Memphis –Christian Brothers University (CBU) selected Leigh Hill (History ’10), Kenneth Latta (Religion & Philosophy ’10), Caroline Mitchell (History ’10), Ryan Nicolini (Electrical Engineering ’10) and Chris Peterson (Religion & Philosophy ’10) as its inaugural class of the Lasallian Fellows. These five students were chosen because they embody the Lasallian values set forth by CBU’s founder, St. John Baptist de la Salle.
The Lasallian Fellows Awards were made possible by a generous donation from CBU Board of Trustee Joyce A. Mollerup and her husband Bob Buckman. These awards are presented to five members of the senior class based upon the reflection of Lasallian values in their scholarship, leadership and service. Each student is nominated by a member of the CBU faculty and staff because of their commitment to the underserved, sensitivity to social and community needs, active nature of their faith, and creation of a difference in the world and lives of others. Each Lasallian Fellows is awarded $5,000 as a means of perpetuating their work in the community.
Hill has taken study abroad opportunities to widen her knowledge base for her future career plans in law or diplomacy facilitating international reconciliation. After studying in South Africa and Washington D.C., she realizes the need for serving others as a tutor at the Memphis Family Shelter, De La Salle Elementary and for child refugees from Africa at the United Methodist Neighborhood Center.
Latta focuses on social justice in every aspect of life, as a leader on the CBU campus, co-founder of the campus aluminum can recycling project, volunteer at Baptist Trinity Hospice’s Camp Good Grief, the Wolf River Conservancy and the Tennessee Ornithological Society. He works to promote the Memphis Humane Society and homelessness awareness on and off campus.
Mitchell’s curiosity and strive to learn pushes her to commit herself to learning from every possible experience from her time spent in Brazil as a Minority Health International Research Training program participant to her various leadership roles including Alpha Chi and Phi Alpha Theta honor societies member. She works to raise funds to benefit St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Autism Speaks and the Memphis Child Advocacy Center as well as mentoring younger CBU students.
Nicolini shares his faith every day as leader of College Search retreats, weekly campus prayer services of the rosary and the Alternate Spring Breaks of 2009 and 2010, which have gone to New Orleans to rebuild houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina. As a proponent of CBU, he has been an active participant in the Music Ministry and a Lasallian Ambassador, giving tours to prospective students around the campus.
Peterson believes in working quietly behind the scenes to create an impact upon the community as evidenced in his work as garden master in the CBU community garden where he has worked tirelessly to supply fresh produce to local food banks. He volunteers at St. Mary’s Soup Kitchen, tutors in Spanish and English through the Memphis Literacy Corps and aids local Hispanic families through the District Attorney’s Office.
As the inaugural class of Lasallian Fellows, these five students exemplify the spirit of the award and the Lasallian values. This new generation of community-minded individuals perpetuates the tradition of CBU graduates who act on their beliefs and make a difference in the world. ###