2014 Oesterlein Award Winner exemplifies distinguished College student

2014 Oesterlein Award Winner exemplifies distinguished College student

April 30, 2014
photo of Elis Herman with President Pauly and Dean Calovini

Elis Herman was named the 2014 Elisabeth Oesterlein Award recipient at Salem Academy and College’s Founders Day Convocation on April 25.

The Salem College Oesterlein Award is named in honor of Salem's first teacher. Candidates are nominated from the graduating class by members of the Salem community—faculty, staff, and fellow students—and each nominee competes against other truly outstanding seniors. Among the criteria are: make a notable contribution to the quality of life at Salem and exemplify quality leadership; and be conscientious and diligent in the pursuit of academic excellence, attaining at least a 3.0 grade point average overall.

As an Elizabeth Whitaker Scholar and recipient of the Pfohl Scholarship in Music, a National Merit Scholarship, and the Virginia Retired Teachers Association Scholarship, Herman is an impressive individual, enhancing the Salem community as a student. In addition to these scholarships, this outstanding student also maintains membership in the Alpha Lambda Delta Honors Society, the Pi Gamma Mu Honors Society, and the Mortar Board Honors Society. Herman will graduate in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Women’s Studies and a minor in music, achieving college honors and departmental honors in both sociology and women’s studies and with two forthcoming articles published in two different academic journals.

Apart from academics, the Oesterlein Award winner has been dedicated to improving the campus community for fellow students; serving as a member of the Student Government Association, the Honor Council (currently, as the Chair), the Committee on Community, the Handbook Revision Committee, and as a Resident Advisor for Strong Honors House. Herman currently serves as the President for Salem College Open Up, a gay/straight alliance at Salem College, as the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance Director, and as the Women in Nature Program Leader.

In 2012, Herman was guest oboist for the Greensboro Symphony’s performance of Handel’s Messiah. That same year, Herman was a panel speaker for the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference and, in 2013, was invited back to give the opening ceremony address.

After graduation, Herman will work as a staff member in the Farm and Wellness program at Hidden Villa, a nonprofit educational organization and organic farm in Los Altos, Ca., educating teenagers on social and environmental justice.

Published on April 30, 2014