2018 Student Prize for Civility in Public Life

The Student Prize for Civility in Public Life is awarded annually to two 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.

About The Honorees

The Office of the Dean of Students is proud to announce the recipients of the 2018 Student Prize for Civility in Public Life:

Lucie Rose Shiffman

Class of 2018

In addition to being an outstanding student academically, Lucie is a teaching assistant at Allegheny, a resident advisor, a Sustained Dialogue moderator, and the president of Grounds for Change. In that role, “she works with other board members to create a welcoming, inclusive space where people can connect and spend time together.” In addition, as a Sustained Dialogue moderator, “she facilitates meaningful conversations and creates a safe space for people to share their experiences, ultimately promoting empathy by creating common ground and encouraging people to turn their differences into strong relationships.” That, her nominator describes, is the essence of Lucie. The same nominator writes: “There are few people on this campus who have not been touched by Lucie in some way, and that is because of her selflessness, and her incredible ability to form a connection with everyone she engages with.”

When you meet Lucie, the sense of her that quickly emerges is one of positive energy, continual giving, love for her fellow students and community members, consistency in her approach, and her enthusiastic effort to care, to grow, and to help others to grow and challenge themselves to live together in community, always with that amazing Lucie smile. Lucie is Lucie, not only because of the person she is but because of the relationships she develops, the connections she forms, the classes she takes, and the experiences she cultivates not only to learn from, but also to contribute to the community and the world. Her work in Residence Life and as a teaching assistant, as well as her leadership with Students for Environmental Action (SEA) and Hillel, provide additional opportunity for Lucie consistently to develop community conversations, relationships and goals. As further testimony to her community building gifts, Lucie is the recipient of the 2018 Community Building Leadership Award.

Described collectively this way by an entire group of her nominators: “Lucie is a model student, hard worker, gifted speaker, and outspoken social justice advocate who embodies and lives civility, dialogue, and relationship building in all she does. Lucie is the well-rounded student we work hard to graduate from Allegheny, and we couldn’t think of a more deserving individual for the Student Civility Prize.”

Lucie excels as a double major in Psychology and Environmental Studies, with a minor in Community and Justice Studies. Her senior comprehensive project is entitled, “The Effects of Being in Green Spaces on First Impressions.” She is a Distinguished Alden Scholar. With all of her successes at Allegheny, as well as experience as a volunteer coordinator in Israel, it is not surprising that she is excited to begin a two-year stint with the Peace Corps as an educator in Rwanda in the fall of 2018.

Sarah Alex Nathan

Class of 2018

Not only is Sarah the co-valedictorian for the class of 2018, but she also excels outside of the classroom. In her academic endeavors, she bridges both the curricular and co-curricular, as evidenced by the title of her senior comprehensive project: “The Social Dimensions of Food Justice: Exploring a Mixed-Income Community Garden as a Bridge for Cross-Class Relationships.” With that project, Sarah found a way to combine her life passion to explore community justice and wellness and make them real for our community. Her academic honors include selection to the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society, recognition as a Doane Scholar and Distinguished Alden Scholar, and the Environmental Studies Outstanding Junior Award. She is also the recipient of a 2018 Cornerstone Award for her work in the Meadville Area Recreation Complex (MARC) Community Garden and her work to build relationships between the Allegheny and Meadville communities.

As one of her many nominators writes about Sarah: “Since arriving on campus as a first-year student, she has demonstrated a tireless commitment to using her time and talent for community-based work in Meadville. This includes work on projects to improve access to food for low-income residents and creating partnerships that bridge the town-gown divide between the College and residents of Meadville.” As part of this work, the nominator notes, Sarah also works to create opportunities for other Allegheny students to meet residents of Meadville and promote understanding of both research and practice in building stronger communities. Another of her nominators writes: “I believe that Sarah represents all for which the Student Prize for Civility in Public Life stands. She is passionate, altruistic, and caring. Sarah works diligently and always speaks in an articulate manner. She supports and encourages people she has just met, the same way she does her closest friends.” And from another: “Sarah is an extremely skilled writer, she has academic focus and is a pure joy to work with.”

In addition to all that is described above, Sarah has other experience at Allegheny that includes work as a research assistant for the Meadville Community Wellness Initiative, as manager of Sustainable Greenhouse Education, and as a curriculum advisor for “Grow Meadville.” As a Bonner Service Leader, she is experienced as a volunteer coordinator at the Stone Church Soup Kitchen in Meadville, as a Food Access Fellow through the Civic Engagement Office, as a Bonner Advisory Board member with the Bonner Leader Program, and as program assistant at St. Benedict’s Education Center in Meadville. She also serves as trip leader and secretary of the Allegheny College Outing Club. Among her many outstanding efforts at Allegheny is her work with the Andrew Goodman Foundation as a Vote Everywhere ambassador. In this role, Sarah assists with voter registration efforts and works to increase student awareness of local and state election issues.

Sarah is a double major in Environmental Studies and Community and Justice Studies. She plans to stay in Meadville, where she hopes to acquire an AmeriCorps Vista position in order to spend her next couple of years continuing to serve others and work to promote civility.


The 2018 Student Prize for Civility in Public Life nominees included:

  • Allen Baugh, double major, Psychology and Communication Arts
  • Samantha Bretz, Economics (International Economics emphasis)
  • Travis Court, Physics
  • Madeline Hernstrom-Hill, double major, History and English
  • Izoduwa Idehen-Amadasun, Community and Justice Studies
  • Niall Kneerim, History
  • Sarah Nathan (recipient)
  • Maria Pineda, Psychology
  • Falena Rotzell, Psychology
  • Lucie Shiffman (recipient)
  • Matthew Wild, Biochemistry (Pre-medical concentration)

About the Prize

Selection Committee

The 2018 recipients were selected by a committee of faculty, students, and staff, including:

  • Pamela Higham, Assistant to the President – Co-chair
  • Jacquie Kondrot, Interim Dean of Students – Co-chair
  • Cristin Archer, Allegheny Class of 2019; double major, Biology and Environmental Science
  • Gretchen Beck, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement
  • Terri Carr, Associate Director, Career Education
  • Darnell Epps, Associate Director, IDEAS Center
  • Jim Fitch, Director of Career Education
  • Gilly Ford, Title IX Coordinator
  • Reem Hilal, Assistant Professor, Modern and Classical Languages
  • Jennifer Kessner, Office Manager, The Allegheny Gateway, Civic Engagement, International Education
  • Adrienne Krone, Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Spiritual and Religious Life Office