Nominations for Mendez Service Award open

The Faculty Senate is accepting nominations for the Luis Clay Mendez Service Award.

Nominations are open until Oct. 17, which is an extension from the earlier deadline of Oct. 14 because of Fall Break.

The award was created in 2003 shortly after Mendez, an Eastern Spanish professor, died, said Jeffery Stowell, psychology professor and faculty senate member.

The first Luis Clay Mendez Service Award was given in December of 2004 to David Carpenter, an English professor.

Stowell said he currently does not have any nominations turned in, but that is not unusual for the award. Most nominations are turned in right before the deadline, he said.

Stowell said anyone a part of the Eastern community can nominate a faculty member. “We are looking for dedicated service at all levels,” Stowell said.

The award winner will be announced no later than Oct. 25.

Although Stowell said he did not know Mendez personally, Stowell said Mendez displayed exceptional dedication on an international, national and local level.

Karin Padmaraju, an assistant professor of elementary education who has been on faculty senate for four years, said she feels the award is beneficial to those who receive it.

“It recognizes faculty members who have been awarded in lots of service activities,” Padmaraju said.

Last year’s winner was Charles G. Eberly, professor of student affairs, who formally received the award at the 2010 Fall Commencement.

Eberly said he feels advocating community service is crucial to students.

“One of the most important goals is to build good citizens for democracy,” Eberly said.

Eberly, who has spent 48 years in higher education, said it was important for him to do service and help others, which started when he was a member of the Boy Scouts.

Padmaraju knows Eberly and she said she felt he is someone to whom she can always talk.

“He is known for his service with lots of fraternities to the university,” Padmaraju said regarding his service to Eastern.

Padmaraju said Eberly took on graduate students as mentors, worked as thesis advisor and is always ready to help students.

Eberly also knew Mendez and said Mendez was involved in various service work projects.

“He was very, very involved in working with the coast guard and with water safety,” Eberly said. Eberly added Mendez also did a lot of service work at Lake Shelbyville.

“(The award) is recognition of something that you are really passionate about,” Padmaraju said.

Kathryn Richter can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]