A peek at a rising star
One of my greatest pleasures is awarding the university’s top scholarship to a deserving student, and earlier this month I was elated to surprise Alvord High School senior Isabella Campbell with the Chancellor’s Endowed Scholarship, worth about $52,000. The university awards only one of these scholarships each year, and I am always impressed by the outstanding character our awardees demonstrate. Bella is no exception. In addition to being at the top of her class academically, she serves as president of her senior class, the student council, the National Honor Society chapter and the school’s Family, Career and Community Leaders of America organization. She has been drum major for the past three years, has been named to the All-Region Band and the All-Star Cast for UIL One-Act Play. I am certain there are more achievements – far too many to mention in this space – but what is important to share is that Bella chose Texas Woman’s as the university where she wants to continue to learn, lead and serve others. I cannot help but think Bella saw something in this institution that made it especially welcoming to her, just as we clearly saw something special in Bella.
TWU Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management Javier Flores, EdD, presents Isabella Campbell with a certificate commemorating her scholarship award
Design team wins NASA-sponsored contest, again!
TWU’s team, dubbed The Oneiroi, enhanced the fall team’s visor-shaped, blue light-emitting device designed to help recalibrate sleep cycles in astronauts.
I am thrilled to report that for the second time in as many semesters a Texas Woman’s team of kinesiology students took home top honors in a NASA-sponsored innovative design competition. The team, called The Oneiroi, after the gods of dreams in Greek mythology, won best overall team, best poster and best oral presentation during the two-day Texas Space Grant Consortium Design Challenge Showcase this month. The five-member team — made up of seniors Keely Chapman, Avery Foreman, Mercy Obanigba, Brittany Rust (team lead), and Eduardo Urias — enhanced a visor that emits therapeutic light to address sleeplessness that astronauts encounter while traveling in space. Astronauts routinely experience disrupted sleep cycles in space because they encounter multiple sunrises in a 24-hour period. Members of the team, who all graduate in May, logged hundreds of hours researching and testing design upgrades to the visor, which was created by last fall's The Oneiroi team, AND was provisionally accepted as a patent last week. This marked the third time a Texas Woman’s team has won the top honor in this competition over the last five years, and is a testament to the creative minds that are being produced at Texas Woman’s. This competition is geared toward engineers, who were represented on each of the 19 other teams in the contest.
Congresswoman’s gift launches scholarship
U.S. Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia (’72 and ’83) this month announced a $50,000 gift to Texas Woman’s to establish an endowed scholarship benefitting future undergraduates who want to pursue careers in public service. The scholarship will be geared toward students who come from traditionally underrepresented groups in federal, state and local politics. Garcia’s gift coincides with the 50th anniversary of her graduation from Texas Woman’s with a bachelor’s degree in social work (she also earned a master's in political science here). Garcia is an ardent supporter of education, and she hopes this gift will help motivate others to contribute to scholarships at Texas Woman’s.
University mourns loss of longtime professor
Texas Woman’s lost an endearing educator, Phyllis Bridges, PhD, on April 26. She was so much more than an English professor at the university, and her legacy here will live on. Dr. Bridges served TWU for 50 years, including stints as provost, interim dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and graduate dean. She also served as the university’s historian, helped establish the Blagg-Huey Library, launched student scholarships, organized two different lecture series, and wrote two books about the history of the university. Dr. Bridges will be sorely missed but never forgotten.
US representative, business and tech leaders among commencement speakers
From left, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, Das and Nipa Nobel, and Merrilee Kick.
The spring semester has moved rather quickly and we are just a couple of weeks away from celebrating our newest graduates during May 2022 commencement activities. Approximately 2,100 candidates will be participating in seven graduation ceremonies in Houston (Sunday, May 8) and Denton (Friday and Saturday, May 13-14). Among this year’s keynote speakers are U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, who is dean of the Texas Congressional Delegation and is approaching 50 years of public service as congresswoman and former member of the Texas House and Senate; Merrilee Kick (MBA ’08) who in 2013 received the then-TWU School of Management's distinguished alumni award and became the country’s first woman owner of a winery/distillery; and Das (CEO) and Nipa (Co-Founder) Nobel of Frisco-based MTX, a technology consulting firm that uses data to help organizations tailor outcomes around “happiness, health and economy.”
Grant program for women veterans opens second round
The Center for Women Entrepreneurs has opened a second round of funding for its Veteran Woman Entrepreneur Grant program, which aims to boost businesses owned by women veterans. This year, the center, which is under the umbrella of the Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership at Texas Woman’s, will award ten $5,000 grants to qualified Texas women veterans who are starting or who already own a business. Last year, the CWE awarded 27 grants in awards as high as $10,000 to women veterans. While the pandemic wrought havoc on many Texas businesses, government statistics show that women-owned businesses on average have struggled even more. The program seeks to help two populations who have experienced hardship during the pandemic: women and veterans. The CWE in general has made it a priority to support women-owned businesses in Texas and since 2020 has awarded grants totaling $1.5 million and offered business development counseling.
Gymnastics notches 12th national championship
The Pioneers celebrate their victory by giving coach Lisa Bowerman a water-cooler bath.
I am incredibly proud of our Pioneer Gymnastics team, which outpaced a four-team field to claim the USA Gymnastics national championship in Ithaca, New York earlier this month. It marked the 12th time the Pioneer gymnastics program has claimed the national title in Division II. In winning the title, the team posted its highest score of the season — 196.025. A day later, our own Isabel Goyco posted a career-high 9.950 on the floor exercise to repeat as USAG Individual National Champion. To show our appreciation, more than 100 students, faculty, staff and alumni welcomed the team back to Denton, including Denton Mayor Gerard Hudspeth, state Representative Lynn Stucky and members of state legislative staff.
To close out this installment, I leave with you a photo of Tonya Gilbeaux, assistant director of Housing & Dining, who was the recipient of the Award of Excellence during the 2022 Faculty and Staff Awards Ceremony on April 6. It was our first in-person ceremony in two years to honor our outstanding faculty and staff, and I am honored to serve with so many people who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to keeping our university running smoothly.
Thanks for your interest in Texas Woman’s. As always, email me with your comments or questions. I am delighted that you have spent a few minutes with me today.
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Page last updated 2:44 PM, February 27, 2023