Asa Kusuma (’12) | Information Technology & Computing

by   |  05.18.12  |  Technology

Computer science major
(Annandale, Virginia)

Asa Kusuma has always been interested in computer science. His father, an information technology manager, taught him how to use HTML at the age of 11. In elementary school, his project for the science fair was about information management. His high school, a magnet school that focuses on science and technology, offered computer science courses for each grade level. Asa took one every year.

Since he had attended one of the top high schools in the nation, Asa had plenty of options when it came to choosing a college. He had visited ACU in high school and liked the feel of the campus. He also wanted to experience something new and different.

“I like seeing new things, trying new things,” he said. Abilene was certainly a change from the suburbs of Washington, D.C. The biggest surprise about ACU was that “it’s really windy all the time,” he joked. More »

Braid Blanks (’04) | Communication

by   |  05.09.12  |  Communication, Journalism & Mass Communication

B.A. in Communication, 2004
Minor in Broadcast Journalism

“I was born to communicate,” says Braid (Sharp ’04) Blanks. “I can’t remember not expressing myself or having the desire to share with others and listen as they shared with me.”

Now, as news anchor of Abilene’s KTXS-TV, she communicates on a daily basis – and gets paid for it.

“It is always rewarding to hear people say they appreciate the effort that goes into telling a fair and balanced story,” Blanks says. “Knowing they recognize and appreciate that makes all the work, and sometimes frustration, worth it. Aside from that, it’s also rewarding to be able to tell friends and family in my hometown what’s going on around us.” More »

Jamie Stephen (’09) | Speech Pathology

by   |  05.02.12  |  Communication Sciences

Speech pathologist on the brain injury team, Institute for Rehabilitation and Research in Houston

When Jamie Stephen came to ACU, she knew she was interested in the medical field but was unsure which direction to take. Then she discovered speech pathology and realized she’d found a calling.

“It was a good way to be involved in the medical field, but to have lots of options as well,” she said.

Jamie currently works at the Institute for Rehabilitation and Research in Houston as a speech pathologist. She’s primarily concerned with in-patient rehabilitation, working with six or seven patients at a time. Since she’s on the brain injury team, she sees many stroke patients and patients who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. More »

Julie Dieltz (’11) | Music

by   |  04.25.12  |  Music

Graduate student  of music
Southern Methodist University
Hometown: Sioux Falls, S.D.

Two factors brought Julie Dieltz (’11) to ACU: a love of musical performance and a desire to continue working with a music professor with whom she had developed a special bond.

After completing four years at the University of South Dakota, Julie made the move to Texas when her voice teacher at USD, Dr. Rick Piersall, made the same move, becoming an assistant professor of voice and director of opera at ACU. For Julie, this decision meant starting college over – a decision she is thankful she made. More »

Adam Awtrey (’10) | Biochemistry

by   |  04.20.12  |  Chemistry

Major: Biochemistry (Pre-Dental)
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri

For some people, the word “dentist” means having teeth examined and cleanings done, an hour-long session of gentle prodding with shiny steel instruments. For others, it means the difference between a toothless, gaping smile and a healthy mouth. Adam Awtrey is prepared to work with both ends of the spectrum – and everybody in between. More »

Joseph Quigley (’13) | Computer Science

by   |  04.13.12  |  Uncategorized

Computer Science major
Joseph Quigley(Guatemala City, Guatemala)

Joseph Quigley already has a game in the iPhone App Store and an internship with a major software developer. And that’s as a sophomore in college.

Although much of the credit for his achievements is due to his passion for computer science, Joseph also applauds the training and assistance he received in ACU’s SITC program, particularly in the field of digital entertainment.

“ACU not only provided me with a device to test and develop on, through the mobile learning initiative, but I was able to apply what I had recently learned in my classes. This allowed me to create a better product,” he said. His first iPhone game, Open Fire Gold, is an arcade-like military shoot-’em-up.

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Ryan Flores (’15) | Biology , Pre-medical

by   |  04.04.12  |  Biology

Biology major, Pre-medical
from Spring, Texas

The first few years of Ryan Flores’ life were rough, but a kidney transplant and a childhood battle with cancer have not stopped him from living his life with a purpose – giving back.

Ryan was born with two damaged kidneys, one of which did not work at all. When he was 16 months old his father gave him one of his kidneys. The surgery was flawless, but anti-rejection medicines after the transplant lowered Ryan’s immune system so much that he developed Stage IV Lymphoma. Ryan defeated the cancer, and the result was a healthy body and a strong resolve.

“I definitely have a soft heart for people who are dealing with transplants or cancer, or know a loved one dealing with them,” Ryan says. “It is something so hard for your family to deal with, and just love and support make that much of a difference. My drive comes from my second chance at life and what I have been able to do being a transplant recipient and cancer survivor.” More »

Darbie Angell | Art & Design

by   |  03.30.12  |  Art & Design

Georgetown, Texas

On your next trip to a department store, take a stroll through the dinnerware section and you will see plates, glasses and silverware from some of the world’s most notable designers. Alongside, you will find the dinnerware collection of Darbie Angell - a rising star in the design industry and an entrepreneur whose fire for design was kindled at ACU. More »

Keller Andrews (’11) | Physics

by   |  03.19.12  |  Physics

Physics major
(Corsicana, Texas)

Keller Andrews could say that he came to ACU because of a stroke of fate. Or a lucky fluke, or the hand of God. He prefers to see it simply as things working out the way they’re supposed to.

He only applied to two universities in high school: A&M and ACU. Somehow, ACU lost his application. Yet Keller chose to come to ACU. More »

April Farris (’06) | Integrated Marketing Communication

by   |  03.07.12  |  Journalism & Mass Communication

April Farris ('06)B.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication, summa cum laude
J.D. Harvard Law School, 2009, cum laude

April Ward Farris has achieved things many students would only imagine in their wildest dreams – attending Harvard Law School, serving as managing editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, clerking for the Department of Justice and working for one of the most prestigious law firms in the state of Texas. But she’s never forgotten where she comes from, beginning in the small town of Big Spring, Texas. More »

Chris Derrick (’10) | Sociology

by   |  02.24.12  |  Sociology

Intern, U.S. Marshals, Dallas
Grad student at University of North Texas
(Monahans, Texas)

Chris Derrick knows that crime is pervasive. He knows he can’t prevent every crime or rescue every victim. But as far as it lies within his power, he wants to help.

“I know there’s only so much I can do, but I’m very excited about the opportunity to make a difference,” he said.

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Amber Tate (’09) | Nursing

by   |  02.01.12  |  Nursing

Amber Tate ('09)

B.S. in Nursing
R.N. Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas

As someone who thrives on variety, Amber Tate has found a fitting career as a nurse in the ICU at Baylor University Medical Center.

“I could not do the same thing over and over,” Amber says. “I like the continuing challenge of adapting to new situations. I like the learning opportunities that each patient brings, and how I continue to grow as a nurse and person.” More »

Darrien Grays (’09) | Information Technology

by   |  12.12.11  |  Technology

Darrien GraysInformation technology major
(Cedar Hill, Texas)

Darrien Grays chose to study information technology at ACU because of the university’s reputation for being at the forefront of emergent technologies. What he found as a student was much more: a tight-knit community of professors and students – and relationships he expects to last a lifetime. More »

Alison (Tetrick ’06) Starnes | Biochemistry

by   |  11.28.11  |  Biology, Nutrition

Biochemistry (Molecular Biology) with a minor in Nutrition
(Redding, Calif.)

When Alison Starnes goes to work in the morning, she isn’t heading to an office cubicle. She’s strapping on a helmet and checking her equipment, her mind on the next race, the next competition, the next win.

Alison is a nationally ranked professional cyclist. She’s a member of Peanut Butter & Co.’s TWENTY 12 professional women’s cycling team and a member of the USA National Team. More »

Wade Huggins (’10) | Biblical Text and Music

by   |  11.10.11  |  Bible, Missions & Ministry, Music

Biblical text major and music minor
(Abilene, Texas)

“Music is a language that doesn’t need words to communicate – one that can cross cultural and divisive barriers and truly inspire people,” says senior Biblical Text major and Music minor, Wade Huggins. More »

Greg Oglesby (’11) | Teacher Education

by   |  11.02.11  |  Education, English

Greg Oglesby ('11)B.S. in All-level special education and minor in English
(Abilene, Texas)

Greg Oglesby’s high school coach planted seeds in his mind that have grown into a life plan involving a special group of kids.

In addition to coaching, Greg’s mentor taught special education classes at the high school. Through him, Greg got to interact with those classes a few days each week, serving as an aide his senior year. “I just really got to love the kids from watching what he did,” Greg says. More »

Grace Lozano (’11) | Clinical Psychology

by   |  10.26.11  |  Psychology

Grace LozanoPsychology Major, Professional Career Track
First-year graduate student
McNair Research Intern
(San Antonio, Texas)

Have you ever wondered why some people are more sensitive to insults than others? Or if media can really affect the self-esteem of young girls?

Grace Lozano (’11) has gotten up close and personal with the human psyche as she sought the answers to these and other questions during her quest for a psychology degree from ACU. More »

Sarvagya Sharma (’11) | Physics

by   |  10.14.11  |  Mathematics, Physics

Computational physics and math major
(New Delhi, India)

In a lot of ways, Sarvagya Sharma is just like any other guy at ACU. He hangs out with friends, eats at the Bean, plays computer games in his spare time. He has to study for tests and go to class just like everyone else. But in one way, he’s different from many of the students who surround him. More »

Adam Carpenter (’12) l Finance, Management

by   |  09.14.11  |  Athletics, Business

Adam CarpenterFinance and Management major
(Little Rock, Arkansas)

The immense success ACU athletes find on the field is equaled only by their prowess in the classroom. Wildcat golf star Adam Carpenter is one of the twenty student athletes with 4.0 grade point averages who made the 2010-11 Lone Star Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll – more than any other school in the conference. Count ACU Athletic Director Jared Mosley among those touting the success of his scholarly Wildcats.

“Our coaches do an outstanding job of recruiting student-athletes who fit the academic profile of the institution,” Mosley said. “They work extremely hard to find not only those that are athletically gifted in their particular sport, but they truly seek to find students who will fit in at ACU and benefit from the education they will receive here.” More »

Brenna Ellison (’08) | Agribusiness

by   |  09.05.11  |  Ag & Environmental Sciences

Brenna EllisonB.S. in Agribusiness
Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Oklahoma State University
(Dumas, Texas)

Brenna Ellison came to ACU because of a family connection and a phone call.

Her grandfather and great-great-uncle both attended ACU. That family connection resonated deeply with Brenna, and when she got a phone call from Dr. Foy Mills in the Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Department, it cemented her interest. She says the four years she spent in Abilene helped define what she believes, who she is and what she’s doing now.

Kason Hart (’10) | Electronic Media

by   |  08.23.11  |  Journalism & Mass Communication

Kason Hart ('10)B.S. in Electronic Media
(Houston, Texas)

Kason Hart says that his JMC internship prepared him with direction and experience to work in a competitive industry. “Getting your foot into the sports media world seems to be the hardest part, and I believe working for the USOC this summer gave me great experience and knowledge for what God has in store for me in my career.”

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Marie Dufitumukiza (’11) | Biology, Pre-medical, Honors

by   |  08.03.11  |  Biology, Health Professions, Honors

Marie DufitumukizaBiology major, Pre-medical, Honors student
(Abilene, Texas)

Some people pursue a career in medicine because they’re interested in helping others. Some choose the medical field with an eye to profit. Some are simply fascinated with the intricate workings of the human body.

And then there are a handful who have experienced a life-threatening illness and recovered – and they want to give back.

Honors student Marie Dufitumukiza is one of them.

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Christina Johnson (’11) | English

by   |  07.27.11  |  English

Christina Johnson ('11)B.A. in English
Current graduate student in English at ACU

Christina Johnson believes the only way to achieve your dreams is to work hard – whether she’s co-chairing ACU’s FilmFest or working for one of the biggest film production companies in the United States.

So perhaps it’s a bit serendipitous that last spring she landed an internship with Mandeville Films at Walt Disney Studios – where “a dream is a wish your heart makes.”

“My dream was always Disney ever since I was young,” she said.

By the end of her internship, Christina had worked with the script for a new Muppet movie and helped cast a new TV show. More »

Brad Schultz (’12) | Political Science

by   |  07.21.11  |  Political Science

Brad Schultz ('12)B.S. in Political Science, Public Service and History minor
(Nashville, Tenn.)

Brad Schultz has experience working in congressional offices. Lots of experience.

“By the end of this summer, I will have worked in every type of congressional office,” he says. More »

Mary Swantek (’11) | Exercise Science, Gerontology

by   |  07.14.11  |  Exercise Science, Gerontology

Mary SwantekExercise Science major with Gerontology certificate
(Clarkston, Michigan)

Mary Swantek has always known her vocation in life – working with older adults. As she volunteered at nursing homes and visited her grandfather at his assisted living center, she was continually drawn in by the older people who surrounded her. So it came as no surprise that when she arrived at ACU, her studies combined two of her favorite things: health/fitness and the elderly.

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Chris Norton (’10) | Management

by   |  06.29.11  |  Business

Chris NortonB.B.A. in Management
Owner, Enchilada Express (Abilene, Texas)

With a bit of hard work and a big appetite for success, ACU graduate Chris Norton (’10) took a business plan he created for an ACU entrepreneurship class and used it to change his life.

Chris created the business plan for a Mexican food delivery company while taking a class in ACU’s College of Business Administration. After graduating, he took his ideas into the real world to start Abilene’s Enchilada Express.

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Alex Potess (’11) | Interior Design, Pre-Architecture

by   |  06.21.11  |  Pre-Architecture

Alex PotessInterior Design major, Pre-Architecture
(Lubbock, Texas)

Alex Potess may be the most humble trash talker at ACU.

As the student worker for the Office of Campus Aesthetics, Potess has had a unique and influential role in selecting the décor and furniture of the newly built AT&T Learning Studio and the in-progress Royce and Pam Money Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

From paint colors to desk chairs and, yes, trash cans, Alex, a senior interior design and pre-architecture major from Lubbock, has discovered and won approval for many of the little touches providing the atmosphere for two of ACU’s most eagerly anticipated projects.

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Jade Jung (’11) | Chemistry, Honors

by   |  06.14.11  |  Chemistry, Health Professions, Honors

Jade Jung ('11)

Chemistry major, Honors student
(Busan, South Korea)

 

 

Growing up with an autistic sister fostered in Jade Jung (’11) an interest in research. And growing up with a father and grandfather who are both physicians created in her a desire to enter the medical field.

Jade, a senior chemistry major, hopes to focus on both as she enters medical school in the fall to become a medical researcher.

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Joel Overall | Integrated Marketing (’04), English (M.A. ’06)

by   |  06.06.11  |  English, Journalism & Mass Communication

Joel OverallB.S. in Integrated Marketing Communication, M.A. in English
Pursuing Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition, Texas Christian University

Faith, community and the pursuit of knowledge. For some, these three things seem incompatible. For Joel Overall, they combine to form a way of life.

Joel is a doctoral student in Texas Christian University’s composition and rhetoric program. He’s also an ACU graduate with an undergraduate degree in Integrated Marketing Communications and a master’s in English. For him, the ACU experience was the springboard for a journey into what it means to be a Christian and a scholar.

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Ashley Del Real (’11) | Nursing

by   |  05.20.11  |  Health Professions, Nursing

Ashley Del RealNursing major
(Lake Villa, Illinois)

When Ashley Del Real thinks of poverty, she thinks of a 2-year-old boy who weighs only 15 pounds, forced to sleep on the ground where bugs bite him nightly. She thinks of a disfigured, malnourished woman living in a tiny house with a leaky roof while her life is being stripped away by cancer.

The images she bears are the result of spending five weeks with Mission Lazarus in Honduras. Her connections with World Wide Witness through ACU opened doors to a different world that holds possibilities for her future.

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Laura Acuff (’11) | Journalism, History, National Merit Finalist

by   |  05.20.11  |  Education, English, History, Honors, Journalism & Mass Communication, Political Science

Laura AcuffB.S. in Journalism, B.A. in History, Minors in Political Science and Professional Writing
(College Station, Texas)

Traveling to Bulgaria to teach English wasn’t in Laura Acuff’s original plan upon graduating from ACU this month. But a Fulbright Scholarship changed all that.

In Laura’s junior year at ACU, she heard about the prestigious exchange program, which is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and other countries.

She researched the program and met with Fulbright representatives on ACU’s campus. Upon their recommendation, she then began working with the ESL (English as a Second Language) program on campus teaching English to international students.

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Ben Fulfer (’10) | Sociology

by   |  05.20.11  |  Sociology

Ben FulferB.S. in Sociology
Retail marketing intern for TOMS Shoes (Santa Monica, California)

When Ben Fulfer helped organize the TOMS “Style Your Sole” event on campus in fall 2010, he had no idea it would lead to an internship with the company known for donating one pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair purchased.

Out of 5,000 applicants, Ben was one of 40 chosen for an internship with TOMS.

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E.J. Johnson IV (’11) | Marketing

by   |  05.20.11  |  Business

E.J. Johnson IVMarketing major
(Frisco, Texas)

The spirit of community is important to E.J. Johnson. So when he came to ACU, he jumped right in – both at the university and in the larger Abilene community.

“I think the college student impact in the community is vital,” he says. “I believe for other youth to see and interact with college youth can be a powerful and life-changing experience.”

E.J.’s passion is fostering multicultural understanding.

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Abby (Trejo ’09) Rice | Biology, Pre-medical, Honors

by   |  01.20.11  |  Biology, Health Professions, Honors

Abby (Trejo '09) Rice

B.A. in Biology, Honors student
Pursuing Master of Physician Assistant Studies, University of North Texas Health Science Center (Fort Worth, Texas)

Not only are people around the world diverse, so are their diseases.

Senior biology major Abby Trejo made that discovery during summer internships in Ghana and Guatemala, where she worked at an orphanage and helped with mobile medical clinics taking health care to villagers in remote locations.

This pre-med student used these experiences as part of her capstone project for the Honors College, comparing the diseases she encountered in those developing countries with illnesses she sees working at an Abilene hospital.

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Garrett Hines (’06) | Education, History, Art

by   |  01.20.11  |  Art & Design, Education, History

Garrett Hines ('06)

B.S. in Education and History, Teacher Certification in EC-12 Art
Fifth-grade art teacher, Woodgate Intermediate School (Waco, Texas)

Renaissance Man might be an apt description for Garrett Hines (’06). He has an interdisciplinary degree in education and history, certification to teach K-12 art, is a triathlete and a professional artist who had his first gallery opening this fall.

And the audience who benefits daily from his talents is a group of fifth-graders at Woodgate Intermediate School in Midway ISD, Waco, where he teaches the finer points of appreciating art.

“I believe when your heart burns for something, that is God telling us and guiding us toward a path he laid out for us.”

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