William O. Walker Jr. has written the book Gospels, Jesus, and Christian Origins: Collected Essays, published by Polebridge Press. It is a companion volume to Paul and His Legacy: Collected Essays, which appeared last year. William is the Jennie Farris Railey King Professor Emeritus of Religion at Trinity University.
Charles Hendricks was the founding pastor of Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church and served as its pastor for 23 years. Now pastor emeritus, he was honored in 2010 with the dedication of the Charles Hendricks Educational Building. The facility provides needed space for the congregation, including a library and several classrooms. A fellow alumnus wrote in about the honor to Hendricks.
Larry Sykes received the 2015 Bridge Builder Award at the Breakfast for the Bridge in November. The award is given to an individual who has served as a champion in the advancement of services to the homeless of North Texas. The Bridge is a privately managed collaboration for reducing adult long-term homelessness. Read more about Larry’s work in Living the Liberal Arts.
Gary Parker was honored at the Barbershop Harmony Society’s annual international convention in July as his quartet, Dealer’s Choice, was inducted into the society’s Hall of Fame. The quartet won the 1973 international championship in its first international competition, the only first-time winner in over 60 years. Gary sings bass in the quartet. A retired actuarial product development executive, he now serves as the bass section leader and on the music staff of the Dallas-based Vocal Majority Chorus.
Dale Eichenberger was named to the Distinguished Alumni of Austin College at Homecoming 2015.
Robert Lively has written his first novel, The Thin Place, published in 2015 by Treaty Oaks. The book is the story of a self-absorbed woman’s journey to a mountain in Northern Mexico where she encounters Our Lady of Guadalupe and is immediately transformed from narcissistic to holy. Lively, a retired Presbyterian minister living in the Hill Country, has published nine books of non-fiction.
Keith Johnston has published a book on leadership, A Garage Full of Ferraris: How to unleash the potential in high-performance teams to drive extraordinary results. For the book, he interviewed 15 different leaders he had known throughout his life and incorporated their thoughts. Inclusions from the Austin College community are Dr. Oscar Page, president emeritus; Suzanne Loaring-Clark Cook ’70, Jerry Moore ’71, Sarah Gunderson ’81, and Jim Hernandez ’83. Keith spent more than 30 years advancing organizations and developing leaders. With 16 years as an executive, he oversaw the development of over $250 million in consulting business and helped his clients succeed by teaching them to effectively lead themselves. Keith’s work has led him to 36 countries, giving him the opportunity to stroll through Red Square in Moscow and walk on the Great Wall of China. Today, he and his wife Sylvia enjoy the outdoors in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada, where he finds time to coach football at a local high school and direct a youth leadership program.
Kay Layton Sisk (MA ’74) was looking for inspiration to create a quilt for her grandson Grayson, son of Daniel ’01 and Casey Carr Sisk ’03, when she happened to see a quilted ’Roo wall hanging in Wright Campus Center that was created by students in a JanTerm course several years ago. She expanded the idea into a hand-appliqued and hand-made quilt with a kangaroo doing activities that her son and daughter-in-law enjoy.
Mark Miller was named among the “Best San Antonio Lawyers” in the San Antonio Scene magazine in June 2015. The publication surveyed area attorneys to select top professionals in more than 70 different practice categories. Miller, a partner with the Jackson Walker firm, was included in the area of intellectual property law.
Dr. Larry Reaves received the Tarrant County Medical Society Gold-Headed Cane Award in fall 2015. The award “shows the warm love, personal regard, esteem, and respect of the physician,” who is chosen by secret ballot and described as “the doctor’s doctor.” Physicians must be a member of the society for 20 years to be considered. In the 1600s in England, doctors carried canes that included a cavity filled with an aromatic substance that counteracted offensive odor and was thought to prevent contagion. One famous gold-headed cane was carried by and passed down to outstanding practitioners for over 130 years. It now is displayed in the Royal College of Physicians in London. Various medical schools and societies give a Gold- Headed Cane award for excellence. Reaves is a board-certified plastic surgeon. He also has been recognized as a Texas Super Doctor and a Fort Worth “Top Doc.”
Christena “Tena” Alcorn is performing in HBO’s The Leftovers and started season two of American Crime in July 2015, having been part of the first season. Tena has worked in film and television for many years, first in Los Angeles, California, and now in Austin, Texas. She’s pleased to connect with Austin-area alumni at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris John and his family live in Breckenridge, Colorado, where he volunteers as president of the Western Colorado Council Boy Scouts of America. Last spring, Chris received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest distinguished service award at the council level. Chris also is a principal and vice president with LGL Leadership, a national leadership development firm. Chris is an avid outdoorsman—cycling and hiking in the summer, and back country skiing in the winter.
Danny Buck was named to the Distinguished Alumni of Austin College at Homecoming 2015.
Kim Powers is creating a buzz with his latest novel, Dig Two Graves. “I wanted to write about something I know a little bit about: life on a college campus (similar to Austin College in many ways), and something I know nothing about: raising a child,” he said. “What happens when that child is kidnapped, and her father, a classics professor now, an Olympic Decathlon champion in his past, has to perform the 12 Labors of Hercules to get her back?” Kim had great fun throwing a launch party for the book in New York City. In keeping with the theme of the book, he hired 10 models to represent the different events of the Decathlon. And, among the guests of honor: none other than Kim’s ABC colleague Diane Sawyer. Kim said that alumni might recognize descriptions of some campus sites in the book, but he guarantees a lot of surprises. Find an excerpt and reviews of Dig Two Graves at kimpowersbooks.com. One of those reviews is from fellow ’Roo and best-selling mystery writer Deborah Crombie ’76: “Kim Powers is a bright, new, intelligent voice in crime fiction. His characters are drawn with great empathy and understanding, and Dig Two Graves is a gripping, can’t-put-it-down read that will delight readers from the beginning to its satisfyingly twisty end. A must read!”
J. Lee Wittington has written his second book, Biblical Perspectives on Leadership and Organizations, published by Palgrave Macmilan in August 2015. He joined the faculty of University of Dallas in 2000 and is a professor of management, focusing his teaching and research in areas of leadership, organizational leaderships, and spiritual leadership. He previously served on the faculty of Texas Wesleyan University and The University of Texas at Arlington. He has received several honors for his teaching and research.
Carlton Schwab represented Austin College on September 27, 2015, at the inauguration of Greg Fenves as president of The University of Texas.
Sue Masica was named to the Distinguished Alumni of Austin College at Homecoming 2015.
Kirsten Brandt James has been named executive director of Alley’s House, a Dallas nonprofit agency that works to empower teen mothers and their children. Kirsten spent 22 years as executive director of Junior Players in Dallas, a youth arts organization that served more than 6,000 youth, so has extensive expertise in fundraising and nonprofit knowledge.
Amy Anderton is now director of world languages for Dallas ISD, which offers seven foreign languages in 26 middle schools and 32 high schools. Amy and her staff provide support for nearly 200 teachers of Spanish, Spanish for Native Speakers, French, Chinese, Latin, American Sign Language, German, and Japanese. After graduating, Amy taught for 12 years in Dallas ISD, earning a master’s degree in educational administration from Texas A&M–Commerce in 2001. She moved to Virginia and spent the past 14 years in different districts as a German and ESL teacher, most recently as the world language and ESL coordinator in Stafford County, Virginia. Amy is in the dissertation stage of a doctorate in organizational leadership from Grand Canyon University.
John Bristow was reassigned from the Defense Intelligence Agency in Washington, D.C., to become the defense attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Juba, Republic of South Sudan, in May 2015. Previous assignments have included Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom.
Tim Newsom was recently honored by Texas Tech University School of Law as a recipient of the Bob Black Bar Leaders Award. The award is given to the Texas Tech law alumnus who in the past year served as president of a local bar association. Tim served as president of the Amarillo Area Bar Association for 2014-2015. Tim is a partner with the Amarillo law firm of Lovell, Lovell, Newsom & Isern.
Sandy Richards Barber was named Regional Citizen of the Year at the annual Texoma Council of Governments event in September 2015. The award is presented annually to one exemplary citizen from Cooke, Fannin, or Grayson counties. Sandy has served as executive director of Fannin County Children’s Center since 2001. She also serves as president of Bonham Rotary Club, is a coordinator of Great Days of Service in Bonham, and still finds time to direct children’s plays at Creative Arts Center. She and her husband, Bill ’89, have three daughters, Cassidy, Katie, and Jessica. Katie ’17 and Jessica ’16 are current Austin College students.
Alexander (Faulkner) Lazar was named to the Distinguished Alumni of Austin College at Homecoming 2015.
Carl Dethloff (MAT ’92) became the superintendent of San Angelo ISD in July 2015, leading 25 campuses with an enrollment of 15,000 students. He was promoted from assistant superintendent of human resources and staff development, having been with the system for six years. Now in his 23rd year as an educator, he previously served as principal of three different campuses in College Station. Carl earned his doctorate at Texas A&M University. He is a member of First United Methodist Church, where he serves on the Board of Trustees, and is also a board member of San Angelo Civic Ballet. He and his wife, Judy, have two daughters, Abbey and Caroline. When his new position was announced, Austin College professor emeritus of education John White was on hand. “It demonstrates the benefit of the Austin College experience that I had a professor 25 years later travel 10 hours to come to the board meeting,” Carl said. John White is pictured with Carl and his family.
Mark Flowers has been elected to Capital Partner with Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson. He practices is the area of property taxation law and manages the firm’s office in Odessa, Texas. Mark received his J.D. in 1997 from the Texas Tech University School of Law. He is president of the board of directors of the Ellen Noel Art Museum and a member of the board of the Odessa Chamber of Commerce. He lives in Odessa, Texas, with his wife, Rhonda, and children, Megan and Zach.
Michelle Vetters, pastor at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church of San Antonio; Charlotte Harper ’89, assistant to the Texas Attorney General; and Lori Beer Nance ’93, chaplain at Presbyterian Mo Ranch, dedicated a bench at Presbyterian Mo Ranch and Conference Center in memory of the late Laura Leah Petmecky ’90 in June 2015. A member of the 1987 summer staff at Mo-Ranch, Leah died in an automobile accident that summer. Several staff members from that era were on hand for the dedication, including Stan ’55 and Carolynn Hall Cobbs ’55.
Jay P. Walters was named a “Lawyer of the Year” for Oklahoma City in the 2016 Best Lawyers of America. Only a single lawyer in each practice area and in a designated metropolitan area is named a “Lawyer of the Year.” A shareholder with GableGotwals firm, he was honored for his work in the category of Native American law. He also was recognized in Best Lawyers and Oklahoma Super Lawyers for his work in areas of business litigation.
Lance Haynes has published his first novel, One More. He describes it as literary fiction about the testing of the human spirit in the midst of a huge solar flare. Action drives the story of a man traveling 2,000 miles to home as power and communications fail around the world. The protagonist is pushed beyond his limits into a place where the fundamental essence of his humanity is tested. Lance has had the idea for the book for a few years. When the oil business dropped off dramatically, (he manages leasing, drilling, and production) he found himself with extra time on his hands and began writing. Three months later, the book was finished.
Ed Richardson now serves as the coach for the Austin College Advocacy Teams, which includes mock trial and mediation teams. Ed joined his father to form the Richardson Law Firm in Sherman in 1998 after graduating from Texas Tech University School of Law, where he participated in mock trail and negotiations competitions.
Tom Garrison received Austin College’s Heywood C. Clemons Volunteer Service Award at Homecoming 2015.
Karina Stiles-Cox is the chair-elect for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Women’s Faculty Network, formed in May 2015 by The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) and The University of Texas-Pan American (UTPA). The organization seeks to empower female faculty members by advocating for opportunities to advance women’s professional development in teaching, research, and service while balancing their personal, career, physical, and mental demands. Karina is director of the writing center in UTB’s Learning Enrichment Center. The WFN, initiated at UTPA in 2013, grew out of a $3.1 million National Science Foundation ADVANCE grant, designed to encourage more women, particularly Latinas, in the STEM (science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics) fields.
Cary Hendricks has been named senior director of Laity Lodge Family Camp, an interdenominational Christian family camp in Kerrville, Texas. After two successful years in leadership at Laity Lodge Youth Camp, he began the new role in September. Read about Cary’s work on the Director’s Desk blog. Cary also is working on a master’s degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Amy Meschke Porter has written Their Lives, Their Wills: Women in the Borderlands 1750-1846, published by Texas Tech University Press. The book is a winner of the Lou Halsell Rodenberger Prize in History and Literature. An associate professor of history at Texas A&M–San Antonio, Amy teaches courses on early America, women, and Texas.
Camille LeBron Powell has been installed as pastor of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Tucker, Georgia. She began work there in February 2015 after more than 11 years as associate pastor at Second Presbyterian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas. Camille and her husband, Jonathan, live in Decatur with their two children, Lily, 8, and Jackson, 5. Jonathan works for AT&T Mobility.
Tiffany Elsass Brantley was named Teacher of the Year for 2015 at Highland Lakes Elementary and Most Innovative Teacher of the Year. Both honors were awarded in fall 2015 at the district level at Marble Falls ISD in Marble Falls, Texas.
Kevin Peterson was awarded the prestigious 2015 Hunting Art Prize, winning $50,000 for his oil-on-panel painting, “Fire.” The painting was chosen from more than 1,600 entries and 100 finalists. The Hunting Prize is exclusively a painting and drawing competition for artists living in Texas. Kevin has been a finalist five times in the past eight years; his entry was featured on the Hunting Art Prize keepsake poster in 2008. Kevin and his family live in Houston, Texas, where he works out of Winter Street Studios. Read about Kevin’s journey as an artist in Living the Liberal Arts.
Kurt Esslinger has been appointed as a Presbyterian Church (USA) Mission Co- Worker to the Republic of Korea. Initially, he served as site coordinator for the PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteer Program in Daejeon along with his wife, Hyeyoung Lee. In that role, the couple connects U.S. young adults to service centers working with populations in Korea struggling with poverty. They also plan bi-weekly discussions and monthly travel/study trips so that they can learn about Korean Church faith and community, Korean culture, history, and what Koreans are doing to fight poverty. This past year, Kurt was given a second role as staff in the Reconciliation and Unification Department of the National Council of Churches in Korea. They maintain a relationship with Christians in the North through the Korean Christian Federation of North Korea and together they work for an end to the Korean War as well as peaceful and respectful reconciliation and reunification. Kurt helps them connect church councils, denominations, and individual believers around the world to the movement for reconciliation on the Korean peninsula through translating Korean articles, statements, and communications into English as well as networking. Kurt is pictured with his wife and their son, Sahn Esslinger Lee. Read more about Hyeyoung and Kurt’s Korean Adventure and their Mission Connections.
Lindsey Ankele Fournie has been living in Dubai for the past seven years. During her first five years there, she continued to work for Chemonics International, a D.C.-based international development firm. She remotely managed local governance projects in Eastern Europe and, in her final year with the firm, an education project in Zambia. In December 2013, Lindsey made a major career change and began her own business … a blow dry bar. She and her hairdresser decided there was a need for one so they took a chance. Their salon, “Be Bar,” has been open for over a year and going really well.
Kimberly Faith Hall Church was awarded a national teaching award in summer 2015 by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP). She received the Intercultural Student Experiences Language Matters Award, given to a high school teacher who has achieved outstanding success in getting students to speak Spanish “through exemplary motivation and creative methods.” The award also recognizes a teacher’s work to provide authentic immersion experiences outside the classroom for students to apply their speaking skills. Kimberly is a high school Spanish teacher at Wakeland High School in Frisco, Texas, with 11 years of classroom experience. She has taken three student groups to Intercultura Costa Rica, the same language school where she studied during a JanTerm at Austin College. She also has taken students to Puerto Rico to study Spanish and history. Her students performed a salsa dance at the Meyerson Symphony to open for Arturo Sandoval, and performed a merengue and a salsa at the World Salsa Congress. The AATSP award is just one in a list of honors she has received in her work teaching students and guiding them in service projects. She is pictured with her husband, Jason, and their three sons.
Andrea Keith is the co-founder and program director for La Asociacion CREAR in Playa Samara, Costa Rica, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supplementary education for the youth of El Torito and Samara. Andrea received the 2015 Premio Yo Creo (I Believe) Award from the Universidad Latina in recognition of young social entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. Read more in Living the Liberal Arts.
Wesley Johnston has taken a position with a new company called MedCore Partners. He has worked for a general contractor for the past four years to learn the ins and outs of commercial real estate from that angle. The new company is responsible for healthcare and medical real estate projects so he expects to learn about a whole new side to commercial real estate.
Saranya Sundaram enrolled in a Ph.D. program in clinical psychology at Palo Alto University in fall 2015. Read more about Saranya.
Natalie Taylor graduated in May 2015 from University of Alaska Fairbanks with an MFA in creative writing and a focus in creative nonfiction. She is living in Fairbanks and teaching English at UAF Community and Technical College.
Christopher Donovan graduated with his juris doctor in May 2015 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is an associate with Brewer, Attorneys and Counselors in Dallas.
Caitlin Graves is an administrator and prevention specialist for the Risk Intervention and Support Education office at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. In May 2015, she completed a master’s degree in higher education administration at Kent State University.
Samantha Matulis, who served as talent cultivation director for the Longview Economic Development Corporation, was pleased to be among those accepting the 2015 Excellence Award for the Longview community. An added bonus was that the award was presented by another Austin College alumnus, Carlton Schwab ’81, president of the Texas Economic Development Council, with whom she is pictured. In fall 2015, Samantha became human resources coordinator at General Cable in Marshall, Texas.
Genevieve Norman was part of a team that participated in—and won—AngelHack Austin’s Hackathon in May 2015. At the event, teams had 24 hours to come up with an idea for an app, code it, design it, and pitch it. Her team created HeyBlink Me, a livestream speed dating app designed “to bring the butterflies back to dating,” solving the pain points of online dating, including non-genuine canned text responses, fake and outdated profiles, security issues, and difficulty scheduling dates. The team went through 12 weeks of an accelerator mentorship program, then flew to San Francisco to pitch the idea to venture capitalists at Global Demo Day for funding. Pictured with her team, Genevieve is second from the left.