AUBURN – Ensign Lauren Nevels, a recent Auburn University graduate, has been recognized as the top Naval Reserve Officers Training Corp Midshipman in the nation.
Nevels received the Admiral James L. Holloway Jr. Award in a ceremony June 30. Rear Adm. Robert Crates, president of the Southern Region of the Navy League of the United States, was on hand to present the annual award.
“This award is such an unexpected honor,” Nevels said. “I am so appreciative of all the people who have poured so much into me – the Auburn NROTC staff that trained me to be a naval officer, the nursing and medical staff that have helped me along the way, and especially my dad, who gave me encouragement every step of the way and is always so proud of me.”
Each of the more than 50 NROTC units from around the country had the opportunity to nominate someone; Nevels was nominated by her unit at Auburn University. The winner was selected by the Commander of the Naval Service Training Command, Rear Adm. C. Sharpe.
“I was impressed with Lauren from the moment we met,” said Capt. Dell Epperson, commanding officer and professor of naval science at Auburn University. “She is confident, poised, articulate and has a natural leadership quality that epitomizes the best of what we look for in a naval officer. She will represent the best of the Navy and Auburn University in any future endeavor.”
In May, Nevels graduated summa cum laude from Auburn’s School of Nursing. In addition to her academic accomplishments, she also was highly active in NROTC and other organizations.
Within NROTC, she was a member of the Trident Society, the sail team, Officer’s Christian Fellowship and served with the medical personnel during Navy and Marine Corps training evolutions. She also was the founder and president of Auburn University’s Nurses Christian Fellowship, an active member of her church and a nurse-volunteer at Women’s Hope Medical Clinic.
“She is focused but not constrained with tunnel vision,” said Cmdr. J.R. Jones, former executive officer of Auburn’s NROTC unit. “She is able to master both her academic curriculum and the professional duties of a naval student.”
In early July, Nevels will head to Guam for her next duty station, where she will work as a nurse at the naval hospital on the island.
(Contributed by Lisa Marshall.)