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PRIDE The Alumni Magazine of Texas A&M University-Commerce Volume 11

Spring 2011

Charging forward


Photo by Jared Horn

From the President

O

n a recent trip to Washington, I had the opportunity to visit Congressman Ralph Hall, our long-serving representative for the Fourth Congressional District. About halfway through our very pleasant conversation, the congressman leaned forward in his chair and said in his unhurried way, “How can I help the university?”

Knowing that a congressman is continually besieged with requests for assistance, his gentle and genuine offer was both humbling and compelling. Congressman Hall knows well the power of this university to shape lives and shape futures. His mother was a graduate of East Texas Normal College – “Professor Mayo’s College” – while his wife earned her degree from East Texas State Teachers College. In this issue of PRIDE, we share with you stories of alumni and other friends of the university who, like Congressman Hall, have given back to the university that opened the door to a brighter future for themselves, their families, and their communities. I have also learned powerful lessons about giving back from our students. This spring, I came upon a group of Hispanic students visiting with prospective students and their families about this wonderful university. I was struck by their enthusiasm, their mastery of two languages and two cultures, and their genuine desire to give back by using their own experiences to lead and inspire others. I’ve visited with young veterans returning home after serving tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’d traded their uniforms for civilian clothes and were embarking on a new mission: to keep our nation strong by challenging themselves to become the best they can be through education. I am especially moved by the stories that our older alumni share, stories about arriving in Commerce on a late-night train with little more than a cardboard suitcase and a dream. They left with a wellearned degree and a restless desire to put it to work. They now look back on a life well-lived and a world made better by their legacy of courage, commitment and generosity. We’re proud of what you’ve done with your education, whether you received it from A&MCommerce or “Old ET.” We’re proud as well of the role that this great university has played in your success, and of all the ways that you have made it better by giving back.

Dr. Dan R. Jones President


ON THE COVER

Campus Notes................................2

For more than 122 years, the lives of our students, faculty and alumni have been united by a common thread-a brave lion spirit to charge forward into the world and make a difference by giving back in unique ways. The stories featured in this issue of PRIDE and the original artwork by artist Calvin Nicholls (www.calvinnicholls.com) boldly reflect the energy, strength and unfettered thought that permeate this university as it changes the world through education.

Faculty Focus ...............................24 Students in Action.........................26 Giving Back...................................30 Alumni Events...............................34 Noteworthy...................................40

FEATURES

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Ralph Hall: A Gentleman on the Hill

Now the oldest member of the U.S. Congress, Hall represents all that is good in Washington D.C.

The 80/20 Rule

A&M-Commerce dramatically changed Richard Ellison’s life. Now he feels compelled to pass the gift of education on to others.

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The Wisdom of World Book

Thanks to her perseverance, thick skin and knack for diplomacy, Judge Hilda Tagle became the first Hispanic female in Texas to serve as a federal judge.

Grateful to Serve

Everything J. Brian Duggan has is a product of someone else’s generosity. Now he lives a life of service to repay so much of what he has been given.

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Man on a Mission

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Never one to back away from a challenge, Dr. Marcus Nelson is taking on the biggest obstacle of his professional life, leading the Laredo ISD from mediocrity to excellence.

Leading Lions

Her professors challenged her to be a leader. As the SGA president, Adria Green now hopes to inspire the next generation of Lions. PRIDE is published two times a year by the Texas A&M UniversityCommerce alumni relations department. Non-profit postage paid at Addison, Texas. PRIDE is distributed without charge to alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

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Editor in chief.......................... Randy Jolly Editor...............................Ashley Johnson Art director............................. Sean Barnes Photography.............................. Paul Bryan ........................................... Jason Flowers ................................................Jared Horn Graphic designer...............Crystal Britton

Writers.............................. Syndi Walker ....................................Stephanie Garrett Director, alumni relations....Derryle Peace Assistant director, alumni relations..................... Jane Martyn Administrative assistant...Jennifer Eberle Web manager.....................Ken Dickinson

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Address changes, inquiries and contributions of information may be made to alumni relations at 903.886.5765, via e-mail to alumni_relations@tamu-commerce.edu or to Texas A&M UniversityCommerce, Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 3011 Commerce, TX 75429.

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine | Spring 2011 | Vol. 11 | pride.tamu-commerce.edu

Class Notes.................................. 44

CONTENTS

DEPARTMENTS


CAMPUS NOTES Hire a Lion

By Stephanie Garrett

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n 2010, Texas A&M Universit yCommerce reached a milestone in its enrollment, surpassing 10,000 students during the fall semester. Not only was the freshmen class larger, it also proved to be better prepared to succeed in college posting higher grades and test scores than in years past. For alumni employers, this translates into better qualified graduates searching for rewarding careers. Thanks to the Lion Tracks system offered by the career development office, A&MCommerce alumni can easily recruit these motivated well-equipped graduates, confident they can tackle the business world. By simply setting up a profile at www.myinterfase.com/employer, alumni can immediately begin posting jobs and searching through the database of student resumes for their ideal job candidate.

Alumni looking to switch careers can also take advantage of the Lion Tracks system by uploading their resume, and searching through job listings. “All of our career placement services are free for alumni,” said Tina Boitnott, director of career development. “Our services include a variety of options on campus, online and over the phone to help students and alumni find jobs best suited to their needs and talents. We are always here to help,” Boitnott said. “Their success is our success.” For more information, contact Tina Boitnott, director of career development, at tina_boitnott@tamu-commerce.edu or 903-886-5108. Right: On-campus job fairs are one of the many ways in which students launch their careers.

Planning for the Future

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lumni and students can transition easily into the high demand field of financial planning now thanks to an online certificate program at Texas A&M University-Commerce. According to Dr. Nathan Harness, assistant finance professor, the program offers students a flexible alternative to prepare for the CFP® Certified Financial Planning certification examination. “We pride ourselves in providing knowledge that goes beyond the exam and incorporate real world materials essential to developing

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By Ashley Johnson

skilled, comprehensive financial planners,” said Harness. Unlike other programs, students can start the six-course program at anytime and work in the order that they feel comfortable. Students who enroll in the program by December 2011 will also be exempt from completing a capstone course, a CFP requirement beginning in 2012. For more information please contact Nancy Hyde, director of extended studies, at nancy_hyde@tamucommerce.edu or 214-394-7392.

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CAMPUS NOTES

Goal-getter

I WANT TO BE THE

TEACHER THAT KIDS

By Sydni Walker

A

REMEMBER

s a Regents Scholar, an aspiring teacher and a midfielder on the Lions soccer team, Brittni Ong has proven herself as a goal-getter. A Fort Worth, Texas native, Brittni’s knack for achieving goals began when she was an energetic 4-year-old scoring goals on the soccer field, and continued in the classroom where she graduated in the top 6 percent of her class. After 15 years of achieving goals on and off the soccer field, Brittni was ready to take on a different type of goal: college.

WHEN THEY’RE 50-YEARS-OLD.

As an early childhood education major, Brittni chose Texas A&M University-Commerce because of its reputation as one of the top teaching institutions in the state. The Regents Scholars program also provided Brittni with unique opportunities to study abroad, push herself academically and pursue leadership opportunities. “My main goal in life is to affect a child positively to create a lasting impact,” Brittni said. “I want to be the teacher that kids remember when they’re 50-years-old and say ‘I had this really great teacher that inspired me...’” Brittni takes great pride in representing A&M-Commerce on the field and in the classroom. “I am proud of being a Regent, and a member of the soccer team. Knowing others are watching me motivates my actions and helps keep my grades up.”

Photo by Jared Horn

During her freshman year, Brittni achieved many of the goals she established for herself, accomplishments she knows will make her parents proud. She played in six games for the Lions soccer team, with three shots on goal. She made the dean’s list, and pledged Kappa Delta Sorority where she received a new member award for Gracious Living.

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Brittni is careful to maintain perspective and poise as she balances academics, athletics and a blossoming social life. “I follow God’s plan very carefully and turn to him when I feel like I can’t handle it anymore or need guidance,” Brittni said. “I’ve learned that there are times where it gets a bit hectic and crazy, but I always work things out.”

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CAMPUS NOTES

HONORED GRADS

BY SYDNI WALKER

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our years of hard work have finally paid off for 21 Honors College students who graduated May 14. Although seven Honors College students graduated early, these students represent the first full cohort to graduate since the Honors College began in 2007. Dr. Ray Green, dean of Honors College, feels a sense of accomplishment watching them go. “Watching the first honors cohort graduate is like watching your child go away to college or get married,” he said. “I am thrilled for our students and their success, but at the same time there is a sense of sadness as they leave. I have enjoyed this group so much and I am grateful for their willingness to join a new program and to be there as we worked out the issues that accompany a new undertaking. They are great students, but more importantly great people who are destined to make our world a better place.” Four seniors gave their input on what it was like to be a part of the Honors College experience: Jamie Douglas, accounting; Rachel Evans, marketing; Andy Kroll, management information systems; and George Swindell, clinical psychology. While they each came to the Honors College with different academic and career goals, they all left with a sense of community and personal growth. Here are their stories:

What HC added to the A&M-Commerce experience: Jamie: “It was comforting to automatically be a part of an organization the

THEY ARE GREAT STUDENTS, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY

GREAT PEOPLE.

– DR. RAY GREEN, DEAN OF HONORS COLLEGE

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first day I arrived at A&M-Commerce. We participated in numerous events on campus, which helped me become more involved.” Rachel: “The Honors College helped me connect with my professors, make contacts and network with people.” The best thing about being in HC: Andy: “The best part was getting to know my teachers better, and receiving one-on-one help from them. They have been able to help me through tough times.” Jamie: “I liked the Honors classes. It was nice to be in smaller classes where I knew my instructors well, and could have group discussions over various topics. I learned a lot from them.” Advice for future HC students: George: “Start early. Don’t put everything off until your deadlines. Don’t give up.” Andy: “Get involved, because the more people you know, the better. Social and extracurricular activities are just as important as your academics. When you get involved in other organizations, more opportunities open up for you.” Rachel: “I encourage everyone to get involved and give back, just make sure you are focusing the right amount of effort toward your studies.” Jamie: “Get involved on campus, because it will make you a well-rounded student.” How HC prepared them for the real world: Andy: “I have made many great friends and have a better idea of what I want to do with my life. I have discovered many new areas of study that interest me, and it has made me a better, well-rounded person.” Rachel: “It has taught me to take initiative and make things happen. If I want something to happen, I need to take the steps or find the person to help me find my answers. The level of

IT HAS TAUGHT ME TO TAKE INITIATIVE AND

MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. – RACHEL EVANS, MARKETING

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CAMPUS NOTES

GETTING INVOLVED IS VITAL TO

Bottom Row (left to right): Dr. Eric Gruver (Honors College), Alesa McGregor (Theatre), Rachel Payne (Marketing), Rachel Evans (Marketing), Dr. Ray Green, (dean, Honors College), Brittney Yager (Biological Sciences), Heather Bowshier (Art), Amanda Stevens (Psychology), Valerie Peckham (History), Lindsey Lauer (Education) Top Row (left to right): Jerrod Tynes (Animal Science), Clay Friddle (Biology), Andy Kroll (MIS), George Swindell (Psychology), Jeremiah Secrest (he is the one with hat: Chemistry), Jamie Douglas (BBA/MBA – Business Administration), Corey Ainsworth (Management).

responsibility and expectations has driven me to mature and move forward with my goals.” Jamie: “It has taught me a about the importance of being involved in something. Getting involved is vital to growing as individuals and finding our place in the world.” What’s next for these HC grads: George: “I want to stay here and get my master’s in

DON’T PUT EVERYTHING OFF UNTIL YOUR DEADLINES.

DON’T GIVE UP. – GEORGE SWINDELL, CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY

Spring 2011

clinical psychology. I am going to be a resident assistant and teach Intermediate Algebra.” Andy: “I plan on entering the workforce, and potentially pursue graduate school.” Jamie: “I hope to continue working for A&M-Commerce, because I thoroughly enjoy being here, and it would be a way to give back. In the near future, I would also like to obtain a Certified Public Accountant license, as this would help my

GROWING AS INDIVIDUALS

AND FINDING OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD. – JAMIE DOUGLAS, ACCOUNTING accounting career.” Rachel: “I am moving to Austin, Texas to serve as the marketing intern for LIVESTRONG, the cancer foundation founded by Lance Armstrong, seven-time Tour de France winner. After the internship, I am looking to stay in the Austin area and pursue a career in nonprofit marketing.”

IT MADE ME A

BETTER, WELLROUNDED PERSON. – ANDY KROLL, MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS Texas A&M University–Commerce

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RALPH HALL A GENTLEMAN ON THE HILL BY ASHLEY JOHNSON // PHOTOS BY PAUL BRYAN

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ith an honest smile, a penchant for storytelling and tireless zeal, Congressman Ralph Hall represents all that is good in Washington D.C.

“There’s no one I’d rather work for in Washington D.C.,” said Dee Duncan, Hall’s executive assistant. “Congressman Hall has a reputation for being one of the best congressmen to work for, and I can attest to that fact.” Hall has witnessed history being made from the frontlines of the nation’s capitol. He steadfastly served his North Texas constituents as space exploration opened new frontiers, as the Berlin wall came down , and as the U.S. experienced terrorist attacks on home soil on September 11, 2001. Congressman Hall is proud to represent the district previously represented by the legendary Speaker of the House, Sam Rayburn, who led the U.S. House of Representatives during some of the country’s most turbulent and promising times.

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“I WOULD RATHER BE RESPECTED AT HOME, THAN LIKED IN WASHINGTON, D.C..”

“Our staff considers it a true privilege to work for Congressman Hall, who is one of the most beloved and respected members in Congress.”

-JANET POPPLETON, HALL’S CHIEF OF STAFF

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“Efforts to improve STEM education are one of my top priorities,” Hall said. “I am impressed with the dynamic leadership and the excellence in education that are synonymous with A&M-Commerce. It has been gratifying to witness their growth and expansion and the positive impact they are making on Northeast Texas.”

Hall has a true heart for people, as evidenced by the way he connects with people, stays in touch with his constituents, interacts with other members of Congress and with staff, maintains an open door policy, and makes friends wherever he goes.

“Sam Rayburn was a good man, and a great Congressman,” Hall said. “He went to school with my mother at Mayo College, and served as my mentor for many years. He reminded me and other members of Congress to remember where we came from and to go home often to make sure we are doing a good job.” Hall continues to put into practice Rayburn’s wisdom as he seeks to serve his constituents in Texas’s Fourth District to the best of his ability. Meeting with constituents when he’s not in session continues to be both a top priority for Hall, as well as the most enjoyable aspect of his job. By spending time in his district on a frequent basis, Hall admittedly gains a better understanding of those he represents, their beliefs and values, and valuable insight about how he can help improve their lives when given the opportunity. “Leaders sometimes underestimate the ability of the American people to sort out the truth,” Hall said. “We derive our power from the people – and we should never use our position to exercise power without their input. It’s important for me to listen to those I represent, and show them I can be trusted with their needs. I would rather be respected at home, than liked in Washington, D.C.” Hall, now the oldest member of the U.S. Congress, was first elected in 1980 and has been re-elected ever since. Hall is proud of the progress at Texas A&M UniversityCommerce and has helped support the university’s efforts through educational grants and other legislative support. Thanks to frequent visits with Dr. Dan Jones and other friends of the university, Hall has kept himself informed of the institution’s needs, and has stepped in to assist with a variety of STEM (science, technology, education, and math) programs, as well as building projects. 8

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Hall’s passion for education springs from his desire to maintain America’s leadership in the global marketplace. By providing innovative education and training for students from kindergarten through college, Hall is confident that America’s students will graduate fully prepared for the high-tech, high-paying jobs of the 21st century. A&M-Commerce’s ability to provide quality educational opportunities that are relevant in today’s world while providing students the confidence needed to succeed has been significantly strengthened thanks to its ties to The Texas A&M University System, an educational system recognized world-wide for excellence. According to Hall, the A&M System will further improve educational and career opportunities for students in Northeast Texas, and will help the university continue to grow and strengthen its programs, funding, and recruitment. Hall’s involvement with A&M-Commerce goes back to the university’s beginnings, where his mother received her degree alongside Sam Rayburn, and East Texas State Teachers College, where his late wife (and best friend) Mary Ellen, received her degree. He even made the commencement speech at his wife’s graduation, and was able to hand her the diploma. Hall’s grandson is also attending A&M-Commerce. “A&M-Commerce is a great school, and I’m always pleased to help them,” he said. “That’s why I’m putting all of my writings and papers together to someday give to the university, including a few from Sam Rayburn telling me about his friendship with my mother when they were at dear old Mayo College.” A native of Fate, Texas, Hall grew up in Rockwall, where he attended public school and lived almost all of his life. “My father worked on pipelines, and my mother was a teacher. Thanks to the G.I. bill, I was able to attend college and to receive a law degree following my service as a pilot, flying F6 Hellcats during World War II. After the war he worked three jobs as a husband and father to help pay his way through law school.

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Renowned for his humor, storytelling abilities and wealth of knowledge and experience, Congressman Hall leads by example. His staff strives to emulate the strong work ethic, commitment to public service, and positive attitude of gentleman they consider to be the best boss, mentor, and friend they could ever hope to have.

“As a student at Southern Methodist University, I needed one more job, and my wife put me on the ballot for County Judge,” Hall said. “I was fortunate to win that election and to serve 12 years, followed by 10 years serving in the Texas State Senate. During that time, I also began to practice law, purchased a bank, and helped run Texas Aluminum Company - positions that gave me first-hand experience in law, banking, and world-wide trade experience. When our Congressman Ray Roberts decided to retire, I ran for this seat in 1980 and have been re-elected ever since.” Hall currently serves as chairman of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, a committee he has served on since 1980. As chairman, he took a leave of absence from the Energy and Commerce Committee, where he also has served since his election in 1980. Hall was instrumental in helping pass the Energy Policy Act of 1995 that included his ultra-deep drilling provision, the Clean Air Act, the Telecommunications Act, a balanced budget, and welfare reform, among many other initiatives. He worked closely with President Reagan to help promote a strong defense, and with President George H. W. Bush and President George W. Bush to advance fiscally responsible policies.

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From the moment you step into Congressman Hall’s office, you find yourself in the presence of a sincere gentleman intent on simply helping the people of his district succeed in their endeavors.

“I count all of these experiences as a privilege and an honor,” Hall said. “Public service - as a County Judge, State Senator and Congressman - has been a wonderful opportunity to help people in need and to help make government work for people. It’s nice to be able to help my constituents keep the American dream alive.”

Texas A&M University–Commerce

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THE

80/20 RULE

By Ashley Johnson // Photo by Jason Flowers

RICHARD ELLISON’S LIFE WAS SO DRAMATICALLY CHANGED BY HIS TIME AT EAST TEXAS STATE TEACHERS COLLEGE THAT HE FELT COMPELLED TO PASS ON THE GIFT OF EDUCATION TO OTHERS.

“One day I was sitting around, talking with my family, and I posed the question, ‘what if all of the kids in our family went to college?’” Ellison said. “So I set out to make it happen.” More than $1 million later, Ellison has paved the way for 21 of his grandnieces and nephews, and kids he’s “adopted” into the Ellison family to attend and graduate from A&M-Commerce. For Ellison, it’s more than making sure his Lion legacy continues. It’s about extending the power of education through the next generation of leaders and the lives they touch. Each recipient of Ellison’s generosity, however, embarks on their collegiate journey with the responsibility of paying for 20 percent of their education at A&M-Commerce, an expectation that Ellison feels will instill each student with a sense of ownership of their future. “I want each young person to know that I support them, but it’s important that they work to pay a portion of their schooling, whether it’s through scholarships, grants, a part-time job or other financial aid. It teaches them the value of working toward a goal, and prevents them from feeling entitled to whatever the future holds.” Ellison’s love for this university was fostered by his father who attended East Texas Normal College. “He went to A&M-Commerce in ’06 and ’07…that’s 1906 and 1907. He attended school here when Professor Mayo still taught classes,” Ellison said. “Now, with their college assured at A&M-Commerce,  I have the further privilege of carrying on my father’s legacy by inspiring the next generation of Ellisons to

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concentrate on getting a quality education from grade school through college.” Ellison hopes that each student he helps will use their education to realize their potential to succeed in the business world after graduation as he did. A former Captain in the U.S. Air Force, Ellison used his education to transition into a 25-year career in purchasing management with Avon in New York City, as well as a second 25-year career as the newly retired owner of Ellison Financial Services in Dallas. “After graduating from ET and  serving in the Air Force during the Korean War,  I went to work for Shell Oil Company in Houston,” he said. “After a few years, however, I felt ready for a new challenge.   A good friend suggested we go to New York City for a career change, so 30 days later we packed our bags, paid off our bills and headed to the The Big Apple in search of bigger opportunities and greater adventures.” According to Ellison, education is the key to everything in life, an invaluable gift no one can take away. “Providing a young person with an education is one of the most worthwhile investments I could make, and A&M-Commerce provides one of the best,” Ellison said.  “With each student I help, I’m adding to our family’s little pride of Lions. I can’t possibly stop now.”

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“WITH EACH STUDENT I HELP, I’M ADDING TO OUR FAMILY’S LITTLE PRIDE OF LIONS.” Spring 2011

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The Wisdom of World Book By Ashley Johnson // Photos by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

1958 was a good year for World Book encyclopedias. It was the set that sat in Judge Hilda Tagle’s home, and served as the neighborhood reference library. It was also the set that inspired Tagle to ardently pursue reading, learning and a life brimming with the treasures of education. “My 1958 set of World Books opened my eyes to the world,” Tagle said. “It taught me about mythology, history, art, literature, and so much more.” Eventually, Tagle became thirsty for more knowledge, finding herself at the local library in Robstown. Her library was her refuge because it was air conditioned. No bigger than her current office, the library of her childhood holds many great memories. Once she’d finished every book of interest there, her mother settled on a new option-send young Tagle by bus to the bigger library in Corpus Christi. “Life was different then,” Tagle said. “My mother could put me on a bus in the morning, and trust that I’d be safe all day in Corpus Christi. I’d spend hours in the library, and when I was done I’d ride the next bus home.” It was out of this zeal for learning that Tagle found her path to higher education, and eventually to the U.S. District Court’s Southern District of Texas, where she became the first Hispanic female in Texas to serve as a federal judge.

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“Education was the key to everything in my life, from my education at home as I read the World Book encyclopedia to my time at Del Mar College and A&M-Commerce,” Tagle said. “It opened up doors for me that otherwise would have been shut.” Tagle contributes her passion for knowledge to her mother, a migrant worker, who was brilliant, but lacked the educational opportunities that Tagle enjoyed. Always a supporter of her daughter, however, Tagle’s mother always encouraged her to succeed, be independent and make a life for herself. “There were four of us from Robstown that ended up at A&M-Commerce; we were the Spanish Armada,” Tagle said. “We had always been the nerds who made good grades in high school. It wasn’t the most fun thing to be known for, even though it was the best thing.” “My friend Robert Moncivaez transferred from Del Mar to East Texas first, and then Mike Anzaldua followed him with my friends Della, Robert and me not far behind,” Tagle said. “We were this little group of Mexicans, with only one other Mexican student on campus. We were each other’s support system thanks to our shared experiences.”

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An avid reader of books, Tagle chose to study library science as both an undergraduate and graduate student in an effort to get a job as a librarian. After a few years, however, Tagle was ready to transition into a new career as a lawyer. Without the financial ability to attend law school, however, she turned to one of her A&M-Commerce professors, Dr. Clinkscales, who remained a dear friend. The professor loaned Tagle the money, trusting her to make good on the investment. “Law school interested me, but I wasn’t sure my librarian background had prepared me for the Gladiator-like arena of the courtroom,” Tagle said. “I figured that if law school didn’t work out after a semester, then I could do something else. Thankfully, It did work out, and I have loved putting my education to work each day as I serve this district as a federal judge.” What her background did prepare her for was the time consuming art of writing persuasive briefs and performing the research required for each case. Tagle quickly realized the only thing holding her back from achieving her goal of serving in the courtroom, were the myriad of doubters she encountered along the way.

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“Education is the key to everything, and helps you recognize when you need to go out and knock on the door of opportunity, instead of waiting for it to knock on yours.”

She was told she shouldn’t aspire to being a judge because it was too stressful for a woman. As a Mexican-American woman, it seemed especially hard. Thankfully, for every doubter, Tagle had a supporter willing to give her a chance in the courtroom. From there, the burden to succeed was hers.

in the law too, especially when my decisions effect custody,” Tagle said. “When I have to put someone behind bars who tells me they came here to try and provide food for their family who was practically eating dirt, I am deciding custody. As hard as it is, I feel privileged to have that sacred responsibility.”

“I learned quickly that there was a difference between holding myself back from an opportunity, versus someone else holding me back,” she said. “It became evident that I had to fight to achieve what I wanted.”

As a judge, Tagle’s ability to sift through the debris of challenging court battles is founded on the strength of her moral standards. She challenges everyone with dreams of leadership to hold fast to their morals, avoid double standards and recognize that leadership is never about the leader, and always about those they serve.

Today, thanks to her perseverance coupled with a thick skin and knack for diplomacy, Tagle has the privilege of overseeing naturalization ceremonies each month, congratulating new citizens on completing such a difficult, yet worthwhile journey, and encouraging them to make the most of their new life in the United States. Tagle’s role in the courtroom, however, isn’t always colored in warm moments and congratulatory hugs. Oftentimes, it’s full of heart-wrenching challenge, as she balances the law with the truth in her effort to distribute justice. “Being a parent has taught me that not everything is black and white. There is a lot of gray and I see that Spring 2011

She also challenges leaders to help those around them, regardless of background, realize their talents and find ways to succeed. However, those opportunities are only as valuable as the education upon which they are anchored. “Education prepares you for opportunity,” Tagle said. “It’s the key to everything, and helps you recognize when you need to go out and knock on the door of opportunity, instead of waiting for it to knock on yours.”

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GRATEFUL TO SERVE

By Ashley Johnson Photo by Paul Bryan

J. Brian Duggan’s life of service stands as a tribute to all those who have helped him succeed.

As a U.S. Marine, he defended freedoms won by soldiers past. As a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, he proudly serves the country that granted him an education and the opportunity to have a rewarding career. “Everything I have is a product of someone else’s generosity,” Duggan said. “Now I can serve others in an effort to repay so much of what I have been given.” Times were tough when Brian was growing up. No one in his family had gone to college, and Duggan assumed he wouldn’t have a chance either until he received a partial football scholarship to A&MCommerce. One-time grants helped cover the rest of his first year expenses. Duggan didn’t take his benefactor’s generosity for granted, and quickly became involved on campus in the Student Senate and Interfraternity Council. When his football career quickly ended due to an old knee injury from high school, Duggan worried he’d have to walk away from his dream of a college education. Thankfully, Duggan found support from the university’s advancement office. With the help of Larry Goddard, the director of advancement at the time, Duggan was awarded the Raymond Holliday Scholarship, which paid for the rest of his expenses until graduation. “Aside from becoming a happily married father of three daughters, receiving that scholarship was the seminal event in my adult life,” Duggan said. And he has spent every moment since then living a life of gratitude.

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Duggan’s attempt to repay the debt he felt to society began after graduation, when he chose to join the Marine Corps as an infantry officer, rather than enter the corporate world. As a Marine, Duggan briefly served in Somalia, and later his unit evacuated U.S. and allied civilians from Rwanda just before the genocide began. In 1995, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Duggan chose to leave the Marine Corps to attend law school at Texas Tech University. After graduation, he soon got a job at a boutique firm in New York City defending gun manufacturers from product liability suits. “I did well at the firm, and they loved my work, but I terribly missed public service,” Duggan said. “Once I got the call from the Department of State, it was an easy decision to make. Two months later I was in Washington training to become a U.S diplomat.” After directing a work visa program in Mexico, and strengthening cooperation with Colombia and El Salvador against international crime, Duggan returned to State Department headquarters in Washington to work on energy issues vital to U.S. strategic interests. In July, Duggan and his family will take on a new adventure with the Foreign Service when he reports to Embassy Astana in Kazakhstan to serve as the Deputy Political and Economic Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador. It’s an opportunity Duggan attributes to the benevolence of others, an attitude that has followed him across the world as he leads a life characterized by service and gratitude. “Don’t forget to say ‘thank you’ to those who have supported you in life,” Duggan said. “If you’re sincere — and you should be — it never gets old.”

Texas A&M University–Commerce

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BY ASHLEY JOHNSON // PHOTOS BY JASON FLOWERS


DR. MARCUS NELSON DOESN’T ACCEPT EXCUSES. It doesn’t matter if a student is poor, or what their home life is like. For Nelson, superintendent of Laredo ISD, what a child is born into is no excuse for what they can become. “Students sometimes try and offer excuses about why they are failing a class, or why they cannot go to college,” Nelson said. “I’m done with excuses. If they want to succeed, there is a way to make it happen.” An internationally known motivational speaker and inspirational rap artist, Nelson recognizes that the district he serves faces a unique set of challenges that most people in the state don’t know about or understand. In Laredo, 97 percent of the population is economically disadvantaged, so the challenges that the kids in the community face, a lot of people don’t understand. Most people don’t live in that much poverty. Nelson, however, embraces that challenge because it is places like this where kids need their education the most. In Laredo, the schools are the most important thing in the city, because it is a mechanism for which people use to get out of the desperate cycle of poverty. “The kids I’m serving, as poor as they may be, as difficult as their challenges may be, most of them are bright eyed with bright futures,” Nelson said. “They don’t know how they’re going to get out of their current situations, or even make it to tomorrow. They’re not sure where they are going to live next month, but they all want to be teachers, and doctors and lawyers. They all have dreams.” For Nelson, it is those dreams that fire his intolerance for mediocrity in schools. “Many of our kids live in serious poverty at home,” he said. “That’s why our schools have to be quality, because our students’ homes struggle with just trying to make ends meet. They aren’t thinking about the future; we have to instill that hope in them.” Despite the fights and other school problems flashed across the local news, Nelson’s determination grows stronger knowing that every senior who graduates this year is going to walk across the stage, shake the principal’s hand and leave with a desire to tackle the world. Nelson wants to make sure they can. For Nelson, one of only 17 African-American superintendents in Texas, attending college was a given thanks to a family who instilled in him an appreciation for reading, faith and the pursuit of education as a means to provide for himself.

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Texas A&M University–Commerce

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At A&M-Commerce, Nelson’s drive and determination to succeed motivated him to drive four days a week from Mesquite to Commerce for graduate school. He needed a university that allowed him to teach during the day, and attend school at night. He found that at A&M-Commerce. “I would teach all day, and then I’d leave school to go to class,” he said. “If I was lucky, I’d have class in Mesquite. Those were the easy nights. The rough nights were getting on the highway after work, driving to Commerce, going to class, then turning around and getting home by 11:00 p.m. I would get up and do it all over again the next day. I was focused on getting both of my master’s degrees and a doctorate.” Being at Commerce changed Nelson. It set him up in a way he didn’t understand at the time and only recently realized now that he leans on his academic credentials and background in research to help Laredo ISD achieve at the highest level. His class work included constant discussions about the demographic shift, and leveling the playing field for all kids. His professors emphasized the importance of creating quality public schools for the betterment of the country. “My classes invigorated me and increased my passion for serving kids that need servant leadership the most, students who need someone to have high expectations for them, despite where they come from.” Nelson is also appreciative for the welcoming environment A&M-Commerce provide s first-generation students who may be uneasy about where they fit in the world of academia. He’s most proud of the university’s ability to show students from all backgrounds, that once they are on campus, they are a part of something bigger. Each student is at A&M-Commerce to learn, and together, they will change the world. Now Nelson is trying to take that same world-changer mentality to the hallways and classrooms of Laredo ISD. “I want to transform this city into an oasis of freedom and justice,” he said. “I want Laredo to be a place where the kids who don’t have it all have the same opportunities as the kids who do.” In order to accomplish his ambitious goals for the district, Nelson starts with himself. Having been blessed with much, he 20

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

actively looks for ways to share those blessings and opportunities with others. As a volunteer and board member for the Boys and Girls Club, he makes a concerted effort to show members in the community that even he, as the superintendent, makes time to work with youth outside of the schools and outside of the school day. Raising the bar of excellence in schools is also high on Nelson’s priority list. “We live in a day and age where some people lower expectations for students, and I would encourage all educators to never fall into that,” he said. “We need to have the same expectations for kids that others had for us. We have a responsibility today to bring out the best in our students, and to perpetuate that to future generations of students.” Spring 2011


When Nelson arrived in Laredo, several schools were academically unacceptable. In one year, he has reduced that by 50 percent, and he hopes to erase it altogether in the coming year. Future goals include increasing the graduation rate, making sure the attendance rate improves, decreasing truancy and dropouts, creating schools that attract kids, and getting kids excited about pursuing life after high school. According to Nelson, that starts from the time students walk into Laredo’s pre-k classrooms to the time they walk out as graduates. “I like a good challenge; people tell me all the reasons why I can’t do something, and it drives me to succeed even more,” Nelson said. “If there’s a challenge, I say bring it on. Show me why I can’t succeed. Then I will find a way to get it done.”

Spring 2011

“MY CLASSES INVIGORATED ME AND INCREASED MY PASSION FOR SERVING KIDS THAT NEED SERVANT LEADERSHIP THE MOST.”

Texas A&M University–Commerce

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LEADING LIONS By Ashley Johnson // Photo by Jason Flowers

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er sorority sisters love her. University administrators respect her. Her grandmother and cousin are inspired by her. She is Adria Green, the newest president of the Student Government Association at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

“Running for president was never a part of my plans,” Adria said. “Thanks to the encouragement from other campus leaders and my professors, however, I realized that I could not only make a difference on campus, I could inspire others to do the same.” She hopes to give back in lasting ways like fostering a mentoring program that pairs alumni with students from similar backgrounds and career interests, improving school spirit and opening a 24-hour computer lab for students who lack their own computer. As a graduate student, she also wants to strengthen ties between the university community and other students like herself. “People forget that graduate students have an interest in campus life,” Adria said. “I want every student, both graduate and undergraduate, to view SGA as a resource to get things done on campus. I want them to feel included in the process, and not be afraid to get involved.” Adria’s optimism and drive have already caught on at home, where her recent graduation inspired her grandmother to go back to school, and has her 7-year-old cousin already making plans to pursue a college degree. “I’m happy my success at A&M-Commerce encouraged my grandmother to pursue her dream of going to college,” she said. “I’m equally proud that my example is rubbing off on my younger cousin, showing her what’s possible if she applies herself and takes her studies seriously.” Prior to her election as SGA president, Adria’s leading role on campus had been defined by burgeoning responsibility as an orientation counselor and member of the university’s admissions team, a role she acquired thanks to encouragement from her mentors Luis Franco, director of Hispanic outreach, and Bridgette Miles. “Luis and Bridgette have put their trust in me, and allowed me to take on significant leadership roles during orientation,” Adria said. “That trust has challenged me to do more than provide customer service to incoming students and their parents,” she said. “I’m a mentor, a friend and a confidant.” Adria hopes her role as an orientation counselor will help new students see her as approachable, something she feels her predecessor Taylor Fore excelled at, as well as Dr. Dan Jones, the current A&M-Commerce president. “Dr. Jones once told me that people are drawn to optimism, to leaders who aren’t afraid of overcoming obstacles,” Adria said. “I want to be that kind of leader.”

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“I realized that I could not only make a difference on campus, I could inspire others to do the same.”

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Texas A&M University–Commerce

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“A&M-Commerce seemed like a better place to be. I felt like I could really make a difference here.�

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Shuttling Knowledge

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eaching was never a goal for Dr. Edgar Manton, A&M – Commerce Regents professor of business administration and management information systems. He would have been satisfied with a life-long career at NASA.

As the chief of the Planning and Technical Support Office for NASA’s Launch Support Operations Directorate at the John F. Kennedy Space Center, Manton spent nine years planning, budgeting, contracting, and performing technical management functions that supported the Gemini, Saturn and Apollo programs, with some early work on the Shuttle Program. In 1972, however, Manton recognized it was time for a career change. “I always wanted to work for NASA, but the shuttle was eight years away,” said Manton. “The last Apollo mission was behind us and NASA experiencing budget cuts, I had a doctorate from Florida State, so I thought why not change my career to academia. I have been teaching for 40 years. I must like it.”

Photos by Paul Bryan

Manton’s affinity for teaching stems from the first group of students he taught at Texas A&M University – Commerce who changed his mind about teaching forever. Upon arrival at ETSU, Manton planned on a short five-year stay despite the high academic rank awarded to him because of his NASA experience. Manton’s long-term plan was to use his new position as a stepping stone to a larger university with a doctoral program.

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Noticing the value in teaching at A&M – Commerce, Manton’s reluctance to stay soon dissipated. There were opportunities outside the classroom for students to get involved, and leadership opportunities which allowed him to get to know his students better.

“Staying at A&M – Commerce appealed to me because you could take a student from Sulphur Springs and let them go work at Exxon or L-3,” Manton said. “It seemed like a better place to be, than a larger university where privileged kids go. I felt like I could really make a difference here. This was a place where I could see all of these things happening, the ‘added value.’ I have had other opportunities and job offers, but the students at A&M – Commerce are why I stay.” During his 39-year tenure, Manton has established the management information systems program in an effort to strengthen the link between the fields of business and computer science. After it was implemented, it was very popular and had the highest number of majors in the department during the late 90s. A graduate of the Naval Academy in 1959 and commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force, Manton has found East Texas to be a great home for his family, and a wonderful place to raise his daughter, Carolyn. He and his wife, Mary, travel more than he could have with NASA, and now, he has been named a 2010-2011 Regents Professor by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, the highest award a full-time faculty member may receive. “This is a wonderful honor for me,” Manton said. “I am very grateful for the faculty senate who selected me and of course the administration for supporting it, and am very grateful to President Jones and the support that I received on campus.” Texas A&M University–Commerce

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STUDENTS IN ACTION Andy Kroll, Kappa Sigma Brothers Raise Funds for Memorial Scholarship

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ndy Kroll, an Honors College senior, along with his Kappa Sigma fraternity brothers raised $2,600 last fall in memory of Malorie Elise Bullock, an A&M – Commerce student who died in a motorcycle accident last year. The money was donated to the Malorie Bullock Memorial Scholarship Fund at Tom Bean High School, Bullock ’s alma mater, for student scholarships. Malorie Bullock Kroll partnered with the Student Honors Council and the Kappa Sigma fraternity to sell 1,200 bracelets for $2.00 each from October 2010 to December 2010. The extra money was collected through various other charitable donations.

“I started this fundraiser with the intentions of it being a one-time thing,” Kroll said, “but there is always a possibility that it could happen again.”

Additional donations can be made to the Malorie Bullock Memorial Scholarship Fund by contacting Kroll at cadkroll@ gmail.com.

Student Leaders Meet with Governor Perry

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r. Mike McKinney, Texas A&M University System chancellor, Dr. Frank Ashley, vice chancellor for academic affairs, Taylor Fore, A&M-Commerce SGA president, and other members of the A&M System Chancellor’s Student Advisory Board met with Governor Rick Perry in Austin earlier this year to discuss issues facing higher education.

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Relay for Life Inspires Community, Raises Funds for the American Cancer Society

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aculty, staff, students, and community members gathered together this spring for the 2011 Relay for Life. This annual event spurred creative fundraising activities throughout campus including bake sales, holiday grams and kiss-a-pig contests. All funds were donated to the American Cancer Society.

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STUDENTS IN ACTION

Journalism/Radio-TV Students Shine at TIPA Conference

An interdisciplinary team consisting of construction science, construction engineering and industrial engineering students were honored by L3 May 11 for their participation in a voluntary pilot program. The seven member team worked on real-world engineering projects and gained valuable work experience to complement their education in the classroom.

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tudents from The East Texan and the radio and television program competed March 30 through April 2 in Fort Worth for the 2011 Texas Intercollegiate Press Association (TIPA) spring convention. The East Texan competes in Division 3 of the newspaper competition, and against all schools in the online competition. A&M – Commerce placed second overall. Savannah Christian, feature editor of The East Texan, was elected student vice president of TIPA at the Student Business Meeting. The East Texan staff was awarded first place in editorial writing, online best breaking news, and online best breaking news package. They were awarded second place in page one design and online best recurring podcast; and were awarded honorable mentions in special section/editing and best online best video package. Of the students competing, there were 27 awards including seven first place awards. “Our students are consistently praised by guest media professionals, representatives from other Texas institutions and others involved or visiting the convention,” Fred Stewart, faculty adviser for The East Texan, said, “for their courtesy, professionalism and willingness to do what is necessary to contribute positively to the convention.”

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Engineering the Future

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ight A&M-Commerce students received the Buddie and Debby Barnes Scholarship for Industrial Engineering and Technology at the College of Business and Technology awards banquet this spring. Left to right, back row: Dr. Hal Langford, dean of the College of Business and Technology, Ladarius Harrison, Jimmy Ware, Brandon Turner, and Brandon Hoke. Front row: Jacob Stahl, Kishor Karki, John Turner, and Tara O’Connor. Not pictured: Sheehan Fernando, Christopher Betz, Grant Boshart, Tracy Hammons, and Bradley “Jason” Bolton.

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Photos by Jared Horn

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hen you get a call, don’t hang up; catch up! The Office of Annual Programs has implemented a full-time student calling program-Mane Messengers. Mane Messengers are our very own students working evenings and weekends to call our alumni, answer questions and promote investment in our future. So the next time you get a call, please take the time to talk and bring us up-to-date. For questions about the Mane Messengers program, please e-mail Stephanie Fiorisi at stephanie_fiorisi@ tamu-commerce.edu.

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Photo by Jared Horn

MANE MESSENGERS

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STUDENTS IN ACTION Orientation Staff Recognized at Conference

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leven members of the A&M– Commerce orientation staff received multiple honors at the Region IV National Orientation Directors Association Conference February 18-20 in College Station. Adria Green received the Student Leadership Award and Hollie Smith received the Outstanding Advisor/Director Award. One of the top prizes in undergraduate case study went to the A&M – Commerce team composed of Christopher Hall, Bridgette Price, Brittany Whitaker, Adria Green and Madris Hall for “Best Problem Solving Team.” The A&M – Commerce delegation had three conference proposals accepted that included “Lion Camp: Start Your Legacy Today!” presented by Bridgette Miles, Adria Green, Jon Taylor and Christina Rowland; “Selecting the Orientation Team” presented by Brittney Johnson, Jon Taylor, Adria Green, Christina Rowland and Bridgette Miles; and “Making Transfer Students a Priority” presented by Jon Taylor, Bridgette Miles and Luis Franco.

The delegation was also awarded the “Most Spirited Award” for the quality and level of participation and contribution, as well as best representing NODA’s and their institution’s spirit and values.

Accounting Students Score in Texas’ Top 10 for CPA Exam

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&M-Commerce accounting students achieved a pass rate of 56.82 percent on the CPA exam in 2010, making the university’s program No. 8 in Texas for schools with more than 25 students attempting the exam. By comparison, CPA pass rates at SMU and Texas A&M were 38.18 percent and 60.15 percent, respectively for the most recent testing window.

Stellar Athletes Honored at Annual Banquet

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tudent athletes were honored for their outstanding accomplishments on and off the field during the 2010-2011 season. The Lib Huggins Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award recipient was Mattilyn McIntyer of the women’s basketball team. Marcus Graham, a running back for the football team, took home the Dr. Jesse Hawthorne Most Outstanding Male Athlete Award.

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Texas A&M University–Commerce

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GIVING BACK A Classroom Challenger

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s the owner and president of Trend HR in Rockwall, Texas, Dan Bobst credits much of his success to the faculty, staff and coaches at A&M-Commerce who mentored him and challenged him to never quit or give up on his goals.

“The Lion Apprentice Challenge was a new and exciting way to bring academia and competition together.” Photo by Paul Bryan

Today, Bobst uses his education and industry knowledge to challenge current students through the Lion Apprentice Challenge. With his help and guidance, five teams of Honors College students competed to create marketing strategies to aid in Trend HR’s efforts. “The Lion Apprentice Challenge was a new and exciting way to bring academia and competition together,” Bobst said. “It took a couple years to put to put it together, but it was worth it to see the students pursue out-of-the-box thinking regarding marketing and management.” The five teams were managed by their professors as well as their mentors and were judged on their presentation, research, overall ability to turn book knowledge into real world application, and their ability to translate their thoughts into a multimedia presentation. The winning team consisting of Rachel Evans, Rachel Payne and Corey Ainsworth, was presented with a check for $6,000.

Foundation Board Members

RUSSELL ARMSTRONG

Dan and Jennifer Bobst

DR. HARRY FULLWOOD

HOLLY GOTCHER

For more information on the Texas A&M University-Commerce Foundation, contact Alicia Wittkopf, director of advancement services, at 903-468-3020. *Not pictured: Preston McAfee

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Photos by Paul Bryan

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he Foundation Board welcomed seven new members during the 2010-11 academic year who will help lead the foundation in its fundraising and stewardship efforts. Together, they hope to ensure that the university supports its students in a way that exceeds their highest expectations.

Class of 1981 Commerce President and Owner, AIS Financial

Commerce Professor, Psychology and Special Education, A&M-Commerce

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GIVING BACK Giving Back In the Community By Ashley Johnson

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“I have enjoyed serving on the board of trustees for the last 25 years and, as a Mason, value the importance of giving back to ensure that the hospital continues to treat Texas children for the next 90 years,” Allen said. As members of the TSRHC Board of Trustees, Allen, Drain, and Walker, a member of the administrative staff since 1979, have had opportunities to serve their community faithfully by ensuring children and their families receive the best

TOM JOHNSON

Class of 1976 Greenville Attorney, Morgan & Gotcher

Spring 2011

Class of 1973 Rockwall Heath Regional President American National Bank

Photo by Jared Horn

iving back in the community at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) in Dallas, is an honor and a privilege for three A&MCommerce alumni and Scottish Rite Masons-Fred E. Allen, vice president of the TSRHC Board of Trustees; Bob Walker, TSRHC’s executive vice president and administrator; and Lee Drain, vice chairman of the board of trustees.

possible care from one of the nation’s leading pediatric centers for the treatment of orthopaedic conditions, certain related neurological disorders and learning disorders, such as dyslexia. “It has been my privilege, for the last 32 years, to be part of an organization dedicated to the health and happiness of children” Walker said. “I believe in helping

MARILYN JONES

Class of 1970 Rockwall Administrator, Royse City Medical Clinic

others reach their fullest potential, and I am humbled and fulfilled by the tremendous work that takes place each day to improve the lives of young children.” According to Drain, “The most important things in life don’t cost a dime—courtesy, consideration and thoughtfulness for others—and they pay big dividends.”

DR. JOAN TERRY

Class of 1965, 1967 Rockwall Assistant Superintendent, Rockwall ISD

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GIVING BACK Honoring Their Parents

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s the first recipient of the Greenville Alumni Scholarship, Lacy Risner Robinson understands firsthand the power of giving back. Recently, she and her sister Laura, also an alumna, decided to repay the generosity shown to them as students by establishing their own scholarship endowment. Thanks to their generous hearts, the David and Shane Risner Endowment named in honor of their parents, will provide future students with many of the same opportunities to succeed that Lacy and Laura enjoyed on campus. Today, both Lacy and Laura work in education. Lacy is an elementary science specialist in Region VIII, and Laura is a teacher in Mount Vernon, Texas. They each credit their parents as the reason they chose to attend A&M-Commerce, and graduate with degrees in education.

Lacy Risner Robinson and Laura Risner Hallonquist, along with their parents, David and Shane Risner, and Lacy’s husband, attended the Greenville Alumni Reception at Landon Winery January 25. During the reception, Lacy and Laura discussed the importance of giving back with Wayne Davenport (left) and other alumni in attendance.

For information regarding endowments, please contact the Advancement Office at 903-468-8180 or: Alicia_Wittkopf@tamu-commerce.edu.

A Gift To Remember

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or Yvonne Clements and her late husband Robert, the friendships forged at Texas A&M University-Commerce were for a lifetime. The couple met on a blind date while both were students at “Old ET,” and more than 50 years later they maintained strong ties to the university that helped bring them together.

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With the recent passing of Robert Clements, Yvonne, along with her daughter Carol Ann, commemorated Robert’s life and passion for “Old ET” by establishing the Robert S. Clements Memorial Endowment for students studying agricultural science like he had so many years ago. An avid rancher, Robert loved to be out on his tractor working the land, and Yvonne knows her husband would be proud to support students pursuing the same dreams he did, students with big hearts for A&M-Commerce.

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GIVING BACK

Lions For Life-Mary Beth Tuck

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ions for Life is a group of alumni and friends who maintain a pattern of giving to A&M-Commerce annually. Some alumni make several gifts each year, while others make only one. Donors who support A&MCommerce with at least one gift to any designation for three or more consecutive calendar years are recognized as members of Lions for Life. Mary Beth Tuck is one such alumna who has chosen to commemorate her time at A&M-Commerce with consecutive gifts during the last 36 years. A 39-year resident of Commerce and a

BRIDGE BUILDERS

retired faculty member, Tuck has established a scholarship for single mothers. In 2009, Tuck’s generosity was recognized at the Donor Appreciation Dinner where she was inducted into the Rayburn Society. “A&M-Commerce not only made a difference in my life, it impacted several of my siblings who also attended this university,” Tuck said. “Giving back each year reminds me of all the university has done in my life, and all that my gifts can continue to do in the lives of future students.”

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t Texas A&M University-Commerce, giving back in big and small ways is a way of life on campusespecially for the 48 percent of faculty and staff that are proud to call themselves Bridge Builders.

For Michael Taylor, assistant custodial supervisor, choosing to be a Bridge Builder was a way for him to express how much he loves A&M-Commerce. “There are many reasons why I am a Bridge Builder,” Taylor said. “The number one reason is that I believe in this college, and I love the people that inhabit this campus. Bridge Builders are a part of that; the money that I and other Bridge Builders donate helps this university build and grow into a great place.”

Photo by Paul Bryan

BRIDGE BUILDERS

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are faculty and staff who commit themselves financially to making A&M-Commerce a strong and vibrant institution. Through their generosity, A&M-Commerce faculty and staff provide students with a wide range of scholarships and programs.

Texas A&M University–Commerce

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R. Wayne Chumley

Photo by Paul Bryan

Photo by Paul Bryan

ALUMNI EVENTS

W.W. “Chip” Harper

Distinguished Alumni

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he first Distinguished Alumni Citation was awarded in 1967. The Distinguished Alumni Chapter was inaugurated on November 5, 1983.

The purpose of this chapter is to further the interest and well-being of the University, and to foster an appreciation for the rich heritage left by its students, faculty, and administration. We value and honor all our Distinguished Alumni and proudly add four this year. R. Wayne Chumley, Class of 1976 & 1977, former president and C.E.O. of Chrysler Group (China), has enjoyed an illustrious 24-year career with Chrysler that has taken him throughout Asia and the United States. Chumley was elected chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce and served four years as president of the USO Council of Korea. Two of Chumley’s proudest achievements in Korea came in 2005 and 2006 when he was selected as an honorary

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citizen of Seoul by the former mayor of Seoul, and awarded an honorary doctorate in international business administration from Far East University. Chumley and his wife, Joan, and two daughters Cassandra and Jessica are now back in Texas. Jessica is currently a sophomore animal science major at A&M-Commerce. W. W. “Chip” Harper, Class of 1970, has more than 40 years of experience in the management of industrial, commercial, and institutional construction, real estate development, logistics, and banking. Harper has been a successful businessman in numerous businesses including president of H&W Investments Company and Harper, Harper, Harper, Inc. specializing in investment properties. Harper’s community involvement also includes 10 years of service on the board of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center in Paris.

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His commitment to education was honored by the Texas State Board of Education with the Hero of Children Award for his dedication to education, and the Sam Walton Business Leader Award. He served on the Texas A&M University-Commerce Foundation Board, and played an instrumental role in helping the University establish bachelor’s degree programs in both industrial engineering and construction engineering. In Memory of Dr. Jai Nagarkatti, Class of 1972 & 1976 was a dear friend to A&M-Commerce. A beloved father, husband and leader, he served the employees of Sigma Aldrich Corporations, a $2 billion global life science and high technology company, for the entirety of his career, climbing the ranks from developmental chemist to president, chief executive officer and chairman of the board. On campus at A&M-Commerce, Nagarkatti was known for his commitment to giving back in relevant and inspiring ways. He and Susan established the Jai and Susan Nagarkatti Graduate Fellowship in Chemistry at the university. The Nagarkatti’s generosity provided the resources necessary for students to pursue scientific research, and catch his enthusiasm for life in the lab. Spring 2011

Photo by Jason Flowers

Dr. Jai Nagarkatti

Photo by Paul Bryan

ALUMNI EVENTS

Judy Castle Scott

“I want to inspire the next generation of scientists and chemists,” he said. “Giving back is a great way to accomplish that goal. Just imagine the things we could do if even more alumni gave back.” Judy Castle Scott, Class of 1968 & 1977, is the director of the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) Center on Vision Loss in Dallas where she is involved in developing and expanding quality services for persons who are blind or visually impaired. She was appointed to the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities by former Governor George W. Bush in 1996. In 2007, she was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to serve as the chair of the committee, a position that she still holds. Scott is a recognized leader and advocate for people who are blind or visually impaired. For her, almost lifelong blindness has never kept her from pursuing or achieving her goals. “Being blind,” she said “doesn’t mean you can’t have vision.”

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ALUMNI EVENTS ALUMNI EVENTS

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Gold Blazers

he Gold Blazer Award was first awarded in 1984 and is given annually to an alumnus for service to The Alumni Association of Texas A&M University-Commerce, Inc., and to the university. Forty-nine Gold Blazer Awards have been awarded during the last 26 years. The Alumni Association has been fortunate to have alumni who work on behalf of the university without the expectation of pay or other tangible gain. Their efforts have provided two major benefits: economic and social. In both cases their involvement has had an overwhelming effect on the Alumni Association’s ability to reconnect with alumni and provide positive avenues for their interaction with the university and student body. The Alumni Association is pleased to present three individuals with the Gold Blazer Award, all of whom epitomize Professor Mayo’s motto: “ceaseless industry, fearless investigation, unfettered thought and unselfish services to others.”

Larry Goddard’s (Class of 1980 & 1991) roots at “Old ET” began in 1969 when his family moved to Commerce, where his father established the university’s computer science department, the first in Texas. Goddard’s pride for his alma mater runs deep. His desire to see other students succeed led to his service as the associate vice president of development, marketing and community relations where he secured scholarship money for hundreds of students, affectionately known as “Larry’s Kids.” He also was instrumental in raising funds to support the renovation of the Heritage House. Goddard currently serves as executive director of the Tyler Independent School District Foundation. He has won several awards for his work in events, publications, and campaigns including being named East Texas Regional Citizen of the Year in 2008. In 2010, he was named Key Communicator, the highest award given in public relations/communications for Texas public schools, and was recently named president-elect of Texas Association of Partners in Education.

Larry Goddard

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Photo by Paul Bryan

Below: From the 1984 PRIDE (then an 8-page newspaper), the first ever Gold Blazers were awarded. Diane Kubin presented Sherman Burns (left) his Gold Blazer award while Gene Hightower helped Sandra Crane with her gold blazer.

Spring 2011


ALUMNI EVENTS

For Harry B. Power (Class of 1973), Lion pride is a family affair. Not only did he graduate from Texas A&M University-Commerce with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, his wife Georgia; sons, Craig and Kyle; and daughter-in-law, Morgan, all graduated from the university as well. Power bleeds blue and gold. He has served on the university alumni board, co-hosted receptions for A&M-Commerce alumni from Kaufman County, and been an avid supporter of 88.9 KETR, A&M-Commerce athletic events, summer camps, and performances at the Performing Arts Center. His volunteer activities also extend to recruitment, and include hosting Lion’s Night for Forney High School seniors, an event encouraging students to attend A&M-Commerce.

Dr. Jan Huffstutler

Photo by Paul Bryan

He currently serves as director of marketing for Sleep Therapy Associates of Texas, a network of sleep centers that specialize in diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea.

Dr. Jan Huffstutler (Class of 1967 & 1972 & 1983) holds three degrees from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Huffstutler acknowledges wholeheartedly that education made a significant impact in her life. She has devoted herself to life in the classroom, transitioning from the role as student to a successful career in higher education. Throughout her career, Huffstutler has maintained strong ties to the university, serving on the Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Association Board of Directors since 1993. Photo by Jason Flowers

Huffstutler is married to Ron and has a son, daughter, and stepson. Her son is also a graduate of A&M-Commerce.

Harry B. Power

Spring 2011

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ALUMNI EVENTS ALUMNI EVENTS

Rockwall

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lumni, friends and guests from Rockwall County joined Dr. and Mrs. Dan Jones at Shenaniganz in Rockwall May 10 to reconnect with each other and their alma mater. Members of the host committee included: Bill & Darlene Allin, Daniel W. Bobst, Raymond & Elizabeth Cameron, Kita Cathey, Rex Cook, Sandra Doyle, Brian & Stephanie Fiorisi, Rene Griffin, Tom Johnson, Dr. Ron & Marilyn Jones,Ted B. Lyon, Jr., Leslie Milder, Michelle Morris, Mike & Jeanenne Oglesby, Craig & Morgan Power, Mike Reid, Chris Shaw, Gary & Deborah Smothermon and Dr. M. Joan Terry.

Greenville

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ore than 100 Lion alumni and friends of the university gathered at Landon Winery in Greenville Jan. 25 for an evening of fine wine and great memories. A portion of the evening’s wine sales was donated to the Hunt County Alumni Scholarship Fund.

San Antonio

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ions throughout South Texas gathered Nov. 12-13 in San Antonio for a football showdown between A&M-Commerce and University of the Incarnate Word. An alumni reception kicked off the weekend Friday night at the El Tropicana Hotel Riverwalk, and was followed up Saturday afternoon with tailgate festivities. Reconnect with Lions in your town. Contact Jane Martyn in alumni relations to find out how you can host an alumni reception at jane_martyn@ tamu-commerce.edu. 38

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

ALUMNI AMBASSADORS

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went y-t h ree a lu m n i were honored by their departments February 24 during the 28th Annual Alumni Ambassador Forum. Alumni Ambassadors are chosen each spring by the academic departments. As ambassadors, these accomplished alumni have opportunities to return to campus to make presentations to students, and be recognized at the annual luncheon sponsored by the A&M-Commerce Alumni Association. During the past 28 years, 752 ambassadors have returned to campus to receive this honor. College of Arts and Sciences Roger Claxton, Agricultural Sciences Charles Michael Reid, Art Scott Stahl, Computer Science Michael Morris, Literature and Languages Robert Bajackson, Mass Media, Communication and Theatre James Ragland, Mass Media, Communication and Theatre Elaine Yznaga, Mathematics David B. Custer, Music Dr. Jimmy D. Taylor, Sociology and Criminal Justice

College of Business and Technology Mick Trusty, Accounting, Economics and Finance Michael Crawford, Applied Science Cary Hughes, Industrial Engineering and Technology College of Education and Human Services Linda “Kristi” Rickman, Counseling Dr. Mary Beth Allen, Curriculum and Instruction Kirk David deCordova, Curriculum and Instruction Betty Lawson, Curriculum and Instruction Anne E. (Beth) Steerman, Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Robert D. Hart, Educational Leadership-Educational Administration Joe Shipman, Educational Leadership-Educational Technology Dr. Michael Dennehy, Educational Leadership-Higher Education Dr. Mary E. McGlamery, Psychology and Special Education Dr. Patricia Anne Duncan Parrish, Psychology and Special Education Kim Jones, Social Work

Spring 2011


ALUMNI EVENTS

2011 Donor Appreciation Dinner

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exas A&M University-Commerce gathered to celebrate some of its most generous friends and alumni May 2 at the 2011 Donor Appreciation Dinner. Each new giving society member was honored with a personalized video presentation thanking them for their continued investment in the university. The seven new initiates in the Founders Society include: Ernest and Margaret Hawkins, Commerce Sam and Barb McCord, Campbell Dr. Kenneth (Rock) and Linda Clinton, Cumby Daniel and Jennifer Bobst, Rockwall Yvonne Clements, Commerce Danny and Janet Duncan, Commerce Northeast Texas Wine and Food Society, Commerce The four new members of the Heritage Society are: Dr. Bill and Gloria Aslan, Commerce Mick and Wanda Trusty, Sulphur Springs Jack and Retha Cooke, Greenville Dr. Ruth Ann White, Commerce The Rayburn Society also is proud to welcome three new members: Jace and Susan Carrington, Dallas Mary Bonham, Sulphur Springs Dick and Veronica Rothwell, Sante Fe, NM

Lone Star Classic Football Festival Sept. 17

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he Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions will take on the Midwestern State University Mustangs Saturday, Sept. 17 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The Lions play the MSU Mustangs at noon, as part of a three-game Lone Star Classic Football Festival. Other games slated later in the day include a non-conference showdown between Abilene Christian and North Alabama at 4 p.m., and a Lone Star Conference matchup between West Texas A&M and A&M-Kingsville at 8 p.m. Ticket prices for the festival are $25 for adults and $10 for students. Parking is $10. A ticket is good for all three games. More information will be posted as it becomes available at www.lionathletics.com. The Harvey Martin Legacy Luncheon will feature keynote speaker Alan Veingrad, and be held at noon on Thursday Sept. 15 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. For more information, contact alumni relations at 903-886-5765 or e-mail alumni_relations@ tamu-commerce.edu.

Spring 2011

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NOTEWORTHY COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES Dr. Tabetha Adkins, assistant professor and director of the Writing Center, was awarded the Junior Faculty Research Award at A&M-Commerce. She made presentations at the Conference on College Composition and Communication in Atlanta and the Thomas R. Watson Conference on Rhetoric and Composition in Louisville, KY. She was published in Issues in Writing for her article “‘To Everyone Out There in Budget Land’: The Narrative of Community in the International Amish Newspaper, The Budget.” She was also published, along ADKINS with Dr. Shannon Carter, associate professor of literature and languages, and Dr. Donna Dunbar-Odom, department head of literature and languages, online at Computers and Composition Online for their article “The Activist Writing Center.” Dr. Stuart Anderson, professor of mathematics, was the recipient of the Faculty Senate Richard Lampe Integrity in Teaching Award. Peter Calvin, adjunct professor of art, had a solo exhibition at Amarillo College’s Southern Light Gallery, which featured work from the Built Environment series. Dr. Gerald Duchovnay, professor of literature and languages, made seven presentations in 2010 at conferences in the US, Taiwan and China. His reviews of Dancing in the Dark: A Cultural History of the Great Depression by Morris Dickstein and Terrence Malick by Lloyd Michaels were published in the Journal of American Studies Association of Texas. He had three issues of his film journal, Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities, published in 2010. Dr. Donna Dunbar-Odom, department head of literature and languages, was published in two peer-reviewed journals; “I Was Blind but Now I Read: Salvation Tropes in Literacy Narratives” in Reader, and “The Activist Writing Center,” which she co-authored with Dr. Shannon Carter and Dr. Tabetha Adkins, in Computers and Composition Online. She presented “Can You Hear Me Now?: Retooling Graduate Programs to Listen to and Learn from Two-Year Colleges” at the Conference on College Composition and Communication. DUNBAR-ODOM

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Dr. Charles Dorsett, interim head of the mathematics department, had three papers published and six others accepted for publication. Dr. Bill Aslan, professor of mathematics, completed his 44th year of teaching with the department. Josephine Durkin, assistant professor of art, had a solo exhibition at Lawndale Art Center. Dr. Eileen Faulkenberry, assistant professor of mathematics, was the recipient of the Faculty Senate Augustine “Chuck” Arize Award for Imagination in Teaching and the Fall 2010 Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Her Math and Science Teacher Academy (MASTA) Grant and Teacher Quality Grant, “Preparing for Algebra in Grades 3-8,” have both been extended for 2011-12. Also, her paper FAULKENBERRY “Transforming the Way We Teach Function Transformations” was published in the August 2010 issue of Mathematics Teacher. Dr. Maria Fernandez-Babineaux, director of Spanish graduate studies, had two articles published in peer-reviewed journals, “Antoniorrobles y su versión cansurada de ‘La Cenicienta’” in Hispania, and “La Madre Santa y la madre sexual” Subversión cultural en Elogio de la madrastra” in Espéculo. She presented “A Jungain Reading of Eltit’s El cuarto mundo” at the Latin American Studies Association Toronto Conference. The work of Barbara Frey, professor of art, was featured at an exhibit at the University of Texas at Tyler. Dr. Hunter Hayes, associate professor of literature and languages, was published in Blackwell Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century Fiction, British and Irish volume for his work “Self, Will,” and in Post Script: Essays in Film and the Humanities for his review of Frank: The Voice by James Kaplan. He presented “Amis from the ‘Oxford Mafia’ to ‘Horrorism’” at the Midwest Modern Language Association’s annual convention in Chicago. Dr. Kathryn Jacobs, professor of literature and languages, had Signs and Portents and Signs of Our Times, two chapbooks, published recently. She has been published 41 times in 25 different journals since last year.

Spring 2011


NOTEWORTHY Dr. Yelin Ou, assistant professor of mathematics, is the recipient of the Texas A&M University–Commerce Junior Research Award for 2010 and as a result, he was invited to present reports and lectures to the Chinese Math. Soc. Regional Conferences and several top Chinese Universities. He is the recipient of two Faculty Research Enhancement Grants. Dr. Robin Reid, professor of literature and languages, had two of her articles published in 2010, “Mythology and History: A Stylistic Analysis of the Lord of the Rings” in Style and “Thrusts in the Dark: Slashers’ Queer Practices” in Extrapolation. She and Dr. Sang Suh, department head of computer science and information systems, were awarded $15,000 for the 2010 Interdisciplinary Research and REID Creative Activisms grant. She was a guest lecturer at the University of Bristol in England and at the University of Göttingen in Germany. Dr. Melinda Schlager, associate professor of criminal justice, received the 2011 Junior Faculty Research Award. Virgil Scott, assistant professor of art, was featured in the January 2011 Communication Arts Typography Annual. Dr. Nikolay Sirakov, assistant professor of mathematics, was a recipient of the Texas A&M University System Excellence in Teaching Award. He was a recipient of a University Research Enhancement Grant. Dr. Sirakov also had one of his papers published and three peer reviewed chapters appear in three different books. Dr. Susan Stewart, assistant department head and associate professor of literature and languages, was published in Telling Children’s Stories: Narrative Theory and Children’s Literature for her essay “Shifting Worlds: Constructing the Subject, Narrative, and History in historical Time Shifts.” She presented “Steampunk Pedagogy: Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age, or a young Lady’s Illustrated Primer” at the International Children’s Literature Association Conference in Michigan. Dr. William E. Thompson, professor of sociology and criminal justice, received the Fall 2010 Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Spring 2011

Dr. KaSai Un, Dr. Thomas Faulkenberry and Ms. Debra Newton were all recipients of the Texas A&M University System Excellence in Teaching Award.

WASCOVICH

Vaughn Wascovich, assistant professor of photography, had his photographs featured at the Manhattan Arts Center (MAC). These photos were from his Tar Creek Project, which provided a look at one of the most polluted areas in the United States.

Dr. Pamela Webster, director of the math skills center, was a recipient of the Texas Fall 2010 Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award. She was appointed the director of a new grant, “Development Education Demonstration Project Grant (Project Dream).” Dr. Filip Wiecko, assistant professor of criminal justice, had two papers published in refereed journals; “Assessing the Validity of College Samples: Are the Students Really That Different?” in the Journal of Criminal Justice and “Hell Hath No Fury: A Gender-Dichotomized Analysis Predicting Pro-life/Prodeath Penalty Attitudes,” with Jacinta M. Gau, in the Journal of Religion and Society.

COLLEGE OF BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY

DONHAM

The Engineering Recruitment Program – Engineering Summer Programs, a summer camp for middle school students directed by Dr. Brent Donham, department head of industrial engineering and technology, received an $18,000 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board grant.

Industrial engineering established an Alpha Pi Mu honor society chapter and inducted the first class of students and appointed Dr. Matthew Elam, associate professor in the department of industrial engineering and technology, as the faculty adviser. The department of industrial engineering and technology developed a pilot program in which students are afforded the opportunity to voluntarily work on “real world” engineering projects established by local industry partners. Advised by Dr. Greg Wilson, assistant professor in the department of industrial engi-

Texas A&M University–Commerce

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NOTEWORTHY

neering and technology, and Dr. Brent Donham, students will gain hands-on experience in their field. The department of industrial engineering and technology received approval for and implemented a new B.S. construction engineering program.

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention funded $484,687 for the Second Chance Mentoring of Juveniles – Project PRIDE in October 2010. The principal investigator and project director is Carla Asbill and the co-PIs are Dr. Brenda Moore, Dr. Lon Johnston, Dr. Linda Openshaw and Dr. Chris Stewart. Patsy Boshears, social work instructor, presented “Ethics: secondary post traumatic stress” at Glen Oaks Hospital in Greenville, TX. She and Dr. Linda Openshaw presented “Professional Advocacy with Undocumented Clients & Ethical Issues in Using Technology” and “Ethical Issues in the Use of Social Networking” at the Texas State Department of BOSHEARS Health in Tyler. Dr. Rebecca Judd, assistant professor of social work, and Dr. Brenda Moore were contributing authors to Aging in Poverty: A Call to Action, a supplement to Families in Society. Texoma Health Foundation funded $47,892 to the Nursing Advancement & Leadership Project – Program Evaluation for January 2011 through 2012. The principal investigator is Dr. Rebecca Judd and the co-PIs are Dr. Brenda Moore and Dr. Chris Stewart. Dr. Sandy Kimbrough, assistant professor of health and human performance, and Dr. Chris Green, assistant professor and director of the bilingual/ESL program in the department of curriculum and instruction, co-authored a paper, “The Scope of Spanish Language Knowledge by Physical Educators in Texas,” that was accepted for publication in the TAHPERD Journal. The paper was presented at the annual SDAHKIMBROUGH PERD conference.

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PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Dr. Kimbrough also was published on PEcentral.org for her choreography for Crazy Frog’s Axel F dance. She created software, “Certify Teacher Praxis preparation Exam Health EC-12” and “Certify Teacher Praxis preparation Exam Physical Education EC-12,” which will be used as review materials for the nationwide Praxis test. She presented her “Cardio Salsa SHAKE with Dr. K” program at the SHAAHPERD and TAHPERD conventions and her “TRoFE (TAHPERD Race on Foot Expedition) Act 3” program at the annual TAHPERD convention. She was awarded the AAHPERD Recreation Professional of the Year for the Southern Division in 2010. She was voted Vice President-Elect of the Sport and Leisure Division of SDAHPERD in 2011. The Office on Violence Against Women funded $282,478 in October 2010 for programs to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus (2010-2012). The principal investigator is Dr. Brenda Moore and the project director is Dianna Jones. The Texas Governor’s Office funded $110,987 for the Stop Violence Against Women Recovery Act – Project RESPECT for April 2010 through May 2011. The principal investigator is Dr. Brenda Moore and the project director is Dianna Jones. The Lamar County Head Start renewed their annual contract for $4,000. The contract states that the county will provide mental health assessments, referrals and services to all Head Start children in Lamar County ISD. Dr. Brenda Moore is the service contractor and Brian Brumley, Title IV-E Regional Coordinator, is co-project staff. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funded the second year of the $186,330 grant for “‘BFF!’ Building for Futures” – Mentoring Children of Prisoners. The principal investigator is Dr. Brenda Moore and the co-PI is Dr. Melinda Schlager. Hugh Clark, Dr. Brenda Moore, Dr. Lon Johnston, associate professor of social work, and Dr. Linda Openshaw were published in Social Work Education for their article on “Using Adjuncts in Social Work Education: Challenges and Rewards.” Cynthia Harr and Dr. Brenda Moore presented their paper “Increasing Compassion Satisfaction to mitigate the Impact of Compassion Fatigue During Internship” at the 56th annual program meeting of the Council on Social Work Education.

Spring 2011


NOTEWORTHY

Dr. Brenda Moore, department head of social work, was published in Quick Hits for Learning: Successful Strategies from Award-Winning Educators for her chapter on “Teaching Research Skills Through Service Learning.” She presented her papers “Advancing the Profession Through TechMOORE nology: Challenges and Opportunities” and “Challenges Facing Children with Incarcerated Parents” at the 34th annual Texas NASW Conference. Catheleen Jordan, Dr. Linda Openshaw, and Janie Hickerson were published in Clinical Assessment for Social Workers: Quantitative and Qualitative Methods for their collaboration on the chapter concerning children and adolescents. OPENSHAW

Dr. Rodger Pool, director of educational leadership’s Center for Community College Education, was honored by Eastfield College during a street-naming ceremony. He served as Eastfield’s sixth president. Dr. Henry H. Ross, interim department head and instructor for health and human performance, and Dr. Tara Tietjan-Smith presented “Sex Addiction: The Real Deal” at the 87th Annual Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention. ROSS

Dr. Henry Ross was published in Dilemmas of Black Faculty at U.S. Predominantly White Institutions: Issues of the Post-Multicultural Era for his article “Concerns of African American Faculty Employed at Predominately White, Doctoral Extensive Universities.”

Dr. Tara Tietjan-Smith, associate professor of health and human performance, received the Fall 2010 Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Leah Wickersham, associate professor of educational leadership, was awarded the Fall 2010 Chancellor’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Dr. Linda Openshaw, associate professor of social work, was published in School Psychology International (Special Education) for her article “School Based Groups Following a School Disaster.” She was an invited writer for revisions and policy update for policy statement on School Violence in Social Work Speaks. She was an invited writer for chapter 9 revisions in Social Work Practice with Children. Dr. Openshaw was published in the Journal of Religion & Spirituality in Social Work: Social Thought for her review of Women in Social Work Who Have Changed the World by Alice Lieberman. She had numerous presentations at national, state, and local professional conferences. The department of educational leadership will be offering an online educational administration master’s degree starting in the summer. Students will be able to complete the master’s program in one year. The university’s East Texas School Study Council and the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) presented the annual Spring School Board Workshop in the Sam Rayburn Student Center in May. Dr. Tom Burnett, worldwide product manager for online learning at Apple and the keynote speaker, presented “Emerging Trends: Learning and the Future.”

Faculty Spring Awards Reception The Faculty Senate presented awards to faculty members April 15, including three new awards for faculty exemplifying the values represented by Professor Mayo’s creed: “ceaseless industry, fearless investigation, unfettered thought.” According to Dr. LaVelle Hendricks, Faculty Senate president, the awards were named after both past and current faculty to highlight the impact they have had on the university.

Spring 2011

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CLASS NOTES 1930s Emmett E. Day, Sr. (B.A. ’36) was recently inducted into the Commerce ISD Hall of Honor.

1940s Fred E. Allen (B.S. ’49) was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Mt. Pleasant. Wayne C. Pierce (B.S. ’49, M.Ed. ’50) was inducted in September 2010 into the Mount Vernon School District’s League of Honor.

1950s Martha Jane Morgan McCaskill (B.A. ’50) was recently honored following her death (10-16-10) by being named officially as the First Librarian of the Hong Kong International School (HKIS). Today four HKIS campus libraries serve the students from state of the art technology centers with more than 110,000 books from a humble beginning made possible by Martha.

1960s Dr. Algia Allen (B.S. ’67, M.S. ’69, Ed.D. ’72) is the new provost at Trinity Valley Community College’s Campus in Terrell. Naomi Bledsoe (B.S. ’56, M.S. ’68) recently published at age 91, a 400-page autobiography I wouldn’t Take Nothin’ for My Journey Now. She is retired from 26 years of teaching in Tyler and lives in Chandler.

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Fred C. Bunch (B.S. ’65) writes from Albuquerque, N.M., that he is now retired as the picture editor from the Houston Chronicle and now is a watercolor artist and guerrilla painter. Elmer Ellis (B.S. ’64, M.B.A. ’69) was recently honored by Paris Junior college as a 2010 Distinguished Alumni. Nancy Joe Yarbrough Haywood (B.S. ’60, M.Ed. ’68) was recently surprised with a party commemorating her 90th birthday. Albino R. Hinosa’s (B.S. ’66) paintings were recently displayed by the Pearce Museum on the campus of Navarro College. Judy Castle Scott (B.S. ’68, M.S. ’77) was recently inducted into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. Bobbie Jean McCarty Smith (B.S. ’68) recently retired after 22 years in public education. Her last 20 years she served as principal of Commerce Elementary School.

Rita Stout (M.S. ’54) published her second book Daybreak in Odessa. This follows the success of her first book Not So Small a Circle. www.ritastout.com. Frank K. Turner (B.S. ’61) co-owner of the Blacklands Railroad, was recently named the 2011 Short Line Railroad of the Year by Railway Age magazine.

1970s Warren “Gene” Anderson (B.B.A. ‘75, M.B.A. ’83) was appointed interim City Manager for the City of Paris effective January 1, 2011. He has served as director of finance for the City since 1985. He is also a member of the adjunct faculty of Paris Junior college. He is married to Deborah Seiferman Anderson (B.A. ‘88). Dr. David L. Brown (B.S. ’73, M.Ed. ’76, Ph.D. ’84) was recently honored with the 2010 William L. Mayo Award from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Jeanne Lorene Furrh Cotton (B.S. ’76) retired from teaching in the Forney ISD in 2009.

George S. Smith (B.S. ’68, M.B.A. ’80) was honored as the 2010 Public Relations Person of the Year by the Professional Construction Association of Equipment Manufacturing Facilities. He is currently the director of communications for Top Con Position in Cabot, Ark.

Rebecca J. Drummond (B.S. ’77) writes that she has been teaching in Canton ISD for 32 years. She is married to former student Kim Drummond who is a Texas DPS Sergeant stationed in Mt. Pleasant. Their youngest daughter is now attending A&M–Commerce.

Dr. Rosie M. Sorrells (M.Ed. ’69) was honored by Dallas ISD by the naming of The Rosie Sorrells School of Education and Social Services.

Kenneth Henderson (B.S. ’75, M.Ed. ’92) retired from Dallas ISD after 29 years as a media specialist. Doug Kretzinger (B.S. ’74, M.S. ’76) has retired from athletic training after 40 years. He started the profession as a student trainer at ETSU in the fall of 1969. Spring 2011


CLASS NOTES

Harold L. Pace (M.S. ’71) has been named by Wake Forest University to be the new Registrar and Assistant Provost for PACE Academic Administration effective July 1, 2011. Cecile (Lori) Moore Stricker (B.S. ’74) is the office manager at First United Methodist Church in Red Oak. She has her husband Mike have been married for 30 years and have two beautiful children. Mike attended Commerce in 1972 and he is the owner of Quick Parts Supply. Dr. Patricia R. Turner (B.B.A. ’70, M.B.A. ’73, Ed.D. ’91) recently celebrated her 75th birthday in San Antonio. Dr. Mollie Johnson Williams (M.Ed. ’70) enters private practice with the opening of the Dr. Mollie A. Johnson Williams Counseling and Human Development Center in DeSoto. JB Zahn (B.S. ’76) retired after a 30 year career with Chevron USA. He and his wife Sherrie recently celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.

Richard M. Crummel (M.Ed. ’81) was named the Burleson IDS’s lone finalist for superintendent. David A. Darrow (B.B.A. ’81) has been called to serve as pastor of the Central Presbyterian Church in Paris, Texas. Dr. Richard De la Garza (B.S. ’85) was recently elected as the new presidentelect for the College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) which has been in existence since 1929 and is the longest standing group in the US addressing problems of drug dependence and abuse. Larry P. Goddard (B.S. ’80, M.S. ’91) was recognized as the 2010 Key Communicator by the Texas School Public Relations Association. John M. Jenkins (B.B.A. ’80) the VP and CIO of Management Systems for Moses Cone Health System is the new president of the North Carolina Healthcare Information and Communication Alliance, Inc.

Gentry “Ace” Little (B.S. ’87) was honored for broadcasting excellence on the Floor of the Texas House and Senate on March 15. It was also declared “Gentry Little Day” in Texas. He was recently honored for calling his 900th game on the radio. Davia Means Madariaga (B.S. ’86) received her Master in Educational Administration from Concordia University-Texas. She, her husband, and two children currently live in Allen, and she works for the Allen ISD. Terrence E. Pope (B.S. ’88) is retiring after 42 years of US Navy and civilian career work with aircraft and design. His plan is to pursue both land travel and sailing of his yacht around Puget Sound, British Columbia and the Pacific Coast. Steve M. Thurman (B.S. ’81) has been named Director-Global Business Development for Adjuvants Unlimited, LLC, a crop protection technology development company. He is also an investment Partner at Lane-Link Group, an investment banking firm.

1980s James C. Blaylock (M.S. ’80) was honored last October for his 50 years in the ministry, most recently at Corinth Baptist Church, Jacksonville, for the past 25 years. James B. Cowley (B.S. ’87, M.Ed. ’90, Ed.D. ’03) was recently named superintendent for Lindale Tisdale ISD.

Spring 2011

Phil McLeod (B.B.A ’84) recently traveled to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe to hold a baseball clinic for men, women and high school players from three area schools. It was a privilege to work with such a diverse group. His group also shared Biblical truths 2 or 3 times per day in short segments during water breaks and lunch as the day progressed. Texas A&M University–Commerce

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CLASS NOTES 1990s

2000s

James F. Chester (B.S. ’94) co-authored a chapter on trademark licensing trends in the recently published book Inside the Minds: Intellectual Property Licensing Strategies, published by Aspatore Books.

Carla Ackley (B.S. ’02) is the Associate Director of Admissions at Northeast Texas Community College in Mt. Pleasant.

Troy L. Kemp (M.Ed. ’98) was named principal of Memorial Parkway Elementary School in the Katy ISD. John C. Lindsay (B.S. ’91) was named Volunteer of the Year for downtown Denver and also received from the Hard Rock Café Sales and Marketing Conference “Public Relations Manager of the Year” LINDSAY Award. He was also one of two US managers to receive the “Sales and Marketing Merit Award.” James L. Richardson (B.S. ’72, M.S. ’75) has been the Headmaster of Dallas Academy for the past 27 years. He was in Delta Tau Delta Fraternity and was President of the Senior Class. Susan D. Sikes (B.S.I.S. ’95), a sixth grade teacher, was recognized as a Greenville ISD Teacher of the year. Thomas A. Wallis (M.Ed. ’97) was named lone finalist for the position of Superintendent of Bryan ISD. He has previously served as Palestine Superintendent since 2008.is a P.E. teacher and coach at W.H. Ford High School.

Judy Burnett Fane (B.S. ’02, M.S. ’05) recently published Paddy the Pelican Survives the Storm written after experiencing Hurricane Ike and its aftermath. Judy lives in Houston and teaches sociology at Lonestar College. Crystal N. Flanagan (B.S. ’05) recently published her first novel 10 Seconds from Glory and held her first book signing. Visit Crystal at www.crystalflanagan.com.

Dr. Louis C. Glover (Ed.D. ’09) has been hired as an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction at the University of Tennessee beginning in August 2011. He currently teaches physics for the Dallas ISD. Michael A. McMahon (B.S. ‘02) and Amanda K. Thompson (B.S. ’09) were married April 30 in Colleyville. Derrick D. Parks (B.B.A. ’00) was promoted to Commercial Staff Appraiser at the Dallas Central Appraisal District. Josuah D. Ragsdale (B.S. ’02) was named head football coach and athletic director at Dallas W.H. Adamso High School.

Featured Alumni Author Reavis Z. Wortham (B.S. ’76, MEd ’84) www.reaviszwortham.com On Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Poisoned Pen Press will release The Rock Hole, the first mystery novel in the Red River Series, by well known columnist and magazine writer Reavis Z. Wortham. The novel will be released in both hardback, paperback and audio. The story, set in 1964 Lamar County, Texas, centers on an elderly potbellied constable who finds his family WORTHAM slapped square in the path of a maniac seeking revenge for a long forgotten incident.  Reavis is a diverse writer of columns, magazine features, and books, and has won more than 30 awards throughout his 22-year career. Publishing credits include work for regional and national magazines, and more than 30 Texas newspapers.  He has written for Texas Fish and Game (Humor Editor), Texas Sportsman, Western Angler, Central Texas Outdoors, Striper-mania Magazine, American Cowboy, Vintage Trucks, and Texas Outdoor Journal.  He is the author of Doreen’s 24 HR Eat Gas Now Café. To purchase a copy of The Rock Hole, visit www.poisonedpenpress.com.

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PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2011


CLASS NOTES Stephen C. Rogers (B.S. ’05) began working as an assistant director of residence life at SMU in Dallas. John H. Rose (M.S. ’06) received his certification as a Professional Strategic Advisor (CPSA) from the Category Management Association. Elena Gregory Shaw (B.A. ’05) received her Master of Arts degree in pedagogy

IN MEMORY 1930s

Curtis Anders (Training School) 12-18-10 Evelyn Sanders Burnsed (B.S. ’37, M.Ed. ’56) 07-19-10

1940s

Nita Wiggs Clark (B.S. ’45, M.S. ’71) 3-3-11 Zinita Fowler (B.A. ’40, M.A. ’63) 9-3-10 Frances W. Grayson (B.S. ’46, M.S. ‘49) 9-10-2010 Joe Mark McKenzie (B.S. ’48, M.Ed. ’49, Ph.D. ’66) 10-01-10 Juanita Kibler Reeder (B.S. ’47) 3-12-11 Audrey Casey Simmons (B.S. ’42) 2-20-11 Richard J. Turrentine (Training School High School) 01-20-11 Roy Lee Walker (B.A. ’41, M.A. ’75) 02-17-2011

1950s

John Russell Armstrong, Sr. (B.S. ’57) 11-30-10 Duaine J. Appleton (B.S. ’56) 09-24-10 William D. (Bil) Bedgood (B.S. ’52) 11-28-10 Thomas E. Blakey (B.S. ’54) 02-14-11 Robert S. Clements (B.S. ’59) 2-10-2011 Howard Troy Daniel (B.S. ’51) 02-06-11 Dr. Corinne Ray Davis (B.S. ’52, Ph.D. ’69) 8-30-10 Billy Mack Ellis (B.S. ’51) 01-24-11 Spring 2011

from Northern Michigan University in December 2010. William C. Wilson (B.S. ‘09) and Shara B. Utley (B.S. ‘09) were married August 7 in Duncanville.

2010s David M. Taylor (B.S. ’05) and Dina McDaniel Taylor (B.S. ’08) announce the birth of their first son, Carson Micah, on November 30, 2010.

Jeremy R. Woods (B.B.A. ’08) has recently completed his Masters of Business Administration at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla.

Bess D. Hubbard (B.S. ’54) 3-2-11 Bobby G. Ingram (B.M. ’55) 01-30-11 Dr. Kenneth R. McCord (B.S. ’50, M.S. ’55) 02-16-11 Martha Jane Morgan McCaskill (B.A. ’50) 10-16-10 Judge Joe Minter (B.A. ’56, M.Ed. 62, Ph.D. ’69) 08-3-10 Dorothy Rowden (M.Ed. ’57) 02-21-11. William “Hoss” Stewart (B.S. ’54, M.Ed. ’56) 12-24-10 E.B. Sorrells (B.S. ’55) 03-25-11 Doris Dodgen Tillery (M.Ed. ’52) 10-3-10 Kay Willis Voss (B.S. ’57, M.Ed. ’64) 11-7-10 Denson D. Westbrook, Jr. (B.B.A. ’54) 09-26-10 Willa Dean White (B.S. ’51) 12-4-10

1960s

Hattye Mary Chapman (B.A. ’62) 03-8-11 Robert G. Green (B.S. ’67) 02-18-11 Edward C. Hanke (B.S. ’60) 07-6-10 Dr. William Raymond “Billy” Harrell (B.S. ’53, M.S. ’67) 10-22-10 Grady Merriwell Riley (B.B.A. ’66) 02-4-11 Paul Harrison Speaker (B.B.A. ’67) 02-17-08 Larry “Tank” W. Tankersley (B.S. ’63) 12-6-10 Judge Jimmy L. White (B.S. ’67) 11-13-10

James Franklin “Jim” Wood (B.S. ’66) 02-14-11

1970s

Jimmy “Brook” Dale Brookshire (B.S. ‘70, M.S. ’73) 12-10-10 Shirley Goff Roberts (B.A. ’71) 10-8-10 Jai P. Nagarkatti (M.S. ’72, Ed.D. ’76) 11-13-10 Kathleen Poff (M.S. ’74) 03-19-11 John S. Ray (B.B.A. ’70) 06-16-10 Salvador Vargas (M.S. ’77) 11-3-10

1980s

Dr. Alfred Evans Birkelund (Ed.D. ’82) 09-25-10 Dr. Kirk P. McGehee (M.S. ’88, Ed.D ’90) 03-1-11 David Wayne Witcher (B.S. ’80) 10-24-10 Joseph D. Woodson (B.M. ’81) 02-2-10

1990s

Josephine Coughenour (B.A. ’90) 12-25-10 Sheila Smallwood Wilkerson (M.S. ’94) 04-02-11

2000s

Arthur James Betterton (B.S. ’09 ) and wife, Laci Strickland Betterton (B.S. ’08) 01-09-11 Michael Thomas Johnson (B.S. ’00) 03-16-11 Texas A&M University–Commerce

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TAKE A SEAT. ENJOY THE PERFORMANCE.

A Grand Remembrance By Ashley Johnson

O

n January 9, 2011, two Texas A&M University – Commerce alumni, James and Laci Betterton, died tragically in an auto accident during the snow and ice storms. The newlyweds were recent graduates of the music education program and were teachers for Garland ISD.

NAME A SEAT. ENJOY THE LEGACY.

In honor of their memory, the music service fraternities of Texas A&M University – Commerce, Phi Mu and Mu Phi Epsilon, hosted the James and Laci Betterton Memorial Recital April 2 in the Finney Concert Hall.

ilding Music Bu PENING O D N A R G 21 October

More than a gift, your generous gesture of support will remain in the Recital Hall or the Lou and Jack Finney Concert Hall like a standing ovation that never ends. For more information contact Annual Funds Program at 903-468-8145 or email: Stephanie_Fiorisi@tamu-commerce.edu

give.tamu-commerce.edu 48

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

More than 150 members of the university community attended the recital featuring solo performances from faculty and students. Donations given during the recital surpassed the $3000 goal, totaling over $3100 with additional funds still coming in. The money will be used to name two chairs in the Concert Hall in honor of the Bettertons. “This initiative was meaningful and wonderful on multiple levels,” said Dr. Chris White, head of the music department. “From a broader perspective the students learned to give of their time and musical talent to a worthy endeavor. The parents experienced the healing love of James’ and Laci’s friends. The evening reminded the faculty of the real legacy that James and Laci left the University: their passion for music education, the love they shared with their fellow students, and the beautiful music they made while they were here.” Those who wish to make a donation please contact Advancement Services at 903-4683010 or email: alicia_wittkopf@tamucommerce.edu.

Spring 2011


Photo by Paul Bryan

T

hroughout the year, our development team is blessed with opportunities to visit with students, alumni and friends of the university. With each visit, we become increasingly aware of how this university has impacted each of you, and how it continues to hold a special place in so many hearts. Whether you knew it as East Texas Normal College, East Texas State Teachers College, East Texas State College, Old ET… or as Texas A&M University-Commerce, it’s exciting to realize that the same heart and soul, impact and legacy that you enjoyed, continues to thrive today.

This issue of PRIDE is about more than giving back. It’s about using influence, energy and resources for the betterment of others. It’s about moving beyond feelings of duty and obligation, to forge legacies based on gratitude and great expectation for what could be. A legacy, however, is only as good as those who uphold it. As a graduate of this university, your everyday life is a living image of our proud tradition and unfettered future. We hope you share your stories of success with us, so we can use them to encourage others in their journey. By telling others how this university changed your life, you not only bind us all closer together, but also enlighten future students of the bright futures that lie ahead. Sincerely,

Randy VanDeven Vice President, University Advancement


PO Box 3011 Commerce, TX 75429 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

twitter.com/Lions_for_Life www.tamu-commerce.edu/fb flickr.com/tamuc youtube.com/LionsMedia

UPCOMING EVENTS 7 Houston Alumni Reception @ Willie G’s Seafood Restaurant 17 Lone Star Classic Football Festival @ Cowboys Stadium A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Central Washington Wildcats 24 @ Memorial Stadium Lions vs. Incarnate Word Cardinals 8 A&M-Commerce @ Memorial Stadium 21 Music Building Grand Opening Game-A&M-Commerce Lions vs. Angelo State Rams 22 Homecoming @ Memorial Stadium Lions vs. Eastern New Mexico Greyhounds 5 A&M-Commerce @ Memorial Stadium


PRIDE Spring 2011