Tuesday, March 26, 2024
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Jarvis Christian University (JCU) hosted its 2024 Pioneer Hall of Fame and Preeminence Awards Gala at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22, to honor those who have supported Jarvis throughout the years

JCU Pioneer Hall of Fame inductees included

Donna Shears-Dounley of Texarkana, Texas

Dorothy Shaw of McKinney, Texas

Dr. Isaac Adeeko of Longview, Texas.

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A 27-year employee of the State of Texas, Donna Shears-Dounley has spent her career in support of students with disabilities and underserved or at-risk students in achieving their academic and career goals. The Texarkana native earned her bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Jarvis, where she developed lifelong friendships. She earned her first master’s degree at Texas Tech University in Rehabilitation Counseling and her second master’s in Higher Education—Student Affairs from Grand Canyon University. Currently, she is pursuing a doctoral degree in organizational leadership in higher education. Heavily involved in community service, she serves as the vocational rehabilitation manager for the Rehabilitation Services Division of the Texas Workforce Commission in Northeast Texas providing managerial assistance to employees and clients within a nine-county area and providing vocational rehabilitation services to eligible individuals with disabilities. 

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From teaching math to becoming a high school counselor and assistant principal in the Greater Austin area after earning her master’s degree in Guidance and Counseling, Dorothy Shaw has had a long, successful career in education in the Austin and North Texas areas. Returning to North Texas in the late 1990s, she served as a sub-school principal at Plano East High School before becoming a central office administrator at Plano ISD as the director of Family and Social Services. Answering the call to “be the change you want to see,” Shaw is a founding member of the Jarvis Denton/Collin County Alumni Chapter and through her leadership, she has positively influenced and expanded the chapter by motivating others to “roll up their sleeves” and get serious in the chapter’s commitment to make Jarvis an even better place for students. A presidential scholar, she earned her bachelor’s degree in math and business education. She played in the Jarvis band and was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, Theta Kappa Chapter.

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For 23 years, Dr. Isaac Adeeko has taught accounting courses to business majors at Jarvis, and today, he is the interim chair of the Division of Business Administration. Originally from Ekiti State, Nigeria, he is an advisor to the Jarvis chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants and National Black MBA Association. A professional accountant for SYSCO Food Systems prior to teaching at Jarvis, Adeeko earned his Ph.D and master’s degrees in professional accountancy from Jackson State University and studied econometric (qualitative and quantitative analysis) at Howard University Summer Institute. His first teaching position was at Toogaloo College, his undergraduate alma mater. He and his family formed ASIKOMI Foundation a nonprofit to help the less privileged.

JCU’s Preeminence Awards winners were:

Dr. Glendora Carter of Tyler, Texas, for Education and Academics

Glenn Etienne of Cypress, Texas, for Government, Politics and Advocacy (unable to attend)

Fred and Sharyon Hay of Spring, Texas for Philanthropy

Jennifer Hervey-Jones of San Antonio, Texas, for Leadership, Commnity Service and Civic Engagement

Natasha Coleman-Ball of Upper Marlboro, Maryland  (unable to attend)

Dr. Orenthia Mason of Tyler, Texas for the John D. Mangram Religion and Ministry Award.

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A native of Paris, Texas, Dr. Glendora Carter is the chair of the JCU Department of Science and Mathematics and is currently serving as interim vice president of Academic Affairs. With more than 40 years of teaching in her career, she earned a biology undergraduate degree from Texas Woman’s University, a chemistry master’s degree from Texas A&M Commerce (formerly East Texas State University), and a doctorate in biochemistry from Meharry Medical College. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University in molecular biology. She is a member of The National Association of Colleges and Employers, the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Council of Independent Colleges, the Society of STEM Women of Color, the Microbiology Society, The Coalition of Women Doctors, and the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  She is also a member of three honor societies: Beta Beta Beta (Tri-Beta Honor Society), Beta Kappa Chi (Honor Society), and the National Institute of Science (Honor Society). Carter loves research and is currently working with her students using nanotechnology to look into cancer cures using alternative treatments to traditional chemotherapy. She has two daughters and a son.

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Energy industry executive Mr. Glenn R. Etienne has served the Jarvis Board of Trustees since December of 2000 and now holds the office of treasurer and is a member of the Executive Committee. He has spent his entire professional career in the energy industry, forming SouthCoast Energy Partners Corp. in April, 2003, as an entity focused on buying and selling natural gas, refined products and crude oil.  His company works with major and independent oil and gas producers and local distribution companies, municipalities, power generators, refineries and end users. Giving his time, talent and energy, Etienne serves in his community and his church.  He is on the Texas State Democratic Executive Committee from Senate District 7/Congressional District 38, and is an elections training instructor for the Harris County Clerk’s Office Elections Division.  He also serves as a precinct chair and volunteer deputy voter registrar. 

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Texarkana native Sharyon (Elijah) Hay graduated cum laude from Jarvis with her bachelor’s degree in from Business Administration in 1978. She earned a business education endorsement from Houston Community College before earning her master’s degree in Counseling at Prairie View A&M University. At Jarvis, she met Fred O. Hay, a native of Mer Rouge, Louisiana, who was a presidential scholar recruited in his junior year by ExxonMobil. Promotions led him to work initially in the Tyler District Civil Engineering Office, but his career would take him across the globe into Russia, Malaysia, Canada, Australia and Mozambique, plus two resident expatriate assignments in Angola (Africa) and Indonesia. Their philanthropy includes giving directly to the university as well as partnering with Ronald and Maud Hay to create and continue funding the Hay Endowed Scholarship to provide a perpetual legacy of giving which is currently valued at $337,082. 

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Recognized by President Barack Obama with the President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2017 for her dedication to volunteer work, Jennifer Hervey-Jones has worked with the Boys & Girls Club, Meals on Wheels, the National Association for the  Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and Bexar and Guadalupe counties, She is a lifetime member of the Jarvis Christian University/Southern Christian Institute (JCU/SCI) National Alumni Association and was pivotal in reorganizing the Jarvis San Antonio Area alumni chapter. A proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she is a charter member of its Bexar Area Alumnae Chapter, serving on various committees. Having a strong faith in God’s unwavering hand in her life, she has consistently provided financial support to JCU since her graduation in 1981.  

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From her first job out of college as a columnist for Supermodels Unlimited Magazine  to founding and leading her own CB Modeling Associates talent agency, Natasha Coleman-Ball has been tenacious to achieve her dreams.  In 2022 she founded her own talent agency, booking models, actors, singers, and other artists in the District of Maryland and Virginia where she lives.  A fearless and persistent innovator, she represents diversity on all levels of her career.  Currently employed in management for Enterprise Rentals, the 2020 Jarvis honors graduate is putting her business administration and management degree to work while also pursuing a master’s degree in communication at South New Hampshire University. As a college student, she was a national poetry reading title holder. Since then, she has been seen on billboards in New York City. She writes poetry, acts, models, and and says Jarvis taught her to take advantage of opportunities that arise. Her goal is to have multiple property developments in theatre communities.

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Education has been a hallmark of Dr.Orentha Delois Mason’s  professional life, first as a school teacher and instructural consultant for 10 years, then as a Title 1 coordinator before ascending in the Tyler Independent School District to the role of school principal, a role she held for 17 years.  After retiring from TISD, she served Jarvis as director of the Teacher Education program for seven years and as as vice president of Student Affairs for four years.  She left Jarvis for her undergraduate alma mater to become the coordinator or Alumni Affairs at Texas College, where she earned her B.S. in Elementary Education and English magna cum laude.  Her Master of Education degree in reading was earned at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she completed 45 hours in School Administration Supervision. A member and past president of the Tyler ISD Board of Trustees, where she served 15 years, the Rev. Orenthia Delois Mason also pastored for 30 years at four local area Christian Methodist Episcopal churches.  

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Fred Hearns Award winner for 2024 is Mr. Shiervan D. Ursin, who earned his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Jarvis in 2017 and an MBA in 2023, dedicating his professional carer to the food service industry. The Baton Rouge native is the food service director at Aladdin Food Management at JCU. Dedicated to the mission of JCU, Ursin served as secretary for the Hawkins Chapter of the JCU/SCI National Alumni Association an was named president elect in 2021. His efforts as president focus on increasing alumni association membership, streamlining alumni services to members, and increasing alumni support for the institution. He also serves as a board trustee. A proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Ursin is a loyal alumnus.

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The Houston Alumni Chapter of Jarvis was recognized with the President’s Award for the highest giving throughout the year.

Jarvis Christian University empowers students to achieve their career goals through an affordable academic experience that prepares them for a life of significance. Whether a student is a recent high school graduate or a working adult seeking career advancement, Jarvis Christian University develops students of all ages intellectually, socially, spiritually, and emotionally.  


Jarvis Christian University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097, or call 404-679-4500, or visit for questions about the accreditation of Jarvis Christian University. To view PDFs, you may download Adobe Reader here.