The Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences honored four outstanding graduates May 21 during the Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center in College Station.
The awards recognize graduates who have distinguished themselves with unique contributions to industry, public service and their communities.
Outstanding Early Career Alumni Award
The Outstanding Early Career Alumni Award recognizes former students who have graduated within the last 15 years and made exceptional contributions in their career, public service and volunteer activities.
— Jordan Wiggins Lopez ’05. Lopez, director of major gifts for The Nature Conservancy in Texas, is an experienced nonprofit professional and major gifts fundraiser. She has led giving efforts for the United Way of Greater Houston, the Collaborative for Children and Houston Methodist Hospital Foundation, as well as corporate campaigns for Exxon Mobil Corp., Spectra Energy and Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. She is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals — Greater Houston Chapter and the Junior League of Galveston County, where she has held several elected and appointed leadership positions.
Lopez earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural development with an emphasis on political science from Texas A&M and is a past Bush School Emerging Leaders in Public Service Fellow. Before moving to Houston, she worked in U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions’ office in Washington, D.C., through the Agriculture and Natural Resource Policy Program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
— Mollie Lastovica Dreibrodt ’14. Dreibrodt helps consumers and customers better understand complex topics regarding the food supply chain. She works part time as vice president for Fleishman Hillard, an international communications agency, supporting clients in the food, beverage and agribusiness sectors. With her consulting firm, Dreibrodt Consulting, she helps small and mid-sized businesses achieve communications and marketing objectives.
Her marketing communications experience has involved launching award-winning new products and driving national marketing strategies for Cargill, supporting corporate communications work for Elanco Animal Health, and assisting in issues management and crisis preparation for the National Pork Board and the FMD Cross-Species Communications Team that monitors foot-and-mouth disease. In 2019, she was recognized by the National Agri-Marketing Association as a Next Gen Agri-Marketer.
Dreibrodt volunteers as a member of the Junior League of San Antonio and the Texas A&M Association of Former Students Young Alumni Advisory Council. She has also volunteered with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and the San Antonio Livestock Exposition.
She graduated from Texas A&M with degrees in agricultural communications and journalism and in political science. Dreibrodt and her family manage a small herd of Angus-influenced cows for club calf production, support a family multigeneration row-crop operation and help market Lastovica Angus Farm.
Outstanding Alumni Award
The Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes graduates whose exceptional leadership and contributions have advanced agriculture, natural resources, life sciences or related areas. Their integrity and character have enhanced the College and its programs.
— Kathleen Gibson ’81. Gibson is president and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation. Her career in financial services included 25 years at Bank of America in various roles, including head of Southwest Corporate Banking and president of Bank of America Dallas. She was recognized by the Dallas Business Journal as a Top 25 Industry Leader in Women in Business.
She serves on the boards of Southwestern Medical Foundation, Bio North Texas, Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations, Texas Higher Education Foundation, Philanthropy Southwest and Visiting Nurse Association of Texas. Her civic involvement has included service on the boards of the Dallas Regional Chamber, Children’s Medical Center, Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, The Dallas Opera and the Dallas 2012 Olympic Bid Committee.
Gibson earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics and has generously served her alma mater as chair of the board of The Texas A&M Foundation, past chair of The Association of Former Students, member of the advisory board of the Bush School of Government and Public Service and member of the Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s Forum. She was recognized by Texas A&M as a distinguished alumnus and honored with the Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry and Women’s Legacy awards. She is a Fish Camp Namesake and was honored in 2018 to be Campus Muster Speaker.
— Bill Norman ’77, Ph.D., Norman is recognized as an authority in all aspects of the cotton industry. His contributions to advancements in the design and manufacture of cotton ginning machinery remained industry standards for over 20 years. He was instrumental in establishing the Endowed Chair in Cotton Engineering, Ginning and Mechanization within the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. His efforts were instrumental in making Texas A&M the national leader in cotton engineering research.
After earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in agricultural engineering from Texas A&M, Norman’s career included design projects and technical services in cotton ginning and dust-abatement systems. He was appointed to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Task Force on Agricultural Air Quality from 2008 to 2016.
As vice president of technical services of the National Cotton Council and executive director of The Cotton Foundation, Norman’s expertise and vision helped resolve technical issues facing cotton producers, ginners and marketers. He also directed Cotton Foundation revenue to advance the viability and profitability of U.S. cotton. In 2010, he received the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Mayfield Cotton Engineering Award for superior service to the cotton industry.
Norman has served on the College of Agriculture Development Council, the Endowed Cotton Chair Advisory Council and the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering External Advisory Council.