David S. Baker, University of Louisiana at Lafayette


Twelve top developments built over the past two years were recognized by the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition for "raising the bar" on development in Baton Rouge through smart growth principles and interesting ways of reusing properties. Winners are the 200 Laurel Street mixed-use development downtown; the Belvedere Townhomes at Main and Lafayette streets; the Center for Coastal & Deltaic Solutions in the Water Campus; the City Farm office development on Jefferson Highway; the Central Green at City Hall Plaza; the renovation and addition of Istrouma High School; the Knock Knock Children’s Museum; the renovation and addition of the LSU University Recreation Center; the Preservation Garden in the Preserve at Harveston development; St. George Catholic Church; The Palms at Juban Lakes apartment complex in Denham Springs; and the Watermark Baton Rouge hotel on Third Street.

Four other awards were presented: the Knock Knock Children's Museum won the People's Choice Award; Hardy Swyers, a developer who helped found the Growth Coalition and served as executive director of the organization, won the Quality of Life Award for enhancing the quality of life for residents; Russell Mosely, a developer and former president of the Growth Coalition, received the Distinguished Service Award; and the late Jeff Cook, a former Growth Coalition board member and founder of Louisiana Land Engineering, was honored with the Heritage Award.

Bobby Soileau, who directs the Agricultural Leadership Development Program for the LSU AgCenter, received the 2018 Outstanding International Leadership Program Director Award from the International Association of Programs for Agricultural Leaders, a consortium of leadership programs in the United States, Canada and several other countries

He was recognized for his commitment to programming excellence, communication skills and dedication to training emerging rural leaders in Louisiana. Ag Leadership is a two-year program for individuals in agriculture.

Fran Castille, of Amite, has been inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame in Chevy Chase, Maryland, recognizing her service as an adult volunteer.

Castille’s first venture into 4-H was in 1964 when she joined a 4-H club in rural St. Helena Parish. She began showing Guernsey cows but later focused on leadership opportunities within the youth organization. By the time she graduated from high school, she had been elected to every officer position. As an adult, she was asked to lead her niece’s local community club. Since then, she has spent 32 years serving as a volunteer leader and role model for 4-H youth. She has raised more than $75,000 in donations and in-kind contributions for 4-H causes such as scholarships, 4-H training and club grants for supplies and awards.


David S. Baker, an associate professor of international business and marketing with the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, has been selected for the Fulbright Specialist Program, an international educational exchange sponsored by the U.S. government that is designed to build connections between the United States and other nations.

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs manages the program. It matches specialists to service projects designed by host institutions and nonprofit organizations in more than 150 countries. Baker has a résumé in international channel management and marketing, which encompasses the promotion techniques and sales strategies companies use to convince as many customers as possible to buy their products. Doing so on a global scale requires an understanding of cultural differences. Specialists serve three-year tenures.


The Ochsner Cancer Institute of New Orleans received a 2018 Innovator Award at Association of Community Cancer Centers national oncology conference.

The institute is helping cancer patients access early phase clinical trials close to home. A little more than one year ago, the institute, in partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute of Phoenix, Arizona, launched the Ochsner Precision Cancer Therapies Program. It is the only program between Houston and Birmingham, Alabama, dedicated to providing access to early phase clinical trials for patients with cancer.