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Texas State Alumni Association honors outstanding faculty, staff, alums

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
March 20, 2008


The Alumni Association at Texas State University-San Marcos has honored 10 faculty, staff and alumni for their outstanding contributions to the university.

The 2008 honorees are Brock Brown, Susan Angell Gonzalez, Albert Gonzalez, Everett Swinney, Light Townsend Cummins, Kathy Fite, Nicki Harle, Katie Harvey, Donna Hill and Mitchell Ward.

Brock Brown, a professor of geography at Texas State from San Marcos, was named the 2008 recipient of the Alumni Association Teaching Award of Honor.  The award recipient must demonstrate complete knowledge of their subject matter, along with design and delivery and total interaction with their students. Brown has received four national teaching awards, including two Distinguished Teaching Achievement Awards from the national Council for Geographic Educations and the Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. He has been selected to receive the highest teaching honors from the Non-Traditional Students Organization, the International Studies Program, The Honors Program and the Texas State Student Foundation. He has received the Alpha Chi Honors Society’s Professor Award nine times.

Susan Angell Gonzalez, director of the Strutters at Texas State, and Albert Gonzalez, Senior Biopharmaceutical Representative at Amgen, Inc., are recipients of the Alumni Star Award. The Alumni Star Award is given to an individual or a couple that has demonstrated a continued interest in the Alumni Association in some significant manner through contribution of time, talent, influence or funds. In addition to her duties with the Strutters, Susan Angell Gonzalez is president/CEO of  Susan Angell Enterprises, Inc. She has earned the Distinguished Alumnus Award in Dance from Texas State; the Dance Directors of America Lifetime Achievement Award; the Dance Directors of America National Top Ten College Dance Team Director; and is a member of the Strutter Hall of Fame; In 2007 she was presented the prestigious “Rolle” Award for her years of work with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade/New York;  Choreographed performances for various venues in over seventeen countries. Albert Gonzalez is a seven-time recipient of the “President’s Club” award from Amgen. He attended classes at Texas State before ultimately graduating from the University of Texas-San Antonio.  He coached high school football for San Antonio’s Northeast ISD, where he received the “Outstanding Graduate” award.  He has also received the “Strutter Giant” award from Texas State.

Retired Texas State professor Everett Swinney is a Alumni Star Award recipient. A professor, author and leader, Swinney served as chairman for the Department of History, acting Dean of Liberal Arts and Special Assistant to the President during his career at Texas State.  His honors include the Alumni Distinguished Teacher Award, Who’s Who in America, Honors’ Professor of the Year, the Presidential Teaching Award, the Faculty Senate Excellence in Teaching Award (renamed the Swinney Award) and the Excellence in Leadership Award.

The Alumni Achievement Award is granted to graduates of the university who have not only achieved prominence in their chosen careers, but have received recognition by their peers on a local, state or regional level.  The 2008 Alumni Achievement Award recipients are:     

Light Townsend Cummins of Sherman is a historian, professor, founder/co-director of Austin College Center for Southwestern and Mexican Studies; Fulbright Scholar to Spain; Minnie Stevens Piper Professor; Lifetime Fellow of the Texas State Historical Association; Awarded the Premio de Espana y America by King Juan Carlos; Danforth Associate; and author of seven books.

Kathy Fite, ’69, of San Marcos is an educator, public servant, author, speaker, researcher and consultant. Her recognitions include Texas State Alumni Association Teaching Award of Honor; Texas State Alumni Association Key of Excellence Award; Rockefeller mentor; Strutter Hall of Fame; San Marcos Women’s Hall of Fame; Who's Who in Texas; and the President’s Excellence in Service Award from Texas State. She’s also served as president of the Junior Service League; president of the Texas State Alumni Association; and Honorary Golden Key member.

Nicki Harle, ’71, of Baird was one of the founders of Texas Midwest Community Network, a non-profit organization that brings together community leaders from 43 small cities in West Texas. She has served as executive director for Texas Midwest Community Network since its inception in 1994 and has been appointed to a number of local, regional and statewide boards and advisory committees including the executive committee for the state agency, Office of Rural Community Affairs.

Katie Harvey, ’91, of San Antonio founded KGBTexas at the age of 24 and built the business into the largest public relations firm and one of the largest advertising agencies in South Texas. She is an active member of several non-profit boards of directors in San Antonio and across Texas. She is a recipient of the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award; the Small Business Leader of the Year for the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce; was listed among the top “40 Under 40” business people by the San Antonio Business Journal; and KGBTexas was named One of San Antonio’s Best Places To Work for 2007.

Donna Hill, ’70, of San Marcos is the government and public affairs manager with Time Warner Cable. She has served as an educator; chair of the San Marcos Area Chamber of Commerce; San Marcos Education Foundation board; and president of the Bobcat Athletic Foundation. She has earned the President’s Award and Community Volunteer of the Year award from the Heritage Association of San Marcos; Woman of Distinction from the Girl Scouts Lone Star Council; the Distinguished Service Award from the Texas State Alumni Association; the Project Community Award from the Texas Cable and Telecommunications Association; and is a member of the Strutters Hall of Honor.

Mitchell Ward, ’89, of Murphy is the co-owner/ CEO of MW Logistics, LLC. He has twice received the Dallas Top 100 Award; Kraft Foods’ Minority Supplier of the Year; Quaker Oats’ National Minority Carrier of the Year; and was an All-Pro with the Dallas Texans of the Arena Football League. MW Logistics was recognized by the Baylor University Hankamer School of Business as one of the fastest-growing family-owned businesses in Texas.