The University of Texas at Tyler to Announce the 2011-12 Outstanding Alumni Awards and Inaugural Patriot Athletics Hall of Fame Induction at the 40th Anniversary Alumni Gala set for Friday March 30
Out of over 28,000 alumni, four individuals have been selected to receive the highest honor bestowed upon a graduate of UT Tyler.
According to President Rodney H. Mabry, the honorees include Valari Dobson Staab, Distinguished Alumna; Chris Chambless, Distinguished Alumnus;
Karen McKeown, Outstanding Young Alumna; and Teri Curington, Outstanding Service Alumni Award. The awards will be presented as part of
the year-long 40th Anniversary fete on Friday, March 30 at the Ornelas Activity Center on the campus of UT Tyler. Special guest speaker
will be Jim "The Rookie" Morris, sponsored by The Watson W. Wise Foundation, a long-time supporter of UT Tyler Alumni Relations. Mr. Morris's
quest and climb to the big leagues was portrayed in the feature film by Disney "The Rookie," starring Dennis Quaid. The 40th Anniversary
celebration by alumni and friends will be highlighted by his speech "Dream Makers and Dream Breakers."
Another historic part of the evening's event will include the inauguration of the Patriot Athletics Hall of Fame. According to Vice-president and Athletic Director Howard Patterson, the Gala event will help to establish the highest recognition of UT Tyler Athletics by induction of the first honoree. "We have been formulating a plan for years to recognize our most distinguished athletes." The official inductee is Tylerite Fred Kniffen, a former UT Tyler tennis coach (1985-97). Coach Kniffen has received numerous awards for his coaching, including 2 NAIA and 4 Junior College National Championships, as well as membership in the NAIA Tennis Hall of Fame and the Texas Tennis Hall of Fame.
Outstanding Alumni Awards:
Distinguished Alumna: Valari Dobson Staab , BBA, Marketing '82, recently named President of NBC Universal Owned Television Stations, New York, New York, hired away from KGO San Francisco last June. Valari's sixth floor corner office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NBC's landmark New York City headquarters is at least 1500 miles from Tyler-based KLTV where she began her career. Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to the alum who has distinguished themselves in their professional achievements, contributions to society and support of the university.
While not a requirement for the distinction, all 2011-12 award recipients received at minimum their Bachelor's degree from UT Tyler.
Valari A. Staab
BBA '82, Marketing
Michael Christopher 'Chris' Chambless
BA '93, English
Lt. Teri L. Curington
BSN '03, MSN '09, Nursing Education
Karen D. McKeown
BS '00, Nursing
Wesley Dennis, M.D. – Medical Director of The Arlington Sleep Disorder Center; Neurologist in private practice since 1998; numerous honors & awards since graduating Cum Laude, UT Tyler; past chairman of the Neuroscience Department and past Director of Neurological Rehabilitation Unit – Medical Center of Arlington; a native of Athens.
Fredrick W. Kersh, D.O., M.S. - Medical Director, Direct RehabMed Business Health, Tyler; Former Medical Director of Emergency Centers for ETMC, numerous publications and academic appointments; a preeminent physician in the field of Family Practice; Board Certified in Occupational Medicine and Family Practice.
Rick Rayford - President and CEO of Brookshire Grocery Company since 2007. A 39 year partner of Brookshire's; member of UT Tyler Development Board, UT Tyler College of Business Corporate Advisory Board, a board member and past president of the Regional East Texas Food Bank and numerous non-profit organization boards.
Scott Rhame – High School Band teacher for 41 years; Retired May 2010, Carlisle High School; received numerous honors including Texas Music Educator's Assoc. Honor Band three-time winner, unmatched record in Texas; won 13 consecutive Sweepstakes Awards for his bands; UIL regional and state awards; many students are now award-winning.
Melinda Hermanns, PhD, RN, BC, CNE – Assistant Professor, UT Tyler College of Nursing; psychiatric mental health and Parkinson's Disease research; award-winning articles in national publications; recognized for scholarly excellence in clinical simulation and research; leadership in ET Chapter of American Parkinson's Disease Association.
Terrence R. Ates – Program Manager, Tyler Prostate Cancer Awareness Program; Chair of People Educating Communities About Tobacco; planning member of Tobacco Law Enforcement Conference, Prostate Health Initiative for Gregg and Smith Counties, member of several regional health coalitions and committees.
Michael J. Collins – Owner, Collins Investigations; Licensed Private Investigator; UT Tyler Alumni Life Member since 2001; Board of Directors 2001-06; President of the UT Tyler Alumni Board 2007-09; Chairman, UT Tyler Alumni Foundation 2010 – 11. UT Tyler Development Board 2007- present.
Follow this link to download the Gift Form and give to UT Tyler! Print, complete and return the form via fax (903-566-7419) or mail to University Advancement, 3900 University Blvd., Admin. 326, Tyler, Texas, 75799.
The University of Texas at Tyler
3900 University Blvd.
Tyler, TX 75799