King University Honors Tristen Luu and Steve Playl With Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards

King University, a Sullivan Foundation partner school, presented the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards to a student and a community member in a ceremony held on August 1.

Scholar Tristen Luu, who is graduating from King University with a degree in biology, plans to pursue medical training and eventually teach medicine in an educational setting. A native of Amarillo, Texas, Luu began working with The Word at Work international mission in Amarillo at a young age, later serving with the mission in Belize. He continued his interest in missions with a King University trip to Kenya and by volunteering at several medically oriented organizations, including the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Clinic.

A resident assistant for several years, Luu served as president of King’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and a leader of Young Life at King and conducted informal Bible studies for fellow students. In addition, Luu volunteered as a youth volleyball coach and served as a tutor for anatomy and physiology students at King. He was awarded the Student Leadership Award by King University in 2018 for his dedication to, and sacrifices for, the sake of others.

Learn more about the Sullivan Foundation’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards.

“This award recognizes the actions of those who place service to others above themselves, and that describes Tristen perfectly,” said Brian Alderman, chaplain and associate professor of Bible and Religion at King University. “For many years he has showed a strong desire to help edify the strength and health of others, a calling that he has continued to follow here at King and one we believe will lead him on to increasingly greater accomplishments. We’re proud to see his efforts recognized in this wonderful way.”

King University presented the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award to community member Steve Playl, Sr.

Community member Steve Playl, Sr. has lived in and served the Bristol community for 33 years. He was the senior chaplain at Bristol Regional Medical Center for 20 years and previously pastored Woodlawn Baptist Church for many years. Playl writes a weekly human-interest column that appears in the Bristol Herald Courier as well as newspapers in Kentucky and throughout Tennessee. He serves on numerous boards and committees in the Tri-Cities region, including the board of directors for the Bristol YMCA, the Bristol Regional Medical Center Ethics Committee, and the Ballad Health Cancer Awareness Board. Playl was also asked to serve as one of seven members of a strategic prayer force in Northeast Tennessee for Gov. Bill Lee.

“Steve has served numerous organizations throughout the Tri-Cities and Tennessee and [has] been a longtime supporter of King,” Alderman said. “He has served on the King University School of Nursing Advisory Board, taught as an adjunct professor at multiple King locations for nearly a decade and a half, and maintained a steadfast commitment to his faith and family. His actions in the King community and beyond exemplify the standards of this award, and we are grateful for his dedication.”


Olivia Gouldin, Kyle Hooven and Barry Schnoor Honored With Sullivan Awards at Shenandoah University

Sullivan Foundation partner school Shenandoah University has awarded this year’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards to seniors Olivia “Livy” Gouldin and Kyle Hooven and to Director of Physical Plant Barry Schnoor, M.S.

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.

Olivia Gouldin

Olivia “Livy” Gouldin
Gouldin majored in Spanish and exercise science and earned a certificate in Religious Diversity and Leadership in the Professions. She was a tutor for biology and Spanish and received the Tutor of the Year Award in 2019. Additionally, she was the recipient of the inaugural Exercise Science Community Spirit Award in 2019. She was also inducted into the Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor society.

During her time at Shenandoah, Gouldin volunteered at the Frederick Rescue Mission and the Care Net pregnancy center, both in Frederick, Maryland, and she also served on mission trips in the United States, Honduras and Guatemala. Additionally, she provided interpreting services for the Sinclair Health Clinic in Winchester and worked with Habitat for Humanity. This past summer, Gouldin served in an internship where she assisted healthcare providers by providing translation services and attending to the cultural practices and values of patients. She then took this experience and taught her fellow exercise science students how to attend to religious and cultural diversity in healthcare.

One of Gouldin’s five nominators said her “incomparable sense of compassion has been even more apparent to me during the coronavirus-induced isolation … as she has reached out to friends who are struggling and has repeatedly shown grace.” Another nominator said, “It is her humble nature and her ability to always have a positive attitude despite challenges that help Livy embody what it is to live nobly and beautifully. Her very spirit and enthusiasm for life are contagious.”

Kyle Hooven

Kyle Hooven
Hooven, a sociology and psychology major, exemplifies the Shenandoah University spirit by seeking to create communities of compassion, responsibility, advocacy and justice. One nominator said that Hooven thinks about “how to make the world a better place for others who are not like him.” Hooven’s nominators included faculty and staff who recognized him for his exceptional character and his strong connections with classroom and co-curricular activities. Hooven was active across campus with leadership roles in the Mosaic Center for Diversity and in the First-Year Seminar, where he served as a mentor, head mentor and orientation leader. He also partnered with the Four Diamonds organization to raise money to fight childhood cancer.

After traveling to Uganda and Rwanda on a Global Experiential Learning trip, Hooven discerned international service as a vocational journey. One nominator said, “He takes personal responsibility to make the world a better place, a more just place for marginalized communities.” Another nominator said, “I have seen how he encourages other students, welcomes new student employees and creatively merges his sense of social justice with strategic programming.” His final nominator said, “Everyone deserves to have a person like Kyle Hooven in their life. When I see him, my face lights up because he brings joy wherever he goes.”

Barry Schnoor

Barry Schnoor
Barry Schnoor is the staff recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, in honor of his compassion and dedication. He regularly engages with students, learns about their needs and ensures their comfort. A nominator said, “Barry has been one of my biggest supporters and continually goes out of his way to better the lives of Shenandoah students.”

One residential student described Schnoor as a caring and compassionate individual who makes sure that their residence hall room is accessible and feels “better than home.” Schnoor is a supporter of academic programs and events on campus through his presence and kind words. One nominator said, “He leads by example and leads with his heart, and Shenandoah would not be complete without him.”

Throughout his tenure at Shenandoah, Schnoor has stepped in during emergencies, both related to Physical Plant and due to family situations in other divisions. He’s been a team player taking on roles that include mentoring and supervising students on international trips. A student nominator said: “Barry truly embodies Shenandoah’s values of community and leadership. He handles situations with a grace and ease that is both inspiring and exemplary of true noble character.”

This story has been edited slightly from the original version appearing on the Shenandoah University website.


In Historic First, Two Students Receive Sullivan Awards at Queens University of Charlotte

For the first time since Queens University of Charlotte started offering the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award in 1948, this year’s honor went to two students—Naiya Pollard (pictured above) and Johanna Mercado.

Additionally, the university gave the Sullivan Community Award to Jan Hall Brown and Edward J. Brown III.

Two awards are typically presented at Queens University of Charlotte—one to a graduating senior and another to a person or couple affiliated with the university. The school broke with that tradition this year in honoring Mercado and Pollard. Both women are first-generation college graduates from historically under-represented groups, and both have excelled during their time at Queens inside and outside the classroom, the university said. Mercado and Pollard were recognized for their integrity and contributions to their communities.

Johanna Mercado

Mercado is a Blair College of Health graduate who has been an active member of Queens’ Latin American Student Organization throughout her tenure. She also has served as a leader of the university’s freshman retreat, a L.E.A.D. mentor to minority and first-generation students, and a leader and intern at freshman registration and orientation.

Pollard, a music therapy major, has been president of the Black Student Union for two years. She is known for bringing people together on campus to discuss difficult topics through the Hard Truths program. Pollard has been a L.E.A.D. mentor to minority and first-generation students for two years and a music therapy tutor.

The community Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award went to the Browns, who exemplify a selfless dedication to service and philanthropy and a deep commitment to Queens University.

Edward and Jan Hall

Jan, who earned her undergraduate and MBA degrees from Queens, has had a career that ranged from the high school classroom to the greater Charlotte real estate community. She joined the Queens board of trustees in 2013 and has served on the nominating, governance and capital planning committees. In 2019, she will take on a new executive committee role as the board’s secretary.

Edward, a graduate of Georgia Tech and Harvard, retired from Bank of America as president of global corporate and investment banking and currently serves as chief executive officer and president of Hendrick Automotive Group, the nation’s largest privately held automotive group. He currently serves as board chairman of Atrium Health.

The Browns’ ongoing contributions to Queens can be seen in an endowed scholarship and through countless campus improvements including the Hall Brown Overcash residential hall and the Hall Brown Terrace.

This story is a slightly edited version of the original article from the Queens University of Charlotte website.