A tireless volunteer and advocate for people with disabilities in the community, Stephen Bailey, professor of physical therapy education, is the recipient of the 2011 Periclean Award for Civic Engagement and Social Responsibility.
Bailey, who joined Elon’s faculty in 1999, is the ninth recipient of the award, which is given each year to a member of Elon’s faculty or staff whose community service exemplifies the ideals of Project Pericles.
“As his colleague in the department of physical therapy education, I’ve witnessed his strong commitment to engaging with the community and developing each student’s sense of social responsibility in the everyday conversations he has with faculty and students,” a fellow professor says. “I believe he provides a valuable example of engagement in the community and he effectively models and promotes social responsibility in those with whom he interacts.”
For the past three years, Bailey has volunteered to coach the Elon club lacrosse team. He has also made a large contribution to the growth of the sport in Alamance County. He volunteered to coach the county’s first high school team at Western High School for three years and was instrumental in getting a recreation league started for elementary and middle school students. Described as “a conscientious coach who uses motivation and encouragement to help players achieve their potential on the field,” Bailey currently volunteers as the coach of the Williams High School lacrosse team.
At Elon, Bailey’s leadership for club lacrosse has solidified the team’s reputation in its conference and resulted in additional community service from players. Among other things, lacrosse players regularly participate in CHAMPS, a mentoring program that matches college males with fourth and fifth grade boys for one-on-one exercise, education and sports skills training.
But Bailey’s engagement in the community goes beyond sports. Thanks to a five-year Kate B. Reynolds S.E.L.F. Improvement Program grant he obtained in 2001, he was able to bring together faculty and students from a variety of departments and groups on campus with external organizations like Alamance Regional Medical Center and Alamance Community College to work on the prevention of chronic illness in the Hispanic community.
Earlier this year, he organized “Face Off for Autism,” a fundraiser for the N.C. Autism Society that raised awareness about the disorder and more than $4,000 for the organization. As part of the event, Elon sport and event management students, members of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and club lacrosse players hosted three lacrosse teams from North Carolina, Ohio and Minnesota for a competition in Rhodes Stadium.
Bailey also participates regularly in Special Olympics events as a certified aquatics coach and even got members of the Elon club swim team involved as well. He is also very active with Peacehaven Community Farm, a nonprofit, volunteer-based sustainable farm in nearby Whitsett, N.C., that will provide housing for adults with disabilities.
“Steve (Bailey) humbly leads by example and his many involvements have allowed that example to be widely experienced, not only by students on campus but also by individuals in the larger community as well,” a colleague says. “The result is an understanding of the difference one person can make in society if one so chooses.”