Today@Sam Article

Entrepreneur, Alumnus and State Representatives To Address Students In Spring Commencement

April 17, 2018
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti


Rick Hartley, Arcilla Acosta and State Representatives Trent Ashby and Tom Oliverson are the confirmed speakers for Sam Houston State University’s 2018 Spring Commencements taking place from May 10-12 in the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

On May 10 at 7 p.m., Rick Hartley will address graduates from the College of Criminal Justice.

A media professional who served as Executive Director of the 100 Club, Hartley is a 1992 SHSU graduate with his master’s degree in criminal justice management. His support of SHSU includes his service as president of the Sam Houston University Foundation, past president of the Alumni Association, as well as support of the College of Criminal Justice through the 100 Club, which has provided scholarships to CJ students for more than 25 years. He is a 2004 recipient of the College of Criminal Justice’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and a recipient of the 2005 Alumni Association Service Award. His professional achievements include serving as an award-winning news professional for Houston’s Channels 2 and 13 and organizing the first public information office in the Houston Police Department’s history. He is the only person to have served four police chiefs as HPD’s Director of Media Relations.

On May 11 at 9:30 a.m., Representative Trent Ashby will address graduates from the College of Business Administration and College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication.   

Sworn into the Texas House of Representatives in 2013, Representative Ashby has served on the House Natural Resources Committee and the House Committee on Appropriations. He is also a member of the House Calendars Committee and serves as Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee that oversees all higher and public education funding in Texas. After his first session, Ashby was recognized as ‘Freshman of the Year’. “Capitol Inside” selected him after his second session as the ‘Most Valuable Sophomore’ in the Texas House.

On May 11 at 2:30 p.m., Arcilla Acosta will address graduates from the College of Sciences and Engineering Technology and College of Fine Arts and Mass Communication.   

As an entrepreneur, nationally recognized speaker, philanthropist and mother, Acosta is the President and CEO of CARCON Industries and Construction. She is also the Founder and CEO of Southwestern Testing Laboratories, a geotechnical engineering and construction materials testing firm. She has been a Board Director of Energy Future Holdings Corporation and also served as a Director of Legacy Texas Financial Group. Hispanic Executive Magazine named Acosta ‘Top Corporate Director’ and Latino Leaders Magazine recognized her as one of the Top Corporate Directors of a Fortune 500 company. In 2016, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed Acosta to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

On May 12 at 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., Representative Tom Oliverson will address graduates from the College of Education, College of Health Sciences and College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

Representative Oliverson represents Texas’ 130th State House District in northwest Harris County. He serves on the Public Health, Insurance and House Administration committees in the Texas Legislature and is a Deputy Floor Leader for the House Republican Caucus. After his first session, Oliverson was recognized as ‘Best Freshman Legislator’ of the 85th legislative session. In his professional career, Oliverson is a board-certified anesthesiologist and partner in US Anesthesia Partners, the largest anesthesia group in Texas.

View Spring 2018 Commencement Schedule

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