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Volunteer and Service-Learning Center Celebrates Service

Those accustomed to giving selflessly through the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center will, in return, receive recognition. Organizers of the Spring 2008 Celebration of Service will acknowledge outstanding efforts of faculty and students in the areas of service learning, volunteering, and community work-study during a ceremony on April 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Butler Library 210.

This semester’s celebration—the ninth consecutive event since the VSLC’s inception in spring 2004—includes a number of new features.

The most notable is the addition of a visual and poster presentation from 11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Faculty and students will share videos, posters, and materials from their service-learning experiences during the semester. Opening the festivities will be a dance presentation from students taking DAN 401: Teaching Dance. Under the instruction of 2007–2008 Community Service Faculty Fellowship awardee and lecturer of theater Joy Guarino, the students will perform the dance steps they teach twice a week to children at the nearby Asarese-Matters Community Center.

From 12:15 to 1:30 p.m., the Celebration of Service will feature an awards presentation. (Winners were being contacted at the time of publication and will be announced in an upcoming issue of the Daily.)

A new award this semester is the Outstanding Service Award by a Student Organization, presented to a group that provided valuable community service and extended its mission and influence beyond the campus. In addition, two awards from the Dean of Students Office will be part of the Celebration of Service. The Luis M. Antonetti Student Humanitarian Award recognizes a Buffalo State College undergraduate student who has demonstrated personal character through nonviolence, volunteer service, and cultural acceptance. The Minnie and Joe Engel Student Humanitarian Award recognizes “the full measure as a person’s worth” through altruism, volunteer service, and the giving of oneself to the campus and larger community.

“All awards recognize students and faculty who go above and beyond what they are called to do,” said Laura Hill Rao, coordinator of the VSLC. “These individuals far exceeded the number of tasks and service-learning hours required.”

Tuesday’s event will highlight the 2007–2008 Community Service Faculty Fellowship awardees and acknowledge new fellows for the 2008–2009 academic year. Other awards presented at the Celebration of Service include:

  • Outstanding Student Academic Achievement in a Service-Learning Course
  • Outstanding Student Community Service in a Service-Learning Course (two awards: 14 hours or less and 15 hours or more)
  • Outstanding Service-Learning Course (two awards: 14 hours or less and 15 hours or more)
  • Outstanding Faculty Commitment to Service Learning
  • Outstanding Service-Learning Community Partner

Rao said the Celebration of Service is designed to be as open as possible, and she encourages all on campus to attend.

“This is a great opportunity to learn more about service learning, particularly if you’re unfamiliar with it,” she said. “You’ll hear from outstanding participants, and hopefully, after you leave, you’ll have a desire to try it yourself.”