Brittany Yoder, a senior communications major, received a Distinguished Alumni Service Award (DASA) Club scholarship, presented by the Indiana University Alumni Association in Bloomington October 11.
The DASA Club scholarship is based on academic performance. The scholarship is funded by alumni who have received an IU Distinguished Alumni Service Award. In addition to students on the Bloomington campus, one student from each of the regional campuses is awarded a scholarship.
Yoder currently lives in Richmond. She is from Saratoga, Indiana, about 40 minutes north of campus.
Outside of her academic studies, Yoder spends her time in Hayes Hall, where she has been a work-study for the Campus Library since fall 2015. Working in the library has provided many opportunities to be involved in university programs as well as to work with friends and mentors who make the library a fun and friendly place to be, she said.
“I believe I’ve had a great college experience and had many more opportunities to better myself from working there,” Yoder said. “It allows me to be involved in many different events and meet many different types of people.”
Through her work with the library, Yoder has met people through Opening Minds through Art (OMA), a program connecting students with elders with dementia and fosters communication, self-worth and social interaction through art projects. IU East’s Office of Service-Learning and Friends Fellowship have partnered to bring OMA to residents there.
Yoder has also been involved in IU East’s “One Book, Many Voices” project, which fosters a campus and community discussion about themes and ideas inspired by a common text in an effort to develop camaraderie, inform knowledge, and inspire action towards positive civic engagement and improvement.
She has also worked with the library as a student staff member, and as an IU Office of the Bicentennial intern, providing her with an opportunity to learn about IU East’s history and growth over the past 47 years. As one of her projects, Yoder researched the evolution of the Whitewater Valley Annual Art Competition and its founder and former associate professor of fine arts Tom Thomas (1945-2009).
As a communications major, the program lends itself to the variety of programs and opportunities Yoder experiences as a student and a work-study. She chose her area of study because she has a variety of interests, including in art, history, informatics, psychology, and many other things. This program has allowed her to do a bit of everything, she said.
“Communication is everywhere in many forms and is essential in any personal or organizational use. I will always be able to use it,” Yoder said. “It has helped me better my personal relationships and do better at helping people at the library. I know no matter where I go I can use what I’ve learned from this program.”
Yoder is not yet certain what she will pursue following graduation, but she is considering continuing her education in the area of library science or working with others to find their niche.
“IU East offered me a chance to go to college while not straying too far from home,” Yoder said. “I appreciate the smaller campus size. It has allowed me to be much closer to my professors and classmates, and it is much easier to get help with anything. I was able to get an on campus college experience while not having to leave my friends and family.”
Campus Library Director Frances Yates said, “The library staff is very proud of Brittany, and we value her many contributions to serving library patrons throughout her years working here. She has an exceptional work ethic and positive outlook and is adept at learning new skills and assisting with special projects. We congratulate her on this well-deserved award and look forward to her future accomplishments.”
About the Distinguished Alumni Service Award (DASA)
Since 1953, DASA recipients—collectively known as the DASA Club—have donated more than $2 million in support of scholarships and grants to hundreds of exceptional IU students. Each year, Indiana University recognizes outstanding alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award, the highest accolade reserved solely for alumni. The awardees are leaders in their chosen fields who make significant contributions benefiting their community, state, nation, or university.