Illinois State University senior public relations major Aaron Gyllenhaal received the inaugural Living Our Values Award.
The award is given to those who reflect ISU’s core values of Learning and Scholarship, Diversity and Inclusion, Respect, Collaboration, Individualized Attention, Civic Engagement and Integrity.
“One of the things that attracted me to ISU was what [the university] stood for,” Gyllenhaal said.
“Learning that I am enacting the values that attracted me to the university was a really good thing for me to hear because I thought those values were very noble,” he said.
Gyllenhaal was nominated for the award by the head of his internship at the Office of Admissions, Dillon Maher.
Nominees for the award can include any current ISU student, faculty or staff or a group of people at ISU.
“The award is essentially saying that as a student, what I’m doing both in the university and outside the university is enacting the values that the university strives for,” Gyllenhaal said.
Gyllenhaal will be graduating this spring. After that, he plans on attending graduate school. He hopes to work at a PR agency in California in entertainment after completing graduate school.
He adds that he loves research and hopes to do research with communication in gender roles and subcultures.
During his time at ISU, Gyllenhaal has been involved in a variety of activities.
Those include working as an intern at the Office of Admissions, being in the Honors Program, serving as a teaching assistant in the School of Communication and being a member of Lambda Pi Eta, the national communication honor society.
He has also participated and served as a trip leader for Alternative Spring Breaks.
Gyllenhaal also adds that he is an active member and advocate for the LGBTQ community.
“I try to better the people around me at the university with what I do,” Gyllenhaal said. “I always put my best foot forward in classes.”
In the future, Gyllenhaal adds that this award will also benefit him in the job world.
“It proves that I do stand by my values and I am actually doing what I say I’m doing,” Gyllenhaal said.
“It’s a very concrete example of the fact that I am a good person and I do try to put my best foot forward in everything I do.”