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Five Being Inducted into SWOSU Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame

Verna Foust

Verna Foust

Dianne Hunter

Dianne Hunter

Andre Marshall

Andre Marshall

Steve Price

Steve Price

Joel Sappenfield

Joel Sappenfield

Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) with locations in Weatherford, Sayre and Yukon has announced its 2022 Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame inductees.

Known as “SWOSU’s highest honor,” the Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 1976 by SWOSU to recognize outstanding former students and to celebrate their achievements. There are currently 111 SWOSU graduates who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The 2022 inductees include:

  • Verna Foust of Oklahoma City (Classes of 1985 and 1992)
  • Dianne Hunter of Guthrie (Classes of 1986 and 1990)
  • Andre Marshall of Beverly Hills, California (Class of 2005)
  • Steve Price of Marble Falls, Texas (Class of 1983)
  • Joel Sappenfield of Siloam Springs, Arkansas (Class of 1989)

Verna Foust is the chief executive officer for Red Rock Behavioral Health Services. Red Rock is a federally designated Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), certified by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services as a Community Mental Health Center (CMHC), and is nationally certified by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). Red Rock is one of the largest behavioral health and substance use facilities in Oklahoma with over 700 employees serving 18 counties across 26 locations with an annual operating budget of $58 million dollars. Red Rock provides a variety of behavioral health services including psychiatric, outpatient and substance abuse treatment. Other services include medication assisted and residential treatment, short term crisis stabilization for adults and youth, court assistance programs, and many other specialty programs.

Foust has worked in the field of community mental health for over 32 years and has gained extensive experience in the operation, planning, development and oversight of traditional and specialty behavioral health programs, in both urban and rural communities. Through her time in leadership, Red Rock has undergone a merger with another community mental health center, has more than doubled in size and number of locations, obtained a key partnership with a national organization serving military, veterans, and their families, and successfully obtained a competitive placement in a federal demonstration program that transformed Red Rock into a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. She is past president of the Oklahoma Behavioral Health Alliance as well as a former member and chair of the Oklahoma Forensic Review Board, a position appointed by the Governor. She is a founding member and current president of the Alliance of Mental Health Providers of Oklahoma; serves on the Oklahoma Behavioral Health Advisory Committee; and is a member of Mental Health Corporations of America. In 2021, by request of Congress, she provided testimony to the Congressional House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Appropriations subcommittee on Behavioral Health.   

Foust is a native of Clinton and holds bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Psychology along with a master’s degree in Psychology from SWOSU.  She is a licensed professional counselor and national board-certified counselor. Foust enjoys spending her free time at Lake Eufaula with her husband of 37 years, Scott, her son and daughter-in-law, Austin and Morgan, and her beloved grandson, Bentley.

Dianne Hunter was born in Hinton on November 7, 1949. She attended Hinton Elementary School before her family moved to Weatherford, where she attended Weatherford Junior and Senior High. After putting herself through college, working as a hairstylist, Hunter graduated in 1986 from SWOSU earning a bachelor’s degree in English along with a minor in art. Hunter then set her eyes on earning a master’s degree in education, which she finished in 1990 at SWOSU. In 1991, Hunter became a flight attendant for American Airlines based in New York from 1992 to 1998. She returned to Oklahoma in 1998 and held the post of practice administrator of the Oklahoma City Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic at St. Anthony Hospital in Oklahoma City until she retired in 2015.

Hunter is married to Dr. Paul David Hunter. The Hunters have three grown children and two grandchildren. Hunter was instrumental in her husband’s campaign in 2006 when he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District. Hunter is a past president of the SWOSU Alumni Association and past chair of the SWOSU Foundation, Inc. Board of Trustees. She has generously established the Hunter Endowed Lectureship in Psychology and the Marjory Scouten Smith Endowment at SWOSU.

Andre Marshall is a native of Weatherford. Currently, he practices as a double board-certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills (CA). He is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Huntington Hospital, Mission Hospital Mission Viejo and Mission Hospital Laguna Beach.

Following graduation from SWOSU, Marshall received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. He specializes in aesthetic/cosmetic plastic surgery. Marshall achieved high honors and graduated at the top of his class from medical school and was also elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honour Society for his excellent academic achievements. Marshall then undertook more specific training in plastic surgery by completing a three-year plastic and reconstructive surgery degree at one of the top ten medical centers in the country, Duke University Medical Centre. Additionally, he expanded his training and skills in aesthetic procedures by undertaking an Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship in Laguna Beach.

Steve Price served as executive vice president and chief human resources officer (CHRO) at Dell, Inc. from 2010 until his retirement in 2021 where he led both human resources and global facilities. As CHRO, Price was responsible for setting the overall HR strategy and solving the biggest culture, leadership, talent and performance challenges of Dell and Dell EMC.

Price joined Dell in 1997 and served in many key leadership roles throughout the HR organization, including vice president of operations, global talent management, and vice president for the global consumer business, Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to joining Dell, Steve spent 13 years with SC Johnson Wax in Racine (WI). Having started his career there in sales, he later moved into HR where he held a variety of senior positions.

At Dell, Price was the executive sponsor for the Black Employee Resource Group, dedicated to creating opportunities for Black team members to build relationships across the company and to help them grow and thrive. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business from SWOSU and an MBA from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Joel Sappenfield is currently serving as the president of Simmons Prepared Foods, based in Siloam Springs (AR). Simmons is a vertically integrated food company that supplies poultry products to customers around the globe. Simmons is also the largest provider of private label pet food in the United States. For anyone that has eaten at a nationally based restaurant or have a pet, chances are that person purchased Simmons Foods products. Simmons was named the top ranked food company on Forbes Magazine’s 2021 list for Best Mid-Sized Employers. Prior to serving in this role, Sappenfield served as the president of Cobb-Vantress, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. Cobb is a global company with operations in 13 countries and supplies primary breeding genetics to poultry companies in more than 120 countries. Cobb is one of only two companies in the world operating in this field.

Sappenfield was a proud member of the 1986 Bulldog football team while he pursued his dream of coaching in the game he loves. However, he changed his career path after marrying his high school sweetheart in 1987. Since graduating from SWOSU in 1989, Sappenfield’s bachelor’s degree in Finance has served his family well in his 32-year poultry and food industry career. His leadership path began as an entry level production supervisor at a poultry processing facility, then led to scheduling manager and several operations leadership roles. From there he entered sales, marketing and general management, which equipped him for corporate senior executive leadership positions with the Fortune 500 company, Tyson Foods, Inc., the largest protein provider in the U.S.

Through the years, Sappenfield has been given many opportunities to travel globally in efforts to feed the world. He has served on several boards representing the poultry industry in the United States and internationally, including India, Spain and China. He currently serves on the board of directors for the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association.

While blessed with many opportunities to lead and excel in the corporate business world, Sappenfield has held tight to his core values of living with integrity, treating people well and letting actions speak louder than words. He enjoys investing in others through mentorship and leading Bible studies. His greatest reward is found in his faith and spending time with his wife of 35 years, Candi, and their family which includes three grandsons. An additional bonus is getting to spend time with his family on their Red Angus farm in Northwest Arkansas.

Joel and Candi are both natives of southwest Oklahoma and graduated from Mountain View High School in 1985. Sappenfield’s love for God, family, hard work and farming were greatly influenced by his parents and Candi’s family. For this reason, southwest Oklahoma will always be a special place for them.

The 2022 SWOSU Distinguished Alumni honorees will be recognized during the SWOSU Convocation activities planned for May 6-7 on the Weatherford campus.

For more information, please visit www.swosu.edu or call the SWOSU Office of Institutional Advancement at 580-774-3267.