Area Organization Honors MU Student for Service

Kat Joiner Receiving Broken Tool Award
Kat Joiner

By Skyler Huff

Kat Joiner, a senior service-learning student at MU, was awarded the Broken Tool Award for her service to the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture (CCUA) at the organization’s 5th Annual Harvest Hootenanny Fundraiser on Oct. 4.

“I know I received the award for going beyond my volunteer requirements, Joiner says. “But working at CCUA doesn’t feel like work, it feels like being engaged in a really cool hobby. It’s a very fulfilling place to volunteer.”

The Broken Tool Award was established by CCUA in 2008 to honor volunteers, community leaders, program partners and various contributors to CCUA’s mission and vision.

Heather Gillich, CCUA education and volunteer coordinator, says the repurposed tool awards represent “the resourcefulness, thought, care and hard work of those in our community who continue to give themselves to a greater cause.”

“Inevitably at the end of every year, we have a small pile of broken tools,” says Billy Polansky, CCUA executive director. “We love reusing things, so it is a joy to give these awards out. We don’t give them out lightly, either; the recipients of these awards are exemplary leaders in our community.”

Joiner, who started volunteering at CCUA in April 2014, meets CCUA’s high standards. She began her service to fulfill service-learning hour requirements for course credit in the Civic Leaders Internship Program, but continued to serve the organization long after she met those requirements.

Each week, Joiner works 12-16 hours assisting with the educational and volunteer program, helping to grow food at CCUA’s Urban Farm and maintaining the farm’s composting operation.

“We really appreciate Kat’s dedication to CCUA’s mission and to the Columbia local food community,” Gillich says. “We look forward to continue working with her, as she has been a great success story of CCUA’s partnership with the Office of Service-Learning and a great addition to our team.”

Joiner, a St. Louis native, will graduate with a degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Leadership and Public Service in May 2015.