MSUToday
Published: Feb. 17, 2017

Students earn national recognition for public service

Contact(s): Carla Hills University Outreach and Engagement office: (517) 353-8977 hillsc@msu.edu, Marc Hunsaker Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement office: (517) 353-4400 hunsak10@vps.msu.edu

Two MSU programs and 36 students have been awarded the national Presidential Volunteer Service Award for completing 100 or more hours of volunteer service within a one-year time frame during the 2015-16 academic year.

The awards are an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service, and are administered by Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to public service.

MSU’s Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement became an official Presidential Volunteer Service Award Certifying Organization in 2015. For nearly 50 years, CSLCE has worked to advance community engaged learning and prepare students for lifelong civic and social responsibility in an increasingly diverse and complex global society.

“These students were willing to ask what was needed, roll up their sleeves and put in the hours to make the world a better place,” said Renee Zientek, director of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement. “We are so proud to call them Spartans.”

Two registered student organizations received a “gold” group rating based on the high number of volunteer service hours each member contributed during 2015-16. MSU Volunteer Income Tax Assistance collectively served 3,444 hours and Alternate Spartan Breaks collectively served 9,342 hours last year. The 36 MSU students awarded individual medals also documented their volunteer service, which ranged from 100 to 421 hours.

Recipients receive a certificate of accomplishment and a congratulatory letter from former president Barack Obama.

Gold Level (250+ hours of service) 

  • Sean Hamborsky of Grosse Pointe Woods, master's graduate in accounting
  • Miya Hourani of South Lyon, junior in dietetics
  • Myya Jones of Detroit, senior in management
  • Adam Kogelschatz of Rockford, 2016 master's graduate in accounting
  • Sydney Tackett of Southgate, senior in human development and family studies
  • MSU Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
  • Alternate Spartan Breaks (ASB)

Silver Level (175-250 hours of service)

  • Ashley Bocek of Corunna, senior in dietetics
  • Julia Breza of Fremont, graduate in economics
  • Emily Brouckaert of Clinton Twp., senior in animal science
  • Breanne Casper of Howell, senior in anthropology
  • Caitlyn Ciemniecki of Birmingham, nutritional science
  • Audrey Drotos of St. Joseph, sophomore in neuroscience and music
  • Samuel Graham IV of Detroit, graduate of interdisciplinary studies
  • Sarah Simpson of Lake Orion, sophomore in packaging
  • Eliana Small of Farmington Hills, pre-med junior, genomics and molecular genetics
  • Jordan Stern of Rochester Hills, junior in human biology 

Bronze Level (100-174 hours of service)

  • Victoria Adomshick of Wheaton, Illinois, sophomore in microbiology and spanish
  • Elaine Chu of Kalamazoo, graduate in forensic anthropology
  • Sarah Chumas of Comstock Park, senior in human development and family studies
  • Alyssa Dal Pra of Warren, senior in kinesiology
  • Alexandria Drzazgowski of Rochester, junior in professional writing
  • Alexis Filippi of Royal Oak,  senior in kinesiology
  • Christopher Grandy of Grand Rapids, human biology
  • Cody Kahrs of Canton, graduate student in accounting
  • Tiffany Khoury of Shelby Township, senior in comparative cultures and politics/communications
  • Maighlin Kolesar of Ironwood, senior in nutritional science
  • Ashleigh Kozel of Brighton, 2016 College of Nursing graduate
  • Rachel Manssur of Clarkston, 2016 graduate
  • Greta Nameti of Canton, sophomore in supply chain management
  • Daniel Nguyen-Tran of Holt, human biology
  • Kelsie Quimby of Saginaw, masters student in accounting with a focus on taxation
  • Stephanie Sleda of Applegate, advertising
  • Amanda Simon of New Baltimore, senior in kinesiology
  • Kory Stamper of Southgate, 2016 graduate of nutritional science
  • Benjamin Thompson of Dowagiac, senior in social work
  • Erin Vitale of Oakland Township, junior in human biology

International Student Volunteer Leadership Award

Yifan Xu, a master's student in accounting, was recognized for her volunteer work and received the first International Volunteer Leadership Award from MSU’s Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement.

MSU students interested in qualifying for the 2016-17 award can find more information here.

2016 Presidential Volunteer Service Award winners at MSUís MLK Dinner. Photo courtesy of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement.

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