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Student Life Awards Highlight Good Work and Community Service By Students and Staff

Quick Facts

 Counts-Davis of West Columbia, S.C., received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award, while McDonald of Sumter, S.C., won the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award.
 The prestigious American Legion Awards were given to DeShawn Clement and Sarah Cohen.

Audry Christine Counts-Davis
and Vice President Frank Ardaiolo
Austin McDonald and Vice
President Frank Ardaiolo
ROCK HILL, S.C. — Seniors Audry Christine Counts-Davis and Austin McDonald captured top honors at the 2014 Winthrop University Student Life Awards ceremony on April 17. Frank Ardaiolo, vice president for student life, presented the awards.

Counts-Davis of West Columbia, S.C., received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award, while McDonald of Sumter, S.C., won the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. Sponsored by the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, the two awards are presented annually to students who have given great service to the university and plan to continue service after graduation.

Counts-Davis will graduate in May with an early childhood education degree. She has been a Peer Mentor, has won the “Most Valuable Participant” Award with the Serving Others And Reflecting (SOAR) organization, volunteered as a Winthrop Ambassador and has been active with the Council of Student Leaders and her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. McDonald is an integrated marketing communication major graduating in May who served as an Orientation Leader and was president of his Kappa Sigma fraternity and the Winthrop Ambassadors.

The prestigious American Legion Awards were given to DeShawn Clement and Sarah Cohen. The awards are presented annually to graduating students who display outstanding courage, companionship, character, service and scholarship. Clement, a family and consumer sciences major from Greenville, S.C., who is graduating in May, is a Close Scholar, Winthrop Ambassador, Men’s Leadership Mentor and Kappa Sigma and Fraternal Conduct Board member.

Cohen is from North Augusta, S.C, and will have a political science and philosophy & religious studies degree next month when she graduates with honors. Committed to fighting poverty and to seeking social justice, Cohen is a member of the A21 Campaign to end human trafficking; has worked in Guatemala for two summers in a free health clinic; and worked with young orphaned girls involved in sex trafficking. She also is president of Pi Sigma Alpha, vice president of the Winthrop ONE Chapter and is a member of the advisory board to the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

The James C. and Kimberly Dickens Williamson Leadership Award is given to two undergraduates who demonstrate campus or community leadership. Taylor Jernigan, a junior psychology major from Cassatt, S.C., and Lisa Howard, a sophomore biology student from Lamar, S.C., were chosen to receive the awards. Jernigan has served as staff coordinator for the 2013 and 2014 Orientation Leadership Staff, belongs to several honor societies, has been a resident assistant in Thomson Hall, is a vice president of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and a Winthrop Ambassador. Howard is a 2013 and 2014 Peer Mentor, a member of the Student Alumni Council and a participant in the university’s undergraduate research program in developmental biology.

The Combining Service and Learning Faculty Award went to Geoffrey Morrow `09, director of Winthrop’s Outdoor Education Center and an instructor in the Department of Physical Education, Sport & Human Performance, who gives area children a chance to rock climb, swim, try the ropes courses and visit a college campus through his service-learning courses for Winthrop students. College students learn from the hands-on experience and younger children are exposed to activities that impact self-esteem, health and communication skills.

Rising senior and theatre major Jarrod Bennett from Huntersville, N.C., was recognized with the Gloria Godfrey Jones Outstanding Tutor Award for his passion in making math a positive experience and giving his students the confidence to build on their math skills.

The Exemplary Service by an Individual Award was given to Sade Williams, a senior business administration major and sociology minor from Charleston, S.C., for her support and leadership with Relay for Life. Having lost her mother to breast cancer, she has dedicated herself to cancer awareness, is interning now with the N.C. American Cancer Society and hopes to work for the American Cancer Society.

Additional awards included:

Newman Civic Fellows Award:Alexis Eaddy, a junior who is a social work major and peace, conflict & resolution minor, who wants to pursue a law degree and then a career in international relations.

The Multicultural Student Life Award: Chandler Cox, a rising senior majoring in psychology from Columbia, S.C., who wants to pursue graduate work in clinical psychology.

The Serving Others and Reflecting (SOAR) Award: Leah Price, a sophomore sports management major from Columbia, S.C., for her service as its public relations chair and participation in more than 10 SOAR events. She particularly enjoyed working in Rose's Kitchen.

Intern of the Year: Dedra Darby, a Chester native who earned a music performance undergraduate degree and is now pursuing a master’s degree in social work. She interned with Regency Hospice.

Student Organization With Exemplary Record of Service: Student Dietetic Association for their partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs, creation of an on-campus Farmer’s Market, assistance with a survey translated in Spanish to measure community needs and other educational efforts.

Exemplary Single Service Project By a Group: Students Challenging Others to Pursue Excellence (SCOPE) which works with children living in poverty within the Boyd Hill community by offering tutoring four days a week and putting in more than 2,200 volunteer hours in academic work and social activities.

Fred Angerman Quality Staff Award: Pam Varraso, an administrative specialist in Student Affairs, for working closely with student groups.

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