Sean Hutchinson, a 1988 graduate of Cameron University, serves as the CEO of Shareholder Value Added (SVA) Value Accelerator.
Active as a Cameron Aggie
When Hutchinson was a student, he was a member of the Cameron Golf team and a representative for the Student Government Association. He made a pledge with Tau Kappa Epsilon, and he was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies. His academic excellence earned him spots on Cameron’s Top 20 and the National Dean’s List. He was also honored with the McMahon and Helen Holiday Scholarships.
Successful as a professional
Over the course of his career, Hutchinson has founded five companies. As the CEO of SVA, Hutchinson and his partners help owners “create their path to higher valuation,” and he believes that “transition-ready businesses are more valuable™,” Hutchinson told CUAA.
Hutchinson works with owners and their leadership teams to imagine “what could be, can be, and will be their ‘company of the future,’” Hutchinson said. His goal is to prepare owners for the next step by “creating a state of transition-readiness,” he told CUAA.
Published in December 2018
Cameron University alumnus Joseph Roberts will be directing the musical The Evil Dead on Nov. 2-3 at Goodwill Adult Day Care Center.
Roberts graduated from CU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts Performance in 2007. While he was a student, he contributed to more than 10 shows with CU, Lawton Community Theatre and Blue Moon. In 2015, he returned to CU to work as the stage technician in the theatre department. Roberts said he teaches students how to “econstruct” sets, and he’s also responsible for coordinating events in the University Theatre.
“I work hand-in-hand with the producers and technical directors to produce a fantastic show,” Roberts told CUAA.
The Evil Dead Comes to Life on Stage
Based on the movies Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness , the musical The Evil Dead surrounds a group of students who travel to an abandoned cabin in the woods and find themselves in whacky circumstances — such as a possession by demons, among other comical yet horrifying events, Roberts told CUAA .
A unique feature of this show is the “splash zone,” where the audience will be splattered with blood and guts, Roberts said.
Roberts Invites You to Join the Show
Roberts invites alumni, students and friends of the university to watch The Evil Dead.
“If you have a good since of humor and/or love the B-Rated movie style that is Evil Dead , then you will certainly enjoy our production,” Roberts told CUAA.
Laura Hidalgo has exceeded the aspirations of a Cameron Aggie.
Hidalgo’s Story: Cameron Marks the Beginning
Hidalgo graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in marketing from Cameron University in 2008. Today, she serves as the president of H3 Concepts, an interactive marketing firm located in Houston, Texas.
During her time as a CU student, Hidalgo aimed to be a high academic achiever who was also involved in on-campus activities. She worked as an RA, remained active in the Programming Activities Council (PAC) and earned spots in Cameron’s Top 20 and Who’s Who.
Over the past 10 years, Hidalgo has held positions in Corporate America and the Chamber of Commerce. Because of her hard work, she received promotions—and, in time, she took on the title of owner of H3 Concepts.
H3 Concepts: What’s in a Name?
The name H3 Concepts is special to Hidalgo. The H represents “Hidalgo,” while the 3 is representative of the three people who are closest to Hidalgo: herself, her brother and her mother.
H3 Concepts is comprised of a staff of 25 people who help businesses grow by creating promotions, while strategically displaying products. Employees at H3 Concepts meet face-to-face with clients and discuss ways to promote their brand, which has yielded positive results for companies such as Home Depot, Direct TV and MakeOver Essential Cosmetics.
Hidalgo’s Mindset: Keep It Positive
Hidalgo disciplines herself to think positivity, regardless of the challenge at hand. She said she believes “mentality equals ability; the rest is just time and effort” — which means that people can accomplish anything if they put their minds to it. The same positive mentality that guided her as an Aggie on campus continues to bring her success as a professional off campus.
Published in October 2018
Cameron alum Brad Cooksey assumed his new role as president of the Lawton-Fort Sill Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) in October.
Cooksey attended CU on a basketball scholarship and received a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 1997. After graduating, he returned to his high school alma mater, Eisenhower High School, to teach math and coach basketball and golf.
In 2008, Cooksey made a career transition and began selling commercial insurance for the J. T. Neal Insurance Agency. His success in the field led him to become a commercial real estate agent at Insight Commercial Real Estate in 2012.
Earlier this year, Cooksey took over as the executive vice president of the LEDC, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce established in 2011 to coordinate the efforts of the community’s major economic development organizations. The LEDC planned for Cooksey to become the president by the end of the year when interim President Tom Thomas departed from the role.
Cooksey remains active within the Cameron community; he is a Cameron University President’s Partner and serves as a Cameron Foundation board member. Additionally, he is on the Spirit of Survival Committee, is a Lawton YMCA and Lawton Public School Foundation board member and holds a Lawton Chamber of Commerce membership.
For years, Cooksey announced Eisenhower football games for Magic 95 with assistant professor of communication Steve Adams and won multiple radio sports play-by-play awards at the Society of Professional Journalists annual awards ceremony.
As president of the LEDC, Cooksey’s goal is to develop Lawton economically by persuading companies to start their businesses in or bring them to Lawton. In an interview with “The Lawton Constitution,” Cooksey said it is competitive, but he aims to show prospective Lawton business owners what the city offers that other areas do not.
“We’re still optimistic about what we can do here in Lawton, and our commitment is to aggressively pursue new business,” Cooksey said.
Congratulations and good luck with your new career, Mr. Cooksey!
Published in November 2017
The Oklahoma Hospital Association (OHA) presented Cameron alumnus Jay Johnson with the Advocacy in Action Award at the OHA’s 98th Annual Convention and Trade Show on Nov. 2.
Johnson has been the president and chief executive officer of Duncan Regional Hospital (DRH) since 2010. He began his career in healthcare at Parkland Health and Hospital System in Dallas as the administrative director of women’s and children’s services in 1993. Three years later, he became the vice president of ancillary service and later chief operating officer at Stillwater Medical Center, where he remained until 2005. He then transitioned to his role as the senior vice president and chief operating officer at Mercy Memorial Health Center in Ardmore.
A Lawton native, Johnson graduated from Cameron with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 1990. During his time at Cameron, Johnson was a Presidential Leaders and University Scholars (PLUS) student, a McMahon Scholarship recipient, the Phi Delta Theta fraternity president, an Aggie Ambassador and the president of the Student Government Association. He continued his education at Virginia Commonwealth University, where he earned a Master of Health Administration in 1994.
Johnson still has strong ties to Cameron; he has been a Cameron University President’s Partner since 2005 and is on the Cameron University Foundation board. The CUAA recognized his service and success with the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015. Johnson is also active in the Duncan community, serving as the chairman of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation and the president of the Duncan Public Schools Foundation board and participating in the Duncan Rotary Club, the Duncan Chamber of Commerce, the Stephens County Mental Health Task Force and the Heritage Trails Committee.
A leader in Oklahoma healthcare, Johnson is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a delegate for the American Hospital Association (AHA) Region 7 policy board and serves on the OHA Board of Trustees and the OHA Council on Policy and Legislation.
Various organizations have recognized Johnson for his dedication to quality health care with honors including Leadership Oklahoma’s Community Service Excellence Award, the American College of Healthcare Executives Oklahoma Regent’s Early Careerist Award and the Grassroots Champion Award from the AHA. In 2013, he was also awarded the OHA’s Advocacy in Action Award for his involvement in the advocacy efforts of the OHA. He has consistently made phone calls to and visited the state and U.S. capitols to educate lawmakers on the needs of rural hospitals and advance important healthcare initiatives.
Under Johnson’s leadership, DRH has flourished and made a difference in multiple communities. DRH recently partnered with Oklahoma City University to offer a nursing program and with Jefferson County Hospital to retain medical facilities in Jefferson County. WorkHealthy Hospitals awarded DRH with the Gold Star Award for implementing tobacco cessation programs for employees in 2015 and the Excellence Award for reaching the highest standards in health and prevention for their employees and the Gold Apple Award for quality nutrition and food environment in 2017.
According to Johnson, DRH employees’ health sets an example for the rest of the community, so it is important that they strive to be healthful.
“At Duncan Regional Hospital,” Johnson said, “we actively work to grow and encourage a positive culture of health and wellness, from the food we offer to the activities we promote. DRH strives to set an example of health for our community because we know that by improving the health of our team members we can have a positive effect on the health of our entire community.”
Published in November 2017
Cameron alumnus and former Aggie cross country star Thomas Toth is making a name for himself on an international scale.
A Canada native, Toth competed for Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario for two years in which he was named an Ontario College Champion as well as a Canadian College Champion. In 2012, he transferred to Cameron, where his running career flourished, especially during his last two seasons.
In his junior year at Cameron, Toth won four top-five runs of the season, including a first-place finish at the Cowboy Jamboree, a third-place finish at the Lone Star Conference (LSC) Championships and two fourth-place finishes at the Southern Stampede and the UCO Land Run. LSC named him Runner of the Week three times throughout the season. But these achievements were just a glimpse of the success that was to come for Toth.
During Toth’s senior year, he won first place at the LSC Championships. Then, he placed ninth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) South Central Regional Race and 11th in the NCAA National Championship race, the highest in Cameron history. For these accomplishments, LSC named him the 2014 Male Runner of the Year, and he earned All-American honors.
After graduating from Cameron with a criminal justice degree in 2016, Toth moved to New Hampshire with his wife Mikaela, who he met at CU and married in 2015. In January 2016, Toth surprised the running world when he placed 30th overall and set one of the ten fastest times ever run by a Canadian at the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in Texas. A 64:26 finishing time qualified him for the 2016 International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, Wales. If Toth was a U.S. citizen, this would have made him eligible to qualify for the U.S. Olympic trials.
In May 2016, Toth won his first national title when he placed first at the Canadian Half Marathon. In fall 2016, he raced for Canada at the National Cross Country Championships in Ottawa, Ontario. Toth represented Canada at the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, where he finished 105th place out of 148 competitors, in Uganda in March 2017. Only a month later, he ran the Hamburg Marathon in Germany and came in fifth place, with a time of 2:18:58, in a race in which Olympic and world champion Stephen Kiprotich also competed. He ranked 54th at the 2017 IAAF World Championships this past August in London.
According to Toth, he keeps in touch with his Cameron cross country coach Zach Johnson for training advisement. In an interview with The Cameron Collegian, Toth said Cameron, its environment and the people who supported him, including Johnson, helped him to grow as a runner and as a person.
“I truly believe if it wasn’t for Cameron I wouldn’t have accomplished a half of the things I’ve set out to do or become a quarter of the person I am today,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better experience than the one I received from Cameron.”
Toth hopes to represent Canada at the 2018 world championships in Spain and in the 2020 Olympic marathon. Keep up with his progress by following him on Instagram!
Published in October 2017
Matt and Katrina Thompson
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently honored two CU alumni with Oklahoma’s Small Business Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for their local business.
To be eligible for the award, Matt and Katrina Thompson both had to be under 30 years old, and their business had to demonstrate a pattern of growth in several different areas, including financial growth and number of employees.
Matt and Katrina own Affinitee Graphics, a screen-printing, embroidery and graphi c design company they started out of their Apache home in 2013. A year later, the couple expanded the business to its first official location in Apache. In February 2017, Affinitee Graphics opened a second location in Lawton for client convenience and to be more involved in the community.
Katrina initially started Affinitee Graphics to fulfill her internship requirement for the graphic design major at Cameron – an unusual choice, but she felt that in the long run, a business would benefit her more than an internship.
She met Matt at Cameron, and when the couple married, he decided to use his communication degree to run the business side of Affinitee Graphics. On the other hand, Katrina works to produce the creative designs and art that their business is known for. After all, Affinitee Graphics is named after her passion – or affinity – for graphic design and art.
Three goals Affinitee Graphics hopes to accomplish are to provide the community with great, customizable and affordable service, to bring more art and culture to Lawton and to help others accomplish their dreams, even if it’s just by printing a customer’s idea or design on a t-shirt.
Matt and Katrina are proud to employ other Cameron graduates at Affinitee Graphics, such as their Regional Marketing Coordinator Kaylee Jones.
For alumni or students interested, Affinitee Graphics will be at Cameron’s Opportunity Fair on Sept. 13 to provide information about employment opportunities.
Published September 2017
Cynthia A Kanai
On September 17, 2018, Cameron graduate Cynthia A Kanai (class of 1981) will succeed the position of President and CEO of Ann Norton’s Sculpture Gardens. Cynthia will take over the nonprofit sculpture gardens that feature a rare palm and cycad garden, as well as Ann Norton’s monumental sculptures, studio and home. Kanai earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Cameron University and h as worked at Palm Beach Day Academy for the past 28 years.
The Palm Beach Day Academy is an art and environmental education center that borders the sculpture gardens’ north side and situates on 2.5 acres on Flagler Drive in West Palm Beach. Kanai was the lead fifth-grade teacher for 25 years of the education center, and for the last three years, she has served as development director.
Another “congratulations” is in order because three days before Kanai assumes her role as president, there is a ribbon cutting scheduled on September 14th. According to The Shiny Sheet, a Palm Beach publication, Kanai has raised $5.5 million for the school’s Great Expectations campaign, which financed the $7 million Mandel-Palagye Education Center. The 16,000-square-foot center on the school’s lower campus houses classrooms, a media center, science and engineering lab, health clinic, green spaces, learning commons and an amphitheater-like space.
Cynthia has achieved amazing professional accomplishments, as well as, being immensely involved in her community. According to Palm Beach Daily News, Cynthia Kanai is a board member of the Palm Beach Fellowship of Christians & Jews. She is a member at the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach Flagler Rotary Club. She was awarded the William T. Dwyer Excellence in Education Award in Palm Beach County in 2012 and the Adele Shook Merck Excellence in Education Teacher of the Year Award in 2010. She was also a member of Leadership Palm Beach County’s class of 2014 but now serves on the recruitment committee. The Cameron University Alumni Association celebrates the success of our Aggie family. We congratulate Cynthia Kanai on her new position, accomplishments and drive for success.
Published in September 2017
Retired U.S. Army Captain Gary Michael Rose
A Cameron graduate is set to receive the Medal of Honor on Oct. 23 at the White House during a ceremony.
President Donald Trump will present retired U.S. Army Captain Gary Michael Rose with the highest, most prestigious personal military decoration awarded to recognize U.S. military service members for acts of valor.
During the Vietnam War, Rose served as a Special Forces medic to a company-sized force of Americans, Vietnamese and indigenous paramilitary Montagnard personnel as they delved into Laos enemy territory from Sept. 11-14, 1970. It wasn’t long before an enemy squad attacked and wounded four soldiers, leaving one trapped outside the company defensive perimeter. Rose acted quickly to distract the enemy and rescue the wounded individual, who he stabilized and carried to safety, while avoiding continuous gunfire.
As the company entered deeper into enemy territory, enemy fire increased along with casualties, and Rose repeatedly risked his own life to administer life-saving medical treatment to the many injured soldiers. On the second day of the mission, Rose himself suffered a severe wound when a rocket-propelled grenade landed near him and crippled his foot as he tended to another soldier. Despite the painful injury, Rose continued to provide medical treatment to others.
A medevac helicopter tried, but failed, to land on the ground and rescue the wounded. Rose attempted to lift the injured up to the hovering helicopter, but the medevac – in an attempt to escape the intense enemy fire targeted at them – aborted the mission and crashed a few miles away.
On the final night of the mission, the company destroyed an enemy base camp. With over 500 North Vietnamese Army members headed towards them, Rose’s company was ordered to withdraw by helicopter. The casualty tally continued to rise as the enemy pounced. Shortly after the group made it onto the helicopter, enemy rounds caused it to crash. Rose was thrown from the helicopter before it made impact; he crawled into the helicopter to pull his fellow soldiers from the wreckage and treat them until a replacement arrived.
When the company returned to base, Rose insisted his fellow soldiers receive medical treatment before him. Despite the company being outnumbered and in enemy territory, only three men died. Over the course of the four-day mission, Rose treated 60-70 wounded people and saved many lives. In 1971, Rose received the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest military honor, for his bravery and selflessness during the operation. Now, at 69 years old, and decades after the mission, now known as Operation Tailwind, he will receive the Medal of Honor.
A Huntsville, Alabama native, Rose enlisted in the U.S. Army in April 1967. As a young man, Rose knew he’d likely be drafted for service in the war and preferred the army to the Marine Corps or the navy. He attended basic training at Fort Ord in California and Infantry Advanced Individual Training at Fort Gordon in Georgia. Soon, he was promoted to private first class and landed a spot at the U.S. Army Jump School at Fort Benning in Georgia and Special Forces Training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he became a Special Forces medic. In April 1969, Rose was assigned to the Seventh Special Forces Group and then to the 46th Special Forces Company in Thailand. His reassignment to the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group, Fifth Special Forces Group in April 1970 led to Rose’s extraordinary story.
Three months later, Rose was preparing for a tour with the Eighth Special Forces Group in Panama when he decided to go to Officer Candidate School so that he could bring his new wife, Margaret, with him to Central America. He attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning and was commissioned a second lieutenant in Field Artillery in 1973, which brought him to Fort Sill for the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course. He attended the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course before various field artillery assignments in Germany, New Mexico, Korea and Fort Sill.
In December 1977, Rose earned a bachelor’s degree in general education and military science at CU before he received a master’s in communication at the University of Oklahoma in 1989. He retired from the military in 1987 and then worked as an instructional designer writing operator for user and maintenance manuals and designed training for the manufacturing industry. He retired permanently in 2010 but remains active in charity activities, especially the Knights of Columbus.
In addition to the Medal of Honor and Distinguished Service Cross, Rose boasts many other military awards, including the Bronze Star Medal with one oak leaf cluster and “V” device, the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal with two knots, National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign with star, Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Civic Action Honor Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation, Palm Combat Medical Badge, Special Forces Tab, U.S. Army Parachute Badge, Thai Army Parachute Badge, Vietnam Parachute Badge and several service ribbons.
Rose told Armytimes.com that he requested his fellow Military Assistance Command, Vietnam – Studies and Observations Group veterans as well as the Marines and Air Force personnel who supported Operation Tailwind be present at his ceremony.
“To me,” he said, “this medal is a collective medal, and it honors all those men who fought. A lot of them were injured and killed in that operation. It represents the fact that North Vietnamese Army troops were tied up along the Ho Chi Minh Trail because of what we were doing in Laos and Cambodia.”
Published in September 2017
On July 31, 2017, the Oklahoma Farm Bureau named Cameron alum Thad Doye the company’s interim executive director. In a press release, Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan said Doye’s extensive experience with the organization – a career spanning almost two decades – made him the best candidate for the job.
“Thad has served our organization well through various positions," Buchanan said. “Through his many years of service, he has an intimate understanding of our 75-year-old organization. He is well suited to meet our mission of improving the lives of rural Oklahomans.”
Doye, a lifelong farmer and rancher, said he welcomes the leadership opportunity. “Being chosen for this position is a great honor,” Doye said. “I’m looking forward to working closely with the many people in the Oklahoma Farm Bureau family.”
The Lawton native received his agriculture degree from CU in 1990, graduating with honors – perhaps an unsurprising accomplishment for a student who spent four years in the Presidential Leader and University Scholars (PLUS) program. Doye then served as the chairman of the Comanche County Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R), a program of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, and later became the vice president of the state YF&R Committee.
Doye’s commitment to farming extends beyond his career and into his home life. In 1995, Doye and his wife Marla received the State YF&R Outstanding Young Farm Family Award. At that time, the Doye family farmed more than 1,500 acres of land on which they produced alfalfa, wheat, milo and sudan.
Additionally, the family supervised a registered cow herd, a small commercial cattle herd and a small swine operation. Subsequently, Doye’s career with Oklahoma Farm Bureau began in 1998. He started as a field services representative and upon completing a fellowship with the Oklahoma Agricultural Leadership Program (OALP), was promoted to Vice President of Field Services.
In 2015, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma named Doye their Winter 2015 Devon Energy Volunteer of the Quarter for his support of the Pork for Packs and Beef for Backpacks programs. He coordinated the programs and transported donated cattle and pigs across the state – driving 7,000 miles to provide protein to Oklahoma children. Click the link below to watch the food bank’s video about Doye’s dedication to the projects.
Doye also recognizes the importance of teaching youth about agriculture and the role it plays in their lives. The National Association of Agricultural Educators recognized Doye’s support of agricultural education with the Outstanding Cooperation Award in 2017.
According to okhorizon.com , Doye’s alternative method for producing fuel “could be the route to greater economic sustainability for rural Oklahoma.” While working on a high school project, Doye discovered that sunflower seeds could be pressed for oil and produce alternative fuel – an innovation that earned him a scholarship. Today, Doye continues to use this technique to fuel his own farm equipment. Click the link below to view Doye's technique in action.
Doye plans to continue in his role as the Oklahoma Farm Bureau’s crop insurance specialist as well as in his involvement with the Oklahoma Food Bank and the Farming and Ranching Foundation.
Published in August 2017
Cameron alum Ed Goeas is putting his political science degree to use as the President and CEO of The Tarrance Group, a Republican consulting firm recognized in America as a respected and successful political survey research and strategy team.
After graduating in 1974, Goeas acted as the National Campaign Director at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) for two cycles and in 1987 opened a Washington D.C. office for what was then known as Tarrance and Associates. Only a year later, he became the President and CEO of the company. Since that time, his leadership has contributed to The Tarrance Group’s reputation of expertise. With more than 40 years of working in politics professionally, Goeas is recognized as a leading political strategist who specializes in campaign management and strategy. Sought by many politicians, he served as the campaign manager on the winning campaigns of Governor John Kasich, Governor Scott Walker, Governor Mary Fallin and Senators Thad Cochran, James Lankford and Joni Ernst. In addition, he was involved in Senator John Boozman’s 2010 campaign and the presidential campaigns of George W. Bush, Michele Bachmann, Mitt Romney and John McCain. Most recently, he acted as the senior adviser for Scott Walker’s presidential campaign during the 2016 election cycle. But his expertise is not limited to United States politicians – Goeas has worked on several foreign campaigns in Russia, Greece, Hungary, France, Ukraine and the Philippines.
Since the beginning of his career, Goeas has been heavily involved in politics in general. For 25 years, he served on the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) Board of Directors. During his career, Goeas also took on roles in the National Foundation for American Policy, the Resurgent Republic National Survey Research Advisory Board, the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee and the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and worked as a Field Operative for the Republican National Committee, Chief of Staff to a U.S. Congressman, a pollster for the Future 45 Super PAC and the Program Director of the 2008 Republican National Convention. Currently he is an advisor to CMDI, the largest Republican campaign finance services provider in America.
In fact, Goeas is considered such a staple in American politics that he is often asked to appear on television shows like “Meet the Press,” “This Week,” “Good Morning America,” “The Today Show” and “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and channels such as FOX News, C-Span and CNN. Professional and academic journals, such as the Yale Law and Policy Review, continue to publish Goeas’ political columns on subjects like education policy, healthcare, immigration law and youth voting trends.
Recognized in his field, Goeas received the AAPC’s “Pollster of the Year” award in 1994. His long-time partnership with Democratic pollster Celinda Lake on the national political research program “Battleground Poll” earned both specialists the AAPC’s “Distinguished Service to the Profession” award in 2011.
In 2015, Goeas returned to his alma mater to speak about the bipartisan science and technology of political polling. Mr. Goeas, we hope to CU on campus again soon!
Published in August 2017
Congratulations to Cameron alumna Jenny Rosenfelt (formerly Jackson) who recently became the loan administration officer at BancFirst in Ardmore!
Rosenfelt graduated from Frederick High School in 2002 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration from Cameron in 2006. During her time at CU, Rosenfelt participated in the Students in Free Enterprise team, the Lawton Business and Professional Women’s Club, CU Student Government, the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislatu re and Phi Eta Sigma and Delta Mu Delta Honor Societies. Her dedication to education was rewarded with multiple scholarships – the Phi Kappa Phi Award, the Phi Eta Sigma scholarship, the George and Donna Nigh Public Service scholarships and even a scholarship from the CUAA!
Upon completing her bachelor’s degree at Cameron, Rosenfelt attended the University of Oklahoma School of Law from 2006 to 2009, becoming a licensed attorney in Oklahoma. Later, at the Oklahoma Bankers Association Banking School, she became qualified to work in a bank.
Prior to taking on a role at BancFirst, Rosenfelt worked as a Landman at DeLeon Land Co. & Bridge Land Energy, a Westlaw Student Representative at Thomson Reuters and a Division Order Analyst at Noble Energy. In December 2016, Rosenfelt began her career as the loan administration officer at BancFirst Ardmore, where she is responsible for coordinating and supervising loan operation functions to ensure compliance and operational efficiency.
BancFirst Ardmore President Jim Pratt said he, along with other bank employees, is thrilled to have the talented Rosenfelt on their team. “We are very excited to bring Jenny on board,” Pratt said. “Her background in business, law and energy make her a well-rounded and versatile addition to our team.”
In addition to cultivating a fruitful career, Rosenfelt is active in her community, serving on the Board of the Lake Murray Yacht Club and as a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association. She is also a devoted wife and mother who enjoys spending time at Lake Murray, cooking and watching sports with family and friends.
Published in July 2017
Good luck to former Cameron softball head coach and alum Rodney DeLong as he takes on the role of Austin Peay State University’s ninth head softball coach!
When APSU Athletics Director Ryan Ivey announced that the university’s national search for a new head softball coach had come to an end, he expressed excitement about DeLong taking on the role, envisioning the victories the coach could lead the team to.
"We are excited to welcome Coach DeLong and his family to Austin Peay and the Clarksville community," Ivey said. "His vision, passion and enthusiasm are contagious and we believe align well with our departmental philosophy.
"A successful softball program is a key component in our goal of becoming the premier athletics department in the OVC [Ohio Valley Conference], and we believe Coach DeLong will be able to lead us to sustainable success, on and off of the field. I have had the opportunity to witness Coach DeLong and his teams firsthand, and I know he will fit in well with APSU."
DeLong said he is eager to work with the Governors’ softball team and hopes to help the young women be successful not only in softball, but also in their education and lives.
“I'd like to thank Austin Peay President Dr. Alisa White, Associate Athletics Director Cheryl Holt and Athletics Director Ryan Ivey for giving me the opportunity to lead the Austin Peay softball program,” DeLong said. “I am excited for the opportunity to build this program. We will establish a championship culture that empowers our young women to be successful on the softball field, in the classroom and in life when they graduate from Austin Peay.”
DeLong began his own collegiate baseball career at Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa, playing two seasons and earning second-team all-region honors as a sophomore after batting .390 with 10 home runs and 56 RBI. From 2003 to 2005, DeLong served as the CU baseball team’s shortstop, starting 79 games and finishing with 54 RBI during those two seasons. He graduated from Cameron with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2006. DeLong continued his education at East Central University, where he earned a master’s degree in sports administration in 2013.
A Lawton native, DeLong coached high school softball at Cache from 2008 to 2013 and MacArthur in 2011, compiling an impressive 211-64 record during those five years. He quickly became known as one of the top prep softball coaches in Oklahoma and led the Bulldogs to the four regional championships, five district championships and the 2013 state championship.
In 2013, DeLong returned to Cameron to begin his college coaching career as the Aggies’ head softball coach. Under his leadership, the Aggies competed consecutively at the NCAA Division II Softball Tournament for the first time in program history. During his three seasons at Cameron, DeLong accumulated an impressive 105-60 record. He also saw 18 Aggie athletes earn all-conference honors, nine named to All-Region teams and two selected as All-Americans.
While at Cameron, DeLong created quite a legacy. In a promising first season, DeLong led the program to its first winning season since 2009 with a 31-21 record in 2014. That season, Aggie softball made their first-ever Division II postseason appearance and posted a victory in their tournament debut. In 2015, DeLong took the Aggies even further, with a program-record 41 wins, including a program-record 17-game winning streak. Additionally, the team made their second trip to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 4 seed and reached the regional championship game. By the end of 2015, Cameron ranked among Division II's top six in batting average (3rd, .352), home runs per game (3rd, 1.63), on-base percentage (6th, .427), runs per game (3rd, 7.14) and slugging percentage (2nd, .594). During DeLong’s memorable final season at Cameron, he led the program to a 33-21 overall record and an 18-14 record in the Lone Star Conference, good for a third-place conference finish, the best in program history.
After his successes at Cameron, Georgia Tech recruited DeLong to be their softball team’s hitting instructor and infielders coach last season. By the end of the 2017 season, his impact on the Yellow Jackets was evident: the team showcased improvement in 11 different offensive categories, ranked 18th nationally in home runs per game (1.02) – nearly double their average from the year before (0.59 per game in 2016) – and ranked 59th nationally in double plays per game (0.40).
College softball coaches across the country have praised DeLong’s coaching skills.
Former Georgia Tech head coach Shelly Hoerner said, “Rodney is one of the up-and-coming young coaches in our games. He has great knowledge of the game and is very passionate about winning. This is a great opportunity for him to bring a winning mentality and a family atmosphere to Austin Peay softball.”
Virginia head coach Joanna Hardin said, “Rodney has been a hidden gem in the softball world for a while now. He has a great mind for the game, a deep desire to learn and grow, and quiet confidence that will inevitably build a quality softball program at Austin Peay. He is a great fit and I am excited to watch him flourish as a coach, mentor, and leader in Clarksville!”
Texas A&M-Commerce head coach Richie Bruister said, “I believe Coach DeLong is the next big time coach in Division I. He proved himself as an outstanding head coach in a very tough Lone Star Conference. He knows how to win the right way and I have no doubt he will have Austin Peay at the top very soon.”
Published in July 2017
If you see “Spiderman: Homecoming” in theaters, keep an eye out for Jana Acevedo’s name as the credits roll! The Cameron alumna worked as a seamstress on Marvel’s newest big-budget superhero film, which scored a $117 million box office opening during its first weekend – the second largest in Sony Pictures history.
Acevedo graduated from Cameron in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree of theatre arts. While at CU, she participated either as a cast or crew member in a multitude of Cam eron theatre productions, including “Our Town,” “The Medium,” “Watbanaland,” “The Day Room,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “The Imaginary Invalid,” “The Servant of Two Masters,” “Oxygen,” “Once Upon A Mattress,” “Scenes and Revelations,” “Working,” “Whose Life Is It Anyways?,” “Wit,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” “I Hate Hamlet” and “Nine.” Both the Oklahoma One State American College Theatre Festival and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region VI recognized Acevedo for exceptional costume design for “Scenes and Revelations.”
Upon graduating from Cameron, Acevedo served as the Lawton Community Theatre’s Costume Designer on productions like “Aladdin Jr.,” “Willy Wonka,” “Picnic,” “Bell, Book and Candle,” “Cinderella,” “The Old Settler,” “Greater Tuna,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” and “Seussical the Musical.”
Acevedo continued her education in Georgia at the Savannah College of Art and Design, where she earned her master’s degree in production design in 2013 as well as her first film credits for “Dual” and “Der Bote,” both student films.
Since then, Acevedo has grown an impressive résumé, with credits – predominantly as a seamstress – on films and television series such as “The Walking Dead,” “Sleepy Hollow,” “Halt and Catch Fire” and “Ride Along 2.”
Next year, superhero fans will see her credited as a seamstress for Marvel’s highly anticipated “Black Panther.”
Congratulations to alumna Jana Acevedo on this huge success! We are proud that she contributed to one of the biggest film franchises of all time and that movie-goers will get the chance to see her costume work internationally.
Published in July 2017
Cameron alum Bert Ballou is the published author of a biblically inspired children’s book series.
Ballou’s four books chronicle the Passion Week, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday, through the perspective of Anthony the donkey foal who carried Jesus to Jerusalem for Palm Sunday. The first book, “Anthony's Amazing Journey,” follows the Triumphal Entry story. The second book, “Anthony's Amazing Garden,” is about Jesus’ arrest at Gethsemane. The third book, “Anthony 's Amazing Sunrise,” depicts Resurrection Sunday. In the final installment, “Anthony’s Amazing Nativity,” the donkey returns for a retelling of the classic Nativity story. Tate Publishing published the first book in 2009 and the last book in 2013.
While religion did not play a major role in the author’s upbringing near Medicine Park, Oklahoma, Christianity has been a big part of his adult life and inspired him to write. He wants the “Anthony” series to become a holiday tradition in American households.
"I want readers to feel hopeful, poignant, and willing to discuss openly the contents of my books,” Ballou said. “I'm hoping that these books become a part of a family's holiday celebration.”
Ballou graduated from CU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatrical Design. During his time as a student, he was a member of Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society. In addition, he designed the Theatre Department’s productions of “Crimes of the Heart,” “Dracula” and “The Lion in Winter.”
Ballou’s “Anthony” series is available for purchase on Amazon.com.
Published in May 2017
Congratulations to Cameron alumna and CUAA Board Member Nadine Hanefield, who is nominated for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)!
A Sentinel, Oklahoma native, Nadine earned a Bachelor of Science in Recreational Therapy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in 1984. After graduating, she worked as a Domestic and International Trade and Investment County Reference Assistant at the Oklahoma Department of Commerce for six years . Later, she served as the Lawton-Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce Tourism Director for a year, working to increase tourism and create a positive economic impact in the area. In 2008, Nadine became a Professional Health Care Recruiter for Comanche County Memorial Hospital. She furthered her education at Cameron with a Master of Education in 2015 and now teaches special education at Eisenhower Middle School in Lawton.
A PAEMST is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through twelfth grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States and is given to teachers who develop and implement a high-quality instructional program that is informed by content knowledge and enhances student learning. An exclusive government program, only 108 teachers in the U.S. receive the award each year.
According to paemst.org , the National Science Foundation administers the awards on behalf of The White House Office of Science and Technology “to teachers who serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.”
If selected for the PAEMST, Nadine will receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.
In addition, Nadine believes community involvement is the key to private and public business success. She serves on a multitude of boards and participates in various community service events and groups, holding the titles of Leadership Lawton Class XVIII graduate, Spirit of Survival Marathon cabinet member, Lawton Hospitality Association Board Member, Festival Events and Arts Organization Board Member, Lawton Community Theater Guild fundraising volunteer, a middle school basketball, volleyball and softball volunteer coach, OETA fundraising volunteer and Red Cross volunteer. This extensive public service earned Nadine the Notable Networker Award from the Business Exchange Chapter of Business Network International (BNI).
Nadine is a shining example of the impact CU alum have on the Lawton community. We are proud to have such a dedicated educator and community member on our Board of Directors!
Published in May 2017
Congratulations to CU alumna Kathy Scherler on her International Music Rights Award nomination by the International Music Council (IMC), in recognition for her creation of the Oasis Summer Music Camp in Dallas, Texas!
Scherler, now an Assistant Professor of Music Education at Oklahoma Baptist University, graduated from Cameron in 1980 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Vocal Performance and her teaching certification. Furthering her education, Scherler went on to earn a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from Texas A&M University-Commerce and a Doctorate of Music Education Degree from the University of North Texas.
Today, she uses that extensive education to give back to society by teaching children, who may otherwise not have the opportunity, about music. Her efforts have not gone unnoticed; Scherler’s summer camp recently achieved global recognition for its excellency by the IMC, a council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Comprised of music committees in 70 countries, the IMC recognizes music programs or projects, such as Scherler’s, that support in an exemplary way one or more of the Five Music Rights, identified by the council as “the right for all children and adults to express themselves musically in all freedom, to learn musical languages and skills and to have access to musical involvement through participation, listening, creation and information and the right for all musical artists to develop their artistry and communicate through all media, with proper facilities at their disposal and to obtain just recognition and fair remuneration for their work.”
In June 2016, Scherler established the Oasis Summer Music Camp at the Mosaic House, a transitional shelter for women who are victims of sex trafficking or domestic abuse and their children. A soprano vocalist and recitalist, Scherler used her musical talent and knowledge, along with the IMC’s Five Music Rights, to develop and implement curriculum for the program, which provided musical knowledge as well as instruction in various instruments to children ages four to 17. More than knowledge of the craft, Scherler said her goal was to impart, through music, a beacon of hope and light to the children living in the shelter.
“I had this crazy idea that even though there were tragic stories within this house,” she said, “that somehow music could help them deal with their pain, escape their memories, or give them an outlet for their expression. I hoped that through the learning and doing of music, or “musicking” (a term coined by Christopher Small in 1998), to create beauty and a sense of hope for these children, in spite of their difficult circumstances.”
Scherler created Oasis Summer Music Camp in honor of her late niece, a lawyer who passionately advocated on behalf of sex trafficking victims, and to cope with the grief that resulted from her death. According to Scherler, the children weren’t the only ones learning at the camp; along the way, they taught her how powerful music’s effect on human beings can be, regardless of age or situation.
“After over 30 years of teaching music,” she said, “I learned something new at the summer music camp: that music is a basic form of human expression and often brings hope to the most marginalized of communities. In these seemingly routine music classes, a transformation took place. Students tapped into their own ability to increase their self-esteem. They were in a rite of passage. They created power and enablement from their rhythms, their voices, and their bodies. They needed this music. It was not a trite exercise in mindless busy work. Music making became a survival skill for them. It was their way of participating again in a social and individual way that was positive, creative, and valued. It was their own. They owned little else. They left their homes with nothing and were being transitioned into new lives, perhaps in new cities, with new schools and maybe even new names. It was sung in their little voices that grew stronger each week. It was played in beautiful tones and kind and graceful behavior. They owned it. I was merely a bystander.”
Upon hearing Scherler’s moving description of her experience and the music camp at a Music Council of the Three Americas in Puerto Rico, fellow council member and Executive Director and CEO of the Music Teacher's National Association Dr. Gary Ingle nominated her to the IMC.
Not only does Scherler invest in the future of music by teaching others music appreciation and ability at both the summer camp and at various learning institutions throughout her career, she also works to conserve the art form by assisting Kiowa and Comanche Native American tribes in the preservation and translation of their tribal music.
In addition to teaching and performing music, Scherler researches and writes about various aspects of music, contributing four articles detailing music experiences in marginalized communities to NewMusicBox.org. She remains dedicated to higher education as she coordinates the OBU Music Education program and serves on the National Committee on Academic Careers for the College Music Society.
Scherler is currently preparing for the second year of the camp in summer 2017.
Published in April 2017
CU alum Billy Towns’s once unfortunate circumstances now serve as a beacon of hope, light and inspiration to the community. In 2005, after an arduous journey, he earned an undergraduate degree from Cameron.
In 1969, Towns starred in “More Than One Thing,” a documentary focusing on his experience as an African-American teenager growing up in the Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis, Missouri. As a Washington University student, Steven Carver directed the film, which Towns’ narrates, revealing reflections and his dreams and aspirations to someday do “more than one thing.” Complete with black and white imagery of the housing complex and surrounding areas, the film provides a unique and intimate look into the life of a young struggling minority.
Recently, the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) provided a Basic Preservation Grant to the Washington University Libraries’ Film & Media Archive, enabling the 2016 preservation of Towns’ rare short film. The project resulted in the creation of a 16mm duplicate negative, 16mm full-coat magnetic track, 16mm negative optical track, 16mm composite print, a digital HD transfer and a Blu-ray access copy.
A 2011 documentary “The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” discussed the history of the Pruitt–Igoe public housing complex in St. Louis, Missouri and the eventual decision to demolish the entire complex in 1976. The documentary, which extensively used footage from “More Than One Thing” to present an authentic individual experience, was shown at the St. Louis International Film Festival in 2016. Towns and his brother were invited to attend the screening to share memories of their youth with the audience.
Towns’ rough up-bringing in St. Louis inspired him to create a brighter future for children who may be in a similar situation. In Lawton, he founded the Back Me Up: Stop the Violence campaign to encourage local youth by reinforcing the idea that positive choices are possible even in a negative environment. Rather than give up, Towns overcame his situation to make his difficult path to success a learning opportunity for others.
Published in April 2017
Cameron alumna Patty Wininger has spent her career giving back to the Duncan community during the nearly 40 years she has lived there.
In 1975, Wininger graduated from Cameron with a degree in nursing science and earned her second CU degree in Organizational Leadership in 2011. She holds the titles of certified emergency nurse, registered nurse, and cardiac rehab nurse.
Since 2007, Wininger has served as the Duncan Regional Hospital’s Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and is the lead nurse of the hospital’s outpatient cardiac rehab program, the Oklahoma Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehab.
Wininger’s hard work hasn’t gone unrecognized by the hospital. In 2012, she was the recipient of Duncan Regional Hospital’s Nursing Education Endowment Fund, a fund for nurses employed by the hospital to gain additional skills and continuing education on an as-needed basis. Wininger said this enabled her to attend the National Joint Commission Conference on Emergency Preparedness for hospitals.
“As such, I brought back new information and resources that will help DRH prepare our staff and facilities in times of disaster and emergencies,” Wininger said. “Of special interest was information on hospital evacuation. As a result, we have some new equipment and processes to facilitate our planning, response, and actions. Thanks to the Foundation and its supporters for providing me such an opportunity to learn and then share with the staff, volunteers and medical staff.”
Wininger’s role as a mother and a grandmother has had an affect on how she interacts with her community and the issues that are important to her.
After a tornado killed seven elementary school children in Moore in 2013, Wininger began a campaign called “Cover our Kids” to raise money for helmets for all of the children in the Duncan Public Schools system. As a health care emergency manager, she knew that the latest research data indicated that the use of safety helmets such as bike helmets could help protect against head wounds or brain injuries from debris or falling objects during a storm, even indoors when evacuating or taking shelter. After a year of relentless fund raising, the committee accumulated over $39,000. Thanks to Wininger, helmets were distributed to every DPS school and added as part of tornado drills prior to the official start of the Oklahoma Tornado season.
Wininger is also an advocate for animals. In 2015, she wrote the book “Goodnight Duncan” as a fundraiser for the Stephens County Humane Society. Wininger’s local spin on the classic children’s book “Goodnight Moon” sees the book’s main character as he says goodnight to all that is around him, such as Duncan Regional Hospital, Main Street, Halliburton and many other landmarks and businesses.
Wininger said the book was a great way to highlight some Duncan features and help the animals.
“This treasure for the Duncan community was made possible with the support of a handful of companies and individuals,” Wininger said, “and I’m grateful to work with such dedicated volunteers to make this concept a reality for the benefit of Stephens County’s homeless and unwanted pets.”
In 2016, Wininger took on the role of Duncan City Councilwoman in Ward 3. In an interview with KSWO, she said she decided to run for city council because she felt her experiences would provide a unique approach to the improvement of her community.
"As a mother, a female and a nurse bringing a different perspective and adding to what's already here and helping go forward," Wininger said.
Published in March 2017
Congratulations to Chas Hillis, a general manager for Red Lobster, for receiving his company’s annual People Developer Award!
Chas Hillis, a former Cameron University student, has exceled in his 22-year career at Red Lobster. As the general manager of the Quail Springs Red Lobster restaurant at 2625 W Memorial Road, he is the leader of a team comprised of 96 employees.
According to an article by business writer Paula Burkes of The Oklahoman, Hillis received the People Developer Award from his company for “encouraging more than 40 employees over the past decade to complete Red Lobster’s 13-week management-in-training program.”
Hillis’ career at Red Lobster began in 1994 when he was attending Cameron University to fulfill his goal of becoming a high school teacher and coach.
His career ambitions shifted after he climbed the ladder at Red Lobster. After starting as a bar tender while still a college student, he was promoted to server, then service professional, and in 2000, he entered management.
In the article by Burkes, Hillis said he was still able to become a coach—“just on a different court.”
Hillis also said potential managers have to have a passion for both people and for food.
“If they’re great with operations but struggle with guests, I push them to get out of their comfort zone,” he said in the article.
What’s most satisfying to Hillis about his job is getting to know guests and employees on a personal level.
“Under one roof, we have every walk of life imaginable – from fraternity to sorority kids to teachers working summer hours to long-term employees,” Hillis said in the article. “For them to all come together, and work together as a unit, is enjoyable to watch.”
Published in 2016
Cameron University alum Joleen Chaney has returned to the NewsChannel Four team! She is currently the weekday 4 p.m. anchor with Lance West.
Joleen’s television career began when she became an intern for NewsChannel Four in 2007. A week later, she accepted employment as an assignment editor and weekend writer. Three months later, she took her first on-air position as a morning anchor at KAUZ-TV in Wichita Falls as she simultaneously wrapped up her senior year at Cameron, where she earned a degree in communication.
Within a year, she returned as an anchor and reporter for KFOR-TV, where she remained for six years. From 2014-16, she worked for KWTV News 9 as a reporter. On July 25, 2016, she made her reappearance with the NewsChannel Four Team, who she calls her family.
Having received numerous awards, Joleen has climbed the ladder in her career as a reporter.
From the Society of Professional Journalists, she has received first place in Diversity Reporting and Feature Reporting; second place in Feature Reporting; and third place in Criminal Justice Reporting.
The Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters has honored her with first place in Feature Reporting Series. She also received “Best Reporter Portfolio” from the Oklahoma Associated Press.
According to KFOR.com, Joleen was also a part of “ KFOR-TV’s multiple Emmy award winning team for coverage of the May 2013 Moore tornado .”
IonOklahoma Magazine named her a member of the “30 under 30 Next Gen,” which recognizes Oklahomans under the age of 30 who have excelled in their careers.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, Joleen enjoys cooking and spending time with her family who are located all across the state. She is also an avid runner, having completed the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in April 2012.
Congratulations on your success, Joleen!
Published in 2016
November marks American Diabetes Month, a campaign with the purpose of bringing the nation’s attention to the disease and the lives affected by it.
In recognition of health professionals who care for diabetic patients, the Cameron University Alumni Association would like to spotlight Kristy Greer, an alum who is dedicated to the field of nursing and who the Cameron community can support as she battles cancer.
Kristy graduated Cum Laude with an Associate in Science degree from Cameron University in 2003. She then attended the University of Oklahoma, where she received a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree in 2004 and a Master of Science in nursing education degree in 2010.
In 2013, as the Director of Nursing Education at Western Oklahoma State College (WOSC), Kristy was diagnosed with cancer.
At the time, she was also in the process of earning a degree from Oklahoma City University as a Kramer School of Nursing Doctoral Candidate.
No longer able to be the director at WOSC, Kristy is undergoing chemotherapy and regularly traveling to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Her husband Brady Greer said, “This campaign is sought to bring financial relief to Kristy and her family so they can continue to focus on her well-being, strength, and ultimate healing.”
If you’re a Cameron alum who is fighting an illness, please contact us. We care about our Aggie family.
Published in 2016
Update in 2018: Kristy Greer passed away on Jan. 19, 2017. Her family thanks you, the Aggie family, for the support you provided.
Jay Vincent Diaz, Mark Deyesso, and Dyan Bittner
Cameron University alumni Jay Vincent Diaz, Mark Deyesso, and Dyan Bittner earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in theatre. They are now exceling in their careers either on stage or behind the scenes.
Jay Vincent Diaz
Jay Vincent Diaz has been claiming Las Vegas as his home since he graduated from Cameron in 2012. In 2015, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in film and video from The Art Institute in Las Vegas.
The rising star plays the role of the “immigration officer” in the most recent Jason Bourne movie, Jason Bourne, which was released July 29. Though this role is his biggest yet, Jay has taken on roles in six other films. The five-foot-eight actor played the role of “Mustaf Basulif” in the 2015 drama Ame Leve and the role of “Bouncer” in the 2014 horror Heidi.
While a student at Cameron, Jay starred in the productions of Tartuffe, The Great Game Afghanistan, Grease, and Masterpieces. He also played a role in Lawton Community Theatre’s production of Roald Dahl’s Willie Wonka.
Twenty-four-year-old Mark Deyesso, who graduated from CU in 2014, works as a wardrobe technician for Steve Wynn’s ShowStoppers in Las Vegas. According to wynnlasvegas.com, “Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers is a music spectacular that brings a vibrant and talented cast of 66 singers, dancers and a full orchestra with dazzling scenery and costumes to the intimate Encore Theater.”
As a Cameron student, Mark received recognition by the Department of Theatre Arts for both Outstanding Technical Achievement and Outstanding Contribution by a Major. He was an Aggie Ambassador for over a year, and he remains an active member of Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society.
He also served as a student worker in the Department of Theatre Arts and as an administrative assistant for the Lawton Community Theatre.
Upon graduating from Cameron, he became a wardrobe assistant for Music Theatre Wichita, and he held the position for four months before joining staff at ShowStoppers, a position he has held for almost two years.
Dylan Bittner, who is also 24 years old and a 2014 graduate, is working on one of the Cirque du Soleil shows as a wardrobe technician.
While attending Cameron, Dylan played different roles in productions and received awards. He was recognized for Outstanding Contribution by Major, and he received the Outstanding Technical Achievement Award for Costume Design in the production of Macbeth.
In an interview with the Cameron Collegian, Dylan told student-journalist Jacob Jardel that he believes it is important for him to have fun while fulfilling his passion.
“If you’re not entertaining yourself, you can’t entertain your audience,” Dylan said. “I enjoy being a kid. That’s why we go and play pretend. Being a kid is the most important thing.”
Published in 2016
Makenzie Burk and Haley Wilson
When they were students, Cameron University alumni Makenzie Burk and Haley Wilson co-anchored CUTV’s Game Time. The two class of 2016 graduates now work alongside one another at KSWO-TV 7 News.
Though they are usually on separate screens when reporting news to Texhoma residents, Burk and Wilson broadcast news together on News Channel 7.
A 2012 graduate of Lawton High School, Makenzie Burk earned a Bachelor of Arts in communication degree with a concentration in radio/television and a minor in journalism. As a student, Burk was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, and she was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society. In spring 2016, she received the Duncan Economic Development Foundation Production Award, and she also placed third in two categories, Radio Newscast and Radio Feature News Story, at the Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association’s 26th Annual Student Competition.
Lawton native Haley Wilson received a Bachelor of Arts in communication degree with a concentration in radio/television. As a student, Wilson was inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society. In 2016, Wilson received awards from the Oklahoma Broadcast Education Association at the 26th Annual Student Competition. She placed second in the Radio Newscast category and second in the Radio Feature News Story category for a story about Cameron Army ROTC cadet Robert McCoy.
Published in 2016
Dr. Kyle Head
Dr. Kyle Head graduated from Cameron University in 2005 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. After graduating from Northeastern State University College of Optometry (NSUCO) in 2009, he joined his family’s practice, The Family Vision Clinic, in Lawton.
In 1950, M.E. ‘Cuffie’ Waid established the clinic, and he wanted it to service the entire family. Waid, who passed away in 2008, graduated from Cameron State Agricultural College in 1943. As a student, Waid was president of the student council and editor of the Cameron Collegian. He also served in the U.S. Air Force during World War II before graduating from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. In 1983, Waid’s vision of the family practice was realized when his daughter, Dr. Jennifer L. Head, and his son-in-law, Dr. Robert D. Head, joined the practice.
Kyle is the third generation of his family in the practice, along with Dr. Kristina L. Flint, who is also a Cameron alum. Kristina earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry degree from Cameron in 2000, and in 2005, she graduated from NSUCO, where she also completed a residency in Ocular Disease. Both Kyle and Kristina were Cameron PLUS scholars.
According to familyvisionclinic.com, Kyle has “enjoyed being a part of the family legacy serving the Lawton community. [He] loves spending time with his wife Sarah, enjoying outdoor activities with family, and being a part of Central Baptist Church.”
A supporter of his alma mater, Kyle is a lifetime member of the Cameron University Alumni Association.
Published in 2016
U.S. Army Captain Jeff Wozencraft
Honored as one of the “Top 30 Under 30 Future Leaders of Charlotte, North Carolina,” U.S. Army Captain Jeff Wozencraft graduated from Cameron University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. Today, he is the Account Executive of Armstrong Relocation and a Brigade Fire Support Officer for the U.S. Army Reserve.
From his time as a student at Cameron to his current positions in the civilian and military worlds, Wozencraft has strived to be a leader.
While he was a student, Wozencraft was selected for Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and the Top 20. He was the Student Government Association (SGA) Senator of Committee Chair from 2004-2006, the SGA Vice President from 2006-2007, and the SGA President from 2007-2008. He was also involved in Army ROTC, Speech and Debate, Program Activities Council, and Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature.
Upon graduating from Cameron, he was commissioned into the field artillery as a Second Lieutenant and was stationed in Fort Bragg, North Carolina. In 2009, he became a Troop Fire Support Officer, in which he was responsible for distributing over five million pounds of Humanitarian Assistance Aid to over 70,000 displaced personnel in the 2010 Haiti earthquake.
In an interview with Elevate Lifestyle, Wozencraft said while he was in Haiti, he found a child who had lost both his parents and had nowhere to go.
“It was very rewarding to get the child the medical attention and proper care that he needed,” Wozencraft said.
In 2010, he became a Platoon Leader for a 43 Paratrooper, embarking on a mission of worldwide deployment with 18 hours of notification. In 2011, he was as a Brigade Fire Support Officer, serving as a Brigade Liaison at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq as a part of Operation New Dawn with the mission of drawing down U.S. Forces.
In 2013, he worked within the U.S. Army’s Special Operations Community as a Brigade Targeting Officer, in which he coordinated between military and inter-agencies in Washington D.C. In 2014, he took the position of Operations Manager of ESAB, which is a global manufacturing plant.
In 2015, he became the Account Executive of Armstrong Relocation, which is his current job, where he manages commercial moving and storage accounts; his primary focus is to bring large companies to Charlotte. Also a Brigade Fire Support Officer for the U.S. Army Reserve, he plans strategic and defensive stability operations within any theatre of operations.
In addition to being a leader in his jobs, Wozencraft is an active member of the community organizations in Charlotte.
“I am passionate about our community,” he said in the interview with Elevate Lifestyle, “[about] building our local economy through the young professional organizations here in Charlotte.”
The organizations of which Wozencraft is a member include Charlotte’s Habitat for Humanity Young Professionals, Guys with Ties, CoreNet, Building Owners and Managers Association, NAIOP, Urban Land Institute, Charlotte City Club, and Charlotte Bridge Home. He also volunteers as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and as a senior facilitator for HOBY Oklahoma, in which he mentors high school students at an annual leadership seminar.
Jeff Wozencraft married Class of 2008 Cameron alumna Laura. She serves as the Membership Account Executive of Fayetteville Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce in the North Carolina area. She graduated from Cameron with a business administration degree and was also selected for Who’s Who and Top 20.
Wozencraft told Elevate Lifestyle that in the next five years, he sees him and Laura raising a family in Charlotte. His hobbies include traveling and skydiving. He said one item on his bucket list is the BASE jump in Norway.
Published in 2016
Cameron alum Carolyne Paradiso is the Assistant to the Superintendent at Oklahoma School for the Deaf.
She graduated from Cameron University in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication. As a student, she was a PLUS scholar and named to the National Dean’s List. In 1996, she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education/Teaching of Individuals with Hearing Impairments from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma. From 2000-2002, she attended the University of Oklahoma, where she received her Master’s degree in curriculum design.
In 1997, she began working as an educational coordinator at Jane Brooks School for the Deaf. In 2002, she became the director of the school. In 2006, she took the position she has now as the Assistant to the Superintendent of the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in Sulfur, Oklahoma.
We appreciate her commitment to the education of students in Oklahoma!
Published in 2016
The American Cancer Society recognizes July as UV Safety Month. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, one’s lifetime risk of developing skin cancer significantly increased by sunburns.
The Cameron University Alumni Association would like to recognize and thank alum Kristi Lynn for her dedication to cancer research.
A graduate of Velma-Alma High School, Kristi Lynn attended Cameron University from 2002-2006 and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology. Her student honors and activities included summa cum laude, Phi Kappa Phi, Biology Club, INBRE Research Fellow, and Industrial Research Intern.
In 2011, Lynn graduated from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where she received her Ph.D. in Oncology and Cancer Biology. She was a recipient of a
Cancer Biology Training Grant Fellowship and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, which helped support her research for three years.
In 2013, she was named a Cameron University Outstanding Young Alum.
Lynn’s research has been published in scholarly journals; her most recent publication, co-authored and released in 2014, is an article titled “A Novel ‘Salting-Out’ Procedure for the Isolation of Tumor-Derived Exosomes,” featured in the Journal of Immunological Methods.
Today, Lynn is a technology analyst in the Office for Technology Development at the University of Texas Southwestern.
Published in 2016
Colonel Hope C. Rampy
In celebration of July 4th, we would like to recognize Colonel Hope C. Rampy, who made history as the first woman from the Cameron ROTC Program to earn the rank of colonel.
Rampy graduated from Cameron University as a distinguished military graduate in 1996. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and was named to Who’s Who Among American Colleges and Universities. In May 1996, she commissioned as an Adjutant General’s Corps Officer. In 1997, she was assigned to the 3rd Signal Brigade, III Corps at Fort Hood, Texas after she attended the Adjunct General’s Corps Officer Basic School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. She later commanded the Alpha Detachment, 546th Personnel Services Battalion supporting III Corps, then the 1st Cavalry Division in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Between 2001 and 2011, Rampy completed programs and served in various positions. In November 2012, the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 1st Cavalry Team, which she commanded, deployed to Afghanistan. According to armywarcollege.com, “The battalion conducted route clearance, military intelligence operations, signal support and security for the BCT. COL Rampy served as lead for the Counter Improvised Explosive Device (CIED) effort in Regional Command-East. Upon redeployment, she relinquished command and reported to the Joint Staff, Pentagon, in November 2013 where she served as the Military Secretary for the Director for Operations, J-3.”
Rampy has been honored with numerous awards and decorations, including the Afghan and Iraq Campaign Medals, the Global War on Terror Service Medal, and the Overseas Service Ribbon, among many others.
Today, she is a Senior Service College Fellow at the prestigious University of Texas in Austin. Her research topic is “Coaching for Excellence: Is the Army Developing Officers for Success?” After she finishes her course, she will take a leadership role at Fort Shafter, Hawaii.
In an interview with KSWO, Rampy said leading soldiers in Afghanistan has been one of the most amazing things she has accomplished in her military career.
“ I had a signal company, an MI company, and to be able to lead them, not only in garrison but to take them to Afghanistan and bring them all back home…I don't think you can trade that leadership opportunity," Rampy said in the KSWO news story.
Thank you for your service, Colonel Hope C. Rampy. It is because of military personnel and veterans like you that we can celebrate another Independence Day in America.
Published in 2016
Congratulations to Cameron alum Jennifer Holland for her new position as Enrollment Generalist at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith! You make us Aggie proud!
For almost two decades, Jennifer Holland touched the lives of the administration, faculty, and staff of Cameron University. As a student, she was a PLUS scholar and named to Who’s Who, Cameron’s Top 20, and the National Dean’s List. As a graduate student, she was accepted for membership in Delta Mu Delta. In 2000, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication and a Master of Business Administration in 2002, graduating magna cum laude.
She joined the Cameron staff in 2001 as Director of Student Activities, then served as Director of Student Development, Dean of Student Services and Vice President for Student Services. She also served as an adviser for students in the PLUS program. The Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence honored Holland with the Outstanding Youth Mentor Award in 2013, the same year she received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee. She also served as a board member for the Cache Schools Education Foundation from 2012 to 2014.
Holland continues to make an impact on students as she serves as the Enrollment Generalist at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith . Supporting her alma mater, she is a member of the Cameron University Alumni Association and President’s Partners.
Published in 2016
Dr. Michael Geiger
The CUAA would like to celebrate Father’s Day by recognizing Dr. Michael Geiger, a Class of 1986 alum who has not only been a leader in his career field but also a leader in his family as a father.
Dr. Geiger and his wife, Shaun, who is also a Cameron alum, are the parents of five children. The eldest four, Bryce, Darah, Seth, and Trevor, are quadruplets. Bryce, Seth, and Trevor each graduated from Cameron with a bachelor’s degree, and Darah attended Cameron for her prerequisites before attending OU Health and Science Center to become a dental hygienist.
Their youngest daughter, Madison, graduated this past May and will begin optometry school in the fall. Like their father, Bryce and Madison were both recipients of the PLUS scholarship.
Both of Dr. Geiger’s parents, Jerry and Royce Geiger, and his wife Shaun’s mother, Dianne Atchley, are also Cameron alums.
In addition to being a PLUS scholar, Dr. Geiger received the McMahon Scholarship and was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Top Twenty. He also played on the basketball team and received the A.O. Duer Award as the top student/athlete in the nation for the N.A.I.A. division.
After earning his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree and graduating summa cum laude, Dr. Geiger received his doctorate from Northeastern State University. He ranked first in his optometry class and was named Top Clinician by the faculty.
Today, Dr. Geiger operates Geiger Eye Care in Altus. According to http://www.geigereyecare.net/ , the goal of the family optometry practice is “to provide each patient with the highest quality of eye care available and to provide each patient with the greatest service and kindness possible.”
Dr. Geiger’s sons Bryce and Seth will graduate from Northeastern School of Optometry this spring, then join their father in his practice.
Staying connected to the university, Dr. Geiger is an active member and past president of the CUAA, as well as an annual donor to President’s Partners. In 2011, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award.
An ordained Baptist preacher and deacon, Dr. Geiger has been serving in Southwest Oklahoma churches for more than 25 years.
Dr. Geiger and Shaun have five grandchildren, with a sixth one due in July. In August, they will celebrate the 26th birthday of their quadruplets, and Madison turns 23 years old in September.
While Dr. Geiger is an outstanding scholar and optometrist, his role as a father has been equally as exceptional.
Thank you, Dr. Geiger and Shaun, for showing your children that their goals are attainable.
Published in 2016
Clarence H. Breedlove
In honor of D-Day, the Cameron University Alumni Association would like to recognize World War II veteran Clarence H. Breedlove, the tenth president of Cameron State Agricultural College. Breedlove served his country both at school and in war.
June 6, 2016 marks the 72nd anniversary of D-Day. According to Army.mil, “The cost in lives on D-Day was high. More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, but their sacrifice allowed more than 1000,000 soldiers to begin the slow, hard slog across Europe to defeat Adolf Hitler’s crack troops.”
As soldiers were fighting on D-Day overseas, students at Cameron State Agricultural College were attending classes.
One man who knew the challenges of being a solider and of being an educator during a critical time in history was Clarence H. Breedlove, the tenth president of Cameron State Agricultural College.
Breedlove served in the military for 32 years and was a Cameron College employee for over ten years.
According to the 1956 Lawton Constitution article “Col. Breedlove, Former Ag President, To Retire Soon,” Breedlove was a Cameron faculty member for 12 years, joining staff in September 1928 as a chemistry instructor and later becoming the head of the science department. In 1932, he took position as the dean of administration.
However, upon being called to active duty as an Army captain in 1940, Breedlove had to temporarily depart from Cameron.
He served three years with the Eight Air Force on the staff of General James H. Doolittle during World War II.
In June 1946, Breedlove returned to Cameron to serve as president.
In the 1947 Lawton Constitution article “Huge Expansion in Cameron’s Future Enrollment Predicted,” the journalist wrote, “A potential enrollment of 2,500 students was forecast for Cameron College today by Clarence H. Breedlove as he concluded his tour of duty as president and prepared to return to the Army.”
Breedlove resigned from his position as president in January 1947 so that he could accept the permanent appointment of colonel in the Air Force.
However, before he left the college, he made extensive plans for the future.
“He foresees an agricultural junior college that will adequately care for the needs of the 19 counties which surround it,” the journalist wrote. “Since the institution is an agricultural college, he began with some of the improvements which are associated with farming.”
Breedlove told the journalist that before he entered the Army, Cameron State Agricultural College had one of the finest orchards in this section of the country.
“It was destroyed by drought and was not replaced. He believes that a 10-acre orchard should be planted, and whenever tree dies or outgrows its usefulness, [it] should be replaced immediately,” the journalist wrote.
Breedlove believed the improvements would provide the students with advanced training in the study of agricultural.
According to the 1956 article, following his resignation at Cameron, Breedlove “became chemical officer for the reactivated Eighth Air Force and after one year was assigned to Keesler field in 1948 as director of the Air Force Chemical Warfare School.”
In 1949, Breedlove took position as Air Force Secretary for the Chemical Warfare Committee, Research, and Development Board in the Department of Defense at the Pentagon.
“After four years duty in Washington,” the journalist wrote, “he was assigned to AM as Professor of Air science and Commander at the college AF- ROTC detachment.”
Born on September 29, 1898, Breedlove, whose nickname was “Shorty,” passed away on January 19, 1983 at the age of 85. His wife was Martha Breedlove. They had two daughters, Mary and Jane, and one son, C. Gordon (1927-2014), who followed in his father’s footsteps, for he was also a veteran of the U.S. Army.
The CUAA appreciates the sacrifices of all alumni who served during World War II.
Published in 2016
Mark Cotney played on the Cameron College football team from 1973-1975. Cotney graduated in May 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education.
According to cameronaggies.com, Cotney was an “NAIA 1st Team All-American and led the Cameron football team to a 10-3 record, during which he led the team with five interceptions. He was such a force for the Aggies that in a game against Northeastern Oklahoma State University wherein Northeastern was driving in the final minute for a touchdown, on a quarterback option, Cotney blitzed, tackled the quarterback, caused a fumble, and then recovered the fumble to secure a win.”
His football career began at Cameron, but it didn’t end there. The Houston Oilers drafted Cotney in the 7th round of the 1975 NFL draft. The next year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him in the expansion draft. Standing six-foot tall and weighing 204 pounds, Cotney played in the position of defensive back. He retired in 1984 after playing nine seasons for Tampa Bay.
In 2013, Cotney was inducted into the Cameron Athletics Hall of Fame for his outstanding accomplishments. He was recently listed as a 2017 Divisional Player Candidate Capsule by the National Football Foundation. He was honored for being named 1st Team All-American and All Conference and for his “amassed 132 career tackles and seven interceptions in two seasons at Cameron,” according to ncaa.com.
Today, Cotney lives in Florida with his wife, Carol.
Published in 2016
Lieutenant General Wilson “Dutch” Shoffner
Lieutenant General Wilson “Dutch” Shoffner (March 28, 1938-Jan. 3, 2014) graduated from Cameron State Agricultural College in 1958. He served in the U.S. Army for 32 years and was married for 52 years to his wife Beverly.
Originally from Ryan, Okla., Lieutenant General Shoffner graduated from Ryan High School. While a student at Cameron College, he was a member of the Army ROTC Program, Phi Theta Kappa, and Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. He also served as an officer in the Student Senate and as president of the Student Government Association. After graduating from Cameron College, he attended Oklahoma State University, where he received a degree in mechanical engineering.
In 1967, he commissioned in Field Artillery. He served as commander of the 214th Field Artillery Brigade in Ft. Sill, Okla. and of the 3rd Infantry Division in Wurzburg, West Germany. He also commanded the Combined Arms Command and Commandment of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, Kan. He served as the Director of Force Development for the Department of Army. His highest assignment in the Army was as Deputy Chief of Staff for Military Operations in Washington, D.C. In 1993, he retired as Commanding General of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Command at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.
After retiring from the Army, he was appointed as Vice President for product development at Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control in Grand Prairie, Texas. He retired from that position in 2003, and then he lived in Colleyville, Texas, where he spent time volunteering at local organizations. He also visited Cameron University to speak to ROTC cadets about leadership development.
His awards for his academic accomplishments and military service include Cameron’s President’s Distinguished Service Award in 1987, Cameron’s Distinguished Alumni and Faculty Hall of Fame Award in 2011, induction to Oklahoma State University’s Hall of Fame as a distinguished alumnus in 2012, a National Security Fellow with the Institute of Strategic and Innovative Technologies, the Distinguished Service Metal and the Bronze Star.
Published in 2016
Cameron University alumna Brooke Miller is the new Executive Director of the Great Plains Country Association, which is a non-profit, membership-based organization. A Class of 2004 graduate, Miller earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. During her time as a student, Miller worked at Carcel’s Pharmacy as a compound prescription sales representative.
In 2008, she took position as an area sales manager for Encompass Home Health in the Lawton area. Four years later, she became a medical supply liaison for CCS Medical, educating patients of the Durant Wound Care Center about the proper use of products. In 2013, Miller took position as the Program Director of Healogics, Inc., working first at Duncan Regional Wound Care Center and then at the Center for Wound Healing & Hyperbarics at Southwestern Medical Center in 2014. A year later, Miller founded Growth Strategies, LCC.
Now, as the Executive Director of the Great Plains Country Association, Miller will strive to fulfill the mission of the association, which is to educate the public about programs regarding tourism, recreational, and cultural development.
According to greatplainscountry.com, the Great Plains Country Association “works to develop, coordinate and implement tourism marketing campaigns for industry partners within the Southwest Oklahoma region.” The association partners with the following counties: Beckham, Caddo, Comanche, Cotton, Custer, Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Jefferson, Kiowa, Roger Mills, Stephens, Tillman and Washita.
Danica Brooke Miller, who maiden name is Richardson, is a graduate of Snyder High School in Snyder, Oklahoma. She married her husband, Casey, in 2012. Casey attended Plainview High School and graduated from East Central University in 2005, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice. Since 2012, he has worked as the HSE Field Manager at Cactus Drilling Company. He has previously been employed by Dillon Environmental Services, the Tishomingo Police Department, and the Stephen’s County Service Office. The Millers have one son and one daughter.
Published in 2016
Dustin K. Hunter
Cameron University alum Dustin K. Hunter was recently sworn in as a Fifth District Judge in Roswell, New Mexico. He was appointed to the position earlier this year by Governor Susana Martinez.
A recipient of the Cameron University PLUS scholarship, Hunter graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1995. As student, Hunter received the Laura Fields Scholarship, and he was inducted into the honor society Phi Kappa Phi. During his senior year, he served as the student body president. A continued supporter of Cameron, Hunter is a lifetime member of the Alumni Association.
After graduating from CU, Hunter earned a Juris Doctor of Law degree from Texas Tech University School of Law. Prior to taking position as Fifth District judge, Hunter was a partner with the Hunter & Kraft law firm in Roswell for twelve years, where he worked in the areas of civil practice, family law, business law, personal injury, commercial litigation, insurance litigation, collections, and bankruptcy.
Because of his judicial appointment, Hunter has resigned from many of his positions in professional organizations, but he has become more involved in local activities. In an interview with Texas Tech Law News, Hunter said most of his organization memberships were related to the State Bar of New Mexico.
“I was very active in the State Bar activities, having served on the Young Lawyers Board when moving to New Mexico and then eventually on the Board of Bar Commissioners,” Hunter said. “I was elected as an officer and was to be the president of the State Bar of New Mexico in 2018.”
Hunter said although it was a difficult decision to resign from the Board of Bar Commissioners, it feels amazing to have been appointed as a District Judge.
“When you can see the impact of a court hearing or decision immediately upon your client’s face, you cannot help but be moved,” Hunter said. “It is truly fulfilling. Now, as a judge, I feel that I can still make a difference in people’s lives, but from a different point of view.”
Although Hunter leads a busy life, he said he always tries to prioritize his family first, which includes his wife, Jennifer, and their children, Lauren and Ethan. Hunter also enjoys remodeling houses when he has a free moment.
“I have been making furniture since high school,” Hunter said. “I started remodeling houses ten years ago and continue to do it to his day… My children are becoming really involved and are learning useful skills for life.”
Published in 2016
Major James Taylor
A class of 2003 graduate, Major James Taylor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Cameron University. Today, Taylor works as an information operations exercise planner for U.S. Army Central and has been competing in body building events over the last decade.
In his first overall win as National All Military Forces Open Heavyweight Division Champion, Taylor competed against participants weighing between 198-225 pounds. The event, the National Physique Committee National All Military Forces Championships, was held from June 10-11 in North Carolina.
In an interview with U.S. Army Central Press Advisory, Taylor gave credit to the U.S. Army for igniting his passion and drive for body building.
“The Army taught me how to work through adversity and how to be positive in the hard times,” Taylor said. “When I wouldn’t see the results I was expecting, I would know that everything would come together because of the time and work I put into it.”
To prepare for the championship competition, Taylor received guidance from Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Quinn, a U.S. Army Central exercise planner and prior body building champion.
Taylor said Quinn was pivotal in his body building success at the competition.
“He showed me how much water to consume and how to get my body into show shape,” Taylor said. “Being able to position your muscles to put the muscle groups in the best position to be displayed is huge.”
Taylor will continue to represent his alma mater well as he prepares for the next body building competition, which will be held in May 2017.
Published in 2016
Paul McClung’s legacy in journalism began in his hometown. Born on August 6, 1924, in Pueblo, Colorado, Paul served as the editor of the student newspaper at Centennial High School, from where he graduated in 1942. In 1943, he was inducted into the U.S. Army, and in 1945, he accepted appointment as a second lieutenant in the parachute infantry. After serving in World War II, he was honorably discharged from active duty in 1946 and from the Army Reserves in 1953.
He fell in love and married Geraldine Smart in 1945, and the couple raised children together. In 1949, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, then he wrote briefly for The Lawton Constitution before leaving for New York City. He received a master’s degree from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in 1951. The next year, he specialized in writing and editing true crime for Dell Publishing.
He and his family then moved to the Byers, Texas, area to work on the family ranch, where Paul was as a cattleman for years. While on the ranch, he and his wife wrote about 700 magazine articles.
In 1963, Paul returned to Lawton, where he wrote a personal column for The Lawton Constitution . Readers in southwest Oklahoma knew him for his “Old Dad” and “View from a Treehouse” columns. After retiring from the newspaper business in 1987, he taught a journalism course at OU, then became the director of information at Cameron University, from where he retired in 1995.
The following year, Paul was inducted into the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. He won his first journalism award at the age of 11 after he wrote a story about a tent blowing over at a circus in Wichita Falls. He remained an award-winning journalist throughout his professional career, having received numerous honors from the Associated Press. He is also the author of the book Papa Jack, Cowman from the Wichitas.
According to a 2007 KSWO article, former Co-Publisher of The Lawton Constitution Stephen Bentley had great respect for Paul.
“In 35-plus years in the newspaper business, I’ve met very few true journalists,” Bentley said. “Paul McClung was one.”
Published in 2016