• Classroom to Center StageClassroom to Center StageClassroom to Center Stage

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    Classroom to Center Stage
    Classroom to Center Stage

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Four deserving individuals were recognized for contributions to their respective career fields and Mississippi University for Women by the MUW Alumni Association.

Alumni Award WinnerThe award winners, announced Saturday at Convocation held during the university’s Homecoming festivities, were Sally B. Doty of Brookhaven; Dr. Tammie McCoy of Columbus; Jacqueline D. Spires of Moss Point; and Linkie Marais of North Attleborough, Mass.

Doty was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. This award is extended to MUW alumni who have achieved professional distinction and made significant community service contributions at the local, national and/or international level, bringing distinction and honor to the university.

The Kosciusko native is a Republican and represents District 39, which includes all of Lawrence and Lincoln counties as well as a portion of Simpson County. She began her first term in January 2012.

Her current committee assignments are Finance (secretary), Public Property (vice-chair), Judiciary A (vice-chair), Judiciary B, Economic Development, Business and Financial institutions and Drug Policy.

Senator Doty is an attorney, having practiced law in Jackson and Brookhaven for many years.

Doty graduated in 1988 from MUW, where she was student body president. She received the Juris Doctorate degree, with distinction, from Mississippi College School of Law in 1991 where she also served as a faculty member and as the director of legal writing.

She and her husband, Dr. Don Doty, have three children, Ellen, Sarah and Benjamin.

McCoy was the recipient of the Distinguished Achievement Award. The award is presented to alumni and friends of the university who have achieved professional distinction and made significant community service contributions at the local, national and/or international level, bringing distinction and honor to the university.

She is department chair of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program and was named the 2013 Mississippi Community Service Nurse of the Year at this year's Nightingale Awards Gala in Jackson.

McCoy has been very involved with community service during her entire nursing career. Last year she served as president of the Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs, an organization that helps to improve communities through volunteer service.

A few of the projects McCoy has been involved with in Mississippi include breast cancer awareness and prevention, raising funds for mammograms, teaching students to read, promoting summer reading programs, proper utilization of seatbelts and providing immunizations for students. Internationally she has worked to provide immunizations for children in third world countries.

McCoy and her fellow club members worked across the state to implement Dr. McCoy's Presidents Special Project, "Feeding Fellow Mississippians," which focused on ways to help individuals across the life span have adequate food. As part of this project she worked with food banks in canned food drives, with local church organizations in feeding initiatives, with schools and weekend backpack programs and with ways to identify and help Mississippian's with basic food needs.

During her tenure as state president she supported her fellow club women in their volunteer work with more than 10,745 programs and projects, 637,221 volunteer hours and $1,576,802 raised with $1,001,198 raised with in-kind donations.

Spires was presented the Alumni Service Award for consistently demonstrating outstanding commitment, dedication, leadership and service to the advancement of the university and alumni association. Spires graduated from The W in 1962.

In recognition of her lifelong service to the citizens of Jackson County, the Young Men's Business Club presented Spires with the 34th annual Lifetime Community Service Award at its recent Coronation Ceremony of Jackson County held at the B. E. 'Mac" McGinty Civic Center in Pascagoula.

An unselfish servant to her community, Spires is a retired elementary school teacher and a member of Dantzler Memorial United Methodist Church.

She is a former member of Moss Point Junior Woman's Club, and a former member and past president of Moss Point Woman's Club.

Marais was honored with the Outstanding Recent Graduate Award. It recognizes alumni for outstanding contributions in their careers and to the university within 15 years of their graduation from MUW.

She competed against thousands of other contestants and earned a spot as a finalist on “Food Network Star” Season 8. She returns to campus often for demonstrations for current students.

Originally from South Africa, Marais moved with her family to Tupelo when she was 16. As a high school student, she worked for a wedding company, where she decorated wedding cakes and catered.

She graduated cum laude from the culinary arts program at The W in 2006 and later worked as a pastry chef and cake artist.

Eventually she moved to Boston, Mass., where she worked in a high-profile baking company.

Marais resides in North Attleborough, Mass., with her husband.