Casey Nichols Service Above Self Award

In honor of legendary scholastic journalism teacher, mentor and friend Casey Nichols, JEANC has introduced the Service Above Self Award. This honor will go to a senior who practices servant leadership, and, as a result of their contributions to their program, positively influences their community. Advisers should submit a no more than one page description of the student’s impact for consideration, as well as the following: student pronouns, adviser name, publication, program and student social media handles, and a headshot/photo of student. The document can be submitted as a PDF upload, and the headshot can be submitted via a URL to a cloud-stored image. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship.


Explanation of student leadership from Brendan Burchard’s “The Student Leadership Guide”:

In sum, servant leaders seek to help others become healthier, wiser, and more autonomous by asking “How can I help?” and embodying the ideals of responsibility and accountability.

Servant leadership, in effect, dedicates service for two things: service for a vision and service to collaborators. 

Service for a vision. Leadership is about coming together and seeking important ends, ideals, and values. If there was not something for which leaders and collaborators hoped to achieve, they would never come together under this thing we call leadership. The relationship created by leadership among leaders and collaborators serves to attain a valued end, a vision of a better tomorrow. That vision, and the dedicated pursuit for its attainment, is what leadership is all about. Indeed, possibly the most important factor in leadership is the answer to the question, “What are we here to do?”

Service to collaborators. Leadership is a relationship, and servant leadership recognizes the absolute necessity of enhancing and transforming the members of that relationship. In recognizing this, service to collaborators becomes the second main factor to servant leadership. Collaborators are “served” by servant leaders through the transforming effect of helping them become wiser, healthier, freer, and more autonomous. 

And later …

In sum, servant leadership provides service to achieve a vision and service to collaborators. Leaders serve others rather than looking to be served, they give rather than receive. Servant leaders hope to attain important ends, and at the same time, transform their collaborators so they are more likely to grow as persons, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, and more likely to become servants themselves.

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Casey Nichols Service Above Self Award