"Three graduates of the Department of Communication at West Texas A&M University have been named as the 2017 inductees for the Communication Hall of Fame and will be honored at a special banquet at 6 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Jack B. Kelley Student Center, Legacy Hall. The event also will include the presentation of the Rising Star Award, Community Partner Award and the Eternal Flame Award.
This year’s honorees include Craig Gualtiere, a local business owner, Lou Ann Seabourn, retired associate dean of instruction at Amarillo College, and Randy Ray, WTAMU director of broadcast engineering. The three 2017 inductees will be honored with brief video documentaries of their work at the banquet.
The 2017 Rising Star awards will be presented to Eva Harder and Shay Ward. The Community Partner Award will be presented to Mary Coyne and MCMC. The Eternal Flame Award will be presented to Dr. Jessica Mallard, dean of the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities at WTAMU.
Host for the evening will be Kirk Scarbrough, former WTAMU student body president and winner of the 2015 Rising Star award.
The criteria for nominations for the Communication Hall of Fame include being a graduate of WTAMU’s communication studies or mass communication program, having worked in their professional field for a minimum of five years, making substantial contributions to the profession and having active community involvement.
Craig Gualtiere earned his bachelor’s degree in speech communication from WTAMU in 1996. He is the owner/operator of Roasters Coffee and Tea and since 2007 has served as a special production assistant for the National Football League. Gualtiere’s civic involvement has included service on the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, the Amarillo Airport Board, the Amarillo Zoning Board, the city of Amarillo Traffic Commission and as a Randall County Commissioner. He also is active in a number of community organizations including the Amarillo chapter of the American Heart Association, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Texas Panhandle Special Olympics and the Amarillo Executive Association.
Lou Ann Seabourn received both her bachelor’s degree (1976) and her master’s degree (1983) from West Texas State University. She taught in the Amarillo Independent School District from 1976 to 1985 and then joined the speech faculty at WTAMU from 1985 through 1998. In 1998, Seabourn became the coordinator of off-campus programs at Amarillo College, specifically coordinating AC’s dual credit program. From 2002 through 2006, she served as director of Extended Programs at AC and was named associate dean of Instruction at AC in 2006. She currently serves as the executive secretary of the Texas Speech Communication Association. In 2006, TSCA awarded Seabourn the Outstanding Service Award for the significant contributions she has made to the organization.
Randy Ray earned his bachelor’s degree from West Texas State in radio/film/television in 1984 and completed his master’s in mass communication at Middle Tennessee State in 2002. Since 2010, Ray has served as the director of broadcast engineering in WTAMU’s Department of Communication. In the early 1990s Ray joined with area musicians Andy Denton, Billy Williams and Michael Jacobs to form the Christian rock band, Legend Seven. The band toured twice in Europe and had several top singles on Christian radio. Ray managed Sunset Studios in Nashville and worked with such celebrities as Spike Lee, Lynard Skynard, Garth Brooks, Peter Frampton and Neil Diamond. In 2002, Ray joined the faculty at WTAMU and has taught production courses, managed Live Crew, served as adviser of the National Broadcasting Society and created an award-winning tradition for the University’s live music program, One Sessions. He is the author of Thank the Lord for Leroy, a collection of humor columns he originally wrote for the South Cheatham Advocate. The National Broadcasting Society has named him Professional Member of the Year.
Those selected for the 2017 Rising Star Awards represent the diversity and outreach of graduates of WTAMU’s Department of Communication. Eva Harder is a writer and editor of America’s Promise Alliance, which is based in Washington, D.C. Shay Wardworked with the Exeter Finance Corporation as a process analyst before joining Shaw Systems and currently works as a project manager for Flagship Credit Acceptance. Both Harder and Ward were members of WTAMU’s forensics team during their undergraduate careers.
The Community Partner Award recognizes an organization or individual who has made substantial contributions to WTAMU’s Department of Communication. This year’s recipient is Mary Coyne, owner of MCMC, a full service advertising and public relations firm specializing in crisis communication. The firm was established in 2015 following the sale of McCormick Company. Coyne earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas Tech University. From 1985 to 1987, she served as the communications services director at WTAMU before joining McCormick. She has been actively involved in helping the Department of Communication launch its student-run public relations agency, 1910PR, and is a frequent guest speaker for departmental activities.
The Eternal Flame Award honors those who have made lasting contributions to WTAMU’s Department of Communication but who do not hold degrees from WTAMU. Dr. Jessica Mallard, who currently serves as dean of the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, is the 2017 recipient. Mallard began her career at WTAMU in 2002. She received a B.A. in communication from the University of Central Oklahoma and her master’s degree and a Ph.D. in speech communication from Pennsylvania State University. She served as director of Graduate Studies in Communication and as director of the Attebury Honors Program at WTAMU before being named dean in 2012. As dean, Mallard has seen the expansion of the four departments and one school that comprise the college. She continues to teach the undergraduate course in research methods in the Department of Communication and is a tireless supporter of the many activities planned by the department.
The Communication Hall of Fame Selection Committee for 2017 included seven communication professionals: Mary Coyne, advertising executive of MCMC; Steven Denny, attorney; Lori James, communication and marketing specialist at BSA; John Lee, editor of the Pampa News; Christa Glasgow, public affairs specialist at Pantex; Matt Hamilton, account executive at KFDA; and Dan Morgan, operations manager at KAMR. Communication department faculty members selected the recipients for the Rising Star, Community Partner, Legacy and Eternal Flame Awards.
Plans are to live stream the event. For information about the Communication Hall of Fame banquet, contact Dr. Trudy Hanson at 806-65-2800 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All proceeds from the banquet will be used to help endow the Wilson Lemieux Slow and Steady Scholarship in mass communication."
-West Texas A&M University