2012 Wilmington College Graduate Receives Ping Award for Service

Nick Elwert Recognized for 'Outstanding Service and Leadership'

May 25, 2012

Nick Elwert is pictured entering the Commencement ceremony with his graduating class.

Nick Elwert is pictured entering the Commencement ceremony with his graduating class.

Wilmington College’s Nicholas Elwert received a 2011-12 Charles J. Ping Student Service Award in recognition of his “outstanding service and leadership” on campus and in the community.

Ohio Campus Compact, which is a coalition of 47 college and university presidents and their campuses that work to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education, presented the award.

Elwert, of Fort Mitchell, Ky., is a May 2012 WC graduate that majored in biology with a concentration in life science and minor in chemistry. He will attend Lincoln Memorial University— DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (Tenn.) this fall.

In nominating Elwert, WC President Jim Reynolds described him as an “exceptional” student with “a servant’s heart.”

Much of Elwert’s voluntary activities centered upon his work with Sugartree Ministries, an organization in Wilmington devoted helping serve the community’s food and clothing needs.

Through his involvement with the campus organization known as Faith in Action, he served as a member of Sugartree’s Board of Trustees and helped establish the “Hot Dog Outreach” and “Toilet Tuesdays,” for which he, respectively, led students in preparing and serving dinners each Friday and mobilized volunteers weekly to clean restrooms at the ministry.

He also volunteered at the Clinton County YMCA, Wilmington Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Clinton County Homeless Shelter. On campus, Elwert was a student ambassador for the Westheimer Peace Symposium, president of Faith in Action and Chi Alpha Fellowship, a leader of the Cardboard Village activity and a member of the American Medical Student Association.

Also, Elwert was a director of the New Student Orientation program, assistant with the Summer Leadership Plunge and a supplementary instructor and tutor for biology students.

“Nick has a servant’s heart that is demonstrated in many important ways and both Wilmington College and the greater Wilmington community are the beneficiaries,” Reynolds said. The president added that, throughout Elwert’s medical school interviews, his level of volunteer work and commitment to serving others played a “large role” in his acceptance into medical school.

Echoing those sentiments was Michael Snarr, professor of social and political studies, faculty adviser for Faith in Action and director of Sugartree Ministries Board of Trustees.

“Nick is very intelligent, energetic, works well with others, and has a heart for servicing the less fortunate,” he said.

Elwert’s example also has inspired others into action, which is especially important when considering the temporal nature of a college student’s tenure in the campus community.

Chelsea Simpson, a freshman at Wilmington College this year, recalled meeting him last summer at the Leadership Plunge, a summer leadership development program for selected incoming freshmen.

“It was quickly evident that he was very active at Wilmington College and in the community,” Simpson said, noting that, upon arrival on campus in the fall, Elwert encouraged her to become involved in service through the College’s organizations like Faith in Action.

“Nick’s passion for Sugartree Ministries was contagious,” she said.

“Going to Sugartree for the first time, I was uneasy and felt some anxiety, however Nick made me feel comfortable while I was there,” Simpson added. “By the end of the night, I realized how amazing Sugartree truly was and wanted to return the following week.

“His positive and supportive attitude toward Sugartree Ministries spread throughout the entire organization.”