June 25, 2024
Life At Witt

Leading in Community Outreach

Mikayla Myers ’25 earns 2024 Ping Award

A music major from Huron, Ohio, Mikayla Myers, class of 2025, has won the 2024 Charles J. Ping Student Service Award sponsored by the Community Campus Coalition (CCC), a nonprofit membership organization of 34 Ohio colleges and universities formerly known as Ohio Campus Compact, which serves to promote community service initiatives on college campuses. Myers, who was among 13 statewide recipients, was officially recognized at this year’s Honors Convocation.

The annual award is presented in recognition of Myers’ outstanding leadership and ability to meet the needs of the community by working in partnership with members of the community.

Myers has been active in the service organization, Alpha Phi Omega (APO), since coming to Wittenberg. She was attracted to APO because of the organization’s three pillars of leadership, friendship, and service, which matched her own values of leading others in service to the community. During her sophomore year she was elected as APO’s service vice president.

“This is when I flourished,” she said. “I began to plan service events for the members of the organization. These events were selected based on what members showed interest in and how they would benefit our community. Some projects included a field day, assisting with the execution of campouts for the Boy Scouts of America, along with various drives for community organizations.

“These projects have developed my skills in communication and cooperation while growing my desire to lead my peers,” she continued. “As of fall of my junior year at Wittenberg, I was elected president of Alpha Phi Omega because of the characteristics that I displayed during my time as service vice president. APO’s pillars are important to me as they show that it is an organization for people to grow, and it shows that its members think about how their actions affect the community and others around them.”

Myers’ devotion to service and courage in taking on leadership roles for the organization brought new members and renewed energy to the group. Just this past year, the organization was recognized for being in the top five in the region for service hours. As a volunteer with 4 Paws for Ability, Myers came to understand the importance of removing barriers for people so they can live productive lives.

For APO, she also conducted the first successful National Youth Service Day event since the COVID-19 pandemic. For the event, Witt members traveled to Oesterlen Services for the Youth, a local, faith-based organization that promotes young people’s mental, social, physical, and spiritual well-being, to conduct a field day for the residents. This event was meant to address the social and emotional needs of the residents while challenging what people think they know about the needs of their neighbors. Such willingness and desire to build lasting partnerships with off-campus partners and to sustain the work of APO for years to come stood out to the Ping Award selection committee.

“While I thought of myself as an open-minded person before coordinating this event, experiencing the event made my mind grow to a whole new light of different needs in the community,” Myers said.

Since then, she has worked even more to build relationships across the campus and community.

“As president, I have improved our relationship with the Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement and involved others in supporting the emotional development of children – giving them someone to hang out with and talk to even for a short period of time. My goals have been to continue laying a strong foundation for the future of the organization and motivating my peers to stay committed to our mission. We have been building relationships with our community to further promote our purpose as a service fraternity, and I am working to form relationships that will continue to grow.”

According to its website, the Charles J. Ping Student Service Award was originally designed to recognize and honor undergraduate students for their outstanding leadership and contributions to community service or service-learning on their campus and within their community. These students represent the next generation of civic leaders and problem solvers.

The award is named in honor of Charles J. Ping, who served as President of Ohio University from 1975-1994. An early supporter and Board Member of CCC, Ping has been a tireless advocate for campus-community partnerships and increased opportunities for students to become active and engaged citizens. All candidates are nominated by the president of their college or university.

About Community Campus Coalition (CCC):
CCC or Triple C, is a statewide non-profit coalition of 34 college and university presidents and their campuses working to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education. Learn more about the Ping recipients at https://ohiocampuscompact.org/awards/student-awards/ or for information on CCC, email admin@ohiocampuscompact.org.

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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