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Dr. Lesley Casarez in the Carr Education-Fine Arts BuildingDr. Lesley Casarez in the Carr Education-Fine Arts BuildingCasarez and several other alumni and athletics awardees will be honored at the 2020 SRSU Alumni Gala on March 28, 2020.

An associate professor in the ASU Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Casarez oversees the award-winning online Master of Education in guidance and counseling and Master of Science in professional school counseling degree programs. These programs are regularly listed in top national rankings, and graduates consistently maintain high pass rates on the state certification exams, speaking to the rigor and quality of the programs. Casarez also serves as a mentor and supervisor for about 50 faculty members and instructors within the two programs.

Dr. Lesley CasarezDr. Lesley CasarezAn ASU faculty member since 2013, Casarez is also president of the ASU chapter of the Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. In July, she was awarded a 2019 Literacy Grant by Phi Kappa Phi to help fund the implementation of a new social emotional learning (SEL) program at San Angelo’s Lee Middle School, titled “Rebels Excel at SEL.”

An editorial board member for the Journal of Professional Counseling, Casarez is also a past-president of the Texas School Counselor Association, which named her Counseling Educator of the Year in 2015. She has been recognized as one of San Angelo’s “Top 20 Under 40” citizens, and she received the ASU Alumni Association’s 2018 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award.

Casarez earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas, master’s degrees from SRSU and Texas State University, and her Ph.D. in educational psychology from Texas Tech University.

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PKP is one of the nation’s most prestigious academic honor societies for students in all academic disciplines. Invitations to join PKP are extended to seniors and graduate students in the top 10% of their class, and to juniors in the top 7.5% of their class.

ASU’s fall 2019 inductees by hometown and major are:

San Angelo: Allyson Arnold, health science professions; James Biggs III, criminal justice; Jeremy Carr, border and homeland security; Rylee Crawford, health science professions; Taylor Hall, coaching, sport, recreation and fitness  administration; Molly Horning, social work; Zack Johnson, business administration; Katelynn King, criminal justice; Lauren Law, biology; Xavier Martinez, history; Jordan Shoults, exercise science; Dhiraz Shrestha, chemistry; Lane Sifuentes, communication; David Sosa, marketing; Jade Spain, health science professions; Beatriz Torres Fabela, biology/life science; Belinda Valles, educational leadership; William Wegner, marketing and management; Stephanie Williams, nursing-nurse educator; and Martin Zapata, intelligence and analysis

Abbott: Kyle Langford, biology

Abilene: Ian Sokolnicki, mathematics/computer science

Allen: David Scott, coaching, sport, recreation and fitness administration

Alpine: Shelby Costabile, kinesiology

Armed Forces Pacific: Bridgett Homan, intelligence and analysis

Austin: Hannah Marks, teacher education; and Caitlin Osborne, educational leadership

Big Spring: Britennia Franklin, teacher education; and David Mathis, history

Buda: Bryanne Deleza, management information systems

Castroville: Brooke Mangold, coaching, sport, recreation and fitness administration

Corpus Christi: Chase Kelley, homeland security

Crowley: Hoszel West III, music

Dallas: Dominique McQueen, exercise science

Denton: Phyllis (Kate) Creecy, communication; and Tiffani Kerber, applied psychology

Eagle Pass: Conrado Jimenez, biology/chemistry

Edmond: Brennan Doherty, social work

Eldorado: Rahegyn Franke, accounting

Flower Mound: Alicia Rowland, guidance and counseling

Garden City: Pricilla Nunez, teacher education

Goldthwaite: Nana Amponsah, computer science; and Ryan Elderton, accounting, economics and finance

Grand Prairie: Jiffy Jayan, industrial/organizational psychology

Harper: MaryClare Porter, nursing-family nurse practitioner

Jourdanton: Peggy Georg, guidance and counseling

Kempner: Madyson-Lynn Dake, finance management

Kermit: Jose Hermosillo, geoscience

Kerrville: Connor Blake, accounting

Lubbock: Jodie Lockeby, psychology-teaching certificate; and Marc Silva, nursing

Midland: Tiffany Vandergriff, teacher education

Millsap: Kimberly McClintock, guidance and counseling

Pflugerville: Rachel Light, industrial/organizational psychology

Pipe Creek: Cora Bishoppetty, teacher education

Robert Lee: Brady Clawson, health science professions

Roby: Haylie Gatewood, counseling psychology

San Antonio: Victoria Almaraz, guidance and counseling; Henry Burgess, intelligence and analysis; Lauren O’Shaughnessy, business administration; and Pamela Sabrsula, psychology-teaching certificate

Schertz: Logan Drake, mechanical engineering

Scott AFB, Ill.: Margaret Dudley, history

Silverton: Teah Patton, animal science

Tuscola: Hudson Payne, biology

Waco: Stephanie Trammell, student development and leadership in higher education

Zephyr: Andrea Howard, psychology

Velserbroek, Netherlands: Zoe Gubbels, business administration/accounting

Hanoi, Vietnam: Duc Huy Nguyen, business administration; and Quang Vinh Nguyen, exercise science

Also, nearly 130 total ASU freshmen in the top 2.5% of their class and sophomores in the top 5% of their class were awarded pre-membership Certificates and Merit.

Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society encompassing all academic disciplines. Phi Kappa Phi is considered one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies along with Phi Beta Kappa, which recognizes majors in the arts and sciences, and Sigma Xi, which honors majors in the sciences.

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(L to R) Dr. John Klingemann and Matt Lewis with George Ricks' daughters - Theresa Lambert, S...(L to R) Dr. John Klingemann and Matt Lewis with George Ricks’ daughters – Theresa Lambert, Sharon Waldrop and Rita Smetana – and Dr. Brian J. MayDonated through the San Angelo Area Foundation (SAAF), the initial grant of $50,000 is part of a $250,000 commitment to provide for this memorial archive project.

Matt LewisMatt Lewis“It’s important that we record the history of our country’s ‘greatest generation,’ and this World War II archive will be a tremendous resource for future generations of students, historians and the public,” said Matt Lewis, SAAF president and CEO. “This whole process has been a wonderful example of how public and private entities like ASU and the SAAF can work together on a project that benefits everyone involved. We are thankful for our wonderful anonymous donor who has made this endowment possible.”

Dr. Brian J. MayDr. Brian J. MayASU President Brian J. May said, “We truly appreciate the generosity of our anonymous donor and the partnership with the SAAF. I look forward to watching the archive project as it unfolds, and to seeing how it illuminates that important period in our history. It will be an impressive addition to our West Texas Collection.”

Facilitated through the ASU Department of History, the project will be led by Dr. Christine Lamberson of the history faculty and Dr. Leslie Rodriguez of the communication faculty. Under their direction, students from all the academic departments within the College of Arts and Humanities will collect the items that will make up the memorial archive, including:

  • Oral histories of World War II veterans and their families
  • Photos and documents
  • Artifacts and other memorabilia

As work on the archive progresses, periodic exhibits are planned for the West Texas Collection and in the new ASU Mayer Museum that is currently under construction.

Dr. John KlingemannDr. John Klingemann“This project will allow faculty and staff in the College of Arts and Humanities to do collaborative research while providing students critical training to develop their marketable skills,” said Dr. John Klingemann, dean of the college. “As a historian, I am thrilled at the prospect of recovering the oral histories and material items of an important group from our country’s past that will afford future researchers and archive visitors the means to learn about our ‘greatest generation.’ We have been provided a wonderful gift that will enhance the educational experience of our students at ASU.”

George RicksGeorge RicksThe archive is named for World War II veteran George Wesley Ricks, who passed away in San Angelo earlier this year at the age of 97. A native of Abbott, Ark., Ricks served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater during World War II. Members of his company were some of the first troops that liberated the Dachau concentration camp just 10 miles from Munich in southern Germany.

Following his military service, Ricks married and moved to San Angelo, where he was the longtime business owner of Ricks Phillips 66 until retiring in 1985. He was also a founding member and first president of the North Angelo Lions Club, a member of the San Angelo Police Academy Board, and a deacon at Lake View Baptist Church and Edmund Boulevard Baptist Church. He is survived by six daughters, a step-daughter, and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.

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The Silver Helmet Award is presented to Delta Sigma Pi alumni with at least 25 years of membership and a record of support and service to the fraternity. Fewer than 500 Delta Sigma Pi alumni throughout the U.S. have received the award since it was initiated in 1979.

Randall has been a Delta Sigma Pi member since 1988 when she was initiated into ASU’s Eta Theta student chapter as an undergraduate. She has also been the faculty advisor for the ASU chapter for seven years and guided it to the 2017-18 National Most Improved Collegiate Chapter Award and the 2018-19 R. Nelson Mitchell National Outstanding Collegiate Chapter Award.

“A good chapter advisor can make a world of difference to a chapter and is one of our most important volunteer positions,” said Tricia Smith, grand president of Delta Sigma Pi. “So it is especially exciting to be able to present the Silver Helmet Award to one of our chapter advisors.”

(L to R) Cody Vasquez, VP of ASU Delta Sigma Pi, and Gayle Randall with her Order of the Silver H...(L to R) Cody Vasquez, VP of ASU Delta Sigma Pi, and Gayle Randall with her Order of the Silver Helmet AwardAn ASU faculty member since 2006, Randall is a senior instructor for the Department of Management and Marketing in the Norris-Vincent College of Business. In addition to her regular teaching load, she teaches freshman Signature Courses and annually leads a study abroad trip to Europe. She is a member of numerous university initiatives and is active in campus activities ranging from recruiting events to Homecoming Week and Ram Jams.

Her teaching and service have also earned Randall multiple other awards from ASU and Delta Sigma Pi, including:

  • 2019 Southwest Region Advisor of the Year, Delta Sigma Pi
  • 2019 Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, ASU Alumni Association
  • 2018 Faculty Excellence in Service Award, ASU Norris-Vincent College of Business
  • 2017 Faculty Advisor of the Year, Delta Sigma Pi
  • 2016 Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award, ASU Norris-Vincent College of Business

Off campus, Randall serves as president of the San Angelo Cadillac Dealers Advertising Association and a vice president of Randall Motors Inc. She is an active participant in the San Angelo Business Plan Competition, Leadercast Women and the Leadership San Angelo Alumni Association.

A former conference and regional champion for the ASU Rambelles cross country team, Randall earned her Bachelor of Business Administration and MBA degrees from ASU.

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Veterans Vigil on the Angelo State campusVeterans Vigil on the Angelo State campusASU ranked No. 6 nationally among the 134 four-year institutions on the list and ranked second among the 10 Texas four-year schools to earn the “Best for Vets: Colleges 2020” designation.

The rankings are based on comprehensive school-by-school survey analysis of programs and services for veteran and military students and their families. Colleges, universities and trade schools throughout the U.S. took part in this year’s survey, with only 196 making the rankings lists.

The Military Times survey asks schools to meticulously document a wide array of services, special policies, accommodations and financial incentives offered to students with military ties, as well as to describe many aspects of veteran culture on campus. Also factored in is data from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense and Department of Education.

Institutions are evaluated in five categories:

  • University culture
  • Student support
  • Academic policies
  • Academic outcomes/quality
  • Cost and financial aid

Susan WilliamsSusan Williams“We are thrilled to be ranked No. 6 in the nation,” said Susan Williams, ASU director of affiliated military and veteran services. “It’s especially gratifying because this award truly cannot be bought. Rather, it reflects a collaborative effort from our university president and vice presidents throughout all levels of our campus. It is our greatest honor to ‘serve those who have served,’ and we always strive to do the best job possible.”

ASU’s Veterans Educational and Transitional Services (VETS) Center provides enrollment and academic support for military and veteran students, as well as special programs, networking opportunities, social and study areas, and a dedicated computer lab. The Office of Affiliated Military and Veteran Services coordinates the efforts of the VETS Center and other faculty and staff who deal directly with ASU military and veteran students and their families.

The “Best for Vets: Colleges” rankings are published in the Air Force Times, Army Times, Marine Corps Times and Navy Times, as well as on Military Times’ new website, https://rebootcamp.militarytimes.com.

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