May 14, 2018

Buena Vista University’s student organization, Student MOVE (Mobilizing Outreach & Volunteer Efforts) held the annual Volunteer Recognition Dinner on May 7. The event took place in the Dows Event Center in the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business/Siebens Forum on the BVU campus. 

Each spring, the event honors BVU students, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as community members for their outstanding volunteer service and initiatives. 

“The Volunteer Recognition Dinner is an opportunity to recognize people that are rarely noticed for their work of helping others,” said Kathryn Tyykila, an elementary education major from Canby, Minn., who helped plan the event.   

“Volunteering is important because it helps those that are struggling and is a great way to give back to a community that helps us.”

Kathryn Tyykila

The individuals honored include:

  • First year Volunteer of the Year: Justin Forkpa, a theatre and biomedical sciences double major from Urbandale.
    • Honorable Mentions: Hannah Reno, an elementary education major from Goldfield; and Becca Frantz, a criminology/criminal justice and political science double major from Des Moines
  • Sophomore Volunteer of the Year: Kathryn Tyykila, an elementary education major from Canby, Minn.
    • Honorable Mentions: Kaitlyn Werner, a social work major from Manchester; and Shayla Brown, a business major from Mapleton.
  • Junior Volunteer of the Year: Amanda Miley, a biology major from Independence, Mo.
    • Honorable Mentions: Kayla Sweet, an art major from Spencer; and Isabel Haas, an athletic training major from Storm Lake.
  • Senior Volunteer of the Year: Taylor Loy, a political science and Spanish double major from Indianola.
    • Honorable Mention: Cristena Heschke, an elementary education major from Alta; and Karla Trujillo, a Spanish and communications studies double major from Omaha, Neb.
  • Faculty Volunteer of the Year: Dr. Melinda Coogan, professor of biology at BVU.
  • Staff Volunteer of the Year: Stephanie Wilhelm, associate chief information officer at BVU.
  • Community Organization of the Year: Stars Mentoring – Angie Woodford, coordinator of STARS Mentoring, accepted the award on behalf of the organization.
  • Alumni Volunteer of the Year: Rahn Franklin, a 2008 graduate of BVU.
  • Campus Organization: Beaver Animal Rescue & Care (BARC) – Kayla Sweet, president of BARC and an art major from Spencer, accepted the award on behalf of the organization. 

“Volunteering is important because it helps those that are struggling and is a great way to give back to a community that helps us,” added Tyykila, who is the vice president of volunteer recruitment and retention with Student MOVE as well as the vice president of AWOL (Alternative Week of Off-site Learning). 

BVU’s Student MOVE organization works to improve lives, foster civic engagement and strengthen the connection between the Storm Lake and University communities. It generates opportunities for BVU students to grow and explore their hidden passions through character-building programs such as service-learning, alternative events, and student education.