Living the Lumberjack Dream

McKaylei Munden

 

April 19,2017

 

Introducing Allison Rand- Hawkins

 

Imagine a world full of joy, laughter and picture that world where the is always a good time to be had. That image in your mind was the world that Allison Rand-Hawkins lived in.

 

Her contagious laugh and loving body language is something that will always play in the minds of her family and friends. Hawkins was always the first to run and give a hug, her family says.

 

Hawkins and SFA

 

Hawkins graduated from Kaufman High School in 1997 and the fall semester, she began her college career at SFA.

 

Hawkins chose SFA campus because of the diversity in the student body and the campus was close enough to home.

 

“She should have graduated from SFA in 2002 but went back later in 2009, 2010,” Bryant Martin, cousin of Hawkins, said.

 

“She was a few credits short when she left school and got a job, and then, eventually, she went back to school,” Martin said.

 

Beyond the campus

 

After leaving SFA, Hawkins received a job at Cargo Kids, which was a furniture store in Dallas that is no longer in business. This job was only a stepping stone for the opportunity that was upon her.

 

Wisteria, a high-end, international catalog company that displays furniture products and home decorations was one of Hawkins proudest accomplishments. Hawkins started our working at the outlet store as a clerk, moved to the called center and then was promoted to a member of the design team.

 

“She worked her way up to visual merchandising, which she did for the catalog,” Martin said. “For all the photoshoots, she would create the scene; sometimes they would do them in studio or on location.”

 

Hawkins was the master-mind behind it all. She picked out the layout of the products to the color of paint on the walls.

 

While working at Wisteria, Hawkins was given the opportunity to travel the world and experience how the designing process works. She was a member of the product development team, where they would travel across the nation, take items to meet with companies making the product to ship it back to the United States to sell in store.

 

“It wasn’t until she went to work for Wisteria, where she literally worked her way up from the bottom and got to travel the world,” Martin said. “After that that job, her health wouldn’t allow her to stay there and that when she went back to school where she met Ben.”

 

Hawkins contributions to MS Society

 

After suffering from symptom of Multiple Sclerosis, Hawkins was unable to travel at such an intensity level, that she decided to return to SFA. Hawkins was officially diagnosed with MS in 2008.

 

Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that captures the nervous system and disrupts the flow of communication between the brain and the body. To learn more about MS, visit http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS.

 

This diagnosis was not an excuse for Hawkins to be down in her spirit, but gave her a bigger reason to help find a cure.

 

Hawkins was a member and a committee chairman of the Yellow Rose Foundation, which raised money to help fund the fight to cure MS.

 

“She was on the Steering Committee and having MS herself, it was really important to her to get involved in the cause,” Martin said. “Her main job was helping to get donors and auction donors and help with décor and centerpieces.”

 

The Yellow Rose Foundation was established in April 1986, after Dee Wynn’s, a Dallas native, diagnosis of MS. This foundation has brought in millions of dollars to fun the research to find a cure for MS.

 

For more information about the foundation and to donate, you can visit www.theyellowrose.org.

 

What would Hawkins say now?

 

Although Hawkins is not here to tell us her fondest memories at while being a student at SFA, her friends and family laugh at the stories that she has shared in the past.

 

“She just fell in love with Nacogdoches, the campus and the people there, it was hard to get her to come back,” Martin said. “I feel like every story starts with ‘do you remember that night at Flashbacks’?”

 

Martin said if there was one thing that she could tell an SFA student, it would be to go to class. As he began to laugh, he said if you go to class, you can’t fail.

 

A big part of Hawkins motivation came from creativity. She could have an outlet and be herself as a student at SFA. She loved art, Martin said and that she embraced others artistic abilities.

 

She loved the adventure and followed things that interest her and would dive into it. She was good about seeing things and recreating things, Martin remembers.

 

“She was a perfect example of not everything you learn is going to be in a classroom, and so you need to embrace opportunities to travel and to learn about different people and different things,” Martin said. “She wasn’t the best student, but she was incredibly smart.”

 

This is McKaylei Munden, reporting for SFASyou.com

 

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