Founder and president of the Green Team. Member of the Biology and Chemistry Clubs, as well as the Nicaragua Project, St. Joseph’s LEAD and the University’s Sustainability Committee. An active participant and leader in service projects on and around campus.
“I feel honored and humbled to be the recipient of the Donald Boomgaarden Leadership in Action Award,” said Shellman, who was presented $1,000 and a plaque during the campus’ Toast to the Graduates. “I have always been my worst critic and sometimes struggle to see my accomplishments. I partake in many activities out of interest in making a difference, not for the expectation of receiving reward.
“Therefore, this award was meaningful to me because it made me feel like I was truly being seen by others in the work I do,” she added.
Celebrating Leadership Skills
The award was created by the St. Joseph’s University Board of Trustees to recognize the tireless leadership of President Boomgaarden, Ph.D., throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and to celebrate a graduating senior who exemplifies those positive leadership skills.
“When we were asked to think about involved students who exemplify the values, the spirit and the motto of (St. Joseph’s University), we could not think of a more deserving student,” said Shellman’s nominator. “She has gone above and beyond, both on and off campus, to educate others of the importance of the environment and sustainability.”
Shellman, who spent the past summer interning in Peru where she studied the life cycle of butterflies, also received this year’s Francis W. Antonawich Memorial Award for Environmental Stewardship.
“St. Joseph’s has provided me with many opportunities to strengthen my leadership skills,” she said. “I am interested in pursuing a career in ecology and conservation, and employers often look for candidates with skills in event planning and outreach to involve the community.
“The skills that I have gained from involvement with the clubs and organizations at St. Joseph’s has helped set me apart from other candidates by growing my leadership abilities,” she continued. “I also feel more confident as a leader given the opportunities I have been presented with.”
Shellman, 22, already landed a full-time, paid internship with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), with whom she’s working to monitor nesting shorebirds with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) at several parks within the Long Island National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
“In the fall, I have plans to apply for graduate programs (in ecology) in hopes of securing a Ph.D., but for now, I have been enjoying my time with the FWS,” she said.
Featured image: St. Joseph’s University, New York President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D.; Brooke Shellman; and Board of Trustees member Susan Somerville ’90, R.N.