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HomeEducationTwo members of Austin Peay State University community win THEC community service...

Two members of Austin Peay State University community win THEC community service award

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Every year, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission recognizes the altruistic spirit of only five college students and five faculty/staff members across the state with the annual Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award.

(L to R) Deepesh Subedi and Dr. Linda Darnell. (APSU)
(L to R) Deepesh Subedi and Dr. Linda Darnell. (APSU)

This year, as the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic led more Tennesseans to exude the better angels of their nature, the commission received “a record-breaking number of nominations.”

“Even in the midst of a global pandemic, Tennesseans from Memphis to Bristol have lived up to our nickname of the Volunteer State, and our communities are all the richer for it,” Brittany Mosby, director of HBCU at THEC, said.

Still, only 10 individuals were selected for this prestigious award, and two of the winners came from Austin Peay State University – nursing graduate student Deepesh Subedi and Dr. Linda Darnell, associate professor of nursing.

Subedi was selected because of his dedication to the health and safety of the Bhutan refugee community in Nashville. Later this week, Austin Peay will share more of this student’s amazing story.

Darnell received the award because of her tireless efforts to develop and support the Academy of Health Science at Northwest High School.

The THEC award is named for the late state Representative Harold Love, who was instrumental in creating the original community service recognition program that spawned the honors. Love also was known for his compassion, good humor, and service. 

The award recognizes dedicated public service by those in higher education. In addition to Subedi, four students from across the state won the Harold Love award. They are: 

  • Bryan Crouser, Maryville College.
  • Leigh Holdsambeck, Belmont College.
  • Alexis Millsaps, University of Tennessee Martin.
  • Miura Rempis, Middle Tennessee State University.

Four college faculty and staff members, in addition to Darnell, also won. They are: 

  • Sarah Melton, East Tennessee State University.
  • Tim Stewart, Belmont College.
  • Elizabeth Smith, Middle Tennessee State University.
  • Misty Griffith, Motlow State Community College



To win the award, nominees must make a lasting and meaningful impact on the community, must show a length and degree of service, must serve above and beyond the call of duty, and must be valued by peers and community members, according to the award’s criteria.

Each winner receives a $1,000 cash prize. 


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