May 06, 2013

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Doug Bogan organized a concert to help Newtown heal. Mahilet Oluma co-organized the inaugural Diversity Pride Week. Paul Allegra created an Educate-a-Child sponsorship program in the Dominican Republic. Monica Herzog created unique outdoor education opportunities.

These Bucknell University seniors were among the 24 honored recently with the Bison Award for making significant contributions to co-curricular and community activities.

Honored for their campus leadership activities were:

Zack Beltran, films and trips chair, traditions chair and vice president of human relations with Activities and Campus Events, and a three-year member of the concert committee; Jason Brown, who organized the community fundraiser Party for Peace, and served as a TEAM peer mentor for three years; Katie Golub, senior class president and four-year member of BSG; Jenna Masi, co-founder and treasurer of the Off Beats and officer in the Mathematics Association of America; Matt McAnear, an RA and Writing Center tutor; Lindsey Myers, a Social Media for Managers teaching assistant and member of the Bucknell Forum Speakers Series; Abby Vidmer, a member of BSG and the Concert Committee who has served as an Admissions intern and tour guide; Katie Wahls, a three-year RA and intern in the Student Housing Office; and Pat Zailckas, president of IFC, a Building on Foundations counselor and an Orientation Assistant.

Seniors honored for their campus and community leadership activities were:

Kat Klein, a chemistry teaching assistant, RA and Admissions tour guide and intern with the Lewisburg Downtown Partnership; Nick Pistone, community service and philanthropy chair with IFC and an intern with the Lewisburg Community Garden; and Grace Toolan, a four-year Orientation Assistant and Coordinator and near peer for the Lewisburg Listening Post.

Honored for their work in the national or international community were:

Matthew Diles, an AmeriCorps PA Scholar for Service who completed 350 hours of community service and a member of the Bucknell Brigade; Katie Janda, a four-year member of the Bucknell Brigade who volunteered for a summer in Peru at a clinic for the uninsured; and Jose Saavedra Valdivia, recipient of a Projects for Peace grant to teach 2D animation to children in Puerto Rico.

Seniors honored for leadership in diversity programs were:

Juanita Jeffrey, president of Essential and membership committee chair with the Black Student Union (BSU), student assistant in the Women's Resource Center and fundraising intern with the Campus Theatre; and Sam Lauer, a teaching assistant with the astronomy department, officer with FLAG&BT and co-assistant director of Common Ground.

Other Bison Award recipients honored for their leadership activities were Doug Bogan, who received the Bridge-Building Award and was named Student of the Year by The Bucknellian; Angel Hernandez, who received the Civility and Respect Award for his contributions to Speak Up Bucknell, Common Ground and Stop the Hate; Teddy Mottola, who received the Class of 2013 Award of Excellence in recognition of his role as class vice president, and member of BSG and the Student Athletic Advisory Committee; and Malyse Uwase, who received the Student Leadership Mentor Award in recognition of her work with BASA, Essential, BSU and Common Ground.


Undergraduate honors
In addition to the seniors, several undergraduate students were honored. Receiving their class award of excellence were Bucknell junior Raffi Berberian, who serves as an RA and member of Campus Activities and Programs; sophomore Caesar Vulley, who serves as an RA, president of BASA and member of the Brigade; and first-year student Stephanie Houser, who is vice president of activities for Calvin & Hobbes and a member of the Brigade.

Sophomore Mona Mohammed received the Emerging Leader Award, recognizing a student active in co-curricular activities who has demonstrated outstanding leadership potential. Mohammed is an active member of BASA, SASA, SAAB and a representative to the BSG Committee on Diversity.

Junior Ana Aguilera Silva received the Don Stechschulte Change Agent Award as the student who has shown the courage and vision to actively advocate for positive change on campus and/or the world. Silva, who created the "This is Me" project, a series of monologues exploring the topic of shared humanity, has served as director of the Common Ground program and Habitat for Humanity participant.

Junior Jasmin Johnson received the Community Outreach Award, recognizing a student who has unselfishly given of his/her time and energy in serving the local community above and beyond normal expectations. As an intern with the Lewisburg Community Garden, Johnson also taught the summer camp group at the garden for the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority.

Sophomore Jen Lassen received the Gerald W. Commerford Award for demonstrating passion, spirit and a committed desire to make Bucknell a better place. Lassen, who served several editorial several positions with The Bucknellian, has been active in BSG, A.C.E., WVBU and Building on Foundations.

B.A.C.E.S. — Bucknell Advancing Communities through Educating and Serving — received the Student Organization Award. For the past six years, members have volunteered in the Dominican Republic, providing medical outreach programs to communities that have no access to medical care, constructing and funding a school that serves more than 200 students, and raising money to pay for students tuition.

Staff honors
Two Bucknell staff members also were honored. Stacey Sommerfield, assistant director of service-learning with the Office of Civic Engagement, was honored with the Forrest D. Brown Award, given annually to a member of the faculty, administrative or support staff who has repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to the community and its needs, and who has also affected the lives of Bucknell students by impressing upon them the values of community service. Sommerfield, who helped to launch the Lewisburg Community Garden, also works with the Community Harvest Program and has led two service-learning trips to New Orleans.

Robert Schanbacher, assistant men's and women's track coach, was honored with the Leadership Mentor Award, given to a member of the faculty, administrative, or support staff, who has consistently helped identify, encourage, and support students in their leadership development. Over the course of 22 seasons at Bucknell, he has coached 74 individual conference champions, athletes who have set 41 school records, multiple ECAC/IC4A scorers as well as a few NCAA All-Americans, in addition to helping coach Bucknell to 36 East Coast Conference and Patriot League Championships.