Cornell Public Service Center presents National Volunteer Week awards

Cornell students, led by the staff of the Public Service Center, celebrated National Volunteer Week, April 21-27. The highlights of the week included formal presentation of two service awards.

On April 26, the Community Partnership Fund Board (CPFB), a program of the Public Service Center, honored its 1995-96 grant recipients. CPFB seeks to foster student leadership and social responsibility by encouraging students to take action against social problems and provides monetary awards to advance such projects. This year's recipients include: " HydroSummer '96 -- a grassroots international project established to introduce micro-hydroelectric power generation to the Dominican Republic.

  • Designers for a Better Community -- working in cooperation with Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services (INHS), students will focus on revitalizing and landscaping a rehabilitated home.
  • Legal Readers -- a children's literacy program started at the Cornell Law School with the help of the school's service organization, Phi Delta Phi.
  • Mental Health Association and Sigma Gamma Rho -- sorority members worked on a campaign to inform the Ithaca community about people with mental health concerns.
  • The Partnership -- mobilizes student volunteers to work on a variety of construction projects for low-income families.

The Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Awards were presented on April 27 to three students. This award was established by Gerald Robinson '54 and Margot Robinson '55 and Robert Appel '53 and Helen Appel '55. The Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award was created to recognize and honor students who have had significant involvement in community service by providing support for their projects, which address a community's social needs or problems. Three students are selected, and each receives $1,000 to further a community service project that he or she has initiated and proposed. This year's winners are:

Shelly Burnside -- Shelly's idea to create a computer publishing center at the Literacy Volunteers of Tompkins County came to her after of tutoring a man in danger of losing his job if he did not improve his reading skills. One teaching method she used was a "Language Experience" story, in which the man described an event while she recorded. Shelly's proposal is to enhance the computer skills of the students by setting up a computer center to publish these "Language Experience" stories and other student works on the Internet.

Susan Crisfield -- Susan became involved with INHS while volunteering with Community Unity to rebuild and repair local houses. Her proposal is to link the efforts of INHS and Cornell students of horticulture and landscape architecture to rebuild the yards of the newly refurbished homes, thus increasing the property value of the neighborhood. She has been assisted by other Cornell students and faculty, including Sarah Wilkinson, Jennifer Sitts, Catherine Baker, Joy Grefrath and Charles Ufford, and professors Paula Horrigan and Irene Lekstutis.

Nahmjin Kim -- Nahmjin has volunteered in the Ithaca Youth Bureau One-to-One Program since 1994. Her proposal is to create a four-week afternoon science camp for eight to 10 children and introduce them to various scientific fields; demonstrate the sciences' relevance to the children's lives; and spark an interest in the sciences via hands-on experience.

For more information regarding the Community Partnership Fund Board or the Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award, contact the Public Service Center at 255-1148.