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Ralph M. Cox (BS, Mechanical Engineering) retired as a senior principal from Tompkins International, a global supply chain consulting firm.


Kelcy Warren (BS, Civil Engineering) received the Blue Ribbon Medal of Excellence for Alumni Success from Kilgore College. He attended night classes at Kilgore while working his day job in the East Texas oilfields.


Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner (BSN, Nursing) is the director of the Nurses Christian Fellowship and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Christian Nursing.


UTA is a great university, and my master’s degree helped open doors throughout my life, including an executive position by age 30.
—Beth Barrett
('07 MS, Geology), Consulting Project Manager at Strategic Project Management LLC

Jim Fant (BBA, Business) has been named executive managing director of acquisitions for Westmount Realty Capital LLC in Dallas. Prior to joining Westmount, he spent 12 years as senior vice president at Addison-based Behringer.

Tobi Jackson (BA, Physical Education) has been elected president of the Fort Worth school district's Board of Education.


Rhonda Harris (BS, Civil Engineering) was awarded the Water Environment Association of Texas Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a member of UTA's College of Engineering Board of Advisors and vice president of Tata and Howard.

Catherine D. Van Zandt (BSN, Nursing) has earned the designation Certified Nurse Educator. She is a professor with Navarro College's associate nursing degree program.


William Gladbach (BS, Civil Engineering; '97 BS, Architecture) has been appointed managing director of the western region of Manhard Consulting, a civil engineering and surveying firm.

Anthony Horton (BS, Management and Economics; '92 MS, Accounting and Finance) was named to the board of directors for EXCO Resources Inc. He is chief financial officer and executive vice president of Energy Future Holdings Corp.


Debbie O'Brien (BA, Music) won the 2017 Bayard H. Friedman HERO Award for most outstanding secondary school teacher in North Texas schools.

Kevin G. Sneed (BS, Architecture) has been named a fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Sneed is partner and senior director of architecture with OTJ Architects in Washington, D.C.


Doris Jackson (BSN, Nursing) was included in the International Nurses Association's Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare publication. She is a specialist ICU nurse, cardiac nurse, and a legal nurse consultant for Jackson & Associates.


Brian Burke (BBA, Business) has joined PacWest Machinery as branch manager for western Washington.

Virginia Lynch (MSN, Nursing) was recognized for her efforts in forensic nursing when she received the John R. Hunt Award in 2016 at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Las Vegas. She serves on the American Academy of Forensic Sciences Initiative in Humanitarian and Human Rights.


Brett Cottrell (BA, Communication) has been named pastor of the London First Baptist Church in London, Arkansas.

David Lee (MArch, Architecture) has been hired as senior project manager for Dallas architecture firm th+a. The award-winning firm specializes in education and health care spaces.


Bryant Wyatt (PhD, Applied Mathematics) provided the keynote talk for the Research Council on Mathematics Learning 2017 Conference in Fort Worth. He is a professor of mathematics at Tarleton State University.


Steve Macdonald (BA, Journalism) was honored with the Defense Meritorious Service Medal for his accomplishments as Future Operations deputy director of the Navy Supply Corps from 2014 to 2017. He is now an executive officer with the Naval Sea Logistics Command in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.


Karen Hunnicutt (MSSW, Social Work) is a social worker for Kalispell Regional Medical Center's inpatient rehabilitation in Kalispell, Montana.

Tim Wadham (PhD, Comparative Literature) is the author of The Queen of France, a Junior Library Guild selection.


Eric Tiritilli (MA, Political Science) was named senior counsel at Lamson Dugan & Murray LLP in Omaha, Nebraska. His practice focuses on counseling and defending companies in matters of employment and traditional labor law.


Matt Childs (BS, '99 MS, Civil Engineering) has joined HawkeyePedershaab Concrete Technologies as vice president of sales for North America. Childs was president of the American Concrete Pipe Association for the last 12 years. He is credited with expansion of the association.

James Ferrara (MArch, Architecture) is building a classic villa, inspired by Italian architect Andrea Palladio, in Oak Cliff. Ferrara studied Palladio while a student at UTA.

UTA’s diverse student body is one of the keys to its success and value in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and beyond. I’m proud to be a Maverick!
—Sean Kimiagar
(’13 MS, Geology), Geology Analyst at Upstream A&D


Riyad Alsaid (BS, Management Information Systems) was named executive director of technology for the Rockwall Independent School District. Previously, he worked for the Dallas ISD where he was the Food Services Department Director of Technology.

Brandon W. O'Donald (BS, Civil Engineering) has been named a new practice leader of land development in the Fort Worth area for Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc. His local experience includes the American Airlines Center and Victory Plaza, Baylor Scott & White Medical Center, five new Mansfield Independent School District elementary schools, and more.


Charlene Parham (BA, Exercise and Sports Studies) is principal at Crownover Middle School in Denton.

Holly Reed (BFA, Art) wrote the lyrics and music for Come Find Me, a Christmas musical presented at the Brookfield Theatre in Brookfield, Connecticut.


Rakesh Narayanan (MBA, '01 MS, Management Information Systems) has been appointed vice president of supplier commerce—Asia Pacific for Sabre Travel Network. He was previously regional director for Sabre Airline Solutions in Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent with responsibility for sales and account management.


Sandi McDermott (BSN, '06 MSN, Nursing) has been appointed to the advisory board of the Texas State Alliance of YMCAs. She is director of Tarleton State University's outreach center, which is located on the Navarro College Midlothian campus.

Kenneth Sheets (BA, Political Science) was appointed to the Texas Military Preparedness Commission by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. He is a civil defense attorney at Payne and Blanchard LLP and is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives.


Zach Cazares (BA, Kinesiology) is principal of Bonner Elementary School in Tyler.

Jenny Harstrom (BA, Interior Design) has been named principal of Lewis Elementary School in the Forney Independent School District. Previously, she was an associate principal/academic officer at Mabank Intermediate School. She has more than 13 years of experience in education and school administration.


Calandra Eddington (BSN, Nursing) has been admitted to the International Nurses Association. She is a case manager at the Medical Center of Arlington and is on call at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth.

Jakki Opollo (BSN, '08 MSN, '12 PhD, Nursing) received the Outstanding Nursing Graduate award from the Ethel Ransom Humanitarian and Cultural Club in November 2016.


Uma Datla (MBA, Accounting) has joined RSP Permian Inc. as its chief accounting officer. She will be responsible for all aspects of RSP's accounting functions, including financial reporting, internal controls, and operations. With nearly 12 years of accounting experience, Datla previously served as chief accounting officer of Approach Resources Inc., a Permian Basin-focused oil and natural gas exploration and production company based in Fort Worth.


Sayda Major (MSN, Nursing), a nurse practitioner at Parkland Health and Hospital System, was named the 2016 Texas Nurse Practitioners Preceptor of the Year at the 28th annual TNP conference in San Antonio.


Jason Bass (BS, Civil Engineering) has joined MWM DesignGroup as a project manager in the land development group. He has 10 years of experience in a variety of land development projects spanning both public and private market sectors.

My experience at UTA provided me with a lifetime of success. I am endlessly grateful for the professors, administrators, programs, and opportunities that UTA shared with me.
—Ricki A. Chase
(’94 BS, ’96 MS, Biology), Director of Compliance for Lachman Consultant Services


Nick Nelson (MLA, Architecture) was honored by the Fort Worth Business Press as one of the 2017 "40 Under 40" class. The award recognizes successful young professionals who are outstanding in their industries and communities. Nelson is associate principal at Pacheco Koch.


Holland Sanders (BA, Public Relations) has created Holland Collective, a broad-based marketing and public relations agency. Previously, she was head of public relations and marketing at the Fort Worth Opera.


Ross Korkmas (MS, Health Care Administration) has been named a "40 Under 40" honoree by Arkansas Business. The chief operating officer at Medical Center of South Arkansas, he joined MCSA in 2013.

Arun Mohan (BS, Computer Engineering) is a petty officer 2nd class in the U.S. Navy and is serving on one of the world's most advanced ballistic missile submarines as an electronics technician.

Peter Singer (MBA, Human Resource Management) is the chief compliance officer at GIACT Systems, a payment fraud reduction company. He is responsible for overseeing all compliance and regulatory activities. Previously, he was the director of compliance at RealPage, where he led the anti-money laundering team and oversaw all compliance-related initiatives.


Janice Michelle Duncan (MEd, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) was named the 9-12 Division Teacher of the Year by Tennessee's Hawkins County School System. She teaches ninth grade physical science, ecology, and honors physical science at Cherokee High School.

Andrew Feghali (BS, Mechanical Engineering; '16 MBA) is CEO of Aeroblaze Laboratory, a company he created in 2016 that ensures that interior materials of planes meet fire safety regulations.


Elizabeth Bigler (BS, Architecture) was awarded the Construction Industry Association's 2016 Magnolia Award. The Magnolia Award annually recognizes outstanding women in construction. She is a project engineer at McCarthy Building Companies Inc.

Sean Kimiagar (MS, Geology) is a geology analyst in Upstream A&D for Detring Energy Advisors.

Lynn Malkawi (BBA, '16 MBA, Management) wrote an opinion piece for the June 18 issue of The Jordan Times that cites reasons for optimism about the economy in Jordan. Malkawi works in public service.

Stephanie Spahis (BSN, Nursing) is a cardiology nurse at Children's Medical Center of Dallas. Previously, she worked in the neonatal ICU at Medical City Dallas.


Amanda Baskett (MEd, Curriculum and Instruction) is the director of Rockdale Magnet School for Science and Technology in Conyers, Georgia.

Jeremiah Bentley (BS, University Studies) has been named vice president of marketing and customer engagement for Texas Mutual Insurance Co. in Gainesville, Texas. Bentley joined Texas Mutual in 1998 and has served in a variety of roles across the organization.

Lashanda Putman (BSN, Nursing) was recognized as a top nurse by the International Nurses Association. She serves patients at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The Shepherd Center specializes in spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation along with medical research as the top rehabilitation hospital in the nation.

Maria Moreno Quinones  (BSN, Nursing) serves as a member of the board of the Dallas chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses.

Josh Rader (BS, Exercise Physiology) is offering the FitSTEPS for Life exercise program for cancer patients at his fitness center in Abilene.


James Clark (MEd, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) was named principal of the Irving Independent School District's Lady Bird Johnson Middle School. Previously, he was an assistant principal at Nimitz High School.

Brian Lumar (MEd, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies) has been named the first African-American principal of Hahnville High School in Boutte, Louisiana.

Coretta Sigler (BSN, Nursing) received an Outstanding Nursing Graduate award from the Ethel Ransom Humanitarian and Cultural Club at the organization's 83rd anniversary gala.

As a first-generation American and college student, I can attest to the substantial upward mobility I experienced as a result of my UTA degree.
—Ana Herrera
(’06 BSN, Nursing), Advanced Practice Registered Nurse at Seton Healthcare Family


Leann Denney (BSN, Nursing) was profiled in the May 16 issue of Oklahoma Nursing Times. She is a chemotherapy nurse navigator at the VA Hospital in Oklahoma City.

Last Fermenga (PhD, Physics) described how UTA gave him the opportunity to conduct research at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland in an article in Symmetry Magazine. He now works with the technology firm Digital Reasoning in Nashville, Tennessee.

Lori Hanke (BSN, Nursing) received Northwest Texas Healthcare System's Clinical Excellence Surgical Services award.

Austin Nguyen (BA, Broadcast Communication) has joined KAGS NBC 23 in College Station as a multimedia journalist.

Wayne Snell (MPA, Planning) has been hired as director of neighborhood and inspection services for the City of Lewisville.


Priya Acharya (PhD, Strategic Management) has been elected an associate by the board of directors of Wier & Associates Inc., an Arlington firm specializing in civil engineering and land surveying consulting.

Kylie Culp (BSN, Nursing) earned the Northwest Texas Healthcare System's Clinical Excellence Surgical Services award. She has worked at Northwest for two years.

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