San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

April 21st, 2010
College of Liberal Arts honors five

STAFF REPORT

Texas State’s College of Liberal Arts is honoring five alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

The award, which is in its third year, recognizes accomplishments by alumni in their professions and communities.

This year’s honorees are Michelle T. Brown of New York City, Patrick Cox of Austin, William Cliff Davis III of Cuero, Terri LeClercq of Austin and William Steuer of Johannesburg, South Africa.

Organizing Refugees International, Brown has conducted about 30 missions to countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to identify human rights violations and assess the needs of refugees. Brown’s first-hand accounts of conditions facing refugees are used by the U.S. government, the United Nations Security Council and policy makers around the world in meeting humanitarian needs and protecting war-affected people.

A noted scholar of Texas political history, Cox serves as associate director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas. Cox is the award-winning author of books on former Texas Senator Ralph Yarbrough, Texas’ news barons, influential Texans in Washington, DC, and the evolution of the Texas Speaker of the House’s role into one of the most powerful offices in the state.  As a member of the board of the Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC), the nation’s largest electric co-op, Cox has spearheaded reforms to ensure open meetings, open records, and fair elections, and he is helping to direct the co-op’s development of clean and efficient energy sources.

As president and CEO of Davis Medical Resources, Davis distributes orthopedic products and a wide range of equipment that surgeons use in open-heart surgeries. The Japanese company Terumo, which manufactures much of the equipment Davis distributes, named Davis national sales representative of the year for three years in a row. On his Cuero ranch, Davis raises cattle and grows fruit and vegetables organically. He has helped to launch the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in Cuero and helped purchase medical equipment for the local hospital.

One of the first professors to be invited to teach legal writing in the University of Texas School of Law, LeClercq is a recognized authority on legal writing who helped to establish legal writing as an essential field of study for law students. She is frequently called as an expert witness to interpret meaning when court cases rest on points of grammar. LeClercq, who retired in 2009, continues to lecture and teach around the country.  Through the Texas Civil Rights Project, she works on behalf of prisoners in the Texas prison system. On 30 Saturdays each year, she builds houses for Habitat for Humanity.

Steuer’s career with the U.S. Department of State has taken him around the world. He manages the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, one of the largest U.S. consulates in the world. During his career, he has built secure locations for diplomatic negotiations, coordinated the activities of U.S. presidents and foreign dignitaries, and handled the emergency relocation of American refugees from war zones. In the communities where he’s worked, Steuer has initiated charitable programs to relieve poverty, to counsel and treat victims of violent crime and HIV, and to keep children in school.

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