Texas Tech University

A&S Alumni News

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Nagy Column Holds Out Hope for Europe

Tibor Nagy, TTUTibor Nagy (BA Political Science, TTU 1972), Texas Tech Vice Provost for International Affairs and retired U.S. Ambassador, wrote about the challenges facing Europe in his June 16 op-ed piece in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. In the article, Nagy, fresh from a visit to the British countryside and his native Hungary, contrasts European and U.S. media coverage, examines Brexit, and evaluates the migrant situation in Italy and Hungary. Ultimately, Nagy holds out hope of a better future for Europe despite the many obstacles it has yet to overcome.

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Ferguson Studies Hand-Standing Skunks

Adam Ferguson Hand-Standing Skunk

Adam Ferguson (PhD Biology, TTU), now Collections Manager of Mammals at The Field Museum in Chicago, is lead author of a study about skunks. The paper that published May 3 in Ecology and Evolution revealed how Ice Age climate change played a role in the evolution of one group of skunks that weigh just 2 pounds and stand on their forepaws, rear feet in the air, when they spray their infamous scent. Called the western spotted skunk, the species is found throughout the United States and Mexico in different climates, from Oregon's temperate rainforests to the Sonoran, the hottest desert in Mexico. "By analyzing western spotted skunk DNA, we learned that Ice Age climate change played a crucial role in their evolution," Ferguson was quoted as saying in a May 3 article from The Field Museum, "Spotted Skunk Evolution Driven by Climate Change." Ferguson completed the research while he was still a PhD student at Texas Tech University. "Small carnivores like skunks haven't been well-studied when it comes to historical climate change," Ferguson said. "We know how small mammals like rodents respond to changing climates, and we know how bigger carnivores like wolves respond, but this study helps bridge the gap between them." The article went on to explain that this study can illuminate the bigger picture of biodiversity in the face of climate change. "Understanding these genetic subdivisions that happened as a result of changing climatic conditions can help us conserve skunks and other animals in the future," Ferguson said. The findings have been widely republished in the following media: the May 3 Science Daily, the May 4 Discover magazine, the May 3 Newseek, the May 4 Wired, and the May 4 Daily Mail. Ferguson's earlier research at Texas Tech on hog-nosed skunks was written about in the Fall 2014 Texas Tech Discoveries magazine.

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Honum Gives Reading at Kettle Art in Dallas

The Tulip flame by Chloe Honum, TTU alumnaChloe Honum (PhD Creative Writing, TTU), was one of four writers who gave a reading May 17 as part of the Pegasus Reading Series at Kettle Art in Dallas. Honum is the author of "The Tulip-Flame" (Cleveland State University, 2013), and now an Assistant Professor in the English Department at Baylor University. One of the other writers to speak that evening was Texas Tech's Chen Chen, a PhD student in the Department of English's Creative Writing program and author of "When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities" (available on Kindle).

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Creasy Rides Horse Showbiz to Rodeo Title

Rodeo champ Luke Creasy, TTU alumnusLuke Creasy (BA English, TTU 2011), won the Bareback Title at City Bank Coliseum during the ABC Rodeo April 1-2 with a 79-point ride. A horse named Showbiz helped him win the $1,241 prize, according to an article in the Lubbock Avalanche Journal. Creasy, a Canadian from Brownfield, Alberta, told the AJ: "I won (Lubbock) in 2014 with maybe an 83 or something," Creasy said. "I've been 86 there and ended up second. I was thinking 79 might be good for like a fourth-place check, and somehow managed to hang in for first place. Great, but unexpected." During his student days at Texas Tech, Creasy rode in competition and ranked 21st and 22nd in the world in 2010 and 2011, according to the article.

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Foisor Wins Women's Chess Championship

Chess champ Sabina-Francesca Foisor, TTU alumna

Sabina-Francesca Foisor (Master's coursework in Sociology 2016-2017) won the U.S. Women's Chess Championship in St. Louis with a queen sacrifice to checkmate her opponent. Foiser was the 2007 Women's Grandmaster. Her win was detailed in the April 7 Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, the April 10 Chess News and a video interview posted April 10 on YouTube.

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Hernandez Promoted at University of Chicago

Kyle Hernandez (BS Biology, TTU 2005; PhD Ecology, Evolution, and Population Biology, TTU 2011), a Bioinformatician, was promoted to Research Assistant Professor, an academic appointment, from a regular staff appointment at the Center for Research Informatics at The University of Chicago. His new position allows him to be a Principal Investigator on research grants.

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Nagy Column Focuses on Geopolitcal Visitors

Tibor Nagy, TTUTibor Nagy (BA Political Science, TTU 1972), Texas Tech Vice Provost for International Affairs and retired U.S. Ambassador, welcomed four geopolitical experts to Lubbock and wrote about the event in his March 31 column in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. In "Lubbock and Foreign Affairs," Nagy described how Ambassador Ron Neumann, President of the American Academy of Diplomacy, and Ambassadors Kathleen Stephens, John Beyrle and Kurt Volker held sessions with local high school and university students, met with local industry leaders and conducted a public forum with Lubbockites.

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Lockhart Named Distinguished Alumni

Retired Col. Paul Lockhart (B.A. Mathematics, TTU 1978) is one of three to be named a 2017 Distinguished Alumni of Texas Tech University by the Texas Tech Alumni Association. The awards are designed to recognize and honor alumni who have made significant contributions toward furthering the excellence of Texas Tech through outstanding accomplishments, careers and/or through extraordinary measures of service. Since graduating, Lockhart was commissioned as a United States Air Force (USAF) pilot and has since served as a crew member of two NASA missions to the International Space Station, held positions with the Pentagon and worked as a defense specialist at NASA Headquarters. He, Wendy Motlong Masiello (Marketing, TTU 1980), and Arati Prabhakar (B.S. Engineering, TTU 1979) were honored at a reception, dinner and program March 31 at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center.

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Shewmaker Publishes 1st Poetry Book

Penumbra by Michael Shewmaker, TTU alumnusMichael Shewmaker, PhD (PhD Creative Writing, TTU), a poet who teaches in Stanford University's Creative Writing Department, published his first book of poetry, "Penumbra" (Ohio University Press, 2017), which won the 2017 Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. As described in a March 30 feature in The Almanac, Shewmaker's work grapples with concepts of faith, doubt and death in the form of poetic expression.

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Nagy on State Department Budget Cuts

Tibor Nagy, TTUTibor Nagy (BA Political Science, TTU 1972), Texas Tech Vice Provost for International Affairs and retired U.S. Ambassador, was interviewed in a FOX-34 television news segment about President Trump's proposed 28 percent State Department budget cut. The March 27 segment described Nagy as vehemently opposed to the cuts eliminating these funds, saying that the cut would do more harm than good. "If you send a diplomat to try and head off a problem, you know you're sending someone with a briefcase and some papers and some inside knowledge of the country and the culture and the situation and compare that to sending an aircraft carrier," Nagy told FOX-34. "If you look at the costs involved, they're not even in the same atmosphere."

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Cavazos the Subject of Diversity Exhibit

Lauro Cavazos TTU alumniLauro F. Cavazos (bachelor's and master's in Zoology, TTU) and his work toward institutional diversity at Texas Tech are the focus of an exhibit in the Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library. In 1980, Cavazos became the 10th president of Texas Tech and worked to increase and improve the diversity of his alma mater. "When I got to Texas Tech back in 1980, the minority enrollment was about 2 percent; I was one of the few people on the campus who could speak Spanish," Cavazos said. "There was a lot of room to grow in a positive way. It was slow and difficult. Eight years later, when I left, the minority enrollment had gone up to more than 8 percent." To this day, Cavazos remains the only Hispanic and only graduate of Texas Tech to serve as TTU president. He went on to become U.S. Secretary of Education—the first Hispanic person to hold a Cabinet position. To read more, follow this link to the Feb. 21 Texas Tech Today story, "First Hispanic President of Texas Tech University Honored in Diversity Exhibit."

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Kerrick Speaks at Tech Savvy Conference

Ginger Kerrick TTU alumniGinger Kerrick (BS Physics 1991, MS Physics 1993 TTU), a NASA flight director for the International Space Station, was keynote speaker for the Tech Savvy Conference, held Feb. 18 on campus. TV station KLBK reported that the conference day was devoted to science, technology, engineering and math for sixth- through ninth-grade girls and their parents. The girls attended workshops where they discovered realistic STEM careers and pathways to education. their parents learned how to encourage and reinforce their daughters' aspirations. The conference was the result of collaboration between Texas Tech's STEM Center for Outreach, Research and Education and the American Association of University Women, Lubbock Branch.

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Miller Named Amarillo City Manager

Jared Miller, Amarillo City Manager, TTU alumnusJared Miller (Master of Public Administration 2001 TTU) is the new city manager of Amarillo, according to articles in the Amarillo Globe-News on Jan. 12, with a follow-up on Jan. 17. Miller is expected to take up his new post on or before Feb. 20, and comes to the job from San Marcos, where he was city manager since 2014. Miller told the Globe-News that he is familiar with the Texas Panhandle—his wife, Kristin, hails from Amarillo and they were married there—and that he's just like the people who live here: "Direct, and the type of person who looks for common ground."

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For earlier Alumni News, please go to:

A&S Events Calendar

February 16, 2017
March 1, 2017
  • Lubbock: Alumni Reception; United Supermarkets Arena - Club Red (Red Raiders vs. Texas); 6-7 p.m.; Tipoff at 8 p.m.
March 11-19, 2017
  • Spring Break: Campus closed on March 17.
March 25, 2017
  • Midland: Texas Tech Spring Game Alumni & Recruitment Tailgate; Grande Communications Stadium; 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
April 1, 2017
April 17, 2017
  • No Classes
April 20, 2017
April 21, 2017
  • Dallas: Dean's Circle Advisory Board Meeting
May 4, 2017
  • Lubbock: Distinguished Alumni Dinner & Reception; TTU International Cultural Center; 5:30-7:30 p.m.
May 9, 2017
  • Last Day of Classes; Spring Semester
May 19, 2017
  • Spring Commencement; United Supermarkets Arena; 3 p.m.
May 29, 2017
  • Memorial Day: Campus Closed
June 6, 2017
  • Summer I: Classes Begin
July 4, 2017
  • Independence Day: Campus Closed
July 6, 2017
  • Summer I: Last Day of Classes
July 11, 2017
  • Summer II: Classes Begin
August 9, 2017
  • Summer II: Last Day of Classes
August 12, 2017
  • Summer Commencement; United Supermarkets Arena; 9 a.m.
August 23, 2017
August 28, 2017
  • Fall Semester: Classes Begin
August 30, 2017
  • Arts & Sciences Day, South Lawn, Holden Hall, 11 am - 2 pm
September 4, 2017
  • Labor Day: Campus Closed
September 16, 2017
  • Faculty & Staff Tailgate; Red Raiders vs. Arizona State; Holden Hall; Time: 5 p.m.
September 29, 2017
  • Lubbock: Dean's Circle Advisory Board Meeting
September 30, 2017
  • Alumni Tailgate; Red Raiders vs. Oklahoma State; Holden Hall; Time TBA; Purchase Tickets
November 22-26, 2017
  • Thanksgiving Break: Campus closed Nov. 23 & 24
December 1, 2017
  • Carol of Lights: Science Quadrangle; 7 p.m.
December 6, 2017
  • Fall Semester: Last Day of Classes
December 15, 2017
  • Fall Commencement; United Supermarkets Arena; 3 p.m.
December 14, 2017 - January 17, 2018
  • Winter Break


College of Arts & Sciences