Learn how to create a 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight nomination profile here!
Each year, The Association of Former Students’ 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight recognizes 12 Aggies who have graduated within the past 12 years for their outstanding accomplishments in business, civic service and philanthropy, and for representing Texas A&M’s core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect, and selfless service.
The 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight was conceived by the Young Alumni Advisory Council, a body of young former students who advise The Association’s staff on matters related to young alumni programming and communications.
These Aggies were selected for the 2019 Young Alumni Spotlight. We congratulate these young men and women on their accomplishments, and thank them for their outstanding representation of Texas A&M University and the Aggie Spirit.
These 12 were honored Nov. 17 at Young Alumni Weekend in Aggieland. See photos from the event here.
Jordan Stapley '05 is an attorney and major in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He has worked as a prosecutor, criminal defense attorney, deployed operational law attorney, expert criminal litigator and training officer and Brigade Judge Advocate. He has prosecuted and defended cases from suspected espionage to high-profile defendants and homicides, and has provided legal guidance to commanders in the fight against ISIS. He is currently pursuing a Master of Laws from The Judge Advocate General's Legal Center and School.
Chris Psencik '06 is vice president of McFarlin Stanford, LLC, a landscape consulting firm, where he works to help businesses grow in the green industry while developing company culture. While director of development operations at Southern Botanical, Inc., he led the team that generated the highest revenue and profit in the company’s 20-year history, which was recognized among SMU Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies for three consecutive years. He has been recognized and received numerous landscaping awards.
Natalie Campos Goodman '06 is the founder of IncentiFind, Inc., a national database of green incentives for residential and commercial real estate, the first such comprehensive database. Her startup connects property owners to incentives when they incorporate green measures on their projects, facilitating millions in savings. For her impact through IncentiFind, she was named to the prestigious Vanguard Fellows and among Women to Watch 2017 by the Houston Business Journal.
Rachel Gleischman '06 is a White House Fellow working at the Department of Defense. After serving as a special assistant to the deputy secretary of defense, she transitioned to become the acting chief of staff to the under secretary for personnel and readiness. She focuses on reform initiatives within the department that impact military readiness, health affairs, personnel management and other quality of life matters for servicemembers. To contribute locally, she serves on the board of the Capital Pride Alliance in Washington, D.C., among other service endeavors.
Jorge “Neto” Leal ’06 is the chief operating officer at Laredo Medical Center; he is responsible for overall operations of the facility, including its 326-bed Lead Level III Trauma Center. Under his leadership, his team established a cancer infusion center and an employed a physician cancer team to enhance local access to cancer care. He has served on various state and national boards addressing hospital management and previously served in the inaugural class of the Young Alumni Advisory Council.
Chris Buckner '07 is the co-founder and CEO of FanReact and Mainline.GG, two Houston-based startups that create social content management systems for affinity groups in traditional sports, esports and the small/medium business markets, including website TheOther98.com. He also co-founded Cannon Ventures, an angel investor network in Houston, Come & Take It Apparel, and cohosts “The FanReact Hour,” a nationally syndicated radio show on SB Nation Radio. He is a Class Agent and served in the inaugural class of the Young Alumni Advisory Council.
Melissa Abel '07 has worked in finance at Chevron since graduating from A&M, most recently as a financial forecast and reporting analyst. She lives out the Aggie core values by spending much of her time on philanthropic work including serving as a court-appointed child advocate and volunteering at SEARCH Homeless Services, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and Family Legacy, which serves orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia. She is a member of the Junior League of Houston and serves at the Houston Food Bank as the JLH chair.
Sonia Moghe '07 is a CNN producer who has worked in TV journalism covering national and international stories since she earned her degree from Texas A&M. She has covered stories from family separations at the Texas/Mexico border to Hurricane Harvey and the opioid crisis. She gives back to her alma mater by mentoring current Aggie students who are pursuing careers in journalism. She has volunteered as a guest lecturer at Hunter College and The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where she earned her M.S.
Conner Prochaska '07 was appointed by President Donald Trump to serve as senior advisor and chief of staff of the Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Department of Energy where he manages day-to-day operations and provides strategic leadership. Prior to joining ARPA-E, Prochaska was senior vice president and associate general counsel at First Capital Investment Corp., and an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy, obtaining the rank of lieutenant. He currently serves as an A&M Class Agent.
Masroor Fatany '08 is the CEO of AYG Food Services, which facilitates The Halal Guys franchise in Houston. He was previously the CEO of Sears Garage Solutions in the greater Houston area. He launched both as well, leading the Sears franchise to be the third largest and his Halal Guys franchise to be the second highest grossing in the U.S. He gives back by providing meals to those in need via Second Servings and works to increase employment opportunities in his community.
Sally Kolenda '08 is the director of external affairs for BP, leading the energy company’s engagement with key stakeholders across the U.S. She has been selected to numerous elite leadership programs with the Aspen Institute and Council on Foreign Relations, and volunteers in many capacities, including serving on the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute advisory board, on the front lines in Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey and on medical mission trips to Guatemala, as a core team member for Kingdom Life Ministries.
Sam Xu '11 is the head of oil and gas investment banking at CohnReznick Capital Market Securities and has worked to establish an overarching advisory strategy for the firm. He has been recognized numerous times for his work, including being named “30 under 30 in Energy 2017” by Forbes and “30 under 40 in Energy 2016” by Oil and Gas Investor. Xu said he works to provide networking opportunities for and to recruit more Aggies into the intersection of engineering and finance.
Please use the links below to access profiles of previous honorees:
2018 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight Recipients
2017 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight Recipients
2016 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight Recipients
2015 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight Recipients
2014 12 Under 12 Young Alumni Spotlight Recipients