Beims, Vance And Mathias-Dickerson Receive CWC Award

Thursday, May 15, 2014 - by Jillian Ellis, Lee University
From left, Lee President Dr. Paul Conn, Vice President for Student Development Dr. Mike Hayes, Mary Matthias-Dickerson, Erin Beims, Kory Vance and Vice President for Administration Dr. Walt Mauldin.
From left, Lee President Dr. Paul Conn, Vice President for Student Development Dr. Mike Hayes, Mary Matthias-Dickerson, Erin Beims, Kory Vance and Vice President for Administration Dr. Walt Mauldin.

Erin Beims, Kory Vance, and Mary Mathias-Dickerson were presented with the 2014 Dr. Charles W. Conn Servant Leadership Award and Dr. Charles W. Conn Service-Learning Faculty Award, respectively, for their exemplary work in service-learning at Lee University. 

The Charles W. Conn Servant Leadership Scholarship was established in 2003 to honor President Emeritus Charles W. Conn. As part of the university’s efforts to emphasize the importance of serving others, the award is given annually to rising seniors who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to service during their time at Lee. Students who receive this scholarship give a portion of the proceeds to a charity of their choice.

Ms. Beims is a humanities major from Huntsville, Ala. Since coming to Lee she has served in the Tutoring Center, on the Service Council, as a teaching assistant in the School of Religion, and as a student worker and group fitness instructor at Lee’s Campus Recreation Center. Ms. Beims also volunteers at both her local and home churches.

“Erin demonstrates compassion for others by striving to serve in whatever capacity she finds herself in,” said Adrienne Hart, secretary to the director of Lee’s Leonard Center. “She never seeks recognition and has proven to be a person of dedication and commitment to herself, her faith, and to others.” 

Mr. Vance, an exercise science major from Southeast Missouri, has been active in the Student Leadership Council for three years. He most recently served as the committee leader for the Community Service Committee. Mr. Vance has been involved in the planning of Urban Outreach experiences and other service opportunities such as Operation Christmas Child and Great Strides. He has served in the Leonard Center as a student worker for the statewide VISTA leader and has been part of a group of students serving at the Cleveland Emergency Shelter weekly.

“Kory possesses the most unselfish servant’s heart that I have ever come into contact with,” said Lee student Micah Francen. “His work and dedication to serving the residents of the emergency shelter is amazing. He cares deeply about the people there, not just because they need help, but because they are people.” 

The Service-Learning Faculty Award was presented to Ms. Mathias-Dickerson, assistant professor of art. Mathias-Dickerson joined the Lee faculty in 2011. Her drawing classes traditionally visit area assisted living facilities to draw portraits of the residents as part of her service integrated teaching. The students mat and frame the portraits and give them to the residents or their families.

“Mary doesn’t really think about teaching without thinking of how her students can interface with the community in a positive way,” said Dr. Carolyn Dirksen, director of faculty development and distinguished professor of English “She brings immense creativity and thoughtful insight to service, and she has created a wonderful model for other faculty to follow.”

Ms. Mathias-Dickerson’s classes have also conducted pottery classes for residents of assisted living homes, painted murals at local schools, teamed with inmates at the Justice Center to paint, and painted stage sets for local school theatre departments.

Ms. Beims and Mr. Vance are the tenth group of students to receive this award, while Mathias-Ms. Dickerson is the sixth faculty member to be honored.

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