Debra Germany Morrison will receive the Serving Leader Award at the Geneva College Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL)/Serving Leaders Conference on Thursday, April 18, 2013. The award, given annually to a person of faith who implements servant-leadership qualities in their life and work, honors Germany Morrison’s founding role in Divine Intervention Ministries (DIM).
Following the tragic murder of her only son, Raymond Germany, Germany Morrison created DIM in 2002 to draw attention to unsolved murders and sooth grieving kin. God had told her that she could “become bitter or become better,” as she puts it, so she decided to turn tragic to triumph.
DIM shifted focus in 2006 to aid at-risk youth and current and previously incarcerated adults. The organization works to restore lives, helping people to identify and reach their goals through paths such as additional schooling or job training.
Germany Morrison has headed other programs, as well. When approached by the Pennsylvania Prison Society, she started the Building Bridges-A Second Chance Initiative, matching inmates with trained mentors. She also facilitated the recent partnership between the Interceding Making Positive Actions Come Together (IMPACT) program, which was launched through DIM, and Renewal, Inc., an organization that provides alternative housing and community corrections services to individuals in the criminal justice system.
For this work, Ms. Germany received the 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award by Governor Tom Corbett and Secretary of the Department of Corrections John Wetzel
With a B.S. in business from Point Park University and degree from Geneva’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSOL) program, Germany Morrison has plenty of kind words about Geneva. “It was one of the most fulfilling times of my life,” she says of achieving her master’s at Geneva. “I had always looked at myself as a servant, but never looked at myself as a leader.”
She encourages college students to examine what’s important and how they might contribute to others’ lives. “Put first things first,” she says. “If each of us could do a little bit, we could change the world.”
Germany Morrison’s part in changing the world hasn’t been small, however. Her list of additional awards is lengthy: Pennsylvania Prison Society’s Official Visitor of the Year; the H. John Heinz Award for Community Service; the Peace Partner Award; the Community Activist Award; and the Outstanding Community Service Award. She has been named one of WQED Pittsburgh’s “People Changing Lives,”gotten Ivy Charitable Endowment’s Mother of Distinction Award, and even earned national credit as Today’s Christian magazine “Ordinary Hero.”
Each year, the Serving Leader Award winner is selected by a group of MSOL program alumni in tandem with members of Serving Leaders and the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation.
Geneva College invites students to accept the challenge of an academically excellent, Christ-centered education. Offering nearly 40 undergraduate majors, an Adult Degree Completion Program with fully online and campus-based options, and seven graduate degrees, Geneva has programs that place students at the forefront of higher learning. Adhering to the inerrancy of scripture, the liberal arts core curriculum fosters a breadth of knowledge through the study of humanities, social and natural sciences, and experiential learning.
Geneva students have the opportunity each summer to attend Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies to develop practical methods of caring for the environment.