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Ewing award winners present project updates

Lena Ransohoff
Dave Burbank/Provided
Lena Ransohoff ’17 delivers an update on her Ewing Family Service Award-funded project Sober@Cornell.

At a May 2 reception and award presentation, the first cohort of Ewing Family Service Award recipients presented updates on their projects to 40 students, faculty, staff and members of the Ewing Family.

Established in fall 2015 to support Cornell’s commitment to innovation in community engagement, the Ewing Family Service Award provides up to $2,000 per project to foster student, faculty or staff leadership and social responsibility in the Cornell campus community.

Selected projects demonstrate a direct impact on campus by enhancing the overall experience; leading to increased safety, health and well-being; or providing new or enhanced learning opportunities. Preference is given to projects that are sustainable with long-term viability, are innovative and have an impact on two or more Cornell units, offices or colleges.

Matthew Stefanko ’16 and Nicholas Karavolias ’18 presented their project, Anabel’s Grocery, an initiative to combat food insecurity at Cornell by providing access to healthy, affordable food on campus and increasing food literacy. They used Ewing Family Service Award funds to develop food literacy programming, which included cooking classes and educational materials that teach basic nutrition and how to prepare low cost, quality food with ingredients available at the store.

Lena Ransohoff ’17 updated attendees on her project, Sober@Cornell, a housing initiative to provide recovering and abstinent students with an alcohol- and drug-free residence. The house, recently purchased, is on North Campus and should open in the fall. A portion of the grant funds will support a stipend for a live-in graduate student adviser and provide funds to students in need of financial assistance.

Hillary Landsman ‘16 and Eleanor Good ‘19 from Helping Exceptional Youth (HEY) – a student organization run through the Public Service Center – reported on their career exploration mentorship program working with developmentally challenged students from Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES Career Skills pilot program. HEY worked with a BOCES Career Skills teacher to mentor BOCES students and provide one-on-one instruction on interview skills, as well as helping to facilitate their on-campus career explorations. Ewing award funds supported an end-of-year celebration and purchased an iPad to track students’ e-portfolios and progress.

Lauren Dennis ’17 presented her project, the Orientation Steering Committee, which augments efforts to foster a safe environment in which volunteers help plan and execute an orientation experience for incoming students.  

Cornell Team and Leadership Center staff members Matt Cowburn and VCNG Historian and CUVA adviser Emily Franco reported on their Undergraduate Veteran Teambuilding and Networking program, which uses Cornell Outdoor Education’s Hoffman Challenge Course to integrate the veteran community and their allies at Cornell by introducing new student veterans to Cornell’s mentoring and support network. Ewing award funding supported a half-day of team activities, high ropes challenges and community building.

The Cornell University Public Service Center facilitates the Ewing Family Service Awards.

Maja Anderson is assistant director of communications and community relations for the Cornell Public Service Center and Engaged Learning and Research.

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Melissa Osgood