Five Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumni received awards May 20 during the Outstanding Alumni Awards ceremony at the Shirley and Joe Swinbank ’74 AgriLife Center in College Station. The former students were honored with either the Outstanding Early Career Alumni Award or the Outstanding Alumni Award.
“The former students that we celebrate through these awards embody what it means to be a Texas A&M Aggie,” said Mark A. Hussey, Ph.D., interim vice chancellor and dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “I am immensely grateful for their contributions to their respective fields and proud that they are a product of our College. These awards are some of the highest honors our College bestows.”
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.
— Logan Lester Tafelski ’16. Tafelski is an agent with RE/MAX Fine Properties and the Sansone Group in Houston. In 2017, she was named to the Houston Association of Realtors 20 under 40. She is respected for her innovative use of technology, her industry expertise and her strength in fostering meaningful relationships with her clientele.
Tafelski earned a bachelor’s degree in university studies-leadership in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications. In that program, she discovered her passion for service and community outreach.
In 2018, Tafelski was named Miss Texas USA and placed in the Top 15 in the Miss USA pageant. Since her reign, she has continued to build an impactful public platform on social media, encouraging others to help build self-esteem and promote healthy positivity. She volunteers with Sky High for Kids, a support organization for children fighting pediatric cancer and other life-threatening conditions.
Tafelski is involved in other Houston-area charities and philanthropic organizations, including the Ronald McDonald House Houston, SEARCH Homeless Shelter, BEST Buddies of Houston, MD Anderson Cancer Center and Friends of Down Syndrome Houston.
She remains involved at Texas A&M, serving as an invited speaker for leadership courses, providing professional mentorship for female Aggies and supporting the Rodeo Houston Scholarship Program.
— Jonathan A. Cammack ’07, Ph.D. Cammack is the chief operating officer of EVO Conversion Systems in College Station. The company uses black soldier flies to digest food waste and reduce its impact on the environment.
Since the company’s launch in 2017, EVO has recycled over 200,000 pounds of food waste in Bryan and College Station, preventing greenhouse gas production, landfill overflow and water pollution. In 2019, EVO was awarded the Brazos Valley Economic Development Corporation Launch Award.
Cammack earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology from Texas A&M in 2007, a master’s degree in entomology from Clemson University in 2009 and a doctorate in entomology from North Carolina State University in 2013. He returned to the Texas A&M Department of Entomology in 2014 as a postdoctoral research associate; his research focused on entomology and nutrient recycling.
Cammack worked with research colleagues to launch EVO Conversion Systems and moved to a full-time role with the company in 2019. He has helped more than 30 companies worldwide with their production of black soldier flies and continues to support Texas A&M AgriLife by speaking at educational programs and consulting on rearing black soldier fly colonies.
Outstanding Alumni Award
The Outstanding Alumni Award honors graduates whose leadership, integrity and character have not only advanced agriculture, natural resources, life sciences or related areas, but also enhanced the College and its programs.
— Robert “Hunter” Goodwin ’96. Goodwin is the owner, chief operating officer and director of hospitality at Oldham Goodwin Group LLC in Bryan-College Station. The company provides expertise to make investing, managing and developing Texas real estate accessible and reliable.
Goodwin is passionate about community and creating economic growth and development opportunities. He currently serves on the Hawthorn Franchise Advisory Committee for Wyndham Hotels and is on the board of directors for Scotty’s House and American Momentum Bank.
Goodwin graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics while serving as team captain for the Miami Dolphins in the NFL. After a nine-year career in the NFL, he retired to the Bryan-College Station area. In 2013, Goodwin was inducted into the Department of Agricultural Economics Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry of Former Students in Agricultural Economics.
Goodwin’s involvement with Texas A&M, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Department of Agricultural Economics continues. His donations to various College and university programs provide opportunities for students to develop strong business and entrepreneurial skills. He frequently participates as a “Prof-for-a-Day” in multiple agricultural economics classes, is a member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Development Council and currently serves as the Vice Chancellor’s Forum chair.
He has served on the 12th Man Foundation board of directors and as president of the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association in 2013. Currently, he is board chair for TexAgs.com and chair of the Texas A&M University System RELLIS External Academic Advisory Council.
— Henry A. “Hank” Fitzhugh Jr. ’61, Ph.D. Fitzhugh has worked for over 50 years to decrease poverty and increase sustainability and scientific excellence in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Fitzhugh earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1961, a master’s degree in meat science in 1963 and a doctorate in animal breeding in 1965, all from Texas A&M. After a postdoctoral fellowship, he returned to Texas A&M as a faculty member. He then spent many years serving in positions of increasing responsibility in animal science research and development organizations.
Among his many roles, Fitzhugh helped lead the International Livestock Centre for Africa, ILCA, from 1990-1994. As director general and deputy director general, he managed the research of multidisciplinary teams to improve the productivity and sustainability of African livestock systems. When ILCA merged with a veterinary science organization to create the International Livestock Research Institute, ILRI, Fitzhugh was chosen as the new organization’s first director general.
Fitzhugh led ILRI from 1995-2001 to meet its global mandate for livestock research, developing interdisciplinary biological, agroecological and economic research to improve the productivity and sustainability of livestock production systems.
In his next role as director of the International Fund for Agricultural Research, he fostered scientific excellence in agriculture in Africa and South Asia. Fitzhugh also led a project to increase Ethiopian meat and livestock exports, which was managed by the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and Texas A&M University System and funded by USAID. In 2012, he became a senior fellow at the Borlaug Institute and an adjunct professor for the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M.
For his many contributions, Fitzhugh received the American Society of Animal Science Bouffalt International Animal Agriculture Award and the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development Special Service Award.
— Charles H. “Charlie” Whiteside ’53, Ph.D. Whiteside is a U.S. Army veteran and president emeritus of Ana-Lab, a nationally recognized environmental testing laboratory that he and his wife, Jo Ann, opened in 1965. Ana-Lab employs skilled workers in Kilgore and seven satellite offices across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. The lab provides over $12 million annually in economic impact for Gregg County.
Whiteside is a three-time graduate of Texas A&M. He earned his bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry, a master’s degree in poultry nutrition and his doctorate in biochemistry. In his undergraduate program, Whiteside served in the Corps of Cadets, worked at the beef cattle barn and on the construction of the G. Rollie White Coliseum.
Following graduation, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army and worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture before completing his graduate degrees. After working in industry, the Whitesides opened Ana-Lab. After becoming president emeritus of the lab, Whiteside continued to find ways to serve Texas A&M and his community through local organizations and his church. In addition, the Whitesides have made strong contributions to Texas A&M as Double Diamond Century Club members. Most recently, Whiteside and his wife established three scholarships to benefit students in poultry science, animal husbandry and chemistry.
Whiteside is passionate about his community and young people. He serves as the Upshur Rural Electric Co-op director, sponsors a summer music day camp for pre-teens through Kilgore College and enjoys mentoring youth in the East Texas area.