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This item originally appeared in the April 22, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

A new scholarship, the Man of the Decade award, Perfect Ten awards and the introduction of plans to build a new facility were all part of the IDEA Place's 10th anniversary scholarship dinner celebration April 15.

The dinner was held in the Thomas Assembly Center, Waggoner Room.

Glenn Beer, director of the Science and Technology Education Center, said they are honoring those who have helped with the IDEA Place.

"[Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau] has significantly invested in the center," Beer said. "Without his support, we would not exist and this will be an on-going tribute to Dr. Reneau."

Reneau was given the Man of the Decade award and said he was honored.

"There are many others who are probably more deserving, but I am delighted and very appreciative," Reneau said. "The IDEA Place serves a big function here and it has been my privilege to support it."

The new Daniel D. Reneau Mathematics/Science Educator Scholarship, a $1,000 annual scholarship, was introduced but has yet to be awarded.

The scholarship is part of a partnership between the IDEA Place and the College of Engineering and Science and is in honor of Reneau.

Ten people were recognized for their contributions to the IDEA Place. They were honored with the Perfect Ten presentation.

Honorees were: Dr. Carolyn Talton, professor Emeritus in the College of Education; Linda Ramsey, an associate professor of biology; Dr. Stanley Napper, interim dean of the College of Engineering and Science; and Dr. Jo Ann Dauzat, dean of the College of Education.

Dr. Jerry Andrews, who was the dean of the College of Education in 1994 when the IDEA Place opened, was also included in the Perfect Ten.

Also recognized in the Perfect Ten were Jody Backus, of Backus True Value Hardware; Ellzey Simmons, coordinator of the Trailblazer Rural Development Institute; Tony Gilley, owner of nearly 22 McDonald's restaurants and president of Gilley Enterprises; and Andy Halbrook, president of the Ruston-Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Convention & Visitor's Bureau.

Ron Sasser, Tammy Cox and Cynthia Osborne of Ouachita Parish School System were also recognized as part of the group.

Beer said right now they are in the process of building a new facility for the IDEA Place.

The new Science and Technology Education Center will be 33,000 square feet and combine the IDEA Place, NASA Research Center, Planetarium into one building.

"With the additional space it could be a showcase to highlight what Tech does for the community," Beer said.

Beer said he thinks the center has enough support here in the community to make it happen.

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