Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date: March 30, 2010

For more information contact, Pat O'Brien, (901) 333-4021

Southwest Faculty Member Wins President's Volunteer Service Award

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."

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Photo caption: Dr. Robert J. Walker