April 7, 2005
Four MUW alumnae to receive achievement awards
By Jill D. O’Bryant
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Four Mississippi University for Women
alumnae will receive Alumni Achievement Awards during
the university’s Homecoming convocation on Saturday,
Recipients are P. Sanders McNeal of Jackson, Barbara B.
Travis of Flowood and Dr. Anne Brantley Wright of
Bethesda, Md. Tatia Long Kiser of Winter Springs, Fla.,
will receive the Young Alumni Achievement Award.
McNeal, a 1971 graduate of MUW, has been painting
professionally for more than 30 years. Her portraits,
landscapes and still lifes are included in many
prestigious public and private collections and have been
featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions
throughout the United States, including New York, Dallas
and New Orleans, and in France and Ireland.
She has received many honors for her work, including the
1999 Governor’s Artist Achievement Award for Excellence
in the Visual Arts, and she was selected as a Power of
One honoree for the Mississippi Woman `99 Conference.
In 2004, she was commissioned to do a painting for the
60th anniversary of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and
in 2002 she did a commissioned mural in the Union
Station in Jackson. She was the first commissioned
artist for the Jackson Arts and Music Festival’s 10
painting series with her painting “The Rehearsal,” which
now hangs in Thalia Mara Hall.
In addition to receiving a bachelor of fine arts from
MUW, she also has studied in New York, France, Italy and
Ireland. She also is a recognized scenic designer and
A 1970 graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English,
Travis currently serves as the executive director of the
Mississippi World Trade Center, a position she has held
since 2001. She also is the president of MarketLynx
Consulting, which focuses on corporate and community
marketing, public relations, economic and community
development and organizational effectiveness.
Previous positions she has held is corporate training
and development at WorldCom, executive director of
Rankin First Economic Development Authority and
community assistance manager of the Mississippi
Department of Economic and Community Development.
Travis, who also earned a master’s degree in English
from Mississippi State University, is very involved in
her community including being the 2002 mayoral appointee
to the Flowood Public Library Advisory Board, serving as
president and on committees for the Rankin County Rotary
Club and being a member of the Mississippi Manufacturers
Association, the Professional Women’s Association and
the Metro Jackson Salvation Army Advisory Board.
She was named by the Mississippi Business Journal as one
of the 50 Leading Businesswomen in Mississippi for 1999.
Wright is the special assistant for language testing in
the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for
Personnel and Readiness on behalf of the National
Security Agency (NSA), an agency within the U.S.
She also has served as a NSA visiting professor at the
Defense Language Institute in Monterey, Calif., NSA’s
director of professional development, director of
training evaluation, technical director of the National
Cryptologic School and an NSA Legislative Fellow for
Foreign Relations on Senior Robert Dole’s Republican
Prior to beginning her government service in 1981, she
was the academic provost at the University of LaVerne
(California) Residence Center in the Republic of the
Philippines, taught on the secondary and university
levels in California, Mississippi and Virginia, and
founded a classical concert series in Monterey, Calif.
In addition to receiving a bachelor of music degree from
MUW in 1965, she earned a master of music degree and a
doctorate in adult education from the University of
Kiser, who is currently a stay-at-home mom for two small
children, earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from
MUW in 1994. She also has a master’s degree in business
administration from Millsaps College.
Her career experience includes being the senior
accountant at AT&T Wireless in Jackson, accounting
manager for Ewing Irrigation Products in Phoenix, Ariz.,
and other accounting positions in Arizona and Florida.
She was very involved in campus activities when she was
a student at The W, such as serving as the Student
Government Association president and being a member of
many campus organizations.
This MUW student involvement has carried over to alumni
involvement. She has held several positions on the
National Alumni Board, was active in the Jackson Metro
Chapter and has participated in many recruitment
To be given for the 24th year, the purpose of the Alumni
Achievement Awards is to recognize alumni who have made
significant contributions in time, effort and loyalty to
their country, their state and/or MUW with special
consideration given to those who have served the
university through the MUW Alumni Association, a local
MUW alumni chapter, the MUW Foundation or all three.
For more information about MUW’s Homecoming, please
contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (662)