Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kelsie Johnson '10 is putting her T-shirts to good use

Kelsie Johnson ’10 shared her Horned Frog pride — and her extensive collection of TCU shirts — with her class of second graders at the Houston-area school where she is teaching for Teach for America.

Kelsie writes: My classroom theme is the "Fantastic Frogs," allowing me to put all my Frog paraphernalia to good use. Today was College T-shirt Day at my school and my college-bound second graders didn't have T-shirts to wear. Naturally, I put my millions of free TCU shirts to good use and brought all 25 of my students a shirt to wear today.

Kelsie was the TCU student body president last year.

According to the organization’s website, Teach For America's network has grown to over 28,000 individuals. They are one of the nation’s largest providers of teachers for low-income communities, and have been recognized for building a pipeline of leaders committed to educational equity and excellence.

The 2010 corps is made up of more than 4,500 recent college graduates, graduate students, and professionals from all 50 states, over 500 colleges and universities, and a variety of career backgrounds.

This school year, more than 8,200 first- and second-year corps members are working to raise the achievement and change the life trajectories of over 500,000 students in low-income communities.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Smoke signals for Jacob Nussrallah ’07

When 1st Lt. Jacob Nussrallah ’07, a platoon leader with the 118th Military Police Company (Airborne), was in Afghanistan this year for a re-deployment as a mentor and evaluator, he had the Horned Frogs on his mind.

“At the end of the training, I had extra purple smoke and wanted a picture showing my support to Texas Christian University,” he says.

Nussrallah is now an operations officer for the 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, N.C., The smoke was used as simulators for artillery and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

“It is certainly an interesting life choice when you decide to go into the Army and commission as an officer,” Nussrullah says. “I want to thank all the Horned Frogs that sent care packages to me and my troops while we were down range and I look forward to visiting TCU again.”

Nussrullah says you may write to him at

Monday, October 4, 2010

Adam Marr '06 flying Apaches, cheering the Frogs

U.S. Army Capt. Adam Marr ’06 exchanged emails with us from his deployment in Taji, Iraq, where he is an AH64-D Apache helicopter pilot in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn — and a proud TCU Horned Frog fan. (That’s Marr with his ride and TCU flag.)

An ROTC cadet at TCU, Marr is now an aviation captain with the 1-1 Attack Reconnassaince Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infintry Division out of Fort Riley Kan.

He took some time to answer some questions with the magazine via email.

What duties do you have in Iraq? Briefly describe your day-to-day service?
I just finished up my time as a Platoon Leader in Alpha Company. I have since moved on to work as the Battalion S4 or Supply and Logistics Officer in addition to my pilot duties. We have currently been deployed to Taji, Iraq, since March 15th. A typical day involves waking up an hour or two prior to our Operations and Intelligence briefing, where I find out what mission I will be supporting that day. Then I grab a quick bite to eat and head down to the flight line to prepare, go through preflight and posture myself for the mission. We then go out and fly a multitude of missions that include (but are not limited to) route reconnasiance, Convoy Security, aerial escort, counter-IED, counter-indirect fire, special ops missions, and humanitarian aid drops. It’s typically about six hours in the sky. Then we return to Taji and do our post-mission debrief, maintain the aircraft, fill out the logbooks and maintenance trackers. After that, it’s time to eat again at the dinning facility, where the food is pretty good but certainly doesn’t compare to a good ol’ Texas steak.

Obviously, you're a Frog fan. Do you get to follow the team over there? Listen to games? See highlights online?
I attended TCU from 2002-2006 where I participated in ROTC as well as being a Lambda Chi Alpha. I have an enormous amount of school spirit. My favorite pen that is always on my uniform is a plastic TCU pen that I bought at the TCU bookstore last summer, and I use it every day. Ed Adams ’03 is stationed with my unit as well. He was a senior in ROTC when I was a freshman and now flies UH60s (Blackhawks). He currently Commands Alpha Company 3-1,1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division out of Fort Riley Kan. We are both huge Frog fans and talk almost every other day about the Frogs’ recent wins and upcoming opponents, as well as how much we hope Boise State loses each week.

What made you decide to serve your country in the Army?
When I was a senior at Grapevine High School, I applied to one school and one school only — TCU. It was the only place I wanted to go. When I found out about the ROTC Program I couldn’t believe what an amazing opportunity was in front of me. I managed to get school paid for at one of the finest most prestigious private schools, while growing and developing in preparation for my time in the Army. What initially started as a way to fund my education turned into a profound desire and sense of obligation to our Armed Forces. The true reward for me is the soldiers I work with — the sons and daughters of America. Everyday they show me something new and great, that they are capable of anything. I am truly humbled to serve and cannot think of a more rewarding more personally gratifying occupation than helping to protect our families, freedoms and way of life. Flying the Apache isn’t that bad either. Go Frogs!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Premier Frogs rub elbows with Coach P

It's always tailgating time somewhere!

Back in May, Karen Pfeifer Mullins '96 and Stephanie Mills Matthews '00 stole a few minutes for a photo with football coach Gary Patterson, who spoke to a new alumni group called Premier Frogs (30s and 40s). Patterson talked up the team and the surging season ticket sales.

Meanwhile, alumni munched on Frog-themed cookies and sampled food from nearly a dozen high-end vendors. Other guests toured the Meyer-Martin Complex, including its suites, and sampled gourmet morsels from Fort Worth Chefs.

Music was provided by the TCU Steel Drum Band and Trey and the Tritones.

"We had a frog-filled fun night with fellow alumni," said Karen. "We're ready for football season and tailgating!"