April 27, 2010

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- As part of its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration, Mount Union College presented students Monique Friend and Adam Gough and Alliance community member Alex Smith with the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award.

The awards were given today in Rodman Theatre following a keynote presentation by Dr. J. Herman Blake and Dr. Emily Moore entitled "The Dream: Believing, Achieving, and Exceeding." Blake is director of African American Studies and professor of sociology, educational leadership and political studies as Iowa State University and Moore serves as professor of educational leadership and policy studies at Iowa State University and president of Scholars for Educational Excellence and Diversity, Inc.

Kim A. Goodall, a senior political science major from Akron and a 2000 recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award presented Friend with this year's honor, saying she "truly embodies the values and principles exemplified by Dr. King."

Friend is a junior mass media major and English minor from Akron. She is an active member of the Black Student Union and a program host for WRMU 91.1 FM, Mount Union's student-run radio station. She also writes a column for The Dynamo student newspaper, has participated in campus study circles and student focus groups, and earned first-place honors for her fiction writing in the Calliope literary magazine contest.

"Monique works tirelessly and quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, behind the scenes to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for all students," said one of her nominators. "She can generally be seen all over campus, smiling and encouraging students to attend the Multicultural Retreat or a Black Student Union meeting or event, or to be involved at the radio station."

Heather Brooke Adams, a senior English and religion major from Canton and a 2000 recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award announced Gough as this year's second student award recipient.

"Each year, Mount Union struggles with the dilemma of having many deserving students being nominated for this prestigious award," she said. "We frankly find this an encouraging and enviable position in which to be. Since we refuse to ignore the students that work diligently, often quietly, to create an inclusive environment, we are once again presenting two student awards instead of one."

Gough, a senior geology major from Meadville, Pennsylvania, is a member of a family that believes in the importance of Dr. King and his vision. Gough's brother, Neil, a 1998 graduate of Mount Union, earned the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award in 1998.

The only male member of Associated Women Students, Gough has also been an active supporter of the Black Student Union and Association of International Students. He has been active in planning the Multicultural Retreat, has spent time working in El Salvador and has participated in the Wilderness Trip. Gough recently returned this semester to Mount Union after studying in San Sebastian, Spain during the fall semester.

"Adam is an asset to race and gender relations at Mount Union College," said one of his nominators.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Award was presented to Alex Smith, a 45-year member of the Alliance community, by family friends Dr. Martin Horning, professor of economics and his son, Matt, director of the Morgan Family Center.

Smith is a member of the Second Baptist Church where he serves as a trustee and member of the choir. He is a member of the Community Male Gospel Chorus and the Alliance Senior Chorus and serves on the boards of the Alliance of Churches, Habitat for Humanity, American Heart Association, United Way and the Good Samaritan Clinic. Smith also served as a volunteer at Alliance Community Hospital for eight years and was the first male president of Alliance Community Hospital Volunteers.

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