USM Students Receive Citizen Scholar Award for Community Involvement

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Fri, 11/18/2022 – 2:15 p.m. | By: Van Arnold

Pictured L-R: Carrington Brown, Emily Rushing, Sarah Mitchell, Demecia Edmond.

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) at the University of Southern Mississippi has recognized four recipients of the Citizen Scholar Award, an honor for students who demonstrate significant involvement in community engagement.

The Citizen Scholars program is a new initiative that honors undergraduate students who have made significant contributions to their communities by integrating service and community engagement into their college experience. Students who earn more than 100 hours of service, participate in a community learning experience, and pass an exit interview are eligible to be recognized as Citizen Scholars.

The four winners of this semester are:

  • Carrington Brown, major in kinesiology and minor in psychology from Hattiesburg, Miss
  • Demecia Edmond, social work major from Canton, Miss.
  • Emily Rushing, nursing major of Gloster, Miss.
  • Sarah Mitchell, microbiology major from Brandon, Miss.

“The Citizen Scholars program was developed to recognize students who go above and beyond to serve their community while in college,” said CCE Director Christy Kayser. “These students, in addition to their volunteer work, are also finding a way to integrate community learning into their academic work through internships, leadership projects and research. We are so proud of all they have accomplished.

As students at Southern Miss, the four recipients volunteered a combined total of 615 hours of service, in addition to participating in various community learning experiences.

Brown has completed more than 220 hours of service through volunteer work with West Point Baptist Church, Christian Services and Dance Art Dance. Brown’s community learning experience was as an MS INBRE Outreach Fellow where she participated in a 10-week summer community research on the topics of nutrition, physical activity and health; COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy; and the obesity science and prevention initiative.

Mitchell has completed over 150 hours of service through volunteer work with Forrest General Hospital’s Ambassador Program. Mitchell’s community learning experience was a leadership project called Eggroll Fest through which the Vietnamese Student Association makes eggrolls and sells them to benefit a Collective Philanthropy Project (CPP). This year, the CPP was One Body Village, an art therapy program for child victims of sexual abuse.

Rushing has completed more than 110 hours of service through volunteer work with Forrest General Hospital, Centerville Baptist Church’s pantry and outreach programs, and providing support at COVID vaccination clinics. -19. Rushing’s community learning experience was an internship at Forrest General Hospital where she provided nursing care to patients under the supervision of a registered nurse.

Edmond has completed 135 hours of service volunteering with schools in the Jackson area

area and help coordinate big backpack giveaways three years in a row. Edmond’s community learning experience was an externship with Pinebelt Mental Healthcare Resources where she learned about social work and mental health.

More information about the Citizen Scholars program can be found online or questions can be directed to christy.kayserFREEMississippi.

The Center for Community Engagement promotes service and service-learning on the University of Southern Mississippi campus and throughout the Hattiesburg community. To learn more about the Southern Miss CCE, call 601.266.6467 or visit https://www.usm.edu/center-community-engagement.

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