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April 2003

Release Date: April 24, 2003

ASU Presidential Award, Distinguished Student Awards Announced for 2003

Phillip Balfanz, a senior with a double major in chemistry and biology, has been named recipient of the 2003 Presidential Award and four other Angelo State University students have been selected for 2003 Distinguished Student Awards at the university.

Balfanz of San Angelo will be recognized at ASU's May 10 commencement along with the four Distinguished Student Award honorees representing each ASU college or school. The Distinguished Student Award recipients are: Laura Gonzales Martinez of Snyder from the College of Business and Professional Studies; Kevin Glenn Garrison of San Angelo from the College of Liberal and Fine Arts; Dan R. McCown of Robert Lee from the College of Sciences; and Judy Kathryn Cryer of San Angelo from the School of Education.

Recipients are selected from nominees by each department and are chosen for the honors on the basis of outstanding academic performance and accomplishments in extracurricular and service activities. One student is selected from each college or school for the Distinguished Student Award.

The award recipients will be honored during a public reception at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 28, in the Houston Harte University Center Theater. President Hindman will present plaques to each of the winners and nominees.

Balfanz, jointly nominated by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Department of Biology, is recipient of a Carr Academic Scholarship. He supplemented his classroom learning with independent research and presented his findings at regional and national honor society conventions. He was selected to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities.

He serves as president of Alpha Chi National Honor Society and is active with University Symposium Committee, Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society and the American Chemical Society. As an ASU student Balfanz tutored college and high school students in science and mathematics. He also assisted with ASU Science Days projects and worked in both the ASU Herbarium and ASU Planetarium. This fall he will enroll at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston where he has been awarded the Dr. Walter Junius Hildebrand Academic Scholarship.

Nominated by the Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Martinez will graduate next month with a combined bachelor and master of business administration in accounting degree. She earned membership in both Alpha Lambda Delta and Alpha Chi national honor societies while employed full time at San Angelo Federal Credit Union. After graduation, she will join her husband, who is stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, where she hopes to work as a civilian accountant with the Air Force. Eventually, she plans to pursue a teaching career in accounting at the secondary or collegiate level.

Garrison, a senior English major with a philosophy minor, was nominated by the English Department. He is a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Sigma Tau Delta, Pi Gamma Mu and Alpha Chi national honor societies. He has distinguished himself in creative writing, publishing poetry in ASU's Oasis Literary Magazine and writing a winning nonfiction entry for the 2002 University Symposium Media Contest. He has been active in intramural sports and as a volunteer with local road race and track meet organizers. He will pursue a master of arts degree in English at Texas Tech University this fall. He then plans to seek a doctorate and a career in university teaching.

McCown is a senior mathematics major with a minor in business administration. He was nominated by the Mathematics Department. He holds a Carr Academic Scholarship as well as a Special Academic Scholarship in Mathematics. He was inducted into both Alpha Chi and Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society. He was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. McCown is active in intramural sports, in the National Weather Service's Skywarn program and in the Baptist Student Ministry. After graduation, he will embark on a mission trip to South America before exploring his career options.

Nominated by the Department of Education, Cryer is an interdisciplinary child development and learning major with a special education minor. She received the Rao/Hutchinson and the Verna Mae Crutchfield Special Education scholarships and was inducted into both Alpha Chi and Kappa Delta Pi Educational Honor Society. She volunteers at ASU with the Math Teachers Club, the Latter-Day Saints Student Association and Best Buddies and in the community with the Boy Scouts, Partners in Education and Helping Our Students to Succeed. She plans to do graduate work in education at ASU, then pursue a doctorate and a career in teaching or low-incidence disability services.

Other nominees for the awards and their nominating departments were: Sonya Lynn Barnes, Psychology and Sociology Department; Timothy L. Boff, Computer Science Department; Alison Marie Butts, History Department; Jessica Mary Jaskowiak, School of Education; and Connie Sue Zant, Nursing Department.