Stephen McNiel of Castaic, CA, writes, "I was watching the Bears this weekend and thinking of my dear mother, Dorothy Delores Lee McNiel, BA '44. People called her Dee Dee. Mom, who is now 92 years old, was a Baylor Beauty back in the 1940s. Mother lives in Morehead City, NC. She is still a kind lovely woman. The love of the Lord flows through her automatically. I remember her singing That Good Old Baylor Line quite often!"
Robert Flynn, BA '54, MA '56, was honored by Marines who served in the Combined Unit Pacification Program of the 5th and 7th Marine Regiments in Vietnam at a reunion in Houston. He was presented with a plaque including him as a member of their unit and a sculpture of a bald eagle for telling their story in his book, A Personal War in Vietnam. Flynn was a Marine in the Korean War and an embed with Golf Company (CUPP), Second Battalion, Fifth Marines in Vietnam. Contact at email@example.com or 101 Cliffside Dr., Shavano Park, TX 78231.
At the 50th anniversary celebration of the Baptist Association of Puerto Rico, Dr. Donald T. Moore, BA '58, was honored for 30 years of ministry in Puerto Rico. The event took place Feb. 20 at Borinquen Baptist Church in Aguadilla. Moore has taught courses in Old Testament, New Testament, systematic theology, Biblical archaeology, the history of Christianity, missions and others. He has taught at four Puerto Rican seminaries: Luther Rice, el Bautista, el Alianza and el Reformado. Moore earned his doctorate at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Gwen McKee Kirkpatrick, BS '65, of Dallas authored an autobiography, Diary of a Decade: Ten Adventurous Years in the Middle East (Xulon Press, 2016: 396 pages). She provides insight into her family's daily life as Americans in Abu Dhabi, Iran, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Dubai in the 1970s and '80s. She contrasts then and now--considering the political situation in these countries today--and the vast modernization of the same countries. Kirkpatrick taught school for 33 years while following her husband around the world.
John, BBA '66, MBA '68, and Donna Tinney Mowrey, BA '67, of Boerne, TX, writes, "Our grandson, Jackson Rogers, 11, named his puppy Griffin in honor of RGIII. Naming the puppy is one of the many steps Jackson has already taken as part of his firm plans to become a Baylor Bear. His older brother Ryan will enter Baylor’s freshman class this fall."
Richard (Rick) Butler, BS '69, MS '70, of Waco was inducted into the inaugural McLennan Community College Hall of Fame on Oct. 10 as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the school. Butler has been a faculty member at MCC for 44 years. During an 18-year run as MCC's baseball coach, Butler's teams won 70 percent of their games, the 1983 National Junior College championship, and numerous conference, region and district championships. The Highlanders took four trips to the JUCO World Series under Butler, who also served as the head golf coach and assistant athletic director. He has taught many P.E. classes and served 23 years as co-owner and director of the Texas Championship Baseball Clinics. Butler was a longtime leader in the Waco Bowling Association and is first vice president of the Texas State USBC Association. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Michael Maurer, MHA '74, of St. Louis, entered the MDiv program at Eden Theological Seminary (Webster Groves, MO) for the Missouri Diocese Episcopal House of Studies. Contact at email@example.com.
Greg Dresh, MA '75, is a senior HR consultant at the Dallas office of vcfo, a consulting firm that provides access to finance, HR, technology and recruiting support to businesses. Prior to joining vcfo, Dresh worked for companies such as Emeritus Group, Mercury Interactive, Goldman Sachs-Archon Group, PepsiCo, Raytheon and Digital Equipment. He holds various professional certifications including human resources generalist, compensation and benefits specialist, management trainer and executive coach.
Mary Ann Cloyd, BBA '76, was appointed as an independent director of Bellerophon Therapeutics Inc., a Warren, NJ-based clinical-stage biotherapeutics company. She also will serve as a member of the audit committee. Cloyd was a senior partner with Pricewaterhouse-Coopers (PwC) with responsibility for leading PwC’s Center for Board Governance at the time of her retirement in 2015. She has 39 years of public accounting experience serving multinational corporate clients in a variety of industries including biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Cloyd has served on both PwC’s Global and U.S. Boards and currently is on the board of trustees of the PricewaterhouseCoopers Charitable Foundation, Inc., where she was President. She also is Chair of the UCLA Iris Cantor Women’s Center Advisory Board.
Rick Owen, BBA '76, of Bellaire, TX, was appointed managing partner of the SolomonEdwards office in Houston, where he will have responsibility for client service, operations and recruiting in the Houston market. Owen previously served as CFO of an early stage venture in China. He has been a partner and CFO at Yellowstone Capital Partners LLC, a venture capital firm, and he began his career with Arthur Andersen, where he served as partner. SolomonEdwards is a privately held professional services firm focused on strategy execution.
Susan Erwin Morgan, BSEd '77, is executive director of CARE (Chemical Awareness Resources & Education) in Dallas. Morgan has more than two decades of nonprofit leadership and management, with most of her experience being in the drug/alcohol prevention and intervention arena. As executive director of the East Texas Council of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, she grew the agency from $640,000 to $2.1 million and increased its outreach to over 23 counties. Morgan was managing director of Junior League Fort Worth in 2013-14 and earned her master’s degree from Sam Houston State.
Les Leskoven, BBA '78, was promoted to executive vice president of Community National Bank and Trust of Texas in Corsicana, TX. He has been with the bank for 17 years and is the CIO and trust officer. He graduated from the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU. In addition, Leskoven has held the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation from the American Bankers Association Institute of Certified Bankers since 1997. He was featured in the September 2015 issue of Independent Banker magazine.
Jeana Rainey, BSEd '78, of Georgetown, TX, authored Flower Pot Duck (LifeRich, 2016: 24 pages), a story targeted for early emergent readers (ages 4-8). A duck arrives on a back porch, resulting in a chain of events with a surprise ending. Rainey is a retired third grade teacher.
Dr. Ed Bashaw, BSEd '80, MSEd '82, MBA '91, is dean of Emporia State University's School of Business in Emporia, KS. He begins in June. Bashaw previously was dean of the College of Business and a marking professor at Arkansas Tech University. He earned a doctorate in marketing from the University of Memphis.
Richard S Willis, BBA '81, MBA ’82, was appointed president and CEO of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, the nation's first and largest chain of integrative pharmacies. Willis also will serve as a director of the company, which is headquartered in Boulder, CO. He has 25 years of executive experience in retail, distribution and publishing. He has served as president and CEO of SpeedCommerce, executive chairman of Charlotte Russe and CEO for a number of companies, including Baker & Taylor Corp., Troll Communications and Bell Sports. His prior experience includes service as the CFO of several magazine companies, including Petersen Publishing, which he helped take public. Willis is chairman of the Baylor University Board of Regents.
Dr. Steven Currall, BA '82, was named vice president for academic affairs and provost at SMU. Currall, a psychological scientist, oversees all aspects of academic life, including admission, faculty development, libraries, the curriculum and study abroad. He also holds appointments in SMU's business, engineering and psychology departments. Currall served as senior advisor for strategic projects and initiatives to the University of California, Davis chancellor and as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC Davis. He also worked at Rice and University College London. Currall holds advanced degrees from Cornell and the London School of Economics and Political Science.
State Sen. Larry Taylor, BBA '82, of Friendswood, TX, received the 2016 Silver Spur Award from the Texas Travel Industry Association. The Silver Spur is awarded to public officials who have demonstrated leadership and exemplary service to the Texas travel and tourism industry. In Taylor's district, visitor spending exceeded $2.2 billion in 2014 and supported more than 21,000 jobs. Taylor serves as the chairman of the Senate Public Education Committee and as a member of the Senate Finance, Business and Commerce and Intergovernmental Relations Committees. Before his election to the Texas Senate in 2012, Taylor served five terms in the Texas House of Representatives.
Talya Tate Boerner, BA '83, of Fayetteville, AR, wrote The Accidental Salvation of Gracie Lee (SYP Publishing, 2016: 344 pages), her debut novel. The book is Southern fiction set in the 1970s. For more information, visit talyatateboerner.com or contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Suzy Cawthon, BBA '83, MBA '84, of Summerland, CA, was appointed to the Human Services Commission of Santa Barbara County. She owns the Santa Barbara Jazzercise franchise. Cawthon has worked as a corporate event manager for a technology company. She began her career in Dallas, working as a commercial lender. She is a board member for the AHA Heart Walk, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Summerland Citizen’s Association. Cawthon has volunteered for Domestic Violence Solutions and was the chair of the Measure V Bond Oversight Committee. She has served as a school board president and a PTA president.
Scott Walters, BBA '83, is director of finance for the City of Mount Pleasant, TX. Walters has worked for the city since 2002. His background includes 19 years of experience with Luminant.
Andrew Collins, BS '84, MS '89, a senior project professional, is with SCS Engineers' environmental management group in Atlanta. As a geologist in Florida and Georgia, Collins previously was the environmental/geosciences lead engineer for an environmental consulting company. He has managed groundwater and environmental remediation projects throughout the world. Collins earned Baylor degrees in petroleum geology and hydrology and a second Master of Science in Business from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Jon Foster, BBA '84, of Nashville, TN, received the 2015 Earl M. Collier Award for Distinguished Health Care Administration, the Texas Hospital Association's highest honor. As president of the HCA American Group, one of two operating groups for Nashville-based Hospital Corporation of America, the largest hospital system in the world, Foster oversees 80 hospitals across 10 states. Under his leadership, his hospitals have annual net revenues in excess of $19 billion and employ more than 80,000 professionals. He was named president of the HCA American Group in 2011 after 10 years as president and CEO of St. David's HealthCare in Austin. Foster has been married to his wife, Laura, for 25 years and has two daughters at Baylor: Haley, a senior, and Lindsey, a freshman.
Stephen Wilson, BBA '84, is vice president and associate general counsel, Health Care Compliance, Galderma SA, in Lausanne, Switzerland. Wilson had served as vice president and head of global integrity and compliance for Alcon Laboratories Inc. in Fort Worth, where he worked for 16 years. Contact at email@example.com.
Marty Jimmerson, BBA '85, was named interim president and CEO of RigNet, a Houston-based digital technology company in the oil and gas industry. He formerly served as senior vice president and CFO, where he oversaw RigNet’s global financial operations. He has more than 20 years of experience in the upstream oil and gas and wireless communications industries. Jimmerson has held accounting, finance and operations management positions with a focus on internal financial operations analysis and management, capital funding and strategic planning.
Nell Burleson Kaufmann, BA '85, of Mart, TX, writes, "We are celebrating a sixth-generation Baylor graduate, Kristin Smithey, Class of 2015. We are (fourth generation) Marion Childers Burleson Childs, BA '61, (fifth generation) Nell Burleson Kaufmann, Class of '85, and Kristin Smithey, BA '15, who is engaged to my son, Brady. We are proud of our Baylor heritage dating back to the first generation of Baylor grads for whom Allen Hall was named."
Dr. Kelly Malone, BA '85, writes, "My third book, City Church: Working Together to Transform Cities (Urban Loft, 2016: 244 pages), was recently published. My wife Molly and I live in Bolivar, MO, where I am an associate professor of intercultural studies and hold the Jack Stanton Chair of Evangelism at Southwest Baptist University. We have two children at Baylor: Maggie is a junior and Kevin is a freshman." Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Judy Rasco Martin, BBA '85, of Port Neches, TX, writes, "After being an instructional aide for 10 years at an elementary campus, at the age of 50, I went back to school and added a teacher certification. Now I teach business information management at Port Neches-Groves High School. My advice: never stop learning! You never know where life's journey can take you when you are willing to build on the strong foundation of your Baylor degree."
Kristen Witt Seeber, BA '85, MSEd '91, of Tyler, TX, is president and CEO of The Women's Fund of Smith County. The Women’s Fund is a collective giving circle benefiting Smith County women and children. Seeber has 30 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit world including work with the Literacy Council of Tyler, Bethesda Health Clinic, East Texas Communities Foundation, Junior League of Tyler, The Hospice of East Texas and the Tyler ISD Foundation. Previous employers have included The University of Texas at Tyler, Baylor University and Cargill Associates.
Peyton Smith, BBA '86, JD '89, of Austin is a shareholder in the business litigation and labor and employment practices of commercial law firm Munsch Hardt Kopf & Harr PC. He has more than 25 years of trial experience, both as defense and plaintiffs counsel, which includes representing national retail, restaurant, hospitality, manufacturing and healthcare industry clients. Smith previously was partner at Jackson Walker, Winstead and Reed & Scardino, where he led the firm’s labor and employment practice.
Carlos Arcos, BA '87, was promoted to senior vice president of public relations for Jaffe, a legal industry marketing and PR agency. Arcos was formerly a vice president of public relations. Based in Houston, Arcos develops and executes public relations strategies for law firms across the U.S. Before joining Jaffe in 2012, he held public relations positions at several PR agencies. He earned his law degree from the University of Texas.
Steve Jarvie, BA '87, joined E Smith Realty Partners as president. Jarvie will lead the growth initiative for Dallas tenant representation services and will serve on the executive committee, assisting with strategic direction for the company. Previously, Jarvie served as executive vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle and The Staubach Co., focusing on the development of new business and management of client transactions. He has accounted for more than 10 million square feet of leases during his career.
Suzy Thompson Mighell, BA '87, of Dallas launched EmptyNestBlessed.com, a lifestyle blog and social media outlet for empty nesters. She and her husband, Bob Mighell, BBA '87, celebrated their 28th anniversary Nov. 28, 2015. Their son, Connor, BA '15, is in law school at the University of Alabama. Their son, Weston, is a Baylor senior, and their daughter, Becca, is a student at the University of Oklahoma.
Jeff Fancher, BBA '89, MBA '90, is vice president of finance for AT&T. He provides strategic financial support to the AT&T Entertainment Group call centers, direct and indirect sales channels, customer experience, merger integration and compliance organizations. Fancher has been with AT&T for 25 years. He is a proud alumnus with one daughter at Baylor and a second potentially on the way. Contact at 1308 Burgundy Ct., Southlake, TX 76092 or email@example.com.
Dr. Leanne Howell, BS '89, MSEd '92, a clinical assistant professor in the Baylor School of Education's Department of Curriculum and Instruction, is the University's SOE liaison at Spring Valley Elementary School. She received the Exemplary Faculty Practice Award from The Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education for her work and research implementing technology in the classroom for Teaching Associate (TA) students (Baylor juniors). Howell created a program using technology applications to assist her TAs in designing and implementing effective instruction. Howell's students learned new classroom technology each week and used it as part of their teaching curriculum. The TAs used Book Creator, Kahoot, Animoto, Edmodo, iMovie, Google Docs and QR codes, among others.
Anne-Marie Moskovsky Lemieux, BSEd '89, of Highland Ranch, CO, was elected to the Douglas County School Board. As director, she will serve nearly 67,000 students in the state's second largest district. She and her husband, Doug Lemieux, BBA '88, have two children. Hannah is a Baylor sophomore, and Jack is a high school junior.
Brent Wallace, BA '90, is executive director of continuing education and public service at LSU Shreveport. Wallace provides strategic leadership and operational management for the Division of Continuing Education and Public Service. Wallace managed operations as assistant vice president at JPMorgan Chase. He also was owner of Academic Achievement, where he provided assessments with education administrators and held workshops for students and faculty. He earned an MBA from Dallas Baptist University.
Tamra Ward, BA ’90, of Denver is chief external relations officer for the Denver Zoo. Ward has more than 25 years of media relations, community engagement and management experience. Most recently, she served as the founder and president of Ward & Associates, a public affairs firm, and president and CEO of Colorado Concern, a business advocacy association. She was interim CEO for Susan G. Komen Colorado and senior vice president of public affairs and communications for the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce. Ward also served as deputy chief of staff for Sen. Craig Thomas and vice president of marketing and development for Columbia Hospital for Women.
Andrew Brumbach, BA '91, of Wheaton, IL, has authored The Eye of Midnight (Delacorte Press, 2016: 256 pages), his debut novel. Targeted to middle-
grade readers, the adventure is set in 1920s New York City, and it follows two children on the search for their missing grandfather and his parcel, which is also sought by gangsters and a secret society of assassins.
Teresa Cain, BBA ’91, of Midland, TX, is owner of Cain Insurance Solutions, a division of Insurance One Agency. She has more than 20 years of industry experience assisting those in a variety of business, education, nonprofit, church and medical organizations. She and husband Paul have two daughters. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Dean, BBA '91, MBA '94, of Houston is chief technology officer for Zonesty.com, a site to help customers find the best electric rates in deregulated areas of Texas. He will lead Zonesty's commercial electricity site, work to enhance the residential electricity-shopping platform and be a key contributor in their diversification effort and national expansion plans. Dean has worked within the energy, utilities, high technology and financial service industries.
Curtis Harrison, BBA '91, JD '94, is managing partner of the Dallas-based family law firm Goranson Bain, PLLC. "My wife (Deborah Fulton Harrison, BBA '92, JD '94) and l met at Baylor, and we are very proud to be Baylor Bears. We hope to do a better job of reconnecting and staying connected with the rest of the growing Baylor nation in the coming years," he writes. Contact at email@example.com.
Dr. Carie Tucker Lambert, BA '91, married Dr. David King Dec. 27, 2015. She serves as a clinical professor at The University of Texas at Dallas. The couple resides in Melissa, TX.
Dr. Frank Shushok Jr., BSEd '91, Virginia Tech's senior associate vice president for student affairs and associate professor of higher education, was awarded the 2015 Research and Publication Award from the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I). ACUHO-I exists to develop exceptional residential experiences at institutions around the world. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the body of knowledge related to the campus housing profession through their work in research and publications. Shushok is also the executive editor of About Campus, a bimonthly magazine dedicated to educators who want to thoughtfully examine the issues, policies and practices that influence the learning experiences of college students. He holds advanced degrees from the University of Maryland and Ohio State.
Chad, BA '92, and Renae Wansik Cartwright, BSEd '91, MSEd '92, of Castle Rock, CO, write, "Our daughter Cayleigh 'knows where she is going!' She will be a part of the Baylor freshmen Class of 2016 in the fall, and we are so excited for her. She sported her shirt on a recent trip to Disney World and received many comments and a few sic 'ems. We are proud to show our Baylor pride."
Eric Morehead, BA '92, of Austin launched Morehead Compliance Consulting in January. Previously he was the head of advisory services for the Governance Services Division of the New York Stock Exchange. Morehead is also a former assistant General Counsel of the United States Sentencing Commission. He has 15 years of experience working with companies seeking to cure compliance issues and build effective compliance and ethics programs. Morehead Compliance Consulting provides program assessment, policy and code of conduct development, live trainings, benchmarking services and advice. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dominic Via, MSEd '92, is senior vice president of Odysseyware, a provider of customizable online courses for K-12 education in Chandler, AZ. He is in charge of managing and expanding Odysseyware's network of sales representatives and distributors. Via had served as the national vice president of literacy sales for Achieve3000, an online curriculum provider. Via was a teacher, coach and assistant principal before moving into the corporate side of education, holding positions at McGraw-Hill and Oxford University Press. Via graduated from Eastern New Mexico University.
Barron Casteel, BA '93, mayor of New Braunfels, TX, was awarded the Besserung Award, often referred to as the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce outstanding citizen's award. His leadership helped create a new recreation center and sparked a roadway construction project. Casteel is a member of the New Braunfels Rotary Club where he was president, the Chamber of Commerce and the Wurstfest Association. He is on the board of the Sophienburg Museum, president of the YMCA, president of the New Braunfels ISD Education Foundation, and past chair of the Youth Leadership New Braunfels Committee. He opened the law firm, Casteel & Casteel, PLLC, with his family.
Jeff Kleck, BA '93, of New Braunfels, TX, was named to the Baxter Executive Sales Club (Top 5 per-cent in sales) and was awarded the 2015 Sales Professional of the Year by Baxter International (Anesthesia and Critical Care). Kleck is the anesthesia and critical care territory business manager for Baxter in South Texas. He and his wife, Wendy Nowotny Kleck, BS ’93, MS ’94, have two daughters, Abigail and Bethany. Abigail will be a freshman at Baylor in the fall. They expect Bethany to follow suit in three years. Contact at email@example.com.
Jason W. Barnett, BA '94, is principal of Irving (TX) ISD's Brown Elementary School after serving as assistant principal at Brandenburg Elementary School. With 15 years experience in Irving ISD, Barnett was a teacher at Keyes Elementary before becoming assistant principal at Britain Elementary. Previously, Barnett practiced family law at The Willis Law Firm P.C. in Dallas.
Rick Cheatham, BS '94, of Austin co-authored Selling Vision: The X→XY→Y Formula for Driving Results by Selling Change (McGraw-Hill Education, 2015: 256 pages). The authors argue that too many sales transformations fail because there is a failure to plan for a mission-critical phase--a transition period of selling the current and new offerings at the same time. Cheatham leads the U.S. sales practice for BTS. He and his wife, Jen Olmstead Cheatham, BA '93, have four children.
The Department of Veterans Affairs appointed Peter Dancy, MHA '94, as director of the Pineville, LA-based Alexandria VA Health Care System. He has served in progressive leadership positions within the VA in major medical centers and the private sector. Dancy was a U.S. Army Medical Service Corps officer for more than 20 years. He is a board-certified healthcare executive with the American College of Healthcare Executives, was a surveyor with the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care and was a preceptor with the Baylor University Graduate Program in Health Administration.
Phyllis Weekley Rouse, BA '94, of Houston writes, "My husband Barrett, our four children and I enjoy weekends and summers at Stoney Creek Ranch, the youth camp my husband founded in 2000. Summers there are dedicated to sharing the Gospel with underserved youth from throughout Texas. This summer, 2,500 kids will experience action-packed recreation and faith building discussions led by led by spirit-filled staff in a culturally relevant camp program. I'm always thrilled to have current and past Baylor Bears serve as summer staffers." Learn more at stoneycreekranch.org or contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Eric James Stone, JD '94, of Orem, UT, authored Unforgettable (Baen 2016, 248 pages), a novel featuring the adventures of CIA agent Nat Morgan. Stone won the Nebula Award for Best Novelette from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2011 and was nominated for a Hugo Award in 2011 for Best Novelette. He also is a graduate of BYU.
Newly appointed 445th state District Court Judge René De Coss, BA '95, JD '95, of Brownsville, TX, was officially sworn in at the Cameron County Commissioners Court in December 2015. Gov. Greg Abbott appointed De Coss in October. De Coss is a former member of the Cameron County Bar Association and Cameron County Criminal Defense Bar Association.
Dennis Partin, '95, is director of Bridgepoint Consulting's Information Technology consulting practice in Houston. Partin's technology consulting career spans over 20 years leading large-scale transformational efforts focused on multi-million dollar return on investment programs. He specializes in solution design, implementation and integration and has advised companies on organizational change and process reengineering.
Lisa Fuentes, BSEd '96, of Lorena, TX, is CEO of Robinson, TX-based Focus Behavioral Associates, which received the first Young/New Business Award at the 2015 Texas Family Business of the Year awards banquet hosted by Baylor's Hankamer School of Business Institute for Family Business. Focus is the only clinical-based therapy center in Central Texas that is focused on applied behavior analysis techniques that enable children and adults with a behavior diagnosis, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, to improve their communication, motor and reasoning skills.
Amy Hooper, BM '96, of Cedar Park, TX, released her first solo album, Winter Kind of Spring. From Americana storytelling to piano pop to movie soundtrack orchestra, her music celebrates and wrestles with the complexities of life. Originally a flute performance major at Baylor, she has been a classical performer, an arranger and a singer/songwriter. Hooper is also a founding member of Austin Sound Exchange, a group of musicians dedicated to sharing the music of Austin. Contact at amyhoopermusic.com and email@example.com.
William D. Shiell, MDiv ’97, PhD ’03, is president of Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL, a suburb of Chicago. Sheill, who was pastor of First Baptist Church in Tallahassee, FL, also pastored First Baptist Church in Knoxville, TN, and churches in San Angelo, TX, and McGregor, TX. Also a graduate of Samford University, Shiell has authored several books.
Jack Kerwick, MA '99, of Mount Laurel, NJ, authored The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front (Stairway Press, 2015: 210 pages). Through a series of analytical essays, he provides insight into a wide range of hot-button issues such as race, immigration, politics, higher education and religion. Kerwick earned his bachelor's degree in religious studies and philosophy at North Carolina’s Wingate University. He earned his PhD at Temple University and teaches at Rowan College at Burlington County.
Mark Proctor, PhD '99, assistant professor of New Testament, was awarded tenure at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. While Proctor specializes in synoptic gospels research, he is also interested in Pauline studies and biblical languages. Before coming to Lee, Proctor taught biblical studies and philosophy at Houston Baptist University for six years. He is involved in biblical scholarship and is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.
History Channel's Live to Tell series featured Omar Joel Vela, BA '99, as part of an episode that shared the soldier's experience of the Battle of Robert's Ridge on the Takur Ghar Mountains in Afghanistan. In 2003, Vela received a Bronze Star with Valor for the rescue mission. The episode aired Feb. 14. Vela served in the 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2000 to 2005. The Battle of Robert's Ridge was a rescue mission that was documented by Malcolm MacPherson's 2006 book, Roberts Ridge: A Story of Courage and Sacrifice on Takur Ghar Mountain, Afghanistan. After Baylor, Vela enlisted in the U.S. Army and began serving in the 1st Ranger Battalion in 2000. He resides in New Mexico with his wife Jaimie Lynne and is employed by the federal government.
J. Blair Blackburn, EdD '00, was inaugurated as East Texas Baptist University's 13th president Feb. 19. He served 20 years at Dallas Baptist University, including his role as executive vice president 2002-15. Blackburn has served in other higher education leadership posts at the University of Texas at Tyler, Lon Morris College and Paris Junior College. He is a graduate of Tyler Junior College, the University of Texas at Tyler, Texas A&M-Commerce and Baylor. Blackburn and his wife, Michelle, have three children: Taylor, BSEd ’15, Elizabeth Blair and Parker.
Benjamin Ernst, MHA '00, is COO of Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation in Sauget, IL. He directs all administrative functions, including personnel, program administration, provider relations, patient advocacy and facility planning, as well as at SIHF’s 29 federally qualified health centers across Southern Illinois. Ernst previously served as CEO for Northwest Health Services, an 18-clinic FQHC headquartered in St. Joseph, MO. He also served in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, both in healthcare command and combat service support roles in Iraq and Kuwait. He also holds degrees from Notre Dame and the University of Missouri.
David Sullivan, BA '00, of Los Angeles, co-stars in Flaked, a new Netflix series with Will Arnett (Arrested Development, The Lego Movie) as a self-help guru who needs a decent amount of help himself. The series premiered March 11. He has appeared in two dozen films and television shows including Argo, Primer, Wicked City, Joey, Justified, Big Love, Boston Legal and NCIS. He also serves as an acting coach in his down time. Find more at davidsullivan.co.
In March, Rachel Lewis Biggs, BA ’02, and her husband Ian celebrated the first anniversary of their Fort Worth business, Clearfork Lawn Care, which provides commercial and residential landscaping. They thank the Baylor family for their love and support over the past year.
Ben Cantrell, BA '03, is CFO of Senior Quality Lifestyles Corp. (SQLC), a seniors housing developer based in Dallas. He is a certified public accountant and a certified global management accountant. Previously, Cantrell served as assurance supervisor at Lane Gorman Trubitt, where he managed its continuing care retirement community (CCRC) practices. At SQLC, Cantrell will oversee the finances of six CCRCs: The Buckingham in Houston, Edgemere in Dallas, The Stayton at Museum Way in Fort Worth, Querencia at Barton Creek in Austin, Mirador in Corpus Christi, TX, and The Barrington of Carmel in Indianapolis. He holds two master’s degrees from the University of Dallas.
Perry Robinson, JD '03, is senior vice president of JLT Specialty USA, a U.S. subsidiary of Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group, an insurance and brokerage provider. Based in Houston, Robinson will assist JLT's clients with identification, management and mitigation of complex risks in the cyber and technology fields. He has more than a decade of experience in leading business and legal teams in the technology space, including at Rackspace, where he served as vice president and general manager of the managed security division and vice president of business and legal affairs. He was twice named a Texas Super Lawyer Rising Star, and he was named a 2011 40-Under-40 Rising Star by the San Antonio Business Journal.
Pam Graves McKown, BA '04, MSW '05, of Hewitt, TX, and Amanda Haygood co-founded Take Heart Ministries, a Waco nonprofit working to build dignity, improve health and restore hope for underserved women by providing hygiene products and connecting on a personal level. Organizations, nonprofits, churches and others are encouraged to partner with the Take Heart. Learn more at takeheartministry.org.
Dr. Michael Fink, DSc '05, associate professor of physical therapy at Lebanon (PA) Valley College, created and published the first children's book on physical therapy, Sammy's Physical Therapy Adventure (CreateSpace, 2014: 34 pages), and a companion coloring and activity book. "I created these books to help educate children and prepare them for a positive physical therapy experience," Fink says. The books can be found in many children’s hospitals, clinics and pediatrician offices. The storybook is being translated into Spanish, German, French and Italian.
Ashton Gustafson, BBA '05, of Wichita Falls, TX, was a platform speaker at Inman Connect, a real estate technology event Jan. 26-29 in New York City. Gustafson owns and operates boutique real estate companies in Wichita Falls and Waco. He started a private equity company and has spoken across the U.S. and internationally.
Thomas Pope, MS '07, PhD '11, assistant professor of political science, was awarded tenure at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. Pope, who joined Lee's faculty in 2010, teaches courses in political theory and American constitutional law and is the pre-law advisor. He also serves as faculty sponsor for two honor societies (Alpha Chi and Pi Sigma Alpha political science) and Society for Law & Justice, coach for the Mock Trial team and assistant coordinator of Kairos. Pope’s research explores the relationship between political theory and practice, particularly with regard to social contract theory and American political institutions.
Margaret Barrett, BM '08, MM '10, of Dallas received a $1,500 commission and will have her compositions presented as part of the 25th anniversary season of Mirror Visions Ensemble, a New York-based vocal chamber music group. Barrett, a freelance composer, was one of four winners chosen out of more than 70 submissions. She has been an adjunct professor at Baylor, McLennan Community College, University of Texas at Arlington and North Lake Community College. Barrett also has worked in the production department of the Ojai Music Festival in Southern California, where she serves seasonally as the assistant producer.
Whitney Hultstrand, BBA '08, married Derek Sellers on March 7, 2015, in Plano, TX. Derek is a civil engineer employed by Freese and Nichols Inc., and Whitney is the marketing director for McDougal Companies. The couple resides in Lubbock.
Megan Reese, BS '08, completed her PsyD in clinical psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology from Pacific University in Oregon. She completed her internship at Treasure Coast Forensic Treatment Center and is employed as a clinical psychologist at the Department of Human Services Treatment and Detention Services in Illinois.
Joanie Brittingham, MM '09, of New York, performed in Carnegie Hall as part of the Distinguished Concerts International of New York special salute to Sir Karl Jenkins, a Welsh composer. She sang soprano for Jenkins’ “Song of the Sanctuary” and “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.” Among Brittingham’s recent performances are Riverside Theatre, IconoClassic Opera and Chelsea Opera. She earned her undergraduate degree in voice and theater from West Virginia University.
Anna Havard Kohler, BA '09, was promoted to sales executive in the Commercial Insurance Division of USI's Anchorage office. She will consult with organizations on risk and insurance programs. Kohler has six years experience in insurance and risk management with extensive knowledge of both health and property/casualty insurance. She also works with the STS Foundation, a Department of State sponsored high school exchange program.
Daniel Buck, MFA '10, an assistant professor of theater, was awarded tenure at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. He directs many theater productions, sponsors Shenanigans (an improv team) and serves on the board of Cleveland's Ocoee Theatre Guild. Buck has worked as a professional actor and in improv in the Boston and Orlando areas. He also created a high school theater program for a private school, which he directed for five years.
Andrew Crawford, BA '10, owns and operates Rhino Coffee, a coffee house and restaurant in Shreveport, LA, with plans to open a second Shreveport location soon. For more information, visit rhinocoffee.com.
Dionne B. Jackson, EdD '10, will become the first vice president for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer for Hendrix College in Conway, AR, effective July 1. She joined the Hendrix faculty in 2010 as assistant professor of education. Jackson also serves as the Principal Investigator of Hendrix's five-year, $1.1 million National Science Foundation grant, Noyce-STEM Teacher Education in the Arkansas Delta (Hendrix N-STEAD). The goal is to recruit, develop and support outstanding Hendrix science and mathematics majors to become teachers in the Arkansas Delta. She also holds degrees from Hendrix and the University of Central Arkansas.
Natalie Sedita, BA '10, MA '11, and Hampton Crow Jr., BBA '09, were married Dec. 20, 2014. Natalie is a speech pathologist for Richardson (TX) ISD, and Hampton, who holds a law degree from SMU, is an associate with Greenburg Traurig in Dallas, where the couple resides.
Robert O. Smith, PhD '10, historian and specialist in American Christian theologies concerning the Israeli-Palestinian context at the University of Notre Dame, was appointed the first academic director of the Jerusalem Global Gateway. He will work with Notre Dame colleagues--and with other academic partners from the Middle East and beyond—to increase the university's international engagement. Smith is concurrent faculty in the Department of Theology and Keough School for Global Affairs. His bachelor's degree is from Oklahoma State. He also holds master's degrees in divinity and Islamic studies from Luther Seminary (St. Paul, MN). Smith's research interests include historical and contemporary relationships between Jews, Christians and Muslims; American Indian and indigenous studies; and ideologies of American exceptionalism. A revised version of his doctoral dissertation, More Desired than Our Owne Salvation: The Roots of Christian Zionism, was published by Oxford University Press in 2013.
Eric Gaither-Çyrs, MA '12, of Killeen, TX, completed a project involving documentation of endangered heritage languages--Louisiana Creole, Louisiana French, Texas Bohemian, Texas Moravian, Texas German and others—that intersect with his research interests in the humanities. Gaither-Çyrs travels and records endangered language speakers and collects narratives from and about speakers in the South and other regions of the United States. He created Oral History Praxis, a blog and online platform to share audio, visual and print works generated in the process of conducting oral history interviews and documenting the expression of ideas through symbolic art and non-verbal language. Learn more at oralhistorypraxis.blogspot.com.
Sebastian Shahvandi, EMBA '12, vice president and general manager of Impres Technology Solutions Inc., is a co-lead of the Enterprise Solutions Group, a new business unit focusing on delivering enterprise-level architecture and systems management within the cybersecurity, big data and Cloud/VDI market. The company is based in Santa Fe Springs, CA. Previously, he was senior director of marketing and sales for Dell's Federal Software Group. Shahvandi successfully increased revenue and profitability of the group and earned the Michael Dell Award, given to the top 1 percent of the company.
Anna Dearing, BSFCS '13, married Gable Jamison, BSME '14, July 11, 2015, at the Omni Bayfront Hotel in Corpus Christi, TX. "Multiple Baylor grads were in the wedding party, and the bride and groom left the ceremony to the Baylor fight song. The groom's cake had a sailor bear on top. Instead of a small gift for guests, we made a donation toward Student Foundation scholarships. We met in Student Foundation and have a deep love and appreciation for what the organization stands for," Anna writes.
Jordan Dunnington, BA '13, is social media manager for i5 web works, an Internet marketing agency in Dallas-Fort Worth. He heads the social media team and manages the day-to-day operations for i5 web works’ social media accounts through content development, scheduling and paid campaigns. Dunnington has contributed to successful marketing campaigns for non-profits, recording artists and multinational brands across various social media platforms.
Michael Edwards, BA '13, of Arlington, VA, is legislative assistant to U.S. Congressman Ted Poe. Edwards wrote a recap of Baylor's 2015 football season and filed it in the Congressional Record on Jan. 13 to honor coach Art Briles and the Bears.
Drew Kayle, BA '14, was part of the Alex Douglas film crew on U of H Football Experience, which won three Lone Star EMMYS in November 2015. He joined SIX FOOT LLC, a corporate brand creator, animator and game development company headquartered in Houston. Contact at 1109 Krist Drive, Houston, TX 77055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megan Shook Alpha, BSEd '14, and her mother, Chris Shook, BSEd ’86, both of The Woodlands, TX, co-authored Beauty Begins: Making Peace with Your Reflection (WaterBrook Press, 2016: 208 pages). The book explores the origins of beauty and challenges readers to trade the pressure of perfection for God’s perfect love. The pair shares experiences and struggles with appearance and body image while offering ways to reclaim what it means to be truly beautiful. Chris and Kerry Shook, BSEd '86, founded Woodlands Church, where Megan is a pastor to students. Kerry and Chris co-authored two New York Times bestsellers, One Month to Live and Be the Message.
Victoria A. Torres, BA '14, will begin the University of Mississippi's clinical psychology doctoral program in August. She hopes to study substance use and abuse. Torres worked as a research assistant at the Warriors Research Institute of Baylor Scott & White Health. At Baylor she worked in the research labs of Drs. JoAnn Tsang and Gary Elkins to examine topics including awe, self-forgiveness and treatments for fatigue in cancer patients.
Scott A. Klosterman, MBA '15, is a member of the board of directors for Dynatronics Corp., a manufacturer and marketer of rehabilitation and physical therapy products. Since 2010 he has been the vice president and general manager of post-operative products and services at Hanger Inc. in Austin. Klosterman also has served as division president, CFO and COO of Chattanooga Group, division controller at Stryker Corp. and senior auditor at Price Waterhouse. His bachelor’s degree is from the University of Delaware.