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Eastern Wins Higher Education Service Awards

Written by Jack Meltzer

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Ethan Harris '11 accepted award from DHE Commissioner Michael Meotti  on behalf of Jessica Dybdahl.

Willimantic, CT --  Students and faculty at Eastern Connecticut State University won three out of five first-place awards at the annual Connecticut Department of Higher Education (DHE) Community Service Awards on April 27 at DHE headquarters in Hartford. DHE Commissioner Michael Meotti, along with William Dyson, chair of the Connecticut Commission on Community Service, presented the awards. The awards honor student and campus service to the community; include a student award, a student group award and a special award.

Jessica Dybdahl '09, of Storrs, won the student award for her work establishing a relationship between Eastern students and 30 adult residents with mental and physical disabilities at Lyon Manor in Willington. Dybdahl turned a daily life of inactivity - smoking cigarettes, watching TV and sleeping - into a robust social interaction of game-playing, singing, story-telling, movies, birthday celebrations and trips to Eastern's campus. Ethan Harris '11 accepted Dybdahl's award on Dybdahl's behalf.

Eastern's chapter of the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) won first prize in the student group category for volunteering to increase food donations at the Willimantic Covenant Soup Kitchen, and for developing a computerized tracking system and website specific to the needs of the soup kitchen. AITP members designed systems to address food and supply inventory management, volunteer coordination and tracking of services provided to community families and individuals.

 

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Alex Citurs, professor of Business Information Systems, is congratulated by DHE Commissioner Michael Meotti.

Alex Citurs, professor of Business Information Systems, was named recipient of the Special Award for engaging his students in projects that provide academic content and directly impact Willimantic organizations such as Windham Town Hall and the Covenant Soup Kitchen. Citurs's approach to developing student leaders  has been to directly apply their academic knowledge through community outreach projects to use their skills for good.

           This year, 18 Connecticut colleges submitted 46 nominations for the three awards.

Recipients were selected based on their ability to design projects which distinctly serve a

community; incorporate originality and unique approaches to community service;

substantially raise student participation; and address community problems.

 

 

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