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Speakers Selected for Spring Commencement

Two award-winners, a legislator who represents The Woodlands and a medical doctor in the public health field, will be this spring's commencement speakers at Sam Houston State University.

Some 1,485 students have applied for degrees to be conferred in three ceremonies, including 1,247 bachelor's, 227 master's and 11 doctoral.

The College of Education ceremony is scheduled for 6 p.m. May 11. The Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business Administration ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 12 and Criminal Justice and Humanities and Social Sciences for 2 p. m. May 12.

Eduardo Sanchez
Dr. Eduardo J. Sanchez
Eduardo J. Sanchez, M. D., director of the Institute for Health Policy of the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, will speak at the Friday evening ceremony.

Rob Eissler, president of the Eissler and Associates executive recruiting firm of The Woodlands and representative for District 15 in the Texas House of Representatives since 2002, will speak at both Saturday ceremonies.

Sanchez served as Commissioner of the Texas Department of Health from November 2001 through August 2004, overseeing an array of programs from disease prevention, communicable disease control, and preparedness to environmental and consumer safety as well as regulatory services.

On Sept. 1, 2004, he became commissioner of the newly formed Texas Department of State Health Services , which combined public health, mental health and substance abuse. He served as commissioner until October 2006.

Sanchez was in active family medicine practice in Austin from 1992 to 2001. In addition, he served as health authority and chief medical officer for the Austin-Travis County Health and Human Services Department from 1994 to 1998. He played a critical role in helping to create the Texas Association of Local Health Officials in 1997.

He received his medical degree in 1988 from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and holds master's degrees in public health from the UT School of Public Health and in biomedical engineering from Duke University. He also has bachelor's degrees from Boston University in biomedical engineering and chemistry.

The American Academy of Family Physicians presented Sanchez with the 2005 Public Health Award for his contributions to public health in Texas and beyond. He also received the Louis B. Russell Memorial Award, in 2004, from the American Heart Association for outstanding service to minority populations.

Rob Eissler
Rep. Rob Eissler

Eissler received a B.A. in architecture from Princeton University, and then served as a carrier-based attack pilot on the USS John F. Kennedy in the United States Navy. He has spent 20 years in the cause of public education, 18 of which were on the Conroe Independent School District Board of Trustees, including two terms as president.

He has served as a Junior Achievement Teacher for The Woodlands High School and Knox Junior High since 1993.

In 1999, he was named one of 25 "Original Hometown Heroes" for The Woodlands by The Woodlands Villager/Courier newspapers and The Woodlands Operating Company, L.P. The Chamber of Commerce named him "Citizen of the Year" in 1999, where he served as the chairman of the board in 1988.

Eissler has also served as the president of the Woodlands Rotary Club and as a board member of the South Montgomery Y.M.C.A. He coached youth sports for 20 years and is well known as the one of the voices of high school football on the local radio broadcasts of area games.

Eissler has been active in the campaigns of many area elected officials and has served as campaign treasurer for Congressman Kevin Brady since 1990. He was elected District 15 as state representative in November of 2002.

He is currently serving as vice chairman of the Committee on Human Services and has been reappointed to the Public Education Committee and the Rules and Resolutions Committee.

During his first legislative session, he was named Legislator of the Year by the Texas Council of Special Education Administrators. In addition, he received the Texas Foreign Language Association's Distinguished Public Service Award, The Texas Art Education Association's Governmental Award for Meritorious Service in the Arts, The Texas Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award and the Fighter for Free Enterprise Award by the Texas Association of Business.

Governor Rick Perry appointed Eissler to the State Regional Education Board for both the 78th and 79th Legislative Sessions.

In May 2005 Eissler was named one of the Top Texas Legislators of the 79th Legislative Session by Capitol Inside, an online guide to power in Texas Politics and Governmental Affairs. During the Second Called Session of the 79th Legislative Session, he was appointed vice chairman of the Select Committee on Public Education Reform.

In June 2005 he was reappointed vice chairman of the Legislative Effectiveness Committee of the National Council of State Legislators and was presented with the Star Award by Texans Standing Tall in recognition of his efforts during the 79th Legislature to reduce and prevent the consequences of underage alcohol use and binge drinking.

Eissler and his wife, Linda, have three adult children. They are members of The Woodlands United Methodist Church.


SHSU Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
April 30, 2007
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