Two Tusculum College students were recently independently recognized by national programs. Both students are participants in Tusculum College’s Bonner Leader Program.
The Bonner Leaders program engages students in service and civic work to strengthen their communities, while also building mutually beneficial relationships with community partners to achieve impact and building a broader campus culture and infrastructure for civic engagement.
Students recognized were Amber Sharp, a sophomore, athletic training major from Tazewell; and Boazin Katina, a senior education major and an international student from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Sharp applied for a grant through the Bonner Foundation and was notified recently that it had been awarded by the Foundation. The funds from the grant will go towards the creation of videos about Bonner activities on the Tusculum College campus and in the community, a project that Sharp developed for the College.
“We have already started filming,” said Sharp, adding that many of the students who participate in the Bonner Leader program are assisting with the project. “The grant money will be used for video program editing software for the College computers and for additional flip cameras.”
The finished product, submitted by Sharp and the others will be used by the Bonner Foundation to promote its program. Filming will include students working in Bonner service activities, as well as skits written and filmed by the students about what it means to be a Bonner Leader.
Katina has been named a grant winner from the College of the Hobbie Center Civic Arts Project Award that will enable him to travel to Belize this summer to “explore how the school systems work there,” he said. As an education major, Katina will be learning about Belize schools and then connecting them to what he learns on campus at Tusculum College.
“I applied for the grant in order to be able to learn and explore the challenges that the country of Belize faces in the area of education,” Katina said. “I will come back and make a presentation to other students about how Tusculum College could help kids there and hopefully start an exchange.”
The grant will cover his travel and accommodations, and although he has worked in the Spanish community before, this will be his first time to South America.
Katina was also selected to present a workshop at the 2009 IMPACT Conference in Washington, D.C., a National Student Conference on Service, Advocacy and Social Action. Katina’s presentation focused on the Tusculum College Service on Saturday (SOS) program, which he has coordinated for the past two years. The SOS program brings students from the campus together on Saturday a month to focus on a community service project. Projects have ranged from student mentoring days to clean up projects for organizations such as Rural Resources.