T H E M A G A Z I N E O F T H E S FA A L U M N I A S S O C I AT I O N & S T E P H E N F. A U S T I N S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y
WEST TRAGEDY | SUMMER READING | BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCH
BRAD MAULE ’74 Professional Actor, SFA Lecturer
HARDY’S PIC Dance major Kelsey Jones, a former member of the SFA Repertory Dance Company, performs “Infinitely Endless” at Danceworks in March 2012. The dance was choreographed by dance major Katie Husfelt ’12. University Photographer Hardy Meredith earned a Bronze Award for this photograph at the recent Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s District IV conference in Fort Worth.
“I always appreciate the invitation to photograph the performances of SFA’s talented Repertory Dance Company. Even after shooting SFA dancers for 18 years, I continue to be amazed at their grace and poise. The dramatic lighting of Turner Auditorium and the dancers’ ability to balance and pose always makes for interesting photographs.” – University Photographer Hardy Meredith
Summer 2013 • Volume 40, No. 2 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jeff Davis ’02 Executive Director of Alumni Affairs EDITOR Amy Roquemore ’93 & ’12 Assistant Director, SFA Public Affairs ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Rhonda Crim STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work and service. Through the personal attention of our faculty and staff, we engage our students in a learner-centered environment and offer opportunities to prepare for the challenges of living in the global community. The SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the alumni, friends and current students of Stephen F. Austin State University through programs, scholarships and activities that create an attitude of continued loyalty and support. SAWDUST is published four times a year by the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University. Full subscriptions are included in Alumni Association memberships. SFA alumni and friends receive complimentary issues twice a year. CONTACT Sawdust P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962 (936) 468-3407 • (800) 765-1534 firstname.lastname@example.org • sfaalumni.com
FEATURES 12 Q&A
West student shares how her hometown is coping with tragedy
14 Little Bug, Big Problem SFA research could prevent crop shortages
’Jacks of All Trades Second-generation Lumberjack is fashion entrepreneur
20 A Life Reimagined
Professional actor teaches next generation of movie makers
CAMPUS NEWS 2 3 4 6 7 8
Spring Graduation Faculty Advising Governor’s Visit SFA Statue Work Space Sylvans
ALUMNI NEWS 18 25 30 31 32 35 40
SFA Tartan From the Association Scholarships Alumni Networks Class Notes In Memoriam From the Archives
Large class graduates in dual ceremonies DUE TO THE high number of spring 2013 graduates, SFA’s May commencement exercises were split into two ceremonies for the first time in recent school history. Approximately 1,400 SFA students received diplomas on May 11 in William R. Johnson Coliseum. Graduates from SFA’s James I. Perkins College of Education and College of Fine Arts participated in a 9:30 a.m. ceremony on Saturday, and candidates from the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and
Agriculture, the Nelson Rusche College of Business, the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, and the College of Sciences and Mathematics participated in a 2 p.m. ceremony. “As a result of recruiting and retention efforts across campus coupled with statewide initiatives to produce more college graduates, SFA has been experiencing an increase in the number of successful students persisting to graduation for the last several years,” according to Monique Cossich, executive
director of enrollment management. “A large percentage of SFA students are the first in their families to graduate from college, and it is important to the administration that we not do anything to limit the number of proud friends and family members who are able attend this important milestone in our students’ lives,” she said. “Holding two separate commencement ceremonies for spring graduation ensured that all of our graduates’ guests felt welcome and comfortable at this special occasion.”
Need a book to take along on summer vacation? Check out these suggestions from the librarians at SFA’s Ralph W. Steen Library. To see more librarian recommendations, visit library.sfasu.edu. Where on Earth: A Geografunny Guide to the Globe, by Paul Rosenthal. A humorous introduction to various aspects of geography and how they affect life on different continents.
UFO Diary, by Satoshi Kitamura. FICTION A UFO loses its way in space and settles down on a strange blue planet where it meets a young boy, and they become friends. Popular Culture, Geopolitics and Identity, by Jason Dittmer. This textbook is the first to survey the field of popular geopolitics, exploring POLITICS the relationship between popular culture and international relations from a geographical perspective.
Large crowds were on hand to witness both spring graduation ceremonies held May 11 in William R. Johnson Coliseum.
But is it Art?: An Introduction to Art Theory, by Cynthia A. Freeland. In today’s art world, ART many strange, even shocking things qualify as art. In this book, Freeland explains why innovation and controversy are valued in the arts, weaving together philosophy, art theory and many engrossing examples. Harold: the Boy Who Became Mark Twain, by Hal Holbrook. This is Hal Holbrook’s affecting memoir of growing up behind disguises, and his lifelong search for himself.
BIOGRAPHY Currently, there are no plans to split the August or December graduation ceremonies, Cossich said. The structure of future May graduation activities will be determined on a case-by-case basis, according to the number of students expected to participate. James H. Dickerson ’68 of New Braunfels, a former member of the SFA Board of Regents, offered the commencement address during both ceremonies. Dickerson retired from Dow Chemical Company in 2004 after
working for 26 years as an attorney in the company’s Intellectual Property Department, serving in Texas, Michigan, California and Zurich, Switzerland. Of the approximately 1,400 degrees Viral Spiral: How the Commoners awarded in May, 1,087 were bachBuilt a Digital Republic of Their Own, elor’s degrees, along with 303 master’s by David Bollier. degrees and 10 doctoral degrees. An A stunning narrative TECHNOLOGY estimated 321 students graduated with history of the emergence honors, including 124 cum laude, 98 of electronic “free culture,” magna cum laude and 99 summa cum from open-source software and laude. Creative Commons licenses to remixes and Web 2.0—in the tradition of Lawrence Lessig’s Free Culture.
Governor Leaves Lasting Impressions A STANDING-ROOM-ONLY crowd cheered on Gov. Rick Perry as he added his handprints to a collection of hand impressions in concrete during a February ceremony in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Spirit Lounge. The collection serves as a tribute to leaders who have left a permanent impression on SFA and on higher education in Texas. Perry’s handprints were the fifth set made at SFA. Inspired by the handprint ceremonies of the Hollywood Walk of Fame, SFA’s hall-of-fame tradition began in October 1998, when former President George W. Bush cast his handprints in cement while serving as Texas governor. Former president George H.W. Bush added his handprints during the university’s 75th anniversary celebration in 1999. U. S. Sen. Phil Gramm made handprint impressions at SFA later that year, and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison’s handprints were cast in February 2001.
President Baker Pattillo and members of the Board of Regents look on as Gov. Rick Perry places his hands in cement for SFA’s handprint collection in the Spirit Lounge.
S LUMBERJACKS, WE certainly love our traditions. But that doesn’t mean we shy away from necessary change or the excitement it brings to our university family. SFA hosted not one but two spring commencement ceremonies for the first time in recent school history. Approximately 1,400 students received diplomas in the dual graduation exercises on May 11 and joined the proud ranks of SFA alumni. The decision to divide graduation into two ceremonies was not made lightly. Recruitment and retention efforts at both the university and state levels have led to an increase in the number of SFA graduates, many of whom are the first in their family to earn a college degree. Dividing the May graduation into two ceremonies ensured that the graduates and their family members and friends were able to get the most enjoyment possible out of this important event. We were very fortunate to have attorney James Dickerson, an SFA alumnus and former member of the Board of Regents, provide the commencement address at both ceremonies. This spring, we also welcomed new head Lumberjack Basketball Coach Brad Underwood to campus. Coach Underwood brings to SFA 27 years of experience, including coaching at the highest level of Division I basketball. Coach Underwood is already hard at work preparing for the upcoming season, and he is determined to continue the winning basketball tradition at SFA and lead the program to future championships. I hope to see many of you at William R. Johnson Coliseum cheering for the Lumberjacks next season. If you are a frequent visitor to campus, you may have noticed new faces on the SFA Board of Regents this spring, as well. Recent appointments by Gov. Rick Perry include David Alders of Nacogdoches and Barry Nelson of Dallas. Bob Garrett of Tyler, former board chair, also was reappointed by the governor for a second term. In addition, three SFA alumni recently were elected officers of the board, including chair Steve McCarty of Alto, vice chair Dr. Scott Coleman of Houston and secretary Brigettee Henderson of Lufkin. These individuals bring a wealth of experience to the Board of Regents, and we all look forward to their strong leadership in the coming years. Not long after appointing the new regents, Gov. Perry took the time to visit our campus and participate in an SFA tradition that involves preserving in cement the handprints of leaders who have left a permanent impression on SFA and on higher education in Texas. The governor’s handprints are now on display in the Spirit Lounge alongside those of former U.S. Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush and former U.S. Senators Phil Gramm and Kay Bailey Hutchison. SFA traditions, old and new, will be highlighted at the university’s upcoming 90th anniversary celebration. In September 1923, Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College welcomed 270 students on the first day of classes. A lot has changed at SFA since then, but the institution’s commitment to providing the highest-quality education to our students has never wavered. I hope you will make plans to visit SFA during the coming months as we honor our unique history, celebrate current successes and look forward to a bright future for our alma mater. Axe ’em, Jacks!
BOARD OF REGENTS Steve D. McCarty, Alto chair Dr. Scott H. Coleman, Houston vice chair Brigettee C. Henderson, Lufkin secretary David R. Alders, Nacogdoches John R. “Bob” Garrett, Tyler Barry E. Nelson, Dallas Kenton E. Schaefer, Brownsville Ralph C. Todd, Carthage Connie M. Ware, Marshall Matthew Logan, Mansfield student regent
UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION Dr. Baker Pattillo president Dr. Richard Berry provost/vice president for academic affairs Dr. Steve Westbrook vice president for university affairs Danny Gallant vice president for finance and administration Jill Still vice president for university advancement
OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS Shirley Luna executive director
Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’66 President, Stephen F. Austin State University
Amy Roquemore assistant director Hardy Meredith university photographer
Father of Texas TO THOSE WHO associate the name Stephen F. Austin most closely with our beloved campus in Nacogdoches, the 70-foot-tall statue of the Father of Texas located in Angleton might seem out of place. But to the people of Brazoria County in South Texas where Austin famously settled 300 families in the early 1820s, the larger-than-life memorial is exactly where it belongs. The colossal steel and concrete statue was built in 2005 by David Adickes, the same Texas artist who constructed a similar statue of Sam Houston in Huntsville in 1994. The Stephen F. Austin statue is the focal point of the 10-acre Henry W. Munson Park on state Hwy. 288, which also features catch-and-release fishing in a Texas-shaped lake, a visitor’s center and picnic tables for hungry and weary travelers. The memorial of our favorite Texas hero is a source of pride for the local community and the park’s volunteer caretakers, according to Dorothy Wilbeck, president of the SFA 500 organization that raised the funds to have the statue erected. “The park is still a work in progress, but we just recently got the five points of the star-shaped flower bed at the base filled with 35 red roses and 80 succulents, so it is looking quite pretty,” said Wilbeck, who is a descendent of one of Austin’s original 300 settlers. “We have had a lot of high school students helping develop the area around the statue. Taking care of this park is really a community endeavor, and we are quite proud of that.”
Recently and with the help of local businesses who lent a 125-foot man lift and other heavy equipment, the volunteers oversaw a thorough cleaning of the 8-year-old statue. “Being here in our beautiful humid South Texas climate, he had some pretty good moss growing on him,” Wilbeck said. “Cleaning a statue like Stephen F. is not a minor project. But we scrubbed him down real good with a mixture of Clorox and water. The volunteers did an awesome job. I don’t think he has ever been cleaner.” Wilbeck said she is aware of the envy that exists on the part of many SFA students and alumni who wish with all their hearts the statue was located on our campus. She promises to continue to take good care of “our Stephen” and encourages Lumberjacks to visit the park, which is open 24 hours a day. “It’s downhill most of the way from Nacogdoches, so tell everyone to come on down and see us,” she said, adding that if her community’s most recognizable landmark ever comes up missing, the university will be the first place she comes to look for it! –AMY ROQUEMORE
Photos courtesy of SFA 500
What you’ll find in. . . Academic Adviser Billy Harris’ office
1. JUNIOR-LEVEL SFA interior design students recently participated in the annual Jack Design Challenge, planning and executing an extensive
interior makeover of a staff member’s office. Academic adviser Billy Harris was chosen as the winner of this year’s office redesign. His office is located on the second floor of the Ferguson Building. 2. An “anti-fatigue mat” designed to reduce stress on Harris’ legs and feet despite standing much of the day. The new carpet was donated by Interface Flooring, a large Georgia manufacturer, and free installation was provided by East Texas Carpet. 3. A stand-up desk donated by Humanscale Inc., which Harris requested for his office makeover after learning about the health advantages of standing rather than sitting at work. The desk can be lowered when he prefers to sit; however, unless he is meeting with someone in his office, he generally prefers to stand. 4. A custom glass-topped table made from old fireplace andirons that the student designers found at an estate sale. 5. A generously sized candy bowl that rests on the corner of the table in easy reach of Harris’ advisees. 6. Two comfortable chairs donated for the project by Ivan Smith Furniture in Nacogdoches. 7. What to do with the existing built-in bookshelves turned out to be one of the toughest decisions for the student designers. Ultimately, the team decided to stain the shelves a dark mahogany, and they became a focal point of the newly designed space. 8. An array of framed photos of Harris’ three children, Megan, Kevin and Jason. While the kids have all grown up a lot since the photos were taken, he says he still enjoys these favorite photos from their early childhood. 9. Custom artwork painted and donated by SFA Art Professor Peter Andrew. Harris requested the “Angry Axe,” one of his favorite SFA icons, as the subject of the artwork, but the details of the finished piece were kept a secret until the new office was unveiled. “A lot of the students now like to get their photo taken in front of the ‘Angry Axe’ picture before graduation,” he said. 10. A basketball signed by members of the Ladyjack basketball team that deemed him “honorary coach” for one game several years ago. Two players on the team were in Harris’ technical writing class, and they invited him to sit on the bench during their game and gave him the ball as a memento. 11. A menagerie of Star Wars action figures, miniature vehicles and other small toys that belonged to Harris’ children. “Sometimes people come in with small children, so I will get the toys down for them to play with and stay busy while I talk with their parents,” he said. 12. Official SFA Bulletins dating back to the early 1990s. While the course requirements in the older volumes are not applicable to today’s students, Harris said he sometimes likes to go back in time and see how the requirements for SFA degrees have changed over the years. Originally from Oklahoma, Billy Harris has been an academic adviser at SFA for about four years. He came to Nacogdoches in 1996 with his wife, Dr. Michele Harris, an SFA chemistry professor. After working as a technical writer for Lufkin Industries for two years, he became an adjunct faculty member, teaching composition and technical writing. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English from the University of Central Oklahoma and the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, respectively. Helping SFA students get the most out of their education is what Harris says he likes best about his job. “A lot of them don’t know what they want to do with
their life, if their major is right for them or even what classes they need to take in a given semester,” he said. “I enjoy helping steer them on a path for success in school and in life.” Before the makeover, Harris says his office was unremarkable, to put it kindly. It had gray, institutional-looking walls and lacked style and personality, so he decided to enter the Jack Design Challenge. “I see so many students and a lot of their parents, especially during Orientation, and I really wanted a place that was friendly and welcoming and had a little more SFA spirit,” he said. “The student designers did an absolutely amazing job. I love coming to my new office every day.”
Photo courtesy of Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
SFA Sylvans win forestry conclave A TEAM OF forestry students from the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at SFA captured the championship trophy at the 56th annual Southern Forestry Conclave in Alabama. The SFA Sylvans Forestry Club placed first in wildlife identification, dendrology, timber estimation, women’s crosscut and pole climbing. A total of 13 universities accredited by the Society of American Foresters participated in this year’s event, which was hosted by Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. In order to be successful at the annual competition, teams must do well in both technical and physical events. SFA’s team, originally founded in 1946, has placed first or second overall in 26 of the 28 yearly competitions. The purpose of the annual contest is to promote cooperation and friendly competition among schools, as well as establish and maintain a high standard of ethics among all students and professional foresters.
Few SFA athletes have had preseason expectations like those placed upon shortstop Hunter Dozier before this season. Even fewer have met and exceeded them as Dozier has. Selected a preseason allAmerican by multiple publications, all Dozier has done this year is raise his stock for this June’s MLB Draft. He entered the year as the top prospect in the Southland Conference among position players, and he has been listed as high as the No. 54 player in the draft by expert Keith Law. All the while, he has gone on to cement himself in the SFA record books, breaking his own single-season doubles mark while shattering the career doubles mark at SFA in just three years. He also ranks in the top three all-time at SFA in hits, RBIs, home runs, slugging percentage and runs scored. In late May, Dozier was named the SLC Player of the Year and Hitter of the Year.
Senior Mitchell McLeroy received a berth into the NCAA Men’s Golf Regionals for a second consecutive season, becoming the first player since SFA moved to the NCAA Division I level to accomplish the feat. One of Southland’s top golfers over the course of his career, McLeroy took that to a new level as a senior. The first-team All-SLC selection finished the year with the league’s second-best stroke average. He cracked the top 100 individual rankings midway through the season, and, although he finished ranked just outside the top 100, he was the league’s highest-ranked player (126th) by year’s end. “The thing that separates Mitchell is his competiveness,” said head coach Trey Schroeder. “When he got here as a freshman, he already had the credentials from high school. He really worked on his swing over the Christmas break of that season, and he really just took off after that.” Although he was unable to compete in the SLC Championships due to an illness, McLeroy still recorded a stellar season. He led the team with six top-10 finishes and won two tournaments. McLeroy was one of five individuals playing in the 14-team Fayetteville Regional in May. After playing near perfect golf the first two rounds, he struggled in the third and finished tied for 26th overall.
On the heels of its greatest season in school history, the SFA Ladyjacks bowling team set the bar even higher in 2012-13 by placing ninth in the NTCA Final National Poll, marking the highest finish in school history. The women, who finished the season with a 68-41 overall record, improved upon their 10th-place ranking from last year. Division I teams finishing in the top 10 received Capital One Cup points for their finish. Under second-year head coach Amber Lemke, the Ladyjacks closed the 2012-13 campaign with a seventh-place finish at the 2013 xbowling Intercollegiate Team Championships, going 2-2 overall in competition. Prior to that tournament, the Ladyjacks narrowly missed out on being selected to compete at the eight-team NCAA Tournament, ranking number nine by the selection committee. In addition to SFA’s team success, junior bowler Nicole Parkhurst was named a National Tenpin Coaches Association Honorable Mention All-American for a second straight season. Parkhurst also was named the SFA Bowling Player of the Year for a third straight season at the annual Champions Dinner Banquet in May. The team’s future looks bright as they will return Parkhurst next season, along with sophomores Amanda Boethel and Chelsea King and freshmen Melanie Crawford and Stephanie Sims.
Lumberjack basketball introduced Brad Underwood as the 11th head coach in program history during an April 23 press conference at William R. Johnson Coliseum. Underwood comes to Nacogdoches with an impressive résumé that includes stints as the associate head coach at both South Carolina and Kansas State under head coach Frank Martin. In all, he has spent 27 years in the coaching profession and was a key component in one of the most prominent eras in Kansas State history, an era that included a trip to the Elite Eight in 2010. He coached a pair of All-Americans – Michael Beasley and Jacob Pullen – in his time with the Wildcats and also has spent time as a head coach at Daytona Beach Community College and Dodge City Community College. Underwood also served 10 years as an assistant at Western Illinois prior to his tenure as a head coach. “I am very excited about this opportunity to take over a wonderful program in a beautiful town,” Underwood said. “I look forward to a long and very successful time in Nacogdoches. This program has been regarded as one of the top programs in the Southland for a number of years, and I feel very privileged to take over a program where the culture of winning is already in place. I look forward to winning and leading this program to future championships.”
Three former All-American Lumberjack football players recently signed free agent contracts with NFL teams. Corner Josh Aubrey of Tyler and receiver Cordell Roberson of Jefferson came to Nacogdoches in the same signing class, and both joined the Cleveland Browns shortly after the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft in April. Defensive end Willie Jefferson, a Beaumont native, signed with the Houston Texans in May.
“I love the opportunity to PERSONALIZE your career outlook and actually make it happen.”
Hayley Saville The Pine Log – What I Love About SFA
“Got my first Sawdust since I moved to Philly! Never been that excited to see some Texas mail!” Justin Holder ’07 Alumni Association Facebook
“I loved the A to Z stories. And glad you all profiled Dr. Kennedy.”
Marcus Cox ’90 & ’96 Facebook
“They did it! SFA SWEEPS SLC OUTDOOR!
Great to be a Lumberjack!” SFA Athletic Director Robert Hill Twitter
“I’m so thankful to be going to a university where I can ask for references from my professors WHO STILL REMEMBER ME from several semesters back! They actually care about their students’ success, so there is no excuse for not doing your best!”
Sophomore nursing major Emma Nelson SFA Facebook
“AXES UP to SFA Athletics partnering
up with United Way at Saturday’s baseball game. Axe ’em, Jacks and Live United!” The Pine Log – The Chopping Block
“AXES DOWN to the violence at the Boston Marathon. May those who were injured heal, and may those who died rest in peace.”
The Pine Log – The Chopping Block
“Congrats to JACK ATTACK for winning back-to-back championship titles at the NCA/NDA National Championships! Axe ’em, Jacks!”
senior Kaylyn Pratka was born and raised in West, the small Central Texas town that was rocked by a deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant on April 17. Fourteen people were killed and about 200 people were injured in the explosion, which happened just a few blocks from Pratka’s family home. Sawdust recently visited with the elementary education student about how her family and her community are coping in the aftermath of the disaster that has forever changed her hometown.
FULL NAME: Kaylyn Marie Pratka | AGE: 23 | MAJOR: Elementary Education EC-6 | CLASSIFICATION: Senior EXPECTED GRADUATION DATE: May 2014 | CURRENT JOB: Teacher Assistant at SFA’s Early Childhood Lab PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: Move back home to West and find a teaching job. DESCRIBE WHAT GROWING UP IN WEST WAS LIKE. Growing up in West is like growing up in any small town. Everybody knows everybody because almost everybody is family in some way, and there was always someone to count on when you needed them. Small town, big fun! WHERE WERE YOU AND WHAT WERE YOU DOING WHEN YOU FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE EXPLOSION? I was sitting at Flashback Café with my boyfriend, Jacob, and another friend from West when I first heard of the explosion. My friend had gotten a text message saying that there was an explosion at the fertilizer plant the moment that it happened. We weren’t very concerned about it because, at the time, we didn’t understand the severity of the situation. Since social media is a surefire way to get information, I got onto Facebook from my iPhone. I saw various statuses saying “Pray for West” – some calling it a “tragedy” – so I decided I should call my dad and see what was going on. When he picked up the phone, I could hear confusion and my two little brothers crying in the background. The first thing he said to me was, “We are all OK. Our house is gone, but we are OK.” Hearing those words, I immediately went into panic mode and started crying hysterically. I ran back into Flashback Café screaming and crying (and probably scaring everybody in there) to Jacob that we needed to leave and go home right now because it was way worse than we thought. We threw money down and left. Since everybody was calling to and from West, the phone lines were jammed, and I couldn’t reach my mom. When I finally did, I could hear sirens, and all she could say was, “Kaylyn, it’s so bad. Oh my God. It’s so bad.” As soon as I got back to my apartment, I threw stuff in a suitcase, and we headed back home. HOW WAS YOUR OWN FAMILY IMPACTED BY THE EVENTS OF THAT DAY, AND WHAT ARE THEIR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE? My family was greatly impacted by that day. My dad, stepmom, two younger brothers and I lost our home in the explosion. Our house was located in what they call “Zone 3,” three streets away from the back of the fertilizer plant. My father, David, and my 9-year-old brother, Conner, both suffered cuts and gashes from shattered glass because they were inside the house. My stepmom, Jana, suffered a ruptured eardrum from the explosion because she and my 5-year-old brother, Jaxson, were in the front yard. My family
plans to rebuild their house in West as soon as they are able to. My stepmom’s parents lived along the railroad tracks right next to the fertilizer plant. Their house was also destroyed, but luckily they had just pulled up to our house when the plant exploded. One of the greatest losses that my family suffered that day was one of our very good friends, Captain Kenneth “Luckey” Harris. Luckey was actually at our house with his wife and niece when the fire first started. He asked my dad to drive him to the scene, telling him that he needed to go help out the other firefighters and keep people safe. He lost his life so that many others could be saved. He was such a wonderful man, and we will miss him so much. WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF HOW THE COMMUNITY, STATE AND COUNTRY HAVE RESPONDED TO THE IMMEDIATE AND LONGTERM NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE OF WEST? The amount of support that came pouring in after the tragedy was absolutely amazing and so touching. The fact that people were so willing to help out strangers is humbling. At one point, our town had so many donations pouring in that they did not know what to do with them. There was no place to put them all. ON YOUR VISITS HOME SINCE THE TRAGEDY, HOW HAVE YOU SPENT YOUR TIME? On my visits home, I have spent my time just being with my family. In the days following the tragedy, I helped my family get settled into the house that will be their temporary home. I helped them sort through all of the donations they had received, as well as pass along things that we knew would work for
Damage to Pratka’s home was extensive, and the family plans to rebuild. Photo courtesy of Kaylyn Pratka.
other families. I have spent most of my time with my little brothers, though. They did not go back to school the following week, so they stayed home with me. I took them out of town to a museum and to the movies just to get their minds off of everything and let them be kids. I also spent a lot of my time helping my mom out at her restaurant, Czech American, which is located in downtown West. DID YOU ATTEND THE MEMORIAL SERVICE? IF SO, DESCRIBE WHAT THAT EVENT WAS LIKE AND WHAT IT MEANT TO WEST’S CITIZENS? I did not attend the memorial service because I was home with my brothers, but I did watch it on television. I found it so moving that so many people were there to support our little town. I know for a fact that it meant a lot to West. HOW DO YOU EXPECT WEST TO BE DIFFERENT GOING FORWARD? I believe that West will always be scarred by what happened, and we will never forget. But we will move forward. We will clean up our town, rebuild and just go back to living our lives the way that we used to. We will bounce back from this because we are a strong people. WHAT SEEMS TO BE THE BIGGEST CONCERN FOR THE PEOPLE OF WEST RIGHT NOW? Our biggest concern is for the families and friends who are dealing with the tragic loss of their loved ones. We are also still waiting to hear if the president will declare the explosion a disaster, which would allow West to get the federal aid that is much needed. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE PEOPLE WHO WERE UNFAMILIAR WITH WEST BEFORE THIS TRAGEDY TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR HOMETOWN AND ITS PEOPLE? West is a very close town, and we support each other in any way we can. The community has always come together to support people and families from West and the surrounding communities in their times of need. Fundraisers and charity events are commonly held in town for people inside and outside of the community. HOW HAS THE DISASTER IN WEST CHANGED YOU PERSONALLY? This disaster has definitely made me appreciate life and realize that every single day is truly a gift. Because of it, I hug my family and friends just a little bit tighter when I go home. It has also strengthened my faith in God. Seeing the devastation, it was a miracle more people did not perish. God was definitely with West that day.
SFA research could prevent crop shortages, lead to medical treatments
By Donna Parish
SFA students are engaged in a long-term study of the Sunn pest, a tiny insect responsible for destroying wheat crops around the world.
“Since bread is a main food source for the people who live in these areas, the damage caused by Sunn pests results in food shortages and can be life-threatening.”
TINY BUG smaller than a thumbnail is destroying tons of wheat crops around the world. An enzyme it secretes is so potent that contamination of only 2 to 5 percent of the crop can render the entire harvest useless once the affected and healthy grains are combined during the milling process. Since 2006, SFA has been conducting research on the insect, called the Sunn pest, and this work has led to important breakthroughs. “The Sunn pest is responsible for destroying millions of acres of wheat crops throughout Northern Africa, Northern Asia and Eastern Europe,” according to Dr. Beatrice Clack, an associate professor in SFA’s Department of Biology and Biotechnology. “Since bread is a main food source for the people who live in these areas, the damage caused by Sunn pests results in food shortages and can be life-threatening.” As it feeds, the insect secretes an enzyme that degrades the gluten proteins found in wheat seeds. Gluten acts as a binding agent and gives dough its elasticity. Without it, baked goods become dry and crumbly. Clack’s team, made up of SFA biotechnology graduate students, has isolated and characterized the enzyme responsible for the gluten degradation and hopes to develop either enzyme inhibitors to counteract it or biopesticides to eliminate the Sunn pests. She says the team has successfully cloned the enzyme, which will enable
Summer 2013 Summer
researchers to better understand how it functions. “We can now make the enzyme outside of the insect,” Clack said. “This is important because the insect is not native to North America, and U.S. agriculture agencies closely monitor the importation of live pests to study.” Clack’s team is currently studying the Sunn pest’s DNA at each of the five stages in the insect’s life cycle in hopes of determining exactly when the insects develop the enzyme. The results of the research could be used to produce a bio-pesticide that kills the insect before it can harm any crops. SFA researchers also are working to identify a casein (milk protein) inhibitor that would shut down the dangerous enzyme. Jeffrey Hargrove of Kingwood, an SFA biotechnology graduate student, is involved in the casein research and says a peptide found in yogurt and other dairy products looks promising. “Specifically, I am characterizing the extent to which casein peptides are able to inhibit the enzyme,” Hargrove said. “Currently, farmers in the affected areas rely on expensive and harmful pesticides to minimize crop damage. Casein peptides are much safer for human consumption and the environment.” The enzyme inhibitor could be applied to the affected grain – even after it is harvested – and prevent it from dissolving the wheat seeds, he said. Clack said she first heard about Sunn pests from a former SFA graduate student, Charles Darkoh. As a biotechnology student, Darkoh was seeking more information about Celiac disease, an autoimmune
disorder of the small intestine that impedes gluten processing. “In conducting his research, Charles began to look into whether or not an enzyme might exist that could degrade gluten. He was online researching this when he read about Mustafa El-Bouhssini, an investigator from Syria, who was working with an insect that destroys wheat seeds – the Sunn pest,” Clack said. Darkoh then contacted ElBouhssini, and asked if some of the damaged wheat seeds could be sent to him. He wanted to see if the pest left behind an enzyme, Clack said. “Sure enough, it did.” Sunn pests are not a crop threat in North America because most U.S. crops are planted in temperate climates and on flat lands, Clack said. The pests prefer to live in dry areas where they can “winter” in the mulch along the hillsides. When the wheat is planted and begins to grow, the pests make their way from the hillsides to the nearby fields and begin laying eggs, which hatch and eventually contaminate wheat crops. “Dr. Clack’s approach of utilizing the power of biotechnology to mediate these important problems that affect the lives of millions is commendable,” said Darkoh, who is now an assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. “This research is very important and may one day lead to the treatment of Celiac disease and a solution to a major pest problem that can affect the livelihood and food safety of the majority of people living in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Photo courtesy of Andrew Brosig/The Daily Sentinel
Invested in Students Retiring finance professor takes stock of 43-year teaching career
“We have alumni who are positioned really well in the industry all over the state, and that is a testament to the program and the faculty.” – Dr. John Lewis
THERE ARE THREE things Dr. John Lewis says he will miss most now that he is retiring from Stephen F. Austin State University after more than 43 years on the faculty: “students, students, and did I mention my students?” Lewis’ retirement was approved by the Board of Regents at a recent meeting, during which the members also awarded the longtime educator the title of professor emeritus of finance. Since SFA began awarding finance degrees in the mid-’70s, Lewis has taught a required course on financial institutions. Because of this, he holds the distinction of having taught every student who has ever majored in finance at the university. “I am pretty proud of that,” Lewis said of his unique track record at SFA. “There are faculty members who have more horsepower than I do, but I can honestly say I have given my students every bit of the horsepower I have. I don’t think I have done any of them a disservice.” From September 2008 to December 2009, Lewis also filled the role of interim vice president for development at the university. He has consulted for SFA’s vice president for finance and administration, as well as the SFASU Foundation, serving as a member of its Board of Trustees since 1996. He also was instrumental in the formation of the Nelson Rusche College of Business’ chapter of the international business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma. After four decades of teaching at SFA, Lewis said he is looking forward to joining his wife in retirement, catching up on his fishing and doing a little traveling. He does plan to continue his work with the foundation and says he may be persuaded to teach an SFA class “here or there” after he takes some initial time away from campus. “Dr. Lewis’ dedication and commitment to SFA can been seen in many different places, but his most impressive accomplishment is that he has benefitted every single finance graduate of SFA, not only by teaching them but also by helping them find employment,” said Dr. Todd Brown, chair of the Department of Economics and Finance. “You would be hard pressed to find a banker or financial professional in this town who has not been impacted in some way by Dr. Lewis.” A native of Tenaha, Lewis earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in management from Texas A&M University. He joined the SFA faculty in 1969 when SFA’s business courses were still taught in the Rusk Building. While teaching full time, he completed a doctorate at Louisiana Tech University in 1975. He was promoted to full professor in 1982. Lewis, 68, has been named SFA’s finance professor of the year eight times and is a past recipient of a Teaching Excellence Grant. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 publications and served as an investment consultant for a local bank for 16 years. Lewis said students come to SFA much more informed about the financial world than they did in decades past, primarily because of advancing technology. Having up-to-theminute financial data available at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a smart phone screen has forever changed banking and investing, as well as the way students research and learn
about the industry. Lewis has learned right along with his students, and the television and computer screens in his office flash non-stop financial reports. “At SFA, we really provide our students with a solid foundation in finance, and when they leave here they can compete with students from any university because they have all the tools they need to be successful,” Lewis said. “We have alumni who are positioned really well in the industry all over the state, and that is a testament to the program and the faculty.” The Dr. John Lewis Professorship in Finance recently was endowed at SFA. More than 70 individual donors, many of them Lewis’ former students, contributed to the professorship. The first award will be given to a deserving faculty member in fall 2015. “This new professorship will help the university recruit and retain high-quality finance professors who share Dr. Lewis’ commitment to SFA finance students,” said Jill Still, vice president for university advancement. “I can think of no better way to honor Dr. Lewis and his extraordinary contributions to the university, its students and the Nacogdoches community.” SFA finance alumnus Ron Collins, senior vice president of BancorpSouth in Nacogdoches, credits Dr. Lewis for helping prepare him for a long, successful career in banking. “I couldn’t have asked for a better place to get my education in business, finance and economics than SFA, and Dr. Lewis was a big part of that,” Collins said. “There is no question that his efforts, along with a number of others in that department while I was in school, greatly impacted my career in a positive way over the years.” Collins has worked closely with Lewis in recent years while they served together on the finance committee of the foundation’s Board of Trustees. The committee relies heavily on Lewis’ expertise, he said, especially when it comes to evaluating potential investment opportunities for the foundation. “The SFASU Foundation would not be nearly as strong as it is today without Dr. Lewis’ leadership on the finance committee,” Collins said. Like many of Lewis’ former students and colleagues, Collins said he has mixed feelings about the professor’s impending retirement. “On the one hand, he has worked very hard, and I am so happy that he will be able to start a whole new chapter of his life after teaching for so many years,” Collins said. “But, on the other hand, I do regret that future students will not have the opportunity that I had to learn from such a talented and inspirational teacher. “I am sure that someone else at SFA will step up and fill the void and do a fine job when Dr. Lewis retires, but that person will certainly have some big shoes to fill.” –AMY ROQUEMORE
SFA is going plaid Approximately 7,000 votes were cast in a competition to pick a plaid to represent SFA, and the top three finalists were all senior students majoring in fashion merchandising. Kelcie Brown of Bowie won the competition and received a $500 prize for her work. The other finalists were Houston residents Karla Acosta and Simone Evans. The project was organized by Dr. Becky Greer, professor and associate director of the School of Human Sciences, who said that a unique plaid that has been registered with the Scottish Register of Tartans in Edinburgh, Scotland, is known as a tartan plaid. The blocks of color that repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines is known as a sett, and the registry records the pattern by counting the number of threads of each color that appear in the sett. “Kelcie specified the meaning that was built into the tartan so that it truly represents the university,” Greer said. “The number of yarns of each color is highly symbolic, representing the years the university has been open and the year the Chief Caddo tradition began, the acreage upon which the main campus is located, the number of students currently enrolled, the number of areas of study offered, and the year Dr. (Baker) Pattillo became university president.” The university has partnered with Collegiate Tartan Apparel in Greensboro, N.C., to register SFA’s tartan and
manufacture licensed products. A percentage of royalties from product sales will benefit instructional needs or scholarships in the School of Human Sciences. Tartan originated in Scotland, and patterns often were associated with specific families or clans. The idea of creating an official SFA tartan came about after Greer and Dr. Lynda Martin, chair of the SFA School of Human Sciences, attended a conference presentation by an administrator from North Dakota State University. After learning about NDSU’S successful tartan project, the pair decided to initiate a similar project at SFA. “Our goal is to have the first product launch of a men’s tie and women’s scarf this fall in conjunction with the 90th anniversary celebration of the university,” Greer said. “Other products will be rolled out periodically after the initial launch.” According to representatives from Collegiate Tartan Apparel, SFA will be the first university in Texas partnering with their company – and possibly the first university in Texas – to have a registered tartan. Fourteen plaids were submitted for SFA’s competition, and a committee that included faculty members and administrators narrowed the field to 10. Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president, then selected three designs to be voted on by SFA stakeholders.
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TO SAY THAT Morgan Tomberlain Strong ’09 is a busy lady would be an understatement. The fashion merchandising graduate stays on the go. She serves as the buyer, sales associate, marketing specialist and garment presser for her women’s clothing boutique, Morgan Abbigail, which opened in Longview in April 2010. Staying active is nothing new to Strong. While at SFA, she served as the Student Regent on the SFA Board of Regents for one year and as Student Foundation president for two years. She also served on the Alpha Chi Omega executive board, worked in the SFA fieldhouse, taught SFA 101 for three years, was awarded Outstanding PanHellenic Sophomore and Outstanding PanHellenic Junior, and as a senior, received the Greek Go Jack award for being the Greek who most promoted SFA in her daily life among sororities and fraternities. At the young age of 26, Strong is proof that hard work and dedication pay off. Her boutique, which caters to women age 40 and older, has created a niche that costumers are embracing. “I have established an environment that makes shopping an enjoyable experience versus a task,” Strong said. “When I first opened, I had more of an even mixture of young and mature clothes, but I quickly found that there was a much higher demand for clothing for mature women. So, I made some changes and have developed an atmosphere that caters to women who want to look and feel great, but not look like they have on their daughters’ clothes — nor do they want people to think they have on their mothers’ clothes,” Strong added. Her business also concentrates on the utmost in customer service. “It’s the little things like offering customers water or coffee while they shop, providing free gift wrap service, letting them take items on approval – I’ve even delivered clothing to a customer’s house and helped her pick out just the right shade of lipstick to go with the outfit,” Strong said. Her decision to attend SFA came after a campus tour. “Both of my parents are SFA graduates, and I grew up attending Lumberjack football and basketball games. I wanted to go somewhere different. To be honest, I just went on the campus tour to appease my parents,” Strong said. “Halfway through the tour, I realized there was no other university for me. I fell in love with SFA, Nacogdoches and all of the smiling faces I saw on campus.” While enrolled in SFA’s fashion merchandising program, Strong said she received invaluable experience that would serve her well in her future career as a fashion entrepreneur. “The faculty members taught me so much. There were so many handson learning opportunities,” Strong said. “While at SFA, I was able to work a few of the fashion markets at the World Trade Center in Dallas. I also moved
Photos by Robin Johnson
Passion for Fashion: Second-generation Lumberjack is self-styled entrepreneur
to New York for three months during my senior year and completed an internship under fashion designer Kay Unger. These opportunities came about because of connections I made through the SFA Alumni Association while serving as Student Foundation president. That’s one of the great things about SFA – people really help fellow Lumberjacks.” Strong said the best part of her job is making people feel good. “True story – a customer came into the boutique using a walker. I helped her around the store and even stayed in the dressing room with her and helped her try on blouses. She purchased a few and was so excited about her new clothing and how good it looked on her that she left her walker at the checkout counter and walked out to her car with her new things. I had to run after her carrying her walker. She was feeling so good about herself, and that just thrilled me.” When she’s not busy at her boutique, Strong enjoys spending time with her husband, Ronnie Strong, who also is an SFA alumnus. They are expecting their first child, a girl, in September. Along with her parents and husband, her brother-in-law and brother also are SFA alumni. “We are just one big happy family that bleeds purple,” Strong said. –DONNA PARISH
THE LEAN YEARS
his was by no means the first time in his life Maule had found himself at a crossroads. The summer after graduating from SFA in 1974, he struck off for Los Angeles with nothing but a car and $600. “I had absolutely no plan,” Maule recalled during a recent interview at Java Jacks Coffee House, one of his favorite Nacogdoches haunts. “Well, that’s not true. I planned to eat, and I planned to sleep. I just had no idea how I was going to pay for it.”
REIMAGINED RETURNS TO HIS FESSIONAL ACTOR
AND FINDS UNEXPECTED JOY IN TEACHING
THE NEXT GENERATION OF MOVIE MAKERS BY AMY ROQUEMORE
They say necessity is the mother of invention. When actor Brad Maule ’74 returned to East Texas in the spring of 2005, he didn’t just need a job and a place to live, he needed to reinvent his life from the ground up. After spending two weeks driving the endless highways of his home state of Texas and taking stock of his life, he found himself back in Nacogdoches, where he had studied fine arts four decades earlier. “This is it,” he remembers thinking after taking some time to rediscover the town he had all but forgotten during his years in show business. “This seems like a good place to get well.”
He rented a cheap apartment and began reading the Hollywood trade magazines and auditioning for every acting and singing job for which he was remotely qualified. Surviving on a steady diet of 90cent meatloaf sandwiches (which he bought and cut in half for two meals), Maule had stretched his $600 almost as far as it would go when he got his first big break. “I had $11 left, and I knew I couldn’t call home and ask for more money. When that $600 ran out, I would be going back home to the family farm.” But it didn’t come to that. Maule was hired by the Serendipity Singers, a touring folk group, to sing and play guitar. He spent the next year performing shows across the country and meeting people from all walks of life. “I was making $350 a week, which to a farm kid from West Texas seemed like about a million dollars,” he recalled. “I remember being in awe that I could order anything I wanted off a restaurant menu. I got to see the whole country, and I had a great time doing it.” >
I was shot in the head, shot in the heart, paralyzed, impotent, blind, had four brain surgeries, was comatose and spent three months sleeping on the set – I also had my hand crushed, which, for a surgeon, was devastating. character in 2006, breaking the hearts of General Hospital fans all over the country. What the viewers didn’t know was that Maule’s heart was breaking right along with theirs.
THE DOCTOR IS IN
ventually, Maule left the Serendipity Eback-up Singers and, after a brief stint as a singer for Hawaiian performer
Don Ho, returned to California to pursue his acting dreams. He found work as a stage actor and also made guest appearances on popular ’80s television shows like Three’s Company and Charlie’s Angels. In 1984, 10 years after he left SFA for Hollywood, Maule was offered the role that would define his acting career over the next two decades. He joined the cast of the popular daytime serial General Hospital as Dr. Tony Jones, who became one of the most endearing and enduring characters in the genre’s history. His legions of fans stuck with him through marriages and divorces and all manner of other drama for which soap operas are beloved – to say nothing of his many brushes with death. “I was shot in the head, shot in the heart, paralyzed, impotent, blind, had four brain surgeries, was comatose and spent three months sleeping on the set – I also had my hand crushed, which, for a surgeon, was devastating,” the twotime Emmy Award nominee said. In the end, it was complications from a rare strain of encephalitis that killed the
“ABC made the decision to end our relationship, and, after being part of that family for 20 years, it really felt a lot like a death. I grieved over it long and hard. I was 50 years old and became an unemployed actor overnight. At the same time, my 20-year marriage was ending, and I realized I had to start over.”
DOWN ON THE FARM
aule was raised on a West Texas M farm that was 20 miles away from the nearest place you could call a town. He helped on the farm and made good grades in school, but, from the first grade on, the thing he looked forward to most was the community’s annual talent show. He spent countless hours polishing his musical performances for the shows and won the competition more than once. “I always knew what I wanted to do – always,” he said.
He made the decision in high school to move in with his grandmother in a nearby town with a larger school and joined some amateur country and rock bands. “It wasn’t a big school by any stretch of the imagination, but at least I wasn’t the only artsy kid anymore.” Maule also spent two summers performing in a musical for tourists in Palo Duro Canyon State Park. “Being from the country, I was really uncomfortable meeting all those new people, but I desperately wanted to sing and act, and I felt at home in
front of an audience. To this day, I am shy, but my calmest moments have always been when I’m on stage.” Maule decided to come to SFA based on a single criterion: annual rainfall. He said after being raised in a place where family fortunes were gained, lost and regained according to Mother Nature’s whims, he wanted to be somewhere in Texas that didn’t want for precipitation. He did well at SFA, earning a 3.7 grade-point average and graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Because he lived on campus and kept busy with his classes and SFA and community theatre productions, he never really spent much time getting to know Nacogdoches while he was a college student. So, when he returned to the Oldest Town in Texas in 2005, it was almost as if he were discovering it for the first time.
A NEW BEGINNING
aule said he relied on his “proud farmer heritage” to help him overcome the setbacks that led him back to Nacogdoches in search of a fresh start. “When the crop is ruined, you either give up or you plant all over again. I decided I was going to reinvent myself, put myself out there, put down roots in this place and try to become a part of the fabric of the community.” He was thrilled to find a downtown Nacogdoches loft overlooking the brick streets. He volunteered time to promote the numerous festivals and special events hosted downtown each year and became an advocate for the continued development of the area. He began hosting a morning drive talk show on a local
AM radio station, chewing the fat with local listeners about everything from politics to the fickle East Texas weather. Recently, he helped create the annual Nacogdoches Film Festival. He has also continued to pursue his musical career. His latest CD Miles and Miles of Texas, a tribute album to swing music, will be released this summer. “Brad is one of the biggest champions of downtown Nacogdoches, always willing to participate in our special events, whether it’s a historical reenactment or a celebrity cooking competition,” said Sarah O’Brien ’05, city of Nacogdoches Main Street manager. “He has never denied a photo opportunity with a tourist or an autograph for an SFA mom claiming to be his biggest fan.” Maule also is a lecturer on the SFA faculty, teaching musical theatre, theatre appreciation, beginning and advanced cinematography, and acting for the camera. Teaching was something he said he never dreamed of doing, even after deciding to return to Nacogdoches. “Basically, I had some angels at SFA who helped make this all possible.” Among them is William Arscott, the director and creative force behind SFA’s distinguished cinematography program. The longtime professor gave Maule his only C in college, and, while both agree he deserved the grade, Maule seems to take pleasure in the fact that he has now “come back to haunt” Arscott by sharing his small faculty office in the cinematography building. “As an actor, I know what the finished product should look like because I’ve done it my whole life,” Maule said. “I had to learn how to break it down and teach it in parts, which is something good teachers do naturally. Luckily, I have some amazing colleagues who are role models for me, and I am becoming more comfortable in the classroom and enjoying working with the students.”
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As for his past success in show business, Maule says that is worth “about one Google search” to his SFA students, most of whom have never heard of Dr. Tony Jones or General Hospital, “although their grandmothers are usually thrilled.” A proud father of two, 26-year-old Hunter and 25-year old Lily, Maule said he enjoys interacting with that age group and learns as much from his students as they do from him. Arscott said Maule brings a unique perspective to SFA’s cinematography program. “He is very good at understanding actors, and, since his minor at SFA was in English, he is also good at working with our students on storytelling,” Arscott said. “The students respond to him very well.”
COMING FULL CIRCLE
espite all that Maule has DNacogdoches, accomplished since returning to the most significant
change has occurred in his heart. He says his spirit has been renewed, in both a religious and emotional sense. “My father always said ‘you can’t leave your raisin’,’ and it turns out he was right,” Maule said. “Here I am living in a small Texas town, plowing along and trying to put in a good day’s work every day. I feel lucky and very blessed to live and work here, and I will always be grateful to the people of Nacogdoches and SFA for making me feel at home.”
I feel lucky and very blessed to live and work here, and I will always be grateful to the people of Nacogdoches and SFA for making me feel at home.
Opposite Maule arrives at the radio station in Lufkin at 6:30 a.m. each weekday for his talk show. Above SFA cinematography students talk with Maule about their end-ofthe-semester film projects. Right SFA Professor Emeritus of English Dr. Francis “Ab” Abernethy visits with Maule at Abernethy’s historic home in downtown Nacogdoches.
e eco l b %in a lo
o n sus b r ta ca
SFA has partnered with Siemens Industry Inc. to develop ways of conserving resources, reducing waste and improving energy efficiency on campus.
Recently, Siemens reported to the Board of Regents about the success of these initiatives, which included water and electricity conservation measures, boiler plant upgrades, and improvements in lighting, heating, and air-conditioning efficiencies. In the coming years, the savings in energy costs is expected to meet or exceed the cost of the improvements.
s u m p ti o n
55 46 20
% % %
Electricity consumption on campus was reduced by 20 percent, despite steady increases in enrollment and the opening of a new four-story residence hall.
e n e rg y
Contracted guaranteed utility savings were exceeded by 25 percent during the first year.
25 SAVINGS UP
Upgrades made to lighting fixtures around campus reduced their consumption of energy by 55 percent. Alumni can see the difference in lighting at sporting events held in Johnson Coliseum and Shelton Gym. Throughout campus, occupancy sensors now turn lights off automatically when no one is in the area. Upgrades made to air conditioning systems in buildings on campus reduced electricity consumption on those systems by 46 percent.
Greenhouse gas emissions on campus were reduced by 20 percent. SFAâ€™s carbon footprint is being reduced, and the natural resources are being managed better.
IMPLEMENTED MEASURES INCLUDE: New building-control systems that allow for more efficient scheduling of HVAC equipment used in each structure. Meters placed on individual buildings so energy consumption levels can be monitored more closely. Improvements to HVAC systems across campus heat and cool campus buildings more efficiently.
Source: Siemens Industry Inc.
SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS
FROM THE ASSOCIATION
REETINGS. IT SEEMS like we were just ringing in the New Year, and now here we are halfway through 2013. But here we are, and by the time you get this magazine, the Association’s fiscal year will be almost concluded. It has been a great year, and we couldn’t have done it without your support! We want to congratulate and officially welcome those new alums who recently received bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at spring graduation. We wish all of our graduates much success and look forward to you joining the Alumni Association. We recently had 220 future alums take part in this semester’s Big Dip ceremony. This has become a great tradition, and we look forward to these students joining the alumni ranks, becoming members of the Alumni Association and giving back to our beloved SFA. In addition to all of the graduation-related activities, your Alumni Association hosted or assisted with numerous events throughout the state this fiscal year. All in all, we’ve been involved in more than 100 events with more than 31,000 alumni in attendance. The purpose of these events is to network with local area alums, reconnect with SFA, increase the visibility of SFA, grow our Alumni Association membership, solicit donations and scholarships, and show our Lumberjack pride. I hope you had an opportunity to attend one of these events. We have a lot of pride in our university, and I hope you are proud of your alma mater and all that your SFA Alumni Association is doing. If you have not been able to attend one of the events, I encourage you to check out our website, Facebook Page and Twitter account and get plugged in to what’s going on with the Alumni Association and the events in your area. If you’re interested in starting a chapter or network group, please contact Dale Green or Jeff Davis at (936) 468-3407 or visit sfaalumni.com. Although I have been plugged in for a while, I am amazed how much the campus has changed in recent years. If you have not been back to “Nac” in a while, I strongly encourage you to plan a visit. You will be amazed (hint: homecoming will be here before you know it). We are proud of our alma mater, and hope you will continue to support the Alumni Association so we can continue promoting Lumberjack pride, engaging alumni and providing scholarships to deserving students. On behalf of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and staff, I want to thank you for your past, present and future support. We couldn’t do it without you! Axe ’em, Jacks!
Curtis Sparks ’85 President, SFA Alumni Association
Curtis Sparks ’85 - president Roger Robinson ’92 - president-elect Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Wendy Buchanan ’85 Don Cox ’71 & ’76 Robin Dawley ’77 Karen Gantt ’95 Mike Harbordt ’63 Doris Havard James Hawkins ’83 Kent Hutchison ’92 David Madrid ’02 Justin McFaul ’04 Susan Roberds ’75 Phillip Scherrer ’99 Erika Tolar ’02 Steve Whitbeck ’75 Chris Woelfel ’95 Student Foundation Association Dorian Nero ’13 SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - chairman Lewie Byers ’68 Ford Cartwright ’69 Rick Couvillon ’85 Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 Stephen Greak ’92 James Hamilton ’77 Bill Roberds ’75 Curtis Sparks ’85 SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Jeff Davis ’02 executive director of alumni affairs Katy Crawford assistant to the executive director of alumni affairs Dale Green ’99 director of marketing & membership Samantha Mora ’08 director of alumni events & engagement Alicia Roland Chatman gifts & records specialist
BALLPARK AY AT SFA D R E B M E M
Beverly Smith ’96 accountant Emily Martin scholarship coordinator
Story by Richard Yeakley Photos by Kevin Green 26
ODD LONG EXITED class and wandered down to a lake where he often fished. The SFA student was still years away from serving as Gregg County’s game warden. Long cast the line just past a stump in the water into a “honey pot” where fish usually bit. The bait was Long’s favorite Heddon Chugger Spook Jr., designed for bass fishing. A black bass took the bait, latching on the line before diving deep in the lake, tying the line around the stump and breaking free — causing Long to lose his beloved lure. When Long began to hunt for a replacement, he learned that the company had stopped making the lure, sending the young man on a quest through sporting goods stores, yard sales and friends’ tackle boxes to find a duplicate. That quest evolved into a hobby and passion for Long, who 20 years later has accumulated some 2,000 lures of different makes, models and colors, ranging in value from $1 to $500. “When I first met my wife and she visited my home, she said it looked like a miniature Bass Pro Shop,” Long said. He said working at Winchester’s Tackle after college further fueled his hobby. “Working alongside me most of those early mornings was another lively, local character named Tony Valentino …. Tony was the owner/manager of the former Tony’s Sporting Goods, a hugely popular downtown Longview landmark that served East Texas since 1953. Tony exposed me to a world of fishing tackle knowledge and, more importantly, how to treat customers,”
Summer 2013 Summer
Long said. “Those years also fueled my interest and knowledge about fishing tackle.” The Gregg County game warden has made a life of collecting rare and unique fishing and hunting memorabilia, but the centerpiece of Long’s collection is still a mass of uniquely colored Heddon Chugger Spooks — like the original lost lure. Although Long said that settling down with a wife and raising his two kids has slowed the passion, he is always watching for items his collection is missing. “When I am out on the lake and checking fishing licenses or the number of fish caught, the conversation will always move to what kind of bait they are using. I have had guys give me lures,” Long said. As the collection evolved, so did the method of finding the lures. Long became a member of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club and traveled to different states to attend lure shows and conventions. “I had to carry photos of my collection to know what I would need. And sometimes I would improve my collection. If I had a lure that was old and found the same lure that was unused, I would buy it and turn around and sell my old one,” Long said. He also developed the website heddonspooks.com so other enthusiasts could see which lures he was searching for and what he had to sell. “I have actually connected a number of buyers and sellers,” Long said. The game warden does not keep the hobby to himself, though.
Long said he is already taking his 3-year-old son, Tate, to the lake and will pass on the collection if Tate shows an interest. He will also give away spare lures or pieces of his collection to children at different fishing programs across the county if they show a passion for the activity. “Preserving these vintage pieces of fishing yesteryear for our children, grandchildren and future generations of fishermen and women to enjoy is one of my goals/purposes of this hobby. I truly enjoy sharing the history and ‘fish stories’ behind many of these old lures with the kiddos I’ve met through ‘Kidfish’ programs, Boy Scouts and various other educational, fishing or outdoor programs,” Long said. There are lures that Long knows exist that he has never seen after 20 years of searching. “I hope somebody sees this article and has a lot of lures lying around and wants to talk to me,” Long said.
Copyright 2013 Longview News-Journal Used By Permission
VISTA VIEWPOINT by Peter Fischer ’64
Benefits of membership far outweigh the cost THESE DAYS, WE all have plenty to do with earning a living, rearing a family and trying to have a little fun now and then. You might think to yourself, “When I retire, I’ll have a lot of time to do what I want, when I want.” That is true, but, take it from me, after a few years of retirement, one becomes bored and wants to find more ways to give back. When I graduated in January 1964, I began the great job search and tried a few things. But later that year, I went to work for Shell Oil Company as an editor of one of its employee newspapers. After 30 years, I retired and moved to Colorado. One of the things I enjoyed when I worked for Shell Oil Company as a public relations and community relations manager was the fact that my job enabled me to work with various community organizations. I served on Chamber of Commerce boards of directors in several towns and for the Public Relations Society of America. My professional organizations and activities involved working with youth in the community, as well. I retired from Shell in Houston in 1993, and we moved to Colorado where we bought and operated a pet store in Evergreen. While in Evergreen, I again worked with the local chamber. When we returned to Texas in 2001, I worked part-time for some local businesses to keep busy and to supplement my TV and fun time. During all those years since my graduation from SFA, I did not think much about the university. Once in a while, I would look at copies of The Pine Log that I had bound into book form. I was editor of the paper during my last year at SFA, and prior to that I had worked on the paper in advertising. I truly enjoyed that experience. It was because
I had actual samples of journalism work to show when I interviewed for jobs that I was offered a job with Shell. The hiring manager told me one reason for my employment was that I had proof of my journalistic qualifications. I never forgot that lesson. After returning to Texas and settling in Elkhart, I wanted to do something to pay back SFA for what it contributed to my work career. I had been asked by a couple of people to join the Alumni Association, and I finally did. I became a life member and volunteered for the association. I hope sharing my experience will help encourage other SFA graduates to become involved with the Alumni Association, which relies on members and donations to do its work. There are many personal advantages to joining the Alumni Association. Membership is a good tool for keeping up with SFA activities, news and events and also provides the chance to renew old college friendships. These advantages are offered for a very low annual membership fee. If your personal benefits are not enough, consider that your membership makes possible scholarships, Homecoming, alumni networking opportunities and many other special events annually. All of this and more is why I chose to become a life member of the SFA Alumni Association. Peter Fischer ’64 I invite you to join also. You will SFA Alumni Association be so glad you did. committee member
UPCOMING EVENTS JUNE
28 COACHES LUNCHEON noon, Piney Woods Country Club
DR. RAYMOND LEE WORSHAM SCHOLARSHIP BASS FISHING TOURNAMENT Lake Sam Rayburn at Jackson Hill Marina, 1705 FM 2851, Broaddus
OKLAHOMA ALUMNI NIGHT AT REDHAWKS Bricktown Ballpark Tickets at sfaalumni.com
DENTON NETWORK EVENT Sweetwater Grill & Tavern, 6-8 p.m. 115 S. Elm St., Denton, (940) 484-2888
ADDISON NETWORK EVENT Flying Saucer, 6-8 p.m. 14999 Montfort Drive Dallas, (972) 991-7093
GARLAND NETWORK EVENT Primo’s, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. 4861 Bass Pro Drive Garland, (972) 226-8100
KANSAS CITY ALUMNI NETWORK EVENT Kansas City, Mo. Details at sfaalumni.com
DENVER ALUMNI NETWORK EVENT Denver, Colo. Details at sfaalumni.com
ATHLETIC TRAINERS NETWORK EVENT SATA - Houston Details at sfaalumni.com
BEAUMONT FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTY Café Del Rio, 6-8 p.m. 2830 Interstate 10 E, Beaumont
18 AUSTIN FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTY Red’s Porch 2-3:30 p.m. 3508 S. Lamar Blvd. Austin, (512) 440-7337
CYPRESS NETWORK EVENT Cork Café Wine and Coffee, 6-8 p.m. 25712 Northwest Fwy., Cypress, (281) 758-1682
21 DALLAS NETWORK EVENT Iron Cactus 6-8 p.m. 1520 Main St., Dallas (214) 749-4766
FRISCO NETWORK EVENT The Londoner Pub 6-8 p.m. 5454 Main St. Suite 123, Frisco (214) 618-5025
PLANO NETWORK EVENT Urban Crust 6-8 p.m. 1006 E. 15th St. Plano, (972) 509-1400
7 SFA LUMBERJACK FOOTBALL AT TEXAS TECH Lubbock Details at sfaalumni.com
12 WASHINGTON D.C. ALUMNI NETWORK EVENT Bar Louie, 6-8 p.m. 701 7th St. NW Washington, DC
1 PANOLA FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTY Texas Country Music Hall of Fame 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. 310 W Panola St. Carthage (903) 694-9561
MCKINNEY NETWORK EVENT Cadillac Pizza Pub 6-8 p.m. 112 S. Kentucky St. McKinney (972) 547-3833
ARLINGTON NETWORK EVENT Houlihan’s, 6-8 p.m. 401 Interstate 20 E Arlington (817) 375-3863 BAY AREA NETWORK EVENT Lupe Tortilla, 6-8 p.m. 891 W. Bay Area Blvd. Webster, (281) 338-2711
13 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA ALUMNI NETWORK EVENT San Francisco, Calif. Details at sfaalumni.com
4 DALLAS FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTY Details at sfaalumni.com
HOUSTON FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTY Blackfinn American Grille, 6-8 p.m. 1910 Bagby St., Houston (713) 651-9550
LONGVIEW FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTY Papacita’s, 6-8 p.m. 305 W. Loop 281, Longview
SAN ANTONIO FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTY University Bowl 2-3:30 p.m. 12332 Interstate 10 W at De Zavala, San Antonio (210) 699-6235
FORT BEND NETWORK EVENT Flying Saucer 6-8 p.m. 15929 City Walk Sugar Land (281) 242-7468
SOUTHLAKE/KELLER/ LEWISVILLE NETWORK EVENT Campania Pizza 6-8 p.m. 291 Grand Ave Southlake
TYLER FRESHMAN SEND-OFF PARTY Spring Creek Barbeque 2-3:30 p.m. 5810 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler, (903) 561-5695
HOUSTON NETWORK EVENT Blackfinn American Grill 6-8 p.m., 1910 Bagby St. Houston, (713) 651-9550
LUBBOCK ALUMNI NETWORK EVENT Details at sfaalumni.com
Alumni Corner Tailgate • Parade Golf and Frisbee Golf Tournaments Certified 5K Run • Legacy Dinner Bonfire • Back to Nac Social Class Reunions • Duck Dash Homecoming Game
Times and dates are subject to change. Visit sfaalumni.com for the most recent information.
Gloria Gay Ash Scholarship
The Gloria Gay Ash Scholarship provides funds for SFA students majoring in photography or journalism. The scholarship is awarded to students who maintain at least a 2.75 grade-point average and is renewable. Ash lived in California and Kansas before spending the last 40 years of her life in the East Texas area. She worked as a program analyst for SFA and was a member of the Angelina Photography Club. She became a life member of the SFA Alumni Association in 2005. Ash passed away Dec. 20, 2011, in Ratcliff at the age of 87.
Patrick and Peggy Buddin Scholarship
The Patrick and Peggy Buddin Scholarship was established by the coupleâ€™s children, Jason and Adrienne Buddin, and is awarded to deserving SFA students who maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average. Their parents moved to Center from Charleston, S.C., in 1967 when Patrick was promoted in the finance company for which he worked. The couple joined the First Baptist Church in Center, made lifelong friends and met future business partners. Their children, both SFA alumni, established the scholarship in appreciation of the values their parents taught them, the character they instilled in them and the love that they shared with them.
Bobby D. Goff Scholarship
The Bobby D. Goff Memorial Band Scholarship provides funds for graduates of Timpson, New Boston and Hallsville high schools who are members of the Lumberjack Marching Band. Goff attended White Oak schools for 12 years and was a trombone player in the band. Following one year of study at Kilgore Junior College and a brief employment at a bank, Goff entered SFA as a music education major. He earned a bachelorâ€™s degree in music education at SFA and taught at Garrison, Jefferson and Timpson high schools. In 1965, he married Elizabeth Witherspoon, and they moved to New Boston where he taught for seven years and led the band to six consecutive Sweepstakes awards. He began teaching in Hallsville in 1972, remaining there until his retirement in 1990 and leading that band to numerous Sweepstakes awards and other honors. In 1996, he was inducted into the SFA Bandmasters Hall of Fame. Goff passed away in 2001.
Casie Schmidt Leadership Foundation Scholarship
The Casie Schmidt Leadership Foundation Scholarship provides funds for students who are involved in leadership organizations or in the Student Foundation Association at SFA. Schmidt, a Spring native, graduated from SFA with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2004. As a student at SFA, she served as a Student Foundation Association member, orientation leader and SFA 101 student instructor and was named Miss SFA in 2004. In 2009, she received her Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma Christian University. Schmidt married her husband, Scott, in 2006, and they live in Oklahoma City, Okla, with their three children: Samuel, Issac and Susanna. Schmidt is a proud Life Member of the SFA Alumni Association and helped restart the SFA Houston Charter Chapter in 2005 and the Oklahoma Chapter in 2007.
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. 30
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 Email: email@example.com Website: sfaalumni.com Sawdust
TRI DELTA REUNION H NET WORK
ET WORK EV
REUNIONS JULY 11 Oklahoma Alumni Night at RedHawks Bricktown Ballpark Tickets at sfaalumni.com JULY 12 Washington D.C. Bar Louie
JULY 18 Addison Flying Saucer
AUG. 8 Frisco The Londoner Pub
AUG. 23 Arlington Houlihan’s
Denver AUG. 9 Details at sfaalumni.com Plano Urban Crust JULY 19
Bay Area Lupe Tortilla Webster
AUG. 21 Dallas Iron Cactus
SEPT. 4 Fort Bend Flying Saucer
AUG. 22 McKinney Cadillac Pizza Pub
SEPT. 5 Southlake/Keller/ Lewisville Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant
JULY 13 Athletic Trainers San Francisco SATA - Houston Details at sfaalumni.com Details at sfaalumni.com JULY 17 JULY 28 Denton Kansas City Sweetwater Grill & Tavern Details at sfaalumni.com AUG. 7 Cypress Cork Café Wine and Coffee
Houston Blackfinn American Grill
SEPT. 6 Lubbock Details at sfaalumni.com
LUMBERJACK Summer 2013
BE PROUD. BE PART OF IT.
Visit our website to get involved with alumni and special interest networks. sfaalumni.com
Billie Mae Colwell ’45 of Broaddus was presented with the Community Builder Award by the Broaddus Masonic Lodge #1112 AF&AM. The award is the highest honor given to a non-lodge member.
Dr. Janece Hudson ’58 & ’66 of Austin is an author, certified hypnotherapist and licensed psychologist who conducts seminars about understanding the meaning of dreams.
Katie Craddock ’67 of Tyler and her husband are the owners of Katie’s Jewelry with two locations in Tyler, as well as shops in Lufkin, Lindale, College Station and Fredericksburg.
Janice Caldwell ’71 of Lindale teaches speech and debate at Lindale High School where she has spent 33 years building a successful debate team. Harryett Burden Hyde ’74 of Hideaway Lake has published a novel, Autumn of Dixie. Robert Loper ’73 recently logged his 800th win as head basketball coach at Frankston High School.
Jack Peppard ’75 of Tyler is the branch manager of Southside Bank’s South Broadway location. Judy York ’75 of Longview received the Cornerstone Award from Longview ISD. The award recognizes a retired LISD teacher who has been instrumental in the success of the school and in the lives of the students.
Rand Cates ’83 of Henderson recently was appointed municipal court judge in Mount Enterprise. Chris Cravens ’80 of Bonham was one of three “Artists of the Month” in Bonham and had his work shown at the Bonham Courthouse and city’s Creative Arts Center. Lourie Ihlo ’83 of Center is vice president of new accounts at Shelby Savings Bank. Jeanelle Riley Maland ’85 of Tyler is a board member for the Tyler Independent School District Foundation and serves as chair of its honor roll committee. Maland also is president of the Tyler branch of the American Association of University Women. Daniel Driggers ’86 of Nacogdoches, a Texas CPA and foreign service specialist
Dr. Donnya Elle Stephens was the first black faculty member and tenured professor in the Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership at SFA. Now, a painting of Stephens is the first in the department’s newly created Leadership Legacy Hallway. Stephens holds a Bachelor of Science from Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Education from SFA. She is a Distinguished Alumna of Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she earned a doctoral degree. She joined the SFA faculty in 1975 and remained with the university as a professor in secondary education until her retirement in 2002, when she was named professor emeritus. An author of scholarly articles published in professional education journals, Stephens is the recipient of awards including an RJR Nabisco Fellowship Award from the Joint Council on Economic Education, Woman of the Year in 1991 from the American Association of University Women, the 1993 SFA Alumni Association Distinguished Professor Award and SFA Regents Professor in 1995. Dr. Ken Austin, associate professor in the Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership, painted the portrait of Stephens for the Leadership Legacy Hallway located on the fourth floor of the McKibben Education Building. Austin holds a Master of Fine Arts in studio art and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. with the U.S. State Department, has been assigned to Embassy Tegucigalpa as the financial management officer in Honduras. Kyle Morgan ’84 of Hughes Springs is owner of Trico Lumber Company in Hughes Springs and Linden. Bradley Dale Peveto ’89 is special teams and safeties coach at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Ky. Clint Simpson ’81 of Houston is a realtor at Greenwood King Properties and has been on the Houston Business Journal’s Top Residential Real Estate list for 10 years.
Casey Stinnett ’89 of Liberty is a reporter and sports editor for Houston Community Newspapers. H. Robert Walker ’81 is head football coach at Conroe High School. Teresa Weldon ’83 & ’85 of Arlington is director of service portfolio management at Northrop Grumman Information Systems in Chester, Va.
Ann Adamson ’97 of Longview is the board secretary for the Pine Tree Education Foundation and co-chair for the Pine Tree Honors, an event that recognizes teachers for excellence in the classroom and making a difference in students’ lives.
Monette Chilson ’90 is the author of Sophia Rising: Awakening Your Sacred Wisdom Through Yoga. Chilson has practiced yoga for almost two decades and is dedicated to making the spiritual benefits of yoga accessible to people of all faiths. John Ben Blackburn ’94 of Longview is a board member for Junior Achievement of East Texas. Jeanne Cunningham ’91 of Liberty City is a banking officer at Citizens National Bank in Tyler. Sara Jane Phillips del Carmen ’96 of Arlington is an associate judge in Tarrant County. Cheryl Floyd ’98 of Stephenville is superintendent of Huckabay ISD. Wally Gomaa ’91 of Dallas is senior vice president, shareholder and board member of Holmes Murphy & Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokers. Gomaa also is a founder and president of ACAP Health, a Holmes Murphy affiliate company. Stan Heisel ’91 of Terrell is the director of technology and special projects at Terrell ISD. Janice Koether ’92 of Leggett is superintendent of Leggett ISD. Cliff Lasiter ’92 of Grapeland is superintendent for Slocum ISD. Dr. Greg Sherman ’95 of Plano was named 2012 Texas Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).
Monique Stansell ’91 of Waxahachie is a professional development specialist for Dallas ISD.
Anna Lee ’06 of Center is vice president of Shelby Savings Bank. Kelly D. Bolyard ’12 of Hemphill is San Augustine County’s misdemeanor drug and alcohol court officer.
Maegan McNeely ’06 of Kaufman is a seventh-grade 1st Lt. Ryan Tompkins ’09 of Nacogdoches is stationed at Schofield Barracks, a U.S. Army installation in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Chinook pilot served in Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012, returning to the United States in December. While flying missions in the war zone, he often carried American flags that were later given to family and friends as gifts. One of the flags is proudly displayed in Milford Barber Shop in downtown Nacogdoches. Tompkins graduated from Nacogdoches High School in 2003, immediately enlisted in the U.S. Army and was soon serving as an operating room specialist, working with surgeons in South Korea. Recognizing his leadership potential, the doctors there encouraged him to earn a college degree and become an officer. He applied and was accepted to SFA and was involved in the ROTC, serving as company commander his senior year. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2009 and was accepted to aviation school, learning to fly the Army’s largest helicopter at Fort Rucker, Ala., and graduating at the top of his class. Eventually, Tompkins hopes to receive additional aviation training to become a fixed-wing aircraft pilot for the Army.
Mallori Brookshire ’11 of Nacogdoches is the meeting and event coordinator for the Nacogdoches Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. Thomas Condell ’00 of Ithaca, N.Y., is offensive coordinator for the Hamilton Tigercats in the Canadian Football League. He and his wife, Mandy ’98 & ’01 announce the Jan. 19 birth of son Wyatt David. Wyatt has three older brothers, Caleb, Luke and James Thomas. Cara Cooke ’02 of Corpus Christi is the new superintendent of Kilgore ISD. Stephen Hogue ’08 of New Braunfels is a customer service loader at Lowe’s.
Lyndsey Sanders ’12 of Baytown and Robert Davis of Anahuac were married July 21. The couple resides in Anahuac. Lyndsey received a Master of Professional Accountancy degree exactly 30 years following her mother, Laura Farley Sanders ’82. Robert studied Criminal Justice and is now employed with ExxonMobil in Baytown.
LIFE MEMBERS The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. We appreciate your support. Delta Zeta celebrated its 50th anniversary reunion on April 27. Maegan McNeely ’06 of Kaufman is a seventh-grade math teacher at O.P. Norman Junior High School. Brett A. Richardson ’02 of Bloomington, Ind., an associate instructor and doctoral wind conducting student at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Ind., was invited to present at the 2013 Midwest Clinic, an international band and orchestra conference in Chicago, Ill. Richardson served on the SFA School of Music Faculty from 2007-11 as assistant director of bands and instructor of music. Stephanie Rutland ’09 of Sugar Land and Doug Neuendorf ’09 of Missouri City were married Oct. 6. Chris Skiles ’04 of Katy is design director for Houstonia magazine.
Stephanie Tilley ’09 of Friendswood and Wes Funderburg were married March 24. Mo Davis Williams ’09 of Nacogdoches is an SFA academic adviser.
7817. James V. Maple III (TJ) ’08 of Nacogdoches 7818. Dr. Margaret Fitch-Hauser ’74 & ’75 of Auburn, Ala. 7819. James B. Jenkins ’09 of Dallas 7820. Tom B. Kingham ’76 of Nacogdoches 7821. Cathy G. Pavlic ’11 of Diboll 7822. Dustin L. Helton ’08 of Galveston 7823. Rachel N. Taylor ’08 of Galveston 7825. Aaron Montes of Nacogdoches 7826. Emily S. Montes ’01 of Nacogdoches 7827. Stacey R. Herrera ’06 of Henderson 7828. Christina L. Kluth ’80 of Houston 7829. Willie G. Whitaker ’66 of Marshall
The sisters of Chi Omega Epsilon Zeta Chapter will be celebrating their 50th anniversary on the SFA campus September 20-22. They will be hosting an evening reception on Friday, a banquet and evening of revelry on Saturday as well as tours of Nacogdoches, the SFA campus, and the Chi Omega house, and an Omega Ceremony on Sunday. To register and for more information, please visit www.sfaalumni.com/ events/chiomega50.
7830. Morgan E. McLemore ’12 of Nacogdoches 7831. Leah R. Hufstetler ’12 of Lufkin 7832. Andrew J. Collins ’12 of Nacogdoches 7833. Matthew A. Beresford ’95 of Houston 7834. Yolanda E. Bables ’79 of Red Oak 7835. Christopher A. Boehme ’98 of Longview 7836. Lindsay M. Waterman ’11 of Nacogdoches 7837. Sierra R. Smith ’11 of Nacogdoches 7838. Ida J. Goss ’77 of Nacogdoches 7839. Judith A. Coulter ’10 of Shreveport, La. 7840. Scott S. Shuman ’13 of Sanger
Chuck ’05 and Lindsay Vanderbilt of Longview celebrated their 10-year wedding anniversary May 1 in Nacogdoches. The two met at the campus bookstore and went on their first date in the Twilight Ballroom.
7841. Laura J. Blackman ’05 of Gatesville 7842. Brandon J. Buras ’10 of Houston 7843. Thomas J. Goss ’74 of Nacogdoches 7844. Christopher O. Taliaferro ’12 of Fort Worth 7845. Rebecca J. Kidder ’00 of Temple
IN MEMORIAM Doyle G. Barton of Sherman, Feb. 7. Burres Bean ’62 & ’67 of Kirbyville, March 7. Roy Leonard Beckelhymer of Austin, Feb. 21. Ruth M. Brooks ’77 of Allen, March 28. Hunter Buck of Bastrop, May 4. Kamilla Burgos-Carrillo of Pampaulipas, Mexico, May 4. Michael Burns ’80 of Lufkin, March 21. Kim Marie Baxter ’08 of Nacogdoches, April 30. Memory E. Buck-Skinner ’84 of Richfield Springs, N.Y., March 23. Robert W. Carmack ’64 of Longview, April 14. Martin Crisp ’54 of Houston, March 30. Harry Dailey ’55 &’59 of Austin, April 24. J. Wayne Dyess ’70 of Liberty, Feb. 27. Patrick Fagan of Missouri City, May 4. Sambo Farley ’56 of Zavalla, April 26. Patricia Foster ’04 of Houston, March 3. Deanne Franks of Nacogdoches, March 21. George W. Garrard ’54 of Ennis, April 27. Irene Geiger ’32 of Fort Worth, March 13. Jimmy E. Goldsberry ’64 of Nacogdoches, Jan. 28. Mary L. Hackney ’44 of Lufkin, April 2. Gayle Heard ’71 & ’74 of Longview, April 11. Eloise A. Herndon ’81 of Longview, April 11. Sarah Elizabeth Hopkins of Crandall, March 13. Beatrice Huston ’52 of Temple, April 9. Ann Jones of La Coste, March 18. Elwood “Pete” Kramer ’77 of Nacogdoches, April 22. Joseph G. LaBar Jr. ’92 of Natchitoches, April 16. Robert A. Low ’98, ’99 & ’03 of Jacksonville, Feb. 19. Ret. Lt. Col. Gordon Lowery ’51 of Shreveport, Aug. 3, 2011. Harry Eugene Miller of Nacogdoches, Feb. 13. Virginia Faye Montgomery ’71 of Huntsville, April 30. Reba Sue Cassity Neal ’48 of Corsicana, April 17. James R. Newman ’66 of Dallas, March 1. Jennifer A. O’Connell ’90 of Worcester, Mass., Feb. 3. Mildred Pinkston ’42 of Center, Feb. 27. Marcy B. Rhodes ’08 of Longview, March 29. Joann Copeland Session of Woodville, Miss., March 8. Billy C. Sessions ’61 of Lufkin, Jan. 21. Judith V. Stewart ’63 of Nacogdoches, April 25. Helen Clemons Treadwell ’49 of Carthage, April 9. Mary R. Wathen ’48 of San Antonio, April 27.
Kenneth Isaac Durr was born in Marthaville, La., to Travis Wright and Amanda Mallett Durr on July 4, 1916. A member of The “Greatest Generation,” Durr loved life, family, friends, teaching, his country and his church. Durr passed away Aug. 22, 2012. One of 18 graduates of Martinsville High School in 1933, Durr went on to become the first member of his family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State Normal College, now Northwestern State University, in 1939; a master’s degree from Peabody College; and a doctorate from Indiana University in 1963. He was an outstanding educator for more than 50 years, teaching students at public and private high schools in Louisiana and Connecticut and college students at Northwestern State, Northeast State in Louisiana, Texas Woman’s University and SFA. Durr also served in the U.S. Army during World War II. Married for 55 years, father of five accomplished children, and proud grandpa of eight grandchildren, he lived his life as a role model. He treasured his membership in Sacred Heart Catholic Church and set an example of service that few can equal. From Little League baseball coach to Nacogdoches Kiwanis Club president and Kiwanis District lieutenant governor, from community blueberry picking to selling tickets and flipping pancakes, Durr served his community in many ways. He was honored to be recognized as a George F. Hixson Fellow and to receive the very first L.D. Pate Service Award from his fellow Kiwanians. Love, respect and honor are due a man who was a survivor, son, brother, husband, father, grandpa, uncle, neighbor, citizen, teacher, Kiwanian, churchgoer, friend, patriot and, above all, a southern gentleman. Unselfish service to mankind, family and country designate Durr as an outstanding and patriotic American. Longtime Nacogdoches resident and SFA supporter Dr. Carl Ray Kight passed away April 5. Kight was born Dec. 8, 1932, in Haynesville, La. He graduated in 1951 from Haynesville High School where he met Martha, the love of his life. Kight earned his bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State College in Natchitoches, La., in 1954. He received a Master of Education from the University of Illinois in 1955 and a doctorate from Lousiana State University in Baton Rouge, La., in 1966. Kight taught and coatched football and track at Fair Park High School in Shreveport, La. He was the assistant principal at Ridgewood Junior High before taking a teaching position at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, La. In January 1968, Kight moved his family to Nacogdoches, where he taught health and physical education at SFA for more than 28 years. Kight retired as the chair of kinesiology in 1997. He was well thought of by his students, athletes and co-workers, and he was an avid fan and supporter of all SFA athletic events. Kight was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying hunting, fishing and a rod-wrapping hobby. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Rotary International, Phi Delta Kappa, the Lake Naconiche Board of Directors and the Fredonia Hotel breakfast group. Memorial contributions may be made to the Carl and Martha Kight Track Scholarship Fund, c/o SFA Alumni Association, P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station, Nacogdoches, TX 75962.
Linda Lewis White ’82 of Kingston, Jan. 6.
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SFA Walk of Recognition We invite you to participate in the project that will forever link the past to the future: the SFA Walk of Recognition. For $100, $250 or $500, you may permanently make your mark on an inscribed brick. The Walk of Recognition is located in the Sesquicentennial Plaza around the Stephen F. Austin fountain. You may purchase bricks securely online or download an order form at www.sfaalumni.com. Contact the SFA Alumni Association at (800) 765-1534 for more information.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
The East Texas Research Center and Sawdust would like to know more about this SFA photo. “SFA Student Activities - Nov. ’71” is written on the back of the picture. If you know more about this event or can identify people in the photo, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 765-1534. The ETRC at SFA collects, preserves and provides physical and virtual access to East Texas’ unique cultural history. It also is responsible for managing SFA’s Records Management Program and caring for the university’s archives.
If you have SFA-related photographs, journals or memorabilia you would like to donate to the ETRC, please call (936) 468-4100.
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Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, Texas 75962
Alumni Corner Tailgate Golf and Frisbee Golf Tournaments Certified 5K Run Back to Nac Social Legacy Dinner
Oct. 18-19 20
Bonfire Parade Duck Dash Class Reunions Homecoming Game
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Sawdust is the magazine of Stephen F. Austin State University and the SFA Alumni Association.