Shenandoah University has presented this year’s Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards to Assistant Professor of Religion Meredith Minister, Ph.D., and seniors Regine Bumper ’19 and Micah Earnhardt ’19.
Dr. Minister received her award at the faculty meeting held on Friday, May 24, in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium. Regine and Micah were honored at the College of Arts & Sciences Honors Ceremony in the Brandt Student Center on Friday, May 17.
Each year, the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards are presented at 70 colleges and universities across the American south. First awarded in 1890, the award goes to individuals who are committed to creating positive change.
Dr. Minister is an assistant professor of religion who educates and inspires her students both in the classroom and beyond. It is through her supportive, motivational and caring nature that Minister encourages her students to reach their full potential. She goes out of her way to ensure that her students are successful and is always willing to meet with them when they are in need.
Last semester, when I grappled complex issues in regards to spiritual/religious identity, Dr. Minister supported me by her willingness to meet and discuss the never-ending list of questions about existence and my spiritual/religious identity. Dr. Minister calls for us to open our minds to new perspectives on issues such as death, sex, gender, religion and life, and she shows us that a change of heart is not always a quick process.”
An SU student nominator
She has proven that we are often unsure of what life will throw at us, but regardless of the bumps in the road, we must take life one day at a time and be incredibly grateful for each day.”
An SU student nominator
Regine received a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science at Shenandoah. In her time here, Regine participated in “The Laramie Project,” “The Vagina Monologues,” and 411 plays for incoming freshmen and transfer students that discussed consent, alcohol usage, conflict management and more. She served as leadership at the [Not Just] Women’s Center and president of the Black Student Union. She also served on the BeYOUtiful campaign panel and in the Faith Seeking Justice Christian Leadership Certificate Program. Regine was an Alpha Lambda Delta and an Omicron Delta Kappa inductee. As a member of the volleyball team and a First-Year Seminar mentor, Regine had a positive impact on students in both the classroom and on the court.
Regine has received the Department of Exercise Science Student Leadership Award, the Timothy Doak Mentor Leadership Award and was the recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Scholarship. Regine has participated in many service-learning trips including those in Haiti, Rwanda and Uganda, where she not only helped others feel at ease, and but also demonstrated leadership, generosity and optimism. A professor described Regine as a positive energy.
She jumps into opportunities to grow. She has the courage to put herself in uncomfortable situations and helps others to do the same.”
Micah received a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and minored in gender and women’s studies at Shenandoah. A staff member said Micah’s greatest gift to the community is their personal strength. Micah was involved in Spiritual Life’s University Chapel at Noon, where they led through acting, reading scripture, facilitating and voicing of community prayer, and serving communion. Micah could often be found working in the Mosaic Center for Diversity as the student director and a mentor to 20 student employees in the office.
One of Micah’s many strengths is their way of assisting others in understanding difficult concepts. One of Micah’s professors said:
Even more impressive, Micah managed to do [this] with grace and humility, rather than a spirit of superiority toward those who were learning for the first time about issues Micah had grappled with all their life.”
Micah is a champion for social justice, standing up for their beliefs and for others who experience harm.