Thursday, February 23
The Emory & Henry College Residence Life Department was honored last week with a humanitarian award for its response in 2011 to a devastating tornado that struck the nearby town of Glade Spring.
The 2012 Humanitarian Recognition Award, which is given by the Southeastern Association of Housing Officers at their annual meeting, recognizes individuals or institutions that exceed the call of duty in response to students in crisis.
The recognition is the latest in a string of awards given to members of the E&H Student Life staff and the second award that recognizes the response of E&H student life personnel to the tornado that struck April 28.
Within minutes after the tornado, members of the E&H residence life staff organized shelters for students who lived in Glade Spring and were displaced by the storm as well as Glade Spring residents who found themselves homeless or in need of food and supplies.
In addition to this work, more than 200 E&H students and employees participated in clean-up efforts during the days following the storm, which killed three people and destroyed or damaged hundreds of homes and businesses.
E&H residence life employees and students demonstrated “amazing courage and dedication” in the aftermath of the tornado, said Josh Griffith, student life area coordinator. “Within moments after the storm, my colleagues jumped into action, creating support for the community. My student staff rallied together to organize a community response and worked tirelessly at comforting their residents.”
The SEAHO humanitarian award comes two months after an E&H resident advisor, student Chris Poff, received the 2011 Outstanding Performance Award from the Virginia Association of College and University Housing Officers. The award, which is given to one student each year, recognized, in part, Poff’s work in the wake of the Glade Spring tornado to aid E&H students living in the town.
Other members of the E&H residential life staff who have been recently honored include housing director Jimmy Whited, who was named Outstanding Student Affairs Professional of the Year by the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators (VASPA), and Todd Clark, assistant dean of students, who received the 2011 Service Excellence Award from the Virginia Association of College and University Housing Officers.