SPC announces recipients of 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards


LEVELLAND – South Plains College has selected three former students to receive its highest alumni awards for 2022. Kevin Dane of Cedar Park and the late Stephanie Smith have been named 2022 Distinguished Alumni of South Plains College.

The honorees were confirmed during the SPC Board of Regent meeting held Oct. 13. The recipients will be honored during the Annual Scholarship Banquet and Distinguished Alumni Celebration at 6 p.m. on Nov. 3 (Thursday) in the Mallet Event Center.

“Each one of these recipients has been recognized for outstanding career accomplishments and service in their respective professions,” said Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of South Plains College. “They represent the thousands of successful SPC graduates who are contributing to their professions and to society in a variety of ways. It is an honor to salute these former students as distinguished alumni of South Plains College.”

According to Jordan Flores, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, South Plains College bestowed its first Distinguished Alumni honor in 1987. Prior to 2016, the award was presented every five years. It is now an annual tradition.

Born in Levelland in 1971, Dane said his family moved to the Wichita Falls area during his early years. When he was in the third grade, the family returned to Levelland, and Dane completed his education through graduation from Levelland High School. During his first semester at SPC, Dane enrolled in basic classes to work on the core curriculum requirements. He decided to study classes that would assist him from an engineering perspective. He finished his coursework at SPC and transferred to the University of Texas, where he studied mechanical engineering.

Dane graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas in May 1994. He landed his first professional job as secondary structures engineer at Chrysler Technologies in Waco, where he was responsible for the design of interior elements for custom VIP aircrafts with his most notable work being on Boeing 747s and Airbus A330s. One of his famous clients was the Sultan of Brunei.

For the next three years, Dane excelled in his professional career. In May 1997, he completed his second job interview to become a quality engineer at Dell Technologies. Dane has performed several roles across Dell, including supplier quality, storage quality, and program management. In April 2006, he was named Director of Enterprise Quality for Dell, where he was responsible for the quality of the PowerEdge server line. He managed global teams in Austin, Texas; Bangalore, India; and Taipei, Taiwan.

From March 2011 through October 2017, Dane served as vice president for client product quality at Dell. He was responsible for managing product quality across all client systems including Dell notebooks, desktops, printers, monitors and accessories.

Since November 2017, Dane currently serves as Vice President of Quality within the Infrastructure Solutions Group at Dell Technologies. He is responsible for quality across all enterprise-class products including Dell servers, storage, data protection, networking and solutions. He oversees organizations that manage hardware and software quality and monitor the quality of products in the field. He has helped integrate quality processes and tools across Dell and EMC since the companies merged.

Smith graduated from Levelland High School in 2009. She attended South Plains College, where she served as Terrible Tex, the school’s mascot. She also graced the cover of the college’s General Catalog for 2011-2012 and she served as a Campus Ambassador. She graduated from SPC in 2011 with an Associate of Science degree.

She transferred to Texas Tech University, where she became a member of the Miller Girls, a service organization that promotes community service, sisterhood, leadership and team building skills amongst its members. In 2014, she graduated from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations. She joined the staff at South Plains College as Alumni Coordinator later that same year.

Through an online newsletter, Smith kept in monthly contact with more than 12,000 former SPC students. She is credited for helping create a joint membership program for both SPC and Texas Tech University alumni.

Among the many projects under her direction were Backpack to Briefcase, TexTalks, a mentorship program, an alumni job board, the Alumni Spotlight in partnership with the Plainsman Press and the Distinguished Alumni program. Smith also served as the Executive Director of the SPC Alumni Association and in this role created the Association’s first by-laws and board of directors. During her tenure, she worked with the SPC Marketing office to create the Association’s first logo and was instrumental in bringing alumni merchandise to the SPC bookstore. Smith played a significant role in the success of the College’s annual Scholarship Gala and Scholarship Golf Scramble each year, chairing the Auctions and Raffle Committees for both.

The honorees were endorsed by the Distinguished Alumni Recommendation Committee which is comprised of SPC faculty and staff members Alma Lopez, Professor of Mathematics; Janna Holt-Day, Professor of Speech Communications; Kristin Bingham, Chairperson of the Biology Department and Associate Professor of Biology; Jimmy Stratton, Chairperson of the Industrial Technology Department, Associate Professor of Welding Technology; Gregory Cook, Associate Professor of Video Production Technology; Jon Marc Moore, Department Chairperson and Professor of Kinesiology; Lauren Gregory, Department Chairperson and Associate Professor of Business Administration/CIS; Maria Lopez Strong, Advisor, Lubbock Center; Dane Dewbre, Executive Director of Marketing and Communications; Roger Reding, Director of Athletics; Dorothy Weaver, Nursing Success Coordinator; Kenton Burns, Chairperson of the Professional Services and Energy Department, Law Enforcement Academy Coordinator and Professor of Law Enforcement; Peggy Skinner, Chairperson of the Behavioral Science Department and Professor of Psychology; Kathryn Perez, Associate Dean of Students; Al Gardner, Professor of Music-Percussion; and Stephanie Deering, Assistant Professor of Child Development.

After the committee submits their recommendations, Dr. Satterwhite makes his selections, and the honorees are approved by the SPC Board of Regents.

For more information about the SPC Distinguished Alumni program, contact Flores at (806) 716-2020.