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TWU announces 2009 distinguished alumni
Dana L. Gibson
Elma L. Gonzalez
One is known for her commitment to corporate wellness and
improving minority access to health care. Another is recognized
for her leadership in higher education, and the third is lauded
for her work to increase minority participation in science
research. All have made their mark in their distinctive careers
and have been named as the 2009 Distinguished Alumni by Texas
Woman’s University and the TWU Former Students Association.
Mrs. Lola Chriss, manager
of health promotion and benefits for Texas Instruments; Dr.
Dana L. Gibson, president of National University in La Jolla,
Calif.; and Dr. Elma L. Gonzalez, retired professor from the
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) will be recognized
at the TWU Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon on Friday,
The luncheon will
be held at noon in the Southeast Ballroom of Hubbard Hall.
Tickets are $25. For more information or tickets, call the
TWU Office of Alumni Relations at (940) 898-2586 or visit
Alumni Award is the highest honor given to a TWU graduate.
Recipients represent the high ideals of the university as
demonstrated in their professional accomplishment, leadership
and community service.
Mrs. Lola Chriss
Mrs. Chriss is a
nationally recognized leader in corporate health. By combining
her clinical expertise and experience in health benefits management,
she has earned a reputation in the industry as being a strategic
leader in employee health benefits and wellness.
She has 26 years
of broad experience in health care, including as a practicing
nurse and in strategic health and welfare benefit plan design
and administration. As the manager of health promotion and
benefits for Texas Instruments (TI), she is responsible for
managing all the health, welfare and wellness benefits for
TI employees and retirees.
The National Business
Group on Health has recognized Mrs. Chriss for her involvement
in launching an employer-based initiative to address healthcare
disparities. Locally, she also was instrumental in working
with the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health and Pfizer
to launch a similar initiative designed to reduce healthcare
disparities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Region.
Mrs. Chriss is strongly
committed to giving back to her community, as evidenced by
her service on the boards of several organizations, including
the Dallas Metropolitan YWCA, the Dallas County United Way
Allocation Panel, the National Business Group on Health and
the Garland Independent School District Advisory Board. She
is the immediate past president of the TWU Foundation Board
and currently serves as the board secretary for the DFW Business
Group on Health. Also, Gov. Rick Perry recently appointed
her to the TWU Board of Regents.
Mrs. Chriss received
her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University
of Texas at Arlington and her master’s degree in nursing
the support, encouragement and mentorship of TWU faculty and
staff, I was able to attain my master's degree,” Mrs.
Chriss said. “My experiences at TWU helped to shape
my life both personally and professionally, and I am honored
to be recognized as a Distinguished Alumna by the university.”
Dr. Gibson has
a distinguished background in higher education administration
and teaching in the fields of accounting and information systems.
She was appointed as the first female president of National
University in California in 2007 and will become the vice
president of finance and operations for Sam Houston State
University in spring 2009.
Dr. Gibson also
has held administration leadership positions at Southern Methodist
University (SMU), the University of Colorado at Denver and
TWU. During her 14 years at TWU, Dr. Gibson was as a member
of the accounting and information systems faculty, was elected
as speaker pro tem of the faculty senate and served as vice
president for academic and information services.
Dr. Gibson has
received numerous recognitions for her contributions to finance
and information systems in higher education. She served on
the Texas Comptroller's Task Force to redefine financial reporting
in the state. Also, she was recognized by the American Accounting
Association for her contributions to information systems literature
and received an Innovative Use of Imaging Technology in Higher
Education award from an international professional technology
association. Dr. Gibson has served as associate editor for
Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research and a
reviewer for the Accounting Forum and the Journal
of Information Systems.
Dr. Gibson received
her bachelor’s degree and MBA from TWU and her Ph.D.
from the University of Texas at Arlington.
me with cherished memories, as well as enhanced my abilities
and inspired me to do my best during my time there as a student,
and then later as a faculty member and administrator,”
Dr. Gibson said. “The TWU community has always been
a very supportive environment, and one that urges you to achieve
even more than you believed you could. I feel very honored
to be named aTWU
career, Dr. Gonzalez has been actively involved in increasing
the participation of minority and female students in the sciences.
She founded the Center for Academic and Research Excellence
at UCLA and was director of the Minority Access to Research
Careers program at the university.
of her work, UCLA established the Elma Gonzalez Research Needs
Award to provide funding for undergraduate researchers. Also,
since 1999, UCLA has given out the Elma L. Gonzalez Prize
for Achievement in Undergraduate Research to a senior in a
minority research program.
Dr. Gonzalez is
co-author of an autobiographical collection “Paths to
Discovery: Autobiographies from Chicanas with Careers in Science,
Mathematics and Engineering” published by the UCLA Chicano
Studies Research Center Press in 2008. She also has published
more than 50 peer-reviewed research papers in national and
international journals and books.
Dr. Gonzalez was
named “2005 Pioneer Woman” by the Los Angeles
City Council and received the 2004 Distinguished Scientist
award from the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and
Native Americans in Science. In 2005, she was the recipient
of the Distinguished Teaching Award from the UCLA Academic
Dr. Gonzalez recently
retired as a full professor from the UCLA department of ecology
and evolutionary biology. She received her bachelor’s
degree in biology and chemistry from TWU and her Ph.D. from
such a huge, lasting impact on my intellectual and social
development, and I treasure the years that I lived among a
diverse community of women from whence life-long friendships
emerged,” Dr. Gonzalez said. “I am also thankful
to the faculty and administration, who fostered an intimate,
caring ambiance that nurtured and safeguarded our inquisitive
minds. I am very proud to be named a TWU Distinguished Alumna.”
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Tel: (940) 898-3456