Community Briefs for Aug. 27

Published 11:02 pm Tuesday, August 26, 2008

JSU awards degrees to 433 at Summer Commencement

JACKSONVILLE- Four hundred thirty-three candidates including two from Chilton County crossed the stage at Paul Snow Stadium on Friday, Aug. 8, to receive their degrees from Jacksonville State University during the 2008 Summer Commencement.

Those from Chilton County receiving degrees were Jon Clements of Jemison and Tiffany Daniel of Montevallo.

Guest speaker for the commencement was Mr. Honor M. Bell, president and chief executive officer of Gulf Coast Community Benefits Corporation, which focuses on disaster preparedness and recovery. A recipient of the President’s Award for Volunteer Service, Bell is a 20-year retired Army officer who has extensive background in public relations, public speaking, training management, small business administration, event organizing, non-profit resource management, and teaching at the college level. Bell is a New Orleans native who received his bachelor’s degree in general education from Cameron University in Oklahoma and his master’s degree in public administration from JSU in 1981. He is married to the former Caffey C. Honoré, with whom he has four children and six grandchildren.

A video stream of the commencement will be available for a limited time on the JSU Television Services website at the following link:

Resident earns degree

Amy Messer of Jones was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Kaplan University during a commencement ceremony earlier this month at the Chicago Symphony Theatre. The commencement celebrated the achievements of more than 2,200 graduates, Veronica Dillon, Washington Post Company Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, served as the commencement speaker.

Kaplan University, based in Davenport, Iowa, is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). The University currently serves more than 41,000 online and on-ground students through eight campuses and online student support centers in Fort Lauderdale, Chicago and Phoenix. To learn more, visit

Clanton native interning at U.S. Department of Labor in Washington

Clanton native John Elder is one of 54 students nationwide chosen for an internship in the U.S. Department of Labor’s distinguished summer program in the nation’s capital. Elder, a junior majoring in economics and finance at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, was selected from a pool of nearly 400 applicants.

“The Department of Labor’s summer internship program is a competitive program that provides outstanding young people with unique experiences working in the federal government,” said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.

The program, established by Secretary Chao, provides exposure to the inner workings of the federal government and opportunities for hands-on research experience. Students also have the ability to attend lectures from prominent government officials, explore career options and visit Washington’s historic landmarks.

Throughout the course of his internship in the department’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, Elder has worked in budget analysis by reviewing submissions from various agencies for accuracy, calculating risk analysis and using computer technology to audit reports.

“Washington, from an economic perspective, is virtually at the hub of the universe,” said Elder. “My internship has been a great opportunity to see the other side of free market economics and dispel a lot of notions I had of the federal government. I’ve been intellectually stimulated and encouraged to think far beyond pure politics.”