Austin College Grad Students Lead Summer Learning Adventure

Austin College | Sherman Texas | July 15, 2017

SISD elementary students explore India

This summer marks the 15-year collaboration between the Austin College Austin Teacher Program (ATP) and Sherman Independent School District to offer Thinking Camp to the Gifted and Talented elementary students in the district.

Austin College Teacher ProgramThinking Camp is a program dually designed to give ATP graduate students an opportunity to develop teaching skills and provide a rich learning experience for area elementary students. The annual program is coordinated by Dr. Julia Shahid,  Austin College Education Department Head and associate professor of education, and Cyndi Petray, SISD gifted and talented teacher.

“We are thrilled to have this partnership with the Sherman ISD that exemplifies a win-win for all involved,” said Shahid. “The elementary students have the opportunity for a rich hands-on and minds-on learning. Simultaneously, Austin College students have their first opportunity to run their own class for two weeks as they work with a teammate to accomplish things that a classroom teacher is expected to do.”

Sherman ISD Gifted and Talented Summer CampSISD students will gather at Jefferson Elementary School, near Austin College, to explore India’s culture for two weeks beginning Monday, July 17, from 8:30 a.m. to noon each day. The program is offered to students who are identified as gifted and talented in the district, and there is currently a waiting list to attend. The camp has experienced growth within the past few years totaling a number of 40 to 50 students.

Austin College graduate students Kristen Annis, Hailey Clendennen, Haleigh Hahn, and Brittney Aldridge will teach this year’s curriculum titled  “Exotic India: More Alike than Different.” Rising 2nd through 5th grade Gifted & Talented Sherman ISD students will discover the culture, religion, celebrations, geography, daily life, and challenges of India. The students will also receive dance instructions both weeks led by student members of the Austin College Indian Cultural Association.

Thinking Camp is funded by grant from the Capt. H. T. Hastings Trust. The grant covers costs of curriculum, all supplies, healthy snacks, dance instruction, authentic Indian food, and compensation for the Sherman ISD teacher/liaison.

Shahid emphasized that the program’s ultimate goal is two-fold. First, the program provides a unique, enriching learning experience for the students. Second, the program allows Austin College’s grad students to build confidence in what it means to be a teacher. “It is truly a rich learning experience for all involved,” said Shahid.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.

Gail Utter Named to Austin College Board of Trustees

Gail Utter

Austin College | Sherman Texas | July 10, 2017

Gail Utter of Utter Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors has joined the Austin College Board of Trustees. The board of trustees serves as the governing body of the College and is made up of a variety of professionals who give their leadership, time, and resources.

“I have long admired the College’s commitment to quality education in an environment of small classes and strong academic relationships between students and professors. It’s an honor to be asked to join the prestigious Austin College Board of Trustees,” Utter said.

Utter has served the Austin College community since the late 1980s in roles on the Advisory Board, and in leadership for the Austin College Community Campaign. She has been a President’s Council donor and has endowed the Scott B. Smith Scholarship in honor of her late husband, and the Jeffrey Kent Wattman Scholarship in honor of her deceased brother. Her son, Blake Utter is an Austin College alumnus, class of 2007.

“Austin College is a pillar of economic and cultural activity within the Sherman and Denison communities and beyond. The college employs substantial faculty and staff, increases regional commerce, creates and sponsors arts and entertainment events and meaningfully supports local non-profit efforts,” Utter said. “The College leadership has built on the school’s successes, and provided opportunities for continued and important impact for the future of our region.”

Utter is a frequent keynote speaker and is well-known for her philanthropic and community leadership. In addition to Austin College, she serves on the board of trustees of United Way, Grand Central Station (soup kitchen/resource center), and the Grayson County Behavioral Health Leadership Team. She has previously served on airport, hospital, youth improvement, and chamber of commerce boards. She has received numerous community awards, including the Sherman Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Citizen of the Year, the Athena Women’s Award and the Emmett Essin Community Service Award.

She has more than 20 years of experience in the wealth management industry and formed the Utter Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in 2001. She has a BBA from Southern Methodist University and an MBA from the University of North Texas. She is an IMCA Certified Private Wealth Advisor and a College for Financial Planning’s Chartered Retirement Plan Counselor. She has received numerous national third-party professional awards, including multi-year recognition as a Barron’s Top 1200 Advisor for years 2012, 2014-2017, a Barron’s Top 100 Women Advisor years for years 2010-2014, and a Financial Times Top 400 Advisor for 2017. Gail has been named as a Texas Monthly Five-Star Wealth Manager for five years, and has been named a firm-wide Chairman’s Council advisor for more than 20 years.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.

Preston Trail DAR Chapter Presents Awards

The Preston Trail NSDAR conducted an awards banquet on May 18, 2017.  The chapter honored the DAR Good Citizen, DAR Scholarship Winner, and Unsung Heroes in the community.

Each year, the Preston Trail NSDAR Chapter awards a Good Citizen Award.  The Judges who selected the winner are Judge, Bill Magers, Nancy Powers, Pastor, St. Johns and Gail Utter.

The winner of the 2017 DAR Good Citizen Award was Kinley Taylor Ives. She is also a member of the Bells softball team who won the 2A State Championship against Shiner this season. These local award winners are then eligible to win State and National Good Citizen Award with the possibility of a $5,000 scholarship.

The Preston Trail chapter offers a cash college scholarship annually.  This year’s recipient was Bao Catteau, a Senior at Denison High School.  He was also their Valedictorian (1/235) and a Socrates scholar, a “Top Ten-Percenter.”  Bao was selected based on his excellent grades, references from his teachers, family and friends, his community service work, and the two-page essay he wrote about one of his family members who had served in the U.S. Military and what that service meant to him.  This year’s award was in the amount of $2,000.   He was active in athletics and was Varsity Captain his senior year in tennis.  Bao was President of the National Honor Society. He was awarded the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award, the Academic All-State Elite Award, and Wendy’s High School Heisman.  He was the principle tutor for the after -school tutoring program, and he was very active in his church helping with Vacation Bible School, Christian Theater Workshop, volunteering with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels, Helping Hands, Habitat for Humanity, Heart to Heart Hospice, as well as traveling with a Disaster Relief Response Team to aid in relief for tornado victims.

The Preston Trail Chapter scholarship application form can be found online at this address:

http://www.texasdar.org/chapters/PrestonTrail/images/Scholarship.pdf

Unsung Hero, Carol Singletary was honored for her dedication to the needs of women and families in her community. She works very closely with the charitable programs at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Denison.  This ministry stands in constant need of donations and volunteers to help the many needy people of our area, so check with them to find out how you can help.

Bill & Martha Neyman were honored as Unsung Heroes for their love and desire to serve the Veterans of this area and this great nation.  They are representatives for Soldier’s Angels – a group that wants no soldier to be forgotten.  They send letters and packages to all the war zones.  They volunteer at the Bonham VA to help provide clothing for veterans who have none.  They, with the help of others, have furnished apartments for some of the veterans that choose to remain in our area.

One of the chapter’s foremost areas of service is to America’s veterans.  The entire Preston Trail chapter participates in fundraisers that fund a program called “Opening Doors for Disabled Veterans,” which remodels the bathrooms of disabled veterans of Grayson County so they will become handicap accessible.    The Preston Trail Chapter members also volunteer extensively at the Bonham VA Hospital. An award went to Jonnie Templeton who takes her sewing machine to Bonham nearly every Tuesday to alter clothing for veterans in their drug and alcohol program who come in with nothing.  Jonnie makes sure they have a bag full of clothes that fit when they leave the program.

Would you like to be involved in the good works that DAR participates in?  Anyone interested in receiving help to prove their ancestry for qualification to become a Daughter of the American Revolution are welcome to contact our chapter at www.facebook.com/PrestonTrailNSDARPottsboroTX75076 on Facebook or www.DAR.org.

The Preston Trail Chapter of the DAR next meets September 21st and thereafter through May on the first Thursday of the month at 5pm for snacks and fellowship and at 6pm for chapter meetings and programs. There is no meeting in December.  The meeting location is at the Georgetown Baptist Church north of Pottsboro at 207 Georgetown Road.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 177,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.  DAR members are committed to volunteer service having served more than 12.5 million hours in communities throughout the world during the past three years.  To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.DAR.org or connect with DAR on social media at facebook.com/TodaysDARtwitter.com/TodaysDAR and youtube.com/TodaysDAR.

Preston Trail DAR Chapter Installs New Officers

Pottsboro Texas | July 4,2017

Preston Trail NSDAR voted and new chapter officers were elected to serve for the two-year term of 2017—2019. They were sworn in at the Preston Trail NSDAR Awards banquet on May 18, 2017.

The meeting was presided over by outgoing Regent Gloria Morton, with State Officer Marcy Carter-Lovick assisting in the swearing-in ceremony.

The new officers are as follows: Regent, Vicki McComack;  1st Vice Regent, Natalie Bauman;  2nd Vice Regent, Catherine Giles;  Chaplain, Gay Hilbert;  Registrar, Sandy Sharp;  Recording Secretary, Gloria Morton;  Corresponding Secretary, Cynthia Gudgel;  Treasurer, Lisa Lettie;  Historian, Carolyn Dexheimer;  and Librarian, Beth Bowling.

DAR new officers for 2017
Beth Bowling, Cynthia Gudgel, Gloria Morton, Gay Hilbert, Natalie Clountz Bauman and Vicki Ellison McComack with Marcy Carter-Lovick State Officer

The chapter honored the DAR Good Citizen, our scholarship recipient, and unsung heroes at this banquet, which will be announced in a later press release.

The Preston Trail Chapter of the DAR next meets September 21st and thereafter through May on the second Thursday of the month at 5pm for snacks and fellowship and at 6pm for chapter meetings and programs. There is no meeting in December.  The meeting location is at the Georgetown Baptist Church north of Pottsboro at 207 Georgetown Road.

Anyone interested in receiving help to prove their ancestry for qualification to become a Daughter of the American Revolution are welcome to contact our chapter at https://www.facebook.com/PrestonTrailNSDARPottsboroTX75076/  on Facebook.

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 177,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.  DAR members are committed to volunteer service having served  more than 12.5 million hours in communities throughout the world during the past three years.  To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit www.DAR.org or connect with DAR on social media at facebook.com/TodaysDARtwitter.com/TodaysDAR and youtube.com/TodaysDAR.

Austin College Appoints New Interim President

Austin College | Sherman Texas | June 30, 2017

The Austin College Board of Trustees has named Dr. Michael Imhoff to serve as interim president of the College as of July 1. Former president Dr. Marjorie Hass left in late June to assume the presidency of Rhodes College in Tennessee effective July 1. That move was announced last December and the Austin College Board of Trustees immediately set in motion the process to determine the next president of the College—only the 16th in its 168-year history.

Mike ImhoffImhoff served Austin College as vice president for Academic Affairs from 2000 until his retirement in 2013. He already knew the College well, having become a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry in 1970. He was named the Rupert B. Lowe Chair in Chemistry in 1995, and received the College’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997. His career in the classroom, which included courses in general chemistry and organic chemistry, involved research opportunities for many students. During his teaching career, he served as department chair and dean of the Sciences, as well as the first director of the Austin College Center for Environmental Studies.

“We are confident that Dr. Imhoff’s long-tenured experience and knowledge of Austin College and its constituencies, as well as his leadership and great wisdom, will bring a sense of steadiness and positive direction to this transition period,” said Scott Austin, Austin College 1983 graduate, member of the Board of Trustees, and chair of the Search Committee for the 16th President. “We are grateful to Mike for his love of Austin College and his willingness to serve.”

“Austin College is very special to me and I am honored to be asked to serve as the interim president during this transition,” Imhoff said. “I look forward to working with my many friends and colleagues as Austin College continues the tradition of offering the very finest liberal arts education.”

Imhoff was selected as the College’s Homer P. Rainey Award recipient in 2013. Announcing the award, Tim Millerick, vice president for Student Affairs, said that Mike brought a combination of administrative skill, calm demeanor, and personal integrity to his role as vice president. “The benefit to the College was enormous and his commitment to liberal arts education is deep,” Millerick said. “As a faculty member in the Sciences, he put his time where his beliefs were and made major contributions to the overall academic program of the College. He has what is regarded as the single most important intellectual quality: curiosity. This led him to climb over the walls of his discipline and made him an outstanding teacher and administrator.”

Upon retirement in May 2013, after 43 years of service to the College, Imhoff was granted status as professor emeritus of chemistry and vice president emeritus of Academic Affairs. He had been instrumental in the planning and design of the College’s IDEA Center, and its opening in Fall Term 2013 was a fitting capstone to Imhoff’s esteemed career in academics.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Riverside and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

The Search for the 16th President

With the efforts of the nationally recognized search firm of Wheless Partners, selected to assist the board in identifying and recruiting qualified candidates for the new president, the search committee received a vetted pool of aspirants in May. The search committee since has narrowed those to 10 candidates, completed video interviews to narrow the field to five, and now begins personal interviews with the finalists. “Things are happening; we are moving forward, and I feel very confident about the future president of Austin College,” Austin said.

Imhoff added, “There is great anticipation on the Austin College campus as we look forward to the arrival of new president. It is indeed a rare event. In my 43-year career at the college I have engaged in only three transitions of presidential leadership.”

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 40 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of approximately 1,275 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.