Three honored with Sullivan Awards at Troy University

TROY senior Justin Thomas, Senior Lecturer Joe McCall and senior Linnie Russell were presented the 2022 Sullivan Awards by Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr.

TROY senior Justin Thomas, Senior Lecturer Joe McCall and senior Linnie Russell were presented the 2022 Sullivan Awards by Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr.

Troy University has honored two students and a member of the University’s faculty with the 2022 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards.

Linnie Russell, a senior English major from Pike Road, Justin Thomas, a senior political science major from Hoover, and Joe McCall, a Senior Lecturer in TROY’s Department of History, received the Sullivan Awards during a luncheon on Monday in their honor on the Troy Campus. The recipients were also honored during the University’s annual Honors Convocation Monday night.

The Sullivan Award, which is presented at select colleges and universities throughout the United States, recognizes recipients for their excellence of character, humanitarian service and spiritual qualities. The award has been presented annually to a male student, a female student and one non-student at TROY since 1981. Students, faculty and staff nominate candidates for the award.

“Troy University is a place of value and values,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. “We feel it is appropriate that we present the Sullivan Awards at Troy University because it reflects our focus on leadership and the importance of integrity in leadership. These values, I believe, are more important in our society today than ever before.” 

Russell is a Millennium Scholar recipient and has maintained a 4.0 Grade Point Average during her time at TROY. She currently serves as Vice President of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, has been active with Baptist Campus Ministries since 2018 and is a Peer Writing Tutor in the University’s Learning Center.

Last fall, Russell led members of the English Honor Society in a winter coat drive for the needy, placing donation boxes throughout campuses and taking the donations to St. Martin Catholic Church. As a member of Baptist Campus Ministries, she has volunteered for community service and campus clean-up projects, participated in local missions and ministries events and delivered care packages to fellow TROY students. Most recently, Russell spent her spring break doing disaster relief work in Mayfield, Kentucky, the site of an EF-4, long-track tornado that caused extensive damage to the town on Dec. 10.

In addition, Russell is active in ministries of her home church, Taylor Road Baptist Church, where she launched a girls’ ministry, coordinated student activities and retreats and helped organize mission projects and trips.

Thomas has been an active part of the Troy Campus community, serving as a member of Freshman Forum during the 2018-2019 academic year, Freshman Forum Director during the 2019-2020 academic year, a Student Government Association Senator and as an Army ROTC cadet.

He also is a member of Alpha Tau Omega where he has served on the fraternity’s Executive Board for three years. As a member of ATO, Thomas has been active in the chapter’s annual philanthropy event, Walk Hard. The event is an annual 128.3 mile trek from the Troy Campus to Pier Park in Panama City during spring break to raise money for Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures based in Bonifay, Fla. In March, he joined one other fraternity brother in becoming the first to participate in four straight Walk Hard events. During this year’s effort, the chapter raised a record $125,000 to assist wounded warriors.

Thomas has been named to the Chancellor’s list numerous times throughout his TROY career and, last fall, was named to “The 87,” formerly Who’s Who, that recognizes juniors, seniors and graduate students who have excelled in campus leadership and in their academic area. Selections to “The 87” are made based on academic standing, community service, leadership ability and potential for continued success.

McCall is known for his service to students, as well as fellow faculty and staff members at TROY. He serves as a faculty advisor for the NAAC and the International Student Cultural Organization (ISCO) and, with his background as a chemical dependency therapist in private practice, is involved in efforts on campus to assist students who are negatively impacted by their own or another’s misuse of alcohol or drugs. He received the TROY Faculty Council’s Excellence Award in 2008.

McCall resides in Troy with his wife, Xiaojuan “Silvia” Li, a member of the University’s International Programs staff, and the couple has a son, Finn.