4/19/2014 1:05:44 PM

VISTA Awards Recognize Commitment to Service

Monday, March 26, 2012

By Lexi Palma '13

Siena College’s Office of Academic Community Engagement recently held an awards ceremony to celebrate AmeriCorps Week. The event honored distinguished members of the College community and local partners. Director of the Office of Academic Community Engagement Mathew Johnson '93, Ph.D. and Assistant Director of the Office of Academic Community Engagement Yalitza Negron '08 addressed the crowed during the event.

“We are proud to participate in this national celebration," Negron said. "Our office wanted to take the time to highlight the impact that national service programs have had on meeting the crucial needs of our country and recognize three distinctive individuals from our community for dedicating their life to building a world that is more just, peaceable, and humane."

Siena College Vice President for Academic Affairs Linda Richardson, Ph.D. received the Siena Community Member Award for her commitment to the mission of the College through service to others.

Fr. Peter Young ’53 was given the Community Partner Award for his tireless work with the poor and marginalized. The Siena College alumnus created the Peter Young Foundation, which is an organization that fights poverty and addiction. He was recognized for his commitment to building a partnership that engages Siena students in “building a world that is more just, peaceable, and humane.”

The event's keynote speaker and recipeient of the ACE Alumni Award was Frank Sylvester '09. Sylvester served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Siena’s Department of Environmental Studies from 2009-2010 and is currently attending Syracuse University’s College of Law and pursuing his Master of Science degree in Natural Resource Management at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. This summer Sylvester will be interning with the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Our office is proud of the contributions that each of these individuals have made to our local community. They are perfect examples of how (we) can embody the Franciscan tradition throughout our personal and professional lives,” Negron said.

Students who attended the ceremony felt motivated to continue contributing to their communities.

“I thought it was a great event,” said AmeriCorps Bonner Service Leader Bernadette Schmidt '13. “It was really inspiring to hear about all of the great things the recipients are doing.”

Click here to learn more about the various programs offered through the Office of Academic Community Engagement.


Photo Credit: Tim Latterner '15

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