Student Civic Leadership Award


Student Civic Leadership Award  

The Student Civic Leadership Award, offered by the Washington Campus Coalition for the Public Good, recognizes outstanding student leaders for their work in civic engagement and social entrepreneurship. This award recognizes our student leaders who embody WWU’s value of Generosity in Service and have a deep commitment to making a positive impact.   


About the Awards:  

President’s Student Civic Leadership Award  

As a Washington Campus Coalition member institution, Walla Walla University's students, including graduate students, may be nominated for the award. Once nominated, two students are selected by President McVay to receive the award.  

Governor’s Student Civic Leadership Award  

Winners from each campus are also considered for the Governor’s Student Civic Leadership Award.  

Awards Include:  

  • Opportunity to attend Student Civic Leadership Awards Ceremony in Seattle, WA  
  • $500 stipend to each runner up for the Governor’s Student Civic Leadership Award  
  • $1,000 stipend to each winner of the Governor’s Student Civic Leadership Award  


Darius Felder

Darius, senior Electrical Engineering major, identifying himself as a “humanity engineer.” He wants to use his education to find a career in electrical engineering that will allow him to contribute to caring for the environment in the renewable energy field.

Growing up, Darius faced numerous financial and academic hardships, an experience that has given him a desire to give back to struggling communities. He has a heart for people and has participated in many programs that connect him with needs:

  • Darius taught 7th-9th graders in Yap, Micronesia as part of WWU’s student missionary program
  • He served as treasurer for the Black Christian Student Forum (BCSF), a group focused on celebrating and promoting black and minority culture and history.
  • He is a member of the Global Humanitarian Engineering Emphasis program (GHEE)
  • He has been involved in the local chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), helping by researching net-zero energy homes, planning solar solutions for communities in Peru and a Native American tribe in Arizona.
  • He is the club president for His Kids in Action (HKIA), a club dedicated to bringing positivity to a vulnerable local population of kids around the Walla Walla penitentiary


Mitchell Powers

Mitchell, junior Theology major and Social Welfare minor. He is a true civic leader, motivating the people around him to get involved. His plans include healthcare chaplaincy where he will have the opportunity to be a positive influence to many.

Actively involved on campus in several ways, Mitchell has actively sought for ways to influence the WWU campus and Walla Walla’s community in positive ways:

  • Mitchell worked for the Center for Humanitarian Engagement (CHE) for 2 years as a Project Specialist. Among his many projects, he helped build a weekly service program (CARE Weekends), worked extensively with the local Christian Aid Center, led a winter clothing drive, and developed a divergence program providing alternative means for arrests connecting people with mental health support and a restorative process.
  • He was Walla Walla’s first Community Wellbeing intern through Blue Zones Project
  • He conducted research on human trafficking and arranged for a local crime victim advocate to share resources with faculty and staff.
  • He has served as the Associated Student Body’s Spiritual Vice President, leading several initiatives focused on creating connection during the pandemic.

Anilce Castillo

Anilce, senior bioengineering major has been accepted into medical school and plans to become and OB/GYN. A leader on campus, Anilce brings a positive outlook and a passion for people to everything that she does. Having experienced difficulties with her family not having equitable access to medical care, one of her passions is to become a doctor so that others don’t have to go through that. She is a great advocate for diversity and inclusion on WWU’s campus and is involved in a variety of programs where she makes a huge difference:

  • Anilce leads a weekly challenge program through CHE’s Hey Neighbor Neighbor (HeyNN) program helping people find meaningful connection.
  • She served as co-leader of Hispanic ministries with a goal of creating a welcoming community for Hispanic and non-Hispanic students here at WWU. She also helped coordinate Hispanic heritage month.
  • She has been an outspoken advocate for diversity and inclusion, serving on WWU’s diversity council and executive diversity team.
  • She has pursued excellence in engineering as a member of the Society for Bioengineers (SBE) and participating in Engineers Without Borders (EWB)


Shayla Kern

Shayla is a social work student, mother, worker, and volunteer. In 2017 Shayla was living in the YWCA domestic violence shelter, one of the first participants in the Living in New Circumstances (LINC) program. Having overcome many difficulties, she has dedicated herself to giving back. She is a prolific volunteer and excellent student, with faculty regularly commenting on her enthusiasm for learning and dedication to leading a life of service:

  • Shayla has participated in Children’s Home Society’s (CHS) Home visitor program for early learning since 2017.
  • She has served as the co-chair for CHS’ Parent Policy Council since 2019.
  • She has also become a board member for Washington State’s CHS where she has had the opportunity to work directly with the leaders of the organization and make a huge difference.
  • She serves on the Walla Walla Community Council.
  • She has been an advocate and spoken about her experiences at events, helping spread awareness and provide hope and encouragement to people.