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September 2002

Release Date: September 30, 2002

Alumni Association to Honor Outstanding Graduates during ASU Homecoming

Four outstanding alumni, an honorary alumnus and a former university professor will be honored by the Angelo State University Alumni Association during Homecoming 2002's Wells Fargo Homecoming Dinner Friday, Oct. 11 on the university campus.

The honorees are Dr. Bill W. "Billy" Mullins, Class of 1978, as Distinguished Alumnus; Dr. Yolanda B. Truckenbrodt, Class of 1980, as Distinguished ROTC Alumnus; Dr. Devesh Raj, Class of 1995, as Distinguished Carr Scholar Alumnus; Carlton L. Smith, Sr., Class of 1947, as Golden Ex of the Year; Elmer Kelton as Honorary Alumnus; and Dr. H. Dempsey Watkins, as Outstanding Retired Faculty.

All will be recognized at the Wells Fargo Homecoming Dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 11, in the C.J. "Red" Davidson Conference Center in the Houston Harte University Center on the ASU campus. Tickets cost $17.50 each. Reservations should be made by Wednesday, Oct. 9, by contacting the ASU Alumni Association at 325-942-2122.


Dr. Billy Mullins of Montclair, Va., is a member of the Senior Executive Service and was appointed as the first and only director of the Air Force Nuclear Weapons and Counterproliferation Agency, Deputy Chief of Staff for Air and Space Operations, Washington, D.C. In that position since 1998, Mullins is responsible for planning, development and sustainment of the Air Force's nuclear stockpile.

He directs and supervises the chairmen that lead the joint Project Officers Groups for the departments of Defense and Energy. These groups oversee all aspects of a nuclear weapon's life cycle. He directs the technical assessment of counterproliferation technologies, currently focusing on defeating chemical and biological weapons. In addition to these duties, he provides technical advice to the chief of staff and secretary of the Air Force on nuclear weapons and countering chemical and biological agents.

Mullins graduated from Abilene Cooper High School in 1973. He earned an ASU bachelor of science degree in physics, a master of science degree in engineering physics from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1979 and a doctor of philosophy in physics from the University of New Mexico in 1989.

In 1998 he retired from active duty in the U.S. Air Force with the rank of lieutenant colonel. He has received the Air Force's Meritorious Service Medal with three oak leaf clusters, its Commendation Medal and its Excellence in Competition Medal (Pistol). He is listed in the 1993 "Who's Who in the West" and the 1984 "Outstanding Young Men of America."

Mullins has authored or co-authored several technical papers and holds one patent for an extremely sensitive position sensor, capable of detecting movements as small as one millionth of a centimeter. He and his wife Jill, ASU Class of 1977, have two daughters, Erica and Corrinn, who are both art majors at the Virginia Commonwealth University.


Dr. Yolanda Truckenbrodt of Dayton, Ohio, is a business management consultant. As an Air Force ROTC cadet at ASU she won the Best Drilled Flight Award in 1978 and was named outstanding pledge by Arnold Air Society in 1979. Upon receiving her master of business administration degree from ASU, she was commissioned in the Air Force in May of 1980. She went on to earn her master of public administration from the University of West Florida in 1987 and a doctor of public administration at Nova Southeastern University in Florida in 2000.

Her commissioned career began as a program manager for development and production of turbine engine monitoring systems, landing gears, brakes, struts, nacelles, hydraulics, fuel and environmental subsystems in support of the KC-135 aircraft upgrade. In 1984 she became an electronic warfare program manager. She was also the program manager for the Red Flag Measurement and Debriefing System Upgrade.

From 1989 to 1992, Truckenbrodt was assigned as the program manager for the improvement planning of airborne warning and control systems, developing roadmaps for long-term E-3 aircraft growth, and outlining modernization plans for system enhancements to the AWACS fleet. Her last assignment prior to retirement in 1998 was as the directorate of plans and programs, Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. She was a program analyst for ballistic missile defense and base realignment and closure. She also served as a Congressional Liaison Officer.

In addition to numerous military decorations, civilian honors, and community civic service awards, Truckenbrodt has been named a 1983 Outstanding Young Woman of America, 1987 Okaloosa County, Florida Career Woman of the Year, 2002 Who's Who in the World and National Women's History Month Honoree in the Florida Federal Women's Program.

She competes in Summer Biathlons and is also a marathon runner. She won second place overall in 1999 Fourth International Run, Great Wall, China and holds the record as the first American to win the half-marathon event. She lives in Dayton, Ohio with her husband, Ed.


Dr. Devesh Raj of Brooklyn, N.Y., is a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a strategy and business thinking corporation working on critical issues in numerous industries. He graduated summa cum laude from ASU in 1995 with a bachelor of science degree in computer science and physics. He was the recipient of the prestigious ASU Presidential Award.

Prior to receiving his doctor of philosophy in applied physics at Yale University in 2000, Dr. Raj received a Pierre Hoge Fellowship. He also received one of only 50 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellowships granted in the United States for doctoral scientific research. Raj was elected member of Yale's Graduate Assembly Steering Committee, founded the Yale South Asian Graduate/Professional Association, volunteered in Yale-New Haven Hospital's elderly patient care program and served as captain of the Yale cricket team.

During his graduate research, Dr. Raj's dissertation was on "Technical issues in functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MIR)." He developed novel MRI techniques and computer simulations to study human brain function and to improve the accuracy in determining brain response to external stimuli. As a summer associate with the University of Texas Medical School, he developed computer software for medical research, including applications such as a scientific database used by the entire radiotherapy division.

In his position with BCG, Raj directed a performance enhancement project for high net worth asset management offering for a major financial institution in the United States. This involved performing analyses and competitor benchmarking to identify key drivers of profitability. He has also redesigned the interface between research and development functions for a major pharmaceutical firm.

In addition to his professional interests, he is a classical sitar player, is fluent in Hindi and enjoys cricket, soccer and tennis.


Carlton L. Smith Sr. started at San Angelo College in 1946. He played football the year the program resumed on campus after World War II. While at San Angelo College, Smith was a member of Theta Beta Zeta, an athletic fraternity. Following his graduation from San Angelo College, he graduated from Sul Ross State University in 1952 with a bachelor of science degree and master of education degree.

Smith taught and coached at Marfa High School, Sanderson High School and Lorenzo High School. He served as a principal of Buena Vista High School in Imperial and of McCamey High School.

After retiring in 1988, Smith became active as a volunteer. He served on a variety of boards, including March for Jesus, Jesus Video Project and various other Christian and prison ministries. He is currently active with the San Angelo Retired Teachers Association. Smith has spent many volunteer hours coordinating the San Angelo College Rams annual reunions for the past 12 years.

Smith and his wife of fifty years, Betty Lou, have four children, seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.


Elmer Kelton, a native of Crane and a long-time San Angelo resident, grew up on the McElroy Ranch, with which his father, the late R. W. "Buck" Kelton, was associated for 36 years. After two years in the U. S. Army, including combat infantry service in Europe, Kelton earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin. He then spent 15 years as farm and ranch writer/editor for the San Angelo Standard-Times, five years as editor of Sheep and Goat Raiser Magazine and 22 years as associate editor of Livestock Weekly, from which he retired in 1990.

Author of 40 novels, Kelton has received four Western Heritage Awards from the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City for "The Time It Never Rained," "The Good Old Boys," "The Man Who Rode Midnight," and the text for "The Art of Howard Terpning."

Western Writers of America, which voted him the greatest western writer of all time in a poll of its members, has presented Kelton with an unprecedented seven Spur Awards. He received Spurs for "Buffalo Wagons," "The Day The Cowboys Quit," "The Time it Never Rained," "Eyes of The Hawk," "Slaughter," "The Far Canyon" and "Way of the Coyote." The "Good Old Boys" was made into a 1995 TV movie starring Tommy Lee Jones.

In 1987, Kelton received the Texas Institute of Letters' Barbara McCombs/Lon Tinkle Award for "continuing excellence in Texas letters." In 1990, he received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association. The Texas Legislature proclaimed Elmer Kelton Day in April 1997. In 1998, Kelton received the first Lone Star award for lifetime Achievement from the Larry McMurtry Center for Arts and Humanities at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. He has also received the lifetime achievement award from the National Cowboy Symposium in Lubbock.

Kelton and his wife Ann, a native of Austria, live in San Angelo and have two grown sons, a daughter, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.


Dr. Dempsey Watkins retired in 1997 after 31 years teaching in the ASU History Department. After service in the Marine Corps, he received a bachelor of science degree from Austin College in 1953 and a master of science degree from North Texas University in 1954. After teaching in the public schools for 10 years, he joined the ASU faculty shortly after the institution became a four-year institution. He received his doctor of philosophy from Texas Tech University in 1968.

He taught United States and Latin American history, earning a reputation as an outstanding teacher. Twice in 1988 and in 1997 he was recognized by the ASU Student Body as Teacher of the Year. His classes were always full and he was held in universally high esteem by students. Dr. Charles Endress, head of the ASU Department of History, said, "He combined a real interest in students with a deceptively casual teaching style that never stopped integrating the latest scholarship into well organized classes."

Watkins was also an exemplary faculty leader. He served as the Department of History graduate adviser at the inception of the history graduate program as well as interim department head and president of the Faculty Organization. He also served on the Tenure Committee, Library Committee, Graduate Council and University Executive Committee.

He exemplified the noblest aspects of the teaching profession and retired as one of the outstanding teachers on campus. Upon his retirement, the Texas State University System Board of Regents summed up his contributions to Angelo State in a resolution formally designating him the title of "Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus." The resolution stated, "By virtue of his genuine interest in his students and in his faculty colleagues, his personal qualities of honesty, integrity, loyalty and candor, and his dedication to the highest ideals of teaching, (Dr. Watkins) has become a positive and steady influence in the life of the Department of History at Angelo State University."

Watkins lives in San Angelo, Texas with his wife Jan.

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