Christian Brothers University (CBU) has named Phyo Thoon Htet Aung (Civil Engineering ’14), Anna Birg (Biochemistry ’14), Madeline Faber (English ’14), Rebekah Herrman (Mathematics & Physics ’14) and Julia Keuter (History ’14) as its 2014 class of CBU 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 CBU Lasallian Fellow is awarded $5,000 as a means of perpetuating their work in the community.
These women were praised by the faculty and staff members who nominated them and were chosen because they embody the values set forth by St. John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Christian Brothers teaching order. The CBU 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.
PHYO THOON HTET AUNG
Phyo Aung, a Civil Engineering major with a certificate in Packaging, arrived at CBU in August of 2010 from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, formally known as Burma. She has coauthored five articles that were published in Mid-South Engineering and Sciences Conferences, The International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology, and The International Journal of Advanced Packaging Technology. She worked as a quality control lab intern at APAC-Tennessee, gaining experience in construction materials testing. At CBU, she serves as treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers, vice-president of the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) and is an active member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and the Intercultural Club. She is a recipient of the Presidential Scholarship, Engineering Scholarship, and placed First in the Mystery Event at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASME) Deep South Conference in 2010. She has been instrumental in the creation and activities of the CBU Healthcare Packaging Consortium and has also assisted in many high school engineering workshops.
Anna Birg, a Biochemistry major, came to the U.S. as a small child from Ukraine, the granddaughter of devout Jews who were persecuted for their faith. She has been an active participant with the Science Olympiad for the last three years, creating tests and presentations for middle school and high school students. As an officer in the Beta Beta Beta biology honor society, she planned and implemented a volleyball tournament as a fundraiser for the Haiti Medical Missions and has begun a partnership with the Church Health Center as Tri Beta’s official local philanthropy. During CBU’s September of Service project, Anna served as a team leader for projects at the Church Health Center and the Humane Society. She also worked in the summers as a CBU Advising Registration Leader to acclimate CBU freshmen to college life, as well as serving as a Peer Counselor and as a “Big Geek” mentor to “Little Geek” Honors Program freshmen.
Madeline Faber, an English major with a minor in Behavioral Sciences and a certificate in Professional Writing, is an active member of Sigma Tau Delta, the Honors Program, the Sustainability Coalition, and the Gay-Straight Alliance. She has also served as vice-president and treasurer of the Creative Writing Club, the editor of Castings, a tutor in the Writing Center, and is the winner of several awards for writing, including the University of the South Award for Writing and the Southern Literary Festival. She participated in the study abroad program in the fall of 2012 with St. Mary’s University College in Belfast, Ireland. Within the Memphis community, Madeline has been an active member of the Courthouse Co-op, organizing lectures and discussion groups by local speakers as well as an art auction to raise money to start a community garden. She is a trained volunteer with the Memphis Crisis Center, manning their overnight crisis line.
Rebekah Herrman, a double major in Mathematics and Physics, has completed a summer research internship at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and by the time she graduates her work will have been presented at state and national honors conferences. She has been the president of CBU’s chapter of the Mathematical Association of America, a member of the Honors Program Board of Directors, an organizer of the 2014 Tennessee state honors conference, and is a two-year leader of CBU’s September of Service project. Rebekah has served as a Resident Assistant, a CBU Advising and Registration Leader, a math tutor, an Honors Program mentor, a SEARCH Retreat Team Leader, and a Science Olympiad assistant. She also performs volunteer work at the Beltline Community Center and CBU Campus Ministry.
Julia Kueter, a History major, has distinguished herself as a Dean’s List student, a trusted student worker, a CBU Advising and Registration Leader, a Peer Counselor and a CBU President’s Ambassador. She was a member of the pilot team that planned and executed the Honors Program’s first September of Service in 2012. Julia serves on the Honors Program Board of Directors, the CBU Judicial Board and as a Sacristan for Campus Ministry. In addition to her on-campus service, Julia also finds time to work with Alpha Omega Kids in Memphis as an afternoon program counselor. Her concern for children motivated Julia to begin a Vacation Bible School at her parish of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in her hometown of Paragould, Arkansas. Julia has volunteered with CBU’s inaugural Bell Tower Gala, the St. Jude Memphis Marathon, the Overton Park Conservancy Membership Advisory Board, and Autism Speaks, among many other groups and fundraisers. This summer, Julia traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for World Youth Day and gathered with an international group of Christian Brothers and young Lasallians. Following graduation, Julia plans to serve as a Lasallian volunteer before pursuing a graduate degree.
As the 2014 Class of CBU 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.