Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus Academic Dean Tonya Lawrence was presented with a Patriot Award from the Mississippi Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) on Thursday, Feb. 2. She received a framed Patriot Award certificate and accompanying lapel pin as part of the award, presented by ESGR Area 4 Chair Joyce Robinson.
"I am very proud to have received the Patriot Award," Lawrence said. "I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work with individuals who are dedicated to serving our country and am honored by Dr. Milliken's nomination."
Lawrence was nominated for the award by Dr. Kenneth Troy Milliken, a Holmes chemistry instructor on the Ridgeland Campus. Dr. Milliken, who serves as an Army Reserve Brigade Chaplain (MAJOR) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, nominated Lawrence for recognition because of her support of his military training time.
"I have been an Army Chaplain for eight years, and my main duties are performing chapel services and counseling soldiers," Dr. Milliken said. "Specifically, I am in charge of Battalion Chaplains in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. I nominated Dean Lawrence for this award because of her support of my Army duties when I must take leave and her support of the military in general."
Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey added, "I am very proud that the Holmes faculty and staff serve and support our nation's great military. There is not anything more important than defending the freedom of our students, employees and communities. It is rewarding for us to have Tonya honored by her own faculty who understand firsthand what true sacrifice is. I am very thankful for her, Dr. Milliken, and all of our students and staff who serve. We remain committed to working with anyone who is willing to help our military."
ESGR, a Department of Defense program, seeks to foster a culture in which all employers support and value the employment and military service of members of the National Guard and Reserve in the United States.
The Patriot Award was created by ESGR to publicly recognize individuals who provide outstanding patriotic support and cooperation to their employees. According to ESGR' website, the award reflects the efforts made to support citizen warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed.
For more information about ESGR outreach programs or volunteer opportunities, call 800-336-4590 or visit www.ESGR.mil.
IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured are (left to right) ESGR Area 4 Chair Joyce Robinson, Ridgeland Campus Dean Tonya Lawrence, Holmes President Dr. Jim Haffey, and chemistry instructor Dr. Troy Milliken. Robinson presented Lawrence with the Patriot Award on Feb. 2 on Holmes' Ridgeland Campus.