2017's Distinguished Alumni & Faculty
Notables of the Arts & Sciences community came together May 4 at Texas Tech University's International Cultural Center to celebrate four alumni and six faculty for their outstanding contributions to the College of Arts & Sciences, Texas Tech University, and the varied fields in which they serve. W. Brent Lindquist, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, began the evening by welcoming those in attendance to the second annual event. David Roach, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, served as master of ceremonies. Earlier in the day, alumni and friends gathered in Holden Hall for the addition of commemorative plaques to the Alumni Recognition Wall.
2017 Distinguished Alumni
Pat C. Green
Texas Country Recording Artist
BGS '97 General Studies
Patrick "Pat" Green earned a bachelor's degree in general studies from Texas Tech in 1997, where he was a member of FarmHouse Fraternity. Pat began his music career as an 18-year-old at Texas Tech playing small gigs in bars and clubs around Lubbock. In 1995, he independently recorded and released a series of albums produced by Lloyd Maines using money borrowed from his parents. His appearance at the 1998 Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic was his first step towards nationwide recognition, and he was soon playing sold-out shows in Texas. He has sold more than 250,000 albums, even without signing a major label recording contract. He has recorded a total of 10 studio albums and 15 of his singles have charted on the Billboard Hot Country Songs Charts, of which the highest-peaking is the No. 3 "Wave on Wave" from his gold-certified album of the same name.
O. Wayne Isom, M.D.
BS '61 Chemistry
Dr. O. Wayne Isom earned a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Texas Tech in 1961 and earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1965. He is currently the Terry Allen Kramer Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell Medical Center. After completing a cardiothoracic residency at NYU Medical Center in 1970, he joined the faculty at the NYU School of Medicine and in 1978, he became Professor of Surgery and Director of the Cardiothoracic Training Program, a position he held for the next seven years. In 1985, he was recruited to the New York-Cornell Medical Center and assumed the Chairmanship of the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Under his supervision, the cardiothoracic surgeons performed over 40,000 open-heart procedures, with results ranking the center as one of the best in the country. Over his 50-year career, Dr. Isom has been responsible for teaching third-year medical students, as well as general surgery house staff. He has also been instrumental in training over 80 cardiothoracic surgeons who are now either practicing or teaching throughout the country.
Nelda McQuien Laney
Texas Capital Preservationist
BS '65 Speech
Nelda Laney (June 7, 1943 – August 24, 2016) earned a bachelor's degree in speech from Texas Tech in 1965. A lifelong supporter of Texas Tech, she served the university in numerous roles including National President of the Texas Tech Alumni Association and Chair of the Merket Alumni Center expansion. For her work at Tech, she was given the prestigious Lauro F. Cavazos Award by the Texas Tech Alumni Association. Her work spanned across Texas as she served on several boards such as The Texas Book Festival, Friends of Texas Library and Archives, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Greater Texas Community Partners. She also served as co-chair of the Capitol Fund Drive, which raised private funds for furnishing the renovated Texas Capitol, and as vice chair of the Texas Capitol Restoration Celebration. She was a recipient of the Star of Texas Preservation Award for Capitol Restoration and has been named Woman of the Year twice, inducted into the Future Homemakers of America Texas Hall of Fame and honored as a Lifetime Member of the Girl Scouts.
BA '82 History
Kathleen Campbell-Walker earned a bachelor's degree in history from Texas Tech in 1982 and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas in 1985. She served as the Masked Rider during the 1980-81 academic year. She is one of the nation's foremost experts on immigration issues and currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce. She is a former national president and general counsel of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and has achieved national recognition for her expertise in the area. In 2012, she was named the "Go To" lawyer in Texas for immigration law by Texas Lawyer. In 2008, Texas Lawyer also named her as one of 30 "Extraordinary Women in Texas Law." In 2009, she was selected to serve on the Council of Foreign Relations' Independent Task Force on U.S. Immigration Policy, which was chaired by former Governor Jeb Bush of Florida and Thomas F. (Mack) McLarty, former White House Chief of Staff for President Bill Clinton. She has also testified multiple times on border security and immigration policy at a state and national level.
2017 Faculty Excellence Awardees
Souparno Ghosh, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Souparno Ghosh, mathematician, received the Excellence in Research Award in Natural and Physical Sciences.
Brett Houk, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Brett Houk, anthropologist, received the Excellence in Research Award in Social Sciences.
Mark Stoll, Ph.D.
Professor Mark Stoll, historian, received the Excellence in Research Award in the Humanities.
Diego Pascual y Cabo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor Diego Pascual y Cabo, Spanish linguist, received the Excellence in Teaching Award.
Roman Taraban, Ph.D.
Professor Roman Taraban, psychologist, received the Teaching Innovation Award.
Kelly Cukrowicz, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Kelly Cukrowicz, psychologist, received the Nancy J. Bell Graduate Faculty Excellence in Mentoring Award.
Photos taken at this year's 2017 Distinguished Alumni & Faculty Wall Unveiling Ceremony may be viewed at this link.
Photos taken at this year's 2017 Distinguished Alumni & Faculty Reception may be viewed at this link.