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Have you Herd? February 2011

Have You Herd? February 2011

Convocation to Honor WTAMU Chairs and Professorships
WTAMU Student Wins IBM Competition
First United Bank Scholarships Helping Dreams Come True
Math Lab Provides More Than Math Skills Help




West Texas A&M University faculty members named to endowed chairs and professorships were recognized at a special Chairs and Professorships Convocation on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Endowed chairs and professorships are created through generous donor contributions to the University and benefit an academic department designated specifically by the donor. The University’s first endowed position was established in 1984 with the Gene Edwards Professorship. Today the University is home to three endowed chair positions and 15 endowed professorships.

professorships and chairs“The chairs and professorships allow West Texas A&M University to attract and retain the very best faculty to teach our students and conduct research that benefits our region,” Dr. James Hallmark, provost/vice president for academic affairs, said.

Tuesday’s convocation recognized faculty members who have been named to endowed positions as well as the donors who have made the endowed chairs and endowed professorships possible. Faculty members holding endowed positions are listed by college, endowed position and donor.


College of Business

Don Williams Professorship of Management
Dr. Andrew Li
Donor—Don Williams and Joachim Foundation

The T. Boone Pickens Professorship of Business
Dr. Karyn Friske
Donor—T. Boone Pickens

The Gene Edwards Professorship of Finance
Dr. Anne Macy
Donor—Bank of America in honor of Edwards

The Gene Edwards Professorship of Banking
Dr. Nick Gerlich
Donor—Bank of America in honor of Edwards

The Phil Gensler Professorship of Computer Information Systems
Dr. Musa Jafar
Donor—Friends and former students of honoree

The T. Boone Pickens Professorship of Management
Dr. Jonathan Shaffer
Donor—T. Boone Pickens

The James and Mogie McCray Professorship of Business
Dr. Darlene Pulliam
Donor—James and Mogie McCray

The J. Pat Hickman Professorship of Marketing
Dr. De’Arno De’Armond
Donor—Happy State Bank in honor of Hickman

The Dr. Jerry D. Miller Professorship of Entrepreneurship
Jean Walker
Donor—Dr. Jerry Miller

The Stanley Schaeffer Professorship of Business Ethics
Dr. Mark Keith
Donor—Stanley Schaeffer


Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities

The Yvonne Franklin Endowed Chair in Music
Recipient to be named
Donor—James Franklin as a tribute to his wife

The Wendy and Stanley Marsh 3 Endowed Professorship in Shakespeare Studies
Dr. Jeffrey Doty
Donor—Wendy and Stanley Marsh 3


College of Education and Social Sciences

The John G. O’Brien Distinguished Chair in Education
Dr. Nancy Cartwright
Donor—John G. O’Brien family, Amarillo Area Foundation and the Don and Sybil Harrington Foundation

The Teel Bivins Professorship of American Politics
Dr. James Calvi
Donor—Friends and family of honoree and the Mary E. Bivins Foundation

The Helen Piehl Professorship of Education
Dr. Yvette Castillo
Donor—Helen Piehl

The Teel Bivins Professorship of Political Science
Dr. David Rausch
Donor—Friends and family of honoree and the Mary E. Bivins Foundation

The Geneva Schaeffer Professorship of Education and Social Sciences
Recipient to be named
Donor—Geneva Schaeffer


College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering

The Ross W. Wilson Chair in Chemistry
Dr. Shiquan Tao
Donor—Ross W. Wilson and estate of Hazel Kelley Wilson to honor Ora Mae Harris Wilson and Dr. Charles A. Pierle



In a contest of real-world challenges, one West Texas A&M University student put in months of work to take first-place honors in the 2010 IBM “Master the Mainframe” Competition.

Patricio Reynaga, a senior computer science major from Dumas, competed in the annual contest against more than 3,000 students from 400 schools across the United States and Canada. He competed in the contest’s most difficult level of competition—Part 3. The Part 3 section requires extensive work over weeks and months to tackle tasks taken from real-life situations faced by experienced system programmers. The contest began in October and ended in December.

patrico reynagaAs the Part 3 top winner, Reynaga won an Apple iPad and a two-day expense-paid trip to IBM’s mainframe laboratory in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in March.

Vance Morris, a junior computer science major from Canyon, and Navdeep Uppal, a senior computer information systems major from Indore, both received honorable mention accolades for their work in the Part 3 level of competition. They received certificates from IBM for their outstanding achievements.

Several WTAMU students also received recognition in the Part 2 competition. Morris was cited for being among the first 60 students to complete the Part 2 challenges 100 percent correctly. He won a $100 gift card for his efforts.

Other WTAMU students recognized in the contest’s Part 2 competition are Reynaga, Uppal, Dana Atkison, senior math major from Amarillo, Nathan Bell, junior computer science major from Amarillo, James Birkenfeld, senior computer science major from Amarillo, Thanaphon Chavengsaksongkram, sophomore computer science major from Amarillo, Lori Cillo, senior computer science major from Amarillo, James Clopton, sophomore computer science major from Amarillo, Andrew Fierro, senior computer science major from Amarillo, Bartis Hawley-Wall, senior computer science major from Amarillo, and James Wright, senior computer science major from Amarillo.

The strong showing of WTAMU students in the competition is evidence of the current focus of the WTAMU computer science curriculum, which is designed to prepare students for enterprise/mainframe systems software development.



Brittaney McGinnis dreams of being a lawyer someday, and First United Bank is giving her the chance to realize that dream through an endowed scholarship established at West Texas A&M University.

In fact, McGinnis isn’t the only student benefiting from a scholarship funded by the bank. She and eight other students in various disciplines have been awarded First United Bank Scholarships to help them earn degrees and live out their dreams.

“Receiving the First United Bank Scholarship has been a true blessing in my life,” McGinnis, a junior economics major from Amarillo, said. “It’s given me the reassurance that my hard work isn’t going unnoticed and gives me the extra drive and initiative needed to do well in my classes in order to not only show my appreciation toward First United Bank but also to fight for my dream of being accepted into law school.”

And helping make dreams come true is just what First United Bank had in mind when it established the nine individual scholarship awards in spring 2010. The scholarships were awarded for the first time in fall 2010 with two annual awards each in the College of Business and the Department of Agriculture and one in the Department of Education along with four annual University-wide awards. Each scholarship provides a minimum of $4,000 per year or $2,000 per semester, and each recipient is eligible to receive the scholarship award through completion of his/her bachelor’s degree.bain family

“When our bank established the endowment to fund these scholarships, we realized that we would be creating a lasting legacy for WTAMU students in both their higher education and in their continuing lives,” Michael Bain, president of First United Bank, said. “We are honored to be able to exercise our civic duty by giving back to the University, its students and programs and the region.

“These scholarships will certainly make a difference by enhancing the direction of the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ in West Texas and the Panhandle area. We are looking forward to watching that direction evolve in the future.”

First United Bank has been a longtime supporter of the University and is an Old Main Society member at the platinum level. In 2005 the bank pledged a sizeable gift to change the name of the University’s Event Center to the First United Bank Center. Plus, the bank’s board of directors also have made individual gifts that helped in scholarship funding and campus renovations and construction. And WTAMU students are definitely reaping the awards from First United Bank’s generosity.

“I feel honored to be one of the first recipients of the First United Bank Scholarship,” Kalan Steinle, a junior agribusiness major from Dimmitt, said. “I commute to WT two to three times a week so this scholarship not only provides money for tuition and books, but also frees up more of my own money for fuel and food. This scholarship shows how people in the Panhandle area care about the future of students seeking higher education and about the future of our nation.”

The nine recipients of First United Bank scholarships are listed by hometown, classification and major.

Lacey Acker, senior education major
Brett Burnett, junior pre-engineering major
Abigail Kirk, senior finance major
Brittaney McGinnis, junior economics major
Brandy Self, senior pre-engineering major

Ashton Cates, junior agriculture major

Kalan Steinle, junior agribusiness major

Lance Ratliff, junior finance major

Brittany Williams, junior education major

To find out more about helping students through endowed scholarships, contact the University’s Office of Development at 806-651-2070.


West Texas A&M University’s Math Lab is definitely the place to be for students wanting to work on math skills but for Linda Quiggle, it’s been a place to brush up on job skills.

The Math Lab, housed in the University’s Department of Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics, helps students tackle the world of math from beginning algebra to calculus II. But it’s also helping older adults through the federally-funded Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). Quiggle learned about the program through the Amarillo Senior Citizens Association and put in 20 hours a week as the Math Lab assistant. The job helped her improve and update skills for increased job opportunities.

math lab students“It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” Kim Seward, instructor of math and director of the math lab, said. "We get the worker for free, and we train them for a full-time situation. We started the program in September, and we’ve had three lab assistants so far. They’ve all been great and very responsible. They have gone on to full-time positions.”

Seward heard about the program through Amarillo College and checked into the possibility for the Math Lab. Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien, University president, signed off on the project, and the program can be renewed each year. Participants in the program must be 55 years or older, unemployed, eligible to work in the United States and living in a household with income no more than 125 percent of the federal poverty level.

SCSEP supports the theory that a person is never too old to learn. Quiggle helped Seward keep the lab running smoothly by greeting students and making sure each one signs in and gets the help they need. She helped with reports and clerical duties. But the real work was in the form of computer training.

“Our goal is to help them get a full time job,” Seward said. “The educational and work backgrounds of participants in the program vary. We work on computer skills with Word and Excel and how to get on the Internet. Career Services helps with résumés and interviewing. The training and the one-on-one with students gives them the confidence to move into full-time positions.”

Quiggle isn't trying to climb the corporate ladder but enjoyed the opportunity the program and the Math Lab offered.

“I enjoyed being here. I like the structure and having to get up and be somewhere,” she said. “I loved relating to the students, and I got a real kick out of watching them. It’s been a wonderful experience for me.”

Any department at WTAMU is eligible for this service. For more information about SCSEP, contact Nola Hagemeier, Amarillo Senior Citizens Association at 806-374-5500 or Seward at 806-651-2453 for more information.



Dr. Amy Andersen, associate professor of education, has been named interim head of the Department of Education. She started her new duties with the beginning of the spring semester and will continue to serve as the director of WTAMU’s Teaching Excellence Center.

Dr. De’Arno De’Armond,
Hickman Professor of Marketing, is the author of an article published in December’s The Business Review, Vol. 16, titled “An Assessment of Financial Literacy Communication Among College Students.”

Dr. Karyn Friske,
associate professor of accounting and Pickens Professor of Business, Karen Cooley, instructor of accounting, and Dr. Darlene Pulliam, professor of accounting and McCray Professor of Business, are the co-authors of “Economic Substance Codification: Clarification or Convolution” published in the December issue of Practical Tax Strategies.

Dr. Nabarun Ghosh,
associate professor of biology, presented two research papers at the World Allergy Organization International Scientific Conference Dec. 5-8 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The papers, “Assessment of Luna-Air Oasis Air Purifiers in Preventing Inhalant Allergies in Dogs by Reducing Aeroallergens and VOCs” and “Air Purifier that Uses Photo Catalytic Oxidation Reduced the Population of MRSA” were published in the Collection Volume of World Allergy Organization 2010, pages 82-83.

Ronnie Hall,
area coordinator with Residential Living, was named the December Volunteer of the Month by Kids, Inc., and presented a desk set and crystal orbit for his efforts. Hall has been associated with Kids, Inc., for seven years and was honored by the organization for his commitment to youth in the community and surrounding area. The monthly honor recognized Hall’s volunteer efforts with the AMA TechTel Tournament of Champions, a two-day high school basketball tournament.

Dr. Emily Hunt,
associate professor of mechanical engineering, is the author of an article published in November AZO Journal of Materials Online titled “Nanostructured Metallic Alloys—Materials for the Future." The article can be found at azom.com/Details.asp?ArticleID=5552.

Dr. Jeff Indeck,
curator at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, was recognized as the 2010 honoree at the 33rd annual Panhandle Archeological Society Floyd V. Studer Banquet and Lecture in December. He was honored for his expertise in archeology, ethnology, paleontology, biology and geology while exploring, documenting and preserving the past of the American West.

Dr. Laura Jean Kreissl,
assistant professor of accounting, and Dr. Darlene Pulliam, professor of accounting and McCray professor of Business, are the authors of an article published in the December Oil, Gas and Energy Quarterly. The article is titled “Newly Proposed Basis-Tracing Regulations Offer Solutions and New Problems.”

Buster Ratliff,
operations coordinator at Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, was a presenter at the McFaddin-Ward House Conference “Teaching the Past to Ensure the Future” Nov. 11-13 in Beaumont. Ratliff’s paper was titled “Virtual and Technological Museum Programming Aspects.”

Gary Rider,
clinical assistant professor of business law, and Dr. Darlene Pulliam, professor of accounting and McCray Professor of Business, co-authored “Proposed Tax Preparer’s Requirements” published in the November issue of Practical Tax Strategies.

Vesselin Todorov
will soon become the fourth member of The Harrington String Quartet. The violist won’t begin his duties until August but will join violinists Dr. Keith Redpath and Rossitza Jekova-Goza and cellist Emmanuel Lopez in concerts in February and April while he continues as principal violist with the Greater Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra in Bridgeport, Conn., and the assistant principal violist at the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in New Haven, Conn. Todorov, a native of Bulgaria, is a graduate of Louisiana State Unversity and the Yale School of Music. In addition to his duties as a member of the Harrington String Quartet, he also will be a member of the Amarillo Symphony and the faculty at WTAMU.




Driving up Congress Avenue toward the Texas State Capitol is an awesome sight, and it’s one that Aimee Fisher gets to see every day.

Fisher, a WTAMU senior public administration major from McKinney, is spending her spring semester in Austin as an intern for Sen. Kel Seliger. She’s earning college credit as well as a stipend, and she’s getting the experience of a lifetime.

aimee fisher and kel seliger“I wanted to do this not only because it is related to my chosen career field, but also because I knew how beneficial this opportunity would be for my education and future,” she said. “The experience I will take away from this internship will enable me to be very competitive as I seek employment. The networking and experiences here at the Capitol are invaluable, especially as students are working to gain real world knowledge that will help them transition from college into careers.”

Fisher, whose internship runs Jan. 3-May 31, is assigned to Seliger’s staff member who handles policy on finance, health and human services and criminal justice. The WTAMU intern is helping the staff member with budget-related issues and health services funding issues and soon will be responsible for researching and filing legislation for Seliger.

But her days aren’t limited to correspondence, phone calls, filing, research and luncheons. She also gets the opportunity to go to the Senate floor and into committee meetings.

“The most exciting experiences I have had so far were attending the Opening Day Ceremony of the 82nd Senate Session and the 2011 Texas Inauguration Oath of Office Ceremony. Those were historic moments in time, and it really humbles you to know you were a part of them.”

Fisher learned about the internship from her adviser. Family and friends encouraged her to apply, and she definitely has no regrets.

“Senator Seliger has a great staff,” she said. “I come to work happy every day.”



Feb. 14-18
—Communication Week
Feb. 17
—WTAMU Faculty Voice Recital with Dr. Christopher Meerdink, 7:30 p.m., Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Recital Hall. Call 651-2840.
Feb. 18
—Lady Buff softball vs. Western New Mexico, 11 a.m., Oklahoma Panhandle State, 4 p.m., Buffalo Sports Park, Lady Buff Yard. Call 651-4400.
Feb. 19
—Lady Buff softball vs. Western New Mexico, 11 a.m., Oklahoma Panhandle State, 4 p.m., Buffalo Sports Park, Lady Buff Yard. Call 651-4400.
—Lady Buff basketball vs. Midwestern State, 4 p.m., First United Bank Center. Call 651-4400.
—Buff basketball vs. Midwestern State, 6 p.m., First United Bank Center. Call 651-4400.
Feb. 20
—WTAMU Symphonic Band Concert, 3 p.m., Northen Recital Hall. Call 651-2840.
Feb. 22
—Buff baseball vs. University of the Southwest, noon, Buffalo Sports Park, Wilder Park. Call 651-4400.
—Distinguished Lecture Series with Dr. Deborah LeBlanc, 6:30 p.m., Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Hazlewood Lecture Room. Call 651-3631.
Feb. 23
—Guest recital with William Preucil—violin, and Arthur Rowe—pianist, 7:30 p.m. Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex, Recital Hall. Call 651-2840.
—Lady Buff basketball vs. Incarnate Word, 6 p.m., First United Bank Center. Call 651-4400.
—Buff basketball vs. Incarnate Word, 8 p.m., First United Bank Center. Call 651-4400.
Feb. 24
—Cornette Library Faculty Research Poster Session, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Cornette Library, First Floor Gallery Exhibit Area. Call 651-2229.
—Pre-Marital Relationship Seminar, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Student Success Center, Room 116. Call 651-2340.
Feb. 25
—Lady Buff softball vs. Texas A&M International, 11 a.m., Central Oklahoma, 4 p.m., Buffalo Sports Park, Lady Buff Yard. Call 651-4400.
—WTAMU Piano Festival guest recital with Tali Morgulis—piano, 7:30 p.m., Northen Recital Hall. Call 651-2840.
Feb. 26
—Buff baseball vs. Northwest Missouri State, noon, Buffalo Sports Park, Wilder Park. Call 651-4400.
—Lady Buff softball vs. Texas A&M International, 1:30 p.m., Central Oklahoma, 4 p.m., Buffalo Sports Park, Lady Buff Yard. Call 651-4400.
Feb. 27
—Buff baseball vs. Northwest Missouri State, noon, Buffalo Sports Park, Wilder Park. Call 651-4400.




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