Kate Gatterdam of Bexley, a Queens University of Charlotte biochemistry student, was named the 2015 recipient of the John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award, presented annually to one student in the state who has created innovative service projects and whose leadership inspires others to serve.

Kate Gatterdam of Bexley, a Queens University of Charlotte biochemistry student, was named the 2015 recipient of the John H. Barnhill Civic Trailblazer Award, presented annually to one student in the state who has created innovative service projects and whose leadership inspires others to serve.

Elected as a sophomore to chair the school's first campus-wide Up til Dawn fundraiser benefiting the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Gatterdam worked for over a year on the campaign. She directed a team of 10 student leaders who engaged more than 150 Queens volunteers. The event ultimately raised $26,000 for childhood cancer research, making Queens the leading St. Jude fundraising school in the southeast. The event and the team also were recognized by the student body with Student Life awards for "best event" and "best student organization."

Gatterdam, a Dowd Presidential Scholar, also helped expand the school's annual Sleep for a Cause event which raises awareness of homelessness and collects food donations for local shelters. The 2014 event brought in 5,000 pounds of food, nearly doubling the prior year's total.