Seven Students Receive President’s Volunteer Service Award

GENESEO, N.Y. - Seven SUNY Geneseo students have received President's Volunteer Service Awards in recognition of their high level of hours spent in volunteer service. The awards, issued by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation on behalf of the President of the United States, were among numerous students, organizations and community partners honored at the college's volunteer and service awards ceremony March 29.

The President's Council confers three levels of awards for volunteer service completed in a 12-month period: Gold for 250+ hours; Silver for 175-249 hours; and Bronze for 100-174 hours. The students received a certificate in recognition and appreciation of commitment to strengthening the nation and for making a difference through volunteer service. They also will receive a letter from President Obama and a service pin.

Receiving a Gold Award was Rebecca May, a senior from Roslyn Heights, N.Y., who performed 2,340 hours in 2011 for a grand total of 5,988 hours since she came to Geneseo.

Six others received a Bronze Award: Sondra Mason, a senior from Jamestown, N.Y., who performed 307 hours; Brent Sanderson, a junior from Fairport, N.Y., who performed 226 hours; Michael Roff, a senior from Huntington Station, N.Y., who performed 201 hours; Jessica Shatzel, a junior from Marilla, N.Y, who performed 152 hours; Collette Spagnolo, a senior from Oakland Gardens, N.Y., who performed 149 hours; and Leah Tallman, a senior from Miller Place, N.Y, who performed 122 hours.

"These students are role models for volunteerism who donate their time, energy and talent to improving our communities and nation," said Tom Matthews, Geneseo's associate dean of leadership and service. "These awards are a way to thank them for their commitment and inspire others to make volunteering part of their lives."

As a certifying organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award, Geneseo is responsible for verifying service hours, nominating potential recipients and delivering the award.

May, Sanderson, Shatzel and two other students, Michael Mattiucci, a junior from Webster, N.Y., and Grace Trompeter, a junior from West Sand Lake, N.Y., also received 2012 Volunteer and Services Awards created by the college's Advisory Committee on Volunteer and Service Programs.

Volunteer Service Awards also went to the national service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega and the social service organization Royal Lady Knights. Also receiving an award were community members Chris and Mike Dodge, who operate H.O.R.S.E. Rescue (Help Our Rescue Save Equines), where several Geneseo students volunteer their time.

"The people and organizations we are recognizing have been extraordinary members of our community, advocates for the marginalized and those in need," said Robert Bonfiglio, Geneseo's vice president for student and campus life. "They put justice into practice, and challenge our indifference and I congratulate all of them for their extraordinary commitment."

The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Bill Mandicott, a 1976 Geneseo graduate and assistant vice president for student and community involvement at Frostburg State University in Maryland, who addressed "A Tradition of Change Through Service."

"My experience as a Geneseo student was enriched by stepping out into the community," said Mandicott. "You are being inducted into the Geneseo legacy of service."

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