Kaylor selected for service award

Kaylor selected for service award

April 24, 2019

Maryville College senior Ariel Kaylor ’19 is among five college students in Tennessee to be named a recipient of the 2019 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award sponsored by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).

Created in 1991, the award was named in 1997 for Harold Love, Sr., the late state representative from Nashville who was instrumental in passing legislation for community service recognition programs for higher education and was known for his compassion and good humor. The award, which recognizes outstanding community service at the campus level and carries a $1,000 cash prize, honors a high level of community service, including volunteer work, community organization, public service, charitable service and leadership roles in the above areas.

Kaylor, a psychology and human resource management double major, was nominated for the award by administrators at the College.

“In her career at Maryville College, Ariel has served both as a campus leader in raising awareness, understanding and action around social justice issues, and as a faithful volunteer in organizations that help young people – from the youngest children to teens ready for college – achieve their highest possible strength,” said Maryville College Vice President and Dean of Students Dr. Melanie Tucker in her nomination letter for Kaylor. “Both in her service work and in her daily life of befriending others and serving as a positive role model, Ariel has been an outstanding example of the principles of public service and an example of the highest values of the College and of our state.”

When Kaylor arrived on campus in 2015, she already had an impressive record of service in her hometown community of Memphis, Tenn., where she volunteered with Sucasa Family Ministries. As a Bonner Scholar at Maryville College, she has committed to doing 40 hours of community service each week in local agencies. For two years, she volunteered at Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding in Lenoir City, Tenn., assisting special needs children and adults in motor, speech and cognitive therapy. In 2017, she volunteered with Bridge Refugee Services, working with English as a Second Language classes and assisting case workers with new families. She also has offered summer service as a resident assistant with a Pre-College Upward Bound program at the University of Tennessee and has mentored middle school students through the Children’s International Summer Villages program.

Most recently, she has volunteered in the Development Department of Blount County Habitat for Humanity, gaining skills to assure sustainability in nonprofit agencies.

“With her help, our organization recently held its most financially successful fundraising golf tournament to date. She has independently researched and written a foundation grant proposal, as well as assisting with vital donor communication and retention efforts,” said Vanessa Sparks, development director for Blount County Habitat for Humanity. “It is evident that Ariel has a heart for service and is passionate about learning the non-profit sector. I have no doubt that she is a future community leader who will continue to contribute through her service to others.”

At Maryville College, she has served as a leader, as well as an ongoing mentor and guide to fellow students. In addition to her service as a Bonner Scholar, she is a Scots Science Scholar, and she has been a resident assistant since 2016. She is the class vice president for the Student Government Association, and through her work as co-chair of the Peace and World Concerns student organization, she has encouraged awareness of a broad range of issues.

“In addition to Ariel’s efforts to raise awareness of the immigration crisis, of gun violence, and other important issues, which has certainly had a strong positive effect on our community’s engagement, she has had a personal effect on so many fellow students, as well as on the young people she serves,” according to her nomination materials. “As a student who helped revive and expand the mission of the Peace and World Concerns Committee at Maryville College, she has helped create a structure which will continue to raise up justice concerns for the campus, and she has passed on organizing skills to her fellow students, who will continue raising important issues after she has graduated.”

The award was presented to Kaylor during a reception at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville on April 18. The four other students who received the award are: Jujuan Lewis of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, Sarah Cullen of Belmont University, Gareth Laffely of Middle Tennessee State University and Tere Kangas of Austin Peay State University.

Mike Krause, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and Rep. Dr. Harold Love, Jr., son of the late Rep. Harold Love, Sr., presented the awards.


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.