By Joycelyn Fish
Campus Life Editor
Three outstanding Viterbo stu¬dents received the St. Catherine’s Medal on Monday, March 25 during the Student Leader Recognition dinner in the Fine Arts Center lobby. Emily Aerts, Kelsey Pruitt and Dani Templin were chosen based on their dedication to their Catholic education and Viterbo’s values. They have also demonstrat¬ed leadership, serving Viterbo and its extended community and are a role model in every way according to Kristen Gabriel who organized the St. Catherine’s Medals.
Emily Aerts is a senior social work major. According to Deb Daehn Zellmer, head of the social work program, who nominiated Aerts, “Emily is mature, responsible and very dedicated to the profession of social work striving to promote hu¬man and community well-being.”
Daehn Zellmer also expressed her appreciation for Emily’s humility and intelligence. Aerts’ dedication to all aspects of Viterbo including Social Work Club, Resdience Hall Council, Campus Ministry, Fine Arts Center usher and spending multiple spring breaks at the Chey¬enne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, S.D., have made her a strong figure on campus Daehn Zellmer.
“She is a strong witness to Fran¬ciscan values she is hospitable to all, committed to achieving a more just society through service, always acts with integrity and honesty, uti¬lizes her God-given gifts to do good and thus is a good steward and leads a contemplative life where she sees the goodness in others, even those who come from very disad¬vantaged circumstances,” Daehn Zellmer stated.
Aerts continually looks for ex¬periences that challenge and build on her skills. An internship as an AmericCorps volunteer work¬ing with homeless youth and an education practium at the Hmong Cultural and Community Center have ignited her passion for social justice even more. “What has unfolded is a remark¬able young woman poised to do a great deal of good for society,” Daehn Zellmer added.
“She is very proud of her Catholic faith and involvement and is a su¬perb role model for other students here at Viterbo University,” Dodie Marriott, administrative assistant for Residence Life, stated about Kelsey Pruitt, a senior nursing major.
Marriott also commented on Pruitt’s genuine and compassionate nature, emphasizing Pruitt’s abil¬ity to live and breathe her values with her sound judgment, listening skills, empathy and willingness to go above and beyond the expected.
Pruitt has been a resident assistant and peer advisoer during the past three years and currently serves as Lumen’s business manager. In addi¬tion, Pruitt has also taken time out of her busy schedule to volunteer at the Warming Shelter, the Salva¬tion Army and spring break service trips.
“As far as faithful service is con¬cerned, Pruitt tries to get to the core of the individual and help meet basic human needs as necessary,” Marriot wrote. “She sees the needs of the less fortunate and works to find ways to help or serve them.
“Regarding ethical leadership, Kelsey strives to make decisions that are in the best interest of every¬one involved — institution or per¬son,” Marriott added. “She knows right from wrong; she knows how to balance and prioritize important issues; she knows how to find those in need and work to help them.”
As a member of the Viterbo women’s basketball team, Dani Templin, a senior visual commu¬nications major, has been able to serve Viterbo on and off the court explained Bobbi Vandenberg, head women’s basketball coach.
Templin has been captain for women’s basketball for three sea¬sons, leading by working hard and setting the example for her team¬mates. As a team member, Tem¬plin has been involved in various community service projects while still finding time to tutor at the Aca¬demic Resource Center and serving as the sports editor for Lumen.
“Dani often leads our pre-game prayers, and they are very heartfelt and inspirational,” Vandenberg added. “Dani has had some tough times while at Viterbo, but during those times, she has always men¬tioned that prayer will help her through.”
Templin also respects and cares for everyone around her. She en¬courages and listens to others, and her upbeat and positive personality makes her a favorite for the chil¬dren involved in camps and clinics.
Vandenberg expressed her ap¬preciaiton for Templin’s ability to step up when needed over her four year basketball career. Templin ended up playing every position on the basketball floor adapting her skills to each position. She was also named to the All-Conference team every season. “Dani sees that the team is more important than the individual,” Vandenberg stated. “She is an extremely talented, yet humble person.”