For Immediate Release
Date: March 30, 2010
For more information contact, Pat O'Brien, (901) 333-4021
Dr. Robert J. Walker, chair of the Department of Education at Southwest Tennessee Community College, received the President's Volunteer Service award for outstanding work as a volunteer teacher-trainer of new college teachers at Debre Birhan University in Ethiopia, Africa. It is granted to individuals who volunteer at least 100 hours in a given year. Dr. Walker was nominated by the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help.
The award consists of a lapel pin, a personal certificate, a letter from Jean Case, chair of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, and a letter from President Barack Obama. In her congratulatory letter, Case said, "This … recognizes your dedication to volunteer service and signifies that you have served your community and your country with distinction. … You demonstrate values that make our nation strong and build a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility in America."
President Obama's letter said, in part, "Congratulations, and thank you for helping address the most pressing needs … While government can open opportunities for us to serve … it is up to each of us to seize those opportunities. Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation."
In response, Dr. Walker remarked, "Like any who give of themselves and make personal sacrifices … to help others, you don't do it for rewards, but to make a difference in the lives of others. But it is nice to know that someone recognizes your efforts. I am truly honored to receive this recognition and I sincerely hope that what I taught the teachers they are still using in their college courses … helping to better educate future generations in the country of Ethiopia."
Photo caption: Dr. Robert J. Walker