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Honors Student Who Fed Thousands and Rape Survivor Advocate Receive Sullivan Awards at The Citadel

Sullivan Foundation partner school The Citadel has named two recipients of the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award: An honors student who has provided thousands of meals to the food-insecure and stood up for Native Americans and a professor who has advocated for survivors of rape and domestic violence.

Cadet Olivia Jones (pictured above) is an Honors Program student at The Citadel majoring in political science with a concentration in military affairs. Jones also serves as the Papa Company Commander, maintaining company morale while adhering to the highest ethical standards. Jones has demonstrated her commitment as a servant leader throughout her time at The Citadel, creating a Summer Food Service Program providing 3,700 meals to low-income families. She also has promoted quality of life initiatives for Native American families in New Mexico, providing community training for the most vulnerable in those communities.

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this photo shows a smiling Kristen Hefner, who won the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for faculty members at The Citadel

Dr. Kristen Hefner received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for her work in the areas of victim advocacy and domestic violence education.

Dr. Kristen Hefner, a professor in the Department of Criminal Justice, has distinguished herself as a teacher-scholar, spearheading community outreach initiatives in the areas of victim advocacy and domestic violence education and creating rich service-learning opportunities for her students. For her service-learning project with People Against Rape, a community non-profit, Hefner and her student were awarded the Good Citizen Award by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Al Cannon and community victim advocates seek to continue Hefner’s humanitarian work, with her students having created over 200 uplifting and encouraging cards for survivors who have been impacted by violence.

In partnership with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Foundation, the Citadel presents the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards annually to a student and faculty member in recognition of high thought and noble endeavor.

This story has been edited from the original version on The Citadel’s website.

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The Citadel Honors Student and Professor with the Sullivan Award for “High Thought and Noble Endeavor”

A student and a professor at The Citadel received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards during the military college’s recent commencement exercise.

Dr. Sarah Imam, a professor in Department of Health and Human performance, and Matthew Lanetti were this year’s recipient of the Sullivan Awards, which includes a bronze medallion and honors individuals of “high thought and noble endeavor.”

Dr. Imam (pictured above) “embodies the richest qualities that define the Sullivan Award,” according to a statement issued by The Citadel. Examples of her service and compassion can be noted in her work at the Lowcountry Food Bank, Random Acts of Kindness, the Special Olympics Buddy Dance, a free medical clinic, and MUSC volunteer programs.

Complementing her involvement with numerous outreach missions, Dr. Imam is also responsible for the establishment of The Citadel’s globally recognized healthcare study abroad program to Lithuania. “For the spirit of love and helpfulness that she has exhibited, we are pleased to present Dr. Sarah Imam with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award,” The Citadel statement reads.

Matthew Lanetti (Photo by Louis Brems – The Citadel)

Lanetti is a student in the Honors Program, with double majors in Chemistry and French, a Star of the West Scholar, and the recipient of several academic awards. In support of all academic initiatives on campus, he served this year as the Regimental Academic Officer, where he was a liaison among the Provost’s office, faculty, and students. Through his leadership, 26 new cadet non-commissioned academic officer positions were established.

Lanetti has been involved in service to The Citadel and the Charleston community. As an Eagle Scout, he volunteered with local Boy Scott troops and served as a volunteer at The Charleston STEM Festival and in chemistry outreach activities. Upon graduation, Lanetti will enroll in the Ph.D. in Chemistry program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “In memory of Algernon Sydney Sullivan, whose kindness and love of his fellow man forever endures, The Citadel is proud to present the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award to Cadet Matthew Lanetti,” The Citadel stated.