On May 3, the Counseling Center presented the 2019 Robert P. Larsen Human Development Awards. The award, named after a long-time Counseling Center staff member, has been presented annually since 1992. The award recognizes those in our campus community who are working to make a difference, enhance student development, and maximize student capabilities to make effective and satisfying life choices. This year's recipients were Derrius Carter and SKY @ UIUC.
Derrius Carter, Multicultural Advocate for University Housing
Carter, who will be graduating with a Master’s in Public Health this semester, has been a multicultural advocate in University Housing for the last 3.5 years. Some highlights of Derrius’ work on campus include a featured presentation for the "Quench: Your Story Matters" series for the LGBT Resource Center, instructional presentations for new Residential Life staff, a keynote presentation at the Illinois Residential Leadership Experience, guest instruction as part of the CARE class through the Women's Resources Center, consultation and leadership on strategies related to sexual health across campus, and participation in a panel discussion on LGBTQA+ specific health concerns for third year medical students. As Jennifer Heaton, who nominated Carter states, “Derrius consistently and gracefully entwines his passion for social justice with his growing expertise in the area of health disparities for marginalized populations. He is serious in his dedication to his work, but always maintains a contagious optimism that helps to drive his fellow students and co-workers through the tough work that they do.”
SKY @ UIUC
SKY @ UIUC is a registered student organization (RSO) whose goal is to promote a happy and stress-free campus. SKY aims to encourage everyone to make life a celebration. The group also provides the campus community with practical tools such as breathing techniques, meditation, and yoga to effectively navigate through overwhelming situations. Since the RSO’s inception in 2014, over 500 people have participated in their signature event, the SKY Happiness Retreat. In a Daily Illini article, one of SKY’s retreat participants stated, “I was blown away; (it) completely exceeded my expectations.”
This year's nominee pool was very competitive and a reflection of the many people on this campus who care deeply about the campus community and the students we serve. Thanks to everyone who nominated an individual or group for recognition!