Three prominent Texas A&M University former students from the College of Science have earned selection by the college for its highest alumni honor, induction into its Academy of Distinguished Former Students.

Dr. H. Andrew Hansen II, M.D., Class of 1971, of College Station, Texas; Lt. Col. Patrick W. Kennedy, Class of 2005, of Fort Detrick, Md.; and Dr. Mark A. Stern, Class of 1980, of Durham, N. Car., will be recognized Thursday (Mar. 20) for their achievements and contributions to their professions, community and causes as part of the college's Spring Recognition and Awards Dinner, to be held at Pebble Creek Country Club in College Station. The college also will recognize its current scholarship recipients along with all of the donors who have established endowed gifts within the college's five departments during the past year.

The Academy was established in 1996 to recognize Aggies who have brought honor to their alma mater and professions through outstanding leadership in mathematics, statistics, the sciences and medicine. Hansen, Kennedy and Stern join a prestigious list of 45 previous honorees distinguished for their merit and innovative achievements.

"We are extremely proud and honored to add Andrew Hansen, Patrick Kennedy and Mark Stern to our Academy," said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College. "They have brought great distinction to our college, to their professions and to Texas A&M University. We are delighted to bestow our top award on them."

Hansen received his bachelor of science in zoology from Texas A&M in 1971 and his master of business administration in 2002. He is a board certified cardiovascular surgeon with more than 30 years of experience in treating venous disease -- an extensive career during which he has performed more than 7,000 cardiovascular procedures.

At Texas A&M, Hansen was a member of the Corps of Cadets, serving as Battalion Commander his senior year, as well as the Ross Volunteers and the RV Firing Squad. After graduating from Texas A&M, he completed medical school at Texas Tech University School of Medicine in 1975, graduating at the top of his class, then trained four years under legendary cardiovascular surgeon and childhood hero Dr. Michael E. DeBakey in general and vascular surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. Hansen subsequently completed a residency in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga. He currently is licensed in three states: Texas, Georgia and New Mexico. Hansen returned to Aggieland in 2007 and founded his own College Station-based practice, Central Texas Vein Center, in 2008. He continues to teach as a clinical professor of surgery at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center and The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Among his many pioneering feats on the cutting edge of the latest in surgical technology and related procedures, Hansen was the first in Texas to implant a Jarvik Acute Ventricular Assist Device (AVAD), more commonly known as an artificial heart, in 1987. He is also the fifth surgeon in the United States to perform Robotic Transmyocardial Laser Revascularization (TMLR) on patients who are not candidates for angioplasty or open-heart surgery. He is a charter member of the International Society for Minimally Invasive Cardiac Surgery as well as several prestigious surgical societies, including two devoted to the latest treatment of venous disease: the American College of Phlebology and the American Venous Forum. In addition, he currently serves as president and chief executive officer of Central Texas Cardiovascular Surgery.

An active former student, Hansen is a past president of The Association of Former Students (1990), as well as a former seven-year Trustee of the Texas A&M Foundation and an Endowed 12th Man Foundation Member. He has donated pillars at both the Jon L. Hagler Center and the Clayton W. Williams Jr. Alumni Center, which also features the Hansen Fountain that memorializes and honors his parents. In addition, he is a member of the Endowed Century Club.

"Andy set out, determined that whatever career path he chose, he would be the best," said Mark D. Hansen '79, the youngest of the three Hansen brothers who all followed their father's, Henry Arnold Hansen Jr. '42, footsteps to Aggieland. "When you look at his list of accomplishments, you see a life filled with a mindset of pushing the envelope, never being satisfied with the status quo. It is this mindset with which Andy has pursued his long, distinguished and fruitful career. Continued achievement, always looking to be the pioneer, which is evidenced with many achievements indicating 'first' in that category. This is laced within Andy's heart and soul, to be the best in whatever he does."

Kennedy received his master of science in microbiology from Texas A&M in 2005 and did his thesis on signaling pathways in the model fungus Neurospora crassa under the research mentorship of associate professor of biology Wayne Versaw, who describes his first graduate student at Texas A&M as the "epitome of professionalism who embodied the Air Force Core Values: Integrity First, Service before Self and Excellence in All We Do." A 1998 distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force Commissioned Officer Training Program, Kennedy currently serves as a Medical Intelligence Analyst at the National Center for Medical Intelligence, Health Infrastructure, Sciences and Systems Division. His primary area of responsibility is assessing foreign military and civilian medical capabilities, including treatment facilities, medical personnel, and emergency/disaster response and medical/pharmaceutical industries. He also has been active in assessing the development of foreign medical countermeasures and diagnostics against/for diseases of importance to national security.

Throughout a remarkable military career that has included pioneering stints with Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) and Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA), among other units, Kennedy has made significant contributions to the medical laboratory profession as well as the Department of Defense's (DoD) clinical research, testing, and evaluation of weapons of mass destruction. His clinical practices have set bench marks adopted by medical treatment facilities worldwide.

Kennedy was hand-selected to mold significant DoD programs, such as the Joint Program Executive Office/Chemical Biological Defense-Critical Reagent Program's Genomic Repository and the DTRA's Chemical Biological Directorate Basic Research Portfolio for Medical Countermeasures to counter traditional and emerging chemical threats. His efforts in cultivating these initiatives spanning 30 projects valued at more than $10 million and resulting in standardized genetic material for more than 200 different biological pathogens culminated in him twice being awarded the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the third-highest award bestowed by the DoD upon members of the United States military. In his current position, he already has been lauded for diagnostic/treatment assessments of ricin, prompting Office of Secretary of Defense policy changes. During his prolific career, Kennedy has served his country in numerous positions, such as Laboratory Flight Commander, Chief of Molecular Biology Branch, Chief of Science Operations, National Laboratory Technical Program Fellow and Science & Technology Manager.

"Patrick has the perfect blend of intellect and practicality which has been displayed in a distinguished military career," said Col. Richard Schoske, DTRA Senior Scientist. "He is a transformational leader that has excelled as a lab administrator, researcher and program manager. He has an innate ability to make others around him better."

Stern received his bachelor of science in mathematics from Texas A&M in 1980 and his doctorate in mathematics from Princeton University in 1984. He joined the Duke University faculty in 1985 as an assistant professor of mathematics and has spent his entire career there, earning promotion to associate professor in 1988 and then to full professor in 1992. He has made fundamental contributions to geometric analysis and mathematical physics, and his work has appeared in many of the world's top journals for both mathematics and physics. A capable administrator as well, Stern has served as both associate department chair and department chair in mathematics.

Stern is widely respected for his willingness and ability to tackle difficult mathematical problems and for creating a broad-based research program at Duke that exhibits remarkable depth, originality and technical prowess. His National Science Foundation-funded research encompasses a unique blend of differential and algebraic geometry as well as quantum field theory and string theory -- a rich mix with primary application to mathematical physics.

Perhaps his most celebrated accomplishment to date is his proof (joint with Leslie D. Saper) of the Zucker conjecture concerning locally symmetric spaces -- a class of spaces important in many parts of mathematics -- and a central question about its topology, a branch of geometry that deals with robust properties of a space and how to detect them. This and other work during this period was published in Annals of Mathematics, Journal of the AMS and Inventiones mathematicae, considered the three top general journals in mathematics, as well as the Journal of Differential Geometry, viewed as the top journal in this field. In the past 15 years, Stern has turned his attention to geometric problems arising in physics, ranging from harmonic theory to string theory and supersymmetry. He has been recognized with both a Sloan Fellowship (1990-92) and a Presidential Young Investigator Award (1989-94).

"I have known Mark since I came to Duke in 2001 and have followed his work with great interest ever since," said Dr. Richard Hain, a fellow professor of mathematics at Duke. "Stern is not a prolific mathematician; rather, he attacks difficult and fundamental problems on which he often makes significant advances. He is an original and deep mathematician who has had to develop new mathematical tools to attack the problems from physics -- work that is important in both mathematics and physics."

Members of the Academy receive a commemorative award and have their names inscribed on a perpetual plaque in the College of Science's Dean's Office.

For more information on the Academy and its previous inductees, visit http://www.science.tamu.edu/giving/adfs.php.


Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Dr. H. Andrew Hansen II, M.D.

  • Lt. Col. Patrick W. Kennedy

  • Dr. Mark A. Stern

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