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CU Alumni Association announces award honorees and Faculty Hall of Fame inductees

The Cameron University Alumni Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni honorees as well as inductees into the CUAA Faculty Hall of Fame. The awards will be presented during the university’s homecoming festivities. Charlotte Oates and Capt. Gary “Mike” Rose (Ret.) will receive Distinguished Alumni Awards. Travis Burch and Jamie Smith have been named Outstanding Young Alumni, and Dr. Krystal Brue will be inducted into the Faculty Hall of Fame. The awards will be presented during the an awards dinner on Saturday, February 11, in the McCasland Ballroom.

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

Distinguished Alumni Award: Capt. Gary “Mike” Rose (Ret.), Class of 1977

Gary “Mike” Rose enlisted in the U. S. Army, April 4, 1967. After completing his training and being assigned to 46th Special Forces Company, he was assigned to Thailand in 1969 where he trained Thai soldiers and border police medics. In 1970, he requested transfer to South Vietnam and was assigned to Military Assistance Command Studies and Observation Group. He was wounded on his first mission in June 1970, receiving his first Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

On Sept. 11, 1970, he was part of a company of soldiers that executed Operation Tailwind, a diversionary operation, acting with such heroism that he was awarded the Medal of Honor, our nation's highest military award. Although sustaining personal injuries, he continued to rescue and attend to fallen comrades as he fought off the enemy until they were rescued.

After his service in Vietnam, he completed officer's school. His assignments took him to Panama and Europe.

He attended Cameron while still on active duty in the military. After completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in general education from CU, he earned a Master of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Oklahoma.

Rose retired from the U. S. Army in 1987 at the rank of captain. He then worked as an instructional designer who wrote operator, user and maintenance manuals. He also designed training for the manufacturing industry. Now retired, Rose remains involved in charity work, including the Knights of Columbus. He also delivers food through a school backpack program and actively supports the Boy Scouts of America. Rose serves as a board member for numerous organizations that support youth education, veterans, and leadership and character development.

He has been inducted into numerous halls of honor, including the Oklahoma Military Hall of Fame, the Army OCS Hall of Fame, the Field Artillery OCS Hall of Fame, the Pentagon Hall of Heroes, and the United States Special Operations Command’s Commando Hall of Honor. Additional honors include the Alabama Veteran of the Year, BSA Heart of the Eagle Award, The Gadsden Medal from Sons of the Revolution, the Hooper Award from the Vietnam Veterans of America, and the Vietnam Veterans Association Achievement Medal.

Distinguished Alumni Awards: Charlotte Oates, Class of 2008

Currently director of the Life Ready Center at Lawton Public Schools, Charlotte Oates served as principal at each of LPS’ three high schools following 30 years of classroom experience in music education. Throughout her illustrious career, she received a multitude of accolades. These include recognition as a Director of Distinction by the Oklahoma Choral Directors Association, Exemplary Teacher by the Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Lawton High Teacher of the Year, Administrator of the Year by the Professional Oklahoma Educators, National Football League Teacher of the Year, and Visionary Leader of the Year by the Lawton Enhancement Trust Authority. She was also twice nominated as a Disney Teacher of the Year.

Oates, who earned a Master of Science in educational leadership degree from CU in 2008, remains connected to CU in a variety of ways. While pursuing her master’s degree, she served as the student speaker during the 2017 Convocation. She received the CU Inspiring Minds Excellence in Education Award in 2011 and has served as an adjunct instructor in the music program. Additionally, she continues to perform in community choirs and assists CU staff in coordinating concurrent students at LPS. She served as a mentor for student teachers from CU for more than 10 years.

Oates currently serves on the boards of the Laura Fields Trust and Lawton Community Theatre.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Travis Burch, Class of 2017

After graduating magna cum laude with an Associate in Applied Science degree in engineering with a concentration in electrical engineering in 2017, Travis Burch continued his education at the University of Oklahoma, completing a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 2019. He is currently a distribution engineer at OG&E.

During his tenure as a CU student, Burch completed several internships including summer internships at Goodyear and Cotton Electric Coop. A PLUS scholar who earned placement on either the Dean’s or President’s Honor Roll each semester, he was inducted into Phi Eta Sigma, the international honor society for first-year students. He has been involved in the CU Engineering and Applied Mathematics Summer Academy since 2016, most recently serving as an engineering industry liaison and curriculum instructor. He has also returned to campus to speak to students enrolled in CU’s engineering courses. Additionally, he served as a counselor for Cameron’s Camp of Champs.

Burch volunteers for the United Way Day of Sharing and delivers meals for Norman’s Meals on Wheels program regularly.

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Jamie Smith, Classes of 2012 and 2015

Prior to her current position as human resources manager at Henninges Automotive, Jamie Smith served as CU’s human resources director for three years. Prior to that, she was a human resources specialist for the City of Lawton.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology in 2012 and a Master of Science degree in Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Psychology in 2015. During her tenure as a Cameron student, she was a member of the cheerleading squad, earned placement on the Dean’s Honor Roll and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi.

She is the past president of Southwest Oklahoma Human Resources (SWOKHR), an affiliate of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) and has also served as an OKHR State Council board member. Smith was recognized as an Emerging Professional in Human Resources by SWOKHR in 2019.

Smith holds certification as a SHRM – Senior Certified Professional.

Faculty Hall of Fame: Dr. Krystal Brue

Dr. Krystal Brue, chair of the Department of Business and assistant dean of accreditation, internships and outreach, joined the Cameron University faculty in in 2013 after serving as an adjunct instructor for many years. Her service to the university is extensive. She is presently chair of the Distance Learning Committee and is a member of the Graduate Council. Brue has served as the ACBSP Teaching Award Abstract Evaluator and the ACBSP Best Presentation Region 6 Evaluator and has been a member of the Faculty Senate. She has chaired the Long-Range Planning Committee and has been a member of the Institutional Assessment Committee and the Recruitment/Enrollment Committee.

Brue has published several local and national/regional articles and publications pertaining to various business topics. She has also been a guest reviewer for the Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, International Journal of Reliability and Safety, Journal of Management Education, Inquiry in Education and the Southwest Business and Economics Journal. She has also sponsored and been involved with several student research projects since 2015.

Recognition includes the Oklahoma Human Resource State Council 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award and the Association of Leadership Educators Distinguished Research Award in 2017 and 2018. Additionally, she was recognized as the Honorary Faculty Inductee to Delta Sigma Pi Fraternity. Brue is a member of the Delta Mu Honor Society and the Golden Key Honor Society.

She has provided training at numerous organizations in southwest Oklahoma, including Great Plains Technology Center, Cache Public Schools and the City of Lawton.

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


PR# 23-014

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