Professor of Education and Director of Teacher Education Peggy Redman was the Spirit of La Verne Award winner at the University’s inaugural Spirit of La Verne Awards ceremony held in the Church of the Brethren Thursday.
The event was created to honor ULV undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and La Verne community members, who best represent the values of the University.
The award categories included Community Engagement, Diversity and Inclusivity, Interfaith Cooperation and the Newman Civic Fellow award, — along with the Spirit of La Verne Award.
“The engagement awards are given to a group of individuals who exemplify the spirit of community engagement of ULV,” said Marisol Morales, director of the Office of Civic and Community Engagement.
“These awards are infused with the essence of who we are as an institution and those who seek to continue to build a more engaged university,” she said.
Winners of Community Engagement Awards were current La Verne student Melissa Mendoza, alumna Kristine Angel Acosta, and faculty Omid E. Furutan, assistant professor of management, and Issam Ghazzawi, professor of management.
Hillcrest Homes, a senior living facility in La Verne, also won a Community Engagement Award for its community partnership.
The Diversity and Inclusivity awards honored those who have made outstanding contributions in this area at the University.
The awards went to current student Breana Mercedes White, Director of Foundation and Corporate Relations Denise M. Gutierrez, Adjunct Instructor of History Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, and the Coalition for Diversity, a faculty-led committee.
“Those who received this award demonstrate a substantive diversity and or inclusivity achievements that are above and beyond typical organization activities and job duty expectations,” Chief Diversity and Inclusivity Officer Joy Lei said.
Interfaith Cooperation Awards went to those who create an awareness and respect for interfaith activity on campus and throughout the La Verne community.
Winners included senior foreign languages major Tahil Sharma, Professor of Religion Richard Rose and community member Rev. Jan W. Chase.
“These awards honor people, programs, and organizations that have made an outstanding contribution throughout our campus,” University Chaplain Zandra Wagoner said.
“It can’t get more humbling than this,” said Sharma, who leads multiple clubs on campus and has been awarded a President’s Scholarship.
“Genuinely, I feel like I don’t deserve it, and I feel like there are more worthy people but its a blessing. Recognizing me will motivate me to keep coin what I am doing.”
The Newman Civic Fellow Award was given to sophomore business administrations major Jacqueline Perez Valencia.
Sharma was a recipient of this award last year.
“I am very honored tonight,” Valencia said.
“When Marisol (Morales) told me of my nomination, I was a little surprised because I am aware of the work I do, but I don’t do it for awards, I do it because I want to.”
“These awards certainly demonstrate how it takes a village to make difference” Redman said.
“I feel like I’m standing on the shoulders of many who went before me at the University of La Verne because this place has been filled with people who believed in all three of the areas that these awards embody.”
Kristine Delgadillo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.