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College of Education and Social Sciences Graduates of Distinction

Graduates of Distinction

COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND SOCIAL SCIENCES

Each year, we honor distinguished graduates of the College of Education and Social Sciences because of their demonstrated and unselfish commitment to a lifetime of service, their personal character, and the significant contributions they have made to their professions, their families, and their communities and the resulting honor they have brought to the University. Recipients of the award are selected from nominations submitted to a committee composed of faculty members from each department in the college. For information or to submit a nomination, please contact the committee chair, Dr. Yvette Castillo ycastillo@wtamu.edu.

The following individuals have been recognized as Distinguished Graduates of the College:

 

Jane Anderson

WTSU Bachelor of Science in Social Work – 1974

WTSU Master of Arts in Sociology – 1977 

Executive Director of the Youth Center of the High Plains and Next Step Home

Chief Juvenile Probation Officer - Randall County

 

Dr. Lisa Garza

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology – 1985

Masters of Education in Counseling – 1987

Associate Professor of Sociology

Chair of the Department of Sociology, Regis University

Regis University Faculty Member of the Year in 2005 & 2006

Board Member of Adelante Mujer

 

Diann Elliston Gilmore

WTSU Bachelor of Arts in Social Work – 1974

Executive Director – Downtown Women’s Center

Founding Member - Amarillo Coalition for the Homeless and the Tyler Street Resource Center

1996 Women’s Distinguished Service Award

2005 Beta Sigma Phi Woman of the Year

2008 Globe-News Woman of the Year


Selden B. Hale III

WTSU Bachelor of Science – 1965

Doctor of Jurisprudence – St. Mary’s University 

Criminal Trial Lawyer

1992-1993 Chairman–Board of Directors Texas Department of Criminal Justice

Instrumental in Establishment of Texas Tech University School of Pharmacy

Established Texas Punishment Standards Commission

Established Prison Drug and Alcohol Treatment Program

 

Jack Hayward

Master of Arts in Counseling – 2006

Past Chairman of First State Bank – Elkhart, KS

Texas Silver-Haired Legislator

WTAMU Pinnacle Award - 2012

Kappa Kappa Psi – Spirit Award – 1998

Golden Nail Award- 2012


Dr. Travis McBride

WTSU Bachelor of Arts in Government & History- 1957

WTSU Master of Arts in Government, Economics & History – 1958

Doctor of Philosophy in Political Science & Economics - University of Oklahoma – 1967

WTSU Professor and Head of the Department of Political Science from 1957-1986

WTAMU Professor Emeritus

 

Steven McCraw 

WTSU Bachelor of Science in Political Science -1979

WTSU Master of Arts - 1981 

Director–Texas Department of Public Safety

2004-2009 Director–Texas Homeland Security

1983–2004 Special Agent-Federal Bureau of Investigation

1977-1983 Texas Highway Patrol Trooper and Narcotics Investigator

 

Sharon Miner

Bachelor of Science in Political Science – 1998

District Director and Personal Assistant for Senator Teel Bivins – 1997-2009

Amarillo Area Foundation Board of Directors

Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch ISD School Board of Directors

Community Leader

 

Helen Neal

Bachelor of Science in Education – 1962

Retired Elementary School Teacher

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Member

Community Leader and Philanthropist

 

Helen Piehl

WTSU Bachelor of Business Administration in Secretarial Business – 1971

President and CEO – Western Sales, Inc.

President WTAMU Foundation Board of Directors

WTAMU Old Main Society Pinnacle Award – 2011

WTAMU Women’s Council Board of Directors

Secretary to the Texas State 4-H Youth Development Foundation

 

Gary Pitner

Bachelor of Science in Public Administration – 1978

Executive Direct of Panhandle Regional Planning Commission – 1977-Present

AL J. Notzon Award – 1996

Outstanding Public Administrator Award - 2011

Board of Downtown Amarillo, Inc

President of Amarillo Local Government Corporation

Community Leader and Philanthropist

  

Donald E. Powell

WTSU Bachelor of Science in Economics – 1963 

Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University

President and CEO of The First National Bank of Amarillo

Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation 2001-2005

Federal Coordinator of Gulf Coast Rebuilding 2005-2008

 

Myrna Raffkind

WTAMU Master of Arts in Psychology – 1988

WTAMU Master of Arts in Sociology – 1995

WTAMU Faculty in Psychology and Sociology 1985-1998

WTAMU Foundation Board of Directors

2008 Beta Sigma Phi Woman of the Year

2007 Women’s Distinguished Service Award


Geneva Schaeffer

WTSU Bachelor of Science in Social Studies

Community Leader and Philanthropist

WTAMU Foundation Board of Directors 1994-2002

WTAMU Old Main Society Pinnacle Award - 2005

2006 Outstanding Philanthropist - Association of Fundraising Professionals

 

Rod Schroder

WTSU Bachelor of Science in Mathematics – 1972

WTSU Master of Science in Mathematics and Physics – 1975

Certifications in Educational Leadership 

Superintendent of the Amarillo Independent School District since 2000

2009 President Elect - Texas School Alliance

 

Marsha Sharp 

WTSU Master of Education - 1976

Head Coach Emeritus-Texas Tech University

1982–2006 Head Coach-Texas Tech University Lady Raiders

1993 & 1994 National Coach of the Year

Seven Time SWC/Big 12 Coach of the Year

2003 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

1999 Texas Women’s Hall of Fame & 2000 Texas Sports Hall of Fame   

 

J. Pat Stephens

WTSU Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education – 1960

WTSU Master of Arts in Government – 1962

Doctor of Philosophy in Public Administration - University of Missouri – 1970

WTAMU Professor and Public Administration Program Director 1969 - 1998

Canyon City Commissioner 1973 - 1997

WTAMU Professor Emeritus
 

Claudia D. Stravato

WTSU Bachelor of Science in Political Science - 1974

WTSU Master of Arts in Political Science -1978

Deputy Comptroller of Texas 1983 - 1990

Chief of Staff to the Lt. Governor of Texas 1991 - 1993

1994 Woman of the Year - Executive Women in Texas Government

2005 Award Recipient - Women Making a Difference in the Texas Panhandle

WTAMU Adjunct Faculty
 

Jimmie H. Vaughn

WTSU Bachelor of Science in Education - 1972

Graduate of the United States Army War College - 2009

Senior Strategic Human Resources Advisor

National Security Professional

Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Civilian Personnel Policy

Media Spokesperson–American Forces Network, Europe




 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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