Louisiana Tech to celebrate distinguished alumni at Alumni Awards Luncheon

Nov 9, 2016 | General News

Louisiana Tech University honored some of its most distinguished and faithful alumni Friday at its annual Alumni Awards Luncheon as part of the university’s Homecoming 2016 celebration.
The event recognized the Alumnus of the Year, Young Alumnus of the Year and Distinguished Alumni from each of Louisiana Tech five academic colleges.  Tim Petrus, a 1976 electrical engineering graduate, was honored as the 2016 Alumnus of the Year and Nathan A. Burkhalter, a 2010 mechanical engineering graduate, was named the 2016 Young Alumnus of the Year.
Petrus currently serves as executive vice president and general partner of MorningStar of Fort Worth, Texas.  After graduating from Louisiana Tech, he began career at Exxon Company USA (now ExxonMobil) in Lafayette, Louisiana where he was involved in both reservoir and production engineering.  In 1980, Petrus moved to Fort Worth, Texas to work with the Petroleum Lending Department of Texas American Bank where he rose to the position of vice president.
In February 1988, he joined the newly formed Cross Timbers Oil Company in Fort Worth as a regional engineer, and later took over the Acquisitions Group of XTO (formerly Cross Timbers Oil Company) and was promoted to the position of executive vice president.  Joining three other members of XTO’s executive management team, Petrus formed MorningStar Partners in 2012.  MorningStar, a privately held partnership that acquires and manages oil and gas properties, and its team formed a new private equity-backed company in 2015 named Southland Royalty Company which to date has completed $1 billion in oil and gas property acquisitions.
Petrus resides in Fort Worth, Texas with his wife Elaine, who is a Louisiana Tech accounting graduate.  He is the immediate past president of the Louisiana Tech Engineering and Science Foundation Board, and director of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation Board.
Burkhalter is a production engineer for West Africa for ExxonMobil, where he has worked in power plants, refineries, on offshore drilling rigs and production platforms in equipment design, project management and operations support roles.  He was recently selected to receive the ExxonMobil “Power On” award for innovation, design, and operational execution excellence for 2015.
Burkhalter has appeared as a national finalist and three-time competitor on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior, and was selected to compete on Team Ninja Warrior which will air in February 2017.  He is also an active advocate, volunteer, adventurer, speaker, global traveler, church/missions volunteer, and has drilled fresh water wells in around the world as an active member and advocate for a number of non-profit organizations and ministries.  Burkhalter is originally from Eunice, Louisiana, and currently resides in Houston, Texas.
Brian N. Thomas is the College of Applied and Natural Sciences Distinguished Alumnus for 2016. A 1995 graduate in health information administration, Thomas is senior vice president and chief operating officer for Jefferson Regional Medical Center in Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  He has served in executive positions for several medical centers and physician practices, including Crestwood Medical Center in Huntsville, Alabama and John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, California.  Thomas was appointed to the Governor’s Trauma Advisory Council for State of Arkansas in 2014, and currently resides in Benton, Arkansas with his wife Angela, and their two daughters.
The College of Business honored Karen Dyson Taylor, a 1979 graduate in accounting, as its 2016 Distinguished Alumna honoree. Taylor serves as senior vice president of human resources of Enterprise Products, a midstream energy company in Houston, Texas.  She has been named an Outstanding Woman in Business by Leadera Consulting Group, and one of the most powerful and influential women in Texas by Texas Diversity Magazine.  Taylor was also named one of the “Women Worth Watching in 2006” by Profiles in Diversity Journal.  She is a member of the Louisiana Tech College of Business Advisory Board and lives in Houston with her husband, two daughters and son.
Jeanette Jarrell Hinckley, a 1978 English education graduate, was named the College of Education’s Distinguished Alumna for 2016. During her career, Hinckley served as librarian and branch manager for libraries in Palm Beach Gardens and Tequesta, Florida as well as Calcasieu Parish, Louisiana.  She also served as records manager for Mobil Oil in Lafayette and New Orleans, Louisiana, and later owned and managed Books, Etc. in Pineville, Louisiana.  Hinckley is past president and secretary of the Pineville Rotary Club and involved in many community activities and professional groups.  She currently lives in Pineville with husband Justin, a Louisiana Tech graduate and 2010 Louisiana Tech Alumnus of the Year.
The College of Engineering and Science recognized William E. Bradley III, a 1985 computer science graduate, as its 2016 Distinguished Alumnus.  Bradley is currently senior vice president of cyber engineering and technology solutions for CenturyLink, where he has served for 31 years in roles ranging from software developer to chief technology officer to chief information officer.  He also serves on the board of directors of RiskSense and is an active advocate for promoting the growth of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  Bradley has been a director on the Louisiana Tech Engineering and Science Foundation Board and is a director of the Louisiana Tech University Foundation Board.  Bradley resides in Choudrant with his wife Lisa.
Christopher W. Coe, a 1983 general studies and 1985 architecture graduate, is the College of Liberal Arts’ 2016 Alumnus of the Year. Coe is founder and president of COE Architecture International, a Los Angeles-based design firm recognized for its unique approach to architecture as city-making through its experience designing mixed-use, urban in-fill developments.  In addition to his Louisiana Tech degree, Coe earned a Master of Architecture from Yale in 1987, and served as a lecturer in architectural design at the University of Southern California from 1992 through 2009.  Originally from Bossier City, Core currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife Sophie Li.