Success Stories

Grad student wins top MCC award

Toni Jones-Lipsey

Grand Valley student Toni Jones-Lipsey received the top graduate student honor from the Michigan Campus Compact for her work with the National Organization for Women.

Jones-Lipsey received MCC’s Outstanding Community Impact Award, which recognizes her significant contributions to NOW. The nonprofit management major has a strong history in activism and had volunteered for the YWCA and Grand Valley’s Women’s Center.

Ashley Nickels, assistant director at the Women’s Center, connected Jones-Lipsey to NOW, where she then secured an internship.

During her internship, Jones-Lipsey coordinated a protest against a national organization that promoted reparative therapy and researched NOW chapter incorporation. Members of the Grand Rapids Chapter of NOW encouraged Jones-Lipsey to run for an office and she now serves as secretary for the chapter.

“In my 12 months of service to NOW-GR, I have done community organizing, event planning, administrative work, research and fundraising for this organization,” she said. “It has been an very influential part of my life and I am blessed to have been given the opportunity.”

Jones-Lipsey said she was surprised by the MCC award, “but it affirms my hard work and the mentorship I was receiving.” She also added that it stresses the importance of community service at the master’s degree level.

“It was a challenge to stay involved in the community when I had so many other pressures on my time,” she said. “To know that my hard work was recognized by a statewide organization inspires me to work even harder.”

by Michele Coffill

This story was filed with the tags: Awards, Graduate Student, Undergraduate Alumni