Three distinguished alumni honored
Brent Bost, Rena Clark and Sina Nejad have been selected as the 2014 Lamar University Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients. The Distinguished Alumni Awards are the highest awards presented by Lamar University to its alumni.
Award honorees are selected annually by a committee of the Lamar University Alumni Advisory Board. Eligible candidates must be graduates of Lamar University, distinguished in their chosen professions or life work, and persons of such integrity, stature and demonstrated ability that the university community will take pride in and be inspired by their recognition. They must also recognize the importance of their educations at Lamar and their interest and loyalty in the university must be evident.
Brent W. Bost is a board-certified specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, who is the co-founder and vice president of Southeast Texas OB/GYN Associates, PA. He earned five degrees from Lamar University; bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology in 1978, a bachelor of business administration in accounting in 1992, a master of business administration in 1996, and a second bachelor of business administration in economics in 1997. Bost is a graduate of the Baylor College of Medicine, where he was student body president, earning his M.D. in 1981. He received specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
Named one of the Best Doctors in America by his colleagues, Bost has published papers in obstetrics, gynecologic surgery, health care financing and social security reform. He has presented his findings at national meetings of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. The author of two books, The Hurried Woman and The Hurried Woman Syndrome, he explains how women can overcome the physical and emotional fallout of living in a hurry-up world. Bost is also the founder and president of Pathfinder Management Systems, a company that offers management and personal financial planning.
"My decision to come to Lamar is what got me into medical school” Bost said. “And, after serving on the Admissions Committee at Baylor College of Medicine, I'm convinced that this is true. Lamar gave me the foundation I needed to succeed in Medicine and has provided an invaluable resource to continue my education -- in many fields -- through the years. If I had it to do all over again, I would choose Lamar University in a heartbeat."
Currently the medical staff president at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital, Bost is also an assistant clinical professor of Ob/Gyn at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. A member of the board of directors of the Beaumont Community Players and CordTrack Corporation, he is a past president of the LU Alumni Advisory Board and served on the executive committee of the Lamar University Foundation. Bost currently sits on the Lamar University College of Business Advisory Board and is an adjunct instructor in the College of Business.
Bost's oldest children are both physicians-in-training, while his two youngest sons are still college undergraduates. Amanda has a year left on a Neonatology Fellowship in Houston, Neal is in Los Angeles doing a radiology residency, Stephen is working on an allied health degree in Austin and Thomas is studying hospitality management at LU.
Rena Clark graduated from Lamar University with honors in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. She was very active on campus, serving as a math and engineering tutor and president and vice president of the Lamar chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. She participated in the College of Engineering co-op program, with assignments at Texaco Chemical and Union 76.
Clark began her professional career with General Electric in the company’s two-year Manufacturing Management Program where she had four six-month assignments in manufacturing at GE Major Appliance, GE Factory Automation and GE Flight Simulation and Controls. In 1990, Clark received her master of business administration from the Harvard Business School, after which she accepted a position as a management consultant with Bain & Company in Boston. She soon returned to the Harvard Business School as director and chief operating officer of the MBA program.
Returning to her industrial roots in 1995, Clark entered the world of private equity as chief executive officer for a portfolio company. She led a large distressed commercial printing company’s successful turnaround that eventually led to the firm’s purchase by a strategic acquirer. From 1999 – 2001, Clark led a division of a large international corporation in the specialty chemicals sector and created a profitable stand-alone operating company.
In 2003, she joined The Kraft Group, owners of a group of industrial companies and the National Football League’s New England Patriots, as the group’s vice president of philanthropy and community affairs. Clark joined GenNx360 Capital Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in companies engaged in the industrial sector, in 2007. Today, she is a GenNx360 partner focusing on deal sourcing, transaction execution, portfolio company performance and fundraising.
For 25 years, Clark’s commitment to volunteerism and community service has not wavered. She has served as trustee or overseer for a number of non-profit organizations in and around Boston including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium. She is an overseer for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston and a trustee at the Chestnut Hill School and Lasell College. She also chairs the board of GenNx360 Charitable Foundation.
Clark is an active supporter of the College of Engineering and the Dr. Richard L. Price Scholarship in Engineering, Math and Science. She also served on the Mechanical Engineering Advisory Council.
"I am eternally grateful for my time at Lamar and to all of the folks there who played a role in shaping an incredible educational experience. From Dr. Richard Price, who I have known since I was nine years old and who recruited me to Lamar and whose classroom I had the honor of experiencing, to Dr. Otto Brown, Dean Fred Young, Eugene Martinez and others”, said Clark
“As a result of all of their influences, I left Lamar with not only the confidence instilled in me by my parents that I could be anything I could imagine, but also with a profound sense that I was prepared for anything.”
Clark became a mom on March 2, 2005, with the birth of Sydney Eliza Grace. They enjoy an active life in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston and are dedicated members of Bethel AME Church, where Clark is a trustee and member of the finance committee.
Sina Nejad is the founder and president of Sigma Engineers, Inc. He received two degrees in civil engineering from Lamar University, a bachelor’s degree in 1980 and master’s degree in 1981. Nejad is the first engineer from Southeast Texas to be appointed to the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and one of only 22 engineers approved to engage in the practice of architecture by the Texas Board of Architecture.
Nejad is a member of numerous state and national professional societies including the Texas Board of Professional Engineers, a charter member of the Structural Engineering Institute, founding member of the Architectural Engineering Institute, and is the past president of the Sabine Chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers. He was named Engineer of the Year in 2008.
His community involvement includes serving as the chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Building Code Board of Adjustment & Appeals for the city of Beaumont and service on the Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital Advisory Board. Nejad is a member and the past president of the Symphony of Southeast Texas, past president and member of the board of directors of the Anayat House, and former board member of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce. He was honored as the Small Business Person of the Year in 2004 by the Beaumont chamber.
“Lamar University has a special place in my heart,” said Nejad. “When I graduated with my engineering degree, I started work immediately and had absolutely no deficiency in performing my work as a young engineer. I knew all my duties and designs as I had learned them at Lamar, a tribute to the great training I received from the engineering professors. Men like Prof. Luther Beal and Dr. Morgan molded us into forward thinking and practical engineers. Those of us who graduated from Lamar were well ahead of young graduates from other schools.”
A very involved LU alumnus, Nejad is a member of the Lamar University Civil Engineering Advisory Council and sits on the Lamar University Foundation Board of Directors. He has hosted A Dinner & 12 Strangers and A Dinner & Conversation for Lamar University engineering students, sharing his insights and career advice with future engineers. Nejad is also an active member of Friends of the Arts and the Mirabeau Society. One of his more unusual contributions to the university was designing the replica “gusher” oil derrick for the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum.
He is married to Soheila Nejad, who is the acting chief financial officer for their company. They have two children, a daughter, Layla, who is a college science major and a son, Amir, who is studying neuroscience.
The awards ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the University Reception Center on the eighth floor of the Mary and John Gray Library on Friday, Feb. 21. Tickets for the event are $50 and reservations are required by Feb. 7. For more information about the Lamar University Distinguished Alumni Awards, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 409-880-8921 or Alumni@Lamar.edu.