11Alive News presents Kennesaw State University professors with “Random Act of Kindness” award

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Hillary Steiner and Jeannie Beard recipients of award that highlights good deeds

KENNESAW, Ga.  (April 25, 2014) — Television personality Christopher “Crash” Clark of WXIA-TV surprised Kennesaw State University professors Hillary Steiner and Jeannie Beard with a “Random Act of Kindness” award. This event appeared on 11Alive News on April 25.

Clark and WXIA gave each of the professors $100 gift certificates to Spa Sydell, $150 Visa gift cards, and $50 Belk gift cards as an award for integrating “random acts of kindness” assignments into their Pursuit of Happiness learning community this semester.

WXIA-TV features a regular segment on its morning newscast and website showcasing individuals throughout the metro-Atlanta area performing “random acts of kindness.” Steiner and Beard are among the latest in the community to be profiled for their work with Kennesaw State students. 

“I had no idea we were going to receive a random act of kindness,” said Steiner, a faculty member in the Department of First-Year and Transition Studies who teaches Introductory Psychology in the learning community. “It put a smile on my face to see the efforts of our learning community be recognized. We are grateful to 11Alive for such a positive program, and we hope that it inspires others to perform random acts of kindness in their own communities.”

One of the students’ assignments this semester includes posting four brief summaries of their personal experiences performing “random acts of kindness” with the goal of increasing another person’s happiness. So far, some of the kind deeds have included feeding homeless citizens, funding an on-campus food bank and helping a stranger pay for gasoline.

“I am so grateful to have the opportunity to teach in a learning community that has had such an impact on our students and in our community through our focus on happiness and kindness,” said Beard, a part-time instructor in the Department of English who teaches the English Composition II course in the Pursuit of Happiness learning community. “As a teacher, making a difference in our students’ lives is a reward in itself, but to be recognized and appreciated for our work in this way feels amazing. We hope to continue to be inspired and inspire others to spread the joy and compassion here at Kennesaw State, in our communities, and in our personal lives. Together, we really can change the world, one random act of kindness at a time!”

Click here to watch 11 Alive news story

Click here more information about this Kennesaw State learning community

-by Katherine Dorsett Bennett

-photo by David Caselli