Indiana State University Newsroom

Two presented President's Award for Civic and Community Leadership

March 16, 2012

Indiana State University has recognized students Aerial Kirchoff and Kyle Miller with the 2012 President's Award for Civic and Community Leadership.

The university presents the award annually to a junior or senior who has made community service an integral part of his or her university experience. The award honors and encourages students who have given generously of their time and energy through participation in community service activities. The awards were presented during the university's annual Community Engagement Recognition Banquet in Hulman Memorial Student Union.

Kirchoff, a junior human development and family studies major from Vincennes, has been very active on campus. In addition to being a member of the University Honors Program, she is active in Alpha Omicron Pi sorority, Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Student Association, Project Sunshine, Up ‘Til Dawn and Order of Omega Greek Honor Society. She has participated in numerous community service activities including the Walk for Autism, Take Back the Night, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, sorority philanthropy projects, Relay for Life, Bowl for Kids Sake, Special Olympics Indiana Basketball tournament and the State Farm/CHANCES for Indiana Youth Car Seat Clinic. Kirchoff is an AmeriCorps member at the Terre Haute Children's Museum, where she develops educational programs and exhibits and is creating a volunteer recruitment and retention plan. She also volunteers monthly at Riley Hospital for Children, where she creates social, recreational and education programs for patients.

Miller, a junior music education major from Indianapolis, has taken his passion for music and made an impact on children in the Vigo County School Corporation and members of the Crossroads of America Youth Orchestra. Miller supported a new music teacher assigned to teach an elementary string class at Terre Towne Elementary, instructing students as well as building the teacher's skills in this area. He moved on to strengthen the string program at Woodrow Wilson Middle School by introducing traditional fiddle music and starting an afterschool fiddle group. He brought in a former teacher of his from Perry Meridian Middle School to provide instruction to the group. He organized a fiddle group within the ISU School of Music, comprised of classmates and faculty members, and had them perform for his Woodrow Wilson students.

In addition to being a resident assistant in Hines Hall, Miller works alongside orchestra director Roby George, running sectional rehearsals and working with less experienced students for the Crossroads of America Youth Orchestra. He eventually volunteered to lead the full string ensemble for the first hour of rehearsal, giving lessons on playing position, technique and sound. Together with ISU School of music faculty member Linda Luebke, Miller started a preparatory group for students not advanced in their playing to join the larger ensemble.

Jim Speer was recognized with an Internal Community Service Partner Award for bringing SENCER (Science Education for New Civic Engagement and Responsibility) to the Wabash Valley, with the notion that all disciplines can incorporate the community's problems and needs into the classroom. Though internationally recognized in dendrochronology, Speer is passionate and committed about aiding the Wabash Valley, whether it be bringing a food co-op to Terre Haute or cleaning and reclaiming Wabashiki State Fish and Wildlife Refuge.

The ISU softball team, which collected two very large barrels of items for the Ryves Neighborhood Christmas giving program, was recognized with a Community Service Partner Award.

Also during the Recognition Banquet, Clabber Girl received the university's Community Partner Award and Brendan Halleck and Indiana Chances for Youth were recognized with the External Community Service Partner Award.


Kyle Miller (right), a music major from Indianapolis, receives the President's Award for Civic and Community Leadership from Nancy Rogers, Associate Vice President for Community Engagement and Experiential Learning.

Aerial Kirchoff, a human development and family studies major from Vincennes, poses with the staff of Indiana State's Center for Community Engagement, where she works as a student employee.


Contact: Nancy Rogers, Center for Public Service and Community Engagement, (812) 237-2334 or  

Writer: Paula Meyer, ISU Communications and Marketing, 812-237-3783 or