Denison University senior Katie Darrah, a major in biology from Mason, Ohio, has been honored as a recipient of the 2017 Louis Kussmaul Friendship Award, which recognizes the Denison University students who have contributed most to the friendly relations between Granville and the college. Steve Matheny, executive director of the Granville Chamber of Commerce, and David English, vice president for finance and management at Denison, presented the awards at a ceremony held on Wednesday, April 19.
Darrah received nominations from Casey Curtis, Granville’s Fire Chief; Heather Rhodes, assistant professor of biology at Denison; and Margot Singer, Joan Krone and Cookie Sunkle, members of Denison’s Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement.
A volunteer firefighter during her four years at Denison, Darrah earned her Firefighter II Certification from the Ohio Fire Academy and her Emergency Management Technician basic training from the Butler Technology and Career Development School. She has responded to nearly 400 emergency calls in her time with the department and has completed almost 200 hours of continuing education.
At Denison, Darrah has served as a tutor, head tutor and teaching assistant in the biology department. She also has worked as an office assistant for the Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement where she initiated the popular Word of the Day on the message center located in front of the center. After commencement, she will attend Ohio Dominican to become a physician’s assistant.
In his nominating letter, Chief Curtis wrote: “Katie always has a positive attitude and the ability to connect with patients and co-workers in a setting that varies greatly in stress level. She is confident in her skills and has taken on extra duties at Denison to cover intramural sports games, rugby games and other activities to provide EMS care. Katie has been an incredible asset to the fire department and we are thrilled that after she graduates she is going to continue her education locally and remain an active member of our team.”
In her nominating letter, Rhodes wrote: “Katie has actively served the Granville Fire Department throughout her time at Denison. I often see her at community events where firefighters demonstrate their equipment to kids in the community. I asked her if she would come talk to my daughter’s Girl Scout troop about being an EMT and firefighter and she agreed without hesitation. She was a wonderful role model for the girls. Katie has also worked for the police department as a part-time dispatcher. Additionally, she has worked as a math tutor at the Mathnasium in town and has worked as a babysitter and nanny for several families in Granville. Katie truly loves Granville and has made herself a part of the community.”
In addition to Darrah, four Denison students received honorable mentions for the award. They include Grace Gilbert ’17, Jamie Kass ’17, Hannah Topka ’17 and Erin Worden ’17.
In its 70th year, the Award honors the memory of Louis Kussmaul, a Granville printer who worked for his brother William H. Kussmaul, publisher of the Granville Times from 1890 to 1899. The Award was funded by an endowed gift to Denison University from Harry Amos, a Denison alumnus of the Class of 1899. Amos, a fellow newspaperman, was editor of the Jeffersonian of Cambridge, Ohio. The Granville Area Chamber of Commerce and Denison University continue to honor the gift from Harry Amos by presenting this Award annually.