May 15, 1998

Middlebury College Students Receive the 1998 Public Service Leadership Awards

For the fifth consecutive year, Middlebury College Volunteer Services has brought community and College together for the Public Service Leadership Award dinner, held in May to honor Middlebury College students who have provided volunteer services on campus or in the community during the school year. Nominated by student peers, community individuals, College organizations, and organizations in the Addison County community, some 34 students received certificates recognizing their outstanding service, and six received Public Service Leadership Awards from the College through the Patrick J. Durkin ('79) Fund.

It is estimated that half of Middlebury College's students have been engaged in community service projects or service-related initiatives this year. Over 300 students are involved in ongoing projects, providing a minimum of two hours per week for dozens of agencies and individuals, coming to more than 15,000 hours of student volunteer effort per year-the equivalent of more than seven people working for the needs of the community full-time, year-round.

Of the 34 students nominated, six received the Public Service Leadership Award's "Plaque of Appreciation" at a special dinner held earlier this month at Middlebury College, and have had their names engraved on a service recognition plaque to be permanently hung in the McCullough Student Center. Recipients were Summa Cum Laude graduate Mark Bisanzo '98 from Park Ridge, N.J. for his activity in the role of a "big brother" to several community youths; and Cum Laude graduate Donald Eggert '98 from Chittenango, N.Y., for his outreach and education efforts on a speakers panel for Outright Vermont, for his contribution to the layout of the publication Out in the Mountains, and for his volunteer activities for AESOP, a Moscow-based AIDS prevention program. Allison Goodman of the Class of 2001, from New Orleans, also received an award for her work with the Middlebury Union High School Bridges Tutoring Program; and Cum Laude graduate Suwha Hong '98 from Durham, N.C., received an award for her work with Habitat for Humanity. Other student award-winners were firefighter Andrew McBeth '99 from Wyckoff, N.J., for his work with the Middlebury Fire Department; and Summa Cum Laude graduate Julia Shreve '98 from Los Altos, Cal., for her leadership in the College's student group, the Volunteer Services Organization, for her work in the education program of the Addison County Parent/Child Center, and for her efforts on behalf of the College's Bicentennial Literacy Campaign.

President John McCardell addressed the group before presenting the honors, saying, "These awards and citations presented to students rank among the most noteworthy achievements the College recognizes. Through the efforts of student volunteers from this campus, the lives of people throughout the broad community in which we live are improved." Keynote speaker for the dinner was Middlebury's Vermont State Representative and former executive director of the Addison County United Way Anne Ginevan, who commended students on their public service efforts.

A cash award will be donated by the Public Service Leadership fund to a number of community organizations, including the Addison County Parent/Child Center's continuing education program for parents, the Middlebury Fire Department, Habitat for Humanity, and Vermont OUTRIGHT. Organizations to receive cash awards were selected by each award-winner.

The selection of students for the Middlebury College Public Service Award was based upon demonstrated dedication to a cause, helping to make a change for an individual or for the community, and increasing the awareness and involvement of Middlebury College students in that area of public service. Each nomination was returned to the Student Activities Office and reviewed by a committee of College students, faculty, and staff.