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Alumni award winners announced

Austin Peay alumni are making their mark from coast to coast, and a few of them will be recognized when the APSU National Alumni Association presents its top alumni awards for 2004 during the upcoming Homecoming weekend.

Six alumni will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards and Reunion Brunch, which begins at 10:30 a.m., Nov. 6, in the Morgan University Center Ballroom. Graduates of the College of Professional Programs and Social Sciences also will be recognized.
Austin Peay alumni are making their mark from coast to coast, and a few of them will be recognized when the APSU National Alumni Association presents its top alumni awards for 2004 during the upcoming Homecoming weekend.

Six alumni will be honored at the annual Alumni Awards and Reunion Brunch, which begins at 10:30 a.m., Nov. 6, in the Morgan University Center Ballroom. Graduates of the College of Professional Programs and Social Sciences also will be recognized.

This year's alumni award-winners are Dr. George Fisher ('52, '59), Clarksville; Jolyn Pope Swanson ('99), Los Angeles; Nancy Washington ('99), Nashville; Ronnie Carter ('88), Dallas; Sheila Mayhew York ('71), New York City; and John Ogles ('67), Memphis.

Fisher is the recipient of the Outstanding Service Award. His commitment to APSU dates from the 1940s, when he was an all-conference basketball and football star for the Governors. He returned in 1958 to begin a distinguished coaching career. In 1972, he became APSU athletics director, holding that post until 1977. Fisher was inducted into the APSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame in 1988.

He is widely known as a founding father of the Dave Aaron Foundation, whose endowment now stands at almost $170,000, with interest used to provide athletic scholarships.

A recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Young Alumna Award, Swanson was promoted to ExxonMobil's Torrance Refinery in Los Angeles after only two years as in-house attorney for ExxonMobil Corp. in Houston in recognition of her outstanding work in the company's Environmental Litigation Division.

Shortly after securing a position with ExxonMobil, Swanson established a scholarship at APSU in memory of her grandfather, the late Odell M. Hargis of Stewart County, whose widow, Mary Evelyn, now lives in Clarksville, as does Swanson's mother, Melinda Pope.

Sharing the honor as Outstanding Young Alumna, Nancy A. Washington, Nashville, graduated summa cum laude from APSU in 1999 with a double major in communication arts and political science and a minor in African American Studies. She earned a jurisdoctorate from Vanderbilt University Law School in 2002.

In 2003, Washington was named an assistant general counsel for the Tennessee Board of Regents Office, Nashville. Her primary areas of responsibility include employment discrimination, student discipline and due process, contracts and statutory interpretation. She also provides advice to all TBR institutions regarding compliance with federal laws, and she is the TBR Office of the General Counsel's contact attorney for the TBR Student Affairs Sub-Council.

In Spring 2004, Washington developed and taught an online torts course for APSU.

The Outstanding Young Alumnus for 2004, Carter recently moved his family from the Washington, D.C., area to Dallas, where he continues to work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as senior policy adviser to the Office of the Administrator and executive director of the TSA Mission Support Centers.

In 1990 Carter began officer training with the U.S. Marines in Quantico, Va. Setting his sights on a career with the Marine Corps, he applied to Harvard University, earning a master's degree in public administration in 1996.

After graduation, he returned to Tennessee to accept executive positions with the statefirst as the assistant director of the Tennessee State Park System and later, as director of privatization for the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

Carter was moving up the ranks when he received a call from the Presidential Personnel Office in 2001. He flew to Washington. D.C., and after being offered two positions within the U.S. Department of Transportation, he flew back to Nashville to prepare to move his family to D.C.

That was Sept. 6, 2001. After the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, Carter got another call from Washington, saying he still could have either previously offered jobs or be one of the founding members of a new federal agency.

He became the fifth person to join Secretary Norman Maneta's TSA Task Force in December 2001 and was instrumental in building TSA into a fully operational, 60,000-person agency in the hectic aftermath of 9/11.

Despite the frenetic pace of recent years, Carter has remained on duty for APSU. He was an adviser to the University in its effort to establish an Institute for Global Security Studies. In 2002-03, he was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi Academic Hall of Fame and Omicron Delta Kappa, ending the year as the keynote speaker for Spring 2003 Commencement.

The 2004 recipient of the Outstanding Alumna Award, Sheila Mayhew York, New York City, enjoys two careersone in the fast-paced world of finance as a research editor and supervisory analyst for the Fixed Income Division of financial giant Morgan Stanley and the other in the creative mind of a successful mystery writer.

After graduating from APSU with a double major in French and history from, York did post-graduate work in clinical psychology at the University of Tennessee.

York and her husband, David Nighbert, settled in New York City where, over the years, she worked as an on-air personality, sports reporter, voiceover actor and, as she says, an occasional actress in a few “Way-Off Broadway” shows.

She ultimately found her niche in the literary world of noir thrillers. In October 2003, Pocket Books released her first book, “Star Struck Dead,” one in a series featuring the character, Lauren Atwill, a screenwriter and sleuth.

In July 2004, York flew to Dallas where, to her delight, she was presented the coveted Daphne DuMaurier Award for “Star Struck Dead.”

Her second mystery, “A Good Knife's Work,” a sequel to “Star Struck Dead,” is slated for release by Pocket Books in April 2005.

John Ogles, who was chosen to receive the 2004 Outstanding Alumnus Award, has been Austin Peay's point person in the Memphis area for decades. Senior vice president for Union Planters National Bank and Vining Sparks, Ogles has been a strong supporter and advocate for Austin Peay since his graduation in 1967.

A football legend at APSU and in the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC), he became the University's all-time leading rusher, with 2,932 yards on 636 attempts in three seasonsa record that stood for almost 40 years. To this day, Ogles is the only person ever inducted into the OVC Hall of Fame while still an athlete.

In 1970, he was inducted into APSU's Athletic Hall of Fame and, today, his retired football jersey has a place of honor high above the bleachers in the Dunn Center.

He returned to campus as keynote speaker for the kick-off luncheon for an athletics fundraising initiative in 1990. At the event, he announced the establishment of the Bill Dupes Endowed Scholarship Fund. In honor of Dupes, his former coach, Ogles presented a $100,000 deferred gift to APSU.

Friends and relatives of the honorees are encouraged to attend the 2004 Alumni Awards and Reunion Brunch. Cost per person is $20, and advanced reservations are required.

For more information or to make lunch reservations, telephone the Alumni and Annual Giving Office at (931) 221-7979 or 1-800-264-2586.
—Dennie Burke