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TWU Honors Outstanding Students During Honors Convocation Ceremony

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TWU Honors Outstanding Students During Honors Convocation Ceremony


Eight Texas Woman's University students will be recognized as outstanding students during Honors Convocation ceremonies April 10 at 10 a.m. in the Margo Jones Performance Hall, located near the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Sawyer Street.

Deb Martin of Denton will receive the Outstanding Doctoral Student award. Ngaryea Yayu Khoe-Yuen of Fort Worth, Jacquelyn R. King of Wylie and Chandris Christina Soles-Hinkson of Tomball will receive the Outstanding Master's Student award. Outstanding Senior awards will go to Kimberly Gay of Denton, Heidi Gilroy of Houston and Brandi Smith of Smithville. The Leman Award, for outstanding artistic contribution to TWU, will go to Echo Norris of Greenville.

Deb Martin

Ms. Martin is the recipient of the Outstanding Doctoral Student award. She will graduate in May with her Ph.D. in rhetoric with a minor in linguistics. She earned her master of arts degree in English from TWU in 1997, maintaining a 3.91 grade-point-average. Her current GPA is 4.0. She earned her bachelor of science degree in education from Western Michigan University.

“Deb Martin has indeed marked a trail for others to follow. I know I shall be following her,” said Dr. Hugh Burns, chair of the Department of English, Speech and Foreign Languages. “Frankly, I suspect we are looking at a future president of the National Council of Teachers of English.

“She is an enthusiastic teacher and an energetic scholar with superior abilities and a major interest in rhetoric and culture,” he added.

Ms. Martin's professional goals include securing a faculty position at a small to mid-sized university where she can continue to study language and culture and teach composition, rhetoric and linguistics courses. “My goal as a scholar is to bring a greater understanding to areas that perplex humankind,” she said. “Through my teaching, writing and research, I hope the world we live in will make more sense.”

Ngaryea Yayu Khoe-Yuen

Before enrolling in the graduate program at TWU, Ms. Yayu Khoe lived in New York City and had already accomplished a great deal professionally, both nationally and internationally. She had a solo CD album distributed by major internet music stores in the United States, toured with Max Roach and his quintet in Europe, performed with Dizzy Gillespie at the Newport Jazz Festival at Carnegie Hall, among other professional accomplishments.

She will receive her master of arts in music vocal pedagogy in May and has maintained a 4.0 GPA.

“She is a woman of exceptional dedication to her goals as a professional musician, singer, choral director and voice teacher,” said Joan Wall, professor and coordinator of vocal studies at TWU. “Ms. Khoe possesses a wonderful soaring soprano voice that impresses all who hear her with its beauty ... She has founded a successful community chorus in Arlington (The Good Earth Singers) and has been invited to be the academic principal of a Fort Worth Chinese language school. She also directs the Fort Worth Chinese School Children's Choir.”

Among Ms. Yayu Khoe's professional goals are: to write and compile a collection of books and music on singing Chinese art songs and Chinese folk songs for the Western world, be an excellent voice teacher and motivate her students to achieve a standard of excellence in creating beautiful music and be a leader in the community to get people interested in supporting the arts.

Jacquelyn R. King

Ms. King is a true TWU pioneer woman, according to Regina Campbell, associate professor for occupational therapy, by accepting a service-learning internship with the Dallas County Probate Court Guardianship Program during her first semester of graduate school.

“She willingly accepted the challenge, traveling throughout the city to complete interviews with guardians and their wards to ensure court requirements for guardianship were being met,” Ms. Campbell said. "She entered an uncharted area of practice for occupational therapy and her research challenges other occupational therapists to explore the guardianship court system as a potential emerging practice area.”

Ms. King graduated from TWU with a master of science in occupational therapy in December 2002 with a 3.89 GPA.

“My main and underlying goal as an occupational therapist is to be able to make a difference in the lives of those needing OT services by being a well-respected, educated therapist who practices under strict ethical and moral guidelines,” Ms. King said. She added she would like to eventually open her own pediatric clinic, as well as earn her doctorate and become a professor of occupational therapy at a university.

Chandris Christina Soles-Hinkson

Ms. Soles-Hinkson is an industrious individual with an engaging personality and commanding presence. She will graduate in May with a master's degree in health care administration. Her GPA is 3.94.

“Chandris was selected by the National Association of Health Services Executives to receive the First Consulting Group Inc. President's Scholarship. She is the first TWU student to be selected to receive this competitive national award,” said Dr. Gretchen Gemeinhardt, assistant professor of health care administration.

“Perhaps more impressive is this young woman's motivation to increase her knowledge and experience in health care. Eager to make the transition from teaching high school, Chandris took on the management of a small group physician practice,” Dr. Gemeinhardt added.

Ms. Soles-Hankson recently started a one-year residency with the Texas Veterans Health Network. “By the end of the residency, I will have a better understanding of the roles of senior management, will have strengthened my leadership techniques and will be prepared and committed to entering the role of administrative officer in one of the services within the Veteran Affairs Healthcare Network,” she said. “In the long run, the level of personal satisfaction I derive from helping other gain access to proper healthcare will be a key measure of career success.”

Kimberly Gay

Ms. Gay tried college after graduating high school but withdrew and worked for 10 years before returning to school. She will graduate in May with a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications and a 3.82 GPA.

She was selected for the Freedom Forum's Chips Quinn Scholarship/Internship Program in 2001 and recently won a Dallas Press Club scholarship, competing with students from five Southwestern states. She is a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society-TWU chapter, has been named to the National Dean's List, received the Ruth James Wingo Endowed Journalism Scholarship Award and has been a staff writer for The Lasso, TWU's student newspaper.

Heidi Gilroy

Ms. Gilroy was a leader in her class and well respected by faculty. She graduated in December 2002 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing with an overall 3.49 GPA. She currently works for Memorial Hermann Children's Hospital in Houston in the pediatric intensive care unit.

She was active in the Student Nurses Association-Houston chapter, served as the chapter's vice president and as a delegate to the state and national annual conventions. She was inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, Beta Beta chapter, which is the national honor society for outstanding nurses. She was named to the National Dean's List and received numerous scholarships.

Brandi Smith

In addition to earning a 4.0 GPA, Ms. Smith was a member of the nationally ranked TWU gymnastics team. She graduates in May with a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology. She plans to earn her master's degree in physical therapy from TWU.

She received the Kitty Magee Honor Award, has been named to the National Dean's List, been named an NCAA Academic All American, been named an All American Scholar, received the Redbud Outstanding Campus Leader Award, is a member of the Kinesiology Honor Society and was named to the NCAA Verizon 1st team All-Region and NCAA Verizon 3rd team All-American.

Echo Norris

"Echo Norris is the kind of student for which an honor such as the Leman Award is intended," said Sarah Gamblin, assistant professor of dance. Norris is completing her bachelor of arts degree in dance and will graduate in May.

She is a dedicated dancer, a sophisticated choreographer, a responsible and avid student and her natural leadership abilities and artistic and personal integrity set an example for her peers. "In many ways, Echo has surpassed one of the main goals of higher education — to become a self-directed adult. She has taken a vital step further to become an artist in her own right, as well as an admired member of the larger community," said Ms. Gamblin.


For Further Information Contact:

Roy Kron
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456