Community column for May 23, 2014

Rhodes honors Webber for selfless service

Landon Webber, of Baton Rouge, was one of three recipients of the 2014 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards at Rhodes College’s commencement exercises on May 10. The awards are presented annually to two graduating seniors and one non-student who have given selflessly to others and the college.

Webber graduated with a bachelor of arts in political science. His passion for education reform and his work through the Rhodes Institute for Regional Studies led him to work directly with the Shelby County School District, researching curriculum development and creating performance evaluation rubrics for non-instructional district staff.

Webber created a comprehensive list of service site opportunities available to students desiring to do service work. A nominator said he “often gives more effort than is required.” Another wrote, “Landon Webber exemplifies the qualities of love, service to mankind, and nobility of character that define the recipients of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award.”

Speaking contest winners announced

The National Christian Forensics and Communications Association held its Region VII speaking competition April 30-May 3 at Zoar Baptist Church in Central.

Top finishers were: Team Policy, first, Rebecca Samelson and Josh Webb; second, Seth Lichlyter and Nathan Ward; Lincoln Douglas, first, Chris Absher; second, Shane Roberts; After Dinner Speaking, first, Shane Roberts, second, Bailey Shelton; Apologetics, first, Chandler Pearson, second, James Lewis; Duo Interpretation, first, Christopher Roberts and Shane Roberts; second, Gabrielle Gremillion and Patrick Gremillion; Extemporaneous, first, Chandler Pearson; second, Chris Absher; Humorous Interpretation, first, Anna Jolibois; second, Savannah Hottel; Illustrated Oratory, first, Drew Albritton; second, J.P. Schumacher; Impromptu, Rebecca Samuelson; second, Bailey Shelton; Informative Speaking, Shane Roberts, Chandler Pearson; Open Interpretation, first, Cody Dedon; second, Savannah Rigby; Persuasive Speaking, first, Abbey Lovett, Chandler Pearson; Thematic Interpretation, first, Steven Krueger; second, Mikayla Simpson; Individual Events Sweepstakes, Chandler Pearson; second, Bailey Shelton; Team Policy Speaker, first, Josh Webb; second, Peter Poythress; Lincoln Douglas Speaker, first, Shane Roberts; second, Isaac Lies.

First Sgt. Halley retires from Army Reserves

First Sgt. Lindsey Duplechain Halley retired from the United States Army Reserves on May 5 after 28 years of service.

Halley, daughter of Lloyd and the late Lucy Duplechain of Church Point, lives in Lafayette with her fiancĂ©, Terry Bourne. She is the mother of Mia Alisha-Rose Halley. She is a 1975 graduate of Church Point High School, and received a bachelor’s degree in multidisciplinary studies from Grantham University in 2010, and a master’s degree in performance improvement from Grantham in 2013.

Halley served tours of duty in Kuwait and Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from August 2005 through November 2006 and March 2008 through May 2009.

Her awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal. Halley has been recommended for the Legion of Merit award upon her retirement.

Employer Support honors CB&I, Vanzant

CB&I, an engineering and construction company, and employee Albert Vanzant received an Above and Beyond Award from Louisiana Employer Support of the Guard in recognition of extraordinary support of its employees who serve or served in the Guard, Reserve or are veterans.

Vanzant is a military recruiter for CB&I who works to hire Guard, Reserve, veterans or their spouses. Also, he is command sergeant major for the Louisiana Army National Guard 2-108th Calvary Troop in Shreveport. Company-wide, CB&I has hired more than 2,000 veterans in the past year, said Louisiana ESGR Chair John Pugh.

A ceremony presenting the award was held May 5 at the CB&I offices in Baton Rouge. CB&I senior executives signed a statement demonstrating their support for the Guard and Reserve.

For information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call (800) 336-4590 or visit ESGR.mil.

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Compiled by Advocate staff writer George Morris. The “Community” column runs every Tuesday and Friday in The Advocate. Items should be submitted to “Community,” Advocate eatplaylive section, P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821, or emailed to people@theadvocate.com. Events should be submitted in a timely fashion. By submitting photos to The Advocate, you agree that they can be published in any of The Advocate’s print or digital publications.