During its annual Honors Convocation ceremony earlier this month, Elmhurst College announced the recipients of the Founders Award and the Senior of the Year Award, which are among the College’s top honors for individual student academic achievement.
The Founders Award: The Courage to Change 2016 recognizes self-initiated service that effects change and embodies humane values. One of the awards is given for service to the campus; a second is given for service to the community beyond campus; and a third is given for service to the world. The Founders Award consists of a medallion, a certificate and a monetary award. Candidates are nominated by members of the College community.
Christine Croft, a senior from Lemon Grove, Calif., won the Founders Award for Service to the College Community. She is vice president of Queer Straight Alliance, president of the Spoken Word and Poetry Club, a radio show host on WRSE, a member of Best Buddies and cru, and is a writer and opinions editor of The Leader. She also is co-founder and co-president of AGAPE. She believes that “in order to leave a place better than you found it, you must identify spaces in need.”
Megan Walsen won the Founders Award for Service to the Greater Society. A senior from Brookﬁeld, Walsen has been president of Sigma Tau Delta and corresponding secretary for Kappa Kappa Gamma. Through Kappa Kappa Gamma and Kappa Delta Pi, she has participated in literacy projects by reading aloud to children and helping with book drives. She volunteers her time coaching volleyball and basketball at both the high school and junior high school level. “Taking these opportunities for service has helped me to grow immensely in spirituality because I see God’s love and kindness at work,” she says.
Faith Powell, a senior from St. Charles, won the Founders Award known as the Cureton Award for Service to the Global Community. She was the founder and president of Let’s Talk About Gender, an orientation student leader, a LeaderShape graduate and a peer advisor. She has had internships with the National Employment Lawyers Association and ARISE Chicago. She has studied in South Africa, where she volunteered with the South African Riding for the Disabled Association. She credits the opportunities she has had at Elmhurst with allowing her “to reflect and recognize my passion for service to vulnerable populations through effecting policy change.”
The Senior of the Year Award is a highly sought-after award whose winner is selected by a special committee of the Elmhurst College Alumni Association. The winner excels in academics and campus involvement, and is committed to continuing the Elmhurst College tradition. The 2016 Senior of the Year is Tyler Espino, of Hampshire, whose service to the Elmhurst College community will leave a lasting impact. He recruited students to the College as senior ambassador for the Ofﬁce of Admission, and welcomed them upon their arrival as coordinator for the orientation student leaders. He represented students on the presidential search committee. A competitor on the wrestling team, Espino also held a variety of leadership roles within Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity, including president and recruitment director. As an accounting major, Espino was a four-year member of the Honors Program and was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa.