CU Alumni Association announces CUAA Award honorees and Faculty Hall of Fame inductees

The Cameron University Alumni Association is pleased to announce the winners of its 2018 Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards as well as inductees into the CUAA Faculty Hall of Fame, which will be presented during the university’s homecoming festivities. Barry Beauchamp, Dr. Andrea Montgomery and Gen. (Ret.) Michael Phillips will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards; Jill Griego and Paul Jewell have been named Outstanding Young Alumni. Bernadette Lonzanida and Dr. Michelle Smith will be inducted into the CUAA Faculty Hall of Fame. The awards will be presented during the Aggie Family & Friends Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 10 in the McCasland Ballroom.

The Distinguished Alumni Award and the Outstanding Young Alumni Award are presented to former Cameron students who have made significant contributions to society and whose accomplishments have brought credit to Cameron by distinguishing themselves in their careers, in service to their communities and/or through continued support of Cameron University. The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to Cameron alumni who are 40 years of age or older. The Outstanding Young Alumni Award is presented to Cameron alumni who are 39 years of age or younger.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Barry Beauchamp, Class of 1974

A lifetime educator, Beauchamp earned a Bachelor of Science in Health & Physical Education from Cameron in 1974 and also holds a Master of Education degree from Southwestern State University. He began his career with Lawton Public Schools (LPS) in 1974 as a math teacher at MacArthur High School. In the nearly 40 years he spent at LPS, Beauchamp served in many capacities,  including Counselor, Aassistant Principal, Business Office Supervisor, Director of Business Operations and Superintendent. Under his leadership, LPS developed Learning Tree Academy and New Beginnings Academy, transitioned from junior high to middle school configuration, established a STEM educational program and a Chinese Language Program, secured funding to construct Freedom Elementary School and was named the Military Child Education Coalition's National District of the year.

The Oklahoma School Public Relations Association named Beauchamp 2005 Administrator of the Year, and he received the Legends of Crossroads Award from Crossroads Youth and Family Services in 2010. He served on the Governor’s Task Force for the Prevention of Teenage Pregnancy, the Armed Services YMCA Board of Trustees, the Comanche County Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, the Governor’s Task Force on Creating Administrative Efficiencies and the OETA Foundation. In addition, he served  as President of the National Association of Federally Impacted Schools

Distinguished Alumni Award: Dr. Andrea Montgomery, Class of 2000

After graduating from Cameron in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Montgomery attended the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and then joined her father, Patrick Montgomery, in his family dentistry practice. A PLUS scholar at Cameron, Montgomery was also a cheerleader and was crowned Homecoming Queen 1998. She was an active member of the Biology Club, Chemistry Club and Alpha Phi.

A lifetime member of the CUAA, Montgomery served on the CUAA Board of Directors from 2007 to 2010. She is also a member of President’s Partners. In 2008, she was named an Acclaimed Aggie based on her many professional accomplishments. Montgomery is an Arts for All Gala donor, a Starlight Children’s Fund sponsor, a Spirit of Survival race sponsor and half-marathon trainer, a volunteer dentist for Oklahoma Mission of Mercy, which provides free dental work to those can’t afford it, and a member of Run Lawton, Junior League of Lawton and Young Professionals of Lawton.

She has served as President of the Comanche County Dental Society, Vice President of the Oklahoma Association of Women Dentists, Secretary/Treasurer of the South Central District Dental Society and as a House of Delegates representative for the South Central District Dental Society. She is a member of the Oklahoma Health Care Authority Dental Board, American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the Oklahoma Dental Association (ODA). In 2008, ODA recognized her as Young Dentist of the Year.

Distinguished Alumni: Gen. (Ret.) Michael Phillips, Class of 1982

A graduate of the Comanche Battalion, Cameron’s Army ROTC program, Phillips earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. He also holds a Master of Science in Applied Mathematics from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University.

Phillips was a faculty member at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point for 34 years, retiring  with the rank of Brigadier General. A Professor of Applied Mathematics, he served as the Head of the Department of Mathematical Sciences at USMA for 21 years. With that appointment, he became the first ROTC graduate to chair the Department of Mathematics. 

During his tenure, he led the efforts of more than 50 military faculty, 25 civilian faculty and seven staff members as they educated and inspired the cadets at West Point and engaged in scholarly research in the mathematical sciences.  Phillips also served two years as Associate Dean for Research and Director of the Institute for Innovation and Development. He provided strategic leadership, direction and support to 13 academic departments, 23 research centers and the Dean of the USMA.

As part of his operational experience in the U.S. Army, Phillips commanded two companies and served in various leadership positions, including Research and Development Coordinator for the Army Research Laboratory at West Point. He deployed and helped launch the National Military Academy of Afghanistan in Kabul, where he assisted in the development of their mathematics

Phillips joined Harvard University as a Visiting Scholar/Associate in Bioengineering in the Disease Biophysics Group of the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2016.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Jill Griego, Class of 2003

A transfer student, Griego entered Cameron for her sophomore year, graduating in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. As a dedicated broadcast student, she served as Vice President of the Broadcast Club and worked as a production crew member on CUTV. She is currently Communications Manager at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Topeka, Kan.

Griego began her career as a producer at KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City and then served as a producer at KSWO in Lawton. In 2007, she joined the staff at Goodyear, where she  served in numerous roles in the communication department, including Communications Specialist, Media Contact and Communications and Project Coordinator for the San Luis Potosi Plant team in Ohio.

Invested in both the Topeka and Lawton communities, Griego is a United Way Campaign ambassador and a United Way Workplace Campaign co-chair for Lawton and Topeka, a United Way Loaned Executive, a Junior Achievement board member and classroom mentor. She also volunteers for Girl Scouts and the Special Olympics as a coach and participates in the annual Polar Bear Plunge fundraiser. Still an avid Cameron fan, Griego continues to attend Cameron basketball and baseball games and other on-campus events when she can.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Paul Jewell, Class of 2012

Jewell graduated from Cameron University in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Fitness Management. As an Aggie, Jewell was a Laurel Fields Scholar, played on the men’s basketball team for one year and later served as a student assistant for the team.

He began his career as an assistant girls’ and boys’ basketball and baseball coach at his alma mater, Chattanooga High School. He then become Head Coach of the boys’ and girls’ basketball teams at Indiahoma High School. Jewell also earned a Master of Education in Sports Administration from East Central University.

Dedicated to health and fitness, Jewell opened Chill Nutrition, a local business that sells smoothies and energizing teas and offers wellness coaching, yoga classes and fitness camps. He is the CEO of Lawton Cryotherapy, a business that uses new technology to decrease inflammation and reduce soreness or relieve chronic pain. An active member of his community, Jewell is a member of Young Professionals of Lawton, the Lawton Chamber of Commerce and the Lawton Impact Center Church.

Faculty Hall of Fame: Bernadette Lonzanida

Lonzanida joined the Cameron faculty in 2000 as Accounting Lab supervisor. She later transitioned to the role of Graduate Coordinator for the (then) School of Business. She is currently an Instructor of Accounting.

The nomination for Lonzanida says, “She is passionate about her students, passionate about giving back to the community and passionate about teaching. She makes herself available to students whether it is for help with an assignment or advice.” The nominator added that Lonzanida actively encourages students to participate in campus organizations and to give back through community service. She also arranges trips with the Accounting Club so that students can network and get a better picture of what opportunities are available after graduation. 

“Students are very lucky to have such a wonderful instructor,” the nominator wrote. She is interactive and engaging in her classroom. She makes subjects like financial accounting fun and interesting.”

Lonzanida is a Certified Public Accountant. She received the university’s Pickaxe Award in 2010 and was named Accounting Professor of the Year in 2016.

Faculty Hall of Fame: Dr. Michelle Smith

Smith, a Cameron alumna, began her career as a teacher at Oklahoma City Public Schools and served as director of OSU’s College of Education as well as a faculty member at McMurry University. She joined the Cameron faculty in 2000, serving as Chair of the Department of Education from 2006 to 2009. She is an Associate Professor in the Cameron Department of Education.

The nomination for Smith cited her vast service to the university and her commitment to ensuring that her students receive hands-on teaching experiences as they pursue an undergraduate degree. The nominator said of her, “She is an excellent colleague who is always willing to go the extra mile with her students and peers.”

She has served on numerous university councils and committees to enhance the student. Smith founded the Cameron Kids Investigating and Discovering Science (K.I.D.S.) summer camp, a week-long science camp for local children. Additionally, she takes students on trips to Great Expectations, museums and various Oklahoma conferences. In 2014, she received the Cameron University Award for Excellence and Innovation in University Service for her dedication to students and the university.

Smith has also served as Associate Director of the Oklahoma Space Grant Consortium. She is involved at the state level with the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association and is an active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an organization that promotes the field of education. She has served as that organization’s President, Vice President and Treasurer.

For more information about the Cameron University Alumni Association, call 580-581-2988.

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February 7, 2018