LBW students get state recognition

Published 12:20 am Friday, March 7, 2014

Two LBW Community College students will soon receive prestigious recognition in Montgomery for exceptional academic achievement, distinguished leadership, and community service.

Thomas Hale of the Straughn community and Nathan Smith of Florala are named as 2014 All-Alabama Academic Team members with the Alabama Community College System.

“These students represent the highest achievers of our college,” LBW President Dr. Herb Riedel said.

“We are extremely proud of what they have accomplished both in and out of the classroom and this is well-deserved recognition for them both.”

All-Alabama Academic Team students are nominated by their respective colleges and must possess a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.25, be involved in campus activities and have completed a minimum of 12 semester hours at the institution.

Hale, son of V. Garrison and Sandra Hale, holds a 4.0 GPA and will complete an Associate in Science degree before transferring to Auburn University to major in materials engineering, “A specialty of mechanical engineering,” he said.

“As a child, I created and built things. All my toys had to deal with creativity, so I’ve always been interested in how I can make things differently and what I can do with different materials in the things around me.”

He said he considers education his job at this point in life, and knows the statewide recognition will open doors for scholarship opportunities.

During his two years at LBW, he served as president of the Mu Alpha Theta mathematics honor society; vice president of the Science and Engineering Club; treasurer of the Andalusia Campus Student Government Association; director of Campus Civitan; public relations for the Alpha Beta Eta chapter of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society; and founded and designed a sundial project for the campus in Opp. He received the Most Outstanding Calculus Award and Distinguished Freshman Award in 2013, and The Roy G. Gullberg Jr. Memorial Scholarship through the LBWCC Foundation for both years.

Smith, son of Terry and Melinda Smith, will complete an Associate in Applied Science degree in May and will transfer to the University of Alabama in Huntsville to pursue dual majors in computer science and computer engineering.

“Computer science involves the programming and computer engineering involves hardware development,” he said.

“Binary runs in my blood. Computers came natural to me ever since I had a Windows 98 and it drove me to the brink of madness trying to fix it. I’ve continued working on computers ever since.”

While attending LBWCC in Opp, Smith served as an Ambassador, Student Government Association president, chapter vice president of the National Technical Honor Society and was an active member of Phi Theta Kappa.  He also worked full time while attending college, and volunteers with computer maintenance at Westview Baptist Church in Opp, where he teaches Sunday school.

“It is an honor, a privilege and a sign of how great this college is that I was able to achieve the All-Alabama Academic Team,” he said. Smith holds a 3.88 grade point average. a