Friday, March 25, 2016

Geneseo: College Recognizes Commitment to Service and Volunteerism

Receiving SUNY Geneseo 2016 individual and organization volunteer and service awards March 22 were (l to r) Ryan Kirrane (representing Alpha Phi Omega); Michael Braunagel; Neal Brooks; Ryan Donnelly (who accepted a posthumous award on behalf of Matthew Hutchinson); Madelyn Sayed; Mingxin Li; Tom Matthews, associate dean of leadership and service; Corey Hensen (representing FORCES); Dan Martin; Ryan Colling (representing FORCES); Ashley Buttice (representing Colleges Against Cancer); Brandyn Balch (president of FORCES); and Bob Lennington (1st Assistant Chief, representing the Geneseo Fire Department). 
GENESEO, N.Y. – SUNY Geneseo recognized individuals, student organizations, and the Geneseo Fire Department with volunteer and service awards during the college’s annual Volunteer and Service Awards Dinner March 22. The college’s Advisory Committee on Volunteer and Service Programs created the awards in 2011 to recognize the awardees for their high level of commitment to service with the college’s community partners.
“When you make a difference in someone else’s life, your life gets better,” said keynote speaker A. Gidget Hopf, a Geneseo alumna, member of the Geneseo College Council and president/CEO of Goodwill of the Finger Lakes. “You are building a value system that will last the rest of your life. I am very proud to be part of the Geneseo community.” 
Individual students receiving awards were Michael Braunagel, who has been a dedicated volunteer EMT and firefighter with the Cuylerville Fire Department since the beginning of his sophomore year; Dan Martin, who has been involved with Livingston CARES for four years and is an active member of the Board of Directors of the organization; Mingxin Li, who is the supply captain of Geneseo First Response,  a student-run, volunteer organization based that provides emergency medical services to the Geneseo campus community; Madelyn Sayed, who spent her undergraduate career leading the Community Health Alliance, including fundraising and collecting school supplies  for H.O.P.E. in Borgne, Haiti, among other activities; and Neal Brooks, a residence life area coordinator and adviser to the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, who works directly with students in helping them in their commitment to service. A posthumous award was presented to Matthew Hutchinson, a dedicated volunteer firefighter and EMT for the Geneseo Fire Department, 
Organizations receiving awards were Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service organization that provides volunteers and service to the nation, community and campus, which requires members to complete 24 hours of community service per semester but many go above and beyond the requirement; Colleges Against Cancer, which actively brings cancer awareness to the campus and community; Friends of Recreation, Conservation, & Environmental Stewardship (FORCE), an intercollegiate organization founded by NYS Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation., which focuses on environmental education, volunteerism community outreach, historic preservation and student engagement with state parks; and the Geneseo Fire Department, which provides fire protection and ambulance service for the Village of Geneseo and Town of Geneseo. 
Also honored at the event was Tom Matthews, associate dean of leadership and service, for his long record of facilitating service and volunteerism at Geneseo, particularly his work with Livingston CARES. Matthews has been with the college for 49 years. 
Co-sponsors of the event were Wegmans, the college’s GOLD Program (Geneseo Opportunities for Leadership Development), the Office of Student Volunteerism and Community Engagement, the Center for Community and the Division of Student and Campus Life.