Class Notes

September 26, 2019


The Texas Senate adopted a resolution April 28 honoring attorney Walter Umphrey, BBA ’59, JD ’65, for his legal accomplishments and philanthropic service to Southeast Texas and on behalf of all Texans. Umphrey’s many accolades and awards include “Legal Legend” by Texas Lawyer and “Top Texas Lawyers of the 20th Century.” Of special note were Mr. and Mrs. Umphrey’s philanthropic support of Baylor Law School, Lamar University and the Beaumont community, and Mr. Umphrey’s service on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission.


Victor Morlan, BA ’60, of Cushing, OK, received his Eagle Scout Award and a congratulations letter from then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953. When Morlan, a retired Baptist pastor, discovered a local youth (Tyler Hale) had earned his Eagle Scout Award, Morlan requested that President Donald J. Trump send a letter of congratulations to Hale, which he did. Contact Morlan at 2916 N. Dripping Springs Road, Cushing, OK 74023.

The late Dr. Nancy White, BS ’60, has a new scholarship in her name at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens, TX, thanks to her husband Mr. Arlton White: The Nancy White, MD Nursing General Scholarship Fund. Dr. White worked for the City of Dallas at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center for 12 years before establishing her private practice in Dallas. She passed away in 2016.

Dr. Thomas Brandon, BA ’61, MD ’65, of Houston retired after practicing medicine for 54 years. He completed a psychiatry residency at Baylor Medical School in 1969 and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. Contact at 1982A Indiana, Houston, TX 77019 or

Retired NASA rocket scientist David Alexander, BS ’62, of White Oak, TX, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, an event in which he played a key role. Alexander spent 32 years as an aerospace engineer and manager for NASA, developing most of the algorithms used in Apollo and helping Mission Control Center in Houston make critical decisions about landing and then staying on the moon. He was featured in the July 20 edition of the Longview News-Journal.

Thomas Harris, BA ’63, author of The Silence of the Lambs and other novels based on his most famous character, Hannibal Lecter, released a new book titled Cari Mora. The novel is about a Colombian refugee, giving him the chance to explore the plight of immigrants and refugees, especially in Miami, his adopted home for the last 30 years. A feature story on Harris appeared in the May 18 edition of The New York Times. It was his first significant interview since the mid-1970s.

Tom Freeman, BSEd ’64, was inducted into the Gulfport [MS] Sports Hall of Fame in June. He was Florida’s 1974 high school coach of the year. Freeman’s teaching career spanned 39 years in Mississippi, Florida and Alabama. Contact at 18288 Mallard Drive, Saucier, MS 39574.

David Marx, BA ’64, of San Antonio was a member of the leadership team during the retreat of Air Force Village II Protestant Church, San Antonio, on grief: “To Grieve Well is to Live Well.” The retreat was held at the Bishop Jones Episcopal Retreat Center in May. Marx is a retired Navy chaplain. Contact at

Bette McFarren, ’65, was presented with the Sunshine Award at the La Junta [CO] Chamber of Commerce’s Wake Up, La Junta breakfast Tuesday morning. McFarren, who now works for the La Junta Tribune-Democrat was a dedicated special education teacher for 27 years, taught developmental English classes for years at the local community college, and has been a reporter and photographer.

Paul K. Harral, BA ’66, associate editor of the Fort Worth Business Press, wrote a personal column (July 5) about some of the standout memories from reporters who covered the Apollo 11 moon landing, including fellow UPI space writer Ed DeLong, BA ’65. DeLong, who lives in Australia, preceded Harral as editor of The Baylor Lariat and later was head of the wire service’s spaceflight bureau at NASA Houston.

Raymond Teske Jr., BA ’66, MA ’69, and Jane Mulsow Teske, ABC ’08, of Huntsville, TX, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary June 22. Their first date was the 1968 bonfire followed by the Baylor homecoming game the next day. Baylor defeated Texas A&M. Jane wore a Baylor mum and an outfit with Aggie colors. Raymond received a kiss regardless of who scored. On April 20, 1969, returning from Marlin, (where they had asked for her parents’ blessing) shortly after midnight, they went to Baylor where Raymond formally proposed, in the rain, on the steps of Pat Neff Hall. Contact at

Thomas Coker, BMEd ’67, received the Exemplary Leadership in Christian Music Award from Baylor at the 18th annual Alleluia Conference, hosted by the Baylor School of Music in July. Coker served in music ministry for 50 years, the last 25 years at South Main Baptist Church in Houston. The award is given annually to a Baylor graduate who has contributed uniquely and significantly to church music ministry.

Judy Kelly Hundley, BS ’67, MSEd ’80, of Moody, TX, writes, “From the time I was a freshman, I had the honor of twirling as a Golden Girl. During that time, there were many other young ladies I got to ‘work’ with, and it was work to put together the routines for each ball game. I would love for all of us who got to do this wonderful experience to see one another again. I can only remember a few names: Suzy Panke, Pat Carmack, Shirley Lawson, Brenda, Sylvia Moore, twins the year before I came, Marcia. How could I forget when our names were called out every single game? I live near Waco. I wish we could find each other again. And I thank Donald I. Moore to this day for the opportunity he gave me. Baylor was a huge reason for all of the opportunities I have had in my life. I am grateful for this amazing university.” Contact at

John T. Williams BBA ’67, of Baltimore was appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan to the Board of Directors of the University of Maryland Medical System, which includes 13 hospitals and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Contact is

Preston Kirk, BA ’68, of Spicewood, TX, recalled his days as a Houston UPI reporter covering reactions to the historic 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing in a Waco Tribune-Herald article published July 19. Kirk joined other reporters in the front yard of astronaut Michael Collins’ house, assigned to cover the reaction Collins’ family had to the landing.


Lewis R. Sifford, BA ’71, JD ’72, accomplished trial lawyer and founding officer of Sifford, Anderson & Company PC in Dallas, was honored by Baylor Law as its 2019 Baylor Lawyer of the Year. Baylor Law hosted a May 1 luncheon at the Belo Mansion. He received the recognition from Dean Brad Toben and Ike Vanden Eykel, president of the Baylor Law Alumni Association. Sifford has been a Leon Jaworski Fellow at Baylor Law since 2012, volunteering his time and expertise to help train the next generation of Baylor Law students in its award-winning Practice Court Program. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Academy of the Advocate, Baylor Law’s study abroad program at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. Sifford’s practice includes complex commercial litigation and catastrophic personal injury and death cases, where he has represented both plaintiffs and defendants. He has conducted more than 300 continuing legal education presentations, trial demonstrations, and ethics seminars in 26 states and overseas. Sifford has tried more than 150 civil jury trials to verdict.

Thomas A. Forbes, JD ’75, joined the firm of Butler Snow’s Austin office, focusing his practice on government affairs, regulatory matters and business transactions. He frequently represents clients before the Texas Legislature, state and federal regulatory agencies, U.S. Congress, federal executive branch and other state governments. He was recognized as Austin’s government relations practice Lawyer of the Year in 2017.

Keith Herron, BA ’75, of St. Louis published Living a Narrative Life: Essays on the Power of Stories through Smyth & Helwys. This book gives individuals and narrative groups a format for exploring their life of stories from beginning to end.

Marilea W. Lewis, BA ’75, JD ’78, joined Dallas-based family law firm Duffee + Eitzen as a partner. Lewis was again named to the Best Lawyers In Dallas list by D Magazine and named a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters. Lewis presented at the second-annual Advanced Child Protection Law course in April. Contact at 4311 Oak Lawn Ave. Ste. 600, Dallas, TX 75219 or

Longtime NFL writer with the Houston ChronicleJohn McClain, BA ’75, is among eight writers and broadcasters who will be honored later this year by the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. The honorees are the first media representatives selected for induction into the state hall since 2004.

Lifelong church musician Benjamin Harlan, BM ’76, MM ’79, has lived a dynamic musical score for more than 40 years. As the writer, composer and professor reaches his career’s coda, he decided to write in one last crescendo. Harlan organized a May 15 event called The Big Sing. Harlan is minister of music at University Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, LA. Harlan has served on the faculty of two Baptist seminaries — New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Southwestern Theological Seminary. 

Retired military chaplain Norris Burkes, BA ’79, who writes a syndicated column offering a hope-filled approach to everyday spirituality, received the 2019 Will Rogers Humanitarian Award sponsored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. The award was presented June 21 at the NSNC conference in Buffalo, NY. 

Dr. Lucinda Davenport, BA ’79, is a professor in the School of Journalism at Michigan State University. She recently stepped aside as director of the School of Journalism after 10 years. Davenport was awarded Michigan State University’s Robert F. Banks Award for Outstanding Leadership, Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism L.J. Hortin Distinguished Alumna Award and the state of Michigan Interscholastic Press Association’s John V. Field Award for the advancement of scholastic journalism. Davenport was previously awarded as Outstanding Woman in Journalism and Mass Communication Education by the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) and has garnered other teaching and research awards.

Stan Lueck, BS ’79, founded RODI Systems in 1995. As president of the Aztec, NM-based firm, he grew the business, molding the company into a worldwide leader in the design and fabrication of high-performance water treatment systems. Lueck’s efforts are detailed in an April 22 article by Thomas Network.

After 10 years in the business world and another 25 practicing at the Texas clinic he owned, Corsicana Chiropractic, Dr. Frank Means, BBA ’79, and his wife Melissa are adjusting to retired life in Florida. A big believer in “all things in moderation,” Frank says he only plays golf once a day. Contact at 3422 Saginaw Ave., The Villages, FL 32163 or

In May, Jack Sears, BSEd ’79, received his PhD in education from the University of Texas at Austin. He and Mara Boto Sears, BSEd ’80, his wife of 39 years, live in Philadelphia, where Jack is on faculty in the kinesiology department at Temple University. The Searses served 17 years with the International Missions Board in Africa, Europe and Asia, after which Mara taught for 10 years in Conroe [TX] ISD and Jack taught for four years at Sam Houston State University. Contact at:


Nelda Luce Blair, BA ’80, was elected to the board of directors for Spirit of Texas Bancshares Inc., the holding company for Spirit of Texas Bank, in Conroe, TX. Blair is a fifth-generation Texan, a triple board-certified attorney, owner of The Blair Law Firm and is involved in numerous high-profile state and community boards, foundations and committees, including serving on the current Board of Regents at Stephen F. Austin State University.

Larry P. Heard, BBA ’80, was featured in a Thrive Global Q&A series (June 30) about how leaders can create a great work culture. Heard, a member of the Baylor Board of Regents, is CEO of the Transwestern family of companies, which comprises diversified real estate operating, investment management and development organizations.

Brad Prizer, BBA ’80, of Frisco, TX, was appointed vice president of marketing and communications for e3 Partners/I Am Second, a faith-based ministry that establishes thousands of new churches each year globally and produces high-impact videos focusing on real-life restoration testimonies. Prizer is responsible for developing marketing strategies to effectively communicate the message and mission of the ministry.

Brett Flagg, BBA ’81, JD ’83, of Frisco, TX, was appointed to the Texas Mutual Insurance Company board of directors by Gov. Greg Abbott, effective July 1. Flagg is an attorney and owner of Flagg Law Group and a member of the State Bar of Texas. 

Dr. David C. Fleeger, BS ’81, was installed as the Texas Medical Association’s (TMA) 154th president during the organization’s annual conference in Dallas. TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing more than 51,000 physician and medical student members. Fleeger is a colon and rectal surgeon and managing partner of his seven-member group practice. He has been in private practice in Austin since 1991.

Michael S. Ito, PsyD ’81, is director of clinical services at Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents in New Kent, VA. This is a specialty hospital for young people with chronic illnesses and corresponding behavioral and psychiatric components. After serving more than seven years as director of behavioral health for Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services, Ito returns to Virginia with his wife Rev. Dr. Cindy Kisseli-Ito. Contact at

Donna Miller, BA ’81, is founder and CEO of Oklahoma City-based Purse Power, a technology and marketing company that provides an online national directory, free phone apps and a Google Chrome extension that — in searches for restaurants, hotels and more — flags businesses that are either run by females, are at least 50 percent women-owned or have 20 percent or more women on their boards.

Robert C. “Bob” Roberts, MPA ’81, joined Legacy Capital, an Arkansas-based wealth management firm, as chief operating officer. He previously was executive vice president and chief financial officer of Baptist Health in Little Rock, AR.

Glenn Daniels, BBA ’82, was named director of business development for Naturipe Farms in Salinas, CA. Daniels will oversee the expansion of the company’s Value-Added Fresh product lines. Daniels previously spent 18 years at Earthbound Farm, where his most recent role was as vice president of customer development (East).

Martyn and Susan Schroeder Harsley, BBA ’82, moved to 10928 Wrenwood Manor, Houston, TX 77043.

Dr. Clifton D. Petty, BA ’82, MBA ’84, was appointed interim dean of the Breech School of Business at Drury University in Springfield, MO. He is a professor of management and has been at Drury since 1993.

Mark Rasor, BBA ’82, was named interim president of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, where he has been vice president for fiscal affairs since 2012.

Douglas Silliman, BA ’82, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (2016-2019) and U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait (2014-2016), was recently appointed president of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, DC. It is “an independent, nonprofit institution dedicated to providing expert research and analysis of the social, economic and political dimensions of the Gulf Arab states and how they impact domestic and foreign policy.” Ambassador Silliman graduated Baylor summa cum laude in political science. He also earned a Master of Arts in international relations at George Washington University in 1985.

Jim Bryson, BBA ’83, was appointed deputy commissioner of parks and conservation at the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. Bryson is founder and president of 20/20 Research Inc., a market research consulting, project management and technology firm based in Nashville, TN. He also served four years as a senator in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Upon discovering early childhood education was nearly nonexistent throughout Fiji, Ann Conner Cooper, BSEd ’83, a retired kindergarten teacher, and husband David founded Fiji Kinde Project in 2008. The nonprofit develops and implements early childhood education throughout the Fijian islands. Today, the Coopers have established 136 kindergartens. She also works with the Fijian Ministry of Education to train and certify local Fijian teachers. Overall, 275 teachers have been trained and more than 10,000 Fijian children have been educated. Contact at

Dr. Leah Reimer, BS ’83, attorney at Hartford, CT-based law firm Cantor Colburn LLP, was named Top 250 Women in IP for the fourth consecutive year by Managing Intellectual Property. Reimer provides Fortune 50 and other technology-based companies with solutions to complex legal and technical issues. She holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Stanford University and was a research chemist at Eli Lilly and DowElanco. She teaches Advanced Patent Law at the University of Connecticut School of Law and is a frequent speaker on emerging areas of patent law.

Joy Elder Cleveland, BS ’84, of Burlington, IA, authored her first novel, To Call My Own (eLectio Publishing). The story follows Karis, a broken woman, and her path to God’s healing and restoration. Learn more at

Dr. Jim Heath, BS ’84, is a director at Integrated Diagnostics, which leverages emerging technologies to develop diagnostic products to aid physicians and patients in managing cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Heath was a Miller Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, a research staff member at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Labs, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the founding director of the California NanoSystems Institute before moving to the California Institute of Technology in 2003, where he is Gilloon Professor and Professor of Chemistry.

Paige Johnson, BBA ’84, administrative officer in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, was promoted to assistant vice president with continuing responsibility for the administrative functions in research, including technology and library services. 

Janice Davis, JD ’86, joined Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP in Dallas. A corporate attorney focused on mergers and acquisitions, she represents clients in the health care and technology spaces and handles a variety of transactions, including investments. Previously, Davis was with Bracewell for about 20 years.

Jeffery T. Nobles, JD ’86, joined Husch Blackwell’s Houston office and its technology manufacturing and transportation practice group. 

Gary P. Wilson, DMA, MMEd ’86, was named the choral director of Tullahoma [TN] High School. Wilson is currently a professor at Lipscomb University, where he is director of choral and vocal studies.

C. Runcie Clements IV, BBA ’87, was promoted to chief legal officer and general counsel of Cumberland Trust, a Nashville, TN-based independent corporate trust company. He previously served as executive vice president and general counsel, heading up the legal and compliance department, and was the charitable giving counsel for the American Cancer Society.

Melanie Prather Studer, BSEd ’87, authored a book for parents of teens: College Bound:  The Ultimate List of Conversations to Help Your Teen Through High School.

Dr. Don Baker, MA ’88, gave the keynote address at the first Arts and Humanities Research Capstone Symposium for the Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts (ASMSA). He formerly served as the ASMSA humanities instructor and is the current economic and commercial officer for the U.S. Embassy in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Stephanie Stout, BA ’88, JD ’00, of Windsor, CO, writes, “I have branched out on a new adventure and now co-own NoCo Coffee Company, a small batch roaster in Northern Colorado. We are focused on providing the best coffee around and also helping to give back to the community through jobs and opportunities. Our slogan is ‘Love People, Love Coffee!’” Contact at

Dr. Kim Hawkins, BSEd ’89, MSEd ’92, was named a 2019 Impact Academy Fellow by Deans for Impact. Hawkins, who serves as chair of Carson-Newman [TN] University’s education and counseling department, is one of 19 fellows from 12 states. He works with Deans for Impact to improve programs and enhance teacher readiness.

Kyle O’Neal, MBA ’89, of Arlington, TX, is a senior regional leader for airport affairs at Southwest Airlines and was recently presented his company’s President’s Award for outstanding achievement. O’Neal has worked at Southwest for 11 years after 17 years at American Airlines.

David L. Peavler, BBA ’89, was named director of the Fort Worth regional office of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Peavler previously served nearly 15 years in senior division of enforcement roles in the Fort Worth Regional Office, most recently as an associate director, where he headed the agency’s enforcement efforts in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. He rejoins the SEC from HD Vest Inc., where he had served as general counsel since 2017.


Nancy Erba, MBA ’90, joined the board of directors of PDF Solutions Inc., a provider of differentiated data and analytics solutions to the semiconductor and electronics industries in Santa Clara, CA. Erba most recently served as chief financial officer at Immersion Corp., a provider of haptics, a touch feedback technology.

Dr. Ann Neckar Pharr, BA ’90, graduated with a Doctor of Science (ScD) in physical therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in May 2018. Pharr has been a physical therapist since 1993 and decided to transition to higher education, now serving as core faculty in the hybrid accelerated Doctor of Physical Therapy Program at South College in Knoxville, TN. Pharr lives in Georgetown, TX, and also recently passed her board certification exam in geriatrics, earning her the designation Geriatric Clinical Specialist.

Dr. Jonathan D. Price, BS ’90, MS ’93, chair and associate professor of geosciences at Midwestern State University, was named the university’s Hardin Professor, the highest honor bestowed upon a faculty member at the university each year. Price became an assistant professor in 2010 and was granted tenure in 2016.

David Schulze, JD ’90, was named the first executive-level chief of staff of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), serving as senior adviser to the president/executive director. A 29-year lawyer in public service, Schulze served in DART’s legal department from 1994 to 2001. After three years with the City of Dallas, he returned to DART in 2004. He joined the deputy executive director’s staff in 2013, serving as vice president of policy and strategy to the president/executive director.

Marty Scott, BA ’90, JD ’96, is a senior assistant public defender with the Wyoming Office of the State Public Defender in Casper, WY. In January, Scott was elected as an Elder of Christ Reformed Church (RCUS), and he serves on the Boards of Directors for Stage III Theatre and the Casper Lions Club.

Eric Eaton, BA ’92, of Crested Butte, CO, joined the Knights of Heroes Foundation as executive director. Knights of Heroes impacts children of fallen soldiers by empowering them through outdoor adventure programs. Learn more about the programs and ways to help at

The Utah Jazz promoted Dennis Lindsey, BSEd ’92, to executive vice president of basketball operations. Lindsey served as the Utah Jazz general manager for the past seven years, assembling teams that have reached the NBA Playoffs for the last three years and advanced to the Western Conference Semifinals in 2017 and 2018. Lindsey was runner-up in voting for the 2018 NBA Executive of the Year.

Angela Seaman, BBA ’92, founded Seaman Group Plastics, which supports supply chain diversity by selling resin and purchasing plastic scrap for sustainability initiatives. Owned and operated by Seaman, the Rockwall, TX-based company is a newly certified Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Historically Underutilized Business (HUB).

Cristopher Farrar, JD ’93, joined Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP as a partner in the Houston Construction Practice group. Farrar focuses on drafting construction, engineering architectural agreements, service and operation-related contracts and oilfield transactions. Before joining Bradley, he was a principal at Cokinos Young and has served as in-house counsel for international engineering and construction companies.

Eric C. Hill, BBA ’93, JD ’96, was appointed to the board of directors and will serve as CEO of Phoenix-based Light Engine Design Corp., which has acquired the iconic Curtis Mathes Inc. Hill is a Texas attorney, focusing on business and real estate transactions.

The Department of Veterans Affairs named Michael Kiefer, MHA ’94, as medical center director for the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System in Temple, TX. Kiefer is a retired U.S. Army veteran with more than 28 years of service with an emphasis in health care leadership.

Mark Soupiset, MIJ ’93, of San Antonio is lead communications director at USAA, leading internal and external communications strategy and implementation for the association’s chief legal officer. He also oversees speech writing, executive communications coaching and media relations for the EVP General Counsel, and he does on-camera work for a variety of internal and external USAA media productions.

Taekuk Cho, BA ’94, is a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in Washington, DC. He is pictured with Congressman Dan Crenshaw at the House Cannon Building. Contact at

Rev. Virginia “Gini” Norris-Lane, BSEd ’94, serves as the executive director and campus ministry advocate for UKirk, which provides professional support, empowerment and community for people engaged in campus ministry on behalf of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Norris-Lane previously served as campus minister at Schreiner University in Kerrville, TX.

Wende Ragonis, BBA ’94, is president and CEO of the Washington County [TX] Chamber of Commerce. She has 22 years of consulting and management experience in industry and local government. Her son Noah recently finished his freshman year at Baylor.

Ed Skelton, BBA ’94, macrosurveillance officer in the banking supervision department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, was promoted to assistant vice president with continuing responsibility for the risk and surveillance functions of the department.

Marcus Canonico, BBA ’95, is principal of Crossroads High School in Burleson [TX] ISD. Canonico has 24 years of education experience and joined BISD in 2017. A former teacher, coach and administrator, he most recently oversaw career and technical education for the district.

Dr. Patricio Gargollo, BS ’96, a pediatric urologist with the Mayo Clinic, was featured in the July 11 edition of Latino Leaders Magazine. He is an immigrant from Mexico who graduated from Harvard Medical School. He focuses on assisting children with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare and often lethal cancer.

Jason A. Hill, BA ’96, MES ’98, of Alexandria, VA, was appointed Deputy Solicitor for Energy & Mineral Resources of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Hill oversees all legal advice on federal onshore and offshore energy and mineral development.

Debra Reid, MA ’96, of Dearborn, MI, co-authored a book with David D. Vail, Interpreting the Environment at Museums and Historic Sites (Rowman and Littlefield, 2019).

The June 23 edition of the Houston Chronicle featured a conversation with Jim Siebert, MA ’96, who has been chief meteorologist for KRIV Fox 26 in Houston since 2007, about what sparked his interest in weather, forecasting past storms and the 2019 hurricane season, and how he balances his family life with the nightly news. His wife is Debbie Siebert, MM ’96.

Brian White, BBA ’96, director of digital marketing for Rheem in Atlanta, was appointed to the Continental Automated Buildings Association (CABA) board of directors. White leads Rheem’s digital strategy, innovation and marketing efforts globally across the organization.

Dr. Aaron Peña, BSEd ’97, is assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction for Midway [TX] ISD. He was formerly the principal at Woodgate Intermediate School and has worked for Midway ISD since 2011.

Gary Poon, BBA ’97, was promoted to executive director of the Houston Humane Society after 21 years as finance director. He brings skills in nonprofit management, human resources, fundraising and strategic planning. Poon is dedicated to improving the shelters capabilities and the lives of homeless and abused animals throughout Texas. Contact at

Kyle Vaughn, BSEd ’97, published his second book, Lightning Paths: 75 Poetry Writing Exercises (NCTE Books). The exercises can be used by writers or by teachers in seventh through 12th grades or post-secondary classrooms. The book features essays on reclaiming the experience of poetry. Vaughn’s first book, A New Light in Kalighat, was featured by Nicholas Kristof’s Half the Sky Movement. Contact at 10 Carriage Cove, Little Rock, AR 72227 or

Dr. Amy Jackson, BSEd ’98, leads South Texas Orthodontics, which is the newest affiliated practice to join the Dental Care Alliance Family in San Antonio. Jackson has been treating patients for 15 years and began her dental training in Houston at the University of Texas Health Science Center after graduating magna cum laude from Baylor.

Dr. Jheri-Lynn McSwain, MSEd ’98, of Center, TX, was named Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service 4-H youth development specialist for District 5, which includes more than 20 counties.

Peyton Millinor, BBA ’98, of Dallas founded a real estate investment advisory firm, PMRE Consulting. After working 20 years in the CRE industry with institutions, Millinor now offers his expertise in nationwide acquisitions, due diligence, loan assessment, etc., to individual clients. This move also creates more time for Millinor to serve HOPE Coffee, the missions-focused company he co-founded while in Honduras, and various other ministries. Contact at

Francisco “Paco” Velez, BS ’98, of Hollywood, FL, has served as president and CEO of Feeding South Florida since 2012 after 12 years as director of services and then executive VP at the San Antonio Food Bank. Since his arrival at FSF, Velez has increased overall funding and the number of pounds of food distributed across his territory.

Natalie Aho, BSEd ’99, was named director of engagement and annual giving at Baptist News Global. She previously was an interactive communications specialist. The new “hybrid position” combines Aho’s expertise and experience in digital communication and social media strategy with a new assignment of planning and directing annual giving strategies.

John Bible, BBA ’99, is president of the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce in Waco. Bible’s career path includes teaching Chilton [TX] ISD fifth graders and launching an investment firm, Bible & Sovereign Partners LLC.

Michael Ganann, BBA ’99, was named managing director, head of retail finance for BMO Harris Bank N.A. Based in Boston, Ganann leads a team dedicated to building out BMO’s U.S. secured lending platform to middle market and large corporate retail and consumer companies. Contact at or (617) 894-7562.

Fred Tate, BBA ’99, of Colleyville, TX, was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct for terms set to expire Nov. 19, 2023. Tate is also the founder of CFO Shield, which offers a range of financial services for various industries. Previously he was a vice president with Willis Towers Watson.

Van Vandegriff, BBA ’99, was called to be senior pastor of Cedarcrest Church in Acworth, GA ( He spent eight years church planting in Berlin, as well as serving as staff pastor at Antioch Community Church in Waco. “However, everyone knows the real pastor in our family is my amazing wife Kelly, BA ’99. We want you to know that a life lived with Jesus may not be easy, but it will never disappoint. He is worth everything, and you can know him,” Vandegriff writes.


Vickie L. Driver, BA ’00, JD ’03, joined the Dallas office of Crowe & Dunlevy as a partner. She practices in the areas of bankruptcy, insolvency, distressed asset transactions and Native American economic development.

Dr. Aakash H. Gajjar, BA ’00, of Houston is founder and CEO of PriSMA Proctology Surgical Medicine & Associates. He is a colon and rectal surgeon in the Greater Houston area, specializing in the medical and surgical treatment of conditions that affect the lower digestive tract. Previously, Gajjar significantly contributed to the University of Texas Medical Branch being rated High Performing in Colon Cancer Surgery by U.S. News & World Report 2016-2017 as the solo board-certified colon and rectal surgeon. He has been honored with other awards, as well. Contact at

April Goff, MBA ’00, joined Perkins Coie as a partner in the firm’s tax, benefits and compensation practice. She joins the firm in Dallas after serving as senior counsel at J.C. Penney Company Inc., where she oversaw all employee and executive compensation matters, as well as cybersecurity and data privacy issues. In late June, Goff was the recipient of the Top 10 30-Somethings award by the Association of Corporate Counsel, a global legal association representing more than 45,000 in-house counsel employed by over 10,000 organizations in 85 countries.  

Ret. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Donna Wallace, MHA ’00, was elected commander of the American Legion post in Waldoboro, ME. She is the first female commander of her hometown post, which she joined with her father in the mid-1970s.

Trey Worley, BBA ’00, was elected president of the Texas Mortgage Bankers Association, which advocates for more than 300 companies. He serves as senior vice president of Comerica Bank’s warehouse lending division, with a focus on $2.5 billion in warehouse facilities and 50 customers in the western U.S. and the Gulf Coast.

Madeleine Harrison, BA ’01, and her son Keegan of Plano, TX, completed the TriWaco sprint course July 14. Keegan, 11, received a heart transplant when he was seven days old. Madeleine has been running triathlons, marathons and road races for 20 years.

Robert W. “Bobby” Hoxworth, MBA ’01, president and CEO of First National Bank Texas in Killeen, TX, was elected chairman of the Texas Bankers Association (TBA) for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. His term runs through May 31, 2020. Hoxworth served as TBA vice chairman last year, and he is a member of the TBA Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

Lisa Linton, BSEd ’01, is head administrator at Waco’s Premier High School, which provides help for at-risk students and others who thrive in a nontraditional direct-teaching environment. KXXV News 25 featured Linton in May as she shared how she uses her experiences as a teenager to help guide today’s students with their journeys.

Artie Renee Pobjecky, JD ’01, was honored with the Girls Inc. of Winter Haven, FL, Julie Pope Award for her contributions to the community. Through her law firm, Pobjecky & Pobjecky Global Immigration Law, Pobjecky serves as an advocate for many immigrants and helps them achieve the American dream of becoming U.S. citizens.

Jon Rolph, BA ’01, president and chief executive officer of Thrive Restaurant Group, was appointed by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly to serve on the Kansas higher education board that coordinates 32 universities, community colleges and technical schools. Rolph owns and operates 41 Applebee’s, 18 Carlos O’Kelly’s Mexican restaurants and two HomeGrown restaurants scattered across 10 states in the Midwest and Virginia. He was student body president at Baylor and returned to Topeka in 2002 to work in the family business.

Kacy Dowd Tillman, BA ’01, MA ’04, authored Stripped and Script: Loyalist Women Writers of the American Revolution (UMass Press, 2019). The diaries, journals, and letters that Tillman uncovers reveal the real threats posed to women’s bodies, friendships, property and families during a time of war. Tillman is associate professor of English at the University of Tampa.

Lindsay Childs, BBA ’02, was promoted to director of client services for Blackmon Mooring & BMS CAT, a disaster restoration company based in Haltom City, TX. She joined the company in 2004 and has held positions in sales, marketing and management. 

Elisa C. Fox, BBA ’02, has joined Dallas-based Sumner Schick as part of the firm’s expansion into real estate and construction law. Fox has been recognized multiple times as a Top Attorney by Fort Worth Texas Magazine and by 360 West. In 2019, she was listed as a Super Lawyers Texas Rising Star for the fifth consecutive year.

Lauren Mitchell, BA ’02, joined Everest Insurance as a senior underwriter based in the company’s Houston office. Before joining Everest, Mitchell worked for more than 10 years at Aon Risk Solutions in their financial services group as a senior broker.

Dr. Leelee Thames, BS ’02, a board-certified anesthesiologist and former national chief medical officer for Steward Health Care Network, was named chief value officer for New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC.

Jimmy Walker, ’02, is among the 2019 induction class for the Texas Golf Hall of Fame. Walker helped Baylor win 11 tournament titles in his four years golfing for the Bears, including the 2001 Big 12 Conference title. In his PGA career, Walker has 45 top 10 finishes and six victories, including the 2016 PGA Championship. The Texas Golf Hall of Fame class will be honored Oct. 14 at an induction banquet in San Antonio.

Deacon Peter Julia, BSEd ’03, was ordained as a priest June 15 in Portland, OR. Before entering seminary, Julia was a rock-climbing instructor, coach, guide and bicycle mechanic and salesman. While enrolled at the North American College in Rome, he serviced the bicycles of his peers.

Carol McEntyre, MSW/MDiv ’03, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Columbia, MO, was nominated to become the next moderator-elect for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. She has received numerous honors that recognize her passion for congregational ministry and her commitment to Cooperative Baptist life, including CBF’s Young Baptist Award in 2015. She also is a graduate of the inaugural class of CBF Fellows (2012-2015).

Josh Black, BA ’04, was featured in a July 7 article in The New York Times — “The Texas Miracle Missed Most of Texas.” Black’s business in his hometown of Longview, TX, has the goals of helping the local economy and competing with bigger hubs for young professionals.

Wade Washmon, BBA ’04, was sworn in for his third term as a board member for Tyler [TX] ISD. He also serves as board president. Washmon is a landman and vice president of BW Energy Consultants.

Dr. Garvin Lee Chandler, BS ’05, MS ’07, began his practice at Harbin Clinic Family Medicine in Adairsville, GA. Chandler, who played football at Baylor, was inspired to become a doctor and go into cancer research because of his sister’s battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Chris Cragin-Day, MFA ’05, premiered her latest play, The Rare Biosphere, April 25 at Calvary St. George’s in New York City. The play tells the tale of Honduran American Sophie and the struggles her family faces as immigrants.

Phallan Davis, BA ’05, was promoted to interim executive director of the Bastrop [TX] Economic Development Corporation. Davis had served as BEDC’s marketing and communications manager since December. She has 13 years of experience in brand management, media relations and digital communications, and she has designed and executed communication strategies for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits and political officeholders.

Glen Oskin III, BA ’05, MSEd ’06, was hired by Miami’s The HEAT Group as vice president of corporate partnerships and activation. A 13-year veteran in the sports industry, Oskin previously held leadership positions with the NFL’s Houston Texans, and he was most recently the vice president and general manager of Texas A&M Ventures.

Katie Sarantakes Scallan, BBA ’95, was named chief marketing officer for the Houston Dynamo & Dash. She oversees the branding, marketing, advertising, communications and broadcast efforts for the Dynamo & Dash, as well as for events at BBVA Stadium. Scallan brings more than 20 years of experience in sports and entertainment marketing, including experience in Major League Soccer and in the Houston sports and business community. She spent the previous 16 years in a variety of roles with The Friedkin Group.

Christopher Scheibler, BA ’05, MPH, spent two years as flight surgeon for the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, helping the F-16 pilots deal with health hazards such as G-forces, musculoskeletal injuries and even the plain old flu. Now he is completing the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Occupational and Environmental Medicine Residency Program for physicians seeking board certification. While at Baylor, Scheibler volunteered at a family practice clinic in Waco and the Brooke Army Medical Center emergency department in San Antonio. 

Kimberly Williams, EdD ’05, was named dean of Northeastern State University’s campus in Muskogee, OK. Williams currently serves as dean of workforce education at Grayson College in Denison, TX.

Tony Samp, BA ’06, joined the DLA Piper firm’s government affairs practice as a policy advisor in Washington, DC. Samp has 12 years of experience working with Congress on defense and national security issues.

Edith G. Davis, EdD ’07, a professor of science education at Florida A&M University (FAMU), led an education workshop at FAMU in May. The workshop was about Micro-Spiral Methodology or MSM, which has been scientifically proven to help children learn and retain information at an accelerated rate. Davis developed MSM in 2004 while she was at Baylor.

Allison Dickson, JD ’07, who graduated from Baylor Law at the top of her class, was honored by the Girl Scouts of Central Texas as this year’s Rising Star during the 2019 Women of Distinction banquet. 

Waco attorney and city councilman Dillon Meek, BBA ’07, JD ’10, was named Baylor’s Young Lawyer of the Year. Meek received the award from Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben at a recent Waco City Council meeting.

Preston Edwards, BBA ’08, MBA ’16, was an expert speaker at the 2019 iQmetrix Meetup, held Sept. 3-5 in Denver. The event is a place for the retail industry to lend its brightest minds to crafting a future for retail. Edwards is executive director and head of strategic partnerships at Chase Merchant Services.

T. Hunter Lewis, BA ’08, joined the Dallas-based family Law firm Duffee + Eitzen as a partner. Lewis was again named to the Best Lawyers in Dallas list by D Magazine and SuperLawyer by Thomson Reuters. Lewis presented at the second-annual Advanced Child Protection Law course in April. Contact at 4311 Oak Lawn Ave. Ste. 600, Dallas, TX 75219 or

Dr. Mark Montgomery, MSEd ’08, PhD ’14, assistant professor of elementary education at Stephen F. Austin State University, was honored with the Teaching Excellence Award for the James I. Perkins College of Education.

Sarah Newton Sarnocinski, MSEd ’08, is a real estate broker in North Carolina and South Carolina. Previously, she worked in college athletics and special events for the U.S. Army. Sarnocinski is the spouse of a military veteran. The couple have moved 11 times and lived in seven states due to his career in sales. Sarah decided to make a career of real estate and is excited to call Charlotte, NC, their forever home. Contact at

Erin Wolfe Bell, MA ’09, was appointed director of exhibitions at Naples [FL] Botanical Garden to lead the garden’s exhibits, festivals and cultural activities. Bell joined the organization in 2014 and most recently served as director of development operations. She has also been named a 40-Under-40 honoree in Gulfshore Business magazine.

Kaley Eggers, BA ’09, MSW ’13, of Waco penned an On Parenting column May 17 for The Washington Post. She discusses the need for paid leave for foster parents. 

Andrew Green, BA ’09, was elevated to associate with McKinney York Architects of Austin. Current projects include interior renovations at the National Museum of the Pacific in Fredericksburg, TX, the boyhood home of U.S. Navy Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz; the new River Ranch County Park and Interpretive Center in Williamson County, TX; and the north courtyard of University of Texas at Austin’s Student Activity Center.

Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson, PhD ’09, was awarded the 2019 Hiett Prize by the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. The Hiett Prize honors young humanities scholars whose work shows extraordinary promise and has a significant public component related to contemporary culture. Wilson is an associate professor of English at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, AR. She holds degrees from Baylor, the University of Dallas and Pepperdine University. Wilson has taught at Baylor, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor and Charles University in the Czech Republic as a Fulbright Scholar. She has published three books and has other projects in process, including the notable commission to work toward publication of Flannery O’Connor’s novel Why Do the Heathen Rage?, unfinished at the time of her 1964 death.


Angela C. Bunnell, BBA ’10, joined global law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP as an associate in the firm’s litigation practice in Boston. Previously, Bunnell clerked for the Honorable Donald L. Cabell, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. She has served as an AmeriCorps Advocate at Greater Boston Legal Services’ Welfare Unit and as a legal intern for the Department of Justice, Office of International Affairs and Greater Boston Legal Services, Immigration Unit.

Danielle Dingman, BSEd ’10, MPH ’13, won the women’s Ironman 70.3 Eagleman event in Cambridge, MD, qualifying her for the 2019 70.3 World Championships Sept. 7-8 in Nice, France. Dingman is a former All-American track and field student-athlete at Baylor. She is in her first season as an assistant triathlon coach at Drury University in Springfield, MO.

Jordan Graft, BBA ’10, and wife, Brittany Harlan Graft, BBA ’10, her brother, John Harlan BBA ’13, and wife Connie Harlan co-founded Dallas-based CrateBind LLC. Using Ruby on Rails, React, Swift, Node, Python and other leading technologies, the company works with startups, nonprofits and Fortune 100 companies across all industries. CrateBind is one of the fastest-growing custom web and mobile app development shops and has been consecutively ranked as one of the Best Companies to Work for in Texas. Contact at

Marcy Cook, BFA ’11, has six large-scale collage works that were showcased in Robert Lawrence Designs in Dallas this summer. After more than six years of floral and event design work at her company Stems of Dallas, Cook is a full-time artist.

Caleb Simone, BA ’11, is pursuing doctoral studies in classics at Columbia University. At Baylor, Simone won the award for outstanding undergraduate thesis on 19th-century philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, who was among the first to locate the origins of Greek tragedy in the ritual celebration of the god Dionysus by a satyr-chorus, i.e., in a musical performance. A production of Euripides’ Herakles that Simone has been instrumental in bringing to the stage seeks to incorporate (for the first time in the history of American theater) the music that accompanied the original performances in ancient Greece. 

Matthew Thompson, BBA ’11, was appointed chief financial officer of Payer Compass, a provider of healthcare reimbursement technology and price transparency solutions in Plano, TX. Thompson is a CPA.

Jordan Vannatta Williams, BSEd ’11, was named the head softball coach at Midway High School in Waco. At Baylor, Williams was a member of Baylor’s 2011 Women’s College World Series team.

The play, IMMERSION / IMMERSIÓN, by Courtney Bailey Parker, MA ’12, PhD ’16, was performed during the fourth-annual She NYC Arts Summer Theater Festival at The Connelly Theater in New York City. Parker also performs in the play, which alternates between English and Spanish. Parker is a St. Louis-based actor, playwright and professor at Greenville [IL] University.

After graduating from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Lucas Borg, BS ’13, is working at Incirlik Air Base near of Adana, Turkey. Borg serves anyone on the international base who requires emergent dental care — military or civilian, American or Lithuanian, Spanish or Turkish.

Ciera Cole, BBA ’13, chief operating officer of The 20, a leading business development group for managed service providers in Plano, TX, was named to CRN’s prestigious 2019 Women of the Channel list. The leaders on this annual list are from all areas of the IT channel ecosystem. Cole has supported the CEO across both The 20 and its sister company, Roland Technology Group, over the past six years. 

Kathryn Dunn, BA ’13, is a contestant on this season of Big Brother on CBS. Dunn has worked in broadcasting, was a dancer for the Dallas Mavericks and competed in both Miss USA and Miss America pageant systems.

Trey Oakley, MACM ’13, was named president and CEO of the Methodist Children’s Home in Waco, a child care ministry founded in 1890. Oakley was involved in fundraising since 2001, when he joined the organization’s development department. He became vice president for development in 2006.

Tina Tran, BS ’13, graduated in May from the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, a part of the Texas Tech University Health Science Center in El Paso. She started her pediatric residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in June.

Physician assistant Michael Valdez, BSEd ’13, joined the medical team at The Center Orthopedic and Neurosurgical Care in Bend, OR. Previously he worked at Hope Orthopedics in Salem, OR.

Erin Albin, BSFCS ’14, MSW/MDiv ’19, is coordinator of research projects at The Center for Church and Community Impact in Waco. In the Baptist Standard, Albin shared her experience with leading a focus group for those affected by Hurricane Harvey to study the effects of trauma on the church. Her members shared that church was a safe place during the storm and that it led them to trust in God’s provision even in the midst of a hurricane.

Austin Eck, BA ’14, was promoted to product manager of South Bend, IN-based FDC Graphic Films Inc. He joined their marketing team in 2015.

Rev. Hayley House, BA ’14, was the guest speaker at the annual Pinnacle Bank Honor Graduates Breakfast recognizing the top 10 percent of the Cleburne [TX] High School Class of 2019. House was inspired to serve in vocational ministry during a college internship at Waco’s First United Methodist Church, where she now serves as lead youth pastor. 

Luke Martin, BBA ’14, graduated from Leadership Plainview [TX], a nine-month program that allows participants to polish their leadership skills and learn about the local community. He is president of Hale County Abstract & Title Company.

Chase Caldwell, MDiv ’15, and Brittany Caldwell, MDiv ’16, are co-pastors of Nobles Chapel Baptist Church, a rural church in Wilson, NC. Between them, they have more than 10 years of experience in preaching, teaching, service and international missions.

Dr. Grant Dean Clinkingbeard, BS ’15, received a Doctor of Medicine from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans in May. He was hooded by his grandfather, Dr. Herschel B. Dean. Clinkingbeard began his residency in pediatrics with LSU at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans.

Dr. Tucker E. Doiron, BSEd ’15, received a Doctor of Medicine from the Louisiana State University Health Science Center New Orleans. Doiron will do her residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center in Little Rock.

Melissa Hollis, BSN ’16, of Plano, TX, completed a Master of Science in nursing leadership. She is returning to her roots at Baylor to teach a lab course to future nursing students as she pursues a Doctor of Philosophy. “Sic ’em, Bears!” she writes.

Lindsey Cargill McLean, BSEd ’16, MS ’18, was named head softball coach at China Spring [TX] ISD.

Brent Smith, BMEd ’16, was named Corsicana [TX] High School band director after spending the last three years at Richardson [TX] J.J. Pearce High School, directing the concert and symphonic bands. Smith performed around the country with Baylor’s Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra and spent two years as an undergraduate staff member to the Golden Wave Marching Band.

Grant Tinsley, PhD ’16, is assistant professor of exercise physiology at Texas Tech University. He has studied the diet phenomenon of intermittent fasting since 2013.

American violist Brian Bires, BMEd ’17, was awarded first prize at the 2019 Texas Music Festival Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition in Houston after performing the Cecil Forsyth Viola Concert in G Minor. Bires will perform next year as an invited soloist with conductor Carl St. Clair and the Texas Music Festival Orchestra.

Jillian Gardner, MM ’17, was appointed director of music ministries and organist for Huntsville [AL] First United Methodist Church. Her responsibilities include overseeing the music department, consisting of 11 ensembles, choirs and children’s music. She also is an award-winning performing organist with an international touring schedule that spans the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S.

Findings from a study conducted by Elias Oziolor, PhD ’17, about how a species of fish evolved in response to pollution in the Houston Ship Channel, were published in Science, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Association of the Advancement of Science.

Dani Price, MDiv ’17, was named assistant coach of Georgia Southern University’s softball team. Price was previously an assistant coach at McNeese State University. She specialized in pitching and was credited with helping lower McNeese State’s team ERA from 3.56 in 2018 to 2.53 in 2019. While at Baylor, she assisted the softball team in their two visits to the Women’s College World Series.

Bailey Wren Scruggs, CCC-SLP, MS ’17, is a speech pathologist practicing at New York City’s Heritage Oaks West Retirement Village, a senior housing community offering various healthcare services to residents. She works in adult and geriatric care.

Elizabeth Teed, BBA ’17, is an intern in the office of U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas. It is Teed’s second stint on Capitol Hill; she had a similar internship five years ago, working for then-U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton [AR].

Jordan Tucker, MM ’17, accepted a professor of music position at San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, teaching music theory and aural skills courses. At Baylor, Tucker was a graduate student in music composition and adjunct professor in music theory. 

Erick LeBrun, PhD ’18, vice president for research for the Parallax Division of Pebble Labs in Los Alamos, NM, recently spoke to Los Alamos County Council members about bringing fellow natives of the region home to work. His expertise is in microbial ecology with an emphasis on bioinformatics, metagenomics and integrative genomics.

Staff Sgt. Austin Westjohn, MM ’18, plays trombone as a member of the U.S. Army Band, one of the most exclusive musical assignments in the U.S. Westjohn performed July 4 before the Independence Day fireworks at the White House. He also has played the trombone on the Truman Balcony when foreign ambassadors visited.

Alex Williamson, BA ’18, and Ben Ellison BBA ’18, were married June 7 at The Milestone Mansion in Aubrey, TX. They now live in Shreveport, LA, where Alex works for a finance company and Ben is a medical student at the Louisiana State University Sciences Center Shreveport.

Madeline Ward Stokes, BSFCS ’18, married Dillon Taylor Stokes, BBA ’18, Feb 2. The couple resides in Royce City, TX. W. Todd Ward, BFA ’85, walked his daughter down the aisle. Rian Rahimi, BBA ’19, started a new job in Dallas at PulteGroup’s land acquisitions department as an analyst. Contact at

Veteran Kino Hickey, MSW ’19, worked at the Veterans Administration sterilizing medical equipment when he dreamed of a job where he could help people battling mental illnesses. Now that he has earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work, Hickey plans to advocate for veterans and assist veterans with mental illnesses. Hickey’s story was covered by ABC affiliate KXXV-TV (Waco, Temple, Killeen).

Dr. Albert Reyes, president and CEO of Buckner International and a former Baylor Regent, authored Hope Now: Peace, Healing and Justice When the Kingdom Comes Near. Learn more at