Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Debbie Murray presented Slaughter with the award during the Honors Chapel on April 10.
Established in 1968 and named in honor of the second president of Lee University, the annual award is presented to a senior at Lee who has demonstrated high standards of integrity, leadership, service, broad campus involvement, and academic excellence. Each department may nominate one student for the award, and from these nominees a winner is selected by a faculty vote.
“Winning this award has been such an honor ,mostly because of the awareness that the faculty voted on it,” said Slaughter.
“I respect my professors here at Lee so much and to know that they chose me for this award is not only incredibly rewarding, but also very humbling.”
While at Lee, Slaughter has served as an advancement force worker, an admissions office worker, a member and officer of Sigma Nu Sigma, a member and officer of Sigma Tau Delta, and editor of the Lee Review.
Slaughter has volunteered with The Refuge in Cleveland, spent summer 2012 in Haiti teaching English as a second language, planned a 5K for sex trafficking awareness, planned a book drive and writer’s workshop for Ocoee Middle School, and planned service events for Lee freshman classes.
Slaughter presented creative writing pieces at the 2014 Sigma Tau Delta International Convention and the 2013 Lee University Symposium.
“Shylah’s work in the classroom has been outstanding,” said Dr. Kevin Brown, professor of English at Lee. “She is one of the rare students who can excel at both academic and creative work, which led her to present her fiction at an international convention and write one of the best academic papers in her literature class.”
Slaughter will graduate summa cum laude from Lee in August 2014 with a bachelor of arts in English and a minor in TESOL, or teaching of English to speakers of other languages.
After graduation, Slaughter plans to get married and start her career as the events coordinator at South Dakota State University, where her husband will be attending school. In the near future, she plans to pursue a master’s and doctorate in either linguistics or creative writing.