Kathleen Coughlin has been selected by the UNF Alumni Association as the recipient of the Senior Service Award for the spring 2013 graduating class. The UNF Alumni Association selects a graduating senior each semester for outstanding service to the University and the community through volunteerism. Kathleen, native to Gainesville, FL is graduating today with a Bachelor of Arts and science degree in Spanish, with a GPA of 3.68. Over the past four years, she has become well known on campus and in the Jacksonville community. Since arriving at UNF, Kathleen has volunteered in many capacities. Her top accomplishments include serving as a patient companion at the Mayo Clinic, group leader and mentor at Beach United Methodist Church, member of the Presidential Envoys Student Alumni Association, founding member and officer of the UNF Spanish Club and serving in numerous roles supporting more than 13 on-campus organizations with varying missions including student life, athletics and professional career progression. Kathleen's most rewarding experience was serving as a patient companion at the Mayo Clinic. She spent three years visiting and inspiring patients who typically did not receive visitors or much attention. She traveled from room to room providing a warm spirit and supported nurses by restocking their carts and sanitizing rooms. Kathleen says the most difficult part about volunteering at the Mayo Clinic was when the patients she connected with would leave the hospital, especially the many that were often there for an extended period of time. Continuing the theme of inspiring others to be well and do better, Kathleen has spent four years mentoring youth at Beach United Methodist Church. She leads a weekly bible study session for tenth grade girls and has put tremendous time and energy into developing relationships with each of them. As a mentor both individually and as a group, Kathleen attends weekly youth events and spends quality time, making them feel that they are a very important part of society of each other’s lives. In addition to a larger list of off campus activities, Kathleen has remained heavily involved in UNF campus life and student organizations. As a Presidential Envoy, she served as a student ambassador to the University president and also filled the role of spirit spotting chair. Through this role she represented the University at various events, worked directly with alumni and financial donors, increased UNF pride among the student body and assisted with the organizing and implementation of community service events. Kathleen’s service to UNF would not be complete without supporting her colleagues in the Spanish department, for which she has devoted four years of learning. Last year, she worked with a group of students and faculty to create the UNF Spanish Club and since has helped establish a student base, served as a club officer and laid a foundation for her successors to build upon. In all, Kathleen has had a definitive impact on her peers on and off campus in Northeast Florida. She is a remarkable example of a focused, well-rounded student leader with a heart for service and passion for people; a true representation of the University of North Florida.
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