Students receive Robinson-Appel Humanitarian awards

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Melissa Osgood
Robinson-Appel awards
Dave Burbank
From left, Alejandra Rodrigues ’17, Brandon Love ’18, James Guo ’16, Desmond Asiedu ’17, Isabella Salas-Allende ’19, Ryan Lombardi, vice president for Student and Campus Life, Nicholas Karavolias ’18, and Lauren Gabbuzzi ‘16 at an event to celebrate the winners and nominees of the Robinson-Appel Humanitarian awards.

Three student projects received 2016 Robinson-Appel Humanitarian awards April 15.

The winning projects, which received $1,500 each, were: “Ithaca City School District Peer Mentorship,” presented by Isabella Salas-Allende ’19; “Dream Team Ally Training,” presented by Alejandra Rodrigues ’17 and Brandon Love ’18; and “Lending Library at Durland,” presented by Nicholas Karavolias ’18.

The winners and semifinalists – James Guo ’16, "Centre d’Education Inclusif"; Lauren Gabuzzi ’16, "Southside Digital Stories"; and Desmond Asiedu ’17, "ReEntry Documentary" – each gave 20-minute presentations explaining how their projects will address a specific social need or problem facing the communities they are working with.

Salas-Allende’s ICSD Peer Mentorship project will provide Ithaca High School students working with Cornell student mentors access to a monthly class on science communication and access to dinner discussions with professors and scientists at Cornell. During this peer mentorship program, students in the STEP program will become immersed in scientific culture and learn fundamental research techniques that will help them become competitive college applicants.

Rodriguez and Cruz’s "Dream Team Ally Training" project will identify allies who have been trained in the issues and policies affecting undocumented students, including DACA/DAPA, safety, identity and micro aggression.

Karavolias’ library project is dedicated to improving the educational experience of economically disadvantaged students by providing free, semesterlong textbook loans from a lending library in Durland Alternatives Library. The library currently contains approximately 150 textbooks and is growing quickly.

Ryan Lombardi, vice president for Student and Campus Life, announced the winners.

“These projects represent the spirit of Cornell’s public service mission and exemplify how our students are engaging with community partners in meaningful ways to try to help address some of the social issues in our community and in our world,” he said.

The Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award was established by Cornell alumni Gerald Robinson ’54, Margot Robinson ’55, Robert Appel ’53 and Helen Appel ’55 to recognize and honor students who have been significantly involved in community service by providing support for the students’ service-based projects.

The Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award is facilitated by the Cornell Public Service Center.

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