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Outstanding alums feted at Homecoming Brunch; family, friends urged to attend

As faculty and staff, you helped them make it to the top! So come and celebrate with them as APSU honors six outstanding alumni during the 2005 Homecoming Alumni Awards Brunch at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Joe Morgan University Center Ballroom.
As faculty and staff, you helped them make it to the top! So come and celebrate with them as APSU honors six outstanding alumni during the 2005 Homecoming Alumni Awards Brunch at 10:45 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Joe Morgan University Center Ballroom.

This year's Outstanding Service Award goes to Fessey M. Hackey and L M Ellis, both of Clarksville. Lucy Ann Gossett, Indianapolis, is the 2005 Outstanding Young Alumna, and Jeff Stec, Charlotte, N.C., was selected to receive the 2005 Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. The 2005 Outstanding Alumnus is Dr. Ronald Miller, Redstone Arsenal, Ala., and Carla Nester, M.D., Durham, N.C., will receive the 2005 Outstanding Alumna Award.

2005 Outstanding Service Award
Fessey Hackney earned a bachelor's in physical education and health. She enrolled in the master's degree program in 1983, receiving her endorsement in educational supervision in 1998.

From 1975-85, she was a physical education instructor for Byrns L. Darden and Burt Elementary School. Since 1994, she has taught physical education at Hazelwood Elementary, while working part time as a self-employed life insurance salesperson. She has served since 1987 as vice president and personal lines manager for sales for King, Northington and Frost Inc.
She was named the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Association Distinguished Teacher for Hazelwood School and the 1990 Insurance Woman of the Year.

She is a member of the local, state and national Education Association, and has served as director of Region II, Insurers of Tennessee, vice president of Insurers of Clarksville and is a member of the APSU Tower Club.

Hackney chaired the 1996 and 2004 Homecoming activities. She was president of the APSUNAA, after stints as president, vice president and secretary/treasurer of the Montgomery County Chapter. In 1995-97, she was director of District X, and she chaired the Alumni Round-Up Fundraiser for three years, 1992-95.

After the death of her late husband, John Wyatt, the APSUNAA established the Wyatt Award, which is presented annually during Homecoming to three Greek organizations exhibiting the most school spirit.

L M Ellis is one of the “founding fathers” of the Dave Aaron Foundation. Since 1991, Ellis and the late Coach Aaron's other protégés have raised almost $200,000 to establish a scholarship endowment in Aaron's memory.
Ellis began his education at Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa, where he was a freshmen basketball recruit. He transferred to APSU, becoming one of the first African-American scholarship athletes signed by a predominately white college in the south.

While still in college in Des Moines, he worked part time for J C Penney Co. Inc. an experience that laid the groundwork for his career. Although he graduated from APSU with a degree in education, he found his niche in retail.

For 23 years, he advanced up the ranks in store management. He started in sales with J C Penney. After going through management training, he became an area manager. He later left Penney's to become area manager for Venture Stores and then district manager for Zayre Stores.
He ended his retail career with Target Stores where, as regional merchandiser, he was responsible for home merchandising in 32 stores with $88 million in sales.

In 1987, he entered the consulting and liquidation field. During the Federated Stores breakup, he supervised 10 stores and $44 million in sales over a 12-week period. Over the next 15 years, he was involved in nationwide liquidations of such major stores as Montgomery Ward and Heilig-Meyers. In 2004, he retired from liquidations to focus on consulting and investments. He and his wife started Austin Peay Express, an online company selling APSU memorabilia.

In 1990, his contributions to APSU athletics were recognized by his induction into the APSU Athletic Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Governors Club Marketing Committee, which encourages businesses to show their pride in APSU. He continues to raise money for the Dave Aaron Scholarship Endowment and is a member of the APSU Tower Club.
Ellis has served on the Governors Club Board of Directors, APSU Foundation Board of Trustees and the APSU Capital Campaign Steering Committee.

2005 Outstanding Young Alumna/Alumnus Award
After earning a bachelor's degree in mass communication from APSU, Lucy Ann Gossett worked two years for Opryland USA, setting up and coordinating meeting functions.

In 1994, she moved to Tampa, where she was a corporate trainer for Brinker International. In 1996, she accepted a position as a press box staff member with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In 1998, she was promoted to human resources administrator for the Buccaneers.

In 2002, she was named coaching assistant for the Indianapolis Colts, helping with daily scripts, playbooks and scouting reports, scheduling visiting coaches for clinics, planning events for the football staff and working with the Indianapolis Colts Women's Organization.

In the past year, Jeff Stec, Charlotte, N.C., received North Carolina's Outstanding Business Achievement Award, was named Entrepreneur of the Year and was honored as the owner of one of the Top 25 Fitness Chains in the World.

A star on APSU's football field, Stec earned two bachelor's degreesin exercise science and business management, together providing a foundation for his entrepreneurial enterprises.

After graduation, he was membership and sales director for the corporate division of Gold's Gym, Clarksville. In 1995, he moved to North Carolina as the regional club director for the Chapel Hill/Durham areaa move that would pique his interest in NASCAR racing.

As Stec moved up the ranks, becoming a managing partner and regional club director for Gold's Gym in Raleigh, he began to eye the Charlotte market as a possible location.

In 1999, he opened the first Peak Fitness Center in Charlotte. He now owns 15 Peak Fitness Centers in North Carolina and South Carolina and plans to launch a national franchise.

Stec also entered the world of NASCAR, the No. 1 sport in America. He teamed up with NASCAR driver Mike Garvey to form Peak Performance Motorsports, with Garvey driving the No. 66 Peak Fitness Ford Taurus.

2005 Outstanding Alumnus/Alumna
Dr. Ronald I. Miller, a physicist and senior intelligence officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency's Missile and Space Intelligence Center (DIA/MSIC), Redstone Arsenal, Ala., is the Defense Intelligence Agency's member of the Directed Energy Weapons Subcommittee (DEWS) of the U.S. Intelligence Community in Washington, D.C.

After graduating from APSU with degrees in mathematics and physics, Miller earned a master's degree in physics from Clemson University and a doctorate in physics from Southeastern Institute of Technology. He has taught physics part time at four universities.

Since 1977, Miller has been part of the Directed Energy Weapons Group, serving as chief until 2002. During 1970-77, he was a physicist for Boeing Aerospace Companywork that involved experiments on Skylab, the Apollo-Soyuz mission and sub-orbital rocket flights.

At the Missile and Space Intelligence Center, Miller is responsible for management and technical direction of scientific and technical analyses of foreign directed energy weapon systems as well as the anti-satellite, anti-ballistic missile and air defense missions.

Currently, he is adviser to the United States departments of Defense, State and Energy as well as the U.S. Congress on foreign directed energy weapons systems.

Miller is the author of more than 50 scientific journal articles and government reports in the fields of liquid state physics, low temperature physics, electromagnetic field theory and laser science and systems engineering. He is a member and associate fellow of the American Physical Society and a member of the Directed Energy Professional Society. He is listed in “Who's Who in Aviation and Aerospace” and “Who's Who in America.”

Miller has received numerous honors, including the 1999 National Intelligence Medal of Achievement, NASA New Technology Award, U.S. Army and Defense Intelligence Agency Outstanding Performance Awards and the Exceptional Intelligence Analyst Award.

Dr. Carla Nester, after serving as chief resident in internal medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals in 2002-03, is in the midst a prestigious, four-year fellowship in the UNC Division of Nephrology and Hypertension.

A certified medical technologist, she worked as a civilian employee at a number of Army hospitals, both in the United States and Germany, from 1983-94. She was living at Fort Campbell, Ky., in 1986-88 when she enrolled at APSU, earning a bachelor's degree in biology.

In 1989, she moved to Fort Bragg, N.C., and organized a new section of the laboratory there, before doing to work at Kaiser Permanente, Springfield, Va. In 1990, she earned a Master of Science in Health Services Administration from Central Michigan University.

While in Germany, Nester was accepted to Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pa., where she enrolled in 1994. During medical school, she was president of the Medical and Graduate School Government, editor of the medical literary magazine and coordinator of the Bethesda Mission Food Project.

She taught physical diagnosis for second-year students and did research that was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. While a UNC resident, Nester served on a national Committee for Health Care Policy for the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

During the first part of her fellowship, she authored a chapter on glomerulonephritis for a pediatric nephrology textbook. In June 2005, she traveled to Germany, where she was an invited speaker at the International Conference on Glomerulonephritis.

Being named to Beta Beta Betas at APSU set a precedent for Nester, who later received the Department of the Army's Commander's Award for Public Service. During medical school, she was awarded the American Medical Women's Association Janet M. Glasgow Achievement Award and the Kienle Award for Humanitarian Contributions. In 1998, she was elected to a lifelong membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, a national medical honor society.
Nester is a member of the American College of Physicians, American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the American Medical Association. She is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Pediatrics.
Dennie B. Burke