UT Tyler

Class Notes

UT Tyler Magazine - Spring / Summer 2016

Awards and Achievements


Monica Foster (B.S. interdisciplinary studies) was honored as Teacher of the Week in the Palestine Herald-Express newspaper. Foster has taught second grade at Elkhart Elementary School for 10 years.


Yaziri Orrostieta (B.B.A. marketing) was selected as one of Fort Worth Magazine’s “Women in Business Worth Knowing’’ and was featured in its 2016 February issue. Orrostieta is marketing director for Heritage Land Bank and has been instrumental in the successful introduction of new branches serving the Fort Worth, Lindale and Lufkin communities. She is the former marketing manager of Mentoring Minds, a national educational publisher. Orrostieta earned an MBA in marketing from North Texas University and is a licensed real estate agent.


Kristin Smith (B.A. psychology) received the 2015 Lois Hair Bernays Salesperson of the Year award from the MetroTex (Dallas) Association of Realtors. At 28 years old, she is the youngest recipient in the almost 100-year history of the association. Smith also has been a top-50 finalist for “30 Under 30’’ recognition from the National Association of Realtors’ REALTOR magazine. She serves on more than 15 committees at the local, state and national levels. 


Ben Moran (B.S. interdisciplinary studies) was honored as Teacher of the Week in the Palestine Herald-Press newspaper. Moran teaches science to students in third through ninth grades at The University of Texas at Tyler Innovation Academy. He also teaches Introduction to Engineering and Design, a Project Lead the Way course for ninth graders.

Alumni Updates


Randal Duke (B.S. history) was appointed emergency management coordinator at UT Tyler. In his new role, Duke is responsible for the administration of the university’s emergency management program and emergency operations plan. Duke has been a member of the UT Tyler Police Department since 2012, serving as a telecommunications operator and a public safety officer. Prior to that, he was a high school teacher and coach for 22 years


Ted Winkle (B.S. industrial technology) was hired as coordinator of the Houston-based Tech Center for Okuma America Corp., a machine tool manufacturer. Winkle is responsible for managing all technical center activities in addition to supporting sales and distribution partner Hartwig, Inc. He previously held supervisory and engineering positions in the manufacturing industry and has extensive sales and technical training experience.


Dana Hamrick (M.A. school counseling) is the new principal of Quitman High School. Hamrick has been employed with Quitman Independent School District for 20 years.

John Ray (BS political science) (MS political science, 2002) was hired as assistant police chief for the Victoria Police Department. Ray served as executive chief deputy with Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office for more than six years and assistant police chief in Longview for more than 21 years. He holds a Ph.D. in public affairs at the University of Texas at Dallas.


Dr. Christopher Moran (M.Ed.) was hired as superintendent of schools for Whitehouse Independent School District, after serving as Brownsboro ISD superintendent of schools since 2011. Moran has held various positions with Whitehouse, Ingram and Clear Creek ISDs, and Franklin Road Christian School in Southfield, Michigan.

Dr. Michael White (M.S. allied health science) was hired as director of the Montgomery County Animal Shelter. White previously served as director of the Veterinary Public Health Division of Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services. He has 30-plus years of experience in the private practice of veterinary medicine and more than 11 years in the veterinary public health field.


Emily Moore (B.B.A. accounting) (M.B.A., 2005) was appointed vice president at Southside Bank. She began her career with Southside in 2004.


Krystyna Alexander (B.S. criminal justice) was named senior vice president at Southside Bank.


Dixie Wright-Burton (B.S. industrial safety) was appointed vice president at Southside Bank. She began her career with Southside in 2001.


Megan Dodd (B.S. sociology), community outreach specialist for East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind, was recently featured in a Tyler Morning Telegraph article about her own experience with visual impairment. Dodd is legally blind, diagnosed with Stargardt’s macular dystrophy. At the Lighthouse, she connects resources with visually impaired individuals. Because she knows the struggles that come with being visually impaired, she is better able to help others. “That is what fuels my passion. I want to be able to provide that sense that we are all connected. We all can help each other,’’ said Dodd, who has been honored as Employee of the Year by both the Lighthouse and the National Industries for the Blind.

Christopher Goss (B.A. health and kinesiology) opened Elysian Cryotherapy in Waco. Goss is a certified personal trainer.


Dennis “Mitch’’ Andrews (M.P.A. public administration), Tyler Junior College executive director of advancement and alumni affairs, was named interim executive director of institutional advancement and the TJC Foundation. Andrews joined TJC in 2002 as director of principal gifts. In 2012, he was named executive director of advancement and alumni engagement. Before joining TJC, he spent many years in Atlanta, Georgia, where he held arts administration positions for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Alliance Theatre Company.


Cassi Rozanski (M.Ed. health and kinesiology) was named coordinator for basketball operations at The University of Texas Rio Grand Valley, becoming one of just seven women nationally on a Division I men’s basketball coaching staff. She and her husband, Marc, UTRGV basketball’s associate head coach, also make up the only husband and wife duo on a Division I coaching staff. 

Ciera Ward(B.S. chemistry) is a medical student in The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Class of 2017. She is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, secretary of the ASA Medical Student Component and founder the UTHSCSA anesthesiology shadowing program.


Rita King (B.B.A. management) was invited to serve as co-director of programming on the board of directors for DallasHR, a chapter of the Society of Human Resources Management. King is employed as director of human resources for Lone Star Aerospace, Inc., in Addison. She returns to UT Tyler each semester to participate in team interview sessions with faculty members Gail Johnson and Rochell McWhorter.


Linda Roman (M.A. accounting) was promoted to senior accountant with Squyres, Johnson, Squyres CPA.

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