Lynn Purnell Hagan ’77, 2010 Legacy Award Recipient and WFSN member

 

Lynn Hagan

1: Lynn Purnell Hagan ’77, 2010 Legacy Award Recipient and WFSN member

If you like what you read here, come and join me at the WFSN First Thursday, December 4 at Messina Hof Wine Bar from 5:30 to 7:30 (half price glasses of wine!) to hear more of this story. Bring a friend (they don’t have to be Aggies…or women!)

I pick up my story in the year 2001. It was a banner year. I closed my successful psychotherapy office in Louisiana to move to, of all places, Kuwait. I can honestly say, and Don will attest to this, I did not want to go. I was shutting down what I had worked toward for 5 years of grad school. On the other hand, how could I not move to Kuwait? What a challenge and what an adventure. I had no idea how much of a challenge and adventure it would become.

Fast forward to June when I arrived in Kuwait. Living on a compound next to the Saudi border, was not idyllic, to say the least. Bored and with little to do, I contemplated abandoning this misadventure and heading home. Fast forward to September 11.

entrance

2: Entrance to Saudi Arabian Texaco Compound

Five miles from the Saudi border. On the banks of the Arabian (no, not Persian) Gulf. I asked Don, “What is going to happen to us?” The world for everyone was turned upside down. But living in a Saudi compound, thousands of miles from home, put a different spin on things. Things would no longer be boring. I would no longer be bored.

Shortly after the attacks, the Medical Unit of the US Embassy in Kuwait contacted me. The medical officer told me I was the only western psychotherapist in the country and he needed me to come to the embassy to discuss some cases. Heck ya. I am all over that!

approach

3: Approach to US Embassy in Kuwait

The case was a high level security individual, a US citizen, who had a terror plan of his own – borne out of his heretofore undiagnosed PTSD. We began the process of sending him home for his, and national, security. Other cases presented themselves soon after. A suicide pact among local American students who wanted to be sent home. Humanitarians who were being evacuated from Iraq who witnessed and experienced such horrors, I will not elaborate here. These were some of the cases I handled at the embassy.

 

At the same time the embassy was contacting me, I received a call from The Scientific Center of Kuwait, a science education complex comprised of an IMAX theatre, a hands-on science center, and the largest aquarium in the Middle East. Long story short here, I became the director of Discovery Place and Education – managing a cadre of Kuwaiti nationals and international staff. Wow.

scientific center

4: The Scientific Center of Kuwait

Way to Work

5: On my way to work

Kuwait is a small country…about the size of Connecticut. I drove about ½ way – one way – every day going to work. Now, add to these events, terror attacks across the country and the military buildup. I drove past check points and tanks, and burned out cars. I met personnel at a mix of locales, including barricaded hotels. That was the milieu. Social work colleagues in the USA told me that I should not do it. It was putting myself too much at risk. My thought – how could I not? People were in need of help and I felt it would be unethical not to make myself available. So, I did it. Time after time. Day after day.

As a result, it gave me an experience beyond anything I could have imagined. We spend 6 years in Kuwait. Having been assigned a war zone, it was time for Chevron to send us to a more favorable post – Scotland!

Watching PartyScotland was far less exciting albeit much more beautiful. After being there a couple of years we took on the task of the local Aggie Club. We hosted three Musters and had a couple of special outings and football game viewings (a couple of days after the games). We made it into the Texas Aggie Magazine many times…you probably saw us!

Great stories you say. But what does this have to do with Aggie Women and Aggie Values? Aggie Core Values go beyond what we can do for our school. It must transcend into the world at large. Scotland enabled me to be a good Ag and host Musters and get-togethers. Kuwait enabled me to be a world citizen embodying selfless service, cultural respect, integrity, and excellence. For me, I have reworked an old adage, turning it into “Think locally but act globally.” Now, Aggie Women, it’s your turn! Gig ‘Em!!

January’s First Thursday for WFSN will be January 8, 5:30-7:30, at Messina Hof Wine Bar. Come join us as we learn more about leading and following – and learn a new dance step. We hope to see you there…oh, yes…and bring a friend!

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First Thursday, November 6th with Kathie Hitt ’90

The WFSN and Messina Hof had another successful and enlightening First Thursday event last week.  Our guest speaker was Kathie Hitt ’90 from RainDrop Harvesting Solutions, LLC.  Here’s what she had to say about the event.  Join us next Thursday, December 4th to hear stories of the Aggie Spirit Around the World from Lynn Hagan ’77.

Kathie Hitt ’90:

“We had the distinct pleasure to be able to present to the Aggie Women at their First Thursday Event which occurs every first Thursday of every month out at Messina Hof Winery. We discussed Rainwater Harvesting systems and Water Conservation methods and why both are important for all of us, especially those considering sustainable living.

Our information started off with our never ending drought situation here in Texas. While we are fortunate to receive 35 inches of rain on average here in the Bryan-College Station area, many areas in our state are not so fortunate. Wichita Falls is in stage 5 drought currently, being a good example. In this area, they are having to consider treating their waste-water for drinking due to the lack of rainfall and groundwater reserves being depleted.

We discussed which months during the year are the best to install a rainwater harvesting system and went over the formula to show that if you had a 1000 sq foot roof, to date you would have collected 19,406 gallons of water from that size roof.

Next we talked about some reasons why you would want to conserve water by harvesting rain from your roof. Harvesting rainwater actually helps recharge the aquifers because instead of running off into the sewers, the capture and subsequent use in gardens and plants and landscape as well as lawns lets the water go back into the ground where it should be. Harvesting rainwater is a great alternative to supplement irrigation and not be subject to watering restrictions. Rainwater is low in mineral deposits and is a viable water source for those who live in regions where the water might be high in salt or where drilling wells are not an option. Storm-water can cause eroding of your property around foundation as well as damage your property. Collecting rainwater eliminates mosquito havens and reduce the need for other types of storm-water controls.

We discussed both a Dry System and a Wet System and what the differences are between the two. Then we showed a series of pictures showing how far rainwater cisterns or tanks have come. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors to meet the needs of everyone. They continue to evolve and we are excited to keep bringing the most recent information to our customers. Our goal is to be able to solve any and all water problems that our clients encounter whether it be capturing the water, to storm water problems or even water treatment issues.

We briefly discussed our mobile rainwater harvesting demo that we have available to take out to various events. This helps educate the public on what the basic components of a rainwater system are and be able to see it in action. Then we answered questions at the end.

It was wonderful to be able to come back to the place where this dream all began to talk about Rainwater harvesting basics. My Aggie sisters encouraged me after I took a rainwater class and was basically dreaming out loud about how neat it would be to make a business out of it at a FirstThursday event at Messina Hof in 2013. Their support and encouragement, then and now continues to be an inspiration to me and my business partner to keep doing what we are doing to encourage water conservation here in the Brazos Valley.”

RainDrop Harvesting Solutions, LLC
www.RainDropSavers.com

Kathie Hitt, Aggie Class of ’90 & Henry Luna, III co-owners

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2015 Call for Board Member Nominations

2015 Call for Board Nominations

The Women Former Students’ Network (WFSN) seeks board members to lend their passion, commitment, and expertise toward helping the WFSN achieve its mission and goals.  The WFSN is interested in recruiting board members who will have a personal commitment to the goals and mission of the WFSN and who desire to be part of a “hands on” board. The WFSN organizational culture is collaborative, hands on, unpretentious and energizing! This is a wonderful opportunity to be connected with other interesting, smart, creative, passionate Aggie Women. Board members will have the opportunity to help the WFSN grow into a nationally recognized organization, impacting the lives of thousands of Aggie Women. The major goals of the WFSN, created upon the establishment of the organization in 2008 include:

  • Support and engage women former students of Texas A&M University from across the U.S. and around the world;
  • Recognize the achievement of women former students;
  • Mentor graduate and undergraduate women students;
  • Support the women faculty and shine a light on the academic distinction they bring to Texas A&M University; and
  • Celebrate diversity and inclusion as paths to greatness.

Each board member agrees to play an active role, including a leadership position, in an area of responsibility which will help the WFSN reach its goals.  Activities include the following Committees and Programs:

  • Membership Committee
  • Mentoring Committee and Program
  • Marketing and Communications Committee
  • Philanthropy and Development Committee
  • Nominating Committee for board members and officers
  • Finance Committee
  • Program Committee (e.g., annual meeting)
  • Website development and maintenance
  • WFSN’s Legacy Awards, Eminent Scholar Award, and other awards for former students

Board Member Responsibilities Board members must be willing to perform the duties outlined below as well as assume the legal and fiduciary responsibility for the organization. A board member must have the passion for tradition and excellence and have a dedication to the educational, charitable and cultural life of Texas A&M University.  The WFSN seeks members who are willing to pass along their valuable insights and inspiration to all Aggie Women – from one generation to the next.

  1. Choose and be accountable for an area of Board responsibility (see above)
  2. Attend and participate in all regularly scheduled Board meetings, planning sessions, and retreats; and attend and participate in Committee Meetings
  3. Serve a three-year term of Board membership
  4. Be available as a resource for the WFSN: Provide counsel,  ideas for accessing public or private funds, services, or links to services helpful to the organization
  5. Monitor and evaluate all the WFSN policies and programs, and evaluate and monitor the financial position of the WFSN

Nomination Process

  1. Submit a letter of interest to the Nominating Committee of the WFSN’s Board of Directors, expressing the following:
    1. Why and how you, as a board of director, would help the WFSN achieve its goals and mission?
    2. Which committee or program you would be interested in leading or participating in for the board?
    3. Which areas of expertise you would bring to the board?
    4. Description of other board or committee experiences you have (non-profit, corporate, or advisory boards) and the contributions you made.
  2. Provide a current resume or curriculum vitae.
  3. Provide any other information that demonstrates your commitment and passion to the mission of the WFSN and to Texas A&M University.
  4. Confirm your current membership in the Association of Former Students.
  5. Provide a picture suitable for publication in print and online materials.

Submit Application Materials as Required Above Electronically to info@aggiewomen.org by November 10, 2014

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Aggie Women 2014 Leadership Conference

On October 3, 2014, Women’s Former Student Network offered another outstanding educational and inspirational opportunity at the second annual Aggie Women’s Leadership Conference. Each speaker shared their successes as defined by the choices that they have made and how we shape the course of our lives choice by choice.

Dr. Karan Watson, Provost and Executive Vice President, shared that it is our responsibility and choice to determine our own attitudes. Attitude is the one thing that no one can take away. We have the freedom of choice to determine our attitudes.

Keynote speaker Marsha Clark shared that women have a responsibility and accountability to help each other and support one another. She gave an extensive and interesting overview of how women make choices versus men; how important it is to know what “tools we have in our toolkits” (gifts) and that great leaders know what tool to use when. You can learn much more from her book Choose! The Role Choice Plays in Shaping Women’s Lives. www.marshaclarkandassociates.com

A diverse and passionate panel of Aggie women graduates and faculty shared their choices in life with the subsequent challenges, new opportunities, and blessings they experienced. Panelists were Melissa Reich ’00 (Deputy Montgomery County Constable and former FBI agent), Kristi Scales ’89 (Sideline reporter for the Dallas Cowboys), Susan Treat ’87 (Wife, Mother, Homemaker/homeschooler and former paralegal), and Katherine Banks (Vice Chancellor for Engineering for the TAMU system and Dean of the Dwight Look College of Engineering at TAMU).

Closing the conference was award-winning editor, writer, interviewer and on-camera talent Ceslie Armstrong. Through her animated stories, she shared her own choices that led to her success.

Chancellor Sharp shared at the awards luncheon a historical perspective of women at Texas A&M University as well as a vision of what is still to come. The Women’s Leadership Conference is an incubator of the future dynasty of women at Texas A&M University. Join the cause at www.aggiewomen.org

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