Sahar Rajput is a senior, majoring in Communication & Social Interaction and minoring in Psychology and Business Administration. Sahar has demonstrated a deep commitment to civic and community engagement throughout her life. Sahar became involved in community engagement as soon as she arrived at SUNY Oswego as a mentor and tutor in the Mentor Oswego Program. Her engagement grew deeper and through her leadership and vision she was instrumental in developing multiple new community partnerships. She identified unmet needs in the community and took the initiative to create innovative solutions. The partnerships have created a platform for connecting hundreds of SUNY Oswego students with the community each week to address the needs of low-income youth and people with disabilities. Sahar has worked tirelessly to develop programs that promote community engagement and provide meaningful opportunities for her peers to get involved in building the capacity of community-based organizations.+ Read More
Ashley Tomlinson, a junior Occupational Therapy Major, has demonstrated quite remarkable leadership abilities during her time at Alvernia, promoting and directing a variety of community engagement activities with other students. She is an inspiring young woman with clear ability in civic engagement and a sincere desire to seek long-term solutions for social issues.
Both on and off campus, Ms. Tomlinson has repeatedly shown superior organizational and leadership abilities. In her Senior Scholar Project and honors thesis, she worked to create an educational program for the community on HIV and AIDS prevention, and she has been an integral part of our Ignite Student Leadership Program. Unsurprisingly, Ms. Tomlinson was able to achieve all of this while maintaining exceptional academic marks, making the Dean's list every semester.
In addition to her work on campus, Ms. Tomlinson has been amongst the most involved students in Alvernia's elementary outreach programs through the South Reading Youth Initiative. Ms. Tomlinson is an accomplished student leader at Alvernia with a passion for Community Service and Civic Engagement. She is among the students I most respect and admire on campus, and as such it is my privilege and my pleasure to recommend her for this prestigious award.+ Read More
Tony Lamb is a first year graduate student studying community development in the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University. Tony is the unique student who has been successful combining his academic interests with his passion for community engagement. While an undergraduate, he attended school full time and worked in the VISTA program, where he applied his course work to issues that matter to him: gentrification, displacement, equity, and economic development. While he was working on his Bachelors Tony used his grant writing skill to raise enough capital to start a social enterprise that now employs five community members. During this period, he also served on advisory committees, developed partnerships for the new organization, transitioned to full-time employment, and completed his degree. Now in his graduate program, Tony has been working with College faculty on a project with the Portland Development Commission and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability looking at supporting makers and manufacturing businesses in Portland.+ Read More
Valeria Fuentes a senior undergraduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Upon graduation Valeria intends to move immediately into MICA's graduate Social Design program. Since her arrival at MICA Valeria has been committed to creative projects with strong social content. This includes working both within and external to the MICA campus on projects based in community engagement, racial inequity, and urban design. Valeria is currently working on the Kinetic Kitchen program which she founded and runs. Kinetic Kitchen combines community organization, social capacity building, and civic empowerment to provide an educational cooking program for Baltimore City Public School students that focuses on healthy eating and nutrition. Valeria partners Kinetic Kitchen with another Baltimore institution, Hungry Harvest, to demonstrate ways to make low cost, healthy meals for local families.+ Read More
Lauren Cunningham is a junior at Ohio Valley University, majoring in energy management and production engineering. Lauren, a local student from Appalachia, is passionate about the coal industry, the environment, and finding ways to use coal in an environmentally friendly way. Lauren is concerned about the economy of West Virginia, and sees great potential to come from the emerging clean coal industry. Seeing the economically depressed area that is Appalachia, Lauren believes that through education, the people of these areas can reach their full potential. Lauren is an advocate for education as much as she is clean coal, and has worked with underprivileged middle school students, peers in her major, and international students to help them accomplish their academic goals as she has.+ Read More
Hadley Sternberg has had a desire to engage in community from early in her life. Her commitment to community-based work with a social justice lens began after her Bat Mitzvah, when she was encouraged by her faith community to think about meaningful ways to contribute to her home city of Portland, Oregon and beyond. Hadley felt a strong desire to be "part of the world," and so spent a gap year with AmeriCorps, providing emergency assistance to communities. She has remarked on how this work challenged her growing sense of social justice, and gifted her with the ability to listen to multiple perspectives from community members themselves. After working so effectively in a team setting, she was drawn to leadership roles as she entered Goucher College. Although only in her second year at Goucher, Hadley has impressed her teachers and peers with her open, voracious desire to learn and grow. She is a member of the highly selective Students Leaders for Civic Action program, working one-on-one with a local environmental neighborhood collective to plant trees, clean streams and remove invasive plants. These sites are for public use, and can positively impact the quality of life for all users.+ Read More
Allie Kanyetzny, a junior at the College of Saint Benedict, is a student leader committed to serving children with disabilities. As founder and creator of Allie's Wish, Allie leads an effort to support children in need and raise awareness for their disabilities, illnesses or conditions. She coordinates with grant recipients and local community partners, plans and executes fundraising and awareness-building events, and experiences the positive impact of her work on recipients and their families. Allie began this work as a ten-year-old, and her ongoing commitment to this cause has inspired others to give back to their communities in similar ways.+ Read More