Former bGAB president earns Ping Student Services Award

By Amber Stark

Emily Hillyer, 2015-2016 BG Alternative Breaks (bGAB) president, has received the 2016 Charles J. Ping Student Service Award from the Ohio Campus Compact, a nonprofit coalition of 40 colleges and universities working to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education.

This annual award recognizes and honors undergraduate students for their outstanding leadership and contributions to community service or service learning on their campus and within their community.

Hillyer, who graduated in May 2016 with a bachelor's degree in social work, was one of 12 Ohio students to earn this award. As bGAB president, Hillyer was responsible for organizing, planning and implementing social justice issue-focused service trips centered on education, service and reflection. Her community involvement while at Bowling Green State University included demolishing an abandoned home to create an urban garden in West Detroit, removing invasive species of plants from the buffers of the Hiwassee River in rural North Carolina, and designing murals on vacant buildings in Ferguson, Mo.

“I have devoted my educational experience at Bowling Green State University to learn how we as a society can address community needs and establish a more just world,” Hillyer wrote in her award application essay. “I have worked alongside nonprofit and grassroots organizations and witnessed, and practiced, how to make impactful change for a community through small and large actions.”

Hillyer, who is from Oregon, Ohio, plans to pursue graduate studies in the public service field. She would then like to work for a nonprofit committed to the fight for racial equality.