April 18, 2017
Caritas is a Latin word which mean’s charity. It also helps describe four men who will be recognized by Saint John’s University.
Cody Kohout, Donovan Inniss, Gary Harala and Owyn Ferguson will receive the Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service Award at a private reception and luncheon Sunday, April 23, at SJU. Abbot John Klassen, OSB, of Saint John's Abbey and SJU President Michael Hemesath will be presenting the awards to the men, who each receives a monetary award of $2,500.
The Caritas Man of Extraordinary Service award was created by an anonymous donor to honor SJU students who excel in the community, reflect the university's Benedictine values and promotes justice through the seven themes of Catholic Social Teaching. This award is given to students who show dedication to community service and engagement in student, civic and social leadership roles.
Students can only receive the award once during their time at SJU.
Cody Kohout is a senior biochemistry major from Prior Lake, Minnesota. A defensive lineman for the SJU football team, Kohout and other athletes helped package food for Kids Fighting Hunger. He has worked as a biology lab teaching assistant, and currently works in the Writing Center as a tutor. Kohout became involved in the community when he volunteered as a sophomore at St. Cloud Hospital. He also volunteers at Anna Marie’s Alliance, a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. His role is mainly working in the daycare as a child mentor (he was recently featured in a St. Cloud Times newspaper article). Kohout has traveled to Guatemala twice for medical mission trips.
Donovan Inniss is a junior integrated health science major from the Bahamas. He has advanced his passion for service, aligning it with his morals and intended career as a physician. Inniss has travelled to Peru and Honduras to provide health care, community engagement and public health. He has also volunteered as a unified partner for swimmers in the Special Olympics program. This opportunity has driven his research interests in neuroscience and health disparities, pushing him to work with persons who have autism, Down syndrome and other developmental challenges.
Gary Harala is a sophomore economics major, originally from Lakewood, Colorado, but raised in International Falls, Minnesota. He is a FirstGen Scholar, and will be the first member of his family to graduate from college. On campus, he is a facilitator for the Peer Resource Program, where he has led wilderness trips to the Florida Everglades and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. Harala is a member of the Presentation Team for Enactus, vice president of club finances for the Marketing Club, treasurer of the Bowling Club, a student ambassador for Admission, a mentor in the First Year Forward group, a club representative for the Joint Club Board and a volunteer for Outdoor University.
Owyn Ferguson is a first-year economics major from Nassau, Bahamas. He says he is motivated by faith and family. Since coming to SJU, Ferguson works as a student ambassador for Institutional Advancement. He also plays the trombone in the College of Saint Benedict/SJU Wind Ensemble, and serves as the first-year representative for the Saint John’s Student Senate. In the 2017-18 school year, he will serve as a residential assistant and will chair the Student Affairs Board. Prior to coming to SJU, he was “Gentleman of the Year” and best performing artist at St. Anne’s School. Ferguson played in the Bahamas All-Star Band for 3½ years.