• August 18, 2019

GOOD NEWS: Names in the News - Odessa American: Good News

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GOOD NEWS: Names in the News

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Posted: Sunday, August 4, 2019 3:00 am


Faith Gordon, daughter of Cliff and Yolanda Gordon of Odessa, is a member of the Red Raider Orientation staff, “The Crew,” at Texas Tech University. The Crew guides students to getting started at TTU. They act as guides, small group leaders, mentors and resources for new students. They also help guide students and parents through many activities and sessions that take place during orientation.

Gordon is a majoring in creative media.



Scott McKay has been selected as the new dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Texas Permian Basin. His appointment was effective July 15.

McKay comes to UTPB after serving as the provost and vice president of academic affairs at Dakota State University since 2017. Prior to DSU, McKay was the dean of science and engineering and professor of chemistry at Southern Arkansas University. Before his time at SAU, McKay was the chair and professor of chemistry at the University of Central Missouri and director/founder of the Center for Alternative Fuels and Environmental Science. McKay is a hydrocarbon chemist and geologist by trade. He has spent his professional career focused on the research of alternative energy, petroleum products, crystal engineering, and proton exchange membranes for hydrogen fuel cells. He currently consults for energy related companies and has been an investigator on approximately $2 million of grants. McKay earned his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the Florida Institute of Technology and earned his bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and geology from Eastern Kentucky University. He won the Excellence in Technology Award at the 2013 Biennial Achievement Awards. The Coordinating & Development Corporation is the economic development authority for the Ark-La-Tex. In 2016, McKay was awarded The Mary Armwood Diversity Excellence Award.


ALPINE Barbara Tucker has been named the new Dean of College of Education and Professional Studies at Sul Ross State University.

Tucker began her new position on July 22. She replaces Jim Case who served as interim Dean for the past year.

Tucker was previously the chair of the Sul Ross Department of Education, a position she has held for the past three years.

In addition to her position of associate professor of education in counseling, Tucker also serves as the coordinator for the Counseling Department (7 years).

She also served as assistant professor, visiting lecturer and adjunct professor of education in counseling.

Previously, Tucker was also an adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at Midland College for two years and was a lead teacher and classroom instructor at Alpine Christian School (5 years).

Tucker also worked in multiple coordinator positions and quality management at Permian Basin Mental Health and Mental Retardation Community Services, Big Bend State Operated Community Services (11 years) and was a disabilities manager for Wilkin County Family Services in Breckenridge, Minnesota.

Tucker is a qualified mental health professional and a licensed social worker. She is also an approved Iowa-testing administrator.

Tucker received her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in 1993 from Moorhead State University (MN) and her Master’s Degree in Education from Sul Ross in 1997.

In 2012, Tucker earned her PhD in Philosophy in Psychology from Capella University (MN).



ALPINE Carlos “Lalo” Gonzalez has been selected as assistant professor of natural resource management and the Nau endowed professor in habitat research and management at the Borderlands Research Institute.

Gonzalez earned a Bachelor of Science in Range and Wildlife from Texas A&M-Kingsville, a Master’s Degree in Natural Resource Management in 2015 from Sul Ross and his PhD in 2018 through a cooperative doctoral program with Sul Ross and Texas A&M. His dissertation compiled data from several bighorn sheep translocations, and his work earned him two first place awards for research presentations from the Texas Chapter of the Wildlife Society and the Texas Section for the Society for Range Management.

The job duties of the new position will include overseeing the development of the Habitat Research and Management program, including coordinating research grants, working closely with the West Texas Native Seed Program, and developing rangeland restoration techniques for West Texas.

The endowed position was made possible by a $1.5 million philanthropic gift from the Nau Foundation, the largest in BRI’s history. The foundation pledged $100,000 to an endowment and $50,000 for operations annually over the next ten years. The gift is also the largest ever received by Sul Ross.

Nau is the chief executive officer of Silver Eagle Distributors in Houston, the largest distributor of Anheuser-Busch products in the United States. The Nau family owns a ranch in West Texas and has been actively involved with the BRI for more than 10 years.

The Nau family has supported BRI research projects, including studies on desert bighorn sheep, quail, and mule deer in West Texas. The Nau family has not only helped fund these studies, but their family and ranch personnel actively engage and interact with BRI students.



ALPINE Sul Ross State University guard Xavier Webb is back at his Alma Mater. Webb, who graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in History, made history of his own in early June, becoming the Sul Ross men’s basketball program’s first fulltime assistant coach.

With just one course remaining, Webb will wrap up his Master’s Degree from Sul Ross later this year, an online task he began while serving as an assistant for Ty Harrelson’s Wayland Baptist University program the past two seasons.

A native of Riverton, Wyo., Webb accumulated an impressive portfolio in his two years with the Lobos both off and on the court.

In addition to being named cum laude upon graduation, he earned ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Team and Academic-All-Conference honors in 2017, while also being named a 2017 recipient of the American Southwest Conference Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor. Webb was also Dean’s List scholar at Sul Ross and has been involved in a variety of community projects mentoring youth in basketball and life decision skills along with assisting in events with the elderly and disabled.

A two-year letter winner with the Lobos, Webb was a member of the 2015-16 ASC West Division championship team as a junior and earned All-West Division honors as a senior.

On the court, Webb was the second leading free throw shooter for the Lobos in 2016-17, converting 32 of 41 foul shots for a .780 percentage.

As a junior, he helped guide Sul Ross to its first ASC West Division title in more than 10 years.

His .439 three-point field goal percentage ranked Webb fourth in the league in 2015-16 and provided the shooting octane for a 16-10 overall finish, 10-4 in the ASC.


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