Spring 2017 Senior Service Award
The UNF Alumni Association selects a graduating senior each semester for outstanding service to the University and the community through volunteerism. Brianna Ballard is the recipient of the Senior Service Award for the spring 2017 graduating class.Graduating today from the Brooks College of Health with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics, Brianna exemplifies UNF’s spirit of servant-leadership and civic commitment through her focus on making a difference and desire to help and lead others. According to her program director, Jackie Shank, “Brianna was an exceptional student, quickly emerging as a young scholar upon entering the Nutrition and Dietetics Program as a freshman in the fall of 2013.”While maintaining a GPA of 3.76, Brianna excelled in her academics and her commitment to UNF and the community. As a freshman new to Jacksonville, she immediately sought out volunteer opportunities to help become familiar with the campus and community, meet people and help a greater good. She began volunteering with the On-Campus Transition mentoring program, which is designed for student peers to help other students with intellectual disabilities become acclimated to UNF and feel a part of a community. Brianna also participated in a Transformational Learning Opportunity study abroad class to Peru, which opened her eyes to the food insecurity and hunger present in our community and inspired her to move forward with her Nutrition major. The study abroad experiences inspired Brianna to create a food recovery program on the UNF campus. She is the co-president and founder of Food Fighters, a student-led organization that works with UNF Dining Services to recover and repackage food and provides meals and education to the Northeast Florida Aids Network. Food Fighters are successfully feeding the hungry, reducing food waste and teaching UNF students about food safety, nutrition and leadership skills. Their work has also helped UNF build a bridge with local nonprofits.Brianna has also served as the president of the UNF Healthy Osprey Club, a spin instructor at the UNF Wellness Center, and a frequent volunteer at gardens, food pantries and the St. Vincent’s Bariatrics Services department. These opportunities allowed Brianna to share her passion for healthy living and inspire students and so many others in the community. Brianna is a passionate, conscientious and driven leader and a great representative of the University of North Florida. She characterizes what the Senior Service Award represents, and we are proud to call her an Osprey alumna.
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