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Four Named Inaugural Members of WTAMU Communication Hall of Fame

Aug. 6, 2013

COPY BY: Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129, rmcdonald@wtamu.edu

Four Named Inaugural Members of WTAMU Communication Hall of Fame

CANYON, Texas—Four graduates of West Texas A&M University’s Department of Communication have been selected as inaugural members of the Communication Hall of Fame and will be honored at a special event Friday, Sept. 20 at the Alumni Banquet Facility on campus.

The four inaugural inductees include Matt Adams, executive vice president for Insala in Dallas, Andy Justus, neMatt Adamsws anchor for Amarillo’s KAMR TV, Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, vice president of Academic Affairs at Amarillo College, and Guy P. Yates, professor emeritus of speech communication. They will be honored with brief photo documentaries of their work at the Sept. 20 Communication Hall of Fame Banquet. Keynote speaker for the event will be ABC national news correspondent Claire Shipman.

The criteria for nominations to the Communication Hall of Fame include being a graduate of WTAMU’s communication studies or mass communication programs, having worked in the professional field for a minimum of five years, making substantial contributions to the profession and having active community involvement.  

Matt Adams is the executive vice president of customer solutions at Insala. With almost 20 years of professional and academic experience, Adams facilitates and shares human capital consulting techniques and communication strategies with career service professionals globally. He has been recognized as one of the nation’s top speakers by the American Forensics Association. He earned a B.A. in speech communication in 1991 and a M.A. in communication in 1993.

Andy Justus is an award-winning news anchor for NBC affiliate KAMR in Amarillo.  He is a seven-time winner of the Best of Amarillo award by tAndy Justushe Amarillo Globe-News. In 2007 Justus received the Warren Kincaid Award for his work with local schools in the Amarillo Independent School District and also was named a Hero for Children State Education Award winner in 2006. For more than nine years, Justus has been active in Big Brothers/Big Sisters as a big brother. He earned his B.A. in 1995. He and his wife Michelle are the parents of two daughters, Mazie Grace and Piper June. 

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart has served as the vice president of Academic Affairs at Amarillo College since 2010. He earned his B.S. in speech communication from WTAMU in 1991, a M.A. in communication studies from Texas Tech in 1993 and a Ph.D. in gender and diversity communication from Ohio State University in 1996. Prior to joining the Amarillo College administration, Lowery-Hart served as associate provost for Academic Affairs at WTAMU, where he was instrumental in shaping the University’s quality enhancement plan and revising the first-year student experience. Before his career in administration, Lowery-Hart was the WTAMU director of forensics, bringing home two national titles in poetry (2001) and duo (2000) and a third-place ranking in the nation in 2002 at the American Forensics Association Tournament. He has presented more than 39 scholarly papers at academic conferences, authored one book and nine referred journal articles. His service to the Amarillo/Canyon community includes facilitating a Panhandle Twenty/20 study, serving as vice-president of Amarillo Montessori Academy School Board and as president of Panhandle Twenty/20 in 2009. He and his wife Tara are the parents of two children, Campbell and Cadence.Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart

Guy P. Yates is considered an icon in the field of speech and debate. He earned his B.S. in speech communication in 1956 and a M.A. in speech in 1969. He has taught at James Bowie Junior High School and Caprock High School in Amarillo, as well as serving as the forensics director and assistant professor at WTAMU for more than 20 years. His professional service to forensics includes serving as the national director of the AFA-NIET Tournament, as district chair of AFA-NIET and as comptroller for the Texas Speech Communication Association. He has received distinguished service awards from the American Forensics Association, the Texas Speech Communication Association and Pi Kappa Delta, a honor forensics society. The summer speech and debate camp held at WTAMU each year is named in his honor, as is the University Scholastic League High School Speech and Debate Tournament held each November. His influence on the discipline of communication is seen in the number of speech coaches he trained over the years. Yates also coached the three other inaugural members of the Communication Hall of Fame—Adams, Justus and Lowery-Hart—as members of the WT forensics team during their tenure as WTAMU students.

The Communication Hall of Fame selection committee was comprised of seven communication professionals: Keith BGuy P. Yatesrown, Opportunity Plan; Mary Coyne, McCormick Advertising; Ryan Hazelwood, KVII-TV; Jackie Kingston, KAMR-TV; Brent McClure, KFDA-TV; Krissy Mailman, Sweester Healthcare; and Leslie Richardson-Freeman, communication consultant. 

Tickets for the Communication Hall of Fame Banquet can be reserved at wtamu.edu/academics/communication-hall-of-fame.aspx  or by contacting Dr. Trudy Hanson at 806-651-2800 or thanson@wtamu.edu. All proceeds from the banquet will be used to support communication studies and mass communication student activities and scholarships.



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J.C. Thompson
on 5.8.2014

Very proud of my cousin Guy Yates for all his accomplishments at WTAMU