A Tribute to Dr. Susan Smith: Recipient of the 2010 WWU Community Service Award

Susan Smith holds a master's degree from Florida International University and a PhD from Andrews University. For her extensive volunteer service in the local area, Smith was given the Community Service Award for 2010. Photo courtesy of the Mask

Every year the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual gala banquet when community members gather to honor citizens who have served the valley in a distinguished manner. Each of the three local colleges and universities present an award, including Walla Walla University’s Community Service Award. This year’s recipient was social work professor Susan Smith. “We all need heroes and heroines,” said WWU president John McVay in his introductory speech before presenting the award. “The heroine I wish to introduce you to tonight is well-educated and has accomplished a great deal in her professional life. She works very hard to serve the community beyond the doors of the university, as this is her true passion.” In addition to serving on no less than 11 committees at WWU, Smith is a member of the Blue Mountain Action Council board of directors, the Interfaith Coalition on Poverty, and the SOS Medical Clinic Board, among others. She is also the faculty sponsor of WWU's Social Work Club which has an emphasis on community service, and is a regular volunteer at REACH Ministries, which provides case management, mentoring and a family camp experience for children and families with HIV/AIDS. In her acceptance speech, Smith thanked the local organizations she has “had the privilege of being associated with through voluntary service.” She expressed her appreciation for the work the BMAC and SOS Medical Clinic do in the valley, as well as for “the energy of volunteers who are college students.” “College students provide numerous hours of volunteer service and they, too, are treasures of the valley,” she said, referencing the Chamber’s theme for the evening, Treasures of the Walla Walla Valley. “It has been a rewarding experience to support local organizations that characterize the Chamber of Commerce’s mission to foster a sustainable, healthy and vibrant local environment."

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Last update on December 8, 2011