Lindley Award Winner 2012 Emily Brookhart Plans to Give Back to Community through Teaching
By Lisa Heer
Obvious in her collegiate endeavors as well as her plans for post-graduation, 2012 Lindley Award Winner Emily Brookhart is dedicated to serving others. The Lindley Award is given annually to an outstanding graduating undergraduate, selected by a prestigious panel from faculty in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.
Majoring in International Studies and English with a professional emphasis, Brookhart has an impressive resume. In addition to an accumulative 4.00 GPA and several honors and awards, she has contributed to a small-group freshman mentoring program and has directly served the Palouse community through projects such as Vandal Community Tables, Orphan Acres Farms, Relay for Life, and the Good Samaritan center. She even took several months out of her personal life to tutor a local nine-year-old boy weekly in German before his family moved to Germany.
“Emily Brookart strikes me as something like a ‘best-of-the-last-ten-years’ student,” said nominator and English Department Chair Gary Williams. “I met her in the honors section of the Core Discovery course War and Our World . . . a class full of comparably bright people, but even in that group Emily stood out as an astonishingly talented thinker and writer.”
Since then, Emily has become the Writing Center’s primary grammar tutor, and has served as a Peer Mentor where she led class sessions, taught review sessions, graded assignments, and provided one-on-one tutoring for struggling students.
“When I arrived on this campus four years ago, my vision for the future was vague, at best,” said Brookhart. “At the University of Idaho, however, I’ve had the opportunity to take classes in things I never would have considered, participate in activities I never would have encountered, serve people I never would have known, and succeed in ways I never would have imagined.”
A few of these extracurricular activities include participating in the National Model United Nations Conference in New York, where Brookhart represented the Republic of Tunisia, and her experience in Fall 2012 studying abroad for a semester in Lüneburg, Germany.
“I implicitly trust Ms. Brookhart to represent me, my program, and the university in all ways,” said Bill Smith, Director of the Martin Institute and Program in International Studies. “Her personality is engaging, she evinces interest in the people with whom she is interacting, and she communicates how much she knows without being condescending in the slightest.”
Williams agrees: “She has energetically represented UI in settings as diverse as the Model United Nations in New York, Leuphana University in Germany, and a flood-stricken town in Iowa.”
While making an impact during her time at UI as a student, Brookhart has also been able to set up some solid connections for her future.
“Perhaps most notable in a truly extraordinary undergraduate career is her winning of a spot in next year’s Teach For America corps, a distinction earned by only 11 percent of the nearly 50,000 students who applied,” said Williams.
“I feel completely honored to be the recipient of the Lindley Award, and I’m proud to have accomplished as much as I have over the past four years. However, I definitely attribute my success, both academically and personally, to the amazing faculty of the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences. I would be nowhere near where I am today without their guidance and support. I’m proud to be a representative of this great college and its people,” Said Brookhart.
After graduating this May, she plans to begin working for Teach For America in the Las Vegas Valley, where she will teach high school English to low-income students.
“The things I’ve accomplished during my college career are only a tiny fraction of what students on this campus accomplish every day. The University of Idaho is filled with students making lasting contributions to all fields while dedicated to the service of the university, its students, and the worldwide community,” said Brookhart. “I am honored to count myself among them. I am proud to be graduating from the University of Idaho, and I am proud to be a Vandal.”