Two Olivet juniors honored for servant leadership

Students Jessica Carara and Cole Doolittle have demonstrated the qualities of Christian servants.

May 15, 2018 Uncategorized

Jessica Carara and Cole Doolittle, both juniors at Olivet Nazarene University during the 2017–2018 academic year, are the 2018 recipients of Olivet’s annual presentation of The David and Ella Elwood Servant Leadership Award. They were nominated by faculty, staff and fellow students for this honor. 

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Now in its 11th year at Olivet, this award recognizes juniors who demonstrate — through a variety of service opportunities — the qualities of a servant’s heart. As part of the award, each recipient receives $1,000. Of that amount, $250 is donated to the charity of his or her choice. Jessica has designated Home Sweet Home Ministries, Bloomington, Illinois. She has volunteered with this organization since she was nine years old. Cole has designated Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.

Jessica Carara is a social work major. While at Olivet, she has served as a Connections mentor, with Women’s Residential Life and in the Sister-to-Sister program. She has also held leadership in Diakonia, the social work club. In the local community, she has volunteered with KC-CASA and as a mentor at Kennedy Middle School.

After graduation, she plans to serve others as a social worker. Her goal is to love people into God’s kingdom as she walks alongside them through their struggles.

“Servant leaders should know they are servants first and leaders second,” Jessica said. “They help people discover Christ and His love.” 

Cole Doolittle is a biology major. While at Olivet, he has served as a co-leader of Lifesong, on ONU ministry teams, with Party for Jesus/Upper Room and a representative on the Associated Student Council. In the local community, he has volunteered as a mentor with Youth for Christ.

After graduation, he plans to attend graduate school and study environmental biology.

“When we witness things that break the heart of God, we must serve,” Cole said. “This is a pillar of the Christian faith.”

The Servant Leadership Award program is funded by the David and Ella Elwood Foundation to promote and foster servant leadership in the Olivet community and around the world. Dr. David Elwood ’55 is a clinical psychologist and the founder of Elwood Staffing Services, Inc., a leading provider of talent-based solutions. Ella Elwood ’57 is a Century 21 real estate agent in Columbus, Indiana. They have been married for 60 years and have three sons and eight grandchildren.

“The Elwoods represent all the qualities we celebrate as an Olivet community,” said Dr. John C. Bowling, University president. “Their lives remind us that success is not just about the bottom line, but about relationships and achieving a higher purpose.”

To learn more about Olivet’s undergraduate degree programs and service opportunities, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Published: 5/15/2018

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

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