Five selected as distinguished alumni

The five distinguished SHSU alumni have been chosen and will be honored during this year’s homecoming at the SHSU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Gala dinner on Nov. 7.Director of Alumni Relations and Executive Director of the SHSU Alumni Association, Kevin Hayes, describes it as, “The highest honor the Alumni Association and SHSU can bestow upon alumni”.On the SHSU website at the Today@ Sam link, the five distinguished alumni and their bio’s are listed as:Mark Joseph Kroll, of Ruston, La., a former assistant professor of management and director of graduate studies at SHSU. Currently, Kroll is the Maurice Tatum Endowed Professor of Business and department chair at Louisiana Tech University. In 1999, Kroll was named a Fulbright Visiting Scholar in residence at the Hanoi School of Business, which is part of the National University of Vietnam. While there, he helped in the development of a graduate program in business. In addition, he has served as a visiting professor at the Instituto Technologico y De Estudios Superiores De Monterrey in Guadalajara, Mexico.Preston Johnson Jr., of Sugarland is the senior vice president of human resources and shared services at CenterPoint Energy, Inc. Previous to his current position, Johnson worked for 23 years at Dow Chemical Company, where he was a key figure in the global transformation of the company. As a student at SHSU, Johnson was the founding president of the Iota Sigma chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity. He is now on the School of Business advisory board, a member of the President’s Council, an honorary member of Beta Gamma Sigma, a lifetime member of the Alumni Association and has established the Johnson/Perkins Endowment Fund.W.Allen Gage, of Houston is currently the vice chairman of the board for Regions Bank. Gage began working in the banking industry in 1963, serving in positions such as United States comptroller of the currency in Washington, D.C. between 1964 and 1968, Chairman of the Board, president, chief executive officer and director of First National Bank in Longview between 1991 and 2001A member of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity while attending SHSU, Gage is now a life endowed member of the Alumni Association, the President’s Circle and has supported the basketball team through a $39,000 gift to the program in the name of D.V McKaskle, as well as a $1,000 donation to allow one player to travel to Africa as part of Athletes in Action.Michael A. Lytle, of Alexandria, Va., is a senior research associate at Science Applications International Corporation. A 1973 graduate of Indiana University at Bloomington, with degrees in forensic studies and political science, Lytle went on to receive his graduate certificate from the Institute of Contemporary Corrections and the Behavioral Sciences at SHSU in 1977.He is a senior subject-matter expert on law enforcement, intelligence, counternarcotics, counterterrorism and provides consulting and advisory services to government agencies.In addition, Lytle is an adjunct professor at Marymount University, in Arlington, Va., where he has developed, and now coordinates and teaches in, the only bachelor degree level forensic science program in the Greater Washington D.C. area.Thomas Lee Ely, D.O., of Clarksville, Tenn. is the vice president for medical affairs and director of medical education at Gateway Medical Center. He is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and attended medical school on a health professions scholarship through the U.S. Army. He later returned during Desert Storm as department chief at a teaching hospital. In 1988, Ely retired from the Army after 20 years with the rank Lieutenant Colonel to work at a private practice in Clarksville, Tenn., where he worked for 14 years. In 2000, he was elected as chief of medical staff at Gateway Medical Center and in 2002, accepted the position of vice president for medical affairs/director of medical education.In 2001, Ely was the recipient of the Tennessee Osteopathic Medical Association’s “Physician of the Year” Award, which is reserved for individuals with a record of meritorious service to their community, county, state and national professional associations, as well as the osteopathic profession.According to the distinguished alumni nomination form, the distinguished alumni are chosen because they are graduates or former students who have distinguished themselves through personal and professional achievements and who have made significant contributions to SHSU and society plus have brought honor and distinction to the university.The distinguished alumni are nominated by Alumni Association Members, selected by the Distinguished Alumni Committee of the Board of Directors and approved by the president of SHSU. Alumni Coordinator, Chrissy Price, said “It’s (the distinguished alumni honor) awarded annually at homecoming.”Letters asking for nominations for the distinguished alumni went out to Alumni Association members in spring of 2003. Among many, some past distinguished alumni are Dan Rather, awarded in 77′, Lee Drain, awarded in 84′, Newton Gresham, awarded in 77′, Elliot T. Bowers, awarded in 76′ and Harmon Lowman, awarded in 84′.For information on past and present distinguished alumni, contact the office of Alumni Relations at 294-1841 or visit the “Alumni and Friends” link on the SHSU Web site.

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