TWU to honor alumni and student excellence at Accolades Luncheon April 20

April 17, 2018-DENTON-Texas Woman's University and the TWU Alumni Association will honor outstanding alumni and graduating students during the TWU Accolades Luncheon Friday, April 20. The event will recognize Distinguished Alumni Award, Hallmark Alumni Award and Outstanding TWU Student Award recipients.

The 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees are Vicki Tigert Davis (Ph.D., 1973), retired vice president of academic affairs and provost at Texas A&M University-Commerce; and Deborah A. Brown (MBA, 1986; B.S., 1979), a senior executive officer with the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes graduates who have brought honor to themselves and Texas Woman's University through their lifetime accomplishments.

The 2018 Hallmark Alumni Award recipient is Lindsay A. Renfro, Ph.D. (B.S., 2005), an assistant professor at the Mayo Clinic who specializes in statistical cancer research. The Hallmark award salutes alumni who through their education and conduct of their personal lives have had a significant, positive effect on their chosen profession or on their community.

Since the 1960s, the TWU Alumni Association has honored selected graduating students for their excellence in scholarship and service by naming them Outstanding TWU Undergraduate and Outstanding TWU Graduate Students.

The 2017-2018 Outstanding Seniors are:

  • Gladys Acosta of Keller, an interdisciplinary studies major;
  • Austin Hammond of Lake Dallas, a psychology major; and
  • Natalie Windle of Corinth, a music major.

The 2017-2018 Outstanding Graduate Student is Sara Ishli of Denton, who is earning her doctorate in multicultural women's and gender studies.

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Distinguished Alumni Awards

Vicki Tigert Davis received a Ph.D. in 1973 from Texas Woman's University in child development and family living with concentrations in guidance and counseling and home economics education. She holds a Master of Science in home economics, secondary and higher education, from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University-Commerce). She graduated with academic distinction from ETSU with a Bachelor of Arts in home economics in 1964.

Her distinguished career in education began at ETSU, where she joined the faculty in the Home Economics department. During her career at East Texas, she became head of the Home Economics department, achieved faculty rank through professor, directed a variety of university programs and served in the Office of the Provost for 10 years. In 2007, capping off a 40-plus year career as a university teacher, scholar and administrator, Davis retired as vice president of academic affairs and provost. Named Professor Emerita by the Texas A&M University Board, she continued to teach five more years.

Davis maintains active roles in professional and community organizations, many committed to funding activities that support professional and personal growth of women educators. As a champion for women and education in general, her record of service is exemplified by her work as Texas State President of Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, which has promoted education and women educators for more than 80 years. Davis challenged the Delta Kappa Gamma Texas Archives Committee to collaborate with TWU's nationally acclaimed Woman's Collection to create bio files on women educators. She is a founding member of the Alpha State Texas Educational Foundation, which funds leadership development activities and scholarships for members. Davis continues to serve in elected and appointed international positions for the organization, coordinating a program in 2014 on the University of Texas-Austin campus with Texas Executive Education and the McCombs Graduate School of Business for 30 exceptional woman leaders from 17 countries around the globe.


Deborah A. Brown received two degrees from Texas Woman's University: a Master of Business Administration in 1986 and a Bachelor of Science in economics in 1979.

Brown was instrumental in helping TWU establish a federal internship program within the TWU Department of Cooperative Education and the Department of Business and Economics. She was the first TWU student to receive a cooperative education internship with the United States Federal Service as a student economist intern with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dallas Regional Office, in 1978.

During her extensive career as a professional economist, Brown has advanced through the ranks of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency recognized as the authoritative "gold standard" of economic intelligence on the U.S. economy. Brown is the senior executive officer responsible for all financial and operational aspects of Region 1, which includes New England, New York, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Working tirelessly to build and maintain partnership coalitions with a diverse assortment of state government authorities, she administers a budget of $13.5 million in cooperative grants with 32 state government grantees in the region.

She also represents the Bureau of Labor Statistics agency on the Department of Labor Regional Executive Council to ensure Department of Labor policies are executed throughout the Region as directed by the Executive Branch of the United States Government and the U.S. Congress.

Brown maintains an active role in a variety of professional and community organizations and is a strong advocate for the equal legal rights of women. She has mentored college graduates via lectures and intern sponsorships. She is a past president of Business & Professional Women, Dallas, Inc. (1989-90) and was recognized as their Woman of the Year in 1993. Brown is a member of the National Association of Business Economists - Boston Chapter and the Eastern Economics Association. She currently serves as vice chair for the Department of Labor Regional Executive Committee.

Hallmark Alumni Award

Lindsay A. Renfro received a Bachelor of Science in mathematics, summa cum laude, with a minor in computer science from Texas Woman's University in 2005. She continued her studies at Rice University before moving to Baylor University where she received a Master of Science in statistics in 2007 and a Ph.D. in statistics in 2011.

Early in her education, a TWU instructor advised Renfro to choose math as a major, something she had not considered. Faculty at Texas Woman's encouraged her also to attend graduate school after completing the undergraduate degree.

She completed a summer internship at the Mayo Clinic in 2009 and returned there after graduation to begin her professional career as a faculty biostatistician in 2011. With many accomplishments, she moved quickly into positions of leadership and increased responsibility. Renfro currently serves as senior associate consultant and associate professor of biostatistics at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Her research interests center on improving the efficiency and ethics of clinical trials and patient care in oncology. Renfro was instrumental in developing an internationally accessible diagnostic tool used by medical professionals in the treatment and recommendations for colon cancer patients. Research highlights include statistical research, cancer clinical trials and teaching statistics to non-statisticians, from M.D.s to other Ph.Ds. Her goals in areas significant to patient care include age effect in advanced colorectal cancer, the BMI effect in advanced colorectal cancer and the development of a clinical calculator for Stage III colon cancer.

Renfro is the author or co-author of more than 42 articles on her research subject published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Geriatric Oncology, Journal of the National Cancer Institute and the New England Journal of Medicine. She continues to advance statistical research to identify new ways of conducting cancer clinical trials, using molecular data and personalized medicine to make trials more efficient.

Outstanding Senior Awards

Gladys Acosta will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in interdisciplinary studies in May 2018. An immigrant from Venezuela and mother of three boys, she is a campus and community volunteer with plans to become a bilingual education teacher.

Austin Hammond will receive a Bachelor of Science in psychology in May 2018. In addition to his involvement with the Athenian Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi, he volunteers with several service and community organizations. Hammond will pursue a career as a licensed professional counselor.

Natalie Windle, a Terry Scholar and Honors Scholar, is graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in music education in 2018. Her academic accomplishments include a music study abroad program in Hungary and a capstone project on Impressionism through Debussy: A Discussion of Style.

Outstanding Graduate Student Award

Sara Ishii will receive a Ph.D. in multicultural women's and gender studies, rhetoric concentration in May 2018. At TWU, she served as co-president of the Women's Studies Graduate Student Association and the Student Advisory Committee for Technology.

Media Contact

Deanna W. Titzler
Interim Director of Public Relations
940-898-3252
dtitzler@twu.edu