NACOGDOCHES, Texas — The Stephen F. Austin State University Division of Student Affairs announced Michalla Byrd of Joaquin, Heath Sharr of Jacksonville, Jay Teamer of Lewisville, and Curtis Tran of Nacogdoches as recipients of this year’s Best of SFA Awards.
“The committee was overwhelmed with the amazing pool of candidates for the awards this year, yet it was clear these students exemplify the SFA spirit and genuine passion for the institution,” said Lacey Folsom, director of Student Engagement. “We were honored to celebrate these individuals and their achievements.”
The awards are given annually to recognize students who excel in the areas of scholarship, participation and leadership in academic and co-curricular activities as well as service and loyalty to the university. These exemplary students are honored during the Lumberjack Achievement Awards Banquet held each spring semester and go on to represent SFA throughout the following academic year.
Byrd is a communication sciences and disorders major. A graduate of Joaquin High School where she was valedictorian, she is the daughter of Teri and Michael Joe Byrd.
She is a Twirl-o-Jack in the Lumberjack Marching Band, a member of the National Student Speech and Language Hearing Association, and a former member of Sigma Phi Lambda. In her spare time, she volunteers at food pantries and sings at nursing homes. She also leads vacation Bible school at the First Baptist Church of Joaquin.
Byrd is a Dean’s List recipient and was voted sweetest Twirl-o-Jack and Twirl-o-Jack of the year by her peers. Upon her graduation in December 2023, Byrd plans to apply for the speech-pathology graduate program at SFA and Baylor University. Her dream is to work as a speech-language pathologist assistant to help children with their speech and language in a supportive environment.
Sharr is a graphic design major with a film minor. He is a Jacksonville High School graduate and the son of Heather and Paul Sharr.
During his time at SFA, Sharr has been involved in Omega Delta Phi Fraternity as the social media chair, historian and social chair. He was a Jack Walker and served as the social media chair for the organization. In addition, he has participated in the American Institute of Graphic Artists, American Advertising Federation and Jack Camp as well as served as the Men’s Volleyball Club president.
Sharr also worked with Campus Recreation for promotions and facilities as a student employee. He plans to work as a full-time employee for Campus Rec upon graduation in May and continue his education at SFA. Sharr hopes to impact the next generation the same way he was impacted by seeing how exciting and interesting the behind-the-scenes work can be.
Teamer is a music education major with a concentration in voice and an art minor with a focus on graphic design. He is a Lewisville High School graduate and the son of Kim and Dwayne Teamer.
Teamer has been a self-employed musician since 2018 and has performed with SFA’s A Cappella Choir, Opera Theatre and Chamber Singers. He’s held several positions at SFA, including stage manager, usher and music theory tutor. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity and served as vice president and music director.
Outside his passion for music, Teamer was involved in SFA Student Engagement as lead content creator; Omega Delta Phi Fraternity as president, vice president, secretary, service chair and fundraising chair; and Multicultural Greek Council as vice president and public relations chair. He also has contributed to Jack Camp, Orientation, Weeks of Welcome, Order of Omega, Jack Walkers and the Student Activities Association.
His academic achievements include being named to the President’s List two times, to the Dean’s List four times, as a Micky Elliott College of Fine Arts Top Scholar for the Undergraduate Research Conference and as a recipient of numerous scholarships.
Upon his graduation from SFA in May, Teamer will continue his education at Oklahoma City University to earn his Master of Music in vocal coaching and work as a graduate student collaborative piano accompanist. His dream jobs include being a teacher to impact upcoming generations using music as a vehicle and being a music director at a theater company to direct musicals and conduct pit orchestras.
Tran is a finance major and Nacogdoches High School graduate. He is the son of Sandy Huynh and Binh Tran.
Tran is a Jack Walker, a member of the Rusche Business Mentor and Mentee Program, and an intern at Oakwood Management. A member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, he has served as the secretary and public relations chair. Tran is the president and founder of the Organization of Asian Excellence, a student organization that promotes education for Asian culture.
Tran served on the Office of Multicultural Affairs’ Presidents Council and was a recipient of the 2023 undergraduate DEI Student Excellence Award. After his graduation in May, he plans to work for Oakwood Management as an asset management associate. His dream job is to be a chief financial officer for a real estate company and help better the community by offering and being able to build homes for all.