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UTA’s VERY BEST: Honoring Distinguished Alumni for Commitment to University and Community Engagement

Friday, October 21, 2016 • Media Contact: Bridget Lewis

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The University of Texas at Arlington honors exemplary alumni who have represented the University through professional achievement, community engagement, and loyalty to their alma mater. Each year these alumni are recognized at the Distinguished Alumni Awards banquet held on the UTA campus.

The Honorable B. Glen Whitley will receive the 2016 Distinguished Alumni and Community Service Award for his volunteer efforts supporting higher education and military veterans. UTA will also honor C. Keith Cargill, Major General Daniel P. Hughes, Liz Johnson and Jocelyn Zee at the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards for their contributions to North Texas.

The 2016 awards will also include a new category of honoree to recognize the achievements of a recent alumnus. Established to highlight the many contributions of UTA alumni who have graduated in the past 15 years, the Recent Graduate Award will be awarded to someone who has displayed exemplary leadership and personal integrity. Jocelyn Zee will accept the inaugural Recent Graduate Award.

A highlight of Homecoming week, the Distinguished Alumni Awards will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 10, in the E.H. Hereford University Center Bluebonnet Ballroom. Tickets and table sponsorships at several levels are available at For more information, please contact Julie Barfield at 817-272-0040 or

Previous honorees include HKS chairman Ralph Hawkins, actor Lou Diamond Phillips, former NFL linebacker Cliff Odom, and Houston Astros bench coach Trey Hillman.

Among the 2016 honorees:

  • The Honorable BGlen Whitley, BBA ’76 (Distinguished Alumni and Community Service Award): As presiding judge over the Tarrant County Commissioners Court, The Honorable B. Glen Whitley is a leader in many areas, including transportation, sustainable communities, efficient government, higher education, support for military veterans, and more. Whitley served in the U.S. Naval Reserve. In 1983, he cofounded Whitley Penn, an accounting firm with offices now in Fort Worth, Dallas, and Houston. Whitley was elected a Tarrant County commissioner in 1996 and Tarrant County judge in 2006. He is also a member of the Government Accounting Standards Advisory Council. Previously, he served as president of both the National Association of Counties and the North Central Texas Council of Governments, and as chairman of the Regional Transportation Council, the Texas Conference of Urban Counties, and the Public Employee Benefits Cooperative. Whitley was named County Leader of the Year for 2010 by American City and County magazine and is a member of the UTA President’s Advisory Board and the UTA Department of Accounting Advisory Council. 
  • C. Keith Cargill, MBA ’81 (Distinguished Alumni Award): A native Texan and banking veteran, C. Keith Cargill was a founding member of Texas Capital Bank. Prior, he was president of Cargill Lakes, Inc., a privately-owned venture capital investment company, and executive operating officer of Mack Financial Group, Inc., where he was instrumental in the acquisition and operation of a commercial finance division of a Fortune 500 company. With more than 30 years of diverse banking, finance, operating, and accounting expertise, Cargill currently serves as president and chief executive officer at Texas Capital Bank and Texas Capital Bancshares, Inc. His community outreach includes serving on the advisory board of the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University, the Dallas Crystal Charity Ball, and HopeXChange. He is also past chairman of the board for the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth and a member of UTA’s President’s Advisory Board.
  • Major General Daniel P. Hughes, BA ’83 (Distinguished Alumni Award): An accomplished leader in the U.S. Army, Major General Daniel P. Hughes earned his Master of Science degree from the Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at the National Defense University. Following his commissioning in 1983 as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army’s Field Artillery, Hughes served in multiple company grade artillery positions and transitioned into the Army Acquisition Corps after deploying to Operation Desert Storm. He currently serves as director for test at the Missile Defense Agency. In this role, he is responsible for planning, programming, budgeting, staffing, and managing a comprehensive Ballistic Missile Defense System test program to determine ballistic missile defense capabilities and field an integrated and effective capability to the warfighter. Prior, Hughes served as deputy commanding general for support in Kabul, Afghanistan, and as the Army’s program executive officer for command at Aberdeen Proving Ground.  
  • Liz Johnson, FAAN, FCHIME, FHIMSS, CHCIO, RN-BC, MS ’89 (Distinguished Alumni Award): Liz Johnson is the nationally recognized, award-winning chief information officer for Acute Care Hospitals and Applied Clinical Informatics for Tenet Health, a national diversified health care services company. As CIO, she provides the strategic vision and tactical planning for many systems used across Tenet’s acute care hospitals. Since the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and its key Health Information Technology Act provision in 2009, Johnson has been the leader of Tenet’s $700 million transformational I.M.P.A.C.T. (Improving Patient Care through Technology) program that addresses the national call for health care reform through the meaningful use of certified electronic health records at Tenet’s hospitals nationwide. She has spent the last seven years utilizing her hospital executive and professional nursing experience to benefit the U.S. health care reform movement in Washington, D.C. In October, she was honored to receive a fellowship with the American Academy of Nursing.
  • Jocelyn Zee, DO, BS ’04 (Recent Graduate Alumni Award): At just 13 years old, Jocelyn Zee was the youngest student on the UTA campus at the time of her enrollment. The microbiology student graduated cum laude and went on to attend the University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. There, she earned her Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. Zee completed a residency program in family medicine at John Peter Smith (JPS) Hospital in Fort Worth, and was subsequently hired to work as a hospitalist and critical care physician there. She has served on a variety of hospital committees and is currently the chairwoman of the Physician Excellence Committee. Dedicated to giving back, Zee will participate in the JPS Physician Leadership Program and continue her annual speaking engagement with pre-health Freshman Interest Groups at UTA.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 “highest research activity” institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at

For more on the Strategic Plan, see Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.