Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Recipients to be Honored

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Recipients to be Honored

Hardin-SimmonsUniversity will honor three young alums this week. The 2012 Outstanding YoungAlumni Awards Banquet was Friday, February 24, in the Johnson Building’smultipurpose room on the HSU campus. The awards banquetwas hosted by the Board of Young Associates to celebrate the accomplishments ofthree outstanding graduates, Brian Bessent ’96, David Lott ’97/’08, and MelanieStandridge Ocana ’00. While on campus, membersof the Young Associates network with current student leaders and honorees speakto students in their regularly scheduled classes. {{more}} This year’s awards presenterwas Phil Wilson ’90, a former Young Associate and a 2005 recipient theOutstanding Young Alumni Award. A past Texas Secretary of State, Wilson is nowexecutive director of the Texas Department of Transportation. BrianBessent Brian Bessent graduated from Hardin-Simmons University witha Bachelor of Behavioral Science in speech-languagepathology and audiology in 1996. As director of Transitional and Post-Acute Services forHendrick Health System in Abilene, Brian provides management for over 350employees in the areas of adult and pediatric rehabilitation,long-term acutecare, and hospice services. Brian impacts patients and familiesat life’scrossroads, providing healthcare services in a Christian setting where thefocus is on healing the body as well as the spirit. Brian is a part of Hendrick’s future and strategic planning,working to make a difference in the future of healthcare. He becameboard-certified in 2010 and was named as a Fellow of the American College ofHealthcare Executives. In 1998 he earned an MS degree in speech-language pathologyfrom University of North Texas. Brian and Sonja have four children. DavidLott David Lottgraduated from Hardin-Simmons University in 2008 with a Doctor of PhysicalTherapy degree. He also earned an Master of Physical Therapy degree from HSU infrom 1997. Lott is the owner of Lott Physical Therapy and FitnessCenter in Fairfield, Texas, with a second location opening soon in Corsicana,Texas. The Hardin-Simmons University graduate opened his practice in July2001, which provides outpatient services, contracted hospital services,employment testing, and a fitness center. As the outpatient practice grew to provide close to 200 outpatientvisits per week, the fitness center was added in for clients in 2003. Now opento the public, the Center has in excess of 600 members. In 2007, Lott received the prestigious Texas PhysicalTherapy Association Ruby Decker Award, which recognizes physical therapists inthe area of direct patient services and contributions to the growth of theprofession and community. David earned his BA degree in biology in 1995 from SouthernMethodist University. Melanie Ocana Melanie Ocanaearned a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing and management from Hardin-SimmonsUniversity in 2000. As the owner of Rustico Tile and Stone, importers andwholesale distributors for native Mexican tile and stone varieties, Melanie isresponsible for sales and marketing, finance, and website development. Based in Leander,Texas, just outside Austin, the company has grown quickly in six short years,broadening its reach and client base to span the globe. She coordinatesstrategies for distributing Rustico Tile and Stone’s material within the U.S.Canada, Australia, Asia, and Western Europe, and beyond. In addition to directing the company with her husband, Ray,Melanie has been an adjunct professor for Pepperdine, South Texas College, andAustin Community College. The couple has two young children. Ocana holds an MBA degree from Texas Tech University with an emphasis in International Business. 2012Awards Presenter PhilWilson, 1990 BA Political Science/History Wilson serves as the executive director of the TexasDepartment of Transportation. Before joining TxDOT on Oct. 17, 2011, Wilsonserved as senior vice president of public affairs and as a corporate officer forLuminant, Texas’ largest electric generation company. In 2007, Governor Rick Perry appointed Wilson as Texas’106th Secretaryof State. In that position, he was the chief electionsofficer and the chief international protocol officer for Texas. Wilson’s public service includes more than 10 years as a keyaide to U.S. Senator Phil Gramm. He also served Governor Perry in severalsenior roles, finishing as his deputy chief of staff. Wilson holds a master’sdegree in business administration from the Cox School of Business at SouthernMethodist University in Dallas. He was honored by Hardin-Simmons University in2005 with the Outstanding Young Alumni Award.