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News Briefs – September 2018

Faculty News

Governor Greg Abbott has reappointed Professor of Professional Practice Becky Johnson to the Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists for terms set to expire on Feb. 1, 2023. Johnson is a past president of the Society of Texas Environmental Professionals and citizen advisory committee member for the City of Fort Worth Waste Management.





Anne VanBeber, professor and department chair of nutritional sciences, was a finalist for the Dean’s Research and Creativity Award.



Lyn Dart, associate professor of nutritional sciences, was a finalist for the Wassenich Award for Mentoring in the TCU Community Recipients.





Staff News (written by Lindy Lamme, CSE communications intern)

Kathy Ferguson: Nominee for the 2018 Chancellor’s Staff Award for Outstanding Service

Anyone who knows Kathy Ferguson will find her nomination for the Chancellor’s Staff Award for Outstanding Service as no surprise. Ferguson has contributed more than six years to the College of Science & Engineering as the finance administrator and assistant to the dean. She credits her positive experience to the kindness of Dean Phil Hartman and the rest of the TCU faculty, staff and students. “I feel very blessed to be here. I really love my job and working in this office,” said Ferguson.

Some of Ferguson’s many duties include overseeing the CSE’s finances, managing the CSE Testing Center, supporting the dean and volunteering as the official “treat provider” for all office birthdays. Ferguson is a woman of faith and believes that by doing her job, and doing it well, she is able to honor herself and therefore honor God and those who work around her. This mentality is why she believes she was nominated for the award.

“Kathy has been a true asset to the Dean’s office and the College. Perhaps most importantly, she makes my job easier and more enjoyable in many ways. Kathy has an exemplary record of service and contributions to the College of Science & Engineering, consistently goes well beyond the normal expectations, and in so many ways has enriched TCU with her presence,” said Dean Hartman about Ferguson’s nomination.

In September, the Provost announced that Ferguson received the 2018 Provost’s Academic Affairs Outstanding Staff Award.


Student News (written by Lindy Lamme, CSE communications intern)

Senior computer science major Katie Ortstadt is a member of TCU’s Upsilon Pi Epsilon chapter, and recipient of the 2018 Dan Drew Award presented by UPE. The Dan Drew Award is one of this honor society’s top two most prestigious awards and recognizes a student who has made exceptional contributions to his or her UPE chapter and department. Ortstadt fits this mold by participating in undergraduate research, being an active member in TCU’s UPE chapter, interning in places such as Berlin, Germany, and having a true passion for computer science. She is also a member of the Computer Science Society at TCU.

Ortstadt recognizes CSE computer science professors James Comer and Liran Ma for playing a vital role in her recent successes by helping her with the application and her studies. Ortstadt said, “in my application I let my passion for computer science shine through my essays,” which she believes is the reason she stood out among applicants from all over the world.

Ortstadt views the award as a confidence booster and a sign that she has chosen the right field. After Ortstadt graduates from TCU she would ideally like to work abroad for a small to medium start-up company, or NASA. She is motivated by her long-term goal to work in programming and software development that has a “real life impact.”

Bill Pickett (courtesy photo)

Junior engineering major Bill Pickett was selected to be on the American Society of Mechanical Engineers – Petroleum Division (ASME – PD) Collegiate Council for 2018-19. ASME-PD’s primary goal is to get students involved in the petroleum and mechanical engineering industries. The council consists of 20 students from universities across North America and Mexico. Pickett will have the opportunity to travel to Houston once each semester to attend a conference/workshop for the petroleum industry. There will be lectures, hands-on experience, and other learning opportunities.


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