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Tuesday, October 29, 2013
by: Rene Abadie
ALUMNI HONORED - International security consultant Hamilton Mixon, second from right, was recognized Friday as Southeastern's Alumnus of the Year at the Alumni Association's annual awards dinner. Pictured at the event are, from left, Kathy Pittman, director of the Alumni Association; President John L. Crain; History instructor Samantha Perez, who was named Young Alumna of the Year; Mixon; and Alumni Association President Stacey Neal.
HAMMOND – International security consultant Hamilton Mixon, who most recently served as chief of global security for Facebook, was recognized Friday (Oct. 25) as Southeastern Louisiana University's 2013 Alumnus of the Year.
The Amite native and 1979 graduate with degrees in criminal justice, psychology and sociology credited his alma mater with providing him a network of classmates, mentors and others who have assisted him throughout a career that started as a trooper with the Louisiana State Police and led to high level security positions with the gaming and hospitality corporation Jazz Enterprises and international firms such as Facebook, Oracle and Genentech, the world's largest biopharmaceutical company.
"Southeastern helped prepare me for the road ahead," Mixon said at the Alumni Association's Awards Dinner. "Southeastern gave me the foundation, and I would not be where I am today were it not for that. I am humbled, overwhelmed and surprised by this honor."
Southeastern history instructor and 2010 summa cum laude graduate Samantha Perez of Violet was recognized as the university's Young Alumna of the Year. Currently completing a doctoral program at Tulane University, Perez was cited for a documentary completed by her and her husband Josh Robin about their heritage in St. Bernard Parish. The film "Louisiana's Lost Treasure: The Isleños" led to Perez authoring the book "The Isleños of Louisiana: On the Water's Edge."
Other awards announced at the Alumni Association's annual event included the Distinguished Service Award to Amite attorney Brad Stevens for his work as president of the North Tangi Alumni Chapter, in helping to organize the fall coaches' caravans, and his service as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Lion Athletics Association.
The L.E. Chandler Award, which goes to the faculty, staff or alumnus for their work in assisting students, went to Dawn Dottolo Starkey, who works in the office of the assistant dean of student affairs. The Director's Diamond Award, given to an individual who has gone above and beyond in their volunteerism to the association, was presented to Janet Moran of Hammond.
Friendship Oak awards were presented to the following individuals and groups:
-- Alpha Omicron Pi sorority on the occasion of their 50th anniversary;
-- Rene Abadie, director of Southeastern Office of Public Information;
-- Joseph Burns, professor of communication and creator of KSLU's popular "Rock School;"
-- Danny Heitman of Baton Rouge for his work as an editorial writer for the "Advocate" and as a regular contributor of columns to the publications such as the "Wall Street Journal" and "Christian Science Monitor."