Members of Baylor Community Recognized for Service Efforts

Mission Waco
Feb. 28, 2013

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@BaylorUMediaContact: Lori Fogleman, Director of Media Communications, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (Feb. 28, 2013)--Five Baylor University students, one Baylor professor and two Baylor organizations were honored for their volunteer work at the Mission Waco Mission World banquet on Feb. 5.

Robinson junior Emily Netherland, Las Cruces, N.M., senior Jarrod Tunnell, Waco senior Kyle Kearns, Cypress senior Giahan Pham and Robinson junior Jaren Salazar all received the Divine Servant award as outstanding student volunteers. Christopher Blocker, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business, was honored with an adult Volunteer of the Year award, while Brooks Residential College and Zeta Zigga Zamma received special recognition at the banquet for their service work.

The awards give Mission Waco a chance to recognize its volunteers, said Seth Dorrell, director of Mission World and volunteer director.

"It was such an honor to receive this award," Kearns said. "Mission Waco is full of dedicated volunteers who have inspired me with their selflessness, and they all deserve one, too. I work with the children's program at Mission Waco and it is the best part of my week. These kids have taught me so much, and I now have such a passion for showing God's love to those who need it."

"Winning the award came as a surprise to me in a way; I forget that I'm volunteering because I enjoy it so much," Netherland said.

Mission Waco presented 18 Volunteer of the Year awards in categories that included businesses, churches, philanthropies, adults, students and special recognition.

Brooks Residential College was honored for its weekly work with Mission Waco's King Club, a well-known children's ministry aimed at spending time with children and teaching lessons from the Bible. Kings Club meets every Saturday morning during the school year.

"The children's program can always use help, and the kids love new volunteers," Kearns said. "If anyone is willing to take a few hours out of their week to invest in these kids' lives, I guarantee you will be blessed far beyond what you ever hoped to give."

Mission Waco aims to provide Christian-based holistic, relationship-based programs that empower the poor and marginalized; mobilize middle-class Americans to become more compassionately involved among the poor; and to seek ways to overcome the systematic issues of social injustice which oppress the poor and marginalized, according to their website.

"Mission Waco does great work in the community, and we are so proud of our students for joining in their efforts. These students have made significant contributions by investing both their time and their talents," said Erin L. Payseur, associate director of community-based learning in the Office of Community Engagement and Service at Baylor.

For more information on Mission Waco, visit

by Rebecca Malzahn , student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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