Troy University, a Sullivan Foundation partner school, recently honored two student changemakers and a faculty member with the 2022 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards for their service and commitment to the university’s values.

The awards went to Linnie Russell, a senior English major from Pike Road; Justin Thomas, a senior political science major from Hoover; and Joe McCall, a senior lecturer in Troy’s Department of History.

The Sullivan Award, which is presented at select colleges and universities throughout the American South, recognizes recipients for their excellence of character, humanitarian service and spiritual qualities. The award has been presented annually to a male student, a female student and one non-student at TROY since 1981. Students, faculty and staff nominate candidates for the award.

Related: Three changemakers receive Sullivan Awards from Rhodes College 

“Troy University is a place of value and values,” said Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. “We feel it is appropriate that we present the Sullivan Awards at Troy University because it reflects our focus on leadership and the importance of integrity in leadership. These values, I believe, are more important in our society today than ever before.”

Here’s more about this year’s Sullivan Award recipients at Troy University:

Linnie Russell
Russell is a Millennium Scholar recipient and has maintained a 4.0 GPA during her time at Troy. She has served as vice president of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society, has been active with Baptist Campus Ministries since 2018 and is a peer writing tutor in the University’s Learning Center.

Last fall, Russell led members of the English Honor Society in a winter coat drive for the needy, placing donation boxes throughout campuses and taking the donations to St. Martin Catholic Church. As a member of Baptist Campus Ministries, she has volunteered for community service and campus clean-up projects, participated in local missions and ministries events, and delivered care packages to fellow Troy students. Most recently, Russell spent her spring break doing disaster relief work in Mayfield, Ky., the site of a tornado that caused extensive damage to the town on Dec. 10.

In addition, Russell is active in ministries of her home church, Taylor Road Baptist Church, where she launched a girls’ ministry, coordinated student activities and retreats, and helped organize mission projects and trips.

Related: Sullivan Award recipient is hero on and off the football field at Davidson College

Justin Thomas
Thomas has been an active part of the Troy campus community, serving as a member of Freshman Forum during the 2018-2019 academic year, as freshman forum director during the 2019-2020 academic year, as a Student Government Association senator, and as an Army ROTC cadet.

He’s a member of Alpha Tau Omega, where he has served on the fraternity’s executive board for three years and has been active in the chapter’s annual philanthropy event, Walk Hard. The event is an annual 128.3 mile trek from the Troy campus to Pier Park in Panama City during spring break to raise money for Jeep Sullivan’s Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures, which is based in Bonifay, Fla. In March, he joined another fraternity brother in becoming the first to participate in four straight Walk Hard events. During this year’s effort, the chapter raised a record $125,000 to assist wounded warriors.

Thomas has been named to the Chancellor’s list numerous times throughout his Troy career and was named last fall to “The 87,” formerly Who’s Who, which recognizes juniors, seniors and graduate students who have excelled in campus leadership and in their academic area. Selections to “The 87” are made based on academic standing, community service, leadership ability and potential for continued success.

Joe McCall
McCall is known for his service to students as well as to fellow faculty and staff members at Troy. He serves as a faculty advisor for the NAAC and the International Student Cultural Organization and, with his background as a chemical dependency therapist in private practice, is involved in efforts on campus to assist students who are negatively impacted by their own or another’s misuse of alcohol or drugs. He received the Troy Faculty Council’s Excellence Award in 2008.

McCall lives in Troy with his wife, Xiaojuan “Silvia” Li, a member of the University’s International Programs staff, and the couple has a son, Finn.

This article has been edited from the original version appearing on the Troy University website.

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