neighbors notes

LSU DOCTORAL STUDENT HONORED: The Literacy Research Association has selected Leah Katherine Saal, a doctoral candidate in the LSU School of Education, to receive the 2012 J. Michael Parker Award for Contributions to Adult Literacy Research for her paper, “I’m Still a Slave: A Literacy Lesson from an Adult ‘Burgeoning’ Reader.”

Criteria for consideration of the award included “research capable of making a significant contribution to theory and/or practice of adult learning and instruction, methodology appropriate to the research question, and of significant rigor and implications that the research is of a scope needed to impact the field.”

William R. Muth, chairman of the LRA J. Michael Parker Award Committee and associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, informed Saal on behalf of the committee that her study was “thought-provoking and having great potential to push the field of adult literacy.”

Saal received her award at the plenary session at the LRA Conference on Nov. 28.

TWO RECEIVE CAVANAUGH SCHOLARSHIPS: Mark Abshire, of Breaux Bridge, and Philip McMahon, of Houma, have been named recipients of the 2012 Stephen W. Cavanaugh Scholarship. Each will receive the $8,000 scholarship over a four-year period.

Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Corp. established the scholarship fund in 2006 in honor of Cavanaugh’s leadership and lasting contributions to the insurance industry in Louisiana. He was LWCC’s chief executive officer from the company’s inception in 1992 until 2006, the year he died.

A 2012 honor graduate of Cecilia High School, Abshire was a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. Abshire competed on the Cecilia High football and baseball teams, and he served as Student Council president in 2010 and 2011, and vice president in 2012. He is enrolled at LSU, where he plans to study general business.

A Vandebilt Catholic High School graduate, McMahon was a member of Future Leaders of America’s Gulf. He served on the organization’s advisory board and hosted and produced a bimonthly segment giving nonpartisan youthful insight into Louisiana issues. He was a member of the National Honor Society and the Vandebilt Catholic varsity tennis and bowling teams, and is a recipient of the Bishop Maurice Schexnayder Award, the highest honor given to a Vandebilt student athlete. He is enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he plans to study insurance and risk management.

The scholarship fund, administered by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, provides financial assistance to deserving Louisiana students who are majoring in an insurance-related field at a Louisiana university, college or community college.

WILES RECEIVES CLINICAL SCIENCE AWARD: Michael Wiles, of Norman, Okla., son of Andy and Rhonda Wiles, of Baton Rouge, was recently honored with the First Year Clinical Science Award at Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tenn. The award recognizes a student demonstrating outstanding skills in clinical studies.

“Neighbors Notes” is published every Tuesday in the People section. Send items to “Neighbors Notes,” The Advocate, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or fax information to (225) 388-0351 or email to people@theadvocate.com. Deadline is Tuesday at noon of each week for the following Tuesday.