TROJAN HEART: Dothan student wins inaugural award

Published 4:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2018

Troy University named Dothan student Ashley Calloway the winner of the inaugural Trojan Heart Challenge on Wednesday for her service to the community.

Calloway, a senior at Troy’s Dothan Campus, is the founder of the Dothan chapter of Chicktime, a nonprofit aimed at connecting women to volunteer opportunities in their communities. She is dedicated to helping women and children who are escaping abusive situations, spending much of her time with the Alabama Baptist Children’s Home in Dothan.

“I’m a little overwhelmed, but I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am,” Calloway said. “Our ABCH babies are about to get spoiled. Anytime we have any type of donation like this, we always spend it on them to fund maybe a field trip, Christmas gifts or something to make their lives a little better.”

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Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., and his wife, Janice Hawkins, presented Calloway with a $1,000 check to be donated to the charity.

A selection committee chose Calloway from a field of 36 individuals who were nominated for the award, which goes to a student, faculty or staff member who embodies the “Trojan Heart” through acts of service or good deeds.

“You can think with your head, but you also need to be led by your heart,” said Hawkins Jr. “The world needs more givers like this.”

Candidates were selected based on four criteria: impact of a good deed, how emblematic the deed was of Troy University, sincerity of nomination, and deservedness of the award.

“Ashley has been such a leader and touchstone for women and children in need who are trying to escape abuse,” said Dr. Avery Livingston Stewart, coordinator of civic engagement. “The selection committee truly felt this was the most impactful thing they saw out of the 36 nominees.”

The other two nominees for the award were Seth Leebo Tyler and Tiffany Howington.

Tyler is a senior undergraduate at the Troy campus and was nominated for helping to establish the Campus Kitchens program at Troy University.

Howington, students services adviser at Troy online and a masters student at Troy University, was nominated for creating the Troy Animal Rescue Project.

Janice Hawkins said the award will continue to go on, although it has not yet been decided exactly how or how often it will be awarded.

“It’s what I hoped for; it’s not exactly what I expected,” Hawkins said. “It’s so much bigger. I’m thinking in terms of an act of kindness someone acted upon or the organizations like the greek system that the ATO walk they just did. It’s just beyond my imagination that they’re doing that in addition to getting their degree.”