Winners Of Texas Tech’s ‘From Here, It’s Possible’ Contest Announced

Written by Michael Castellon

Date: April 27, 2006
CONTACT: Michael Castellon,

LUBBOCK – Texas Tech University officials announced Thursday the winners of the “From Here, It’s Possible” essay contest, an initiative designed to bring increased visibility to Texas Tech’s academic achievements.

The Texas Tech Office of Communications and Marketing hosted a celebration and reception Thursday recognizing the 86 contest entrants who shared their stories of challenge, triumph and success at Texas Tech. They also announced the 18 prizewinners whose stories were selected for awards.

Any well-told story about Texas Tech illustrating the theme of “From Here, It’s Possible” was eligible for the contest as long as the entry was created by a student, alumni, a former or current faculty or staff member from Texas Tech University or Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center or a former or current staff member from the Texas Tech University System.

Lance Sullivan, a graduate student in the Department of Biological Sciences, won first place in the category of Current Texas Tech Student for his essay “Veni, Vidi, Vici” (Latin for "I came, I saw, I conquered").

In his essay, Sullivan describes how he conquered a variety of challenges, including anxieties about his learning disability. He writes, "I owe the majority of my accomplishments to the professors who went above and beyond to assist me whenever I had a difficult time in understanding complex concepts."

Melinda Kaye Williams, a student in the School of Allied Health Sciences, won first place in the category of Current Texas Tech Health Sciences Center Student for her essay “Serving My Purpose.” Williams considers herself lucky to be alive following an accident in the summer of 2003. Through weeks of therapy she had to relearn how to do things she once took for granted.

She writes, "Today, I cannot imagine my life without my near-death experience. (It) allowed me to overcome adversity, realize my strength and attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to pursue a degree in my chosen profession."

Prizes include $500 scholarships, 2-ticket sets of box seats to a 2006-2007 football or basketball game and books published by Texas Tech University Press.

Winners of other contest categories are:

Texas Tech University Current/Former Faculty/Staff

• 1st Place, Sheri Westerfeld Lewis, BA, Mass Communications, 2001,
assistant director/editorial & broadcast advisor in student media

• 2nd Place, Ambassador Tibor P. Nagy, Jr., BA, Arts & Sciences, 1972,
vice provost for international affairs

• 3rd Place, David E. Williams, Ph.D.,
associate professor, Communication Studies

Texas Tech University Current Student

• 2nd Place, Kevin Garrison, MA, Arts & Sciences, 2004,
doctoral student

• 3rd Place, Janis Henderson, BS, Human Sciences, 2004,
graduate student

Texas Tech University Alumnus/Alumna

• 1st Place, Jane Nagy and William “Bill” Edward Whitfill
Nagy: MA, Interdisciplinary Studies, 2005
Whitfill: BA, Arts & Sciences, 2003

• 2nd Place, Lina Alvarez Williams, BA, Arts & Sciences, 2003
adjunct professor, Tallahassee Community College, FL

• 3rd Place, Nancy Shomette, bachelor’s of general studies,
Arts & Sciences, 2004

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Current Student

• 2nd Place, Hayley Blackwell
graduate student, Physician's Assistant Program,

• 3rd Place, Alexia Rend