News About You

Have you changed jobs? Received a promotion? Started a company? Written a book? Received an award? Made a scientific breakthrough? Exhibited your work in an art show? Married? Had a child? Please share your news with us.

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Class Notes
Category: Careers
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Sandra Bennett Cooper, Ph.D.
Sandra Bennett Cooper, Ph.D.
Sandra Bennett Cooper earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees at Louisiana Tech University in 1985 and 1988 respectively. She went on to earn her Ph.D. at Texas A&M University and is currently Professor of Mathematics Education and Coordinator of Mathematics Education in the School of Education at Baylor University. She teaches undergraduate courses in the elementary teacher certification program and graduate courses in mathematics education. The focus of her research is early number development, integrating children’s literature into mathematics instruction, and mathematical experiences in museums.

Dr. Cooper was recently named Centennial Professor for 2016 at Baylor University. Created by the Baylor Centennial Class of 1945, the award provides tenured professors with funds for research projects that will facilitate more in-depth study in his or her field. Cooper will use the award to fund a study that will define highly effective elementary school mathematics teachers. Dr. Cooper’s recent research focus is related to early number development, specifically with children in PreK to second grade and the effectiveness of teachers who teach these early learners. In the summer of 2016, she coordinated and hosted the first Math for Early Learners Academy (MELA) for PreK children, designed to provide positive learning experiences focused on the development of early number concepts.

Dr. Cooper is currently serving as President of the Texas Council of Teachers of Mathematics and is on the Editorial Panel for "Teaching Children Mathematics," a journal for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. More at http://soefaculty.baylor.edu/sandra-cooper/
Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Michael Jordan
Photo: Humboldt Foundation/Michael Jordan
Mindy Nunez Duffourc is currently spending the year in Germany conducting comparative research on medical negligence as an Alexander von Humboldt German Chancellor Fellow.

Following a rigorous selection process, she was chosen for the fellowship, which targets young leaders from the United States, the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, Brazil and India. The program chooses prospective decision-makers and thought leaders from a broad range of professional fields such as politics, public administration and business as well as society and culture.

This fellowship program is under the patronage of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany and is financed by the Federal Foreign Office. She recently returned from a two-week during tour, during which she met with representatives from the German Supreme Court, the European Commission, and NATO. Mindy will meet the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, this spring.

You can follow her research at www.medriskreport.com.

John "John" Reuther

Class of 1973
Solute to the Captain
Solute to the Captain
Captain John Reuther has retired from United Airlines after 27 years of service.
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Ben James, Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch in Shreveport, LA, recently obtained the Certified Investment Management Analyst® certification. The CIMA® certification, delivered by Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®), is the only credential designed specifically for investment advisors and consultants.

The CIMA® certification identifies individuals who have met experience and ethical requirements and successfully completed investment management consulting coursework provided at the MIT Sloan School of Management. CIMA professionals must pass an examination covering a wide range of in-depth investment topics. Additionally, those who earn the certification must agree to meet ongoing continuing education requirements, and agree to adhere to IMCA’s Code of Professional Responsibility and Standards of Practice.

Ben's accomplishment adds to his ability to offer the skills and strategies necessary to guide clients through complex financial challenges and help them pursue their financial goals.
Stanley "Warren" Byrd, 2004 graduate in Civil Engineering, is the new Executive Director of the Red River, Atchafalaya & Bayou Boeuf Levee District serving the parishes of Avoyelles, Rapides and St. Landry.
Linnie Freeman
Linnie Freeman
Linnie Freeman, BA, Journalism '74, has been named Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Willbros Group, Inc., a publicly traded energy construction company based in Houston, Texas. Before joining Willbros in 2008, she practiced civil law with firms in San Francisco and Houston. She received her law degree from the University of Texas and holds licenses in Texas and California.

James "Jim" Semerad

Class of 1981
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Jim Semerad worked at EDS, Hewlett Packard, and VisionIT until April 2008 working with fortune 200 companies implementing information technology. He served as a US Naval Supply Officer in the Naval Reserve and returned to active duty for almost 5 years at the Military Sealift Command, Pentagon, then AFRICOM in Naples, Italy. He retired as a Commander in October 2012 and returned to Lake Orion, MI. In October 2015, he joined the VA Medical Center in Detroit managing logistics and supply chain operations. His 2 daughters will make him a grandfather later in 2016.
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Alton "Tuna" Dobbins is a graduate of the class of 1973 with an Engineering degree. Alton, "Tuna" to most people now, has his first book - Crossbow Revenge - published recently. Crossbow Revenge is a crime novel where a seemingly random carjacking murder creates a vigilante that goes about shooting people with a pistol crossbow for revenge. There is a love story between the first victim's daughter and the junior homicide detective. The novel is set in Houston, TX.
Alton retired from the Air Force in 1996 then worked for the Federal Aviation Administration until retiring in 2015. "Tuna" is my fighter pilot nickname.
Alton has a second crime novel in production and hopes to have it published before 2017.
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Colleen Young published two books. Taking Flight and Remove Before Flight in 2016.
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Starting July 1, 2016, Dr. James McGuffee (LA Tech '1989) will be the Dean of the School of Sciences at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN.
Reagan Roberts Smith(BS Accounting 1999, MPA 2000) was promoted to Chief Financial Officer at Murex Petroleum in January 2016. Reagan resides in Houston, TX with her husband Justin and two children, Addyson and Coltyn.

Daniel "Dan" Carter

Class of 1979
I joined Houston-based Scientific Drilling International, Inc. (SDI) in May 2011 as Senior Vice President and General Counsel. SDI is the largest independent directional drilling and wellbore navigation service provider in the world.

SDI engineers, fabricates, and deploys proprietary systems and tools for use in the oil and gas, geothermal, and mining industries. These proprietary products and services assist clients with their projects saving them time and money.

Using its more than 40 years of experience, SDI combines state of the art software with its products to accurately model and predict torque/drag, bit hydraulics, pressure loss output, and coefficients of friction using a variety of bottom hole assembly and drill bit combinations -- an important capability when designing multi-million dollar well pads. Because of its capabilities and reputation, SDI boasts a long and distinguished client list that includes: British Petroleum, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum, Royal Dutch Shell, Lukoil, and many others.
Tom Russell (BS Agribusiness/Plant Science 1997) was recently appointed as the 2016 President of the Louisiana Agriculture Industries Association (LAIA). Tom has served on the association's board for the past two years. LAIA was established to promote Louisiana's row crop agriculture related industries and services. Participating business segments include seed, chemical and fertilizer sales and distribution, as well as the merchandising and handling of grain and oilseeds at the local and export elevator levels.

Robert "Bob" Dyer

Class of 1974
Effective February 1, 2016, I ( class of 1974 )will be retired from Northrop Grumman. The main change is that I am now retired and not disabled as per Social Security. Retirement affords all of us more of a chance to participate in the activities we like and cherish, and even be busier than when we were working, but retirement gives us the chance to do more for ourselves.

Joseph "Joe" Doughty

Class of 1980
- Deceased
Joe Doughty
Joe Doughty
Joe Doughty has retired from AIG Financial Network in Natchez, MS as of August 28, 2015, After 15 Years of Service. Joe lives in Vidalia, LA and he and his wife Mary Ann Doughty hold Season Tickets to Louisiana Tech Football. He is also a member of the LA. Tech Alumni Association, Louisiana Tech Athletic Club, Louisiana Tech Baptist Student Union/Baptist Collegiate Ministries Alumni Association. Joe is also a member of the Ferriday Rotary Club & a member of First Baptist Church, Vidalia, LA. where he serves as a Deacon.
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Shelia Wilson Anderson has been named USAA's Division CIO for Property and Casualty Insurance. Shelia joined USAA's IT executive team in 2012 as Vice President to lead maintenance and support for Business Applications. USAA consistently ranks as a 100 Best Companies to Work For, and 100 Best Places to Work in IT. USAA provides insurance, banking, investments and advice to more than 10 million members.
In January 2010, I officially retired from the United States Army (12 years active-duty USAF and 8 years in the DCARNG) when I turned 60 years old. In May 2010, I officially retired from The American Legion after 22 years in its Legislative Division. In May 2010, I joined the DC staff of Senator Sanders (VT).

In January 2013, I became the Staff Director of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee.

In January 2015, I returned to Senator Sanders' personal staff to handle military, homeland security and veterans' issues.
Susan Pincus and her SoLa Cajun Seasoning
Susan Pincus and her SoLa Cajun Seasoning
Susan Odom Pincus, class of 68, has recently begun a new career as a specialty food entrepreneur. Her company is SoLa Seasonings, Inc. Susan is a Louisiana native and has been making her secret recipe Cajun seasoning for over 30 years. Friends and family have encouraged her to put the seasoning on the commercial market and since she has retired from her career in healthcare compliance, she now has the time to devote to her product. SoLa Cajun Seasoning is different from most Cajun seasonings because it is made with sea salt. This gives it a unique flavor. It is a great all purpose seasoning, because it is not too hot and goes well with everything! You can buy the SoLa Cajun Seasoning on her website: www.solaseasonings.com
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Kathy L Jackson (BS Petroleum Engineering, 1989) has been named Global Production Engineering Chief at ConocoPhillips. During Kathy's 26 year career with ConocoPhillips she has held a variety of international and US based engineering and operations management roles.

Gerald "Don" Coker

Class of 1979
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Don Coker, doctorate of education, of Calhoun, has been named the Superintendent of Ouachita Parish School System. Don was previously the Personnel Director and Assistant Superintendent in the parish for the past 8 years and has 35 years of experience in education.
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