Shenandoah University (SU) recently presented this year’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards to seniors Regine Bumper and Micah Earnhardt and Assistant Professor of Religion Meredith Minister.
Bumper and Earnhardt were honored at the College of Arts & Sciences Honors Ceremony in the Brandt Student Center on Friday, May 17. Minister received her award at the faculty meeting held on Friday, May 24, in Halpin-Harrison Hall’s Stimpson Auditorium.
Each year the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards are presented at 70 colleges and universities across the American South. First awarded in 1890, the award goes to individuals who are committed to creating positive change.
In addition to winning the Sullivan Award, Bumper is also a Sullivan Scholarship student. She received a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Shenandoah. In her time at SU, she participated in “The Laramie Project,” “The Vagina Monologues” and 411 plays for incoming freshmen and transfer students that discussed consent, alcohol usage, conflict management and more. She served a leadership role at the [Not Just] Women’s Center and as president of the Black Student Union. She also served on the BeYOUtiful campaign panel and in the Faith Seeking Justice Christian Leadership Certificate Program. She was an Alpha Lambda Delta and an Omicron Delta Kappa inductee. As a member of the volleyball team and a First-Year Seminar mentor, she had a positive impact on students in both the classroom and on the court.
Bumper has received the Department of Exercise Science Student Leadership Award and the Timothy Doak Mentor Leadership Award. She has participated in many service-learning trips, including those in Haiti, Rwanda and Uganda, where she not only helped others feel at ease, but also demonstrated leadership, generosity and optimism. “She jumps into opportunities to grow,” said an SU professor who nominated Bumper for the Sullivan Award. “She has the courage to put herself in uncomfortable situations and helps others to do the same.”
Earnhardt received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and minored in gender and women’s studies at SU. One staff member said Micah’s greatest gift to the community is their personal strength. Micah was involved in Spiritual Life’s University Chapel at Noon and led through acting, reading scripture, facilitating and voicing of community prayer, and serving communion. Micah could often be found working in the Mosaic Center for Diversity as the student director and a mentor to 20 student employees in the office.
Micah excels at assisting others in understanding difficult concepts, one professor said. “Even more impressive, Micah managed to do this with grace and humility rather than a sense of superiority toward those who were learning for the first time about issues Micah had grappled with all their life.”
Minister is an assistant professor of religion who educates and inspires her students both in the classroom and beyond. It is through her supportive, motivational and caring nature that Minister encourages her students to reach their full potential. She goes out of her way to ensure that her students are successful and is always willing to meet with them when they are in need.
“Dr. Minister calls for us to open our minds to new perspectives on issues such as death, sex, gender, religion and life, and she shows us that a change of heart is not always a quick process,” one of Minister’s students said.