Posted: April 24, 2002
MIDDLEBURY, VT - More than 40 Middlebury College students received citations of commendation for volunteer work in the Addison County community at the College's annual Public Service Leadership Award dinner held during National Volunteer Week, on Tuesday, April 23. Of the students who received the certificates of merit, six received the 2002 Public Service Leadership Award. Another student received the Alma Gibbs Donchian Literacy Award.
The seven award-winning students will each choose a nonprofit organization to receive a $300 donation, made by the College on each student's behalf. Donations on behalf of the students will amount to a total of $2,100.
It is estimated that more than half of the College's students have been engaged in community service projects or service-related initiatives this year. More than 500 students are involved in ongoing projects, providing a minimum of two hours per week for dozens of agencies and individuals, amounting to more than 28,000 hours of student volunteer effort per academic year-the equivalent of nearly 20 people working for the needs of the community full-time, year-round.
Award recipients were junior Michael Azzara, of Lawrenceville, N.J., for volunteer services on the College campus and also with the not-for-profit organization called Operation Smile; senior Susan Carter, of Moreland Hills, Ohio, for her service with the Addison County Community Friends program; senior Scott Faucett, of Middlebury, Vt., for his volunteerism with Addison County Paramedic Response, Inc., the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association, the Middlebury College Page 1 Literacy Program, and the Porter Medical Center; senior Grayson Fertig, of Oxford, Conn., for his volunteer activities on the Middlebury College campus and also for his work on behalf of the Foundation for Excellent Schools mentoring program at Bridport Central School; senior Anne Lionberger, of Evanston, Ill., for her volunteer work with the Addison County Community Friends program, the Helen Porter Health Care and Rehabilitation Center, and, in Oaxaca, Mexico, the Amigos de las Américas and the Puente a la Salud Comunitaria; and sophomore Matthew Wolf, of Weston, Mass., for his work with the Foundation for Excellent Schools mentoring program, and, in Lowell, Mass., with the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell, Inc., and the Future Stars Sports and Leadership Development Summer Camp.
The recipient of the Donchian Literacy Award is Timothy Brownell, of Ridgewood, N.J., for his efforts on behalf of several area schools and programs through Middlebury College's Page 1 Literacy Project and the Foundation for Excellent Schools mentoring program.
At the dinner, Acting President Ron Liebowitz told honorees that the public service aspect of student life ranks among the most noteworthy achievements. He said, "You join a lengthening line of Middlebury students embodying the values of volunteer service, a tradition that is one of the most respected on campus. Through your efforts, the lives of people throughout the broad community in which we live are improved."
Keynote speaker for the dinner was Middlebury College senior Anne Lionberger, who was also an award recipient.
The award-winning students selected the following nonprofit organizations to receive their donations: Addison County Community Friends; Addison County Paramedic Response, Inc.; the Aurora School, in Middlebury; "Bridge to Community Health," in Oaxaca, Mexico; the John Williams Ward Public Service Fellowship for students at the Boston Latin School, in Boston; the Middlebury College Katie Samson Fund; the Middlebury College chapter of Operation Smile and the Travis Roy Foundation, in Boston.
Each year in February or March, the call for nominations goes out to the community to begin the selection process for the award. Decisions are based upon students' demonstrated dedication to a cause, level of help toward making a positive change for an individual or for the community, and initiative toward increasing the awareness and involvement of other Middlebury College students in public service. Each nomination was returned to the College's service learning office and reviewed by a committee of College students, faculty, and staff.
NOTE: A more detailed description of each of the seven award recipients' volunteer service endeavors follows, excerpted from the award speech. Also attached is a list of all 40 nominees, and the organizations for which they served.
Middlebury College Public Service Leadership Award Bio Sketches and Nominee List/Page 1
2002 Middlebury College Public Service Leadership Award Recipients
April 23, 2002
Michael C. Azzara, Class of 2003
Mikey, an active member of the environmentally focused Weybridge House, has also served for two years as president of Middlebury's chapter of Operation Smile, a not-for-profit offering free medical attention to children around the world suffering from facial deformities. He began volunteering with the organization in high school, and has since served on its national advisory council for clubs throughout the country. He traveled on an Operation Smile medical mission to the Philippines with a team of other volunteers, surgeons, doctors and nurses, interacting with families and helping to teach dental hygiene, nutrition and burn prevention. At Middlebury, Mikey has worked with the College's Operation Smile chapter since day one. As membership director, he increased student participation, and recently organized a week-long Operation Smile symposium on campus titled "Global Human Health: Perspectives and Possibilities," and spoke on one of the panels about his volunteer experiences. Mikey also volunteers as the food buyer for Weybridge House, co-chair for the Class of 2005 February orientation, and co-founder-with Grayson Fertig-of the Blue Mitt Biking Society to encourage bike-riding as an alternative to car travel.
Susan B. Carter, Class of 2002
Working with the Addison County Community Friends program, Susie has offered exemplary service as a mentor and companion for an 11-year-old girl in our local community. From the time that she first began volunteering, during her sophomore year, Susie has dedicated two hours of her busy schedule each week to meet with her "little sister" companion, who struggles to cope with the hardships of Down Syndrome coupled with an anxiety disorder. Susie has provided entertainment, guidance and patient company through some very challenging times in the young girl's life, compassionately dealing with even a little hair-pulling in order to keep their relationship upbeat through countless board games and games of toss and catch. Susie's steady influence has helped bring this individual to a more comfortable acceptance of others. According to the young girl's grateful parent, Susie is the kind of individual who will put the needs of others before her own. Even during a semester abroad, Susie kept in constant touch to continue to forge an invaluable bond of trust and friendship, which she yet maintains during a very busy final semester at Middlebury before her graduation in May.
Scott C. Faucett, Class of 2002
In addition to raising more than $1,000 for the Middlebury College Page 1 Literacy Project two years in a row, Scott provides a prodigious amount of volunteer service to the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association and the Porter Medical Center. Starting out with the MVAA as an emergency medical technician with basic training, Scott added to his pre-med schedule by increasing his EMT training to the intermediate level. Promoted to crew chief for the squad, he sat on the membership committee, and was subsequently elected to the board of directors. He was promoted to heavy rescue chief six months ago. A key planner for four district-wide disaster drills, Scott is now working with the MVAA operations manager to create a new nonprofit called Addison County Paramedic Response, Inc., which will provide pre-hospital paramedic care for all Addison County rescue squads. He assisted in the possession of a new ambulance last fall, and also in the design of a new heavy rescue truck to be delivered this summer. Scott has volunteered with the Porter Medical Center quality improvement department, abstracting data from medical charts for quality studies and helping to plan the center's annual mock disaster drill. Scott undertakes all these activities while maintaining a monthly average of 96 hours on call for rescue, and has helped save more than one life.
Grayson M. Fertig, Class of 2002
Grayson has served as the Foundation for Excellent Schools mentoring coordinator at the Bridport School since 1999. As co-captain of the Panther men's hockey team, his first comments addressed the importance of volunteerism and announced his expectation that the team be involved in mentoring, also. As a result, each player now works with a local school student. Grayson also works with his team to fundraise for various entities in the community. Inspired by a service learning project, he arranged to donate proceeds of a hockey 50-50 raffle to the Multiple Sclerosis Society. He and his team participated in a community bike ride in support of less fortunate Addison County families, and a 5K run to help fund Fucile Field for local lacrosse teams. Grayson talks to students at schools across the state about goal setting and possessing their dreams. According to an observer, students come away from his talks greatly encouraged, feeling empowered by the importance of their roles in the wider world. His work as an individual mentor provides a positive role model for a local student, helping his transition from Bridport School to Middlebury Union High School. Grayson's environmental awareness also motivates his volunteerism-he is co-founder with Mike Azzara of the Blue Mitt Bike Society, designed to help preserve fossil fuels.
Anne B. Lionberger, Class of 2002
In addition to serving the local community through the Addison County Community Friends program and the Helen Porter Health and Rehabilitation Center, Anne has volunteered extensively elsewhere in the United States and Mexico. Her focus the promotion of social justice through public health, she began her first volunteer efforts in 1997 with the Houston-based Amigos de las Américas, a program that offers high school and college students the opportunity to participate in public health service efforts in Latin America. Anne traveled to Oaxaca, Mexico, for AMIGOS, and shared the results of her study of folic acid with Oaxacan health officials. She was asked to return to Mexico to continue her research, and to initiate an educational program on the importance of folic acid toward women's health. As a result, Anne, working with a colleague, founded an organization called Puente a la Salud Comunitaria-or, Bridge to Community Health-to foster specific development and gender equality by promoting the empowerment of Oaxacan women to act as local health activists through health education and networking individuals with other local health organizations. This upcoming summer, Anne plans to return to Oaxaca to increase the scope of her programs, and has hired three additional staff members to assist the endeavor.
Matthew M. Wolf, Class of 2004
The mayor and chief of police of Lowell, Massachusetts, claim that Matt's volunteerism in the Greater Lowell area has significantly changed the street scene since 1998, when Matt founded the Future Stars Sports and Leadership Development Summer Camp. That year, the murder of a boy moved Matt to seek out the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association and a basketball coach to address violent gang rivalry between Cambodian and Latino youth. Since his founding of the resultant Future Stars in 1998-a program he designed to build teamwork, self-esteem and communication skills, with conflict resolution, increased school attendance and re-enrollment its primary aim-no gang-related deaths have occurred. The Boston Globe states in an August 2001 article about the camp, "Thanks in part to programs such as Future Stars, Lowell's juvenile arrests have dropped steadily." Matt is involved year-round fundraising and planning the curriculum for the camp, which operates from June to August. He took the leading role in raising more than $50,000 last year, and has worked with such organizations as the Red Auerbach Youth Foundation, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, the New England Patriots and the mayor of Lowell toward this year's $60,000 goal. In addition, each summer he oversees the camp's daily activities and trains camp counselors. Here, Matt is a Foundation for Excellent Schools mentor and served as point man in the Panther football team's participation this fall in a new program called the Ticonderoga-Moriah Challenge. This program used friendly competition between two rival schools to improve academic performance and increase participation in community service amongst the students.
2002 ALMA GIBBS DONCHIAN LITERACY AWARD RECIPIENT
April 23, 2002
Timothy S. Brownell, Class of 2002
Tim has promoted literacy awareness on campus, and provided direct service in the community beyond, with dedication and inspiring originality. He has served as a Foundation for Excellent Schools head mentor at the Hannaford Career Center and the Whiting Village School. He participates in many Middlebury College Page 1 Literacy events for school children, and provides ongoing service for such programs as Write On, a club for young authors at Mary Hogan School. A student leader as well as a volunteer, Tim has created new Page 1 programs, and recruits volunteers to help implement them-Middle Ground Theater, for one, is a summer and fall program for which he writes original plays, enlisting fellow students to also serve as directors and writers, for dozens of area children. Tim is volunteering, too, at the Aurora School in Middlebury, teaching theater and directing the children in their own original play. The school director particularly attributes the educational advances of two students with learning disabilities to Tim's influence. Additionally, he oversees a theater partnership between Middlebury College and Benson Village School, Orwell Village School, and Bridgewater Village School, which brings theater to youngsters in rural areas who may not have the opportunity to travel to programs offered in bigger towns.
Complete List of nominees and organizations served:
For her work with Addison County Community Friends, Susan B. Carter, Class of 2002
For his work with Addison County Community Friends, for his work with the Middlebury College Page 1 Literacy Project, and for his work with the Middlebury College Volunteer Services Organization, Joshua A. Harper, Class of 2004
For her work with Addison County Community Friends, for her work with the Middlebury College Volunteer Preview and Volunteer Services Organization, and for her work with the Orphanage Outreach Program in the Dominican Republic, Katie E. Ziemba, Class of 2003
For her work with Addison County Community Friends, for her work with the Helen Porter Health and Rehabilitation Center, and for her work in Oaxaca, Mexico, with Amigos de las Américas and Puente a la Salud Comunitaria, Anne M. Lionberger, Class of 2002
For his work with Addison County Community Friends, for his work with the Middlebury College Page 1 Literacy Program, and for his volunteer activity in the local community, Michael T. Csaszar, Class of 2003
For his work for Addison County Paramedic Response, Inc., for his work with the Middlebury College Page 1 Literacy Program, for his work with the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association, and for his work with the Quality Improvement Department at Porter Medical Center, Scott C. Faucett, Class of 2002
For her work with the Addison County Sexual Assault Response Team, and for her work with WomenSafe, Inc., Gillian M. Finocan, Class of 2003
For her work with the American Cancer Society on campus and in the local community, Rebecca A. Sherman, Class of 2003
For his work with the Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Greater Lowell, Inc., in Lowell, Massachusetts, for his work with the Foundation for Excellent Schools, and for his work with the Future Stars Sports and Leadership Development Summer Camp, also in Lowell, Massachusetts, Matthew M. Wolf, Class of 2004
For their work with Elderly Services' Project Independence Adult Day Care, Christine E. Gould, and Jeannette Lam, both from the Class of 2004
For their work with the Foundation for Excellent Schools mentoring programs at area schools, David A. Caragliano, Elizabeth C. Johnston, John F. Kennedy, Megan E. Kumpf, Leah M. Nickelsberg, Amy R. Ruck, and Michael V. Silberman, all seven from the Class of 2002
For their work with the Foundation for Excellent Schools and for their leadership and commitment to other volunteer activities on the Middlebury College campus, Grayson M. Fertig, and Kristie A. Gonzalez, both from the Class of 2002
For his work with the Foundation for Excellent Schools, for his work with the Middlebury College Page 1 Literacy Program and other educational initiatives for area schools, and for his work with children in area theatre programs, Timothy S. Brownell, Class of 2002
For her work with the Foundation for Excellent Schools, and for her work with the MIX Outreach Program in area schools, Dena N. Simmons, Class of 2005
For her work with the Girl Scout Council of Vermont and the Middlebury College Campus Girl Scouts, Jessica L. DellaPepa, Class of 2003
For her work with Habitat for Humanity, Mary A. Houde, Class of 2003
For her work with the Middlebury College Page 1 Literacy Project, Amy E. Turner, Class of 2004
For his environmental initiatives on the Middlebury College campus and in the greater community, Benjamin P. Brouwer, Class of 2004
For their volunteer environmental initiatives and leadership on the Middlebury College campus and in the greater community, and for their work with the College's chapter of Operation Smile, Michael C. Azzara, and Douglas M. Dagan, both from the Class of 2003
For her environmental initiatives on the Middlebury College campus and in the greater community, and for her work with Spirit in Nature, Kaitlin A. Gregg, Class of 2003
For his initiatives on the Middlebury College campus toward an enriched cultural community and connectivity, for his work with the Middlebury College International Students Organization, and for his work with the Sudanese Refugees Educational Fund, in Winooski, Vt., Yohanne N. Kidolezi, Class of 2004
For his work toward the Middlebury College Sailing Club and his other volunteer activities and leadership on the Middlebury campus, Stoddart A. Pierce, Class of 2004
For his work with the Middlebury College orientation week program, Volunteer Preview, Nicholas P. Olson, Class of 2002
For their work with the Middlebury Union Middle School mentoring program, Meredith E. Giersch, Class of 2004, Colin V. Morawski, Class of 2003, and Emily S. Swan, Class of 2003
For her work with the Middlebury Volunteer Ambulance Association, Andrea S. Klayman, Class of 2003
For her work with a member of the local community who is visually impaired, Lila S. Buckley, Class of 2004
For their work with the Spirit in Nature Interfaith Path Center, Susannah L. King, Peter Park, Sarah B. Percy, Benjamin N. Sprague, and Dane B. Springmeyer, all five from the Class of 2002
For her work with WomenSafe, Inc., Elinor E. Roberts, Class of 2003