Beth Lidinsky '07 Named Unsung General of the Year; Mills and Andrews Share the 2007 Decade Award
Lexington, VA • March 23, 2007
Washington and Lee University senior Beth Lidinsky was named the John W. Elrod Unsung General of the Year at the fifth annual Celebrating Student Success Gala Awards Assembly held Wednesday night, March 21, in Lee Chapel. Lidinsky was chosen with input from the campus community and the University's Celebrating Student Success committee from among a group of 25 student nominees for her leadership and volunteer service to W&L.
The award carries a $1,000 prize, to be split between Lidinsky and the campus or local organization of her choice. She will also have her name engraved on a plaque in the John W. Elrod University Commons. Her original nomination for the Celebrating Student Success Initiative was in the area of community service as a member of the Nabors Service League.
"I am very honored to receive this award, and excited that the Nabors Service League is being recognized," Lidinsky said. "My work with Nabors these past four years has been fun and fulfilling thanks to the many service-conscious Washington and Lee students passionate about giving back to our community. I intend to donate my prize to one of the organizations where I have been able to volunteer through Nabors and the Shepherd Poverty Program."
An outstanding member of the Nabors Service League for four years, Lidinsky has served as both health and disabled chair (for one year) and publicity chair the past two years. Her responsibilities include working on all Nabors promotions and compiling weekly campus notices.
In addition to work with the Nabors Service League, Lidinsky has been a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta premedical honor society, Young Democrats, Kappa Delta sorority, a Panhellenic Recruitment Counselor and has been on the Honor Roll each year.
A senior biochemistry major from Towson, Md., she participated in the Shepherd Poverty Alliance Internship at the D.C. Primary Care Association and Bread for the City during the summer of 2006, was a laboratory aide in the Neonatology Department of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine during the summers of 2004 and 2005 and has volunteered at the Rockbridge Area Free Clinic.
Lidinsky will be attending the University of Maryland School of Medicine in the fall.
According to Harlan Beckley, director of the Shepherd Poverty Program, "Beth Lidinsky's quiet and soft-spoken manner hides her passion and commitment to service. As Shepherd intern in Washington, D.C., and as a volunteer working on a myriad of projects in the Rockbridge community, Beth has displayed a care for others that will serve her well as a future physician. I am pleased that she is receiving a recognition that she richly deserves."
In addition to Lidinsky, the Celebrating Student Success committee recognized students in the following categories at the awards ceremony. Each student received an engraved Jefferson cup in recognition of their contributions to the University:
Also recognized at the awards assembly were sophomores Regina Mills and Grace Andrews, co-winners of the University's Decade Award, which honors a sophomore woman who has exhibited exemplary leadership and who has advanced discussion of women's issues on campus.
Mills, a sophomore from Warrenton, Va., is an English major with a concentration in women's studies. She is a leader in KEWL and the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. She is involved in the Nabors service league and has worked as a girl's basketball camp counselor. She has hosted the WLUR radio show She Speaks for the last two years and is the editor of the She Says literary magazine.
Andrews, a sophomore from Dyersburg, Tenn., is a politics and sociology major with concentrations in the women's studies and poverty programs. She is an active member of MSA, KEWL, the Ladies' Club and SAIL. She is a Bonner Leader, a mentor at local schools and a bi-weekly writer for the Ring-tum Phi.
The awards were presented to Mills and Andrews by Elizabeth Knapp, associate dean of the College. Knapp said, "The Decade Award was given initially at the 10-year benchmark of coeducation at Washington and Lee and reintroduced last year at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Women at Washington and Lee. Grace and Regina are two fantastic women leaders on our campus and show much potential for the years to come."
The awards assembly also provided student organizations and groups the opportunity to honor individual members who provided inspiration, leadership and direction for their organizations. There were more than 25 organization members who were honored in this way.
Keynote speaker at the gala was Kelly Jo Larsen '05. Larsen was the Unsung General of the Year for 2004-05. The title of her talk was "A Vibrant Community." After graduation from W&L, she has been studying towards her master's in education in higher education administration at the College of William and Mary. Larsen will finish this May.
Larsen currently works for the Office of Student Activities at William and Mary as the graduate assistant for leadership programming. She facilitates the Women's Leadership Program and the Student Leadership Foundation, both selective weekly seminar programs. She also advises the Recognizing Achievement in Leadership committee which, among other things, awards the Outstanding Student Leader of the Month.
The Celebrating Student Success initiative began in fall 2001, with a charge from the Dean of Students' office to recognize those students who contribute to University life in ways not often seen by the larger community, and who bring both depth and breadth to the University community and campus life.
A committee composed of a cross-section of students and administrators identified the unsung heroes who work hard behind the scenes to make W&L as special as it is. The W&L community has helped the committee with their decision by indicating their choice of winner on the W&L Web site.