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Students, faculty and staff members honored for leadership, community service

Lehigh students, staff, faculty, friends and family recently attended the Volunteer Recognition Brunch and Awards Ceremony, 23rd Annual Multicultural Affairs Student Awards Banquet, and the 20th Annual Student Life Leadership Awards Banquet.

“This year’s award recipients epitomize what leadership and service are about,” says John Smeaton, vice provost for Student Affairs. “Their tireless efforts to positively impact the Lehigh community will stand as a lasting legacy of their time here on South Mountain and will continue to improve the lives of future generations. They are truly wonderful young men and women and it has been a privilege to work with them. I am very proud of their accomplishments. ”

And the winners are…

The Volunteer Recognition Brunch and Awards Ceremony

The Volunteer Recognition Brunch and Awards Ceremony honored students, staff and faculty that helped to make a difference both on campus and in the surrounding areas.

Sumona Basu ‘05, Melissa Iciek ‘06, Ravi Patel ‘05, Garret Schneider ’05 and Tarence Smith ‘05 were awarded the prestigious Vice Provost’s Award for Service. The award, established in 2004 by the Community Service Office, is a special and distinct way to recognize, reward and celebrate the contributions of those whose selfless giving represents the highest standard for service and volunteerism. Each recipient received an engraved medal of service and will have their name displayed on a plaque that will be prominently displayed in the campus community.

The Ibis of Service Award is given to a person that exhibits great dedication to a lifestyle of servant leadership. This year’s award recipient was Carolina Hernandez, community services coordinator.

Graduate student Julia Pinshaw, the Brian J. Lime award recipient, receives the award that is named after a Lehigh graduate and given to a student who leads by humble, consistent and selfless service.

Showing exceeding generosity, the Giving Tree award was given to Psi Upsilon Fraternity, whose members selflessly served the community on a regular basis.

The Boys and Girls Club of Easton received the Bridge Builder award for building bridges and sharing their knowledge of the community’s needs with the servant leaders at Lehigh in the hopes that the community as a whole is better served.

Reaching beyond their own circle of influence, the Branch Out awards were given to Alex Senchak ’06; Christina Bell, associate director of residential services; The Women’s Center and graduate student Geoff Kerr, for reaching out in outstanding support helping to fulfill the crucial needs of the Community Service Office.

Jim Goodley ‘05, Niluk Peiris ‘05, Rodlene Lazzard ‘05 and graduate students Julia Pinshaw were given the Distinguished Service Stars award for donating three or more spring break trips and more than 90 hours of volunteer time, along with reaching out and serving the needs of people in communities far beyond the Lehigh Valley.

The Starfish award, which honors single acts of service that can change lives and are given to students, staff and faculty who have frequently volunteered while emulating a true desire to improve the lives of those they are serving, were given to: Dr. Kathryn DiPietro, assistant professor, technology based teacher education; Rachel Caras ‘07; Alexandra Ganim ’07; Danny Greenawalt ‘05; Jill Engels ‘08; Ashley Debarba ‘07; Beth Greenberg, Greek Life Coordinator; Steve McAllister, Sexual Violence Prevention Coordinator; Alta Thornton, Residence Life Coordinator; Katie Lomas ‘05 and Alexis Toulouse ‘07.

The 23rd Annual Multicultural Affairs Student Awards Banquet

The Multicultural Affairs Student Awards recognized the accomplishments of students of color from various classes who have made significant contributions to community life, academically and co-curricularly.

Melodie Kent ’05 received the Ralph Albert Thomas ’76 Leadership Award which recognizes a senior who has demonstrated tremendous achievement in their academic, personal and co-curricular involvement, while having a significant impact on the quality of life of other Lehigh students. Kent also received a Senior Award.

Kaloma Cardwell ‘06, Khayla Lowe ‘05 and Sabrina Slater ’05 received the MVP award, which recognizes students who have excelled both athletically and academically. Slater also received a Senior award, Cardwell received a Junior Award and Lowe received a Senior Award and a Community Award.

The Community Award, presented to students whose efforts made a difference by empowering others through service, volunteer activities and general community support was awarded to Daniel Greenawalt ‘05 and Tarence Smith ‘05.

The awards ceremony also recognized faculty and staff for their commitment to improving the quality of life for students of color. This year’s recipients were Kashi Johnson, assistant professor of theatre and Alta Thornton, residence life coordinator.

The National Society of Black Engineers and the Indian Student Association were also honored as Student Organizations of the Year for impacting student life and for promoting cultural awareness.

Awards were also given to students from each class recognizing their leadership, academic excellence and contribution to enhance the quality of life for students of color and the Lehigh community. Graduate Student Awards were given to Sandhya Eswaran, Jose Ibanez Torres, and H. Lavar Pope.

The Senior Awards were given to Jessica Brown, Rodlene Lazzard, and Quinn Allen. The Junior Award was given to David Thompson. Dominique Aubry received this year’s Sophomore Award and Chiquita Geldorp, Charles Jensen, Kareem Lucas, Veronica Nunez and Nicole Sanchez all received the Freshman Awards.

The 20th Annual Student Life Leadership Awards Banquet

The awards ceremony, themed “Leading a Legacy,” helped to highlight the many accomplishments and contributions of Lehigh’s campus leaders who will leave a lasting impression on Lehigh’s campus.

Jessica DePalo ‘05 received the Bosey Reiter Leadership Cup. The award criteria is defined chiefly in terms of moral character and “a just regard for the rights of others, together with the unflinching determination to succeed, no matter what obstacles and barriers have to be beaten down.”

DePalo, a member of the Lehigh Women’s Varsity Basketball team for four years and captain for two years, the Patriot league representative to the NCAA, a board member on the NCAA National Women’s Basketball Issues Committee, a member of Lehigh’s Student Athlete Council and Executive Board and co-chair of the “Community Outreach by Athletes who Care about Helping” (C.O.A.C.H.) program.

Said her nominator, “Jessica is responsible, determined, a team player, and an exceptional leader. It is by acting on these qualities that Jessica is respected and admired by her peers, capable of building strong partnerships between administration and students and is looked to as a resource, role model and leader in the Lehigh community.”

Michael Dick ’05 and Sabrina Slater ‘05 were honored with the University Service Award presented by Provost Mohamed El-Aasser. Dick was honored for being extremely dependable, energetic, articulate, thorough and resourceful. “In a time where being in a fraternity is very challenging,” said one of his nominators, “it has been Michael who has challenged fraternities to return themselves to their founding values and develop a sense of teamwork in the hopes that groups will rise above the status quo.”

Slater was honored for her tremendous accomplishments academically as well as for her optimism and compassion that she brings to every corner of student life. “In whatever she is involved in, she brings enthusiasm, energy and outstanding critical thinking skills to the project,” said one of her nominators. “Her warm personality and inclusive attitude encourages other students to want to work with her to create positive change wherever possible.”

Detective Christopher Houtz of the Lehigh University Police Department and advisor to the Lehigh Emergency Medical Service (EMS) received the Faculty Advisor Award. Nominated by students as a staff member who has made a significant difference in the organization and the lives of its members, Houtz, “should take great pride in the organization he guides, and take ownership of the confidence that he has instilled in the students of Lehigh EMS.”

Kimberly Aquila ‘05, Melinda Lepko ‘06, Vera Ann Partem ‘06, Faaiza Rashid ‘05, Alexander Senchak ‘06, Sabrina Slater ‘05 and Stephen Zanias ‘05 all received the Student Senate Leadership Award. The award was established by Lehigh’s Student Senate to recognize juniors and seniors who exhibit outstanding leadership skills in aspects of student life through student government, student organizations or athletics.

Christina Diggs ‘07 received the Residence Hall Association Character Award, which recognizes a student who has worked to improve student life at Lehigh in Residential Services or Residential Life. Christina’s nominators said, “Christina has the ability to dedicate herself wholly to her community and to place the importance of serving others ahead of herself.”

The Contribution to Student Life award recognizes Lehigh seniors who have significantly contributed to the improvement and quality of student life during their years at Lehigh. Each nominee was considered because of their involvement in campus activities, campus governance, community service, leadership within student organizations, academic initiatives and their pursuits to empower and support their peers. The recipients of the Contribution to Student Life Award were Quinn Allen, Kim Aquila, Peter Bianco, Jessica Brown, Marinee Cabrera, Carol Crewdson, Jessica DePalo, Michael Dick, Andrea Englander, Ty Esler, Ashley Forwood, Megan Hamilton, Rosalia Italiano, Melodie Kent, Aaron Leff, Kurt Lesker, Julia Nolf, Michelle Paitich, Garret Schneider, Rebecca Sharim, Sabrina Slater, and Olga Stewart.

The Service Above Self Award honors students or student organizations who best exemplify the qualities of caring and concern for others through their participation in or coordination of volunteer and service activities. This year’s recipients were Lauren Staniunas ‘05 and Chi Omega Sorority.

The Alumni Association awarded Jessica DePalo and Michael Dick the Undergraduate Merit Award. The award recognizes seniors who by exemplary character, personality, scholarship and participation in extracurricular activities, represent the highest tradition of Lehigh University. Marinee Cabrera, Karl Colasante, Kelli Crabtree, Ashley Forwood, Richard Longenecker, Erika Murdock, Michelle Paitich and Niluk Peiris received Undergraduate Merit Awards Honorable Mention.

The Graduate Student Life Office awarded Nicole Batchelor the Graduate Student Life Award. The award recognizes an outstanding graduate student leader who has shown exemplary scholarship, leadership and service to the Lehigh graduate student community.

The Student Life Leadership Award recognizes the extraordinary performance as a student leader at Lehigh. Four senior students were presented this award, judged by program development and implementation, for their work to bridge cultural differences and to enhance multiculturism, participation in student governance, and for their overall positive impact on Lehigh students. This year’s recipients were Quinn Allen, Megan Hamilton, Kurt Lesker, and Michelle Paitich.

--Sarah Cooke

Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2005

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