While waiting to speak to Dr. Ray, the advantages of attending Sul Ross become apparent. Dr. Ray’s attention to detail and dedication to advising the student in his office exemplifies what it means to provide the frontier experience. The advising session closes with words of encouragement and a high-five before the student exits his office feeling empowered for the fall semester. A new EdD graduate of Tarleton’s Educational Leadership program, Dr. Billy Jack Ray first experienced Alpine and the Trans-Pecos in his youth, attending Sul Ross State rodeos with his father. Ray found that these trips led to his ultimate decision to continue his career at Sul Ross’ Alpine campus.
When asked what brought him out to the area, Ray spoke about how his department chair at Tarleton brought up our small school and its uniqueness. After Ray revisited Alpine for the first time since his youth he thought, “Maybe I should be out here, I love this place.” In contrast other areas that Dr. Ray and his wife, Sul Ross Faculty member and previous Frontier View feature Dr. Jennifer Miller, lived, Alpine offers beautiful landscapes, community, and a quick commute.
Ray’s career started in coaching where, he found himself burned out and yearning for a deeper understanding of kinesiology, which opened the door to graduate school. When asked what drove his decision to pursue academia, Ray said, “Realizing the importance of the relationships with the players and students.” Now, as the newest edition to our Sul Ross State Kinesiology Department, Ray emphasized the future importance of focusing on schoolteacher certification, in contrast to the trendier physical therapy track. In addition to his passion for teaching kinesiology, Dr. Ray also generously volunteer coaches for our lobo football team. If you would like to support the Spoon Kinesiology Scholarship fund, or other areas of kinesiology, please click on the link in the email.
by: Sarah Carsrud