Groth, Shafer receive Servant Leadership Awards

FOR RELEASE
2009-05-06
Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University students Laura Groth and Dustin Shafer recently received the Servant Leadership Award in recognition of their leadership and service to the Huntington community.

Students are nominated by faculty, staff and peers and must be juniors with a 2.5 grade point average or above to be eligible. Two $1,000 awards are granted, and recipients are awarded with $750 and asked to designate $250 to the charity of their choice.

Laura Groth is the daughter of Alfred and Linda Groth of Winchester, Ind. She is a junior elementary education major and has chaired several events for Huntington University’s Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service, including Spring Work Day and the winter blood drive. Groth is also the program coordinator for Volunteer 911, Mothers of Preschoolers and English as a Second Language. In addition, she has participated in trips to the Dominican Republic and has logged more than 154 hours of service in the past two years.

Growth was nominated for this award by Dr. Norris Friesen who serves as the dean and vice president of the university. He describes Groth as having, “a wonderful heart for service.” He went on to say, “Laura has a wonderful testimony of serving because she cares and isn’t seeking any personal glory… She is intrinsically motivated to help others. She communicates warmth and genuineness and is always willing to help. She leads from within and among rather than from top down. She doesn’t need a position or status to lead but is an effective follower and co-worker.”

Dustin Shafer, a resident of Ashland, Ohio, is the son of Alisa Willoby. Shafer is a nursing major and active member of Huntington University community. He has been a part of the men’s soccer team for three years, two of which he has served as a captain. Shafer is also the youth leader for both senior and junior high youth groups at Central Christian Church and is a student worker for the Admissions Office. In addition, he is involved in Young Life and Youth for Christ and has logged more than 161 hours of service in the last two years.

Dustin was nominated by Russ Lawson, the head men’s soccer coach and coordinator of recreational programming at the university. Lawson described Dustin as “a young man constantly seeking God’s will for His life and the lives of those he comes in contact with… He is a dynamic leader who has the unique ability to adapt to all age groups and any environment, which allows his genuine character to effectively share God’s truth.”

The Joe Mertz Center for Volunteer Service organizes much of Huntington University’s service efforts. Founded in 1992, the JMC is a student-directed organization that mobilizes the campus community for Christian service. The organization aims to involve students in the local community, instill a lifelong commitment to service and promote the idea that one person can make a difference.


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Huntington University is a comprehensive Christian college of the liberal arts offering graduate and undergraduate programs in more than 70 academic concentrations. U.S.News & World Report ranks Huntington among the best colleges in the Midwest. Founded in 1897 by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Huntington University is located on a contemporary, lakeside campus in northeast Indiana. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  
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Ashley C. Smith
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Joanne Green
Sports Information Director
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