News for September 17, 2012

                Fellowships of $8,000 to $10,000 each were recently awarded to seven promising Sul Ross State University graduate students with unmet financial need for the 2012-2013 academic year. 
                Recipients Marisela Baca, Presidio; Vanessa Chavez, Socorro; Katie Dennison, Salem, Mass.; Victor Hernandez, Presidio; Chelsea Rios, Marfa; Laura Tang, Westminster, Cal.; and Brandy Villarreal, Alpine, were selected from a pool of qualified applicants by a committee comprised of Sul Ross faculty and staff. 
                Funding for the fellowships is from a five-year Title V Hispanic Serving Institution grant awarded to Sul Ross in 2009. With the grant funding, Sul Ross has developed and staffed a Graduate Student Center (BAB 104), converted several graduate degree programs to online or distance education delivery, and funded fellowships and scholarships for promising graduate students.
                In addition to the graduate fellowships, seven other students were awarded $500 scholarships for the fall semester.

2012-2013 graduate fellows

2012-2013 graduate fellows
Sul Ross State University graduate fellows include (from left, ascending): Chelsea Rios, Marfa; Brandy Villarreal, Alpine; Marisela Baca, Presidio; Laura Tang, Westminster, Cal.; Katie Dennison, Salem, Mass.; Vanessa Chavez, Socorro. Not pictured is Victor Hernandez, Presidio. (Photo Courtesy Rhonda Austin)

                As part of the process, applicants each submitted transcripts, letters of recommendation from teachers and mentors, and essays outlining how the fellowship would be used to support the student’s efforts to attain a graduate degree and enhance future opportunities in his or her chosen field.
                As a fellow, each student will contribute to the success of the Graduate Student Center by providing assistance such as mentoring other students, helping develop resources that can be shared with others, or assisting graduate faculty as needed. Each student’s responsibilities will be aligned to his or her area of expertise. These students represent several majors in the university and have a variety of skills. 
                Baca graduated from Sul Ross in May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (with honors) in theater. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Arts and plans to become a theater teacher.
                Chavez, a May Sul Ross graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, is seeking a Master’s degree in that field. After graduation, she is interested in becoming a probation officer.
                Dennison received a B.S. degree in Animal Science from Rutgers University. After working for several years with domesticated animals, she enrolled at Sul Ross to pursue a Master’s degree in Natural Resource Management. She is studying the mountain lion population and prey availability in the Davis Mountains and hopes to work in wildlife research after graduation.
                Hernandez served in the U.S. Marine Corps after high school graduation, then received a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2009. He is presently working as a student liaison and disciplinarian in the Presidio Middle School while pursuing his Master’s degree and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) license. Hernandez plans to use his education to design programs that will assist veterans as they transition out of the military.
                Rios graduated magna cum laude from Sul Ross in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History. She is a second-year graduate student in History and also works as a park ranger for the National Park Service. Rios plans to pursue additional graduate studies in artifact preservation after graduating from Sul Ross in May 2013. She hopes to work in one of the many national museums.
                Tang, who completed her undergraduate work in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine, is a graduate student in Biology. Her current research focuses on environmental biology, but her interests also include conservation and evolution. She plans to become a high school biology teacher.
                Villarreal graduated from Sul Ross in May with a B.S. in Criminal Justice and is now working toward a Master’s degree in that field. She is a graduate assistant in that department, holds an off-campus job and is also raising two young daughters. After completing her degree, Villarreal plans on a career in corrections.
                Competition for the graduate fellowships opens again in February 2013. Watch for notifications at the Sul Ross Graduate Center Facebook site. To “like” the site to see the announcements, visit!/sulrossgradcenter or type in Sul Ross Grad Center at the Facebook search bar.
                Dr. Bonnie Warnock, associate professor of Natural Resource Management, is the 2011-2012 recipient of Sul Ross State University’s Outstanding Teaching Award.
                Warnock, a member of the Sul Ross faculty since 2001, received her award Thursday (Sept. 13) from President Ricardo Maestas during a ceremony in the Morgan University Center.  
                Maestas noted that she “is widely recognized by students and peers as an engaged, caring and talented teacher.” Warnock has also been cited by the American Association of State Schools and Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources, the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture and the Texas Water Conservation Districts for outstanding contributions to teaching.
                Dr. Rob Kinucan, Dean of the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, praised Warnock’s achievements and standards of excellence, both as a student and later as a faculty member.
                “We’re thankful to have Bonnie and very pleased to have her recognized for this award,” Kinucan said.
Outstanding Teaching Award

Outstanding Teaching Award
Dr. Bonnie Warnock, associate professor of Natural Resource Management, receives the 2011-2012 Sul Ross Outstanding Teaching Award. Dr. Rob Kinucan (right), Dean of the School of Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and President Ricardo Maestas made the presentation during a reception Thursday (Sept. 13) in the Morgan University Center. (Photo by Steve Lang)
                “I am very honored and flattered to be recognized by my peers and students,” she said. “I really enjoy teaching and interacting with the students and I think my love of teaching shows through in the classroom.”
                Warnock also ranches with her husband, Seth, near Marathon. Her family has been active in ranching near Marathon and Sanderson since the 1890s, and she brings her practical experience into the classroom.
                “I try to give a lot of real examples and use outdoor activities to get my students engaged in the field,” she said. “I am active in ranching and I try to take theoretical information and tie it into real-life practices.”
                After attending Texas Tech in 1992-93, Warnock enrolled at Sul Ross. She received a B.S. in Range and Wildlife Management in 1995, graduating summa cum laude, then received her M.S. in Range Management in 1997.                                          
                She joined the Sul Ross faculty as a visiting lecturer in January 2001. She was hired full-time as a lecturer later that year, then received her Ph.D. in Soil Science in 2003 from Texas A&M University and was promoted to assistant professor. Warnock was promoted to associate professor in 2008 and named department chair.
                At Sul Ross, she teaches undergraduate classes in soils, range ecology, fire ecology, watershed management, habitat management, range inventory and plant identification. Warnock also teaches graduate classes in restoration ecology and field ecology.
                Previous recipients of the Outstanding Teaching Award since 1983 include: Metha Sprinkle (Education); Ernest Reesing (Range Animal Science); William L. Beatty (Business Administration); David L. Cockrum (Psychology); Jimmy D. Case (Political Science); Robie Golden (Mathematics); Bob Pannell (Education); Wayne Sheehan (History); Rex Wilson (Music); George Bradley (Communications and Theatre); Greg Schwab (Communications and Theatre); Daniel Vrudny (Industrial Technology); Keith West (Communications and Theatre); Ellen Boyd (Music); Abelardo Baeza (English and Spanish); Ray Beaulieu (Mathematics); Mark Saka (History); Patti Trietsch (Education); Jeff Pendergraft (Animal Science); Barbara Tyler (Education); Jesus Tafoya (Spanish); Dona Roman (Communication/Theatre); Sheehan; Martin Terry (Biology); Carol Fairlie (Art); Louis Harveson (Natural Resource Management); Sharon Hileman (Languages and Literature); and Christopher Ritzi (Biology).
                Entrepreneur, author and entertainer Dr. Scout Cloud Lee, who advocates “peace through play,” will speak Monday, Oct. 1 at Sul Ross State University.
                Lee will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center. A book signing will follow her presentation. There is no admission charge and the public is invited. Her appearance is sponsored by the School of Professional Studies John B. Poindexter Speakers Series. The series highlights outstanding individuals who have been successful in their respective professions and allows them to share their stories with the students, faculty and staff at Sul Ross and the community at large.            
                Lee is the founder and chief executive officer of Vision Us, Inc., a Management Development Center to explore human excellence. As founder of the Magical Child Foundation, Inc., an educational non-profit, she promotes peace through play. In addition she is an internationally known keynote speaker, trainer, corporate coach, author, and singer-songwriter. She delights in being alive and by example stimulates others to know and live their passion.
                She was a castaway on the popular network series “Survivor Vanuatu,” was an Olympic Torchbearer and is a successful entrepreneur. Her goal is to inspire each person to “catch the fire of their spirit.” Known as the “World's Best Friend” and a “cheerleader for the human spirit,” her teachings value and celebrate the gifts of diversity.
                Lee’s academic and professional accomplishments are extensive. She holds degrees in theology, counseling and higher education. Professionally, her experience includes leadership positions in the areas of therapeutic recreation, graduate curriculum development, extensive research projects, and as the CEO of Vision Us, Inc.
                As a professor, Lee created and set the standards for Leisure Counseling and Accessibility for the Handicapped. She has written and received funding for large federal and private grants. Author of 11 books and hundreds of articles, her writings range from highly technical books published by Prentice-Hall and Simon & Schuster to a book of spiritual teachings titled “Sworn to Fun: Celebrating Every Little Thing” to “The Circle Is Sacred,” published by Council Oak Books.
                As an entertainer/singer-songwriter, she brings her message through music that is inspirational and soul moving. Travelling throughout the world as a highly acclaimed key-note speaker and corporate training consultant, Lee utilizes her intuitive knowledge to tap and elicit audiences’ finest excellence.
                For more information, contact Dr. Larry Guerrero, Dean of Professional Studies, (432) 837-8134
                Sul Ross State University joined other Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) in recognizing National Hispanic-Serving Institutions Week, Sept. 16-22. Sul Ross has been designated as an HSI since 1999.
                President Barack Obama issued a proclamation designating the observance. Throughout the week, members of Congress will be offering remarks on the House and Senate floors in celebration of the many achievements of HSIs.
                “Hispanic-Serving Institutions touch the lives of millions of students across the nation,” said Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “Hispanic Heritage Month is an ideal time to recognize the contributions of HSIs to Hispanic higher education success.”
                National HSIs Week offers an opportunity to honor the work and commitment of HSIs in addressing the higher educational needs of Hispanic students through institutional and academic support.
                GED testing will be offered at Sul Ross State University Thursday and Friday, Sept. 27-28.
                Testing begins at 8 a.m. each day in the Morgan University Center, Room 211B. Pre-registration is required a week in advance. To pre-register, call Career Services and Testing, (432) 837-8357 or 837-8178.
                GED tests are administered the fourth Thursday and Friday of each month excepting December. Future testing dates for the 2012-2013 academic year are: Oct. 25-26; Nov. 29-30; Jan. 24-25, 2013; Feb. 21-22; March 28-29; April 25-26; May 30-31; and June 27-28.
               Two candidates are seeking the title of Miss Rodeo Sul Ross 2012, with the new queen to be crowned Saturday, Sept. 29.
               Coronation will take place during the Saturday edition of the 67th annual Sul Ross NIRA Rodeo, beginning at 7 p.m. in the SALE Arena, Turner Range Animal Science Center. Reigning Queen is Nikki Woodward, Alpine.
               Candidates are Ali Burks, Copperas Cove; and Molly Jo Collins, Balmorhea.
                Burks, Miss Big Bend Saddlery, is the daughter of Arnold and Tracey Burks and a Sul Ross junior.  She is majoring in in Range and Wildlife Management and a member of the Range and Wildlife Club.
                Collins, Miss Alpine Vet Clinic, is the daughter of Laura and Larry Collins and a Sul Ross sophomore. She is majoring in Animal Science, is a member of the rodeo team, ranch horse team and competes in goat tying and breakaway roping.
Miss Rodeo Sul Ross-2011
Miss Rodeo Sul Ross 2011 Nikki Woodward
               Competition begins Friday, Sept. 28, 2 p.m.,with a horsemanship event in the S.A.L.E. Arena. The horsemanship competition is open to the public at no charge.
                       Ali Burks                    Molly Jo Collins
               On Saturday, Sept. 29, candidates will be tested on their rodeo, equine and current event knowledge, beginning at 8 am. Following the test each contestant will interview with the panel of judges. 
               A fashion show, impromptu questions and speeches will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday at The Saddle Club, 211 E. Holland, downtown Alpine . This event is also open to the public at no charge.