West Texas A&M University Alumni Association eNewsletter
West Texas A&M University
Alumni Association eNewsletter
July 2016


West Texas A&M University Alumni Association eNewsletter - Let's Catch Up, BuffAlum.com

Ones to Watch

His ultimate goal is to conduct novel research and bring hope to cancer patients, and Dr. Mayank Rao is definitely on his way to doing just that.

Mayank Rao

Rao, a senior research associate at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston, is currently working on his third degree as an online M.B.A. student at WT. He graduated from Grant Medical College in Mumbai, India with a specialization in family medicine and also holds a master’s degree in kinesiology from Texas A&M University. He has certification from the American College of Research Professionals, too.

He’s worked in various hospital settings, including an offshore ship with medical, surgical and trauma cases related to the sea environment. At Texas A&M University, Rao served as a teaching assistant and said the experience helped improve his communication skills while helping him understand the culture and customs of the United States.

After graduating from Texas A&M University with his master’s degree, Rao began working as a clinical researcher. The job ignited his interest in research and after two years, he joined the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. Memorial Hermann Hospital is an affiliate of the UT Health Science Center, and Rao currently works there with patients being treated for a brain tumor called Glioblastoma (GMB).

“The average life expectancy for patients diagnosed with GBM is 14.6 months,” Rao said. “Unfortunately, there is no cure for this type of cancer at the moment, but researchers are trying hard to increase the survival time and maintain the quality of life for such patients.”

Rao obviously puts in full days working with patients and research, but he still finds the time to work on his M.B.A. through WT’s online program. The M.B.A. will mark his third degree, and Rao feels it will enhance his communication, leadership, marketing and managerial skills.

“This program gives me the flexibility of time and optimizes my productivity in the workplace setting,” he said. “Plus, the WT online program is one of the reputed and affordable programs available and has a great ranking in U.S. News and World Report. I believe getting my M.B.A. will open up new areas of opportunity and will broaden my career path.

“I desire to bring hope to patients suffering from fatal cancers and present them with a positive outlook of reaching success via new treatment modalities in terms of new cancer drugs, lifestyle changes or a combination of both.”

Rao is off to a great start on a very successful and rewarding career.

WT Recognizes Oldest Living Alumni

  Buffalo cookies, a certificate and some WT gear were part of the special ceremony in June recognizing Fannie Lou Carter as WT’s oldest living alumni. Pictured with the honoree are Barbara Palmer, Becky Stogner, volunteer Jennifer Richey, Lisa Insall, Amber Bustos and Haley Fox.

Buffalo cookies, a certificate and some WT gear were part of the special ceremony in June recognizing Fannie Lou Carter as WT’s oldest living alumni. Pictured with the honoree are Barbara Palmer, Becky Stogner, volunteer Jennifer Richey, Lisa Insall, Amber Bustos and Haley Fox.

She survived the great flu epidemic of 1918, voted for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933 and was recognized as WT’s oldest alumni in a special event June 28 in Amarillo. Fannie Lou Carter ’61, was born Nov. 11, 1911, and holds the oldest alumni honor at 104 years old. Representatives from WT and the Alumni Association presented Carter with a certificate of recognition and a WT blanket in honor of her accomplishment.

Carter, who is currently in hospice care at Goodlife Senior Living in Amarillo, earned her bachelor’s degree at Hardin Simmons in Abilene and became a teacher. A few years later she was ready to further her education and enrolled at WT. She earned her master’s degree in education in 1961 and continued as a schoolteacher for many years, claiming she “could teach any subject.” 

Her life story is full of historical moments—beating the flu epidemic but losing her mother, voting for the first time in the presidential election of 1933 and having a brother survive as a prisoner of war in World War II. It’s definitely been an interesting life that contributed amazing insight for her classroom and her long successful career as a teacher.

When asked her one life lesson for success, Carter said, “be nice. Always, always, always be nice.”

Wise words from WT’s oldest living alumni.

Alumni Chapter Endows Scholarship for Wellington Students

Members of the Wellington Alumni Chapter Board and six of the eight scholarship recipients are from left to right, front row, Jermaine Cantu ’06, ’09, Margret Wood ’72, Destine Nation, Lauren Folk, Forest Field, Claudia Jantes and Tiffany Tarver ’04. Back row, Tracey Ouellette ’01, Kylee Adams, Dakota Lockhart and Megan Wischkaemper.

Members of the Wellington Alumni Chapter Board and six of the eight scholarship recipients are from left to right, front row, Jermaine Cantu ’06, ’09, Margret Wood ’72, Destine Nation, Lauren Folk, Forest Field, Claudia Jantes and Tiffany Tarver ’04. Back row, Tracey Ouellette ’01, Kylee Adams, Dakota Lockhart and Megan Wischkaemper.

West Texas A&M University will be welcoming plenty of Wellington Skyrockets this fall, and eight of them are coming with scholarships awarded through the newly formed West Texas Skyrockets WTAMU Wellington Alumni Chapter.

Last fall a group of WT alumni in the small community of Wellington, Texas contacted the Alumni Association about forming an alumni chapter and using their chapter activities to fund a scholarship for students graduating from Wellington High School and attending WT. It didn’t take long for the West Texas Skyrockets to Buffs Scholarship to become a reality. A launch party in January 2016 introduced the joint membership concept to the community, whose generous support of their town and longtime connection to WT led to more than 40 new memberships—$50 going to the Alumni Association and $70 toward the scholarship.

The chapter raised funds through a variety of activities, including hosting a family-fun basketball game and selling brisket wraps, handmade WT spirit gear and T-shirts. In less than six months, and with the help of the WT Foundation, the Wellington alumni chapter was able to fully endow a scholarship. The endowed scholarship allowed the chapter to award eight $500 scholarships for the fall.  

The eight scholarship recipients are Kylee Adams, Sonny Bohannon, Forest Field, Lauren Folk, Royce Harris, Claudia Jantes, Dakota Lockhart and Destine Nation.

If your community is interested in creating a community alumni chapter and raising money for students in your town who are attending WT, please contact the Alumni Association at 806-651-2311.

From the Director


Dear Buff Family:

Becky Stogner photo

You won’t want to miss out on what’s happening at WT in the next few months. Fall is always busy with students back on campus, Homecoming and tailgates, but this year we’ve kicked it up to include a few more ways for alumni who don’t live close by to get involved.

If you’re in Dallas, Fort Worth or San Antonio you won’t want to miss the Student Send-off. It’s your chance to connect with fellow alumni and send new Buffs off to WT in spirited fashion. It’s an alumni gathering with a twist—an audience of fresh new Buff faces just waiting to hear your best Buff stories.

Alumni in Houston—join us for the Astros vs. Rangers baseball game on Aug. 7. Register at buffalum.com/houstonbaseball16 by July 25 for $5 off the $30 ticket price. Contributing members, you’ll be getting an email offering an additional discount.

And best of all—watch your email for a great way to get involved here on campus from anywhere in the country. We’ll be introducing the Buff Box—a care package you send to a student living in your former dorm. The box, filled with WT spirit items and sweet treats and personalized with your message, will be delivered a few weeks after school starts. They’re the perfect way to share a memory, offer a piece of advice or just welcome a new Buff to your old stomping grounds.  More than 2,500 students will be living in residence halls this year—wouldn’t it be great if they all got a note from a Buff wishing them a great start to the year ahead?

Becky Stogner
bstogner@wtamu.edu

Upcoming Events

July 19
WT Freshman Send-Off, 7 p.m., Rockwood Go-Karts and Mini-Golf, Fort Worth—join fellow alumni and the newest Buffs from your town for an evening of fun and celebration.

July 20
WT Freshman Send-Off, 6:30 p.m., Dave and Buster’s, Dallas—join fellow alumni and the newest Buffs from your town for an evening of fun and celebration.

July 21
WT Freshman Send-Off, 6:30 p.m., Dave and Buster’s, San Antonio—join fellow alumni and the newest Buffs from your town for an evening of fun and celebration.

July 30
Habitat for Humanity volunteer opportunity, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., split shifts available, 2708 S. Mirror, Amarillo. Register at buffalum.com.

Aug. 7
Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers baseball game, 1:10 p.m., Minute Maid Park, Houston. Tickets available at buffalum.com—$30 per person.

Sept. 24
Buffs vs. Tarleton alumni tailgate and football game, Kimbrough Stadium

Oct. 7
Golden Buff Reunion, honoring the Class of 1966, 4-6 p.m. reception, 6-8 p.m. dinner. For more information, call 806-651-2315.

Oct. 8
WT Homecoming, Bufftoberfest, festival, vendors, parade, Alumni Open House, football and more.

Visit BuffAlum.com for updates on upcoming events in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Houston and more.

Visit the University calendar for a complete schedule of campus events.
Visit gobuffsgo for complete schedule of WT athletic events.


WTAMU Alumni Association 102 N 25th Street, Canyon TX 79016
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