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April 2002

Release Date: April 24, 2002

ASU Presidential Award, Distinguished Student Awards Announced for 2002

Michael E. Patyrak, a senior biology major with a minor in chemistry, has been named recipient of the 2002 Presidential Award while four other Angelo State University students have been selected for 2002 Distinguished Student Awards at the university.

Patyrak 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. They are Michelle Tsui-Mei Chang, a Trinidad computer science major with a minor in mathematics, representing the College of Business and Professional Studies; Evette M. Stinson, a San Angelo communications major with a minor in aerospace studies and management, representing the College of Liberal and Fine Arts; Gamaliel Saucedo, a San Angelo mathematics major with minors in physics and Spanish, representing the College of Sciences; and Kathy Ann Bearden, a December 2001 graduate from Mason who received a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary child development and learning with a minor in communications, representing the School of Education.

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

The award recipients will be honored in a reception 1:30-3 p.m. Monday, April 29, in the Tucker Center on the second floor of the Houston Harte University Center, 1910 Rosemont, on the ASU campus. At the reception ASU President James Hindman will present the honorees with plaques in recognition of their accomplishments.

Nominated by the Department of Biology, Patyrak maintained a 3.97 grade point average (GPA) while conducting two challenging research projects in biochemistry and microbiology. In addition to his academic work, he participated in numerous extracurricular and community service activities. He received a Carr Academic Scholarship, the Dr. Merrill Everhart Science Scholarship, and the Welch Research Scholarship during his ASU tenure. He worked in both the ASU chemistry lab and the radiology department of a local hospital.

Patyrak is president of both the American Chemical Society and Alpha Chi National Honor Society and is an active member of Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, the Biochemistry Club and the University Symposium Committee. While at ASU, he established a tutoring program for chemistry students, organized a mentoring program for a local elementary school and served as a certified Hospice volunteer. Michael will enter the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio this summer where he hopes to specialize in pediatric medicine.

Chang was nominated by the Department of Computer Science and holds a perfect 4.0 GPA. She is a Carr Academic Scholarship recipient and was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. She is president of the student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery as well as a member of Alpha Chi, Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, the Mathematical Association of America and the University Center Program Council's Entertainment Committee. She also works in the ASU multimedia laboratory and completed a 2001 summer internship with Verizon, where she was awarded vMost Diligent Intern" and was nominated for "Intern of the Year." Michelle plans to pursue a graduate degree in computer science and a career in information technology.

Stinson was nominated by the Department of Aerospace Studies where she was recipient of both the Carr Academic and AFROTC Carr scholarships. A non-traditional student with 10 years previous service in the U.S. Air Force, she earned a 3.97 GPA. She is corps cadet commander for the ASU Detachment 847 and has been honored as a distinguished graduate and recipient of the US AFROTC Eagle Award, the Lt. Col. Virgil Grissom Memorial Scholarship Award and the USAA Cadet of the Year Award. She is president of Black Organization Striving for Success and a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Chi and Alpha Mu Gamma national honor societies. She was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. After receiving her commission as a second lieutenant, she will resume her career with the Air Force.

Nominated by the Department of Mathematics, Saucedo maintained a 3.95 GPA while working some 20 hours a week at the San Angelo Municipal Court for most of his collegiate career. A Carr Academic Scholar and an Up and Coming Scholar, he also received the National Collegiate Minority Leadership Award and scholarships from the Sundown and Southside Lions clubs and Wal-Mart. He is a member of Alpha Chi, Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society and the ASU Student Chapter of the Mathematical Association of America. He was named to Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. He is currently completing a computer-based software-training program in preparation for a post-graduate position as a software engineer for Raytheon Systems in Dallas. He hopes to pursue a graduate degree in the future.

Kathy Ann Bearden, nominated by the School of Education, maintained a 3.9 GPA during her ASU career. She was inducted into Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Chi and Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. She served as an officer in Kappa Delta Pi Educational Honor Society, representing ASU at the organization's 2001 National Convocation. While a student at ASU, she performed voluntary service for the Toys for Tots drive, the Women and Children's Shelter, and the Read to Me program. She also worked with the HOSTS (Helping One Student to Succeed) program in the San Angelo Independent School District. She is now teaching first grade at McGill Elementary in San Angelo and plans to pursue a master's degree in education.

Other nominees for the awards and their nominating departments were: Angela Love Bookout, Department of Kinesiology; Aaron Michael Bowles, Department of Psychology and Sociology; Tracie M. Davidson, Department of Nursing; Scott Edward Hecox, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Lacy Gail Pelzel, Department of Accounting, Economics, and Finance; and Kyla K. Thomas, Department of Management and Marketing.

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