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LU recognizes students at Toast to Leadership Awards

Lamar University honored three students for their exceptional service at the 2011 Toast to Leadership Awards Program.

Brittany Ross of Carrollton earned the Bess Gentry Award, recognizing her as outstanding senior woman. Alan Kondo of Fannett earned the C. Robert Kemble Award as outstanding senior man. Thaddeaus Green of Orange received the Ann Shaw Award in recognition of exemplary student leadership.

In addition to student awards, the leadership committee also announced its Faculty and Staff of the Year awards. Gary Brice, instructor of mathematics, was named faculty member of the year, and Valarie Black, assistant director for student organizations, was named staff member of the year. The program was April 14 in the University Reception Center of the Mary and John Gray Library.

Each student award seeks to recognize a student who shows outstanding leadership and contribution in both university and community service and who maintains excellence in character and academic scholarship.

Ross is majoring in exercise science and psychology. She plays on the Lamar women’s soccer team and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi national honor society. She is also a member of Colleges Against Cancer, Release Youth Ministry, and has been named on both the President’s and Deans’ Lists. She is also a recipient of the F.L. McDonald Postgraduate Scholarship presented by the Southland Conference. She plans to enroll in the doctorate of physical therapy program at Duke University in August 2011.

The Bess Gentry Award was established in 1975 in honor of the late Bess Gentry, the first dean of women at Lamar. During her tenure at the university from 1944 to 1968, Gentry founded Alpha Lambda Delta, the Association of Women Students, the Cap and Gown senior honor society, the Panhellenic Association and national sorority system and the Physical Education Professionals.

Kondo is a chemical engineering major and a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is treasurer of Kappa Alpha Order and also serves on the organization’s fundraising committee. He is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta-Phi Eta Sigma, Order of Omega, Tau Beta Pi, Omega Chi Epsilon, Phi Kappa Phi, and has been named on both the President’s and Deans’ Lists. He has volunteered for local nonprofit organizations like Muscular Dystrophy Association, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement and the Southeast Texas Food Bank. After graduation, he will be employed as a chemical engineer with ExxonMobil in Beaumont.

The C. Robert Kemble Award was established in 1981 in honor of the eighth president and first chancellor of Lamar University, C. Robert Kemble, who served from 1977 to 1986. He was considered an innovative and creative leader who was attentive to students’ needs and the perpetuation of traditions of excellence.

Green is a communication major who has been heavily involved in several organizations on campus. He serves as president of the Student Government Association and Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. He is also a member of the Student Service Committee, Greek Council, Up ‘til Dawn, and Leadership Lamar. He has served as a peer mentor for Freshman Year Experience, anchor for Lamar University Television, and secretary for Cardinal Image Architects. He has done volunteer work for the Southeast Texas Food Bank and Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. He plans to pursue a master’s degree in student affairs.

The Ann Shaw Award was established in 1998 in honor of the late Ann Shaw, a longtime member of the student affairs staff. During her 25 years at Lamar, she served as dean of student employment, assistant dean of students, associate dean of student development and assistant dean of women. Shaw touched the lives of thousands of students and was responsible for coordinating many student life programs and events, most of which are now deeply rooted in the Lamar tradition.