Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Awards transpire

Honoring excellence in student leadership

Abby Jeans, Reporter

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Erik Bergrud, Associate Vice President for External Relations, stands with the Tipton Award, honoring his contributions to Park University

The Dr. Doris Howell Leadership Awards were conducted April 18 at the Park Place event space in downtown Parkville. The event is sponsored by the Office of Student Life and the Park Student Government Association. This was the 23rd annual leadership awards ceremony where students, staff and faculty joined together to celebrate leadership accomplishments of the 2017-2018 academic year.

The ceremony is named after Dr. Doris A. Howell, a 1944 Park graduate. A number of awards were presented to outstanding students, faculty and staff members and recognized them for their contributions to Park University.

“Doris Howell is a good opportunity to move forward with recognition of faculty, staff and students,” said Benjamin Zibers, director of student engagement. “It allows us to recognize their engagement to campus, their dedication to Park University and their impact on the university community.”

Student award winners included: Blake Sellers: Cindy K. Anderson senator of the year, Arthur Decker D’avila: C.W. Bailey award, Anna Hicks: C. W. Bailey award, Eric Haas: Toni Griggs, James Zachary Jarrard: Toni Griggs, Iroda Narzullaeva: Park Servant Leader the Year, Ghislaine Fumey: Student Employee of the Year, Annali Cleek: Graduate Student of the Year, Leandro Sodre: Outstanding Class Member of the Year: Sophomore, Heather Cole: Outstanding Class Member of the Year: Sophomore, Andrew Breckenridge: Outstanding Class Member of the year: Junior, Taela Ivory: Outstanding Class Member of the Year: Junior, Austin Pool: Outstanding Class Member of the Year: Non-graduating senior, Aaliyah Brown: Outstanding Class Member of the Year: Non-graduating senior.

Staff and Faculty award winners included: Erik Bergrud: The Tipton Award, Dr. Chelsea Platt: Faculty Newcomer of the Year, Dr. Jeff Ehrlich: Park Family Award, Robin Burger: Park Family Award, Dr. Stacey Kikendall: Student Organization Advisor of the Year, Debra McArthur: The Dusing-Proudfoot Award, Adam Stone: Student Success and Impact Award, Dr. Cynthia Otts: Staff Newcomer of the Year.

The night was special for all recipients, but touched one individual especially.

Erik Bergrud, Associate Vice President for External Relations and 1994 Park graduate, received an award to honor his outstanding contributions to Park University. The Tipton award is awarded to a Park alumnus/alumna each year in honor of Bill and Mary Lou Tipton. Bergrud possess many qualities that make him the perfect recipient of this award. He has worked for the University for nearly 20 years, represents Park on and off campus, and serves as the sports announcer for the men and women soccer games.

The Tipton award goes beyond Bergrud’s love for the Pirates, but holds dear to him because of one man who mentored Bergrud. Bergrud accepted his award in memory of Dr. Jerzy Hauptmann, a man who dedicated over 50 years of his life teaching at Park University. Hauptmann was Bergrud’s professor and then boss for six years.

“One of the hardest days of my life was when I left Park in 1998 and had to tell him I was leaving,” said Bergrud, “but one of the best days was when I came back in 2005 because I felt like I was coming home.”

Bergrud shared fond memories he has with Hauptmann, including an event that allowed Bergrud to speak on the value of mentors.

“I picked up Dr. Haputmann and I drove him to this event,” said Bergrud, “he was sitting in the audience and I got to speak about the value of mentors and what he had meant to me, which was a very cool experience.”

Six days after the event, Bergrud received a phone call telling him Hauptmann was in the Hospital. Bergrud dropped what he was doing, but by the time he got there it was too late.

“Because I have this long connection with Park and because he had an even longer connection with Park, I felt personally responsible for what I could do to step up,” said Bergrud.

Bergrud’s desire to keep Hauptmann’s legacy alive is what has inspired him to do more for Park.

“He believed, and I believe, that not only Park is a wonderful university, but we have a chance to do amazing things in the world and that’s what inspires me every day.”

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