Luther College announces Launching Luther Leaders awards

Luther College announces the nominees and winners of the Launching Luther Leaders, or L3, program awards at the fourth annual Student Leadership and Service Awards Program and Banquet held Sunday, May 4, in the Peace Dining room on Luther's campus.

This year there were more than 30 nominations for the four award categories: Outstanding Student Leader, Outstanding Event or Activity, Outstanding Service Project and Outstanding Organization. 

The winner of the Outstanding Student Leader award, given to a student who demonstrated exceptional leadership on behalf of his or her group or organization at Luther, is Paul Esker '14. Paul served on the Student Senate as well as a resident advisor for two years. He was active in the presidential search committee, is a member of the Campus Life committee and is known campus wide as a friendly, intelligent and committed individual.

Other finalists for the award were Libby Logsden '15 and Marlon Henriquez '15.

The winner of the Outstanding Event or Activity, awarded to an event, program or activity identified as being particularly meritorious, was the Immigration Panel sponsored by HOLA and Enlaces. The Immigration Panel discussion focused on educating the Luther and Decorah community on how immigrants play a role in enriching the economy and culture, as well as the current challenges of being an immigrant in the United States. The discussion included four panelists who told personal stories of immigration to the United States or discussed topics related to immigration such as the proposed changes to immigration laws that are currently being debated in congress. The panel engaged community members, Luther students and Luther faculty in a high-energy discussion.

Other finalists for the award included the Ethnic Arts Festival sponsored by the Diversity Center and Happiness Week sponsored by Student Senate.

The winner of the Outstanding Service Project, awarded for a specific service project that made significant contributions to improve the lives and well-being of a local, national or global community, was the Postville English as a Second Language classes, sponsored by HOLA and Enlaces. This sustainable project engages Luther student volunteers from many majors. The students involved in this program tutor adult immigrant students in ESL as well as GED classes two to three nights a week in Postville, donating three hours of their time each night they volunteer. Participants in the project understand teaching English is a big first step in incorporating immigrants into a society in which they are new and sometimes feel isolated.

Other finalists for the award include the Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity group and the Dance Marathon Penny Wars.

The winner of the Outstanding Organization, awarded to the student group or organization that made significant contributions to enhancing campus life, or significant contributions to a local, national or global community, was the Luther College Dance Marathon. LCDM works to provide emotional and financial support to families treated by the Children's Miracle Network. With more than 450 students involved and over $38,000 raised, it engaged the Luther community and beyond, transcending Luther's campus with the effects of it's fundraising extending nationally.

Other finalists for the award include Active Minds and HOLA/Enlaces. 

The L3 program supports students as they develop and use talents to unite career goals with their vocational calling. It provides students with a variety of opportunities to learn about leadership theories and practices, apply and develop leadership skills, as well as reflect on the significance of leadership and service experiences across campus. Students can determine the level of involvement they wish to have in the program by attending Leadership Skills Series events on a certain topic or work towards a Leadership Certificate by completing and documenting learning in four areas.