Robin Quillen, president of Feral Friends animal rescue organization, and the late Lisa White, speech teacher at Doak Elementary School, were honored on on March 2, with Tusculum College's "Woman of Courage" Award.

The Woman of Courage Award recognizes women who have made a significant impact in the life of the community and have not been widely recognized for it.


Quillen was recognized for her long-term commitment to improving the community and was compared to Eleanor Roosevelt by student Amanda Clampitt, a sophomore museum studies and history major from Strawberry Plains.

"Eleanor Roosevelt understood and applauded the power of giving," said Tusculum College student Amanda Clampitt, adding that Quillen's life has embodied compassion and respect for life through a lifetime of caring for animals.

Quillen was born and raised in Greene County.

She leads Feral Friends, an organization whose members capture, spay and neuter, provide veterinary care for, and then return feral cats back to their original environment or find them loving homes.

She also volunteers with the local Gifts for Kids program.

"Robin Quillen is the type of person who, by example, inspires and encourages others to strive to be better people," Clampitt.

Added Clampitt, "The attributes that Robin possesses are to be admired."


Student Tyler Buckner, a sophomore museum studies major from Athens, announced the award for Lisa White. "Courage is when in the presence of fear or uncertainty, a person continues without thought of self," he said.

He told the group that despite a more than 12-year battle with cancer, White continually thought of others. "She was the embodiment of courage."

White spent a great portion of her time helping others to prepare for their own journeys through the illness, all the while maintaining an active role in promoting education.

Active in her community, she served as chairperson for Relay For Life, raising thousands of dollars with a team called "Answered Prayers."

White taught speech at Doak Elementary School and was Parent Involvement Chairperson.

According to her nominator, "She ignited a spark in all that knew her."

The annual event is sponsored by the Tusculum College Center for Civic Advancement and coordinated by students in Dr. Angela Keaton's "Modern America" history course at the college.

In addition to the nominations, other members of Keaton's class spoke of women through history who have demonstrated courage, including those who have significantly impacted Tusculum College, including Julia Doak, the first female to graduate from the College, and Dr. Nancy B. Moody, the current president and first woman president of the college.

In addition, Tom Salinas, a junior museum studies and history major from Brownsville, Tex., framed the event for the audience by telling the group that the event and award presentation, in conjunction with the celebration of Women's History month, was a time to recognize the significant contributions to society women have made throughout the years.

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