Great Rustonians

May 7, 2008

As part of the Tech Talk’s last issue for the school year, the staff decided to give “kudos” to those people in and around town, on and off campus, who make us and other Tech students want to be better people. A mass e-mail was sent to the students asking them to nominate their idea of a Great Rustonian. Here are their submissions as well as a few other good-ole Ruston folks highlighted below.

Casey Casady
– Lauren Head
Casady is the college minister at Temple Baptist Church. He is so upfront, fun and wants to get to know everyone personally. I’ve never seen him ignore anyone. He knows how to get in contact with people well, and he is great with heading up awesome events. We tailgate, we’ve gone to support the baseball team one game, we’ve done so much, and a lot of that is accredited to his hard work, high goals and love for students.

Pat & JoAnn Barlow
– Audrey Barlow
The best Rustonians I know are my grandparents Pat and JoAnn Barlow. They have lived in Ruston for over 50 years, and they have certainly left their mark on the town.
Pat is a veteran of the air force and a Tech graduate who worked for over 20 years with T.L. James construction bringing revenue into the town of Ruston.
JoAnn worked in the Lewis’ department store for over 20 years, and she always tries to bring a smile to everyone’s smiling face.
Whether it’s with her famous cooking, or her friendly advice, my grandmother is a wonderful example of Ruston charm.

Stacy Gilbert &
Dr. Norm Pumphrey
– Taylor Withers
Gilbert was my University Seminar teacher, along with Dr. Pumphrey, and they both seem to enjoy their job. They also try to keep in touch with our class by having “Coffee Dates” in Tolliver. Therefore, I think they should be recognized for their dedication and hard work towards students and their work environment.

Scott Wright
– Krystle Mathews
Wright is the director of the Wesley Foundation as well as the worship leader at Trinity UMC. He is a wonderful husband and father of two. He is an amazing man of God who is full of love and compassion for people. Wright’s passion for college students in particular is clearly evident through his ministry at the Wesley Foundation where he will soon be completing his 13th year as director. Wright has been influencing the lives of many students daily, and he is an amazing man of God. He gives of himself sacrificially and speaks truth in love to those around him. He truly is a great Rustonian.

Jason Gisclair
– Brendan J. Banks
Gisclair is the owner of WOW Cafe & Wingery. New to Ruston, he has already made his mark. After relocating here in 2005 after the hurricanes, he has decided to open a business and become a part of the community. He has graciously donated to the University through athletics, student groups, and the majority of his employee’s are students.

Greg & Andrea Philips
– Siva Prasad Raju
Mr and Mrs. Philips are wonderful people of Ruston. They are blessed with four charming children and the whole family has been supportive not only to me and my friends but also to many other international students like us who are far from their home. They are kind and loving people who are always a great joy to be around.

Dr. William H. Green
– Adam Handy
Dr. William H. Green is a resident veterinarian and Tech professor. He has impacted the lives of so many students for years.
He’s humble and gets along with everyone. I attribute much of my focus and my success to the time he has invested in me.

Terrie Queen Autrey
By Tina Marie Alvarenga

Domestic Abuse Response Team (DART) in Ruston was started by a group of people in 1995 to help women, children and men who were experiencing abuse in their homes.

Terrie Queen Autrey, a writer and one of the founding women of DART, used her personal home phone as a hotline for people who were in danger before DART was established.

“For two years, we published my home number and people could call night and day,” Autrey said.

Autrey was a member of The Mayor’s Commission for Women, which is a predecessor for DART.

Their main focus was domestic violence and, for several years, research was conducted.

“We re?searched the sheriff’s department, the police department, Tech’s police and [Grambling State University’s] police department’s statistics, and they showed there was a problem in the area and it was growing,” Autrey said.

There were volunteers who counseled and transported women to hotel rooms, but the volunteers realized that eventually they would have to have someone who is paid to do the work.

In 1994 there was one full-time person and one part-time person on staff. In 1995, however, DART opened its doors and now has more than 20 employees and serve five parishes.

Autrey currently works on “Beating Hearts,” an art exhibit portraying domestic violence, with Kate Hilburn, selling to places such as the Cayman Islands and Canada.

“A lot of military bases are buying our paintings, which is great – the law enforcement and military careers have the highest correlation with domestic violence,” Autrey said.
“We’re really thrilled that military bases are doing violence education.”

The art consists of photographic construction and writing that tells the true stories of men, woman and children Autrey and Hilburn have met.

“We retell their stories in visual and verbal form; Kate even does photographs that represent the victims,” Autrey said.

In her spare time, Autrey travels to places such as China, Israel and Europe.

“We home schooled our daughters for nine years, and we would study a place, and then take them to visit that place,” Autrey said.

Despite her many travels, Autrey is still very active with DART.

“We’ve done a great job with having received support; we’re very fortunate to have such a great community that supports this work,” Autrey said. “For such a small town we have a very progressive community.”

Kelly Moore Clark
By Gabrielle Ramsey-Tyler

Kelly Moore Clark of Kelly Moore Photography is a premiere wedding photographer in Ruston.
Brandi Howard, her assistant, said Clark’s work is a real asset to the community.

“A lot of local people don’t even realize what a big deal she is outside of Ruston,” Howard said.

She said Clark does mostly wedding photography but bridal portraits are her niche.

Clark said she has been doing photography for 10 years and developed the Web site www.kellymoorephotography.com.

“When I was at Tech I dated a photographer for the Lagniappe,” Clark said.
“I was always back in the dark room watching the process, and I liked it.

“So I bought a camera and started taking pictures as a hobby, and it snowballed into a business.”

Howard said Clark gives back to the community by teaching seminars and workshops for other photographers, not only in Ruston, but all over the world.

“To be such an amazing photographer, she is a real down-to-earth person,” Howard said.

She even helped start a group for local
photographers called “the Crazies.”

“It’s a group where photographers can meet monthly and teach each other and share,” Howard said.

Clark said she loves her job, and it is a major part of her life.

“God has blessed me in so many ways, in my business and my family,” Clark said, “and I don’t even know why.”

Lisa Carter
By Gabrielle Ramsey-Tyler

Lisa Carter has worked at Tech for 13 years; five of them have been devoted to feeding students in Tolliver Hall as retail manager.

“I manage this building [Tolliver] and 24 employees; I assist students and help them with problems,” Carter said.

She said she hopes her work will give students a better experience at Tech.

“I brought in Java City to add to the other eateries,” Carter said.

Carter also said she is a Tech alumna.

As she looked around at Tolliver, Carter said, “This is where I had my meals at Tech. To see it closed for so long and now renovated and reopened, you can only imagine how I feel; I’m proud to work for my alma mater.”

She said she loves her job and it is very rewarding.

“People make my job worthwhile; I love to work with people and to help people,” Carter said.

Pearl Richards, a supervisor in Tolliver, works with Carter and describes her as a great manager.

“She is a good manager,” Richards said.
“I like working with her because she always handles herself really well,” Richards said.
“She goes out of her way to make people happy.”

Richards said that Carter has always been there for her.

“She will work with you and be there for you and will help you out in any way she can,” Richards said.

Carter was surprised and flattered she was considered an asset to Ruston.

Carter said, “You never know who is looking.
“It’s a good feeling.”