The Dr. James H. Mullen, Jr. Student Prize for Civility in Public Life is awarded annually to exemplary student leaders who have demonstrated a strong passion for, and deep understanding of, civility on the Allegheny College campus and in community work. Prize recipients exhibit a depth and breadth of activities, roles, responsibilities, and years of involvement that have a significant impact on civility and respect on the campus and beyond. Established in 2017, the prize was named in 2019 in honor of retiring Allegheny College President James H. Mullen, Jr. in recognition of his commitment to civility on campus, locally, regionally, and nationally. Naming the prize was made possible by a generous gift from Dag and Julie Grosjean Skattum (’84/’85).
About The Honorees
Allegheny College is proud to announce the recipients of the 2021 Dr. James H. Mullen, Jr. Student Prize for Civility in Public Life:
Class of 2021
Aaliyah Coleman graduated from Allegheny College in May 2021, obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor concentration in Black studies. Coleman plans to pursue a master’s degree in biomedical medicine and pursue a medical career, with plans to become an orthopedic surgeon. Since she was in eighth grade, Coleman has accompanied orthopedic surgeons during their work, which deepened her passion for patient care and medicine.
Throughout her time on Allegheny’s campus, Coleman has committed herself to encouraging others to reach their potential through self-exploration and self-acceptance. She has been an IDEAS Center Intercultural Advocate, which has allowed her the opportunity to build relationships among students of disparate backgrounds. In addition, Coleman espouses the importance of establishing inclusive spaces, networking with peers of other races and informing students about appropriate language and actions when referring to students of color. She has helped to educate her peers about avoiding biased and discriminatory behaviors.
Coleman demonstrates leadership in the IDEAS Center and through her involvement within Allegheny’s Culture, Identity, and Leadership Coalition organizations and a club, A Ladies Place, which she co-founded. The club is a women’s empowerment association that promotes mental health and helps young women develop self-confidence. Coleman also is a member of Zeta Phi Beta, Pi Phi Chapter. She is working alongside Finer Women in the sorority who want to make a difference in the campus community.
Coleman seeks to create positive change in the world by displaying the power of vulnerability and educating herself and others. She has exhibited a stellar work ethic, determination, and resilience to make the world a better place.
Class of 2021
Sarah Teel graduated from Allegheny College in May 2021, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience with a minor in English. Teel has been involved in numerous clubs and activities at Allegheny, including music groups, community service, mentorship roles, and writing consulting. She has sought to improve the campus environment throughout her career at Allegheny and has cumulatively aided in creating a more civil atmosphere on campus.
As a board member of Hillel who served as club president for a year, Teel often worked closely with clubs representing other groups and led respectful conversations in the hope of encouraging positive interactions between people outside and inside the Jewish community. She was also a member of Positive Deviance, a club fostering a more positive and compassionate environment at Allegheny. This goal is accomplished through many small acts of kindness and events focusing on providing emotional support and friendship. Teel helped to plan and promote many events through Positive Deviance and has thus tried to make her peers feel better supported and respected in their day-to-day lives.
Teel also participated frequently in Service Saturday volunteer events and major programs such as Make a Difference Day, French Creek Cleanup, and food drives. In addition, she was part of the Allegheny Listens Common Read book selection committee for the incoming class of 2025. “I have always been an optimist and feel that there is always the potential to build a kinder and more empathetic community,” Teel said. “While my contributions are small, I try to lead by example and push for change in my college community one small act at a time.”
About the Prize
The 2021 recipient was selected by a committee of faculty, students, and staff, including:
- Gilly Ford, Title IX Coordinator
- Pamela Higham, Executive Assistant to the President and Coordinator of Special Initiatives
- Lindy Jackson, Department Coordinator, Biology and Chemistry
- Dr. Brian Miller, Assistant Professor of History and Affiliated Faculty in International Studies
- Khalid Mohamed, Allegheny Student
- Dr. Heather Moore Roberson, Associate Professor of Community and Justice Studies and Black Studies
- Lucinda Morgan, Director of International Education
- Dr. Lauren Paulson, Assistant Professor of Psychology
- Dr. Angelica Perez-Johnston, Director of the IDEAS Center
- Marko Sadikovic, Director of Operations, Dean of Students Office
- Josh Tysiachney, Director of Content Strategy, Marketing & Communications Office