Alumni visit with current students during annual Academic Forum

Alumni Academic Forum

Tarleton State University

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Five former Tarleton students returned to their alma mater on Monday to visit with students from each of the university’s five colleges as part of the annual Alumni Academic Forum.

Initiated in 1993 to recognize outstanding graduates of each of Tarleton’s academic colleges, the event allows the alumni honorees the opportunity to interact with current students in a classroom setting and to share their personal success stories—how the university prepared them for life after college and advice on pursuing a career in their chosen field.

This year’s Alumni Academic Forum honorees and their respective colleges included: James Douglas, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (B.S. 1986); Gary Sult, College of Business Administration (B.B.A. 1987); Ora Lee Leeth, College of Education (M.Ed. 1973); Kristina Guess, College of Liberal and Fine Arts (B.A. 2004); and Dwain Mayfield, College of Science and Technology (1957).

The honorees were welcomed to campus by Dr. F. Dominic Dottavio, president of Tarleton, for a breakfast before speaking to students, faculty and staff at each of the university’s five colleges. Later in the day, the honorees were recognized during a luncheon at which time they were presented with awards marking their participation as Alumni Academic Forum presenters. Serving as keynote speaker during the luncheon was Dr. Patricia Zelman, retired professor of history.

About the Alumni Academic Forum honorees:

James Douglas, a former Tarleton student body president and Mr. TSU, currently holds the position of chief administrative officer and acting state executive director for the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Texas. Via a network of 188 service centers and approximately 1,500 employees and elected county committee personnel, the Texas FSA routinely distributes in excess of $1 billion annually to participating agricultural producers across Texas through a series of disaster, conservation and commodity programs. Douglas began his career as a county extension agent and then moved to the USDA Farmers Home Administration.

Gary Sult, a native of DeLeon, Texas, graduated from Tarleton in 1987 with a bachelor of business administration degree. As a certified public accountant, Sult worked as the chief accountant for Pecan Valley MHMR until 1996 when he joined the firm of Boucher Morgan & Young as a certified public accountant and shareholder. He is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and the Texas Society of CPAs. An active member of the Stephenville Lions Club, Sult has served in leadership capacities on the local, district and state levels including the coordinator for the Campaign Sight First and as district governor overseeing Lions Clubs in 23 North Central Texas counties. Sult has served on numerous nonprofit boards, educational foundations and is currently an alumni member of the Tarleton State University Planning Council.

Ora Lee Leeth taught in the Fort Worth ISD for 10 years and Stephenville ISD for 26 years, and began supervising student teachers at Tarleton in the fall of 1990. With an undergraduate degree from the University of North Texas (1952), Leeth later pursued a master’s of education from Tarleton in 1971 and holds the distinction of being the first person admitted to the College of Education’s graduate program. She is currently completing her twelfth year as a trustee on the Stephenville ISD school board. Her professional affiliations include Texas State Teachers Organization, Texas Classroom Teachers Association, Delta Kappa Gamma, Texas Council for Social Studies and the National Council for Social Studies.

Kristina Guess is a 2004 Tarleton Presidential Honors Program graduate with a major in political science and double minors in history and philosophy. She graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Alpha Chi Honor Society. Guess is currently the sales/marketing manager for Litex Industries, a lighting company based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Texas at Arlington while working as a Litex senior account manager. In 2005, Guess returned to Tarleton as the Presidential Honors Program’s 20th anniversary keynote speaker. She is also the charter president for the Helping Hands Optimist Club of Grand Prairie, Texas.

Dwain Mayfield graduated from Tarleton State College with an associate’s degree in 1957, then went on to earn his bachelor of science degree and a master’s of civil engineering from Texas A&M University. He also attended Texas Christian University where he earned a master’s in business administration in 1973. Mayfield joined General Dynamics in Fort Worth in 1961 as a design engineer. He was one of the lead engineers on the highly successful F-16 aircraft. After several years in the technical field, Mayfield moved to the company’s new business area, where in 1989 he became the vice president of program development for the Fort Worth Division of General Dynamics. In this role, Mayfield led a team that was responsible for the worldwide marketing of the F-16 aircraft. He later became the vice president for marketing initiatives. He is currently president of ADM Global Resources, a consulting firm. Mayfield is also the current president of the Tarleton Foundation Inc.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Kurt Mogonye

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Alumni visit with current students during annual Academic Forum - Media Relations - Tarleton State University