Outstanding Alumni

2014 Outstanding Alumni
(click on the name to view video) 

Arthur F. Beyer Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. Ajai Cadambi graduated from Midwestern State University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. He earned his M.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas in 1986. Cadambi practices medicine at the Texas Hip and Knee Center in Fort Worth and last year was named Texas Health Southwest Hospital’s Physician of the Year. He serves on various committees and is a member of the Texas Medical Association and other professional organizations. He has been inducted into the American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons and is a fellow in the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. For recreation, Cadambi races on two wheels, four wheels, and on foot. He is a member of the United States Cycling Federation and was an early member of the Wichita Falls Bicycling Club, riding in the first Hotter’ N Hell Hundred in 1982. He also holds competition racing licenses with the Sports Car Club of America and the National Auto Sport Association. He has completed 1 6marathons, including the 1991 and 2014 Boston Marathons. As a pre-med student at MSU, Cadambi spent most of his time in the math and sciences department. He worked summers in the lab of Dr. Eldon Sund, the pre-med advisor. Sund put his students to the test with organic chemistry lessons – a major hurdle for pre-med students – but those lessons prepared Cadambi well for medical school. The toughness of Dr. Rodney Cate’s biochemistry lessons and Dr. Norman Horner’s biology lessons also helped him succeed later in medical school. Cadambi was selected as the Clark Scholar in 1981 and the Hardin Scholar, MSU’s highest student honor, in 1982.When Cadambi entered the UT Southwestern Medical School, he was overwhelmed by the size and by students from Ivy League and other big-name universities. “After a while I realized they had nothing on me education-wise,” Cadambi said. “I am extremely proud to be an alumnus of Midwestern. The rigorous coursework prepared me well for medical school.” He graduated in the top 10 of his class of more than 200 students. Another of Cadambi’s professors at MSU was Dr. Arthur F. Beyer. “He was a dynamic teacher and encouraged his students to fulfill their maximum potential,” Cadambi said. Cadambi was a freshman in 1979, the spring of the April 10 tornado. He spent the next week with Beyer, delivering Red Cross rations to families in Beyer’s old pickup truck. “He was a true prince,” Cadambi said. “It is definitely an honor to receive an award named after him.

Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts

Joe Ed Barrington earned an Associate Degree from Cisco Junior College in 1977 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Midwestern State University in 1980 with a major in sculpture and minor in printmaking. Barrington has worked with steel since he was a child, but studying under MSU Professor of Art Richard Ash made Barrington realize he could make art his life. In 1978, Barrington was one of a group of student volunteers who put the finishing touches on the gallery in the new Fain Fine Arts Building so that the first show could open. That has given him a continuing sense of pride in the building. Barrington said Ash encouraged him to enter his work in shows. “He taught me about being an artist,” Barrington said. Now Barrington’s pieces can be seen in exhibitions and permanent pieces across the Southwest, including his two galleries in Albany and Throckmorton, Texas. Barrington has continued his association with MSU through participation in shows and with the Texas Sculpture Symposium held at MSU last fall, where he was a speaker. His series of larger-than-life headgear in the breezeway between Hardin and Hardin South, “Hats as Related to Horses in Texas,” gives a taste of Texas to visitors.

Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Mark Boulware earned his Bachelor of Arts from Midwestern State University in 1970 and his Master of Arts in 1974, both in English. He is temporarily assigned to the American Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, as the United States Casamance Adviser. Since entering foreign service in 1980, Boulware has served in numerous overseas posts including U.S. Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Mauritania; Consul General in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and before his retirement in 2013, was the U.S. Ambassador to Chad. Boulware is a recipient of the Department of State’s Superior Honor and Meritorious Honor Awards, as well as NASA’s “Silver Snoopy” award. He was awarded the Pedro Ernesto Medal of Merit by the city of Rio and the Tamandaré Medal of Merit by the Brazilian Navy. He was named Commander of the National Order of Merit of Mauritania and Officer of the National Order of Chad. Boulware said that MSU shaped not only his personal life when he met his wife during the summer study program in Europe, but his professional life also. “ My time in the summer study program and the year in France in the Study Abroad Program set the path for my life in international work and travel,” Boulware said.

College of Science and Mathematics

Richard DeLisle graduated cum laude from Midwestern State University in 1992 with a Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering Technology and was a 2012 honor graduate from Texas A&M -Commerce, earning his Master of Business Administration. He is the Director, Head of Manufacturing, for Fujitsu Network Communications Inc. in Richardson, Texas. DeLisle has been employed with Fujitsu since 1998 and has won three Fujitsu President’s Awards and three Fujitsu Best Kaizen Awards for work on process improvement. DeLisle credits the co-op education program in the engineering school for opening the door to the business world. Through the program he received a job in the manufacturing engineering department at Howmet (now Alcoa). His supervisor assigned projects that related to the classes he took each semester. “That gave me the ability to immediately put to use concepts I was learning in the classroom, creating a rich learning environment and giving me a tremendous head start when it came time to enter the work force,” DeLisle said. DeLisle’s wife, Cathy, also attended MSU, and he credits her with getting him through calculus.

Robert D. and Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences and Human Services

Maureen Shelton earned her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Midwestern State University in 1988 and her Juris Doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1991. She has served as the Criminal District Attorney for Wichita County since 2011. Shelton serves on the boards of Patsy’s House Child Advocacy Center and the Texas District and County Attorney’s Association. She is a former president of the Wichita County Bar Association. The 1984 Burkburnett High School graduate did not plan on a criminal justice degree, but taking a basic criminal justice class under Professor Robert Grant changed that. The former police officer mesmerized her with stories about his work. She also credits political science professors Ernest Dover, James Martin, Michael Preda, and Michael Flavin with fostering her interest in criminal justice. Shelton is grateful for the assistance she received from Grant that led to internships and scholarships, and she credits Dover with her admission into law school. “MSU is small enough to be personal,” she said. “The professors remember your name here. They’re interested in your future.”

Gordon T. and Ellen West College of Education

Karla Wallace graduated magna cum laude from Midwestern State University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She earned her Master in Education from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1974, a mid-management certification from MSU in 1997 and superintendent certification from Texas Woman’s University in 1999. Wallace has been the superintendent at Wichita Christian School since 2008. She was invited to serve on the National Christian Schools Association Board of Commissioners in 2013. She participated in the 2000 revision of the Texas Superintendent Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas. Wallace also has served as an adjunct professor in the West College of Education at MSU and was with the Vernon Independent School District from 1997-2005 as assistant superintendent and superintendent. She taught at Holliday Middle School from 1983-1996 and has taught at the Iowa Park Consolidated School District. When Wallace enrolled at MSU, she became involved with the former Church of Christ Bible Chair, now Mustangs for Christ, where she participated in intramural sports and other activities. She found the MSU community small enough to be warm and friendly but “ large enough for a small-town girl to feel challenged,” she said.

Dillard College of Business Administration

Thomas White earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from Midwestern State University in 1991, graduating magna cum laude. White is a certified public accountant and a vice president with the Bass Companies, a privately- owned Fort Worth company engaged in oil and gas exploration and production; manufacturing; hedge fund management; private equity and venture capital investing; real estate development and management; and ranching and cattle operations. White was named Outstanding Accounting Student by the MSU Division of Business Administration and was awarded the President’s Medal of Excellence in 1991. That year he also received the Accounting Excellence Award from the Educational Foundation of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA). He joined the Bass Companies in 2000 and now manages approximately 140 professionals responsible for accounting, human resources, support services, and information technology needs for the organization. White said Accounting Professor Dr. Ralph Fritzsch guided him in his studies and in his early career path. “I learned more than what was required for my degree,” White said. “I learned the importance of relating to and working with people. That has stayed with me through my career."