Jeremie Amoroso is an Economics major with minors in Math and International Studies. He holds several leadership positions on campus, including serving as proctor in his residence hall, president of BACCHUS, station manager for WUTS, and marketing officer of the Organization for Cross-Cultural Understanding (OCCU). In each of these areas, the staff and faculty who work with Jeremie have noted his excellence, reliability, and commitment to the organization and the Sewanee community. He acts to improve the experience for the students who are involved in each of the groups he leads, and to strengthen the service provided to the larger community. Jeremie helped coordinate a cross-training session with the Chief of Police and several BACCHUS drivers to promote driver and passenger safety and to strengthen the relationships between drivers and police. He has taken on much of the planning and execution of OCCU events, a pattern that is repeated in all of his areas of involvement.
Caroline Covington was recognized especially for her substantial contributions to community through leadership on the Women’s Center Board. Mary Beth Walker, Assistant Dean of Students for Residential Life, says, “Caroline is a graceful and artful leader among her peers. Her passion for women’s issues is truly inspirational.” Her efforts have made “Pinnacle Luncheon” and “Women’s Center programming” synonymous with excellence in community events. Especially notable was Caroline’s leadership in presenting a week dedicated to the topic of Understanding Sexual Assault. This series of events challenged and informed the community, while also showcasing individual creative response to this important and emotional topic. Caroline also offers leadership as parliamentarian of Alpha Delta Theta Sorority and has served as intern and student assistant in the Sewanee Archives.
American Studies major Fiona Maldonado has participated in a variety of Sewanee organizations. Fiona was being recognized particularly for substantial contribution as co-director of the Women’s Center Board. Fiona’s involvement in the campus community has centered around service on behalf of children and advocacy in the areas of gender and sexuality. She has mentored a local child through Big People for Little People and helped raise awareness of the plight of the children hurt by Uganda’s civil war. Her local involvement in gender issues includes leadership within the Gay-Straight Alliance and the Women’s Center Board. She and the other Board members have sponsored many well-attended forums and presented a special event each day of Understanding Sexual Assault Week, including panelists, speakers, crisis information, a “Take Back the Night” walk, and more.
Chase Spurlock is a Biology major and Religion minor who excels in his pre-med and humanities studies. He received the Robert P. Davis Scholarship for excellence in pre-medical studies and the Robert S. Lancaster Merit Scholarship for academic and extracurricular leadership. Chase still finds time to chair the University’s Honor Council and serve as chief of the Sewanee Volunteer Fire Department. Dean of Students Eric Hartman says of Chase, “He demonstrates a strong sense of accountability and foresight in his leadership of the firefighters and remarkable attention to the investigative process as chair of the Honor Council.” Chase also serves as an EMT, as chair of Sewanee’s chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and led the Student Activities Fee Committee, charged with allocating funding among all of Sewanee’s student organizations.
The Pearigen Award for Commitment to Community was created in the fall of 2006 to recognize outstanding student contributions to the Sewanee community. It is named for Robert Wesley Pearigen, C’76, currently associate professor of Political Science and vice president for university relations, and the former dean of students. As Dean, Pearigen believed strongly in the concept of community, and his goal was for each student to “find their place” here on the mountain. Pearigen spent the majority of his time, whether in the classroom or in one-on-one conversations, engaging with students and challenging them to make Sewanee a stronger community. His commitment to the Sewanee community continues today and is now carried forward by the positive contributions made by the recipients of this award.