February 22, 2010 Rotogram


Chris Blount, executive director of the Wilson Research Foundation at Jackson’s Methodist Rehabilitation Center, will detail the institution’s support of research on stroke, and brain and spinal injuries.


Eleanor Griffin, Southern Living editor, will tell us about the region’s premier magazine and present a short video called “Soul of the South” next week.


Invocation and Pledge: Mikell Davis

Attendance: There were 113 members (38 exempt, 1 honorary) present and 82 (13 exempt, 11 honorary) absent.

Guests and visitors: Rotary Youth Exchange students Kasper Eriksen and Francesa Scaravelli were our only guests.

Makeup: Maridith Geuder in West Point.

Kudos: Roy Ruby was named Mississippi State University Alumnus of the Year.

      Lynne Richardson was named University of Montevallo Alumna of the Year.

      John Herring, Troop 14 assistant scoutmaster, received the Silver Beaver, Scouting’s top council award for volunteer leaders.


Loren Zimmerman, rodeo chair, reported that attendance at the event was quite good in spite of weather and many other things going on around town.

      Not only does the rodeo benefit our club, Bricklee Miller reports that it has a significant economic impact on Starkville from the contestants and out-of-town spectators. Spinning off of the Dixie National Rodeo, we had the largest number of contestants in the event’s four years.

      Event volunteers included: Kasper Eriksen, Francesa Scaravelli, Keith Remy, Judy Couey, Donna Reese, Debra Hicks, Rex Buffington, Les Potts, Dave Breaux, Andy Gaston, Martha Wells, Graham Wells, Carolyn Jackson, Mike Mazzola, Grand Arinder, Alan Tucker, Peggy Buckley, John Simpson, Terry Simpson, Carey Hardin, Ned Browning, John Robert Arnold, Kim Richardson, Jim Tisdale, Tommy Tomlinson, Trey Breckenridge, Zack Rowland, Karen Cooley, Haley Brown, Bricklee Miller, Larry Mullins, Melissa Dixon, Larry Box, Mikell Davis and Nellah Taylor. Starkville’s Miss Hospitality, Haley Smith, was there both evenings.

      Following Loren’s compliments to the volunteers, President Martha said, “Most of all we want to thank Loren for his leadership.”


Dinah Jordan reminded us to mark our calendars for the annual banquet on March 8. Social hour begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:45. Be sure to sign the reservation form on your table.


“mina-san konnichiwa” (hello everyone)

Jarred Reneau, MSU aerospace graduate student, is the third Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar sponsored by our club in three years.

      He spent three months in a language immersion program in Japan from October through January. The MSU graduate already had two years of language study at State.

      With a professional interest in electric propulsion systems, his goal is to become an astronaut and engineer with NASA. Jarred explained that Japan and Russia have the main research programs in that area. So, he wants to build and maintain bridges between the U.S. and Japan.

      With a 2008 internship at NASA in Huntsville, he already has established a research track record. He has presented two papers at student conferences and has two scholarly publications scheduled.

      One of his trip highlights was a visit to JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. There he toured the facility where the Japanese component of the International Space Station was assembled.

      The core of Jarred’s time in Japan was spent at the language school in Wakayama City (population 386,501). It is in the southern-central region of Japan’s main island Honshū.

      To set the perspective, he explained that Japan is about the size of California, but has about half the population of the United States.

International Service — Nancy Hargrove, past Ambassadorial Scholarship chair, and President Martha join Ambassadorial Cultural Scholar Jarred Reneau at the lectern. He closed his report saying, “I thank each and everyone of you for helping me achieve this dream.”

      He arrived jet-lagged on the day before the first typhoon of season.

“I went all the way around the world to be in the same place,” quipped the New Orleans native. “And, I didn’t even leave home.”

      Another of Jarred’s passions is eating. He noted that there was a lot of good seafood in the area. Also, Wakayama City is known for the best mikan oranges in the country.

 On an orange-picking outing, Jarred racked up two bags and said he probably ate that much more.

      Noting the many small food shops, he learned that the polite compliment to the cook is to slurp your soba noodles.

      Although he took his scholarship responsibilities very seriously, he found it difficult to establish a service project. On the other hand, he spoke to lots of different clubs. He brought home banners from all nine Wakayama clubs.

      All of his speeches were in Japanese. He said he was often greeted with the question, “sukoshi speechoo?” Translated, that’s “short speech?” His three-minute orations were heartily welcomed.

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