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Leah Taylor receives Michael Emory Award from Mars Hill College
Leah Taylor, a junior psychology major from Baltimore, MD, has received the Michael Emory Award from Mars Hill College.
Taylor received the award during Mars Hill’s community engagement convocation on April 16.
The Michael Emory Award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates Christ-like compassion, loyalty and service to the economically, socially or emotionally oppressed and diligent pursuit of truth and justice, even when such pursuit may be unpopular. The award is given in honor of “Big Mike” Emory, MHC class of ’94, whose life exemplified the criteria of the award. “Big Mike” was in seminary preparing for a life of ministry when a tragic accident led to his untimely death.
Taylor, a Bonner Scholar, has volunteered at Eliada Homes for Children since December 2012. She also serves as a supplemental instructor for general psychology classes, offering tutoring and assistance to students who struggle in this course.
Last fall, Taylor completed a lengthy internship at Listening Heart, a crisis hotline serving western North Carolina. This year, she helped found and serves as the vice president of the Psychology Club. In that role, she was instrumental in organizing a sock drive for homeless individuals at A Hope Day Center, and she is currently coordinating an “Out of the Darkness” Walk to raise funds and awareness for the American Foundation for the Prevention of Suicide.
In nominating Leah, assistant professor of psychology Laura Adams noted that, even when she has chosen research opportunities, she tends to focus on improving life for others. Last summer, Taylor completed a National Science Foundation Research Experience at the University of Alabama – Birmingham, which involved working with female methamphetamine addicts. This academic year, she has worked as a research assistant at the UNC-Asheville Center for Lifelong Learning, which is devoted to enhancing life for retirees and helping them make better and more informed decisions about how to maintain their cognitive functioning.
“When I read the requirements for this award, I immediately thought of Leah Taylor,” Adams said. “She is a fully engaged member of Mars Hill College and of our larger community, and has been since first stepping foot on campus. She has consistently taken on challenging opportunities to improve the lives of others and never shies away from serious issues, such as suicide awareness and prevention. … Leah Taylor is a true rock star and an inspiration to those who work with her. She is truly a remarkable student. “