Dawn Mellion-Patin, vice chancellor for extension and outreach at the Southern University Ag Center, has been selected as the 2019 T.M. Campbell Leadership Award recipient by Tuskegee University’s Farmers Conference awards committee.

The award recognizes professional and volunteer work, interaction with 1890 Universities as well as other universities to impact extension/outreach, demonstrate involvement in public service activities to advance the quality of life for rural citizens and receive recognition from peer groups for services. In October, Patin received the 2018 George Washington Carver Distinguished Service Award from Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The Livingston Economic Development Council has presented its Bob Easterly Award to Cindy Wale Franz.

The award recognizes outstanding service to Livingston Parish to enhance economic development. Franz is a lifelong resident, with nearly 4 decades of experience in the banking industry. Franz was instrumental in the community’s effort to recruit Bass Pro Shops and also advocated on behalf of Juban Crossing. She was elected to the Livingston Parish Council as the first woman in 2007 and then re-elected in 2011. She served as the first chairwoman of the council in 2012. She began her 18 years of service on the LEDC executive board in 1989 and served until her retirement from the board in 2017. She served two terms on the Baton Rouge Area Chamber board, representing Livingston Parish. She also served on the Livingston Parish Chamber board for many years, beginning in 1989.

LSU AgCenter plant pathologist Chris Clark, an expert on sweet potato diseases, received the National Research Impact Award from the National Sweet Potato Collaborators Group.

Clark, who has been with the AgCenter since 1977, plays an important role in plant pathology and breeding programs. He has worked with other AgCenter scientists on developing disease-resistant sweet potato varieties — including the breakthrough Beauregard variety released in 1987 and was at one point grown on about 80 percent of U.S. sweet potato acreage. He also oversees virus testing for the AgCenter Foundation Seed Program, ensuring sweet potato farmers have access to seed free of diseases. Clark has written or contributed to more than 100 publications and trained many graduate students during his career.


Dupré Logistics received recognition from the Women in Trucking Association and its Redefining the Road magazine among its 2018 top 50 companies for women to work for in transportation.

Dupre was among nearly 150 companies that received nominations. Companies include motor carriers, third-party logistics companies and original equipment manufacturers. Dupre was recognized for displaying characteristics that include corporate cultures that foster gender diversity, competitive compensation and benefits, flexible hours and work requirements, professional development opportunities, and career advancement opportunities.


Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson has been presented the Gertrude E. Rush Award from the National Bar Association.

The award recognizes those who demonstrate leadership in the community and in the legal profession and demonstrate concern for human and civil rights. Johnson, who serves as the first African-American chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court, was one of the first African-American women to attend and earn a juris doctoral degree from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at LSU in 1969. As a young lawyer, she became the managing attorney of the New Orleans Legal Assistance Corp. providing legal services to clients in socioeconomically deprived neighborhoods. She advanced the rights of children, the poor, the elderly and disenfranchised. She was the first woman elected to serve on the Civil District Court of New Orleans in 1984 and in 1994 was elected chief judge. She was elected to the Louisiana Supreme Court in 1994 and re-elected without opposition in 2000 and 2010. She was sworn in as chief justice in 2013. Johnson has served on the National Campaign on Best Practices in the area of racial and ethnic fairness in the courts as well as championed initiatives, including the training and certification of the limited English proficiency interpreters in the courts and the implementation of an electronic filing system for the Louisiana Supreme Court.


The Louisiana Civil Service League presented its 60th annual Charles E. Dunbar Jr. Career Service Award recognizing exemplary service of employees in a classified merit system have been presented to N. Henry Bennett, of Amite, Medicaid program manager 4 in the Louisiana Department of Health/Bureau of Health Services Financing; Bradley R. Brandt, of Prairieville, director of aviation in the Department of Transportation and Development; Marsha Daniel, of Baton Rouge, program manager 3 in the Department of Children and Family Services, Child Welfare; Shanda R. Jones, of Baton Rouge, accountant administrator 3 with the Louisiana Secretary of State; Maida Owens, of Baton Rouge, with the Louisiana Folklife Program, Office of Cultural Development, Division of the Arts; Darlene M. Regan, of Iota, administrative program specialist A in the LSU AgCenter's southwest region; Faye J. Ritchie, of St. Francisville, administrative coordinator 3 for the LSU AgCenter in West Feliciana Parish; Joan Ruiz, of Metairie, probation manager in the Jefferson Parish Department of Juvenile Services; Stanley J. Schofield, of Avondale, recreation center supervisor in the Jefferson Parish Parks & Recreation Department; Vickie Lynn Smith, of Thibodaux, administrative coordinator III in the LSU AgCenter's Lafourche Parish Extension Service; Edward Wedge III, of Baton Rouge, deputy chief engineer in the state Department of Transportation and Development; and Lee Ann Whitt, of Alexandria, zoo director for the Alexandria Zoological Park.