College of Human Sciences Honors Distinguished Alumni
October 29, 2010
The Distinguished Alumni Awards are given to graduates of the College of Human Sciences
who have advanced the reputation of the college through their significant achievements.
Texas Tech University’s College of Human Sciences announces the recipients of the
Distinguished Alumni Awards, New Achiever Award, Lifetime Distinguished Service Award
and Distinguished Leadership Award.
Honorees for 2010 will be recognized at the 28th Annual Distinguished Alumni Luncheon
to be held at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 4 in the Red Raider Ballroom at the Student Union Building.
The Distinguished Alumni Awards
are given to graduates of the College of Human Sciences who have advanced the reputation
of the college through their significant achievements.
The Distinguished Alumna Award recipients are:
- Brenda Barrington-Mendiola, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama,
earned her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education in 1980, her Master
of Science in Home Economic Education in 1981, and her doctorate in 2009. She
spent much of her career acting as a champion for the thousands of children who
passed through schools under her supervision. After four years as superintendent,
Barrington-Mendiola retired from Irion County Independent School District in
June. Under her guidance, ICISD boasted an elementary campus rated as exemplary
four times in the past seven years and a recognized high school that won a bronze
award from U.S.News and World Report in 2006. She also teamed with others in
the district to secure more than $600,000 in competitive and non-competitive
grant funding over the years, and $9 million bond for school construction projects.
In 2009-2010, she also served as an adjunct professor of superintendent courses
for Angelo State University.
- Sharon D. Staley, owner of Sharon Staley Interiors of Houston, graduated with a Bachelor
of Science in Applied Art in 1971. She believes that good design starts and ends by
incorporating a client’s needs into a functioning, comfortable environment. Her client-first
philosophy has also guided Staley’s life outside of work, as her integrity and professionalism
have led to a life full of community service and volunteerism. During her decades
of involvement in various positions with the American Society of Interior Designers
(ASID), Staley has also served as an advisor to Texas Tech, the University of Houston,
The Art Institute of Houston and Houston Community College. She has volunteered for
organizations including Habitat for Humanity, Harris County Heritage Society, and
is on the board for the Texas Nature Conservancy. She has raised money for the American
Cancer Society, Operation Rainbow, chaired the Project Hope Gala and helped design
facilities for use by programs supporting AIDS patients, homeless women, drug recovery
groups and the Ronald McDonald houses in Houston and Galveston.
The New Achiever Award
is given to graduates from within the last 12 years who have enhanced the reputation
of the College of Human Sciences through their emerging achievements.
The New Achiever Award recipient is:
- Mary M. Bell earned her Master of Science in Personal Financial Planning in 2005.
In the last five years, Bell has emerged as a key player in national military
and defense financial planning matters. She recently served as an advisor to
the Department of Defense’s Office of Personal Finance, lending technical expertise
to defense leadership and financial education initiatives for service members.
Over the summer, she worked as a financial counselor for the Survivor Outreach
Services program at Fort Riley, Kan. to help the Families of Fallen Soldiers.
She also worked to enhance the web content for the Department of Defense’s financial
readiness campaign. Bell is pursuing her doctorate in financial therapy at Kansas
State University and working as a graduate assistant for grant from the Department
of Defense and USDA to help military and military dependents further their
education during their military experience.
The Distinguished Leadership Award
recognizes a significant leader who has achieved the highest levels of excellence
in one or more fields associated with the College of Human Sciences.
The Distinguished Leadership Award recipient
- Catherine S. Nathan received her doctorate in early childhood/special education
in 1989. During her 17 years as director of Texas Tech’s Child Development
Research Center (CDRC), Nathan’s dedication and hard work led to advances such
as a $5.2 million facility expansion that doubled the capacity of the center.
Her commitment carried over into community service and within various professional
organizations, as well. Nathan continues her advocacy in retirement as president
of the board for Upstarts: Education for the Real World, an innovative program
for at risk youth, and Texas Early Childhood Education Coalition and Texas Association
for Infant Mental Health. She resides in Spring Branch.
The Lifetime Distinguished Service Award
is reserved for those who have significantly advanced the college and its goals of
excellence in teaching, research and service. Candidates for this award may or may
not be graduates of the college.
The Lifetime Distinguished Service Award
- Ethel M. McLeodpurchased a friend’s telephone answering business in 1954. It was called Stenocall,
and employeed one person with 13 accounts. The company gained momentum in
1961, after McLeod and her late husband, Don, purchased Lubbock Radio Paging.
The merger of these two companies added one-way paging, a popular service among
physicians in Lubbock and the surrounding area. Fast forward to 2010, Stenocall
is now a communications industry leader in Lubbock, offering bilingual telephone
answering, bilingual inbound telemarketing, cellular phones, two-way radios and
voicemail. The McLeods participated in various boards and philanthropic organizations,
plus they funded scholarships and donated to programs such as the Center for
the Study of Addiction and Recovery. They also helped build the infrastructure
of the university through contributions to the Don and Ethel McLeod Tennis Center
and Jerry S. Rawls College of Business building.