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2021 Outstanding Alumni announced

2021 Outstanding Alumni announced
October 6, 2021 SEHD Communications

2021 Outstanding Alumni announced

Six former students of the college will be recognized for their professional achievements and college-wide impact at the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Awards Gala on Friday, Oct. 22 at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center.

This year’s honorees are Dr. Miguel Ángel Cano, Dr. Andrea Susan “Ognibene” Foster, Dr. Dave A. Louis and Dr. Emil Rodolfa. The early career honorees are Captain Derek J. Bull and Dr. Geovanny J. Ponce.

Outstanding Alumni honorees

Dr. Miguel Ángel Cano ’11
Associate Professor, Florida International University, Miami, Florida

Cano graduated in 2007 with a master’s degree in educational psychology from Texas A&M University. He returned to earn a doctoral degree in 2011 in counseling psychology. He is currently an associate professor of epidemiology at Florida International University and a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for Research on U.S. Latino HIV/AIDS and Drug Abuse. His work focuses on understanding the social determinants of health and health disparities affecting Hispanic communities through research in sociocultural stressors and coping resources in relation to health risk behavior and mental health to provide evidence-based prevention interventions for underserved and disproportionately- affected communities.

Dr. Andrea Susan “Ognibene” Foster ’82, ’84, ’98
Professor, Sam Houston State University, Conroe, Texas

Foster graduated with a bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral of educational curriculum and instruction in 1982, 1984, and 1998, respectively. Her career has spanned over 40 years through education serving as a schoolteacher and professor, most currently as a tenured professor at Sam Houston State University. She has been recognized with the Texas Medical Association award for Excellence in Science Teaching, Excellence in Science Teaching and Teaching Excellence and Grantsmanship Awards from SHSU and is the 2015 recipient of the Howard Hughes Medical Association & Texas Tech University Skoog Cup for outstanding work in preparation of preservice science teachers in Texas.

Dr. Dave A. Louis ’04
Associate Professor, University of Houston, Katy, Texas

Louis earned his doctoral degree in educational administration in 2004. Born in Trinidad, his life has been full of service, dedicated to counter-storytelling and giving voice, authenticity and meaningfulness of the Black experience in postcolonial environments, with focus in higher education. Louis is a 2020 Fulbright Scholar and recipient of many honors, including the President’s Excellence in Diversity & Equity Award from Texas Tech University, the American Educational Research Associations’ Carlos J. Vallejo Memorial Award for Scholarship. He has garnered more than $3M in external grants for multiple collaborations. He has served as an associate professor at Texas Tech University and currently serves as an associate professor of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at the University of Houston.

Dr. Emil Rodolfa ’81
Distinguished Professor, Alliant International University, Winters, California

Rodolfa graduated with a doctoral degree in educational psychology in 1981. He served as a licensed psychologist to various university counseling centers in California for over three decades before retiring in 2013. He is the founding editor of Training and Education in Professional Psychology and has earned various distinctions. He currently serves as a distinguished professor at Alliant International University in the California School of Professional Psychology.

Early career honorees

Captain Derek J. Bull ’13
Flight Commander, United States Space Force, Baltimore, Maryland

Bull earned his bachelor’s degree in human resource development in 2013 from Texas A&M University. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 2014 and in early 2021 transferred to the U.S. Space Force, serving as an intelligence officer and commander at Fort Meade Maryland. He has extensive experience in leadership with roles such as system program office chief of strategy, joint operations office and cyber weapons platform program manager. He has been previously stationed at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas and Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, Texas.

Dr. Geovanny J. Ponce, ’19
Assistant Superintendent of High Schools, Houston Independent School District, Houston, Texas

Ponce earned a doctorate in educational administration in 2019. An immigrant from Honduras, he has served in public education for over two decades as a teacher and administrator and now as the assistant superintendent of high schools for Houston ISD. He has been recognized as HISD’s Secondary Principal of the Year, 2018-19 Region IV Secondary Principal of the Year, Rookie Secondary Principal of the Year, Assistant Principal of the Year and Bilingual Teacher of the Year.

About the Writer

Justin is a native of Harlingen, the capital city of the Rio Grande Valley in Deep South Texas. He graduated in 2021 from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with a Bachelor of Liberal Arts, majoring in Mass Communication with a concentration in Print Journalism. Justin is responsible for writing news and feature stories for the College and its various departments to be featured via the web, social media, and various other media outlets.

Articles by Justin

For media inquiries, contact Justin Elizalde.

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