The 2018 Berea College Service Award will be presented to alumna Geraldine “Jeri” Baker on Thursday, March 22 at 3 p.m. in Phelps Stokes Chapel, during the annual Berea College Service Convocation. The Berea College Service Award honors persons who exemplify Berea’s Great Commitments in their daily lives and service to humanity. The award honors practical service by persons in all walks of life.
Baker graduated from Berea College in 1962 and went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in human services from George Washington University. Her career as a social worker spanned more than 30 years and focused on advocacy for children. In her retirement, she has collaborated with residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, where she started a non-profit organization called One Spirit. The organization’s programs address hunger and other basic human needs, and it promote Lakota cultural initiatives that honor traditions and develop opportunities for Lakota youth.
The annual service convocation address, titled, “Building Bridges to a Hunger-Free World” will be delivered by Shannon Maynard, executive director of the Congressional Hunger Center since 2015. Prior to working at CHC, Maynard served as chief talent and knowledge officer at Grameen Foundation, a global poverty-alleviation organization, and as the executive director of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation during the George W. Bush administration. Maynard now works on understanding the root causes of hunger and finding solutions to food insecurity, both domestically and globally. Her convocation address will include a focus on empowering individuals to become involved in community-based solutions in the fight against hunger.