Davidson Senior Melodie Mendez is among 17 North Carolina student winners of the 2012 "Community Impact Award" from Campus Compact, a national coalition that promotes civic engagement in higher education. The award was announced just days before she was also named as senior class recipient of the college's Goodwin-Exxon award for high standards of character, friendliness and consideration for others.
When it comes to community engagement, Savannah-Jane Griffin is very much a part of Stetson University’s past and present.
Walking on to campus, Savannah-Jane Griffin already possessed a passion to help in her community. As a student at Maritime and Science Technology (MAST) Academy, a public magnet school in Miami, she interned at a local hospital, working in pediatrics.
A career in medicine didn’t pan out — she couldn’t take the sound of crying babies — but she did maintain her interest in experiential learning and service. Her Stetson education only broadened that appeal. When she graduated in 2007 earning a Bachelor of Business Administration with a focus in Management, she was promptly hired to become part of Stetson’s official community-engagement efforts. By the time she received her M.B.A. a year later, she was entrenched as a campus go-to.
Zach Triplett said the values he learned at Emory & Henry are shaping him into a successful person who isn’t afraid to reach for the stars, or rather, the clouds.
Triplett is a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines, a job that allows him to travel throughout the world. “And, I actually get paid for it, too,” said the 2010 alumnae, a resident of Port Orange, Florida. “I love my job because no day is ever the same.”
The sky is the limit for the E&H grad. In the Spring of 2013, Triplett received his Private Pilot certificate and in the next couple years, he plans to earn the remaining ratings and licenses in order to become a commercial airline pilot.
Our student recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award goes to a young woman from Davidson, North Carolina. She is an English major and ethnic studies concentrator. She has spent four years as a Bonner Scholar, and according to one, is the leader within the group, organizing the ideas and initiatives of her peers to bring to action. Her primary focus is on youth advocacy, whether tutoring at a local elementary school, The LEARNWORKS afterschool program at Ada Jenkins, or as a Servant Leader for the Freedom Schools in the summer.
At first, Elizabeth Dunn wondered how in the world she could fit community service into her college schedule.
Now she wonders how in the world she could have ignored her volunteer spirit.
Dunn, a first-year student at Maryville College, is a Bonner Scholar. In exchange for scholarship dollars, she volunteers at least 40 hours monthly at the Gateway to Independence, a local non-profit agency whose mission is to help young adults with disabilities to achieve independence by providing them with vocational training and social activities.
While most of his classmates were adjusting to being away from home, Emory & Henry alumnus Henri Fitzgerald was juggling a college education and raising a family.
“I was a parent for most of my time at Emory & Henry, so my family was very important to me,” said Fitzgerald. “I wanted to set a good example, so I tried to excel at everything I tried. This included being a father, husband, athlete, volunteer and good citizen.”
It’s clear the alumnus is no stranger to accomplishing the goals he sets for himself. In 2000, Fitzgerald graduated with a bachelor of science degree in business management and a bachelor of arts degree in political science.
When first-generation college graduate Dustin Bruner ’16 started his career at Centre College, he had a concrete idea of where his life was headed. But by the time he received his Centre diploma after graduating in May, his life—and his interests—had changed drastically.
Bruner had every intention of pursuing pre-med studies to become a doctor when he enrolled at Centre. But the variety of classes he took began to change his mind.
When Maryville College senior Brandon Denney ’16 began volunteering at local service sites, food became his focus.
As a Bonner Scholar, Denney spends 10 hours a week volunteering at local non-profits. Through his volunteer work, he witnessed food waste firsthand at various jobs and volunteer sites.
While volunteering at a local afterschool program, he also noticed that students in the program had access to healthy and nutritious food that many similar programs were unable to provide.
Experiential learning through community engagement is a long term investment. Sometimes the payoff takes decades because Guilford College's stewardship is built on the idea that some good things can't be measured by quarterly returns or academic semesters. Bonner Center for Community Service and Learning and its student coordinators and teams of student volunteers have run some community sites for years, long enough for refugee and immigrant children who were tutored by Guilfordians to have grown up ready for college themselves.
"The Bonner Scholars program not only showed me the world, it changed the way I see it. Bonner Scholars who complete their service hours during the school year receive a stipend to cover travel and living expenses on an international service trip of their choice each summer. I was able to study and complete my volunteer work in Mexico, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Dubai, China, and India."