News Archives April 17, 2012

News for April 17, 2012



Mitchell Waechter, Devine, and Grace Fox, Killeen, were named the 2012 Sul Ross State University Man and Woman of the Year at the annual Honors Convocation, held Monday (April 16) in Marshall Auditorium.

Waechter, a senior Music Education major, has been a member of the Dean’s List for the past four years. He is a member of the Alpha Chi National College Scholarship Society and has been active in the Student Government Association and Baptist Student Ministry.

Fox, a senior Communication major and a McNair Program scholar, has also been a member of the Student Government Association, Extreme Rebels All-Star cheerleading team and the Alpine Volunteer Fire Department.

"I feel extremely honored and blessed to receive this prestigious award and I thank God for giving me this opportunity," said Waechter, who has served as Student Government Association president and has been active in volunteer work at the First Baptist Church of Alpine, the Food Pantry and in the Alpine Independent School District. He also worked as a summer mentor at Sul Ross.

"I am glad to have discovered Sul Ross State University," he said. "The private school education at state school prices is a wonderful combination and I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world."

Waechter, who will student teach during Fall Semester 2012, plans to teach music in the public school system and work toward both master’s and doctorate degrees in Music Education.

Fox said, "I was completely surprised to receive this accomplishment. I want to give an extra thanks to Dr. Esther Rumsey. She has been an amazing mentor throughout my undergraduate experience, guiding me through McNair and introducing me to the world of communications."

Fox, who also is a work study student at the University Department of Public Safety and participates in the Skyline video news report, has been accepted into the University of Texas at Austin graduate program in public relations and advertising. After graduate school, she hopes to become a public relations practitioner.

"Sul Ross has provided me with the opportunity to explore my interests, develop my talents and overcome challenges through the help of family, friends, faculty and fellow students," she said.

The Man and Woman of the Year award is the top honor a Sul Ross senior can receive. The following departmental awards were also given at the convocation.

Animal Science

Outstanding Equine Science Student – Melissa Petersen, Sherman

Outstanding Animal Health Management Student – Elizabeth Coddou, Houston

Outstanding Animal Production Student – Coley J. Shipp, Alpine

Outstanding Meat Science Student – Gabriel Rosales, La Joya

Outstanding Reproductive Physiology Student – Todd Cantu, San Antonio

Outstanding Animal Science Graduate Student – Matthew Meador, Center Point

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Clifford B. Casey Book Award – Billy Overton, Fort Stockton

Outstanding History Major, Phi Alpha Theta History Award – Kitty Sibayan, Fort Davis

Outstanding Political Science Student Award – Gregory Gonzales, San Antonio


Outstanding Undergraduate Biology Student Award – Diana Hulsey, Houston; Glynis Barnes, Midland

Outstanding Graduate Biology Student Award – Cynthia McAlister, Alpine

Business Administration

Outstanding BBA Student – Kristin M. Vasquez, Alpine

Outstanding ASBT Student – Deborah Jernigan, Abilene

Outstanding MBA Student – Jose R. Contreras Escalante, Alpine

Outstanding MBA-Online Student – Sharon Shoulders, Shallowater

Computer Science and Mathematics

Outstanding Freshman in Computer Science – Joseph Leyva, Alpine

Outstanding Senior in Computer Science – Brian Dunn, San Diego

Gilley Mathematics Excellence Award – Andrew Kennedy, Odessa

Outstanding Freshman in Mathematics – J.R. Medina, Alamo

Outstanding Senior in Mathematics – Geoffrey Schuette, Midland

Criminal Justice

Outstanding Freshman Criminal Justice Student – Guillermo Sanchez, Fabens

Outstanding Sophomore Criminal Justice Student – Ivan Santos-Nunez, Alpine

Outstanding Junior Criminal Justice Student – Isai Hernandez, Presidio

Outstanding Senior Criminal Justice Student – Jose Guevara, Presidio

Outstanding Graduate Criminal Justice Student – Guy Taylor, Marble Falls

Earth and Physical Sciences

Julius Dasch Outstanding Undergraduate Geology Student – Morgan Pierce

Lance Forsythe Memorial Outstanding Graduate Student Award – Seth Sonnier, Alpine

Outstanding Non-Traditional Geology Student – Tommy Reyes


Education Excellence Award – Benfard Hicks, Sugar Land; Lauren D. Ivey, Imperial; Cameron J.

Sellstrom, Manchaca; Karla Garcia, Presidio; Amie L. Haass, Devine; Diana Jaquez, San Elizario; Annalisa Sandate, Alpine; Angela M. Smith, Alpine; Jennifer R. Walden, Mansfield; Robert Romero, Presidio; Alexis J. Lang, Alpine; Amy B. Valenzuela, Alpine

Albert B. Tucker Reading SpecialistRuby M. Dominguez, Alpine

Fine Arts and Communication

Outstanding New Art Major – Beverly Corrales, El Paso

Outstanding Art Student – Alexander Costea, Alpine

Outstanding Communication Student – Grace E. Fox, Alpine

Outstanding Theatre Student – Marisela Baca, Presidio

Outstanding Freshman Music Student – Evan Pretto, Austin

Outstanding Vocal Music Student – Laura Ashley Anderson, Odessa

Outstanding Instrumental Music Student – Jose Chacon, Alpine; Travis Lutz, Alpine

Honors Program

Honors Program Graduates – Marisela Baca, Presidio; Kim Morrow, Alpine

Languages and Literature

Outstanding Senior English Major – Adam Heidrick, Sierra Vista, Ariz.

Outstanding Senior Spanish Major – Mirna Borunda, Marfa

Natural Resource Management

Outstanding Underclassman Student in Natural Resource Management – Robert Boyer, Boerne

Outstanding Upperclassman Student in Natural Resource Management – Josette Delgado, Canutillo

Outstanding Natural Resource Field Volunteer – Bill Broyles, Alpine

Outstanding Conservation Biology Graduate Student – Katie Dennison, Quincy, Mass.

Outstanding Graduate Student in Range and Wildlife Management-Range – John Edwards, Edmonds, Okla.

Outstanding Graduate Student in Range and Wildlife Management-Wildlife – James Weaver, Point

Physical Education

W.H. Perryman Scholarship – Gina R. Medina, El Paso




Sul Ross State University’s Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition is on display in the Francois Fine Art Gallery, FAB 108, through Friday, April 27. Gallery hours are 8a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.

Every year the Sul Ross Art Program awards students juried into the Annual Art Show with a first, second, third prize and honorable mentions. The first three prizes are cash awards. The People’s Choice award, is a merchandise award, and is awarded by popular vote.

This year the student reception and awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday April 25 from 5-6 p.m. with the winners being announced at 5:30 p.m. Anyone can vote for the People’s Choice award. Ballots may be cast until 5 p.m. April 25, with only one vote per person.




The Society for Conservation Biology, Sul Ross State University Chapter, will host the fifth annual Alpine Earth Day celebration Saturday, April 21.

Events, including speakers, entertainment, children’s activities and food, will be held from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. at Kokernot Lodge.

Local vendors will be present to provide information about natural resources and how to protect them.

Participants include: Brewster County Freecycle, Unitarian Universalists of the Big Bend, Big Bend Soil and Water Conservation District, Native Plant Society, Big Bend Astronomers/International Dark Sky Association/Mirador Astronomy Village, the Nature Conservancy, Alpine Middle School, Alpine Montessori, Grand Companions, Keep Alpine Beautiful/Alpine Recycles, Alpine Solar Sales, Front Street Books, Sul Ross Art Club, Animal Services and the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute.

For more information, contact Laura Loeser, or Patricia Harveson,, (432) 837-8826.