A woman who has achieved national recognition for her environmental achievements and a U.S. Navy research physician who is now the dean of a medical school were selected to receive the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from Hillsboro Community Unit School District Educational Foundation.
Carole (Hoover) Allen of Houston, TX, graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1953.
Allen, daughter of the late Dan and Goldie Hoover of Hillsboro, has been, since the late 1970s, a leader in the conservation movement to protect and save sea turtles from extinction.
In 1982 she founded HEART (Help Endangered Animals Ridley Turtles), a grass roots all-volunteer organization that raised money and informed the public about the plight of the Kemp's Ridley sea turtle, which was being decimated by poaching, predation and the shrimp industry. Turtles often drowned after being caught in the boats' nets. Allen mobilized other environmental organizations and testified at federal hearings to get legislation passed requiring the shrimp industry to install the turtle excluder device (TED) on all shrimping boats.
HEART was later merged with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project, a California-based organization that works to preserve all species of sea turtle. Allen is the now the Restoration Project's Gulf Office director. Awards recognizing her achievements have come from the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serivce, National Marine Fisheries Service and Houston Sierra Club, among others.
Allen is also the author of the soon-to-be published book, Dare To Dream, a biography of the astronaut, Dr. Bernard Harris, Jr., the first African-American to walk in space. After high school graduation, she worked at Montgomery County Farm Bureau and the Illinois Public Aid office before marrying Bill Allen, whose father was pastor of Raymond Methodist Church. Bill died in 1988.
Larry Laughlin, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Laughlin, son of Mrs. Meribah Laughlin of Litchfield and the late Rev. William Laughlin, earned his bachelor's degree from Millikin University, Decatur, and his M.D., magna cum laude, from St. Louis University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases at Harvard Medical Service, Boston City Hospital.
He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy in 1971 and in 1975 began active duty as a research medical officer at the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 in Cairo, Egypt. He later obtained a Ph.D. from the London, England, School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr. Laughlin served as program manager for the Navy's infectious disease research efforts before assuming command of the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, Maryland. In 1992 he was transferred to the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences as director of the Division of Tropical Public Health, Department of Preventive Medicine and Biometrics, and later became chair of the department.
In May 2002 he was appointed dean of the F. Edward HŽbert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Dr. Laughlin has received numerous honors, including selection to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, Outstanding Preventive Medicine Lecturer, Tropical Medicine and Traveler's Health Teaching Award and the Meritorious Service Medal, United States Navy.