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Three East Central University students were recently honored with the MLK Spirit Award as part of ECU’s Black History Month Commemoration on Feb. 22. Jaymin McClarty, Delanie Seals, and Jakaveon Shaw all received the honor.

The recipients were decided based on two criteria: by leadership in the classroom and community, using those skills to positively impact others; and service – a law-abiding student who jumps at the chance to serve others without expecting anything in return.  

“All three of the nominees are very deserving of this award,” said Dr. Christine Pappas, ECU faculty and chair of the Department of Politics, Law, & Society.

Jaymin McClarty, a junior Legal Studies major from Stonewall, was nominated for his leadership with the Early Settlement Mediation Program. The director of the program, Jorjia Cash, said McClarty fearlessly walked into courtrooms to help those in conflict settle their issues. “Keeping a cool head when those around you are angry and frustrated can be very difficult,” Cash said. “Jaymin has utilized the Early Settlement Mediation training to implement those skills as a mediator and also at work.”

Delanie Seals, a sophomore Legal Studies major from Ada, was nominated by Reanna Anderson with the Oka Institute. Sheals was recognized for her leadership in organizing a large Black Lives Matter march in Ada as well as raising money to bring a rainbow Pride bench to ECU’s campus. “Her leadership skills are amazing,” Anderson said. “She holds herself to a high standard. She is a natural leader.”

Jakaveon Shaw, a senior Legal Studies major from Mesquite, Texas, was nominated by Jacintha Webster for his leadership in the Native American Legal Clinic where he worked as a paralegal. “He worked hard on his cases,” Webster said. “He was willing to do any jobs necessary to make the clinic a success.” Shaw is also a member of ECU’s Cross Country team and is currently applying to law schools.

The winners each received a certificate and a $50 gift card to the ECU Bookstore.

ECU’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee selected the winners. The committee is made up of four students and eight faculty and staff members.

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