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Alumni Academic Forum 2015

Distinguished Alumni Return for annual Academic Forum

Monday, September 21, 2015

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Five Tarleton State University graduates returned to the classroom on Monday to share their knowledge and experience with students from each of the university’s five colleges as part of Tarleton’s annual Alumni Academic Forum.

Begun in 1993 to recognize outstanding graduates from each academic college, the event allows alumni honorees the opportunity to interact with current Tarleton students and to share 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 Tarleton Alumni Academic Forum honorees were: Larry Mitchell, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; L.V. Coffee, College of Business Administration; Amy Chandler Crippen, College of Education; Chelsea Brookshire, College of Liberal and Fine Arts; and Ron Adams, College of Science and Technology.

Honorees were welcomed to campus by Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio at a breakfast prior to visiting classes to speak to students, faculty and staff. The honorees later were recognized during a luncheon, where they received awards marking their participation as Alumni Academic Forum presenters.

About the Tarleton Alumni Academic Forum honorees:
Larry Mitchell earned a bachelor of science degree in plant and soil science from Tarleton in 1978, and is currently Administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyard Administration (GIPSA), which regulates the grain and livestock industries. A fifth-generation Texan farmer, he was appointed Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs in the USDA’s Farm Service Agency under former President Bill Clinton. Mitchell left federal service in 2001 to become Chief Executive Officer of the American Corn Growers Association, but returned in 2011 as Associate Director of the USDA’s Office of Advocacy and Outreach prior to taking his current position in 2012.

L.V. Coffee graduated magna cum laude from Tarleton in 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He attended Southern Methodist University’s Graduate School of Banking from 2009-2011. Coffee currently serves as East Region President of TexasBank. He began his banking career with Town & Country Bank while attending Tarleton. His 16-year banking experience also includes time with First Financial Bank in Eastland and the Texas Department of Banking as a bank examiner. Coffee is a member of the Stephenville Optimist Club, serves on the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce’s board of directors, and the Stephenville Education Foundation. He also served in the Texas Army National Guard from 1996-2005, where in basic training he was appointed squad leader, achieved excellence in cavalry and was recognized as a distinguished honor platoon. He received the Army Achievement Medal for Annual Training and graduated on the Commandant’s List while attending the Primary Leadership Development Course, and served as the Rear Detachment NCOIC for HHC-3-112th Armor and Det. 1 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Coffee and his wife, Emily, have two children: Kennedy and Kamryn.

Amy Chandler Crippen graduated from Tarleton in 1996 with a bachelor of science degree in psychology. She returned to Tarleton and obtained her teacher certification through the TMATE program and, then her masters of education in counseling. Crippen is the principal at Mary Martin Elementary School in Weatherford ISD. She has been a public school educator for 17 years and has served as an elementary teacher, school counselor, assistant principal and principal. Crippen is proud to serve in education and says she is inspired daily by her students’ enthusiasm for learning and their quest to make a positive impact in the world. She is married to Brice, and they have three children: Chandler, Bryson and Ansley.

Chelsea Brookshire graduated from Tarleton in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations and event management. She went on to become a prevention specialist for STAR Council in Stephenville where she served almost three years teaching character-building curriculum and drug awareness in local schools, organizing fundraisers and community campaigns, and writing public service articles for local media. In 2013, Brookshire became the director of events at Clark Gardens, a public botanic garden near Weatherford, where she planned and executed weddings, fundraisers and public festivals. In June 2015, Brookshire began a new career working as the meeting and events coordinator for Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, where she plans and manages educational conferences and events for healthcare professionals both internally at Cook Children’s and all across the state of Texas.

Ron Adams graduated from Tarleton in 1992 with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. He is the product development leader for Closed Molding Products at Alpha Owens Corning, where he provides technical service and support to customers and AOC facilities across North America. Alpha is a leader in technical projects for composite polymer development for the oil and gas industry, corrosion control markets, electrical applications and various building and civil applications. Adams’ work experience ranges over 20 years in the composite polymer industry with various companies such as Wilsonart International as an analytical chemist, Enduro Composites as their research and development manager, Eastman Chemical as polymer development chemist, and Ashland Chemical as a composite tech service representative. Adams is a member of the American Composite Manufacturing Association and serves on the Pultrusion Industry Council. He currently resides in Wise County with his wife and children.

Tarleton, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.


Contact: Kurt Mogonye