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Ogden Honors College Student Awarded 2016 CCELL Happy Award

LSU’s Center for Community Engagement, Learning and Leadership, or CCELL, has awarded Ogden Honors College student Sarah Christian with a 2016 CCELL Happy Award for excellence in service-learning.

This award was established by CCELL to recognize faculty, staff, students, and community partners who demonstrate dedicated excellence in service-learning practices. The “Happy” was initiated to commemorate former CCELL director Jan Shoemaker’s ten years of distinguished service, commitment to education, and service for the common good. CCELL presents ten Happy Awards each year, one for each year of Jan’s service as CCELL director.

“I am honored to receive the Happy Award, and I am thankful for the opportunities LSU has given me to engage with my local community,” Christian said.

Christian, a Baton Rouge native and psychology major, is a Louisiana Service and Leadership (LASAL) Scholar who has, according to LASAL co-director Cindy Seghers, “a heart for service.” Most recently, Christian has volunteered for flood relief efforts, at the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, and as a Volunteers in Public Schools (VIPS) Reading Friend. She has also been involved in Geaux H20 (formerly Swim Strong), a swimming independence program for children with cognitive and physical disabilities, and worked as a marketing and development intern for HOPE Ministries, a nonprofit in north Baton Rouge committed to preventing homelessness and promoting self-sufficiency and dignity. She is also a registered behavior technician doing therapy with children with autism.

“Sarah has an intellect to understand contextually issues in the area of social justice,” Seghers said. “She is a woman of action with plans to address those issues. She believes in walking the walk, not just talking the talk.”

“Service learning is an increasingly important tool in honors education,” said Ogden Honors College Dean Jonathan Earle.  Studies show students gain more knowledge about their academic materials and their communities by doing service learning, he said.

“At LSU I have learned that proximity to my community through service is essential to understanding and appreciating the diverse experiences of my fellow community members,” Christian said. “Service makes the world seem smaller, and it has impressed upon me that, though we struggle individually and as a community in a variety of ways, if we work together we can ultimately succeed together.”



Allison S. Howell, Ogden Honors College