Montevallo, AL – The David Mathews Center for Civic Life would like to announce that Ms. Marian Royston was awarded the David Mathews Center for Civic Life’s 2018 Jean O’Connor-Snyder Award at the Mathews Center’s third annual Civic Institute Luncheon on Friday, August 17, 2018, at the American Village in Montevallo.

The Jean O’Connor-Snyder Award annually recognizes an Alabama community leader who has empowered others in the spirit of Jean O’Connor-Snyder. Jean O’Connor-Snyder served as a mentor for the Capstone Men and Women of the University of Alabama during the 1970s; her commitment to community, service, and excellence deeply impacted the young men and women she mentored. The Mathews Center honors her life and legacy through a statewide undergraduate internship program and through the annual Jean O’Connor-Snyder Award. Recipients of the Jean O’Connor-Snyder Award must demonstrate a record of serving their communities while encouraging and empowering others to be active, engaged members of society. Award winners are epitomized by their unique ability to uncover the potential in others. Jean O’Connor-Snyder Award recipients demonstrate a commitment to finding the worth in everyone and empowering others to use their talents to improve their communities.

Marian Royston is a social studies teacher at Handley Middle School in her hometown of Roanoke, Alabama. Her school is using the Summit Public Schools curriculum, under the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. Before teaching at Handley Middle School, Marian served as the Program Director at the Randolph County Youth Development Initiative.

Marian obtained a B.A. in History from Auburn University in 2013 with minors in Community and Civic Engagement and Political Science. At Auburn, she was very involved in the Community and Civic Engagement Initiative. Marian served as an Auburn Living Democracy Fellow in the program’s inaugural year. Marian is a former Jean O’Connor-Snyder Intern with the David Mathews Center for Civic Life. A 2014 Mitchell Scholar, Marian received a M.S. in Leadership for Sustainable Rural Development at Queen’s University Belfast.

“Ms. Marian Royston embodies the spirit of the Jean O’Connor-Snyder Award,” says Cristin Brawner, the Mathews Center’s Executive Director. “We admire Marian’s love for her community, and the incredible impact she makes every day as a teacher at Handley Middle School. I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of the 2018 Jean O’Connor-Snyder Award.” 

The David Mathews Center for Civic Life is a 501(c)3 nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to strengthen civic life in Alabama by increasing active citizenship, community collaboration, and effective decision making.