Dr. Hatcher, chairman of UT Tyler’s art program has had a hand in just about every big event in my career. He’s been a lifelong mentor to me. It was Dr. Hatcher who recommended me for the Javitts Fellowship, a $30,000 award that supported me and my wife Sarah Hoitsma while I was in graduate school at Southern Methodist University. Then, he again recommended us for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, JET. Through this program, we were able to spend four years living and teaching among the people of Otsu, Japan. It was the experience of a lifetime. When we came home we were initially overwhelmed by the violence on TV, the size of homes and the amount of glass and plastic trash our society generates. Today, we have no television in our home. “Since returning from Japan, I have changed artistic mediums. Previously I worked in ceramics and now I am specializing in re-purposing resources from dumpsters, diverting materials from the waste stream and giving scrap lumber a new life. “Today, I’m teaching sculpture and three-dimensional design at Missouri Western State University. You guessed it: Dr. Hatcher again recommended me for the position.