STARKVILLE, Miss.--Two Magnolia State residents and one each from Kentucky and Tennessee are 2013 G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Foundation Scholars at Mississippi State.
The four, along with another student and a Jackson resident, recently were recognized at a ceremony sponsored by the G.V. "Sonny" Montgomery Foundation.
Montgomery Foundation Student Leadership Awards are among several campus memorials to the late alumnus and former longtime U.S. 3rd District representative from Meridian recognized nationally for his continuing congressional efforts on behalf of the military and its service veterans.
Each receiving $3,000 awards, the new Montgomery Scholars include:
--Senior Kyle L. Bliss of Somerville, Tenn.;
--Junior Rebecca M. Cash of Louisville, Ky.;
--Junior Tiffany C. Richmond of Long Beach; and
--Graduate student Eric T. Smith of Swan Lake.
Also, junior Stephanie E. Nokes of Greenwood was honored at the ceremony with the Best Montgomery Research Paper Award.
Additionally, retired Maj. Gen. William B. "Bill" Lee of Ridgeland was this year's selection for the Montgomery Foundation Board of Directors Leadership Award. Senior vice president of Gulf Guaranty Life Insurance Co., he recently stepped down as commander of the Mississippi State Guard, volunteer arm of the Mississippi Military Department.
Kyle Bliss, the son of Russell and Kristine Bliss and a Fayette Academy graduate, is a senior interdisciplinary studies major, with concentrations in business, education and military science. In addition to service in the Mississippi Army National Guard, he is cadet battalion commander of Army ROTC at MSU.
Rebecca Cash, the homeschooled daughter of Dr. Brandon and Amy Cash, is a double-major in history and philosophy. Through the Montgomery Leadership program, she has been a very active volunteer, tutoring local students and helping renovate an elementary school basketball court, among other activities. She also is a member of the local Wesley Foundation organization and College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Council. During the summer, she will take part in a mission trip to Africa.
Tiffany Richmond, the daughter of James and Kumiko Richmond, is a geosciences/meteorology major attending MSU on an Air Force ROTC Scholarship received at Long Beach High School. In the AFROTC program, she serves as cadet operations director for the Arnold Air Society-Kenneth J. Snedden Squadron, an honorary service organization. She also is MSU Detachment 425's honor squadron commander.
Eric Smith is a University of Southern Mississippi graduate and U.S. Army Reserves veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Currently, he has completed more than half of his master of arts in teaching degree program at MSU while working as a Spanish and social studies instructor at Meridian High School.
Stephanie Nokes, a communication major, is a Pillow Academy graduate and the daughter of Thomas and Cindy Nokes. On campus, she is a member of the MSU Student Association, Stennis-Montgomery Association and Maroon Volunteer Center. With Delta Gamma, she directs the social sorority's chapter archives and e-communications.
Bill Lee is a Holmes Junior (now Community) College and University of Mississippi graduate. A Winona native, he is a former president and chairman of, respectively, the Jackson Touchdown Club and Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. An avid student of history, he is a much-sought speaker on World War II, including European battles and German submarine activity in the Gulf of Mexico. He holds the Magnolia Cross for meritorious service to the Mississippi State Guard and the state.