Community column for Aug. 12, 2014

Friendship Force holds monthly board meeting

Friendship Force of Baton Rouge held its monthly board meeting July 28 at the Jones Creek Library. Frances Bennett reported on publicity and the “Christmas in July” party for residents of the Louisiana War Veterans Home in Jackson.

Thornton Cofield gave the final report on the visit from Ottawa, Canada, in April. Sheila Melancon gave her final report on the trip to Mid-Willamette, Oregon, in July. Bob Duncan led a group to Bergen, Norway, Aug. 4-11. Keith Corkern discussed the visit from Reno, Nevada, in October.

Members discussed the club’s booth at the Women’s Week Kickoff Luncheon on Sept. 19 at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Chairwoman Vera Martin asked board members to collect donations for an Oct. 4 garage sale.

Red Stick Kiwanis Club hears 2 WWII veterans

World War II veterans Bert Stolier and Tom Blakey spoke to the Red Stick Kiwanis Club on Aug. 1 at Lake Sherwood Village.

Stolier, a Marine warrant officer, served aboard the USS Northhampton at Pearl Harbor during the Japanese attack, which fell on his birthday. He was aboard the ship when it escorted the aircraft carrier USS Hornet carrying B-26 Bombers for the Doolittle raid. On Dec. 22, 1942, a Japanese submarine sunk the Northhampton and Stolier floated in the Pacific Ocean for three days before being rescued when spotted by an American ship.

Blakey, a member of the Army 82nd Airborne Division, parachuted into Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, as part of the D-Day invasion. His unit was ordered to take and hold a bridge to prevent German reinforcements from reaching American forces at Utah Beach. “We held it, but the cost was high,” he said. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

Ronald Abboud, an Air Force Vietnam veteran and volunteer, docent and Speakers Bureau team leader for the U.S. World War II Museum in New Orleans, made opening comments. Red Stick Kiwanis Secretary Philip DiVincenti coordinated the program. Central High School’s Junior ROTC presented the flag.

LSU’s Matson on list of influential scientists

LSU Psychology Professor and Distinguished Research Master Johnny Matson has been named to Thomson Reuters’ 2014 list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds” for his work in social sciences.

The list includes researchers whose published work is among the most cited papers from 2002-12, ranking in the top 1 percent for their subject field and year of publication.

Matson’s research focuses on co-morbid conditions in developmental and intellectual disabilities. He is researching Autism Spectrum Disorder, a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges.

“I have pretty much had a life-long interest in trying to help people with autism spectrum disorders and/or intellectual disabilities,” Matson said. “Overall, the focus of what I have tried to do is make researchers and clinicians aware that these co-morbid disorders exist, that they can be systematically and accurately diagnosed and that systematic methods are available to monitor the effects of drug and psychologically based treatments.”

Matson has been an LSU faculty member since 1985. He is editor-in-chief of three journals: Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, Research in Developmental Disabilities and the Review Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

For more information on Thomson Reuters’ 2014 list of “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds,” visit thomsonreuters.com/articles/2014/worlds-most-influential-scientific-minds-2014.

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.

Communications, IT staffs earn ACE awards

Nine faculty and staff from the LSU AgCenter Communications and Information Technology departments received awards at the 2014 International Association for Communication Excellence annual conference in June in Portland, Oregon.

Awards went to four communications faculty: Frankie Gould, director, ACE Professional Award; Tobie Blanchard, associate specialist, bronze award for a video news release; Linda Benedict, associate director, Service Award for 40 years of membership; and John Wozniak, assistant director, Service Award for 25 years of membership.

Information technology staff received two awards. A silver award for Best Innovative Use of Communication Technology went to Fred Piazza, director; Sandy Fiser, associate director; Megan Smith, Web designer; Sam Razi, IT manager; and Callen Cranfield, IT analyst. Fiser and Smith also won a silver award for interactive multimedia and Web graphics.

BR student graduates from U. of Wisconsin

Dominique Dwayne Ricks, of Baton Rouge, received a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on May 1.

Port Allen teacher wins classroom makeover

Recent LSU graduate Chelsea Mayer has won a $500 classroom makeover from Pelican State Credit Union.

The credit union invited all Louisiana teachers to visit Pelican’s Facebook page and upload a photo of their classroom for entry into the $500 giveaway. Once entered, they could share the picture with their friends and family to get votes. Mayer won with 330 unique votes.

The new teacher is starting her career as Port Allen Middle School’s sixth grade math teacher.

“I’m a new teacher so I’m starting from scratch,” Mayer said. She said she plans to buy math manipulatives and other teaching resources with her $500 gift card to School Aids.

Louisiana team wins shotgun championship

Four Louisiana youths combined to win the 4-H Shooting Sports Invitational Overall Shotgun National Championship June 18-20 in Grand Island, Nebraska. This is the first time a Louisiana team has won this championship.

Team members were Austin Hebert, 18, of Milton; Ian Duplantis, 17, of Houma; Colton Chandler, 16, of Dry Prong; and Dylan Whitstine, 15, of Colfax. Duplantis won first place individually in sporting clays, and Whitstine won first place in trap and second place overall.

Follow this link to the photos.

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.