Tech to honor alums of the year at annual Homecoming luncheon

Oct 24, 2012 | General News

Louisiana Tech University’s annual Alumni Awards Luncheon will be held at noon Nov. 2 in the Louisiana Tech Student Center as part of this year’s Homecoming festivities.
The event will honor seven Tech alumni and will also recognize Ruston mayor Dan Hollingsworth, who will be presented with the Arlis Scogin Distinguished Service Award – an honor bestowed on non-Tech graduates who have been of great service to the university.

John Allen – Louisiana Tech 2012 Alumnus of the Year

John Allen of Calhoun is the Louisiana Tech Alumnus of the Year and Brooke Lassiter Stoehr is the Young Alumna of the Year.  College honorees include Mickey Rachel (Applied and Natural Sciences), Randy Fowler (Business), Debbie Primeaux Williamson (Education), Nick Akin (Engineering and Science), and Kenneth M. Murchison (Liberal Arts.)
John Allen – Alumnus of the Year
Allen, a 1973 business graduate, has worked in the pipeline business for nearly 40 years. After serving as president for a pipeline construction company in Houston for 17 years, Allen retired and returned to north Louisiana. In 1999, he set up a new company — Pipeline Constructors, which is based in Houston but is run by Allen out of north Louisiana.
Allen is a member of the Tech Alumni Board and is a two-time president of that organization. He played a major role in the planning and construction of the Argent Pavilion outside of Joe Aillet Stadium.  The West Monroe, La., native is also a University Foundation Board member and a member of the U.S. Pipeline Contractors Association.
Brooke Lassiter-Stoehr – Young Alumna of the Year
A former standout for the Lady Techster basketball team, Lassiter Stoehr is currently co-head coach of women’s basketball at Northwestern State University along with her husband Scott Stoehr.

Brooke Stoehr Lassiter – Louisiana Tech 2012 Young Alumna of the Year

After earning her master’s degree and serving as a graduate assistant coach at Florida State, Lassiter Stoehr served as an assistant coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock before returning to Louisiana Tech and serving as an assistant coach from April 2005 – May 2008.  She later served as an assistant coach at Southern Mississippi and Texas Tech before taking over at Northwestern State along with her husband in April.
College Alumni of the Year
Earning Distinguished Alumnus accolades for Louisiana Tech’s College of Applied and Natural Sciences is Mickey Rachal.  A 1984 School of Forestry summa cum laude graduate, Rachal earned his Master of Science degree in Forest Management at Oklahoma State University. He spent three years as a research associate at Mississippi State University before joining Scott Paper Company in Mobile, Al. in 1989.
Rachel worked his way through various management positions and returned to his native central Louisiana in 1999 to join Plum Creek Timber as their Timberland Superintendent in Winnfield.  He was later offered the opportunity to take his career in a different direction and joined Molpus Timberlands Management, a timberland investment management organization where he served as the Managing Director for LA/TX managing over 300,000 acres of client owned property prior to joining the Roy O. Martin Companies in Alexandria, La., where he currently manages Martin’s 575,000 acres of timberland, the acquisition of strategic land and timber resources and the supply of raw materials to Martin’s plywood, OSB and pole manufacturing facilities in Louisiana.
Randy Fowler, who earned his accounting degree in 1978 and a master’s of finance degree in 1989, will be recognized as the College of Business Distinguished Alumnus honoree.
Fowler currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and a director on the board of the general partner of Enterprise Products Partners L.P. in Kingswood, Texas.  He began his career as a certified public accountant with Deloitte, Haskins and Sells.  Prior to joining Enterprise in 1999, he served in finance and accounting positions for NorAm Energy Corporation; ArkLa Exploration Company; and Butler-Johnson, Inc.
Fowler serves as Chairman of the Board of the National Association of Publicly Traded Partnerships.  He also is a member of the Advisory Board of the Alerian MLP Index and the Advisory Board of the College of Business at Louisiana Tech University.  For the past three years, Fowler has been named to Institutional Investor Magazine’s All-America Executive Team as the top ranked Chief Financial Officer in the Natural Gas Pipeline and Master Limited Partnership Sector as voted on by institutional investors and security analysts.
The College of Engineering and Science will honor Nicholas Akins as its Distinguished Alumnus of the Year.  Akins received his bachelor’s degree in 1982 and a master’s degree in electrical engineering in 1986. His additional training includes executive management programs at Louisiana State University, the University of Idaho and the Reactor Technology Course for Utility Executives at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Akins is a registered professional engineer in Texas.
Akins is president and chief executive officer of American Electric Power. He is AEP’s 10th president and sixth CEO in the company’s more than 100-year history. He is a member of AEP’s board of directors and is the only management representative on the board.
Akins rose through the ranks at both AEP and the former Central and South West Corp. (CSW), which merged with AEP in 2000. Akins began his nearly 30-year tenure in 1982 as an electrical engineer before moving up to positions of increasing responsibility. Prior to being elected president of AEP in December 2010, he served as executive vice president for generation from 2006 through 2010 with responsibility for all generation activities of AEP’s approximately 38,000 MW of generation resources. This included engineering, construction, power plant operations, fuels procurement, logistics, new generation and marketing and trading.
Being recognized by the College of Education as its Alumna of the Year is 1985 Health and Physical Education graduate Debbie Primeaux Williamson, who also earned a master’s degree from Tech in 1986.
A dual athlete for Tech in softball and basketball, Primeaux Williamson was part of a women’s national championship squad in 1982.  Primeaux Williamson earned her PhD from the University of Houston and currently serves as an assistant professor for physical education at the University of West Alabama while also serving as an online physical education instructor for North Carolina State University, were she spent seven years as a professor and Coaching Minor Coordinator of Physical Education.
A basketball referee for seven years, Primeaux Williamson is also a consultant to the NCAA as national coordinator of officials and secretary-rules editor. Those responsibilities include coordinating the national educational and evaluation program for NCAA women’s basketball officials as well as the selection of NCAA tournament officials.
The College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumnus of the Year is Kenneth Murchison.  A 1969 summa cum laude history graduate, Murchison went on to earn his master’s in history in 1975 from the University of Virginia and a law degree from Harvard in 1988.
A retired law professor at LSU, where he worked from 1996 until January of 2011, Murichison also spent the past two years as a visiting professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.
Published numerous times, Murchison was honored in May of 1997 with the Medal for Outstanding Civilian Service to the United States Army and was a Judge Advocate in the United States Air Force Reserve, where he retired as a Colonel in 2001.
In addition to the alumni of the year, Ruston Mayor Dan Hollingsworth will be honored with the Arlis Scogin Distinguished Service Award for his work with the university, including pairing the city with the university to help bring about the ongoing Enterprise Campus project.
Hollingsworth, a 1954 graduate of Meridian Jr. College in Mississippi, came to Ruston in 1969 when he purchased KRUS AM/FM radio from Clarence Faulk and operated KRUS/KXKZ/KNBB until 2003.  He also developed the Tech Sports Radio Network in 1969.
Mayor of Ruston since 1998, Hollingworth was a 1980 recipient of the Ruston Sertoma Club’s Service to Mankind Award and in 1992 was honored with the Louisiana National Guard’s Highest Civilian honor.
Tickets for the Alumni Awards Luncheon are $25 per person or $200 for a reserved table of eight. Reserved parking will be available in the Ropp Center parking lot or on Adams Boulevard at West Arizona.  For more information, visit or call Barbara Swart at 318-255-7950.
Written by T. Scott Boatright –