dean-Jordan ’89 BSED ELEM, Cypress 7596. Stephanie Templeton ’10 BS SPEECH, Lumberton 7597. Matthew K. Kuban ’08 BBA MKTG, Nacogdoches 7598. Andrew E. Jones ’08 BA HIST, Nacogdoches 7599. Sarah J. Jones ’05 BS INDS, Nacogdoches 7601. Laural A. Levine ’94 BA CJLE, Dallas 7602. Brian T. Coburn ’09 BBA MGMT, Lewisville 7603. Dustin R. Williams ’96 BS BIOL, Texarkana 7604. Laurie R. Williams ’96 BA SPCM, Texarkana 7605. Brenda Guyton ’10 BA COMM, Crockett 7606. Devyn Jones ’10 BA CJS, Nacogdoches 7607. Haley Hoskins ’10 BA MKT, Angleton 7608. Jodi Michelle Henley ’10 MPA ACCT, Houston 7609. James P. Dorsett ’96 BSAS AGBS, Nacogdoches 7610. Brian T. Payne ’01 BS BIOL, Nacogdoches 7611. Margaret L. Hilton ’08 BS DFHH/’09 MPA PBAD, Carrollton 7612. Ivy Ann Moody ’10 BS INDS, Sugar Land 7613. Ronald W. Kimbrough, Friend, Nacogdoches 7614. Carol S. Kimbrough ’81 BSAG AGE, Nacogdoches 7615. Anthony R. Castilaw ’95 BS BIO, Nacogdoches 7616. Amanda L. Thornton ’09 BS HADM, Alto 7617. Kerry M. Lacy ’92 BAAS AAS, Watauga



In Memoriam Steve Adams ’65 of Longview, June 19. Teneta Rae Barnett ’96 of Buffalo, April 30. Mike S. Boatman ’73 of Lufkin, April 21. Michael Wayne Brassell ’69 of Hurst, Jan. 13. Ward Rankin Burke ’35 of Lufkin, May 6. Albert M. Cariker ’68 of Cushing, May 22. Doris Jo Coan Dickens ’48 of Lufkin, May 5. Maryann Gunn ’75 of Fort Worth, July 17. Thomas M. Haddock ’63 of Jacksonville, June 14.

James Verdo Reese of Nacogdoches died March 17, 2010. Reese was born Dec. 23, 1934, in Itasca, Texas, son of James Ottie and Sally Mauvleen Reese. James, his parents and sister Sally Sue moved to Pasadena, Texas, in 1943. He attended Pasadena High School, graduating in 1953, then attended Rice University where he completed a B.A. in history in 1957. He married Shirley Joel Martin of Houston, on May 31, 1958, and they moved to Austin where James completed a M.A. in history at The University of Texas at Austin in 1961 and a Ph.D. in history in 1964. Reese and family moved to Nacogdoches in 1977 where Reese served as dean of liberal arts at SFA from 1977 to 1985 and vice president for academic affairs from 1985 to 1992. He taught history until his retirement in 2003. Reese was active in the Texas State Historical Association, East Texas Historical Association and the National Academic Deans Council, and he was appointed to the Sam Houston Sesquicentennial Commission by then Gov. Ann Richards.

Doris Singletary Hartman ’58 of Alto, May 27. Russell Rusty Thompson Herring ’69 of Houston, May 26. Elise Mae Cudnohufsky Jones ’76 of Cedar Hill, May 30. Gary Lee Justice of Nacogdoches, May 27. Dr. Mark Robert Lanier of Nacogdoches, April 23. Mitchell Liles ’78 of Garland, July 2. Wesley Brian Littrell ’00 of Fairfield, May 21. Charles Edwin Long ’90 of Overton, June 18. Jeffrey Monroe ’92 of Dallas, July 28. Evelyn Hall Nichols ’67 of Nacogdoches, July 26. John Dewey Patterson ’91 of Nacogdoches, May 13. Dr. Blanche Phillips of Woodville, July 16. Dr. Harvey Lou Rayson ’69, ’71 & ’03 of Longview, June 21. Richard Alan Squier ’79 of Texas City, April 30. D.B. Waller ’48 of Conroe, Dec. 24, 2009. Floyd Adolphus Watson ’49 & ’50 of Paxton, May 20.

Fall 2010

Bob L. Sibley ’55 died June 10, 2010. He was born March 20, 1933, at the family home in Price, Texas, the son of Robert and Fern Sibley. He was preceded in death by his parents and a baby brother. He graduated from SFA with a bachelor’s degree in business and physical education followed by a master’s degree in education. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston in the provost marshal’s office from 1956 to 1958. With his love for SFA, he was extremely active in the alumni association, serving as president at one point. He loved all sports, played all sports and was a competitor at heart. But the place he’d rather be than anywhere, other than home, was the golf course. He met and married the love of his life, Reed Lynn Garrison of Nacogdoches, in 1956. They were blessed with two daughters, Leigh Ann Sibley of Dallas and Lori Sibley Johnston; son-in-law Robert Johnston; and grandchildren, Matthew Reed Johnston and Hannah Leanne Johnston, also from Dallas. Bob retired from Travelers Insurance Company after 38 years in management. He later was an executive with the Titan Insurance company for seven years, retiring in 2000. His family was his absolute pride and joy. They would, during his life and especially now, proclaim that he was always a man of God honoring integrity, selflessness, a sense of fairness with a forgiving spirit and a “how can I help you” attitude. His passion was to help in every circumstance so “everyone would win.” He was “one of the good guys.” The Bob and Lynn Sibley Golf/Track Scholarship Fund is being endowed through the SFA Alumni Association.


Stephen F.  Austin  State  University     GENERAL  HOSPITAL  and  of  7th  HEAVEN   School  of  Music                    and  MORE  local  stars!   Music  Preparatory  Division    



Anniversary Celebration of Music Prep 1980 - 2010  

Scholarship Fund-raiser


Tickets:  SFA  Fine  Arts  Box  Office    Griffith  Fine  Arts  Building     Room  211   936-­468-­6407  

Stephen F.  Austin  State  University     School  of  Music   Music  Preparatory  Division  

A PINEY WOODS HOME COMPANION:  SATURDAY,  OCTOBER   2010   30 Anniversary Celebration of9,  Music 1980 - 2010   THE SEQUEL th


   SATURDAY,  OCTOBER  9,  2010  

Pine-ier andScholarship Wood-ier

5:00  .  .Hob  Nob   at  The  Jordan  Home   5:00  p.m.  .  .  .  .  .Hob  Nob   at  pT.m.   he  .  .J  .ordan   Home              408  Mound  Street              408  Mound  Street    Hob-­ier  and  Nob-­ier  Wine  and  Cheese  Party    Hob-­ier  and  Nob-­ier  W      ine   and  Cheese   Party   Players              featuring   The  Piney   Woods                    featuring  The  Piney  Woods  Players  

 The   Pattillo   Student        B Fund-raiser   attillo   Taker   he  Baker   P Student  

Center   he        TCenter      TB he   Baker   Pattillo   Student   aker   Pattillo   Student   Grand   Ballroom   Center   Grand   B allroom   Center      Ballroom   allroom                  6:00  p.m.    .  Grand   .  .  .  .  Grand   .  .          SBilent   Auction  

             6:00  p.m.    .  .  .  .  .  .    .            Silent  Auction                  6 :30   p    .m.    .  .p  .    .m.   ..    ..    ..    ..      ...      ...      .  .      .    B BQ   Dinner    uction    6:00                    6 p  ..m.   Auction              :00   6  :30   p.m.    .  .  .  .  .  .    ..      ..S    ..ilent      .                SBilent   BQ   DAinner                    7 :30   p .m.     .   .   .       A PWHC:   T he   S equel        :30    6:30   p  .m.   ..    .PWHC:   .  .BQ        T  Bhe   BQ   Dinner                              6 p.m.   .  .    ..    ..      ...        ..      A .    ..    ..    .    .  B D inner                  :30   7 p.m.   Sequel   Featuring        7:30   p  .m.    .  PWHC:   .      APWHC:   Sequel                        7      Featuring :30   p.m.   .  .  .      .A The  TShe   equel   JOHN  DICKSON,  Hollywood  composer   JOHN   D ICKSON,   H ollywood   c omposer   Featuring Featuring   NOTICE  and  THE  GOOD  GUYS   of    BURN   of  JOHN   BURN   NICKSON,   OTICEH  aollywood   nd   THE  GcOOD   GUYS   D Hollywood   composer   JOHN   DICKSON,   omposer       of   B URN   N OTICE   a nd   T HE   G OOD   GUYS   of  BURN  NOTICE  and  THE  GOOD  GUYS   BRAD   MAULE,  “Dr.  Tony  Jones”  of   BRAD   M AULE,   “ Dr.   T ony   J ones”   o f       GENERAL  HOSPITAL  and  of  7th  HEAVEN   GENERAL   HOSPITAL   and   f  7Jth  oHfEAVEN   BRAD   M AULE,   Tony   ones”   BRAD   MAULE,   “Dr.  “TDr.   ony   Joones”     of                  GENERAL    and   MORE   lH ocal   stars!   GENERAL   OSPITAL   of    7Hth  HEAVEN   HOSPITAL   and  aond   f  7th EAVEN    

               and  MORE  local  stars!          aM nd   MORE   local   stars!                      a    nd   ORE   local   stars!    

Tickets:  SFA  Fine  Arts  Box  Office   Tickets:    SFA  Fine  Arts  Box  Office    Griffith  Fine  Arts  Building      Griffith   ine   uilding   Tickets:    SF FA ine   AB rts   O  ffice   Tickets:    SFA   FFA   Arts   rts   B ox  BOox   ffice   Room   2ine   11   Room   2 11    Griffith   Fine   AB rts   Building    Griffith   Fine   Arts   uilding       936-­468-­6407   936-­468-­6407   Room   Room   211  211   936-­468-­6407     936-­468-­6407  

Stephen F. Austin State University Press

Books are the foundation of a university. Find our quality publications at

936.468.1078 42

| Sawdust


urs is most truly and emphatically the cause of liberty, which is the cause of philanthropy, of religion, of mankind; for in its train follow freedom of conscience, pure morality, enterprise, the arts and sciences, all that is dear to the noble minded and the free, all that renders life precious. ~Stephen F. Austin, 1836 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 muchneeded 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 scholarship 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 •Corporate Matching Gifts •Gifts of Stock/Bonds •Life Insurance Policies

•Gifts of Property/Minerals •Charitable Trusts •Bequests & Estate Gifts •Memorial Contributions

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

Fall 2010

How to Start a Scholarship


Make the decision to help.


Name your scholarship.


Future SFA alumni need your financial assistance. Plan your contribution today.

You may name your scholarship after yourself; 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.

4 5

Complete an endowment packet.

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

Contact Katy Crawford.

Call (936) 468-3407 or (800) 765-1534 or e-mail crawfordkp@


Visit for more info.

SFA will host a reception at the JW Marriott on Friday, Oct. 22, for fans, friends and alumni from 6 - 8 p.m. in the Austin Room, located on the first floor just off the lobby area. Everyone is invited. On Saturday, Oct. 23, in addition to the availability for individual tailgating for SFA fans, alumni and students in the Blue Lot, SFA will host a tailgate party at the southeast corner of Reliant Stadium adjacent to the Astrodome beginning at 11 a.m. and concluding at 1:30 p.m. Food will be available for the first 1,000 fans, and cash bars will be open throughout the event. Kick-off is slated for 2 p.m.



Purchase a 2010 Benefit Drawing ticket for the opportunity to choose which existing SFA Alumni Foundation scholarship will get an extra $10,000 donation, or use the funds to start a new scholarship! Your tax-deductible contribution benefits the SFA Alumni Scholarship Fund, administered by the SFA Alumni Association. Please join our efforts in making a difference in the lives of deserving students at Stephen F. Austin State University. You may purchase tickets securely online at or complete the ticket form below and return it to the SFA Alumni Association. Contributions must be received by Oct. 28, 2010. You may make your contribution by check or credit card. If your employer is a matching gift company, please take advantage of this opportunity to double your gift to the SFA Alumni Scholarship Fund.

Benefit tickets are $100 each. The drawing will be held Oct. 29, 2010, at Lumberjack Bash during Homecoming. You do not need to be present to win!

SFA Alumni Association 2010 Benefit Drawing Winner to direct $10,000 to an SFA Alumni Scholarship. Tickets are $100 each. Name




( ) Contact Telephone required Number of Tickets




$ Total payment

(circle one) Check | Visa | MasterCard | Discover | AmEx

/ Exp. Date

CVV code

Return to: SFA Alumni Association, P.O. Box 6096, Nacogdoches, TX 75962 For additional information: 800.765.1534 or 936.468.3407

Donations must be received by Oct. 28, 2010.

Fall 2010




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


Power of ONE

Join the SFA Alumni Association today and make a difference in the life of an SFA student! Are you the one?

Association Membership • $25 Current Student Annual • $25 First-Year Grad Annual • $50 Annual Member • $75 Joint Annual (Husband/Wife)

ONE Scholarship

• $400 Student Life Membership

ONE New Member

• $750 Life Membership

ONE Donation

• $500 Senior Life (65 years+)

ONE Proud Family of Lumberjacks The Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association understands how the power of one can make a difference at SFA.

Fall 2010

(for students & first-year grads) • $1,000 Joint Life (Husband/Wife) • $750 Joint Senior Life Membership Visit for the list of membership advantages. SFA Alumni Association PO Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962 800.765.1534 • 936.468.3407 Fax 936.468.1007 •


All Hail to SFA

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

“This is a picture of myself in a pre-med counseling session with Dr. Edwin H. Miller, chairman of the Department of Biology. This is circa 1956 to 1957 – probably summer. I graduated in May of 1958 with a B.A. in biology/chemistry. From SFA I went to medical school at UT Southwestern in Dallas, and after a long private career I have come back to UT Southwestern as full-time faculty. I want to express my gratitude to SFA for my great education and nurturing that set me on my life course. I want to thank my nephew Bret Gibbs ’93, life member of the SFA Alumni Association, for bringing this to my attention.” – Dr. Jim Gilmore ’58 48



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

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

Fall 2010


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

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

Sawdust Fall 2010  

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

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