College of Education Honors Distinguished Alumni
April 22, 2009
College also recognizes Friends of Education.
Texas Tech University's College of Education today (April 22) honored two Distinguished
Alumni and two Friends of Education at a luncheon at the Merket Alumni Center.
Nelda M. Laney and Nola H. Wellman received honors as 2009 Distinguished Alumni. The
college established the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1985 for outstanding achievement,
both inside and outside the profession. Recipients have received one or more degrees
or teacher certifications from Texas Tech, are distinguished in their professional
and personal endeavors and have continued interest in the field of education.
James C. Arnold and Michael D. Shonrock were recognized as 2009 Friends of Education.
The college established the Friend of Education Award in 1976, to pay tribute to Helen
Devitt Jones, a long-time benefactor of the college. The award is given to supporters
of the college and of Texas Tech who have gone above and beyond the typical level
of involvement and support.
A native of Plainview, Laney earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Texas
Tech after marrying Texas Tech alumnus Pete Laney, a self-employed farmer in Hale
County who served the Texas House of Representatives for more than 30 years.
Laney serves on the National Board of Directors for the Texas Tech Alumni Association
(president-elect), State Board for Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas, as
well as Central Plains and Greater Texas Community Partners. She is a Texas board
member for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Past community involvement
is extensive including Texas Tech Foundation Board, Texas Capitol Restoration Fund
Drive and Celebration, Legislative Ladies Club and Texas Historical Art Committee,
Wellman, a native of Odessa, earned her bachelor's degree in English literature from
Texas Tech. She received a master's degree in reading and administration from Colorado
State University and her doctoral degree in administration, curriculum and supervision
from the University of Colorado. She returned to Texas in 2004 to accept the position
of superintendent at Eanes I.S.D. in Austin, after spending her professional career
as an educator and administrator in Colorado.
Wellman participates in several national consortiums dedicated to improving the quality
of public education and is among a group of 35 public school superintendents who formed
the Public Education Visioning Institute. She is the chairperson of the Texas Center
for Educational Research and serves on the legislative committee of the Texas Association
of School Administrators. Wellman is a member of the Executive Committee of the UIL.
Arnold, of Lubbock, began his career as an educator at Atkins Junior High after graduating
from Texas A&M University in Education Curriculum and Instruction. While at Atkins
he was nominated Who's Who in Teaching, awarded a lifetime membership to the Parent
Teacher Association, was Staked Plains Council for the Social Studies teacher of the
year, and participated in more than twenty committees and workshops dedicated to the
improvement of Texas schools.
He has been a member of the Helen Jones Foundation since 1999, and became president
and executive director of its board in 2005. Under Arnold's direction, the foundation
board has donated to the College of Education directing funds toward the endowed scholarship
programs and other projects within the college along with other entities dedicated
Shonrock, senior vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Texas
Tech, has dedicated his professional career to the improvement of higher education
for all university students, including those at Texas Tech. He holds degrees from
Western Illinois University, Pittsburg State University and University of Kansas,
all in the areas of college personnel and higher education administration. Since 1990,
he has served as an administrator and faculty member at Texas Tech. In his current
position his responsibilities are varied and far reaching, and most of the 27 departments
under his watch are directly related to the students he serves. Previously he served
as Texas Tech's dean of students and as director of Student Life at PSU.
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CONTACT: Karen Jacobsen, director of public relations, College of Education, Texas
(806) 742-1998 ext. 455, or firstname.lastname@example.org.