Pioneers Remembered - 2022 Memorials

Our Pioneers Remembered memorial page acknowledges our TWU students, faculty and staff who have passed away. We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our TWU community members (listed below).

This listing is a collaboration between the Office of Student Life and Human Resources. While we try to be thorough, we realize that we do make the occasional, inadvertent omission. If you know of a student, faculty, staff or retired faculty/staff that passed away between June 1, 2021, and May 31, 2022, please email


Chantel Brightman

Chantel held the Dallas campus together with her welcoming nature and giggle at the slightest frustration. The first floor of the Dallas campus is not the same without her presence. - Noralyn Pickens

Chantel was the sweetest person in the world. Everybody that I knew loved her. - Ruth Brightman

Sandra Cruz

Sandra was the best and most loving hardworking mother one could ever have. She set the example for the undying passion one person can show for their family. The loss of her presence and who she was will always be missed. - Erika Greear

Kelly Gage

Kelly is the best person I've ever known. He just had a way about him that let you know he could take care of everything. I miss him every day and know that will continue until I join him. - Jody Taylor Gage

Peggy Malone

Peggy was an Associate Dean for the College of Professional Education and an Associate Professor in the Educational Leadership Program. She was loved by her students and respected by her colleagues, and the awe we had for her could be seen as she worked hard to give her students a quality TWU experience. It has been over a year since she left us and we miss her terribly. She was my colleague, my partner, and my friend. There is no one else like our Peggy. - Laura Trujillo-Jenks

Melisa Mapa

Melisa Mapa, a beam of light, full of life, laughter, and so much joy. At the end of every semester if you asked Melisa how the doctoral program was coming along, she would always casually respond “I’m registered for classes for next semester so I guess they haven’t kicked me out yet,” and she would laugh as she said this. Melisa was very motivated and always saw the best in not just everyone but in every situation. We are grateful to God for the lives that Melisa touched, and the light that she brought into every room that she walked into. If there is anything you are passionate about or anything your heart desires to do, in Melisa’s famous words “JUST DO IT”. Gone too soon but she will forever hold a special place in our hearts. - Martina Mapa

Melisa truly lit up a room the moment she walked in and had the energy to make anyone she talked to feel loved and important. She was so confident and true to herself and always radiated sunshine. I’ll always miss her jokes, her laugh, and her kind nature, along with our weekly phone calls to catch up on each other’s lives whenever we were apart. She would have been the most incredible occupational therapist and she deserved so much more. She will always be missed and loved. - Tatiana Mayerhofer

Melisa was truly beautiful inside and out; she was genuine, kind, and selfless. I remember after completing our level I fieldwork, a group of us went out for happy hour to celebrate. Everyone was drinking and having a good time, and Melisa shows up with 3 appetizers for the entire table. None of us had a lot of money, given that we are all in graduate school, but Melisa made the welfare of the entire group her priority, she truly cared about her friends and I'll never forget that. - Krista Schnur

Melisa was the life of the party and always made sure people felt included, beautiful, and loved. I loved her laugh most of all. My favorite memory of her was at our last Halloween party with our close OTD friends. She was Little Red. We made so many fun memories that night and captured them on photos and videos. I will cherish them forever. - Alyssa Brazell

Melisa's expressiveness is a lasting imprint in my mind - her quizzical look, her bright smile, and gentle love for her friends and peers. She was taken too soon - but she has forever impacted us. - Noralyn Pickens

I met Melisa in 2020 as we both were beginning our journey in graduate school for occupational therapy. She was one of my first friends here at Texas Woman's University, and she was also my roommate for our first year. Melisa was compassionate, humble, encouraging, honest, funny, and consistently a great friend. I am so lucky to have known her and experienced the small time we had together. - Krista Howard

Melisa, I will forever remember all of our nights out, study sessions, late night rants, sleepovers, pool days, and more. You truly were the most amazing friend and taught me to live life to its fullest. I am eternally grateful for our friendship and all the memories we shared. Sending love up to the heavens my friend. Love and miss you! - Madison McConnell