Volunteer Service of the Year nominees were recognized at the third annual Volunteer and Chacivity Reception on April 20, 2011.
Receiving the Individual Volunteer Service Award was Sarah Kitchen. Kitchen was a graduate student during the 2010 academic year and served as a neighborhood ambassador for the Indiana Community University Collaborative (ICUC). She has completed numerous hours in assisting and participating in the IUP Hawk Walk, which was an event created to "welcome" students and residents for the new school year and debunk stereotypes within IUP and the community. While pursuing her graduate degree, Kitchen was able to balance her school work and still be an integral part of the ICUC Neighborhood Ambassador program through other activities such as a community Hot Dog Fest and organizing a snow shoveling service, in which volunteers were recruited to shovel for IUP residents.
Also nominated were Hyeonna Bak, Katelyn Krissinger, Seung Ku Park, and Stephanie Phillips.
The Child and Family Studies Association received the Organization Service of the Year Award. The Circle K Organization, as well as Community Connections—with members Abdullah Al-Dagamseh, Tracy Lassiter, Hayat Messekher, Leon Stennis, and Natalie Yaquenian receiving special recognition—were also nominated.
The Child and Family Studies Association is committed to the development and well-being of all children through the various projects and fundraisers the members have completed and continue to do. They have dedicated countless hours in fundraising more than $750, which was given to the University Early Care and Education Center in Davis Hall toward the purchase of new playground equipment and to assist in their services to meet and maintain their NAEYC accreditation. This is the only NAEYC-accredited center in Indiana County. Members of the Child and Family Studies Association also have volunteered numerous hours to the Family Fun Fest, the annual IUP Mix Off, and the annual Day of Play. Without the above and beyond assistance from this group, the University Daycare would not be able to reap the benefits of development appropriate practices and experiences with the children.
Yong Colen, Linda Jennings, and Mark McGowan were nominated for the Faculty/Staff Volunteer Service of the Year Award, with Jennings receiving the award.
Dr. Linda Jennings is an assistant professor in the Department of Music at IUP. Jennings has been committed to service throughout her time at IUP, specifically because of the service she has done beyond her faculty requirements. One of the main projects Jennings has been involved in dealt with creating music programs in Haiti. After the earthquake last year, she organized a benefit concert on campus as well as brought in a Haitian music educator to work with students. Her work with these projects raised $500 for music programs in Haiti and consumed 200 hours of her time. Jennings has also worked for the past four years on the IUP String Project, a community outreach program which benefits local school districts as well as Music majors at IUP.
Receiving the Service Learning Project Volunteer Service of the Year Award is Practicum in String Pedagogy-MUSC 481/581, a course which encompasses the teacher-training portion of the IUP String Project, a string music education community outreach program organized through the IUP Music Department. In this class, Music majors provided voluntary individual and group music instruction, plus additional service projects, for string students ages four to eighteeen in the community. Students were able to reflect on experiences and design their own service projects to enhance their significant service to string music education in the community.
A yearly recognition for the tremendous volunteer services that these many dedicated people provide is hardly enough to thank them for the enormous numbers of hours that they generously contribute to make life superlative at IUP and in the community. The IUP Office of Service Learning thanks them for giving their time, skills, energy, and talents in helping others and serving their communities.