Student LIFE Awards Gala

An Opportunity to be Appreciated

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Michael Rhodes

Steve Grupp, winner of Faculty of the Year for the 2015 Student LIFE Awards Gala.

First you have to have that life-changing experience with them. Then, an opportunity to have their efforts and hard work recognized presents itself to you. So, you nominate them.

“I do what I can to inspire interest… I think it’s a fair question to ask, ‘Why do I need to learn this?’ “”

— Grupp

Student LIFE has held the Student LIFE Awards Gala for several years now. Staff, students and faculty are nominated for awards such as “Club Member of the Year,” “Diversity Champion Award” or the “Student Employee Award.”

Steve Grupp, an instructor who works within the Math and Science Division, won the “Faculty of the Year” award last year.  He has been a faculty member at EvCC for almost 17 years now. Grupp is involved with Math, Engineering and Student Association (MESSA), a few geology classes and learning communities.

He was introduced to geology in high school for the first time and dabbled in other subjects but ultimately circled his way back to geology. Grupp enjoys engaging students with this topic not only in the classroom but also outside to places like Mt. Rainier, where there is plenty of opportunity for interactive learning.

Grupp is interested not only in the subjects he teaches, but also the success of his students. He said, “I do what I can to inspire interest… I think it’s a fair question to ask, ‘Why do I need to learn this?’ ”  He said he tries to relate his class material to student’s lives.

When asked why he thought he was nominated, Grupp said, “You should ask John Pugh and Aspen Byran and maybe a few other students, they’re the ones who nominated me.” Grupp has students who are thriving because of his dedication and when they found out he could be nominated for an award, they were on it.

Byran and Pugh are students at EvCC and are a part of MESSA. Byran said, “Our lives have been changed a little bit by having his class.” Pugh said, “He’s an inspiration that helps students design an academic plan so that they will succeed.”

Grupp said it was a great honor to be nominated and thought of, “but there’s a lot of people here that do great stuff for students.” He appreciates a lot of staff members on campus and wants them to be recognized as well.

Kellen Syth, ASB vice president of clubs for Student LIFE and the chair of the Awards Gala committee.
Abby Tutor
Kellen Syth, ASB vice president of clubs for Student LIFE and the chair of the Awards Gala committee.

Kellen Syth, the ASB vice president of clubs and the chair of the Awards Gala committee, said it’s important to recognize “faculty, staff, or even students who are going out of their way to make the campus a better place.”

The nominations for this year’s Awards Gala are closed, but it will be interesting to see who the winners will be. Student LIFE does not release the names of the finalists as that is part of the fun; every winner will be that much more surprised.

Be sure to attend this year’s Awards Gala on May 27 at the Xfinity Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave. to find out who will win this year’s awards. All students who have received an invitation (such as Student LIFE members, student club members, and student government members) are welcome to come. Admission is $5.00 for students and $15.00 for guests.