LaGrange College to recognize Alumni Achievement recipients
LaGrange College will recognize three new honorees for its Shackelford Alumni Achievement Awards during homecoming ceremonies Friday.
This year’s Shackelford recipients are Alonzo Harris, a 2004 graduate, of Boston; Dr. Moody Clarkson McCall, 1981 graduate, of Atlantic Beach, Fla.; and Dr. Sharlene Donaldson Toney, a 1999 graduate, of Newnan.
• Alonzo Harris received a bachelor of music degree in creative music technologies from LaGrange College in 2004. While still a student at LaGrange, he was the first-place winner in the Goliard Competition for his chamber composition “First Impression.”
He received a two-year scholarship to the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, where he earned a master’s degree in music with a concentration in contemporary improvisation.
Harris serves on the part-time faculty at the Berklee College of Music as an assistant professor of music in ensemble performance. He also served as professor of humanities at Roxbury Community College, an instructor in the School of Professional and Continuing Studies at Northeastern University and international instructor for Seoul Music Institute Summer music program.
He is a respected scholar in African-American musical styles and improvisation methodology and aesthetics. He created a course, urban contemporary music, which he developed while on the music industry faculty at State University of New York Oneonta.
He is a musical director, keyboardist, pianist, organist and vocalist. As a producer, songwriter, arranger and composer, he has worked with artists in such diverse genres as gospel, rhythm and blues, pop, hip hop, chamber music and avante-garde improvisation.
He also performs with and arranges music for A7, a musical group made up of him and his brothers.
The accomplished musician has collaborated with some of the country’s best production companies. In 2010, he was featured as musical director and keyboardist for Jermaine Paul, the 2012 winner of “The Voice.” The next year, he shared a Grammy nomination with Betty Wright in the traditional R&B vocal performance category, and in 2012, he was nominated for a Grammy for his work on Wright’s album, “The Movie.”
This summer, he worked as composer, arranger and co-producer for a No. 1 album from Atlantic Records while also on a promotional tour with new artists signed to RCA and Interscope/Universal Music Group.
Harris provided music for the last three presidential inaugurations, and his compositions have been heard on TV shows, NPR radio and on various stages. He has been commissioned by the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra to provide an arrangement of spirituals for the November 2013 concert.
• Dr. Moody McCall graduated from LaGrange College in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry. He went on to earn a doctor in veterinary medicine from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 1986.
He is owner and veterinarian at San Pablo Animal Hospital in Jacksonville, Fla.
Since 2005, he also has been a trainer for Canine Companions for Independence, the largest source of service dogs in the United States. The organization has provided highly trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge, since 1975.
In 2011, McCall received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.
He is active with professional and community groups, including serving on the board of Canine Companions. He is on the Alumni Council and Admissions Committee at the University of Florida vet school. He is a member and past president of Jacksonville Veterinarian Medical Association.
He participates regularly in tennis tournaments and bike rides for charity, is a member and past trustee for Community Presbyterian Church and volunteers with pet therapy programs at local hospitals, Ronald McDonald House, schools and nursing care facilities.
McCall’s work with Canine Companions includes teaching obedience classes twice a month for puppy raisers of CCI dogs in the Jacksonville area, and providing free vet care and tests to service dogs and puppies in training in the Southeast.
• Dr. Sharlene Toney, a former LaGrange resident now living in Newnan, received her bachelor of science degree in nursing from LaGrange College. She also holds an associate degree in nursing from Columbus State University and a bachelor’s degree in education from St. Joseph’s College.
At Georgia State University, she earned a master’s degree in adult health nursing in 2001, a post-master’s certificate in gerontology in 2002 and a doctorate in nursing in 2007.
Toney serves as the corporate director of Professional Nursing Practice and Development at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta. Her previous employment has included director of nursing research and professional nursing practice and development for Emory Healthcare and dean of health sciences at West Georgia Technical College.
At West Georgia Health in LaGrange, she served as clinical nurse specialist in gerontology and a clinical education coordinator; coordinator of nursing education; primary nurse in the orthopedic unit; head nurse in the medical unit and medical/surgical nurse.
She worked as interim director of nursing and education director at George H. Lanier Memorial Hospital and Nursing Home, Valley, Ala., and a urology department nurse at Clark-Holder Clinic.
Toney’s honors include a 2011 nomination for the March of Dimes nurse of the year award in Atlanta, outstanding graduate student in 2002 from the Gerontology Center at Georgia State and graduate achievement award from the master’s program at Georgia State in 2001.
From 1998 to 2001, she was the National Basic Life Support Faculty representative for Georgia to the American Heart Association. Her work with the AHA and its Heartsaver-Automatic External Defibrillator Program has brought her awards such as the outstanding service award for basic cardiac life support, AHA emeritus faculty award and the award for outstanding performance and dedication to the AHA Heartsaver AED program.
Toney is active in her community. In 2003, she participated in the Jimmy Carter Work Project for Habitat for Humanity in Troup County and was a member of the Troup County Heart Association.
She is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives, Southern Nursing Research Society, National Nursing Honor Society Sigma Theta Tau, Georgia Gerontology Society, American Nurses Association, Georgia Nurses Association, National Intravenous Nurses Society and National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists.
She served as vice president, secretary and delegate for the Georgia Nurses Association, District 23. She was the first president of the LaGrange College Nursing Honor Society, and the first nursing student representative on the LaGrange College Research Council.
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