On Nov. 2, Lynn Downie, assistant director of career development, received the Paul P. Fidler Bridge Builder Award from the South Carolina College Personnel Association for her creative efforts to connect student life and academics to support student success.
The SCCPA was established in 1970 in order to provide professional development, networking opportunities, leadership experience, and information on the latest trends and issues in the field. The association’s mission is to support members and other professionals who serve students in South Carolina higher education institutions.
Among the SCCPA’s fifteen awards and recognitions it gives out in annual conferences, the Paul P. Fidler Bridge Builder Award is given to those student affairs professionals or faculty members whose contributions serve to build a stronger connection between student and academic affairs.
Nominated for the award by a co-worker, Downie feels “really honored to have been nominated for this award,” but also feels that “the award is more of a validation of [PC’s] internship program rather than anything distinctive about [her] or [her] contribution to the process.”
Downie notes that working with students and faculty to develop internships is a natural way to build relationships and that PC’s strong faculty-staff collaboration is another key component to helping students succeed both in and beyond college.
“[A]ll of us – faculty and staff – are here first and foremost to contribute to providing the best possible program for our students,” Downie said.
“The interdisciplinary nature of internships as developed here at PC gives each participating student the opportunity for personal and professional growth in a context of the workplace, while asking them to examine their academic preparation to see how it connects to the world around them, not only in their major but their general education program and often even electives,” Downie continued.
Always willing to help students with internship registration and resume building, among other helpful services, Downie exemplifies the kind of student affairs professional deserving of the Paul P. Fidler Bridge Builder Award.
Remaining humble, though, Downie said, “I believe these internships can build strong global citizens and am honored to have a small role in processing the paperwork and facilitating the program.”
Written by Allison Cooke, a junior English major, media studies, journalism track minor from Winnsboro, S.C.