Congratulations to Kelsey Ledford and Brent Jones (both WU'11), recipients of the campus life award for Greatest Contribution to the Willamette/TIUA Community. This award recognizes students who have shown exceptional effort in fostering relationships between Willamette and American Studies Program (ASP) students, especially in the area of programming that specifically targets Willamette/TIUA collaboration as well as ASP student inclusion in the Willamette community. The award was given out at the Campus Life Honors and Awards Ceremony held at Willamette University on April 21. This ceremony is a Willamette-wide event honoring students who made outstanding contributions to campus life across the university.
Kelsey worked as a TIUA student staff member for four seasons. She was an International Peer Coach (IPC) for two seasons, mentoring ASP students through their first few weeks at Willamette and orienting them to college life in the US. She was also a Community Associate for two seasons, creating a healthy summer community in Kaneko Commons and programming fun and educational opportunities for students around Salem and the greater Willamette Valley. In addition to her tremendous work at TIUA, Kelsey was instrumental in helping the first ever ASP students to join Greek life at Willamette through her sorority, Delta Gamma. An avid baker, students and staff are continuously blessed with her delicious cookies and other baked goods, no matter the time of year.
Brent has been involved with the Salem-Kawagoe sister city exchange since his sophomore year, when he worked with us as an IPC to welcome our biggest class in history in 2009. He spent his junior year abroad at Tokyo International University in Kawagoe where he joined the taiko club and focused on soaking up the culture and language. He returned to Willamette his senior year and became the student director of Building Bridges, a program promoting intercultural communication and friendship between Willamette and ASP students. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the sister city exchange led to the success of the Building Bridges program this year, with over 150 students participating this spring.
Both Kelsey and Brent will be headed to Japan this fall to teach English in Japan on the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program. We cannot imagine better ambassadors to help promote the study of language and culture abroad. Congratulations, Kelsey and Brent! We sincerely appreciate your efforts to make Willamette a more intercultural, inclusive, and dynamic community!