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Only 28 individuals nationwide were selected for the highly competitive program that recruits recent college graduates and career changers with strong backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and math – the STEM fields – and prepares them specifically to teach in high-need Pennsylvania secondary schools.

Baxter Krug, Class of 2020Baxter Krug, Class of 2020Krug and the other Fellows will each receive $32,000 to complete a specially designed, cutting-edge master’s degree program based on a year-long classroom experience, including the current remote and virtual learning arrangements. Krug is one of 10 Fellows who recently began their programs at West Chester University. The rest of the Fellows started their programs at Duquesne University or University of Pennsylvania.

In return, Fellows commit to teach for three years in high-need Pennsylvania schools. Throughout the three-year commitment as a teacher of record at a public school, Fellows receive ongoing support and mentoring.

“The WW Teaching Fellowship connects passionate STEM experts with the students who need them the most,” said WW Foundation President Rajiv Vinnakota. “Not only will the program prepare each Fellow to be an excellent educator, it will also give them the practice, support and network of peers needed to succeed throughout their careers in the classroom. And for our university partners, the Fellowship supports their continued efforts to recruit, prepare, and mentor STEM teachers in the high-need schools that need them most.”

At ASU, Krug was heavily involved in chemistry research, which he presented at Great Plains Honors Council, National Collegiate Honors Council and American Chemical Society (ACS) conferences. He was a member of ASU’s award-winning student chapter of ACS and represented ASU at the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 25th Conference of Parties in Santiago, Chile. He was also a presenter on ASU’s Ram Radio internet radio station, was inducted into the Alpha Chi national honor society, and graduated magna cum laude.

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This marks the third straight year ASU has earned the national “College of Distinction” designation, and ASU is one of only six Texas public universities out of 19 total Texas institutions on the 2020-21 list.

Additionally, ASU has been named a “Texas College of Distinction” and a “Public College of Distinction” – and has received specific recognition for its business, education and nursing programs based on accreditation, breadth of program and a track record for success.

Schools are selected for the various designations for demonstrating excellence in four key areas identified by Colleges of Distinction as the “four distinctions:”

  • Engaged students
  • Great teaching
  • Vibrant community
  • Successful outcomes

Several new areas of distinction have also been added this year, and ASU earned additional recognition as a “Military Support College of Distinction” and an “Equity & Inclusion College of Distinction.”

The Military Support recognition goes to schools that ensure military students are supported through comprehensive education benefits, a committed military and veteran’s affairs team, flexible options, trained faculty, and dedicated campus activities and community support. The Equity & Inclusion recognition goes to schools that understand inclusion is just as important as diversity, ensuring that all students are given equal opportunity to thrive academically, personally and professionally.

The primary goal of Colleges of Distinction is to “connect individual students to information that empowers them to make confident choices from among the best colleges in our nation.”

To that end, an in-depth profile of ASU will be published in the 2020-21 Colleges of Distinction guidebook and is already posted on the CollegesOfDistinction.com website, which provides the information to college-bound students, their parents and high school counselors without a subscription fee.

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The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents today (July 24) announced the selection of Lieutenant General Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr., U.S. Air Force, retired, as the sole finalist for the presidency of Angelo State University.

The decision was unanimously approved at the conclusion of a special called board meeting. State law requires 21 days must pass before final action can be taken on employment once a sole finalist has been named. Hawkins’ start date as president is expected to be Aug. 14.

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr.Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Ronnie D. Hawkins Jr.“I’m honored and humbled to serve as the next president of Angelo State University,” Hawkins said. “Decades ago, I was a student here, and those years formed the foundation of my professional career and my life. Although not born here, I spent my formative years in this community. Maria and I have a deep and abiding commitment to Angelo State and San Angelo.

“I look forward to working with the Board of Regents, Chancellor Tedd Mitchell, our esteemed faculty and staff, university administration, alumni, donors, and our community to guiding this university to greater heights, and to providing Angelo State students with a world-class education and unmatched professional development opportunities.”

Hawkins will become the 11th president in the 92-year history of the institution and the first Black president of ASU.

Chancellor Tedd L. MitchellChancellor Tedd L. Mitchell“I’d like to congratulate Ronnie on being selected as the sole finalist to become our next president at Angelo State University,” said Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “Ronnie is a leader of the highest integrity and character who has a proven record of success, visionary leadership and collaboration. I am excited to welcome him and his wife Maria back to their alma mater, and I look forward to great things for ASU in the years ahead.”

More than 100 applications were considered for this role in a nationwide search launched in May. The search committee reviewed nominations and applications and interviewed candidates before presenting top semi-finalists for consideration to the chancellor and board. The Board of Regents voted to select Hawkins as the sole finalist after a recommendation was made from Chancellor Mitchell.

Regent Mickey LongRegent Mickey Long“We received overwhelming interest for the opportunity to guide Angelo State University forward into its next chapter,” said TTU System Regent and ASU Presidential Search Committee Chairman Mickey L. Long. “I would like to thank our search committee for the time, effort, and extensive and thorough process that was implemented to find our next leader.

“Ronnie and his family are respected members of the San Angelo community, and it is my privilege to welcome him back to Angelo State University in this important leadership role. He is committed to Angelo State’s mission, values and traditions to prepare and graduate students to be responsible citizens and to have productive careers. As an alumnus, this is truly a homecoming that will make the Ram Family proud.”

A graduate of San Angelo Central High School, Hawkins attended ASU on a track and field scholarship earning a Bachelor of Business Administration with a degree in computer science in 1977. A distinguished graduate, Hawkins received the Distinguished ROTC Alumnus honor in 2001-02, and is the highest-ranking graduate of the ASU ROTC program.

Over his career, Hawkins has earned three master’s degrees, including a Master of Science in human resources management and services from Abilene Christian University, a Master of Science in military national resource strategy and policy from National Defense University and a Master of Divinity in Christian studies from Liberty University. He also completed a program for senior managers in government at Harvard University.

Hawkins’ 37-year tenure in the U.S. Air Force culminated in his appointment as the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland, where he led a $10.2 billion global organization of 14,000 military and civilian personnel who provided direct support to the U.S. President, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, Department of Defense components and other mission partners.

He has been honored with numerous professional and military awards, including three times recognized as a distinguished graduate, the Secretary of the Air Force Leadership Award, “The Federal 100” by Federal Computer Weekly, “The North American Technology Leadership Award” by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Rocky Mountain Chapter, the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star.

Following his military career, Hawkins joined the ASU faculty in 2016-17 as a visiting adjunct instructor where he developed course curriculum and taught a leadership development course during a pair of spring semesters. He anticipates making a return to the classroom once his presidential tenure is underway.

In addition, Hawkins served as president and CEO of the Hawkins Group, a digital, information technology and cybersecurity services firm based in San Angelo. Hawkins and his wife, San Angelo native Maria Hawkins—also attended ASU and Ronnie’s high school sweetheart—were named co-Citizens of the Year by the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce in 2019. The couple has been married for 46 years. Ronnie and Maria have two sons, Col. Ronnie Hawkins III, Lt. Col. Joshua Hawkins, and a daughter, Christine Honesty.

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Angelo State University has made the decision to begin the Spring 2021 semester on Monday, Jan. 25. The semester will end as originally scheduled on Friday, May 14. The schedule eliminates spring break.

Dual-credit courses taught in high schools will be subject to their respective high schools’ schedules. 

This decision was made in consultation with the academic and executive leadership of ASU with input from other stakeholders on campus. This move is part of the continued effort to protect the university community from the potential spread of COVID-19

Members of the faculty, students and staff are being notified of the change. As in the fall, ASU understands that this is an unprecedented change to the university calendar.

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Cheek, events manager for the Office of Special Events Facilities/Services, received the Distinguished Staff Award. Curtis, an assistant professor of psychology, received the Distinguished Faculty Award. Jones, dean of the Norris-Vincent College of Business, received the Distinguished Administrator Award. Each also received a $2,500 honorarium.

They, along with 48 other nominees, were honored during a special virtual ceremony on July 15.

Don CheekDon CheekAs events manager, Cheek is involved with and supports practically all community involvement activities that take place on the ASU campus, and he is also a member of numerous campus committees. He is known for his upbeat attitude, work ethic and willingness to do whatever is needed, whether on the clock or after hours. He was also honored for his treatment of the many students who work on his staff – always putting their schoolwork and mental and physical health as his top priorities. He is also a strong supporter of the many international students on his staff. From his nomination letter, “He serves on so many committees, I would literally have to go through his schedule to name them all. The university would not have survived without him this decade, if not the past two.”

Dr. Drew CurtisDr. Drew CurtisCurtis was honored for his comprehensive efforts on behalf of his students’ learning and research, as well as his own impressive list of published research articles and books. Outside the classroom and lab, he is also the faculty sponsor for two student organizations, Psi Chi and Active Minds, and serves on numerous campus committees. Off campus, he serves his profession as associate editor of the Journal of Psychological Inquiry and president-elect of the Southwestern Psychological Association. He is also active in the community, having established a stillbirth and miscarriage support group, In His Arms, and as committee chair of a local Boy Scouts troupe, Trail Life. From his nomination letter, “Dr. Curtis is a fantastic professor. He is extremely knowledgeable and has the ability to teach the subjects well, but he also brings an energy to the classroom that encourages students to be just as excited as he is about learning.”

Dr. Clifton JonesDr. Clifton JonesJones was honored for his leadership of the Norris-Vincent College of Business and the tremendous impact he has had in the San Angelo community. He has secured $7 million in private funding for the college, has spearheaded the efforts for upper-level accreditation of ASU’s business degree programs, and has directed upgrades in the ASU Rassman Building to promote more engagement within the learning community. He also serves on numerous campus committees, mentors students in the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity, and promotes student fellowship at Ram Jam events. He has won the last two Quiet Influence Awards from the Student Government Association. In the community, he has been involved with the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Advisory Board since his arrival at ASU, and now serves as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He is also president of the San Angelo Rotary Club and chairman of the Human Relations Committee at Sierra Vista United Methodist Church. From one of his nomination letters, “Everyone who knows Dean Jones can feel his passion for the university; his words and actions speak so loudly that you can’t help but know that he is spirited about Angelo State.”

The Gary and Pat Rodgers Distinguished Awards were created by San Angelo native and former ASU student Gary Rodgers and his wife, Pat. Because of their association with many ASU employees over the years, the couple recognized the roles that staff, faculty and administrators perform to help ASU fulfill its mission to prepare students to be responsible and productive citizens. The Rodgers also provide the $2,500 honorarium for each award recipient and have fully endowed the Rodgers Awards through the ASU Foundation so they will continue in perpetuity.

Other nominees for the Distinguished Staff Award were Jody Casares, Adra Enos, Russell Howard, Crystal Nelms and Kyrie Ann Villa.

Other nominees for the Distinguished Faculty Award were Jonathan Alvis, Kenna Archer, Anthony Battistini, Tony Blair, Kat Bunker, Charlene Bustos, Gustavo Campos, Leah Carruth, Jenny Davis, Allison Dushane, Carla Ebeling, David Faught, Carlos Flores, Denise Goddard, Eddie Holik III, Avis Johnson-Smith, Crystal Kreitler, Greg Krukonis, Nicole Lozano, Eduardo Martinez, Janet Maxwell, Makensie McCormick, Laurence Musgrove, Corey Owens, Simon Pfeil, Jennifer Price-Fierro, Donna Rich, Leslie Rodriguez, Joseph Satterfield, Christopher Shar, Jennifer Shoemake, Trent Shuey, Warren Simpson, Trey Smith, Twyla Tasker, William Taylor and Mark Tizzoni.

Other nominees for the Distinguished Administrator Award were Becky Brackin, William Kitch and Duane Pruitt.

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