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Coordinator awarded for work ethic
Summer Davis had no idea what was in store for her when she went to the main campus of Troy University in late September.

Under the disguise of a business trip for recruitment efforts, Lynn Chapman, her area coordinator, dragged Davis, an enrollment coordinator for Troy University's Brunswick campus, 664 Scranton Road, Brunswick, to Troy, Ala., with facts and figures to give a presentation.

However, what Chapman and other Troy University employees knew but Davis didn't was the real reason for her traveling nearly 300 miles to the main campus.

To her surprise, she received the top honor any non-faculty staff employee can earn at Troy.

"I thought I might be receiving my five-year pen," said Davis, when Chapman told her about an awards ceremony happening on the campus. "They were good at keeping it a secret."

Instead of a pen, Davis was the recipient of the Vergil Parks McKinley Award, which is presented quarterly to a Troy employee who has demonstrated outstanding attitude, innovation and work ethic.

"I always thought someone at the main campus would get (this award)," said Davis. "It was a good surprise."

What's not a surprise is why Davis was nominated and won the award.

In her six years of working for the Brunswick campus, she's helped numerous prospective, incoming and current students get adjusted and manage college life, as well as recruit new students to the school and train new staff members at the neighboring Savannah campus site.

"I'm just always willing to help in any way I can," she said.

Helping is all she's ever wanted to do, although initially not with people. The 30-year-old from Missouri had dreams of being a veterinarian and helping animals.

However, halfway through high school she realized she only loved being in the presence of animals and not the medical side.

So she turned to helping people, students in particular. It began while she was an undergraduate student and engaged in a summer internship tutoring first generation college students. From there, her passion for helping students succeed in college grew even bigger and led her to being awarded for her efforts.

"I'm honored and humbled," said Davis. "I really am doing what I'm supposed to be doing. I really am helping, but even if no one ever recognized me ever, I'd be OK with that."

* Coastal People appears Mondays. Contact Martin Rand III at, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 324 to suggest a person for a column.

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