Virginia Tech announces Adviser of the Year Award

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 30, 2004 – Shannon Turner, of Knoxville, Tenn., director of YMCA Student Programs, has won the Adviser of the Year Award at Virginia Tech.

The Adviser of the Year Award is one of 10 University Student Leadership Awards given by Virginia Tech's Department of Student Activities in the Division of Student Affairs to recognize outstanding members, extraordinary achievements by an organization, advisers, volunteerism, and service-learning experiences.

Turner oversees 35 student program leaders who lead 12 programs that the YMCA provides to the community. She is responsible for recruiting, training and supervising the student program leaders through retreats, meetings and community site visits. The students learn what being a social worker for a non-profit organization in the community is like. In addition to recruiting and training students, Turner also has a personal relationship with them. She helps prepare students for graduation with career and post graduation counseling.

The 12 programs that the YMCA runs vary in their scope. They break down into three components: serving children, heightening environmental awareness and social awareness. There four core values of the YMCA are respect, responsibility, honesty and caring.

Turner feels that every student she works with embodies these values. This is the best part of being an adviser for her. "It is a really rich opportunity to interact with people who are optimistic about the world and have the strength and courage to try and make the world a better place," she said.

Sarah Smith, a program leader with the YMCA, admires Turner's leadership and dedication to the students that she works with. "As an adviser she has gone above and beyond her call of duty," Smith said.

"Shannon has taken large strides in making the Y community a group of close knit volunteers that are all working for a common goal; no small feat for an organization that has such a vast collection of different personalities," Smith said. "She embodies all of the positive qualities of Virginia Tech and the YMCA and shares her passion for both with the community."

Founded in 1872 as a land-grant college, Virginia Tech has grown to become the largest university in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Today, Virginia Tech's eight colleges are dedicated to putting knowledge to work through teaching, research, and outreach activities and to fulfilling its vision to be among the top 30 research universities in the nation. At its 2,600-acre main campus located in Blacksburg and other campus centers in Northern Virginia, Southwest Virginia, Hampton Roads, Richmond, and Roanoke, Virginia Tech enrolls more than 28,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries in 170 academic degree programs.