Maryville College senior Bryan Crouser (1921) of Flintstone, Ga., is among five college students in Tennessee to be named a recipient of the 2021 Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award sponsored by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC).
The Outstanding Community Service Award was named for the late Rep. Harold Love Sr., who was instrumental in establishing the first awards in 1991. With the welfare of his community as his primary concern, Love would go to any lengths to help a constituent in need, even if it meant giving from his own pocket.
The individuals selected to receive recognition represent the many dimensions of community service/volunteer work, public service, charitable service and leadership roles in community organizations. The award recipients serve as ambassadors for community service among the diverse higher education communities in Tennessee. Each winner receives a $1,000 cash prize.
This year, the commission received “a record-breaking number of nominations.”
“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Tennesseans from Memphis to Bristol have lived up to our nickname of the Volunteer State, and our communities are all the richer for it,” said Brittany Mosby, director of HBCU Success at THEC.
Crouser, a biology major from Flintstone, Ga., was nominated for the award by administrators at the College. In his nomination letter for Crouser, Maryville College President Bryan F. Coker praised Crouser’s service as a faithful volunteer in organizations that serve young people. During his career at MC, Crouser has mentored children and teens in the after-school program at the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center in Alcoa, Tenn. He has spent summers as a lifeguard at summer camp, and then as an AmeriCorps member, working with middle school and elementary students at the Emerald Youth Foundation in inner-city Knoxville, Tenn.
“In these ways, through his tireless work and bright spirit, he helps young people believe in themselves and catch a vision of what life could be,” Coker wrote, adding that Crouser has used his college years not only to prepare for a career serving others as a physician’s assistant, but also to serve others now — whether on or off campus. Through his volunteer service with the Care Today Clinic at East Tennessee Medical Group, Crouser offered much-needed help during the COVID crisis, learning to give COVID tests, as well as tests for strep and flu. He also he gained skills in other lab areas, “and his willingness to serve where he was needed was an asset every day,” Coker said.
“Furthermore, his work of mentoring students on campus, whether in the Bonner Scholarship Program, where he has been a key support to younger students, or tutoring first-year chemistry students, as well as filling a variety of leadership roles, demonstrates Bryan’s commitment to serving others everywhere he is,” Coker said. “Both in his service work, and in friendly demeanor and generous spirit, Bryan has been an outstanding example of the principles of public service and the highest values of the college and our state.”
The four other Tennessee students who received the 2021 award are: Leigh Holdsambeck of Belmont University; Alexis Millsaps of the University of Tennessee-Martin; Miura Rempis of Middle Tennessee State University; and Deepesh Subedi of Austin Peay State University.