2018 Outstanding Alumni Announced

photo with outstanding alumni text

Written by: Ashley Green (cehdcomm@tamu.edu)
Post date: October 16, 2018

Seven alumni of the college will be recognized for their professional achievements and college-wide impact at the 2018 Outstanding Alumni Awards Ceremony. The ceremony will be held on Friday, October 26 at the Thomas G. Hildebrand Equine Complex at Texas A&M University.

Each year, various stakeholders throughout the college nominate honorees. This year’s recipients are Matthew Allen, Jimmy Cheek, Charol Shakeshaft, Daphne Watkins and Judy Webb Leunes. Rose Mason and Edgar J. Villarreal were selected as Early Career honorees.

DR. MATTHEW ALLEN ‘03

Dr. Matthew Allen received his doctorate degree in 2003 from Texas A&M and is currently a professor and assistant dean in the Office of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development in the School of Medicine at Indiana University. He also leads the Allen Lab at Indiana University where he is considered a national leader in areas related to treatment for osteoporosis and the intersection of chronic kidney disease and bone loss. He has published 137 peer-reviewed papers in the most outstanding journals in his field. This year, Allen was elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Bone and Mineral Research.

DR. JIMMY CHEEK ‘75
Dr. Jimmy Cheek received both his bachelors in 1969 and doctorate degree in 1975 at Texas A&M. He currently serves as Chancellor Emeritus and Distinguished Professor at University of Tennessee where he served as Chancellor from 2009 to 2017. Cheek has received several awards including being named a Fellow of the American Association for Agricultural Education, The President’s Medallion from the University of Florida and the Chancellor’s Medallion from the University of Tennessee. Cheek prides himself in achieving excellence in academics, research and outreach at each university he has served.

DR. CHAROL SHAKESHAFT ’79
Dr. Charol Shakeshaft received her master’s and doctorate in from Texas A&M. She is currently a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Education. She is committed to research regarding the underrepresentation of women in educational leadership and is considered a groundbreaker on the topic. Shakeshaft was inducted as an American Educational Research Association Fellow in 2015 for her contributions to education research. She was also awarded the 2015 AERA Distinguished Contributions to Gender Equity in Education Research Award.

DR. DAPHNE WATKINS ‘06
Dr. Daphne Watkins is an associate professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Social Work. Watkins researches health disparities, specifically behavioral health disparities for Black men. She built and is the director of the Gender and Health Research Lab at the University of Michigan where researchers work to understand how socio-demographic, psychosocial and environmental agents influence the mental and physical health of racial and ethnic minorities.

MS. JUDY WEBB LEUNES ‘76
Judy Webb LeUnes received her bachelor’s from Texas A&M in 1976. LeUnes spent 40 years in public education, teaching in Hearne and College Station ISDs. She currently serves as president at Wienerspiel, a non-profit raising funds for other non-profits who help homeless, unwanted and neglected animals. She received several community-based awards, including the 2018 City of College Station’s Keep the Dream Alive Award for her volunteer work in the African-American community.

DR. ROSE MASON '12
Dr. Rose Mason ’12 is assistant professor at Purdue University Department of Educational Studies. She is actively engaged in national, state and local efforts to improve outcomes for individuals with disabilities and their families. Mason is also a member of the Purdue Autism Cluster, a group of faculty aimed at understanding and treating autism through interdisciplinary research. She currently serves on the Executive Committee for the National Association for Rehabilitation, Research and Training Centers.

DR. EDGAR J. VILLARREAL '12
Dr. Edgar J. Villarreal ’12 is currently a supervisory psychologist with the Department of Veteran Affairs – Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. He provides clinical services in the PTSD clinic where he works with veterans who have trauma-related disorders following combat deployment. Villarreal also coordinates the Psychology Practicum at the Austin VA Outpatient Clinic, supervising the training of a student cohort within the Mental Health Behavioral Medicine (MHBM) department.

This year’s recipients will be honored at the Outstanding Alumni Gala on October 26 at 6:00 p.m. at the Thomas G. Hildebrand Equine Complex.