Christian Brothers University (CBU) selected John Blount (Religion and Philosophy) Lauryn Murphy (Biology), Taylor Tartera (English for Corporate Communication) Cameron Volpe (Biology), William Zachary (Chemical Engineering), and as its 2013 Class of Lasallian Fellows. Each student is nominated by a member of the CBU faculty and staff because of their commitment to the underserved, sensitivity to social and community needs, active nature of their faith, and creation of a difference in the world and lives of others. Each Lasallian Fellow is awarded $5,000 as a means of perpetuating their work in the community.
These five students were chosen because they embody the values set forth by St. John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers teaching order. The Lasallian Fellows Awards were made possible by a generous donation from CBU Board of Trustee Joyce A. Mollerup and her husband Bob Buckman. These awards are presented to five members of the senior class based upon the reflection of Lasallian values in their scholarship, leadership and service.
John Blount has served in student government as Senator, as Vice-President of the student Senate, and now as Student Government President. He co-founded the CBU Gay-Straight Alliance as a freshman and served as its President for three years. Blount has developed and participated in numerous service opportunities through the Honors Program (where he serves as a member of the Board of Directors) including aluminum recycling, a service trip to New Orleans, “Help a Brother Out” days and the 2012 “September of Service” project. He also serves the wider Memphis community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center (through the Honors Brothers’ Keepers program); as a mentor in the TNAchieves program; and as an intern with GrowMemphis, where he oversees the Double Greens program for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance recipients.
Lauryn Murphy became involved with Friends for Life, which provides assistance and services for those with HIV/AIDS, as a high school student and now serves on its Board of Directors. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the CBU Honors Program and has been instrumental in developing the “September of Service” project. She has been involved in the annual SEARCH retreat for three years, and in this capacity has shown exceptional leadership skills, bringing people of diverse backgrounds and personality together toward a common goal. Murphy gave of her time to tutor elementary school children weekly at the United Methodist Neighborhood Center and has volunteered in the Infant Care and Respiratory Unit at LeBonheur hospital. She has served as a Peer Counselor, as a President’s Ambassador, and in several leadership roles in the Biology honor society, Beta Beta Beta.
Taylor Tartera served CBU as a Peer Counselor as well as a President’s Ambassador, where he served as Vice President, on the InterFraternal Council as Treasurer, and in Student Government as a Senator. Tartera has also been a strong and moving force in his fraternity by holding several offices and by currently serving as the chapter’s President. Outside of CBU, he is actively involved in service at the New Hope Christian Church and the Sonshine Learning Center, where he has worked as a Pre-K Assistant Teacher since he was 16 years old. He has also been a St. Jude Marathon volunteer, served as a speech competition judge at St. Mary’s, “Bowled for Uganda” as part of fundraising efforts by Beta Beta Beta for Hope North Refugee Center, and diligently worked to set up events for Military Heroes Week to raise awareness of military heroes and to collect money for the Fisher House Foundation.
Cameron Volpe served for two years as a Peer Counselor for CBU freshmen, arguably the most impressionable of students. She is a board member of the CBU chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the Biology honor society, and currently serves as President. As such, she has had the opportunity to act as a role model for students working beside her in this very active organization. She has also committed to countless hours of service work through her church, the Honors Program, and her sorority. Volpe served as co-chair of the city-wide SEARCH college retreat that included students from CBU, University of Memphis and Rhodes. She aspires to be a veterinarian, but is also an accomplished actress, having appeared in a number of CBU plays with major roles, and a member of the music ministry for CBU Masses.
William Zachary is the go-to-guy when chemical engineering students need assistance with course work due to his ability to counsel and mentor students helping them learn how to solve problems and improve their study skills. He was chosen as a Peer Counselor for two years, and was much loved and appreciated by the freshmen in his groups. His fraternity has benefitted from his service as Risk Management Officer and faithful frater. Zachary has served as Treasurer and President of the CBU chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. He is also an energetic participant in Up ’til Dawn, and serves as Sacristan of the Sunday evening CBU Mass.
As the 2013 Class of Lasallian Fellows, these five students exemplify the spirit of the award and the Lasallian values. This new generation of community-minded individuals perpetuates the tradition of CBU graduates who act on their beliefs and make a difference in the world.