• Austin, Floyd, Hathcock, Hicks added to UWA’s Society of the Golden Key

    Posted: March 20, 2014

    Author: Betsy Compton

    The University of West Alabama recently inducted three outstanding alumni and a retired faculty member into the Society of the Golden Key at annual Honors Day Convocation held March 19. Induction into the society, founded in 1963, is the highest honor given to a UWA graduate or faculty member.

    Dr. Anita F. Austin, a native of Lisman, Ala., and graduate of Choctaw County High School, holds a 1987 bachelor of science and a 1991 masters degree from UWA, as well as a masters in biology from Fisk University and doctorate in pharmacology from Meharry Medical College. Austin now serves as assistant professor of Meharry, teaching gross anatomy to first-year medical, dental and graduate students. She lives in Antioch, Tenn.

    While completing her postdoctoral research fellowship at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Austin published several papers on cardiovascular research and was selected as one of only three participants out of two-hundred applicants for the University’s Scientist Educator program, through which she studied gross anatomy.

    During her undergraduate and graduate studies in Livingston, Austin was employed as a laboratory technician at Chemical Waste Management in Emelle, eventually becoming licensed through the company as an emergency medical technician. Ausin left the company to teach science at Livingston High School from 1991 to 1995, where she received a “Teacher of the Year” award.

    Dr. R.T. Floyd, professor of physical education and athletic training at UWA, is a 1980 graduate of the University. He also holds a 1982 masters degree from UWA and a 1995 Ed.D. in human performance from the University of Alabama.

    Floyd, a Montgomery-area native, is credited with establishing UWA’s athletic training and sports medicine program and building the program into one of the most respected in the nation. Last summer, Floyd received an ultimate honor when he was inducted into the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Hall of Fame.

    Floyd, who serves as chair of his academic department within the Julia S. Tutwiler College of Education, is author of Manual of Structural Kinesiology, now in its 18th edition, and co-author of Kinesiology for Manual Therapies. On the statewide level, Floyd serves as chair of the board of directors of Alabama’s Higher Education Partnership, the advocacy group for support of public colleges and universities in the state.

    Dr. Bobby Hathcock, a native of Berry, Ala., holds a 1975 bachelor of science and 1978 masters degree in education from UWA. He also holds a masters level certification from the University of North Alabama and a 2002 doctorate from Auburn University. The retired educator has served in several capacities ranging from teacher and coach to superintendent in two Alabama school systems, Fayette County and Pell City. He resides in Pell City.

    One of Hathcock’s proudest achievements is the increase in test scores at six of nine Fayette County schools during his leadership, during which he launched technology and facilities projects and an alternative school. During his tenure, he worked closely with Bevill State Community College to provide a dual-enrollment program for high school students.

    Hathcock, whose wife Debbie is also a teacher, holds a host of awards, including membership in the Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame, to which he was inducted in 2009. He was recognized as one of 32 educational administrators in the nation with the Excellence in Education Leadership Award by the University Council for Educational Administration in 2000.

    Truel D. Hicks of Livingston joined the UWA faculty in 1981, serving as chair of the department of accounting and finance and later as chair of the department of business administration and management. He served as interim dean of the College of Business during the 2001-02 academic year. Twice in his career he has been awarded the President’s Trophy by the National Association of Accountants, and he has received the Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountant’s Achievement Award.

    Prior to coming to Livingston and prior to beginning a career in business, Hicks served as a United States Marine, employed at the California Company and the U.S. General Accounting Office. His education career began at Troy State University, where he taught accounting before joining the accounting faculty at Memphis State. While in Memphis, Hicks also operated a private accounting practice.

    Following his retirement, Hicks has remained active in the community, serving as a consultant to UWA’s Small Business Development Center and as a tax consultant. He has held offices in the local Rotary Club and is a deacon at First Baptist Church.

    Founded in 1835, the University of West Alabama offers associate, bachelors, masters, and education specialist degrees on campus and online. For more information on UWA, visit www.uwa.edu.

    PHOTO: Pictured left to right at UWA's Honors Day convocation are Society of the Golden Key inductees Dr. R.T. Floyd, Truel Hicks, UWA's Dr. David M. Taylor, and Dr. Bobby Hathcock. (Dr. Anita F. Austin not pictured)
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