APSU’s Cousin, White receive Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. — When Courtney Cousin walked across the stage to accept her Bachelor in Business Administration in business marketing from Austin Peay State University in early May, it was an affirmation of her work in the classroom. One month earlier, Cousin’s tireless work in the community was recognized as the APSU senior joined APSU biology instructor Colleen White in receiving the 2017 Tennessee Higher Education Commission Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award.
The award was named in 1997 for the late state representative who was instrumental in passing legislation to create programs to recognize outstanding community service among higher education students, faculty and staff. Each recipient receives a $1,000 cash prize.
A native of Chattanooga, Cousin is active in a number of service organizations, including the NAACP, Habitat for Humanity and Circle K. In 2016 and 2017, Cousin was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award from APSU’s Center for Service-Learning and Community Engagement, as well as consecutive spots on the Vice President’s Service Honor Roll, an honor given to APSU students who serve a minimum of 75 hours of community service in one academic year.
“I am a God-fearing young woman who loves to cook and serve the community,” Cousin said. “Also, there were a total of five students in the state of Tennessee who were selected for this award, and we each had a great impact in our communities and on campus, so I think we all stood out in our own ways.”
Cousin has also played a leadership role in multiple honor societies, including Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity, where she served various positions including historian, director of service, chair of the service community and co-chair. She is also a member of Alpha Lambda Delta academic and Omicron Delta Kappa leadership honor societies.
In addition to service awards, Cousin has twice been awarded the white level leadership certificate — the highest available honor — from GOVSLEAD, APSU’s student leadership education and development program.
White was honored as a faculty recipient, having been recognized for her efforts with Hilldale Kiwanis Club of Clarksville. Through Kiwanis, White mentors both high school students in her role as Clarksville Key Club liaison, as well as college students as faculty advisor to APSU’s newly chartered Circle K.
White, who worked alongside Cousin as a member of APSU’s Circle K, said the “passion” Cousin displays for service is what set her apart from other candidates.
“I can think of no student more deserving of this award; Courtney volunteers for everything, and as a Circle K member, she is always the first to sign up for service,” White said. “She has singlehandedly started campus sustainability efforts (at APSU) …quite frankly, she’s awesome.
“She just has a true passion for people and the environment, and both are obvious in everything she does.”
Cousin has plans for life after APSU, having recently accepted a job position with Aflac Insurance in Mt. Juliet. She said she also plans to continue the lessons she learned at APSU, volunteering in the Nashville area while also pursuing a master’s degree in her spare time.
“I am truly grateful that God has used me in this capacity to serve his people on campus and in the Clarksville community,” Cousin said. “I encourage all students to get involved as much as possible while in college. I have had an amazing time here at Austin Peay, and I will continue to serve and do all I can to give back as I embark upon this new chapter of my life in Nashville.”