1997 Middlebury College Public Service Leadership Awards

For the fourth consecutive year, Middlebury College Volunteer
Services 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 26 students received certificates
recognizing their outstanding service, and six received Public
Service Leadership Awards from the College through the Patrick
J. Durkin [‘79] Fund. Middlebury College’s Director of Student
Activities Tiffany Sargent received a standing ovation when she
was given a special award of her own, presented to her by Mr.
Durkin for her years of dedication to the program.

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,

Of the 26 students nominated, six received the Public Service
Leadership Award’s “Plaque of Appreciation,” and will
have their names engraved on a service recognition plaque to be
permanently hung in the McCullough Student Center. Recipients
were Noami DeVore ‘97, for her leadership and service to Habitat
for Humanity; Karu Kozuma ‘98, for the Middlebury College Volunteer
Services Program; Alex Lee ‘97, for his environmental initiatives,
leadership, and service to the Otter Creek Audubon Society; Maya
Thiagarajan ‘98, for Addison County Community Friends; Kate Walker
‘99, for the Addison County Women in Crisis Center; and Cris Dima
‘99 and Mike Koehler ‘98, who together accepted the award on behalf
of the whole Middlebury College Mountain Club, for its initiative,
leadership and service to Evergreen House, a psycho-social club
affiliated with the Counseling Service of Addison County and designed
to help reintegrate people back into the community.

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 Victor Swenson, executive director of the Vermont Council
on the Humanities, who also commended students on their public
service efforts.

A cash award has been given to the following organizations, chosen
by each award-winner and donated in his or her name: the Addison
County Community Action Group; the Addison County Community Friends;
Evergreen House; Habitat for Humanity; Otter Creek Audubon Society;
and Addison County Women in Crisis.

Award selection 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.