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The Founders Award

Elmhurst University presents three Founders awards to deserving students. They embody the core mission of the University.

These awards recognize self-initiated service that has effected change that embodies humane values. The phrase “The Courage to Change the Things I Can” comes from the Serenity Prayer, written by Elmhurst University alumnus Reinhold Niebuhr ’10.

One award is given for self-initiated service to the campus; a second award is given for self-initiated service to the community; and the third award for self-initiated global service. The award consists of a medallion, a certificate and a monetary award. Candidates are nominated by members of the University community.

2022 Honorees

Service to the University Community

  • Anayeli Huerta

The Founders Award for Service to the University Community was given to Anayeli Huerta, a member of the Elmhurst cheerleading team, an Orientation Student Leader, and vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion for the Elmhurst U. chapter of Alpha Phi sorority. She also has volunteered with the University’s Dare To Dream mentorship program, and with CREO DuPage and the York Literacy Program. A first-generation college student from Hanover Park, Ill., Huerta plans to pursue a graduate degree in speech-language pathology at Northwestern University.

Service to Greater Society

  • Norbaya Durr

The Founders Award for Service to Greater Society was given to Norbaya Durr, of Chicago, who recently received a Fulbright U.S. Student award to teach English in Botswana for the 2022-2023 academic year. A double major in biology and English, Durr is the University’s first woman of color to be named a Fulbright U.S. Student Scholar, and the first Fulbright Scholar to represent the University in Africa. As a student, Durr has presented scholarly research regionally and nationally, and was an active member of the Inner City Muslim Action Network.

The Cureton Award for Service to the Global Community

  • Juan Sandoval

The Cureton Award for Service to the Global Community was given to Juan Sandoval, of Chicago, who majored in political science, urban studies and philosophy. A first-generation college student, Sandoval transferred to Elmhurst and immediately engaged with campus life. He was involved in the Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Theta Kappa honor societies, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Student Government Association, and Senators for Student Services. He also participated in a fair housing internship and a fellowship offered by the University of California-Berkeley’s Public Policy and International Affairs program.

Past Recipients

  • 2021: Laura Rusk, Ana Romo, Afaaf Amatullah
  • 2020: Shawndell Young, Emily Marquez, Becca Kaltenbach
  • 2019: Katrina Mioduszewski, Natalie Barnes, Jentry Schirmbeck
  • 2018: Nora Dixon, Estrella Vargas, Rebecca Vogt
  • 2017: Natalie Bedtke, Rebecca Britt, Georgia Petersen
  • 2016: Christine Croft, Faith Powell, Megan Walsen
  • 2015:  Meredithe Mimlitz, Chelsea Karson, Jose Flores
  • 2014: Stanley Washington, Colin Clark, Eleni Vrettos, Rachel Trumpy
  • 2013: Matthew Rohde, Colin Ashwood, Jazmine Martinez
  • 2012: Allyson Vertigan, Mohammed Kaiser Adam, Annice Coughlan, Kimberly Pitingolo
  • 2011: Romison Saint-Louis, Rachel Nelson, Amanda Ceaser, Julie Provenza
  • 2010: Elizabeth Glass, Zayna Thompson McCollum, Daniel Zarlenga
  • 2009: Soofia Ahmed, Melanie Giannosa, Jessica Sullivan
  • 2008: Inga Ezerins, Heather Forster, Laura Yurs
  • 2007: Melissa Allen, Brian Paladie
  • 2006: Eliza Stoddard Leatherberry, Rochelle Ruzicka
  • 2005: Stephen Hurley, D. Scott Tharp
  • 2004: Sarah Kiefer, Lindsay Young
  • 2003: Kelly Stone, Megan Suess
  • 2002: Sara Douglass, Julie Maxwell
  • 2001: Jennifer Newson, Emilie Steve
  • 2000: Emily Kline, Julie Mather, Laurie Rich
  • 1999: Any Wendt Ruby, Rebecca Rosenmayer
  • 1998: Kristopher Hewitt, Marti Lansu
  • 1997: LaShawn Jakes, Florence Nogaj
  • 1996: Mary Tubbs
  • 1995: Gretchen Gehrlein
  • 1994: Joan Kay
  • 1993: Eric Lindberg
  • 1992: Julie Justice
  • 1991: Alisa Lillquist
  • 1990: Sarah Strom
  • 1989: William Richter
  • 1988: Colleen Reichel
  • 1987: Shaheen Chamran
  • 1986: Patricia Badten
  • 1985: Larry Mohr

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