Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Snow wonder for Amber Ramsey '07

The massive snow storms that blew across the country this winter spurred this creative Horned Frog to create her own blood spitting mascot with the white stuff on Christmas day. Amber Ramsey '07 lives in Decatur, Texas, and teaches fourth grade.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Ralph Diamond ’98, a football walk-on-turned-firefighter, is still fired up about TCU

Ralph Diamond ’98 may just be lucky, but more likely he’s very good at recognizing opportunity — and working very hard.

For example, as a member of a Six-Man football team at a small Christian school in east Fort Worth, Diamond never considered playing “real” football. But with encouragement from family friend and former Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson, Diamond walked on to the TCU team and eventually earned a letter.

After graduation, with plans to pursue a doctorate in psychology, Diamond headed to a job fair, thinking he’d work temporarily as a teacher. Instead, he was drawn to the table manned by firefighters.

“Firefighting was something I always respected as a profession,” he says. “The more I learned about it, the more I knew that’s what I wanted to do.”

Today, Diamond is a lieutenant with the Fort Worth Fire Department, and studying for the captain’s exam — a task more difficult than any he encountered at TCU.

“The hardest I’ve had to study for any test, ever, was my promotional exams for the fire department,” he says. “When I was promoted to engineer, I studied for about a year.”

Diamond says he lucked into one of the best — and most progressive — fire departments in the country. “We’ve got new engines, new equipment, younger leadership.

“Fort Worth has it all: hazmat, swift water rescue, a bomb squad, high-angle rescue, arson investigation,” he says. “There are so many aspects you can get into, and there is always training you can do.”

As a member of Texas Task Force 1, Diamond works with other fire departments and the military. He was part of the first team to arrive in Corpus Christie when hurricane Ike slashed through South Texas. “It’s really encouraging and cool to help and serve with those people,” he says.

Diamond, who lives in Fort Worth with wife Christie, who is a Registered Nurse, and their three kids, Jordan, 13; Pierce 8; and Kai, 5, has proudly sported a TCU sticker on his fire-fighter helmet for the past eight years.

“The life experiences at TCU, playing at Amon Carter and flying around the country to play, really were wonderful,” he says.

“And now I have an awesome, awesome job. I really get fulfillment from doing this.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Buckle up for TCU

Since 1995, Russ and Claudia Stromberg have been churning out high-end, Western-styled jewelry at their “Rewards” store in Austin. Among the 14-karat and sterling silver items were belt buckles and cuff links and more for fans of “big” Texas universities.

But this fall, they were inundated with a new request: Where’s the TCU stuff?

“TCU was really too small for us to bother with,” Russ said. “But right before the bowl game, lots of people were asking for it. So we got right on it.”

They sold every TCU buckle they could make during the holidays, and still can barely keep up with the demand for the hand-forged, hand-crafted buckles.

As a licensed retailer for TCU, the university gets a royalty from each TCU item purchased.

Order online at, or visit the Austin Rewards store at 9722 Great Hills Trail, Suite 300, Austin, Texas. Or call them at 800.292.019.

Friday, March 12, 2010

For Steven Tabat '96, it's duty first in Iraq

U.S. Army Major Steven Tabat '96 is finishing up his deployment Baghdad, Iraq as a part of a Transition Team working with the Iraqi Federal Police. Maj. Tabat is the team executive officer and the operations advisor to a 3,300-man Iraqi Mechanized Federal Police Brigade operating in the Baghdad area.

"I am responsible for advising my Iraqi counterpart in the preparation of all orders, plans, and training programs as well as provide advice and assistance for the development of operations," Tabat explains. "I spend a lot of time assisting with coordination for and employment of U.S. assets (air, civil affairs, engineer, medical, etc). I provide advice and mentoring to all levels of Iraqi leadership during the conduct of combat operations and ensure that operations remain consistent with overall Counter Insurgency goals. From a purely U.S. Army position, I am responsible for the planning, organization, training and maintenance of a 10-man transition team during combat operations."

His wife and fellow Frog Angela (Leftwich) Tabat '96 and their three sons, Nyle, Riley, and Jack are enjoying their time in San Diego and waiting on his return.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Skydiving for her 40th birthday

Laura Carmichael Bozeman '92 did a tandem skydiving jump for her 40th birthday, proudly wearing a TCU shirt.

Bozeman lives in Waikele, Hawaii, and is a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel stationed at Fort Shafter. Her military specialty is Human Resources.

Bozeman graduated from TCU in 1992 and was commissioned in the Army through the TCU Army ROTC program. "Since I never went to Airborne School, I always wondered what it would be like to jump out of a plane," she said. "A tandem skydive for my 40th birthday seemed like a great way to experience the thrill. I had a great time!"

Watch an 8-minute video of her jump is at