Excellence in leadership, academics, and service can make a person stand out. Just ask Elena Buckwalter.
One of Buckwalter’s campus roles is Ministry Assistant – a leadership role in which she is able to work with others to build relationships for herself and other people.
“She has been willing to stand in difficult relational situations and be a helpful presence,” said Todd Lehman, campus pastor. “She has shown great care and concern for other students and has taken their desire for spiritual growth seriously. She hasn’t pushed her own agenda but has really worked at understanding the needs of the people around her.”
Psychology faculty Kevin Wilder has had Buckwalter in classes and knows of her service work with Mennonite Disaster Service and Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
“Elena loves to learn,” Wilder said. “She likes to be challenged, and she applies what she learns to her relationships and various service activities that she is involved with.”
“Elena is beyond smart and a good writer. But that’s just the surface.” Hershberger said. “Elena wants to know. She wants to challenge herself and she wants to contribute to the whole classroom. She is all there, every minute, every class period. And even more, she’s selfless, kind, funny. Jesus shines through her.”
“And that’s what makes her worthy of Lark of the Year.”