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Federal Judge, Author and More Honored at 53rd Annual Pioneer Alumni Association Awards Ceremony

APRIL 30, 2022 — DENTON — Ten Texas Woman’s University alumni were honored last weekend at the annual Pioneer Alumni Association Awards ceremony in Denton, TX. The most prestigious award, the Distinguished Alumni Award, was presented to The Honorable Alia Moses, Class of ‘83, and Dr. Ramona Kerby, Class of ‘80 and ‘84.

Judge Moses has served as a federal judge on the United States District Court in the Del Rio Division for the Western District of Texas since 2002. She was the first woman to be appointed to the District’s bench and is the fifth sister in her family to graduate from TWU. Dr. Kerby, a professor at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, is both an educator and author. She has published 15 titles across all genres in her long, storied career. 

Jane Ragsdale, Class of ‘79, was honored with the Pioneer Trailblazer Award and Dr. Drew Curtis, Class of ‘13 and Dr. Carrie Nelms Edwards, Class of ‘08 were presented with the Hallmark Alumni Award. 

Ragsdale is known across the Texas Hill Country for her lifetime of commitment to Heart O’ the Hills, an all-girls summer camp, and for her humanitarian work in Guatemala. Dr. Curtis, a tenured associate professor at Angelo State University, is one of the state’s foremost leaders in the study and research of psychology. Among his various accomplishments, publishing a textbook and serving as the President of Psychological Association of Greater West Texas. Dr. Edwards, who in 2017 was named one of the Great 100 Nurses of Dallas-Ft. Worth, is an assistant professor at Texas Tech University and the Founding Director of Forensic Nurse Staffing of West Texas, which provides around the clock forensic nursing services to every hospital in Lubbock. 

In addition to the alumni awards, five Outstanding Student Awards were presented. They are: Natalie Wilkinson, a recent Kinesiology graduate with an emphasis on exercise science; Sarah Colton, a Deaf Education graduate student who co-founded a tech-driven day camp for deaf and hard of hearing students; Francilia Brito Silva, a Doctoral student focusing on food security and food literacy; Alice Saji, DNP a recent Doctoral graduate who works at the MD Anderson Cancer Center as a nurse practitioner; and Dr. Tuzhen Xu, a recent nursing science PhD graduate who works as the director of a hospice agency in Houston. 

Since 1969 the Pioneer Alumni Association, formerly known as the TWU Alumni Association, has bestowed these alumni awards in recognition of their tremendous contribution to their communities and field of study. The Distinguished Alumni Award is awarded for a lifetime of achievement. The Pioneer Trailblazer Award is occasionally awarded to specifically honor alumni for a lifetime of adventurous accomplishments. The Hallmark Award is presented to rising stars, young graduates who are early to mid-career who have made a significant positive impact on their profession or community.

For questions  or more information about any honorees, please contact:

Luis G. Rendon

Marketing Chair

Pioneer Alumni Association