May 14, 2014

Students honored for volunteer service

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale recently presented Civic Engagement Achievement Awards to recognize volunteerism and contributions during the 2013-2014 academic year. 

The Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism and the Sustainability Office honored those individuals, primarily students, who donate their time and energy to make the world a better place both locally and beyond. 

Chancellor Rita Cheng spoke at the May 5 event and presented the awards. 

In all, environmental ambassador students and other volunteers contributed more than 1,300 hours toward environmental programs and efforts.  Mythili Rundblad is coordinator of the Center for Service-Learning and Volunteerism and Kris Schachel is SIU sustainability coordinator. 

Dusty Copple, a senior forestry major from Percy, and the Iota Phi Theta fraternity are recipients of this year’s Delyte Morris Awards.  The award honors the legacy of Delyte Morris, the late SIU president who believed service is at the heart of higher education.  The award is presented annually to  student and a registered student organization demonstrating commitment to community service. 

Copple earned recognition for her volunteer work at Giant City State Park and the fraternity was honored for starting a mentoring program through Big Brothers/Big Sisters. 

A Community Partner Award was presented for the first time this year. Tina Carpenter, program director of the Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale since August 2009 is the recipient.  Carpenter supervises the club staff and directs the club’s academic, recreational and fundraising programs.  Her work includes supervising more than 60 interns from SIU each year, along with an SIU AmeriCorps student member and more than 200 student volunteers.  

The Presidential Volunteer Service Award goes to students who complete at least 100 hours of volunteer service in fields designated by the Council on Civic Participation.  This year’s recipients, listed by hometown, year in school and major are: 


  • Antioch: Michael Guardarrama, senior, biological sciences.
  • Chicago: Dianna Balan – senior, communication disorders and sciences.
  • Chicago: Jheaniqua Harbin-Tate, senior, early childhood education.
  • Godfrey: Grace Kichline, senior, psychology.


  • Bedford: Hannah George, senior, social work.           

Environmental Ambassador Awards go to students who donate at least 30 hours toward environmental service during the academic year. 

The 2013-2014 Environmental Ambassadors, listed by hometown, year in school and major are: 


  • Ava: Lauren Hoyt, freshman, biological sciences.
  • Batatvia: William Joy, senior, forestry.
  • Bethalto: Makia Hoormann, junior, forestry.
  • Bloomington: Zachary Connor, freshman, criminology and criminal justice.
  • Carbondale: Anitra Dorsey, senior with degree, management.
  • Carbondale: Brooke Hagarty, senior, forestry.
  • Carpentersville: Michael Rung, senior, forestry.
  • Chicago: Jonathan Fitzpatrick, junior, forestry.
  • Collinsville: Kevin Schrader, senior, physiology.
  • Frankfort: Margaret McKenzie, junior, management.
  • Geneva: master’s student, business administration.
  • Homer Glen: Abigail Plecki, sophomore, forestry.
  • Jacksonville: Jacob Summers, senior, forestry.
  • Minooka: Alyssa Macuiba, senior, geography and environmental resources.
  • Montgomery: Christina Penna, senior, geology.
  • Peotone: Shannon Batterman, junior, forestry.
  • Rockford: David Lynch, senior, political science.
  • Teutopolis: Kevin Bradley, senior, physiology. 


  • Denver: Dania Laubach, master’s student, community health education. 


  • St. Louis: Vivian Johnson – master’s student, business administration.
  • St. Louis: Claire Mueller, senior, forestry.