TWU Former Students Association – Scholars Reception

TWU FSA Scholars in the foyer of Hubbard Hall at a September 27, 2014 reception in their honor.

TWU FSA Scholars in the foyer of Hubbard Hall at a September 27, 2014 reception in their honor.

The TWU FSA and the TWU FSA Denton Area Chapter recently recognized 2014-2015 scholarship students at a Saturday morning reception on the Denton campus.  Special guest and featured speaker was Dr. Carine Feyten, Chancellor and President of TWU.  More than 100 were on hand to recognize the current students and their families.  The awarding of scholarships to current students by alumni dates back more than 100 years.

In 1905, ten College of Industrial Arts (now TWU) graduates attended the first meeting of the Alumnae Association and each gave 50 cents to a memorial fund intended to “defray expenses while attending school.”  In 1914 the fund reached more than $200, and to this day, those gifts continue to grow.  Since then, current students, alumni, family members, and friends of the University contribute time, talent, and financial resources to provide scholarships to our students.

Scholarships awarded by the TWU Former Students Association recognize excellence in scholarly inquiry, stewardship, and volunteer service to the university and the community.  These generous awards provide many students with the financial support and encouragement required to complete their education and begin professional careers.

Join the TWU FSA and your membership dollars will contribute to this long-standing scholarship tradition.

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TWU Alumna Returns to Direct Play

Alumna Vickie Washington and cast members of 'Speech and Debate'

Alumna Vickie Washington and cast members of ‘Speech and Debate’

The Department of Drama welcomed alumna, Vickie Washington, 1975,  Speech and Drama, as a guest director for ‘Speech and Debate,’ this year’s initial offering for the TWU Theatre.  Ms. Washington is a respected stage director in the North Texas region as well as a faculty member at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas.  This production marks her debut as a director at the Redbud Theater Complex at TWU.

The TWU students enjoyed the energetic and enthusiastic style with which Vickie approached the production.  ‘Speech and Debate’ is a bit of a dark comedy that requires a special touch.  When asked how she would approach the material Vickie replied “With joy, openness and determination.  We are going to have a ball!”  The play ran through the first two weekends in October.

TWU Alumni Connection was curious to learn what made her want to come back to TWUVickie head shot to direct this production.  “I got asked!  Seriously, I had the good fortune to have Rhonda Gorman (TWU faculty) costume a production of ‘Fences’ that I directed.  She invited me to the campus to see a production of ‘Cherry Orchard.’  I loved it, I was nostalgic, and I’m thrilled to be invited back to direct.”

Here is a bit of Q and A that we had with Vickie regarding her time at TWU:

TWU Alumni Connection: What brought you to TWU for your education?

Vickie: My plan was to become a social worker and save the world!  I only wanted to attend one school, Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  I applied there and to one other school, Washington University; got accepted to both.  I thought my work was done!  Then I found out we needed money!  Soooo, when it became evident I wasn’t gong to Ohio, my cousin, a graduate of TWU encouraged me to apply and a love affair began!

TWU Alumni Connection: When you attended in the ’70s, the original Redbud Theatre was in use.  What do you remember about working in that space?

Vickie: Joy, fun… long hours… television studio… funky dressing rooms… house full of excited children for the Children’s Theatre performances…being very afraid of that tall ladder… standing onstage during rehearsal and watching and hearing the main drape literally split and fall apart from dry rot… creating great theatre with talented, committed, silly, brilliant, hardworking young women AND being so thankful I lived just a stone’s throw away in Stark Hall!!

TWU Alumni Connection:  What productions do you remember working on while at TWU?

Vickie: Beatrice in ‘The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds;’ The Duchess in ‘Alice in Wonderland;’ The Genie in ‘Aladdin’ (gold from head to toe, than you very much!); Catherine in ‘The Grass Harp’ and othersAs a member of the department I worked on every show in one capacity or the other.

TWU Alumni Connection: How did your time at TWU prepare you for your career in the theatre?  What successes do you think it helped you achieve?

Vickie: As a member of the Drama Department, I had the privilege of learning every aspect of theatre thus understanding the interconnectedness and the equal value of each component.  I also learned what I was better at and, conversely, what was not a strong area for me.  Studying the craft of theatre at a woman’s university, I learned that as a woman, everything was open to me; that has been a VERY important lesson as I have traversed my way in the world of theatre.

TWU Alumni Connection: What do you enjoy most about your work at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas?

Vickie:  The energy of the students; their willingness to explore.  Working with seasoned theatre professionals and theatre educators, who value theatre and also enjoy sharing the gift and the knowledge of theatre with young people.  I love the work that we create.  It’s a pretty amazing department!

Vivkie Washington works with TWU students onstage

Vickie Washington works with TWU students onstage

Thank you Vickie for coming home to TWU to direct!  TWU  wishes you all the best.




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Sharing a Book-in-Common at TWU

Book-In-Common-logoNo matter where you live, you can join with the TWU family in an exciting new initiative, the TWU Book-in-Common.  This academic year TWU students, faculty and staff will be reading and discussing ‘This I Believe II: More Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women,’ edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman.  Gediman met with faculty in August, 2014, and then with students in October to share his experiences in compiling this edition.  Facultly across all disciplines will have the opportunity to incorporate essays from the book into the individual class plans.  In addition, other discussions and activities centered around the contents of the book.

Have you read the book?  Tell us about your favorite essays by commenting here.

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A Legacy of Generosity

Carolyn Y. Looney. M. S. 2013, Deaf Education

Carolyn Y. Looney. M. S. 2013, Deaf Education

A new scholarship, the Carolyn Yvonne Looney Scholarship in Deaf Education was awarded for the first time this summer for the 2014-2015 academic year in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. Due to the generosity of a remarkable young woman who, when she learned that she had only a short time to live, along with her parents endowed a scholarship so that other TWU students could attain their goals.

In May of 2013, after faculty within her department had determined that Carolyn had completed the requirements for her Masters Degree in Deaf Education, TWU awarded her degree posthumously, with her parents, Charles and Paula as well as her younger sister Elaine, accepting the degree.

Such an act of selflessness was right in character for Carolyn, who was known as “Care” to family and friends. Despite being born with a severe hearing loss in one ear and having difficulty pronouncing words she did not hear clearly, Carolyn did not let that interfere with doing the things she set her mind to. She participated in marching band in high school and was recognized with the “Takes a Lickin’ and Keeps on Tickin'” award. No matter what the endeavor, she contributed wherever help was needed. Carolyn excelled in science classes and dreamed of becoming a teacher.

Determination was another characteristic that Carolyn personified throughout her life. Despite the disappointment of not being accepted at Texas A&M her freshman year, she attended UT San Antonio becoming an honor student and transferred to TAMU the next year to fulfill the goal of graduating as an Aggie. Holding a degree in Bioenvironmental Science, she interviewed for more than 30 teaching positions without being hired. But true to her nature, Carolyn pitched-in where needed, as a substitute teacher in math, science and special education and in Kids Involvement Network, an after-school program within San Antonio’s North East Independent School District. One-on-one tutoring was a strength, and she became a valued tutor for several years in the Math Lab at St. Philip’s College.

Carolyn had a long-time interest in and had developed some proficiency in American Sign Language (ASL) and with encouragement from a supervisor to seek an advanced degree, she enrolled at Texas Woman’s University to earn her degree in Deaf Education. She hoped to teach math and science to hearing impaired children.

Although she fought a gallant battle against cancer, “Care” passed away on December 3, 2012, at the age of 32. A few days prior to her death she and her parents decided to set up a scholarship endowment at TWU to help fund graduate education and/or teacher certification for those wishing to teach Math and/or Science to students who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing. TWU was able to establish that fund in her name so that contributions could be made in her honor.

Elaine, Charles and Paula Looney at TWU in June to meet Lindsey Fry, recipient of Carolyn's scholarship.
Elaine, Charles and Paula Looney at TWU in June to meet Lindsey Fry, recipient of Carolyn’s scholarship.

Carolyn’s family came to TWU in June to meet Lindsey Fry, the first recipient of the Carolyn Yvonne Looney Scholarship in Deaf Education. They presented her with an engraved award to recognize her selection to receive the scholarship. Lindsey, a May 2014 graduate of TWU began her graduate studies in the summer with the goal to teach math to middle school students who are deaf or hard of hearing. Lindsey is the mother of three young boys and has worked as an interpreter for the deaf.

TWU recognizes the courage of Carolyn and the generosity of her family. Her legacy will live for many years, beginning with a deserving student, Lindsey Fry.


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A Global Perspective

Frances-Honeycutt-DSC_0131(AVATAR) (2)Frances (Ward) Honeycutt, B. S., 1998, Mass Communications, understands the phrase “global perspective” in a very unique way.  In her position as Director of Global Business Development for  POLARIS Laboratories® this TWU alumna sees the countries of the world through the eyes of the industries that make things run.  Transportation, oil and gas, construction, power generation, industrial plants and marine industries are her customers.  And yes, she is often the only female at the table or on site in these traditionally male industries.  And yes, she  works remotely from her home in Tulsa, OK.

As it turns out, Frances grew up living in and going to school in a number of countries in Europe.  As an army brat we moved on average of every 18 months until I was 18 and attended TWU.  I became accustomed to meeting new people because of the frequent moving. In total, she lived abroad for seven years in Germany, Wales, and London where Frances graduated from high school.  I look back on those times now with a great deal of fondness because the bonds I made in the boarding school in London.  Those are the greatest friendships I have today because we became each other’s “chosen family.” 

Living abroad was the perfect training for the work that Frances does now.  I immersed myself in the cultures and appreciated and respected the nuances that make us different.  I couple the ability to communicate with anyone with the understanding that, while I am proud of my American heritage, I respect, understand and appreciate the perspective of other cultures from having lived abroad.  I had no idea at the time that my upbringing was preparing me for my career, but I am so thankful that it did. 

Between her junior and senior years in high school in London (where she attended a very small American high school for military dependents) she and her father toured colleges in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas but all of them felt enormous and overwhelming.  Her cousin had graduated from TWU some years prior and so her father suggested that they stop by the campus.  It felt much more manageable to me, like I was going to be a part of a family as opposed to another number just filling a seat in a course.  So, when I got back to London, I applied and was accepted!

Frances remembers Charles Orbison, a TWU professor in a writing class that she took.  Charlie made classes fun and memorable.  It would have been around 1996 and I remember him telling us that one day we would be reading news papers on portable flat computers instead of reading the paper version…wow, he was so right!   Even the forward thinking Professor Orbison might be amazed at how Frances employs technology today to accomplish her work.  Read on…

Upon graduation from TWU Frances took a position, and soon excelled, with PR Newswire in Dallas and Tulsa, OK.  Her next position as Director of Conference and Seminars with Noria gave her exposure to the world of industrial lubricants, experience in planning and marketing large conferences as well as marketing and selling to a global audience.

Taken in 2012, this is Frances standing in the bucket of a wheel loader at MinExpo, a trade show.

Taken in 2012, this is Frances standing in the bucket of a wheel loader at MinExpo, an industry trade show.

In 2010, Frances, living in Tulsa, became the Marketing Manager for a products company based in Wisconsin.  She began to utilize technology to become a remote employee.  This is still her work model as she directs business development for POLARIS and its laboratories with customers world-wide all from her home base.  There are several reasons this model works well for her.  The nature of my business requires that there are many days in a month when my business hours are vastly different from the corporate office in Indiana.  My schedule needs to be fluid on some days in order to meet the needs of my customers and my team.  I could potentially have meetings with a customer in Bangladesh at midnight one day, followed by a meeting with my team in Poland at 6:00am the next day.  I use  many different types of media to communicate with my team and my customers including the traditional e-mail and phone to virtual web meetings and Skype. 

But working remotely takes commitment to overcome the isolation and remain committed to the job at hand.  You have to create an actual working space in your home that is separate from the living space.  I also get “dressed and ready” every day.  I have always subscribed to the philosophy that you need the dress the part and working from home is no exception.  The remote workplace model also requires the trust of the company.  My company had to trust that I would do the job I had been tasked to do when I joined the organization and ultimately they trust that I will give them 100% every day. 

Sugar3 PabloMecoil for newsletter

But the position also requires extensive, world wide travel.  Shown here in Guatemala, Frances is photographed with a plant Maintenance Manager (left photo) and two of her sales managers for Central America.  They are standing on the platform at a plant of the third largest sugar producer in Latin American.  In the second photo on the right Frances is visiting a company in Italy, learning about a new, real-time diagnostic tool that monitors the oil condition and its application for stationary equipment from the product’s creators.

When asked about being in a position most often held by men, Frances has a simple philosophy.  I just try to be myself.  My knowledge of the market and the industry should speak for itself.  My gender (or theirs) should not be part of the equation.  I’m the only woman in the world that does what I do — Global Business Development for a used oil analysis laboratory and  I am very proud of my accomplishments.

TWU is very proud of Frances’ accomplishments, too, and wishes her many more successful years in her profession!








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A View from the Top – University Housing

Looking toward downtown Denton

Looking toward downtown Denton

TWU’s Office of University Housing held its second annual View from the Top event to showcase University Housing and allow attendees to support the TWU Housing Leadership Scholarship Fund.

On May 29 the community enjoyed a panoramic view of Denton and North Texas from the 24th floor of TWU’s Guinn Hall, the highest point between Dallas and Oklahoma City.  The come-and-go event featured desserts, amazing views, music and a Texas sunset.  Be sure to stay alert for the next View from the Top event, and although this one has already passed, you can still support the Housing Scholarship fund.

Music at the View event

Music at the View event

In 2013 TWU University Housing created a scholarship fund to award TWU residential students who exemplify qualities of leadership and service by giving back to their community.  University Housing recognizes the important value and contributions of students who engage in leadership and community service while making a positive difference in the lives of others.  Email TWU Director of Housing, Dr. Joe Berthiaume ( or call 940-898-3676 to ask questions or support this important effort.

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TWU Distinguished Alumni – Where Are They Now?

Hon. Sylvia Garcia, B. S. 1972, Social Work

Hon. Sylvia Garcia, B. S. 1972, Social Work

The Hon. Sylvia Garcia

When Sylvia Garcia was recognized as a TWU Distinguished Alumna in1994, she was an attorney serving as Director and Presiding Judge of the City of Houston Municipal Courts.  Her career path has taken her from there to county public office and now to Austin where she has been appointed to fill the State Senator term for District 6, an area encompassing parts of Houston and as far south as Galveston. Senator Garcia remembers her time at TWU and the impact her education had on her distinguished career.

TWU Alumni Connection:  How did you come to enroll at TWUMy family chose TWU because two aunts from both sides of my family- Consuelo Rodriguez and Armandina Garcia- had attended TSCW. It was affordable and familiar to my family. We knew we could put our trust in a “girl’s school” and the environment would be safe.

TWU Alumni Connection: Tell us something about your TWU experience.   It was a great experience, particularly in my area of study, social work and leadership development. I couldn’t have been better prepared for both. The social work practicum gave me a hands-on experience that was invaluable. It allowed me to see firsthand what social work was really all about. It helped my resume, which resulted in finding a good job in my field immediately after graduating. Likewise, my student government activities gave me the opportunity to develop my leadership skills which brought me where I am today.

TWU Alumni Connection: What does being a TWU graduate mean to you? It means the world to me. Growing up poor in South Texas, I never dreamed I would go to college. TWU gave me a chance with a scholarship for students with high academic achievement from low-income areas. Like many students, I worked and also utilized student loans. But most of all, TWU focused on building a foundation for women in a variety of disciplines, some of which were not traditionally open to women.

TWU Alumni Connection: How did your experience at TWU help prepare you for success in your career?  TWU gave me opportunity to develop my leadership skills. I am not sure I would have been able to hone my leadership skills in a coed or larger university. TWU offered a safe and intimate setting for women to learn how to use their voices and be heard in male dominated world.

TWU Alumni Connection: How did the education you received from TWU influence your career choice and/or objectives? But for TWU, I would not have been exposed to social work as an option. It built on my family’s principles and my Catholic faith teachings of service and taking care of your neighbor. It brought it to a higher level that has stayed with me, no matter which position I have held- social worker, legal aid lawyer, Judge, Houston City Controller, Harris County Commissioner and now State Senator.

TWU Alumni Connection: How did your time at TWU impact your life and/or values?  My time at TWU impacted me tremendously. I often think that I will always be a social worker at heart. Public service is a calling and my passion. It is about helping people and making a difference in their lives, just as I was taught at TWU School of Social Work.

Thank you, Senator Garcia!  We applaud your heart to serve and your accomplishments!





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