Phi Beta Sigma offers first Elite Awards to 13

Courtbouillon Editor Charley Steward was among four students and four faculty members who were honored by the Phi Beta Sigma chapter here March 18 as the first Elite Awards recipients.

Steward, a mass communication senior from New Orleans, was cited for her work with the student newspaper and for owning her own business, Charley’s Sweet Shop, according to Eric Wright, chapter president.

Wright said other honorees of the Elite Epsilon Alpha Chapter included:

  • Freshman Kanitria Mason, a mass communication major from Jackson, Miss., for earning a 4.0.
  • Sophomore Dewayne Ross, a music major from Rochester, N.Y., for his work with environmental justice and his clothing store. Wright said Ross has “a pleasant spirit sometimes overlooked by the students.”
  • Senior basketball player Autrail Manning, a criminal justice major from New Orleans, for “caring for a son and playing college basketball…Manning does it and never complains,” said Wright.
  • Dr. Alain Durocher, assistant dean of Humanities and chair/assistant professor of religion and philosophy. “No one loves their job more than Dr. D. He has been here for years and continues to tutor, educate, and mentor his students and community,” said Wright.
  • Diane Woods, administrative assistant in Student Services, for her “value of character,” according to Nathan Dailey, a Sigma who helped coordinate the event.
  • Michael Wilson, a professor of African World Studies and adviser to the Freshman Council. Wright said Wilson “has been a great asset to the Class of 2013 and other students.”
  • The Rev. Gail Bowman, Dillard University’s chaplain and assistant professor of religion, for her work with VisionQuest.
  • Ray Vrazel, assistant professor of speech, for showing “how talent is expressed at Dillard” and in New Orleans. Vrazel directed the recent performances of “Miss Evers’ Boys.”

The chapter also recognized Collegiate 100 Black Men of Dillard, the Freshman Class Council, the cast of “Miss Evers’ Boys” in the Theatre Department and the Office of Public Safety.

Wright said while the choices might seem random, “We wanted to show our appreciation to them for all they have done for this campus.

“The point we want to make is that in order for us to expect our campus to grow and be better –It’s to show appreciation to those who are already trying.”

(Larry Williams contributed to this article.)