Three Stephen F. Austin State University alumni and one SFA professor will be honored by the SFA Alumni Association Nov. 11 at the Alumni Awards Ceremony.
The dinner will be held at 6 p.m. in the Twilight Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center on the SFA Campus. The awards are bestowed on those who have made outstanding contributions to their professions and community, committed themselves to advancing the values and goals of SFA, and ensured a better quality of life for future generations.
The 2011 recipients are:
Forester, scientist and businessman Dr. David Hyink of Rapid City, S.D., will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award. Hyink graduated from SFA in 1971 with a degree in forest management and again in 1972 with a Master of Science in forest biometrics. While an undergraduate at SFA, he was the founding active member of Nu Xi chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Hyink joined the Weyerhaeuser Company in 1980 as a forest biometrician. Following his career-long scientific leadership roles in growth and yield, silverculture, and wood quality research, he was named Weyerhaeuser’s chief forestry scientist in 2006. Hyink retired from Weyerhauser in 2007. He serves as a member of the board of directors for TaxMasters Inc. of Houston and is a principal for Deerfield Consulting in South Dakota.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award also will be presented to Bob Allen of Houston, sports director for KTRK-TV. He graduted from SFA in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Allen was hired by KTRK-TV in 1974 as weekend sports director. Six months later, he was promoted to sports director. Allen has the longest tenure of any major market sports anchor in the country. He currently travels with the Houston Texans, hosting "Houston Texans: Inside the Game” weekly. Allen devotes much of his time to Special Olympics and The Sunshine Kids. He has served on the board of directors of both organizations and was recognized with the highest honor given to a volunteer of Special Olympics, the Spirit of Special Olympics Award.
Neal Slaten of Nacogdoches is the recipient of the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Slaten graduated from SFA in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. He is the owner of Tipton Ford, recently named the 2011 Large Business of the Year by the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce. Slaten began working at Tipton Ford Lincoln in 1994 and purchased the dealership in 2007. He is a member of the Nacogdoches Rotary Club and served as the youngest Rotary club president in the United States. Slaten supports SFA and the community through his generosity to athletic and cultural events, as well as his involvement with local secondary schools, youth activities and civic events.
Dr. Kathleen Belanger, associate professor of social work at SFA, will be presented the Distinguished Professor Award. Belanger received her Bachelor of Arts from Catholic University, her Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and her doctorate degree from the University of Houston. Belanger has taught social work at Stephen F. Austin State University for more than 25 years. She was awarded the Champion for Children award by the Child Welfare League of America for her research, scholarship and advocacy for rural children and families most at risk. She serves as chair of CWLA’s National Advisory Committee on Rural Social Services, and is an appointed member of the Texas Health and Human Services Task Force on Racial Disproportionality and Disparities of Outcomes. She was instrumental in the formation of SFA’s Masters in Social Work program and Principle Investigator for a contract with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services totaling more than $2,500,000.
Reservations for the Alumni Awards Ceremony may be made by clicking here, or calling the SFA Alumni Association at (936) 468-3407. The cost is $40 per person or $300 for a table of eight. Seating is limited, and reservations should be purchased by Nov. 1.