Eight TROY students receive Lamar P. Higgins Leadership Award

The award recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership and service to others.

The award recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding leadership and service to others.

Eight students recently received the prestigious Lamar P. Higgins Leadership Award, named in memory of Troy University’s first African-American Board of Trustees member, during the 21st annual John R. Lewis Leadership Conference.

In addition to being the first African-American Board of Trustees member, Higgins was the first African-American elected to a leadership position on the Board as Vice President Pro Tempore. During his time as a student at TROY, he became the first African-American to be elected as Student Government Association President, a position he held for two terms. He was also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Professionally, Higgins was a partner in Fine Geddie and Associates.

The Lamar P. Higgins Leadership Award recognizes students who exhibit a commitment to serving others and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership during their time at TROY. This year’s award recipients are as follows.

Marcelles Martin is a senior from Atlanta, Ga., majoring in political science with a concentration in international relations and minoring in Spanish. During his time at TROY, he’s been involved in Freshman Forum, Trojan Ambassadors, SGA as Senator and Cabinet Member, College Democrats as President, 101 Elite Men and Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He was also the 2022-2023 Mr. Trojan Pride and elected to the 2023-2024 Homecoming Court. This past summer, he was an intern in the United States Senate with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. After graduation, he plans on returning back to Washington D.C. to either become a full-time staffer on Capitol Hill or join an immigration legal firm to assist immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees with their transition in living in the United States.  

Christopher Jenkins is a graduate student from Mobile, Ala., pursuing his masters in the Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation and Interpreting Training specializing in vocational rehabilitation. He is currently a graduate assistant in the Troy University Housing Office where he assists with overseeing the student Resident Assistant. During his time as an undergraduate student at TROY, he was involved in 101 E.L.I.T.E. Men, served as the Rugby Club Vice President and was a Resident Assistant. Upon completing this graduate degree, his goal is to work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor, contributing to the betterment of individuals through state, federal or non-profit agencies in the state of Alabama. 

Rose Hilarion is a senior from Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and Pensacola, Fla., majoring in global business with a concentration in marketing. During her tenure at TROY, she has been involved in the Freshman Forum, served on the SGA Welcome Week and Homecoming Committee, is a member of University Activities Council, Marketing Club and Civic Scholar with the Trojan Pantry. She currently serves as President of Habitat for Humanity. The past two summers she has performed a summer internship at Redbird Flight as a social media marketing specialist. Upon graduating, she plans on moving to Austin, Texas, to pursue a career in aviation marketing with either Boeing or Redbird Flight. 

Anna Grace Holland is a senior from Dothan, Ala., majoring in exercise science pre-health. During her tenure at TROY, she has been involved in SGA as a Senator, Homecoming Director and the SGA President Chief of Staff, Alpha Gamma Delta Sorority as the President and Vice President of Philanthropy, Order of Omega President, Trojan Ambassadors, the SPOT Club as the Vice President and a member of the Fortress. She also has been inducted into the following honor societies: Alpha Lambda Delta, Alpha Epsilon Delta, Phi Epsilon Kappa and Mortar Board. After graduation, she plans to pursue her doctorate degree in physical therapy.  

Amelia Nettles is a senior graphic design and marketing major from Wetumpka, Ala. She served on the University Activities Council Executive Board and as SGA Senator and Committee Chair and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and College Democrats. She has also been a member of the track and field team for four years. She plans on working with a company that will allow her to utilize her skills in graphic design, branding and advertising to create, present and produce creative solutions to achieve the company’s communication goal. 

Teyshaun Williams is a senior from Hoover, Ala., majoring in cyber security. During his tenure at TROY, he has been involved with Freshman Forum, the SGA Presidential Cabinet, the Homecoming Committee and Executive Office as the Freshman Forum Director, 101 E.L.I.T.E. Men, Trojan Ambassador, NPHC Executive Board, Troy University Social Media Ambassador, The 87, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. as President. After graduation, he plans to jump immediately into the workforce and seek positions in the cyber security and information technology field.

Catelyn Blackmon is a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies (journalism, communications, entrepreneurship) from Dothan. During her time at TROY, she has served the Freshman Forum, TROYTrojan Vision as an anchor/reporter, as a Trojan Ambassador, Miss Elite Society, as a Tropolitan photographer and the National Association of Black Journalists as the President. She currently serves on the University Activities Council as the Director of Student Activities, Sorrell College of Business Entrepreneur in Residence and works for the Small Business Development Center as a Collaborator Business Advisor. After graduation, she will continue her education as she pursues a MBA in business design while managing and expanding her business, Dreams Agency, LLC.   

Zion Graham-Lee is a senior psychology major with a minor in human resources from Wetumpka.  During his tenure at TROY, he has served as a member of the Sound of the South, on the UAC Executive Board, as a Troy University cheerleader, a Trojan Ambassador, with the Troy Gospel singers, Troy Concert Band and The 87. After graduation, he plans on moving to Montgomery, Ala., to pursue a role in human resources at Baptist Medical Center as their compensation analyst.