Friday, May 30, 2014

Gavia Named One of Nine Regents' Alumni Award Recipients

David Gavia, holding the Regents' Alumni Award, stands with President David L. Boren and members of the OU Board of Regents.
Nine exceptional University of Oklahoma alumni and friends received Regents’ Alumni Awards for their dedication and service to OU in a ceremony on May 9, on the Norman campus.

Gavia, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2000, is the sole holder of two U.S. patents and the co-inventor on three patents, all related to drill bit technology. He has been published twice by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

A walk-on member of the Sooner cross country team for two years, Gavia studied abroad at Polytechnic University in Valencia, Spain,  was a member of the Multicultural Engineering Program and an officer of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Professionally, Gavia was instrumental in encouraging Baker Hughes, where he serves as product manager of drill bits in the North America region, to sponsor mechanical engineering capstone projects, and has served as a mentor to teams for two years. He has participated on the Baker Hughes Campus Champions team for OU and regularly engages in recruiting and interviewing activities. A true ambassador for OU, Gavia regularly uses social media to share Sooner success stories, ensuring new audiences have access to the great work of OU students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Gavia serves as a member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board on Diversity and Inclusion, currently on the external relations committee. Dedicated to guiding and encouraging students through their pursuit of an engineering degree, he spends countless hours mentoring and coaching students in person and virtually. He and his wife, Jennifer, have supported OU through a number of initiatives, including establishing a Multicultural Engineering Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students from underrepresented groups in the College of Engineering.

Presented by the OU Board of Regents and OU Alumni Association, the Regents’ Alumni Award honors the important roles of OU alumni and supporters to the life of the university. A committee formed by the Alumni Association selects the award recipients from nominations made by alumni, friends, and OU faculty and staff. Each year’s recipients receive a plaque and their names are engraved on a permanent plaque in Oklahoma Memorial Union.

Three Inducted Into the Distinguished Graduate Society During May Convocation

From left, Alan Armstrong, Dean Thomas L. Landers, Anil Gollahalli and Charles Richard "Dick" Sivalls.
Alan Armstrong
Alan Armstrong graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

He is the president and chief executive officer of Williams, as well as chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Williams Partners L.P. Since joining Williams in 1986, his notable career has included previous appointments as president of Williams’ midstream and olefins businesses in North America, vice president of gathering and processing, vice president of commercial development, vice president of retail energy services, and director of commercial operations for Williams’ midstream business in the Gulf Coast region.

Armstrong served as a board member and past chairman of the OU College of Engineering’s Board of Visitors. He is committed to education and community service, and serves on the boards of directors of several education and community-focused organizations including Junior Achievement USA, Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, Teach for America – Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Business Education Coalition and the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s executive committee as the vice chair of economic development. He is also on the boards of The Williams Foundation and the Philbrook Museum of Art.

Armstrong lives in Tulsa with his wife Shelly, and their children Caitlin, Claire, Jarret and Gabrielle.

Anil Gollahalli
Anil Gollahalli graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. In 2000, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School.

Gollahalli serves as the University of Oklahoma vice president and general counsel. Within that role, he is also counsel for the OU Board of Regents, and is responsible for the legal matters of all OU campuses, Cameron University and Rogers State University.

His past appointments at OU include vice president and associate vice president for technology development, assistant general counsel and fellow in the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth. He has taught classes at the university in both the College of Law and the Price College of Business. Before returning to OU, Gollahalli worked in the field of litigation and intellectual property law.
Gollahalli is involved in Leadership Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and the Oklahoma Venture Forum. He is a board member of Oklahoma Youth in Government, and sits on the community investment committee of the United Way of Norman. Among his many awards and commendations, Gollahalli was a recipient of the “Forty under Forty” award by OKC Business in 2006 and “Achiever Under Forty” by the Journal Record in 2009.

Gollahalli lives in Norman with his wife and children.

Charles Richard “Dick” Sivalls
Dick Sivalls graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree with distinction in mechanical engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer and a Fellow with the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Sivalls is the president and chief executive officer of Sivalls, Inc., and has been employed with the company since 1959. Under his leadership, Sivalls, Inc. has grown to be a major lease surface equipment supplier worldwide. He is also the president of Control Equipment, Inc. and Tectrol, Inc., both in Odessa, Texas.

In addition to being a leader in his field, Sivalls has authored more than 40 technical papers on oil and gas production and processing equipment design, and has taught short courses on gas processing and oil treating practices at the University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University. As a young man, he served a brief stint in the U.S. Army.

Sivalls has held multiple leadership posts in many civic organizations including the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Odessa Industrial Development Corp, Odessa Rotary Club and other local organizations. He is an active lay leader in his church.

He lives in Odessa, Texas, with his wife, Lura Jo. He has a son and daughter and three grandchildren.

In 1990, the College of Engineering established the Distinguished Graduates Society to honor our most accomplished alumni. Selection is based upon prominent and distinguished professional or technical achievement, notable public service, outstanding contribution to and support of education, honors of election in organizations and other contributions to the engineering profession.
Membership in the society affords the public acknowledgment and recognition befitting administration, faculty and students of the College of Engineering at the University Convocation.
We welcome the 2014 members of the College of Engineering Distinguished Graduates