Accounting and business management major Kasey Warner is all about the numbers. The thing is, when you actually run the numbers, it doesn’t seem to add up.
“I don’t feel like I do a whole lot, but I guess I just try to do whatever I can,” Warner says.
Let’s break it down: Warner is 30 years old, she has a two year old son, she’s a double major, and she’s a work-study in the Montpelier center’s business office. For most people, that’s plenty to keep busy with. For Warner, well, that’s just the start. Between running a household, attending classes, completing homework, and performing work-study duties, the Chelsea native somehow fits in peer tutoring, staffing The Learning Center, volunteering for clean-up projects in the community, and helping out anybody in any way she can. And now she’s being recognized for it.
Warner, along with ten other CCV students, has been chosen as one of the College’s first recipients of its new Student Leadership Scholarship. Inspired by the outstanding leaders that pass through the College’s twelve brick-and-mortar academic centers as well as the Center for Online Learning, the college has created the new scholarship to recognize and reward these students for their dedication to helping others. In total, $13,000 will be awarded annually with the first disbursements being made for the spring 2013 semester.
CCV President Joyce Judy said that this level of engagement can be found at all of the College’s centers and the scholarship was created not just to reward, but also to inspire.
“This is primarily a scholarship of recognition for students who really have an impact on their peers, but we also want to show other students how they can become student leaders,” Judy said. “There are great ways for students to engage with their learning, with other students, and with their communities while they study at CCV. Studies show that engagement is a key to student persistence and success. “
For Warner, that certainly is the case. While tutoring peers in accounting she said she learned a lot from those she was working with, coming away from the experience with a stronger appreciation for her own field as well as the subjects her peers are studying. Learning and teaching go hand-in-hand, Warner said. Nonetheless, she said she was surprised and pleased to have been selected.
“I really didn’t expect to be nominated,” Warner, who received her award letter over the break, said. “After the holiday I had quite a bit in my mailbox, and then when I opened it, I was like, ‘well this is a nice surprise! This will really help!’”
In the case of Samantha Austin, the recipient nominated from the St. Johnsbury academic center, those leadership qualities CCV was looking for manifested themselves in myriad ways.
“I pretty much do a little bit of everything – front desk work, filing, orientation workshops, community outreach,” Austin said of her experience at the St. J center. “It [leadership] is a badge I never thought I’d be wearing. I don’t really consider myself a leader. I prefer to be considered a resource.”
Austin, who started her academic career at Johnson State College but has now taken up studies at CCV, said she prides herself on helping her fellow students navigate the ins-and-outs of CCV and on being an active member in her community. For the past two years, between studying, serving on the Student Advisory Board, and performing work-study duties, the 21-year-old Danville native helped organize the 2012 Santa Fund with the St. Johnsbury fire department and worked with VT Supports Our Troops on fundraising and care package efforts for Vermont soldiers deployed overseas.
Despite all of these efforts, Austin also said she had no idea she’d been selected.
“My supervisor told me she had submitted a name but she didn’t tell me who it was, so I was really surprised.”
As was Austin’s mother, who read her the award letter over the phone.
“I could hear her excitement as she read through the letter,” Austin said. “Hearing her get that little surprise has made this ten times better.”
Along with Austin and Warner, the College has also awarded scholarships to Stephanie Scrivens, Lucas Griggs, Hannah Laplaca, Tonya Rupe, Allen Berquist, Megan Stafford, Stacy Garciadealba, Hannah Bapp, and Danielle Martel. These students were selected from a broader field of nominees who over the past year organized Get Out the Vote campaigns, served as peer tutors, participated in Tropical Storm Irene clean-up efforts, and generally exhibited the qualities of leadership that inspired their fellow students, staff, and faculty to nominate them for the scholarship.
Ryan Dulude, lead financial aid counselor at CCV Winooski and a member of the scholarship committee, said each of the College’s academic centers were in charge of selecting a single nominee from their student rolls. Narrowing the field down, he said, was a difficult process for all of the centers.
“It was very difficult,” Dulude said. “We have a lot of great students at CCV and a lot of students who are active in their communities, so it was very hard to just single out one person.”
Nonetheless, Dulude said the recipients are the “tip of the top” and he hopes this inaugural scholarship will have far reaching implications in the future.
“I’m hoping students will see their peers and the fantastic work they’re doing and it will propel them to do something great in their community and in their college,” he said.
Along with the financial award they’ll each receive, students selected for the leadership scholarship have been invited to a luncheon with President Judy. At the luncheon, they will receive certificates acknowledging their award and they will be asked to share their stories with the audience.
“At every CCV academic center, there are special students who exhibit great leadership, in their classes, with other students in their centers, or in their communities through service learning or other activities,” Judy said. “We wanted to do something to honor and recognize these special students for the gift of leadership that they give back to CCV.”