STARKVILLE, Miss.--Mississippi State's Day One leadership program is announcing winners of its various leadership awards and other recognitions for outstanding service during the just-completed fall semester.
The university's service-learning program for new freshmen also is paying tribute to outstanding mentors and community partners.
Business information systems major Roderick C. Erby of New Albany and elementary education major Brittney Y. Coleman of Philadelphia are the program's 2012 Outstanding Male and Female Students. He is the son of Michael Erby of New Albany and Darlene Collier-Erby of Tallahassee, Fla.; she is the daughter of Janice Coleman.
"Day One students are special in many ways, but I think their most significant attribute is that every one of them comes to Mississippi State with the intention of selflessly serving our community," said Cade Smith, assistant dean of student affairs.
Erby and Coleman worked with Day One's "Promoting the Performing Arts" project that uses musical performances to help local elementary school children learn about the solar system.
"Roderick and Brittney made good on that commitment in an exceptional manner; both are highly regarded by their peers, mentors and the community agency that they served," said Smith, who directs the campus student leadership and community engagement programs.
Erby said, "A lot of the times, schools don't recognize the importance of the performing arts, so I loved getting to teach the kids about the arts, as well as things like our solar system through our project."
Added Coleman: "Teaching the kids was such a great experience, and I actually learned a lot myself."
During a campus showcase last month, students from nearly 20 area schools performed songs they had learned through the Erby and Coleman-led project. Their accompanying artwork also was on display at the event.
"Seeing everything come together at the showcase was my favorite part of this experience," Erby said. "To see the kids enjoying themselves, and that they really learned something, made me really happy."
Coleman said Day One service "helped me gain patience and leadership skills. It was a really unique experience. The experience helped me learn control and time management, but more than anything, it helped me become a better person overall."
Also receiving special honors was Damien R. Jones of Vicksburg, who was presented the Outstanding Student Contributions to a Community Partner Award. An electrical engineering major and the son of Jon Jones and Sharolyn Bailey, he was recognized for his work with Designed with Love Child Haven, a Starkville childcare center.
Other Day One participants recognized for semester service included (by hometown):
ABERDEEN--Daron K. Chandler, a mechanical engineering major and son of Daron and Machelle Chandler;
AVON, Ind.--Allison K. Davis, an elementary education major and daughter of Blane Davis and Gayle Davis;
BILOXI--Margaret L. Grant, a biological sciences major and the daughter of Phillip Grant and Mary Parrish.
BUFFALO GROVE, Ill.--Benjamin J. Shudak, a mechanical engineering major and son of Lawerence and Karen Shudak; [Ed. note: Lawerence is the correct spelling.]
CLEVELAND--Dominique C. Pates, a psychology major and daughter of Cedric Banyon and Edna Pates;
ELLISVILLE--Katelyn Smith, a biological engineering major and daughter of James Smith;
HORN LAKE--Martesia A. Buckley, a liberal arts major, and daughter of Timothy and Linda Buckley;
LAUREL--Kathryn G. Drew, a biological sciences/pre-medicine major and the daughter of Gail Gable.
McCOOL--Sa'Arrah J. Mullins, a software engineering major and daughter of Wilma Mullins;
OCEAN SPRINGS--Stephanie M. Proctor, an elementary education major and daughter of Stephen Proctor and Melinda Proctor;
ONANCOCK, Va.--Jennifer K. Cody, a kinesiology/clinical exercise physiology major and the daughter of Steve and Jennie Cody;
PONTOTOC--Kana F. Carpenter, a communication major and daughter of Dana Zuniga;
STARKVILLE--Sandor G. Dibble, a liberal arts major and son of Eric and Robin Dibble, and Nicholas M. "Nick" Steward, a political science/pre-law major and the son of Thomas and Lesley Stewart.
Additionally, Outstanding Action Team Mentor awards went to Michelle H. Anderson and James Orr. Anderson is the MSU Energy Institute's program coordinator; Orr, director of the University Honors Council.
The Outstanding Community Partner Award was presented to Natalie Langston, therapeutic riding program director at the Palmer Home for Children in Columbus.
The Outstanding Team Contributions to a Community Partner Award recognized Starkville's Golden Givers' Project Homestead Food Pantry #1.
For more information on the 2012 fall semester Day One awards, contact Smith at 662-325-0244 or firstname.lastname@example.org.