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Twin Pillars Banquet honors scholarship and service

“Help for the Sole” was awarded the Twin Pillars Community Engagement Award. Accepting the award, from left to right, are student representatives Maylea Garrison and Kristen Carter; Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Cynthia Lynn; community volunteers Lynne James and Carol Campbell; Matt Tillery, outreach coordinator for Cherokee Health Systems; and student representative Matt Makrom.

“Help for the Sole” was awarded the Twin Pillars Community Engagement Award. Accepting the award, from left to right, are student representatives Maylea Garrison and Kristen Carter; Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Cynthia Lynn; community volunteers Lynne James and Carol Campbell; Matt Tillery, outreach coordinator for Cherokee Health Systems; and student representative Matt Makrom.

Carson-Newman honored the integration of scholarship and service at its first ever Twin Pillars Scholarship and Service Awards & Banquet celebration on April 11.

The service project that follows after Christ’s example of washing feet, “Help For the Sole,” received the first Twin Pillars Community Engagement Award for outstanding community engagement in the classroom. The award honors faculty, staff, students and community partner representatives for their collaborative effort to use academic knowledge to effect positive change in the community.

Help for the Sole seeks to provide foot care for the homeless. Since 2006, Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Cynthia Lynn and her Nursing 308 students have partnered with several community members to provide treatment, cleaning, and fresh socks for a population that suffers particularly acute foot problems. Cherokee Health Systems and the Volunteer Ministries Center have partnered to provide a site for HFS to minister to Knoxville’s homeless. The project provides an opportunity to minister to the soul as well as the “sole” by providing a compassionate listening ear.

“We are pleased to award the Twin Pillars Community Engagement Award to Help for the Sole for its exemplary and ongoing application of academic understanding and professional expertise in spreading the Kingdom of Love and Light in a place where it is so sorely needed,” said Dr. Brian Austin, who presented the award.

Individual students were also honored for their personal integration of scholastic excellence and community engagement.

Twin Pillars award winners include Krista Hillenbrand, Sarah Hodge, Irina Grigoryants, Jennifer Bowman, Curtis Atkins, and Abigail Parker.

The Twin Pillars Banquet brought together outstanding students from the Honors program, Bonner program, various academic and service honor societies, and other high achieving students and the faculty and community partners who support them.

“Our president, Dr. Randall O’Brien, often refers to our ‘twin pillars’ of academic excellence and Christian service that are the foundations of our work here at Carson-Newman,” said Dr. Nicole Saylor, director of the Bonner Program. “As members of the C-N community, we experience every day the excellence and effort that our students and our colleagues commit to these pursuits.”

Executive Vice President and Provost Kina Mallard explained to the gathered honorees how this new banquet is not quite so new.

“This is a new tradition but it builds on an old tradition,” she said. She explained how C-N previously honored its academic standouts with a banquet. This new evening of celebration extends that purpose to include the second pillar of the service-minded University.

“You are using your minds not to just be the best in the world, but you are using your minds to be the best for the world and that is a huge difference,” Mallard told the students.

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