2018 Hall of Distinction


The LSU College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) presents the Hall of Distinction, an event that recognizes outstanding alumni and partners who help the college positively impact our community.

This year’s reception is Thursday, March 22, 2018, 6:00 p.m., at the LSU Lod Cook Conference Center. The Hall of Distinction recognizes and celebrates our honorees for the significant contributions they have made to LSU and the extended community. Recipients exemplify the mission of CHSE to address complex human issues and policy decisions facing Louisiana and the nation through their gifts, talents, and time.





Barbara Biggs, Alumna of Distinction | School of Library & Information Science

Jeanne M. Burns, Alumna of Distinction | School of Education

Amelia Lee, Alumna of Distinction | School of Kinesiology

Matt McKay, Philanthropy Award

Baton Rouge Printing, Community Partner | Kevin Bankston, President | University Laboratory School

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Community Partner | Cheryl Ford, Director | School of Leadership & Human Resource Development  

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Baton Rouge, Community Partner | School of Social Work


About the honorees:


Barbara Biggs, Alumna of Distinction | School of Library & Information Science

Barbara Biggs’ first profession was teaching high school chemistry, which she did for twelve years.  Following her move to Baton Rouge, she explored other job opportunities.  After receiving an MLIS degree from LSU, she began her second career in special libraries.

Biggs was first employed in Information Services at LSU’s Chemistry Library, which she supervised for two years following her graduation from SLIS.  Information was retrieved for professors and students from hard-copy Chemical Abstracts and by searching commercial databases using dial-up modems.  She was next hired as Librarian for the Exxon Research and Development Laboratories (ERDL).  Over the course of her career there, she also was given the responsibility of managing their Records Center, the repository for proprietary reports and correspondence.  Before retiring from ERDL, Biggs was a part of the changing of libraries from paper-based information and card catalogs to libraries using modern technology and electronically accessible information.

Biggs views the impact of our college not as a consequence of one big effect, but as the cumulative result of many little influences making a large difference in our world.


Jeanne M. Burns, Alumna of Distinction | School of Education

Jeanne M. Burns is the Associate Commissioner for Teacher and Leadership Initiatives for the Louisiana Board of Regents.  The Board of Regents coordinate the efforts of the state’s 33 degree granting public institutions in addition to LSU and SU Agricultural Centers and Pennington Biomedical Research Center.  In her role she is directly involved in working with State leaders to determine future changes to teacher and leader preparation and helps to align PK-12 education with higher education.

The professional accomplishment she is most proud of is the redesign of all teacher and leader preparation programs in the state and the linking of student learning data of new teachers to the teacher preparation programs that prepared them for program improvement purposes.  The redesign was accomplished as a result of university faculty and leaders, district personnel, and researchers all working together.

Burns is a two-time alumna from LSU with a Master’s of Education and a PhD in Curriculum & Instruction.  She has served as a resource teacher, educational diagnostician, and instructional specialist in the public school system, and a professor at Stetson University and Southeastern Louisiana University.


Amelia Lee, Alumna of Distinction | School of Kinesiology

Amelia Lee is the past chair and professor in the School of Kinesiology.  Soon after her retirement from LSU, she accepted the position of Executive Director of the American Kinesiology Association. She has published over 70 refereed research articles, made over 100 presentations, co-authored four books on elementary physical education, served as editor and on editorial boards for numerous publications.

Lee is an elected Fellow in the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education and a Fellow in the Research Consortium of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (AAHPERD).  In addition she is a past president of the Research Consortium and served as the group’s representative to the AAHPERD Board of Governors, received the Texas Woman’s University Department of Kinesiology Outstanding Alumni Award, was selected as the Scholar Lecturer for the AERA Special Interest Group, received the Honor Award from the Curriculum and Instruction Academy of the National Association for Sport and Physical Education, was selected to present the Research Consortium McCloy Lecture in 2001, and was named the 2003-04 Alliance Scholar for AAHPERD.  She served a three year term on the Science Board for the President’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sport and was a member of the Coordinating Committee for the U.S. National Physical Activity Plan that was launched in 2010.

Lee is a two time LSU alumna with a Bachelor’s of Science and a Master’s of Science in Health Physical & Safety Education.  She received her PhD from Texas Woman’s University and is most proud of the 22 doctoral students she has mentored over the years who have entered the professional world knowledgeable, confident, and successful in the academic challenges they have encountered.


Matt McKay, Philanthropy Award

Matt McKay is the chairman, president, and CEO of All Star Automotive Group.  All Star Automotive Group includes 11 Louisiana dealerships located in Baton Rouge and the surrounding area, employing approximately 700 people. 

McKay was raised by two educators and most of his time and resources have been dedicated to improving the public school systems in the area.  His most rewarding achievement has been the establishment of the McKay Automotive Technology Center at Baton Rouge Community College.  He led the $51 million effort to create this state-of-the-art training center giving students a chance to learn the skills and find jobs here after graduation.

One individual had a tremendous impact on McKay.  He met Joe Dean, Sr. when he was 13 years old.  Joe, Jr. and Matt became best friends.  McKay says Joe, Sr. had one of the biggest hearts and did so much for so many people; McKay is proud to honor Mr. Dean through the Joe Dean, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Fund.  The fund will provide 20 superior graduate scholarships for students pursuing a degree in the School of Kinesiology.


Baton Rouge Printing, Community Partner |Kevin Bankston, President/Owner| University Laboratory School

Kevin Bankston, President and Owner of Baton Rouge Printing, is the 2018 Community Partner Award for the LSU University Laboratory School. Founded in 1969, Baton Rouge Printing employs 30 people and is a trusted resource for businesses across the Gulf South and around the nation. Bankston’s company gives every customer the personal attention and service expected from a multi-generational, family-owned business.

Bankston’s relationship with the Lab School began when he was enrolled as a student and continues today as the parent of ULS students and business partner. As a business owner, he wanted to give back to the school that made such an impact on him throughout his formative years; being a part of the school’s growth both personally and professionally has been particularly gratifying for Bankston.

The Lab School’s motto, total effort in every endeavor, is certainly embodied by both Bankston and his company – his guiding philosophy is to build strong relationships with clients, where mutual trust and respect, hard work, and integrity ensure long-lasting partnerships.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, Community Partner | Cheryl Ford, Director | School of Leadership & Human Resource Development

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, directed by Cheryl Ford, is the Community Partner for the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development.  The Community Center, opened in 1978, strives to empower and strengthen the community by providing education and training.  The School of Leadership & Human Resource Development has partnered with the center to provide youth programming for two years.  This special partnership resulted in several new programs for education, fitness, and career planning, that the young participants do not otherwise have the opportunity to experience.  This partnership prepares the youth to serve their community, with knowledge and skills to make a difference in the state, nation, and world.

One of Ms. Ford’s fondest memories of the partnership is when the cooking class prepared a meal and shared it with the senior citizens who attend the center.  It was an opportunity to have LSU students meet and share stories with those who have been a part of the community for years.


The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Baton Rouge, Community Partner | School of Social Work

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Baton Rouge is the honored 2018 Community Partner for the School of Social Work.  Founded in 1865, St. Vincent de Paul has a long-standing partnership with the LSU School of Social Work. The most impactful program is the interns serving the homeless women and children served by the society.  The homeless shelter is more than just a home – it gives the families security for a short while, but it also gives the community hope and the knowledge that there are people who truly care about their well-being.  The college and St. Vincent de Paul both “improve the quality of life across the lifespan;” this partnership is helping solve the most complex human issues facing the poor and homeless in our community.
The social work student interns provide direct services to homeless women, children, and families – the fastest growing segment of the homeless population.  In 2017, 483 women and 182 children were provided over 9,000 guest nights.  St. Vincent de Paul credits the social work interns and this special partnership in helping them provide these critical services and meeting their service outcomes for homeless women and children. 



About CHSE

The College of Human Sciences & Education (CHSE) is a nationally accredited division of Louisiana State University. The college is comprised of the School of Education, the School of Kinesiology, the School of Leadership & Human Resource Development, the School of Library & Information Science, the School of Social Work, and the University Laboratory School. These combined schools offer 8 undergraduate degree programs, 18 graduate programs, and 7 online graduate degree and/or certificate programs, enrolling more than 1,900 undergraduate and 1,120 graduate students. The College is committed to achieving the highest standards in teaching, research, and service and is committed to improving quality of life across the lifespan.

Visit the College of Human Sciences & Education at lsu.edu/chse.