Vogler, Dalamangus Receive G. MacLeod Bryan Awards
Christina Dalamangas, a senior biology major from Belmont, NC, and Dr. Beth Vogler, professor of social work, have received the G. McLeod Bryan Caring Awards from Mars Hill University.
The Bryan Awards are given annually at Mars Hill University in honor of the late Dr. G. McLeod (“Mac”) Bryan, a member of the MHU class of ’39, and a professor at Wake Forest University. Bryan worked tirelessly for the cause of peace and justice, and influenced countless others to do the same.
The Bryan Awards recognize members of the college community who make significant contributions to a better community and a better world. The campus community recognizes one student and one faculty or staff member each year who has made a positive impact on the community, whose involvement in the community is ongoing, whose action in the community is directed at serious social challenges and who works to connect the campus and wider community.
Vogler and Dalamangas received their awards at the Mars Hill University Community Service Convocation, April 8, at which several other community service awards were presented.
Dalamangas has distinguished herself as a servant leader at Mars Hill, according to Professor of Biology Scott Pearson, who introduced her at the convocation. She has served several organizations in the western North Carolina region, including Mountin’ Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, and two organizations serving the homeless and people with mental & physical challenges.
In particular, Christina has attacked the problem of hunger and food security. Over the past two years, Christina has coordinated events on campus, including the Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week and the Empty Bowls fundraiser for Neighbors in Need.
According to Christina, it was a “30 hour famine” she took part in with her church youth group that woke her up to the needs of the hungry. “Around hour 20, I thought I was going to die of starvation. This of course was an exaggeration, but this feeling has always stuck with me,” she said. “How could someone go without food? How do people go weeks without some kind of real sustenance?”
Dalamangas’ senior project for the Biology major involves an experiment with crop plants grown in Third World countries. Her goal is to one day use her knowledge of plants to help farmers in Third World countries combat hunger by boosting food production.
Beth Vogler lives a life which epitomizes the criteria of the G. McLeod Caring Award, according to Professor of Business Grainger Caudle, who introduced her at the Community Service Convocation.
“For many years Beth has been at the heart of our social work program, and has been its chair for the past five years.” He said. “This job is just an extension of her life’s work of making the world a better place.”
From 2005 to 2012, Vogler served on the board of the Asheville Buncombe Institute for Parity Achievement (ABIPA), an organization which promotes economic, social, and health parity achievement for African Americans and other people of color in Buncombe County.
In 2012 Vogler was responsible for bringing the “One Million Bones” to Mars Hill. This was an international effort to raise awareness and resources for persons affected by genocide. Her leadership in this project resulted in a number of events on campus and lead to the creation of over a thousand replicas of human bones, which she personally delivered to the national event on the Washington Mall.
For a number of years, Vogler has also helped spearhead the university’s fund raising efforts for the United Way of Madison County, which provides much needed resources for many of the important non-profits serving the disadvantaged in the county.
During her speech at the convocation, Vogler emphasized the many mentors and teachers she has had in her life in the area of community service.
“I believe that this is not work that we do alone, but in conjunction with others, who can become our teachers about their experiences. Certainly, my learning from my teachers in the community continues every day,” Vogler said.