Senior Adam Shelepak has been named the 2017 winner of the Cornell University Relations’ Campus-Community Leadership Award. The annual honor is presented to a graduating senior who has shown exceptional town-gown leadership and innovation.
Among his many off-campus activities, Shelepak has served as chair of the Cornell Student United Way Campaign, which raises $30,000 annually for nonprofit organizations across Tompkins County. He has also volunteered at the Tompkins County Public Library, distributed information about lead exposure from paint in at-risk Ithaca-area neighborhoods and served as co-director of Anabel’s Grocery.
Anabel’s Grocery is a campus-based student-run nonprofit grocery store and a project of the Center for Transformative Action. It is designed to address food insecurity by providing access to healthy, affordable food and increasing food literacy, and will be open following a final design-and-construction phase. In this role, Shelepak engaged with a variety of countywide food systems, nonprofit leaders and social justice organizations.
“I am grateful for Adam’s leadership as student chair of the Cornell United Way campaign, and for all the Cornell students who have made the university’s student campaign a national gold standard,” said Mayor Svante Myrick ’09. “This level of commitment to Ithaca and Tompkins County is not just inspirational for those who will follow in Adam’s footsteps, but helps to encourage year-round residents to get involved with United Way. Adam’s commitment to the common good is impressive.”
Joel Malina, Cornell vice president for university relations, said: “We commend students like Adam Shelepak who are busier than most but still find time to help our shared communities. His leadership of the Anabel’s Grocery has included collaborations with local growers and various nonprofits in the service of developing a sustainable, long-term model for current and future Cornellians. Adam’s efforts have been inclusive and results-driven and are truly worthy of this recognition.”
“I have deep roots in upstate New York, and I truly love the vibrancy of the Ithaca community,” said Shelepak. “I have worked hard to understand the needs of the community and its relationship with Cornell in much of my work over four years on the Hill. In that light, I am grateful to the many area residents whom I have learned from and collaborated with on many projects.”
Shelepak, a Binghamton, New York, native, is a policy and analysis major in the College of Human Ecology. He will work at the consulting firm Oliver Wyman in New York City this summer before starting the Sloan MHA Program in Human Ecology.