CANYON, Texas – Four West Texas A&M University alumni and a recently retired respected faculty member will be honored along with a leading Amarillo company by WT’s Communications Department.
The department’s Hall of Fame ceremony will take place via Zoom at 6 p.m. on October 22. The event is free, but donations will be accepted for the Trudy L. Hanson Write Your Own Story scholarship.
The success of these and other alumni reflects WT’s principle of being a learner-centered university, as stated in WT 125: From Panhandle to the World. This long-term plan is fueled by the historic $ 125 million A west extensive fundraising campaign.
Dr Trudy Hanson will receive the Eternal Flame Award for non-alumni who have a big impact on the department. Former Katie Kirkpatrick and Stefanie Rodarte-Suto will be recognized as this year’s Hall of Fame inductees. Former Drs Jennifer Harker and Hope Stokes have been selected as the recipients of the 2021 Rising Star Award. And Pak-A-Sak Convenience Stores will be recognized as Community Partner of the Year.
After 31 years at WT, Hanson retired from the position of Department Head of the Communications Department in January.
âWhen I think of the story of the Eternal Flame of our university, it reminds me of the people who did not let challenges destroy hopes and dreams, but instead turned the embers into a powerful light for education. Said Paula Schlegel, Associate Lecturer in Communication. âDr. Trudy Hanson has been a hot ember who has successfully guided our department, the field of communication and especially the success of our students.
Kirkpatrick, a 2000 graduate from Waxahachie, is Vice President of Digital Commerce, North America for Bacardi.
âKatie has had a meteoric career in digital commerce for some of America’s most iconic brands,â said Mary Coyne, owner of MCMC. “Katie is an energetic, enthusiastic and efficient powerhouse.”
Rodarte-Suto, a 2003 graduate from Guymon, Okla., Is Deputy Director of Community Development with the City of Amarillo. Its current role allows it to create opportunities that alleviate the impact of poverty in the region.
âStefanie is definitely using what she learned at WT to excel in her professional life,â said Mellessa Denny, 2018 Communication Hall of Fame inductee. âShe’s someone you can count on as a planner, communicator and spokesperson. “
Harker, a native of Amarillo who graduated from WT in 2015, is a technical writer and editor at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences in Durham, NC, where she translates intra-environmental research to the public. muros and extramural carried out by the NIEHS.
âDr. Jennifer Harker is definitely a rising star,â said Dr. Kristina Drumheller, head of the communications department. âShe’s just a rock star in our field.â
Stokes, an Amarillo native who graduated with honors in 2020, is the Marketing Director for the Amarillo Convention & Visitors Bureau.
âAs a student, Hope was a dynamic executive director of 1910 PR and an ideal mentor to fellow students,â said Kimberly Bruce, associate lecturer in the Department of Communication. “Today, she is a fantastic young community leader who serves Amarillo and her visitors with her enthusiasm, creativity and organization.”
Pak-A-Sak Convenience Stores, founded in 1978 and based in Amarillo, remains a family business and employs over 350 people. Pak-A-Sak strives to be a respected leader in full-service convenience stores and a trusted brand that sets itself apart with excellent employees and cleanliness standards.
“Pak-A-Sak has been a staple of the Panhandle community for over 40 years, and during that time he has consistently given back to the community as a whole and to WTAMU, and more specifically to the Department of Communication,” said Dr. Mary Liz Brooks, Jenny Lind Porter Professor of Communication and Assistant Professor of Media Communication. “Pak-A-Sak projects a sense of pride, selflessness, generosity and loyalty which are representative traits of what it means to be named a community partner.”
The Communication Hall of Fame became an annual event in 2013, but was suspended last year due to COVID-19. The 2021 event will go live to honor this year’s winners.
Due to the goal of endowing the Hanson scholarship, the donation levels have been named with titles that match his passion for storytelling and the name of the scholarship itself: Legend ($ 500), Performance ($ 300) and Storyteller ($ 100). Donations to the stock market can be done here.
âDuring his career at WT, Dr Hanson has encouraged students to use their voices effectively as they write and to continue to write their own stories and forge their own path,â said Schlegel. âShe had the unique ability to bring rhetorical theories to life. Dr. Hanson cared about the success of our students and she cared about our students. They knew it and didn’t want to disappoint her. They held themselves to a higher standard because she expected nothing less. She is truly a light to those who have had the chance to learn from and work with her.