STEPHENVILLE (November 16, 2016) — Six Tarleton State University graduates returned to the classroom on Wednesday to share their knowledge and experience with students from each of the university’s six colleges as part of Tarleton’s 24th annual Alumni Academic Forum.
Begun in 1993 to recognize outstanding graduates from each academic college, the event allows alumni honorees the opportunity to interact with current Tarleton students and to share personal success stories—how the university prepared them for life after college and advice on pursuing a career in their chosen field.
This year’s Tarleton Alumni Academic Forum honorees are: Paul Casey (’92), College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences; Ken Dorris (’81), College of Business Administration; Christy West (’75), College of Education; Michael Honea (’02, ’04), College of Health Sciences & Human Services; Glenn West (’75), College of Liberal & Fine Arts; and Dr. Ted Pettijohn (’83), College of Science & Technology.
Honorees were welcomed to campus by Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio, Provost Dr. Karen Murray and each of the college’s academic deans at a breakfast prior to visiting classes to speak to students, faculty and staff. The honorees later were recognized during a luncheon, where they received awards marking their participation as Alumni Academic Forum presenters.
About the Tarleton Alumni Academic Forum honorees:
Paul Casey earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 1992 and is currently the ag science teacher and director of Career & Technical Education at the Peaster (Texas) Independent School District, where he has been employed since 1995. While at Tarleton, he was a member of the Livestock Judging Team and was a charter member of the Beta Sigma Chapter of Alpha Gamma Rho. He is a member of the Parker County Livestock Improvement Association, president of the Peaster Youth Basketball Association and a director on the Tarleton Alumni Association board. Casey has four children: Drew, Aaron, Preston and Karter.
Ken Dorris graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1981. Upon graduation, he worked as a legislative assistant to Texas Sen. Bob Glasgow before beginning his investment career. He is an accomplished veteran of the financial services industry, leading and coaching high-performing teams at premier asset management and annuity companies for more than 25 years. When asked to assume a senior role in relationship management, Dorris relied on a strong sales acumen to garner the opportunity to compose a portion of Morgan Stanley’s “Retirement Standard” curriculum. This curriculum was used to educate more than 8,000 Morgan Stanley financial advisors. In 2014, Dorris returned to his career roots as a financial advisor by joining a seasoned team, the Bruce Group, at Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner and Smith in Fort Worth. He has completed executive education programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Business and at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He serves on the Tarleton Alumni Association’s board of directors.
Christy West graduated from Tarleton in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. After graduation, West landed her first teaching job at Stanton Elementary School in Stanton, Texas. Her second teaching job was at Tubbs Elementary School in Lubbock, Texas, where she taught first grade Spanish/English bilingual education. Christy and her husband, Glenn, have three children: Stephen, David and Rebekah. Now retired, she continues her love for education by volunteering as a mentor at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts in Dallas.
Michael Honea holds a bachelor’s degree in biology (’02) and a bachelor’s degree in clinical lab science (’04) from Tarleton. While in school for his first degree, he was a member of the Tarleton Plowboys. He had his student clinical rotation at John Peter Smith Hospital in 2004, and went to work for Glen Rose Medical Center as a medical technician the same year. He was promoted to laboratory director in August 2008 and then to chief financial officer in 2012. He is now chief operations officer and laboratory director. Honea currently serves as chairperson for the men’s ministry at Acton Baptist Church and financial officer of Hope Moves Ministry. He also serves as a volunteer fireman and EMT for Pecan Plantation EMS. He and his wife, Janie, met at Tarleton and have two daughters. Michael just received his master’s of business administration from the University of Texas in Tyler.
Glenn West graduated from Tarleton in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in government. Upon graduation from law school, he began work in Dallas at Jackson & Walker LLP. West was elevated to partner at Jackson & Walker in 1983 and, in 1987, was recruited to start the Dallas office of the global New York-based law firm of Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP. He was managing partner of the Dallas office of Weil as well as a member of the firm-wide management committee from 1995 through 2014 and continues to practice law at there. West represents public and private companies in acquisitions and financings and has developed an expertise in the acquisition and financing of sports teams and their facilities. He is licensed to practice law in Texas, New York and the District of Columbia, as well as having been qualified as a “solicitor” in England and Wales.
Dr. Ted M. Pettijohn received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 1983 from Tarleton in only three years. He went on to complete his Ph.D. (’86) at the University of Texas at Austin then joined Phillips Petroleum in its research and development organization. At Phillips, Pettijohn invented several commercial technologies and currently holds more than 50 patents. After several years with Phillips, he joined Witco Corporation and was transferred to Europe where he was recruited by Evonik Corporation, a specialty chemical company. Since joining Evonik in 2000, he has managed several Evonik businesses in America, Europe and Asia. Pettijohn is currently senior vice president for Evonik Corporation and is responsible for strategic growth initiatives, including their oil and gas and petrochemical activities. He serves on several boards and academic committees and was honored early in his career by being awarded Outstanding Young Alumnus of the Year by Tarleton. Ted and his wife, Ann, are both from Dublin, Texas, where they were high school sweethearts. They have one daughter who is currently a senior in high school. They reside in Magnolia, Texas.