Service Awards

Each year my office gives out awards for community engagement at Celebration of Service.  Here is a list of some of the awardees.

The Walk the Talk Senior Awards recognize up to eight graduating seniors for their long-term commitment to enhancing the quality of life of community members.

The recipients often establish or lead a service effort and demonstrate that they have integrated their service experiences into their lives to the point of making personal sacrifices for the betterment of others.

This year the selection committee has chosen six recipients.  The recipients are listed in no particular order.

Caitlin Thomas

Caitlin was a Sharpe Scholar, participated in Campus Kitchens, and was the founder and president of the Project ALL.

Mallory Johnson

Mallory is a member of APO, is a co-founder of SPICE, a graduate of the Phoenix Project Social Innovation Program and is a Branch Out Regional Director for the OCES.

Jessica Kim

Jessica was an active tutor, lead a spring break Branch Out trip, founded the Campus Kitchen’s program at W&M and was a CKP Fellow.

Maggie Ryan

Maggie Ryan is a member of APO, the current President of AIDSTanzania, and is a Director for Branch Out National.

Ashley Stright

Ashley  is a member of APO, led a service trip to Romania and New Orleans, and was a team captain for the Alzheimer’s Walk for two years.

Bailey Thomson

Bailey is a previous Spirit of Service Award winner, an active member of W&M’s NAACP chapter, a Sharpe Fellow, and is the current Undergraduate Honor Council.

Nik Belanger

The Tradition of Service Award takes into consideration such attributes as community engagement, altruism, and an astute articulation of social concerns.  This year, the committee received many impressive nominations and we found it most difficult to choose just one recipient.  However, with a conviction toward selecting just one, the committee made the tough decision.

This year’s recipient is undeniably special.  His journey here at the college embraces community engagement from the angles of activism, direct action and academics—taking on a holistic approach to service.  From tutoring in the Rita Welsh Adult Literacy Program, to leading the International Justice Mission for three years, to his current work with the Virginia Organizing Project, this recipient has shown a commitment to service that is unrivaled.  His recommender wrote that “…community engagement engages every fiber of his being and is the core of his sense of self…It is no surprise to me that as a fitting next step in his life of service to others, he is now the Director for the Danville Office of VOP, living in the midst of the poor and committed to giving a voice to the voiceless in one of the most economically distressed areas in the Commonwealth.”

Tonight’s recipient has a heart that is boundless, a mind that is sharp and focused, and a dedication towards making the world a better place that has never faltered.   He wrote— “I do not want to spend my only my extra time serving it so deeply in who I am that my life becomes inseparable from the very concept.”

Celebration of Service 2010 from Roshan Patel on Vimeo.

Categories: Community Engagement & Service, Faculty & Staff Blogs, Traditions & Events

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