District hands out awards in 13 groups

Published 1:00 am Sunday, September 18, 2011

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District has announced its annual award winners.

The District is one of three Corps entities in Vicksburg and one of six regional river districts nationwide.

Col. Jeff Eckstein, commander of the District, presented this year’s awards during an Aug. 18 ceremony.

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The awards:

• Wage Grade Leadership — David Butler, a welder in the Operations Division. Butler is part of the Dredge Jadwin crew, which was awarded the Wage Grade Team Award.

• Engineer — Joey Windham, an engineer in the Engineering and Construction Division. Windham was recognized for his efforts in hydraulic engineering.

• Scientist — Christopher Koeppel, chief of the Upper Delta Planning and Environmental Section in the Regional Planning and Environmental Division, South. Koeppel leads a team of scientists.

• Professional — Louise Acuff, a program analyst in the Programs and Project Management Division. Acuff oversees the execution of the Division’s operating budget.

• Park Ranger of the Year — Robbie Hancock of the Operations Division. Hancock was recognized for his work as the natural resource specialist/park ranger for the Lake Ouachita field office’s visitor assistance program.

• Outstanding Achievement in Equal Employment Opportunity — Jacob Brister, deputy chief of the Programs and Project Management Division.

• Volunteer Leadership — Charles McKinnie, a civil engineer in the Programs and Project Management Division. McKinnie was recognized for volunteer efforts with the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club, Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce and Mutual Credit Union.

• Paddle Wheel — Dereck Redwine, an engineering technician at Grenada Lake and in the Operations Division. Redwine was recognized for flood control efforts in the Yazoo River Basin.

• Employee of the Year — Patricia Hemphill, a program manager in the Programs and Project Management Division and assistant to the chief.

• Students of the Year — Robert McRae, a civil engineering senior at Mississippi State University who was recognized for his work in the Geotechnical Branch of the Engineering and Construction Division; Seth Sturdivant, an electrician intern at Grenada Lake who has an associate’s degree from Holmes Community College; and Anita Griffin, a program analyst for the Modeling, Mapping and Consequences Team in the Programs and Project Management Division who in the spring received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mississippi State University.

• Administrator of the Year — Amanda Hanks, who works in office automation at Grenada Lake and is part of the Operations Division. She was recognized for her participation in the Vicksburg District Leadership Program.

• Vicksburg District Team — Brad Arcement, Joelle Handy, Gabe Harris, Lane Vargas, Rich Feibelman, Lanny Barfield, Chris Lee, Phil LaBarre, Ricky Pearce, Tim Graham, Dustin Herr, Justin Jones, Heather Sibley and Phil Hegwood, all of the Algiers Canal Levees Team.

• Commander’s Award for Public Service — The 24-member volunteer Regulatory Earth Day Team was recognized for work on the forest and nature trail at Warren Central High School. The team members are: Jim Cole, Randy Holder, Charles Allred, Chad Phillips, Sarah Koeppel, Kevin Philley, Mike Stewart, Bert Turcotte, Jared Everiti, Taylor Bowling, Brandy Morrow, Barbara Sanders, Amiee Parker, Cori Shiers, Jennifer Mallard, Tarmiko Graham, Jana Guynes, Casey Pearson, Ramona Warren, Lakesha Self, Arel Simpson, Tonya Acuff, Mike Miller and Mike McNair.