The Herald Bulletin

November 13, 2012

Moran named Athena Award winner

Community activist lauded for ‘daring to dream’

By Baylee Pulliam
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Stephanie Moran lives her life by a simple, four-word mantra.

When there’s a problem, “instead of being critical or negative, I’m just going to ask the question: ‘How can I help?’” Moran said.

It’s that question that led her to a career in connecting people as the director of the Center for Community Partnerships at Anderson University, and to her long list of community service organizations that center on youth in Madison County.

And for her service, Moran was named the 2012 Athena Award winner at the Athena and Community Shining Star Awards Gala on Tuesday night at Anderson Country Club. The awards recognize individuals with high levels of personal and professional accomplishments and who show a commitment to their community.

Mary Jamerson, president of Myers and Ford Autorworld, which co-sponsored the awards with The Herald Bulletin, presented the award. She said Moran was chosen because “she dares to think big, take the leap and dream of a better community for all.”

“Our whole community is uplifted by her passion and commitment,” Jamerson said.

Moran’s long track record of community service includes stints as director of Character Counts of Madison County, safety director for District 6 Little League and as a current member of the Anderson Community School Board. She’s worked to prevent child sexual abuse as a Darkness2Light facilitator and with the Madison County task force against sexual assault.

And that’s only a small sample of her community service.

“I feel so thankful that I come from a family that has taught me the legacy of service,” Moran said. “My family taught me that money was not to grab on to, but it was to give.”

Growing up, Moran’s house was often offered to international college students. Vacations “were an opportunity for service, not leisure,” she said.

Sixteen women were nominated for the Athena Award.

The other 15 were named Community Shining Stars, whose work “validates that we are all connected by a bond” to community service, Jamerson said.

Moran, a three-time nominee and first-time winner, said she was “speechless” she was chosen for this year’s award, adding she was thankful to see so many people are “mentors, and leaders in our community.”

She said she hopes the community continues to live by that four-word mantra.

“We’ve been able to do a lot in our community ... and we’re going places,” she said. “And as long as we ... continue to say to each other, ‘How can I help?’ we’ll do it together.”

Find Baylee Pulliam on Facebook and @BayleeNPulliam on Twitter, or call 648-4250.