The Center for Multicultural Education and the Division of Student Affairs at Missouri Western State University presented the Drum Major for Justice Awards, honoring the legacy and selfless leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to three individuals. The award is presented annually to a Missouri Western employee, Missouri Western student and member of the St. Joseph community who are committed to social justice, multicultural education, service and, in the case of students, academic excellence.

The 2014 Drum Major for Justice Award recipients are:

Student: April Buntin, of Clarksdale, Mo., nominated by Dr. Ana Bausset-Page, assistant professor of Spanish. Buntin was honored for her work as president of the Spanish Club in helping organize many activities designed to create cultural awareness, including a Day of the Dead commemoration. “Her dedication and hard work with the Spanish Club has contributed to establish understanding and appreciation of other cultures,” according to the nomination.

Employee: Dr. Geri Dickey, assistant professor of social work, nominated by Pam Clary, instructor of social work. “She eats, breathes and lives for social justice,” according to the nomination. “She (helps) students gain a better understanding of their own biases and helps them acknowledge their own privilege. She then uses this change to help them learn how they can work to break down barriers within their own lives, school and/or community.”

St. Joseph community member: Pastor Maurice Martin, Harvest Church North. After nine years of active military service, Martin entered the financial services industry and the ministry. He served as associate minister at Harvest Church International Outreach in Kansas City for years, and he and his wife Jean recently started a branch of that church in St. Joseph.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit