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Cohoon, Dodd, Gross Earn Tech's Top Honor

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Dr. Richard Cohoon Cohoon, distinguished professor and professor emeritus of geology at Arkansas Tech, retired from the faculty on spring commencement day 2012 with 52 years of service, making him the longest-serving faculty member in Arkansas Tech history. After earning his baccalaureate degree from Oklahoma City University in 1954, Cohoon added a Master of Science degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1959 and a Doctor of Education degree from Oklahoma State University in 1974. He joined the Arkansas Tech faculty as an instructor in 1960 and was subsequently promoted to assistant professor (1963), associate professor (1966), professor (1976) and distinguished professor (2011). Cohoon was named chair of the science division in 1970, head of the Department of Physical Sciences in 1971 and he served as dean of what is now known as the College of Natural and Health Sciences from 1987-2011. Arkansas Tech presented Cohoon with the Faculty Award of Excellence in the service category on the day of his retirement. Shirley Drewry Dodd Dodd graduated from Arkansas Tech in 1959 with a degree in elementary education. After 14 years as a classroom teacher in Little Rock and Russellville and 17 years as a guidance counselor at Russellville High School, Dodd has remained involved in education by serving her alma mater. She was a member of the Arkansas Tech Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2008-10 before becoming president-elect of the organization in 2011 and president in 2012. She was a member of the committee that planned the Arkansas Tech centennial celebration and helps organize reunions and philanthropic efforts by the “Caraway Hall Girls,” a group of alumni who lived together on the Caraway Hall third floor in the late 1950s. Dodd has volunteered in every role available to an alumna of Arkansas Tech. If a Wonder Boys or Golden Suns ballgame, band concert, choir concert, theatrical performance, art gallery exhibit, career fair or other special occasion such as Time-Out for Tech, Homecoming or Family Day is taking place on campus, chances are she is there. If final exams are taking place, she can be found in the lobby of Witherspoon Hall serving free breakfast to students, faculty and staff. A poll worker for the Pope County Election Commission and a tutor at Sequoyah Elementary School, Dodd and her husband, David, are members of the Green and Gold Club and the Century Forward Circle at Arkansas Tech. John Gross A 1970 graduate of Arkansas Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education, Gross was a two-time All-Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference selection as a member of the Wonder Boys basketball program. He was a member of the 1970 Arkansas Tech basketball team that won the NAIA District 17 championship and reached the second round of the NAIA National Tournament under head coach Deward Dopson. It was the Wonder Boys’ only national tournament appearance in basketball between 1963 and 1995. More than four decades after his final game at Arkansas Tech, Gross still holds the school records for career rebounds (1,330) and single-season rebounds (415 in 1969-70). Gross went on to serve the Parkers Chapel School District as a coach, teacher and superintendent over a 41-year career in education. He owns two food service businesses in southern Arkansas and has given of his time to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of El Dorado and Hope Landing therapy ranch for children with disabilities.]]>