2016 Volunteer Award Recipient - Erin Phillips

Erin Phillips is the Chaplin for Ecumenical Campus Ministry at the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College and incumbent priest at the Anglican Church of the Ascension in Coaldale.

An indefatigable volunteer, Phillips fosters a sense of belonging and connection both at the University and in the community at large. On any given day, she may officiate at a wedding or a funeral, visit someone in the hospital, provide counselling and spiritual support, or write and deliver sermons. She actively seeks resources from community members to support students at the University and, in turn, inspires UofL students and staff to support the community.

For the past 14 years, Phillps has organized the Campus Care Parcel project, which distributes more than 300 bages of groceries donated by community churches to hungry students twice a year at a time when studens are most likely to be low on funds and food. She is also leading a study on student poverty.

Last fall, Phillips arranged a welcome dinner for international students featuring Canadian fare and even sourced buffalo meat for the occasion. Along with Dr. Paul Viminitz, a philosophy professor, she has co-hosted the Theology Reading Group for the past 18 years. Most participants are university students, but the group is open to anyone seeking spiritual fellowship. Five years ago Phillips, concerned that many students couldn't afford to eat properly, started making a meal available before the reading group's discussion.

In addition, Phillips, along with Dr. Anne Dymond, leads the University's Refugee Action Committee, which has been fundraising, collecting and sorting household goods and clothing, and hosting public Syrian Culture Education Evenings.

Phillips completed a master's degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and five years of doctoral work at McMaster University. She has taught classes in sociology, history and religion at the UofL and was instrumental in developing a liberal education course about genocide. She has delivered public talks at the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs and at the Cade Community Lecture Series.

For her tireless dedication to the University of Lethbridge Community and her selfless acts of devotion to all members of the southern Alberta community, the University of Lethbridge is proud to bestow upon Erin Phillips the University of Lethbridge Volunteer Award.