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SFA Alumni Association to host annual awards ceremony
Posted 11 - 01 - 2012


November 1, 2012 / Judith Barroeta

SFA Alumni Association to host annual awards ceremony

Five Stephen F. Austin State University alumni and one SFA professor will be honored by the SFA Alumni Association at the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony. Awarded on November 16, will be the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Outstanding Young Alumna Award, Distinguished Professor Award, and the Hall of Fame Award.

The dinner will be held on November 16 at 6 p.m. in the Convention Center A at the Hotel Fredonia in downtown Nacogdoches. The awards are bestowed on those who have made outstanding contributions to their professions and community, committed themselves to advancing the values and goals of SFA, and ensured a better quality of life for future generations.

Tickets to the awards ceremony dinner are $50 per person, $90 per couple or $350 for a table of eight. Purchase tickets online by Nov. 15 at or by calling the SFA Alumni Association at (936) 468-3407. Dress is business attire.

The 2012 recipients are:

Former SFA Football player and 1986 graduate, Melvin R. White, will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award. A four-year Letterman and All-Conference football player, White displayed not only athletic skills also leadership skills. He was committed to providing his skills, time and service to Stephen F. Austin State University. White served the Alumni Association Board for many years before being appointed to the SFA Board of Regents by Governor Rick Perry and eventually served as Chairman of the Board of Regents. His successful business career has lead to many opportunities to introduce college graduates to the work force.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award also will be presented to Don H. Keasler, graduate of the class of 1961 and long time agent of State Farm Insurance. Keasler was on the SFA Alumni Association Board of Directors for nine years and endowed the Don and Gail Keasler Athletic Scholarship. More than 50 years later and a distinguished career in the insurance business, Don is still a dedicated leader and loyal supported of SFA. Before Keasler completed his service on the board, he took on the chairmanship of a multi-million dollar building project at his church in Montgomery, Texas.

The recipient for the Outstanding Young Alumna Award is Dr. Hollie Smith. Hollie earned her Bachelors and Masters in Phycology at SFA in 2000-2002 and her Doctorate in Education at Texas A&M in 2012.  Since completing her two degrees from SFA, Dr. Smith worked for SFA since 2005 and is currently the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Programs. She has dedicated her time to the Orientation Programs and has treated each year to the highest level of customer service and given the most positive experience so that students leave excited about attending SFA and feeling like Nacogdoches is their new home. Her dedication to her continuing education and SFA student affairs has shown her commitment to the university and the community.

Pediatric Dentist, Jennifer Criss Montes, will also receive the Outstanding Young Alumna Award. Her kid-focused and parent-friendly pediatric dental care is a result of her education she received from SFA in 1998 and her commitment to continuing education in her field of practice. She has been recognized with honors including America’s Top Dentist in 2012 and Top Dentist in Texas Monthly in 2009. Owner of Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Criss shared her passion for SFA by speaking with girls in Nacogdoches about the importance of education and reaching for dreams in their life choices and career paths. Dr. Criss has reached out the community through her involvement in Nacogdoches Boys and Girls Club, GETCAP Head Start & Early Head Start, Nacogdoches Junior Forum and other numerous community events.

Dr. William D. Clark, Professor of Mathematics at SFA, will receive the Distinguished Professor Award. His innovative research endeavors and his commitment to service have established his position as a role model for the university and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. As a founder of the outreach event, SFA Math Day, Dr. Clark developed a strong relationship between students, teachers and administrators across the region. His recognized teaching methods, numerous books and articles resulted in receiving the Teaching Excellence Award from both the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and the College of Sciences and Mathematics. He used the monetary award to establish a scholarship for mathematics, statistics or mathematics teaching majors.

Former president of the SFA Alumni Association and graduate of the class of 1948, James E. Campbell, will receive the Hall of Fame Award for his continuous service in the community. His involvement in the Rotary Club, Ducks Unlimited, Sabine River Authority, Shelby Savings Bank and more have established his personal responsibility and honesty in the community. He is also the Chairman and Partner of Campbell’s Portable Buildings, Ltd., General Shelters of Texas, Ltd., J-D Port-A-Cool, Cenco, and GSE-RTO. Campbell endowed the James and Mona Campbell Scholarship for Agriculture, Forestry and Educations majors for Shelby County residents.

Please contact (936) 468-3407 or visit for more information.



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