Eastern Connecticut State University presented Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Distinguished Service Awards to Eastern seniors Wiley Dawson Jr. and Marci Reisman; University of Connecticut Professor Xae Alicia Reyes; and Eastern retiree Margaret Hebert on March 14 at a reception in the J. Eugene Smith Library.
The awards recognize members of the campus and community-at-large whose actions demonstrate distinguished service in promoting the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to further the goals of diversity and social equality. The recipients of the awards were judged on their commitment to the goals of an integrated society, leadership in a program serving the needs of a diverse community, and efforts to unify groups and increase sensitivity.
Dawson has established himself as a proven leader both on and off campus. He has served as a senator, treasurer and president of the Student Government Association. He also served as chairman of the Student Advisory Board for the Connecticut Systems Board of Trustees. He currently participates in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Undergraduate Fellow Program, a mentoring program for undergraduate students wishing to explore and better understand the field of student affairs in higher education. Dawson also has served as a resident assistant and an office assistant for the Office of Housing and Residential Life. He also serves as a peer counselor for the Office of Career Services. In addition to these responsibilities, Dawson is a member of Men Achieving Leadership Excellence and Success (M.A.L.E.S.) and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Reisman is a sociology major who is actively involved in residential life, having served as a resident assistant since 2009. She also participated in Eastern's Summer Orientation Program as a counselor. Reisman has worked in the Office of Career Services as a student assistant and interned with the Connecticut Judicial Branch. She is actively involved in many of Eastern's clubs and organizations, including the Student Government Association, Females Excelling Maturing to Achieve Leadership, Excellence and Success (FEMALES), the Senior Class Committee, Pathways to Leadership and the Omnicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. Reisman's community service work includes serving as a Big Sister, participating in the Town Pride Walk, Take Back the Night March and Rally, and the Crohns and Colitis Walk. She has also volunteered with the Special Olympics.
Reyes, an associate professor at the University of Connecticut, has made Willimantic the main site for her community outreach, engaged scholarship and volunteer work. Through her work and volunteerism, UConn's presence in Willimantic has increased significantly. Reyes has been on the Latino Advisory Board for the Superintendent of Windham School District since 2002 and advises the Windham Board of Education on matters related to curriculum and instruction of bilingual children. She is also involved in multiple boards and organizations, such as the Windham Area Interfaith Ministries.
Hebert, who recently retired after more than 30 years of service at Eastern, served as Associate Director of the Summer Transition at Eastern Program/Contract Admission Program (STEP/CAP). Over her career at Eastern, Hebert has demonstrated her commitment to supporting the educational access and success of underrepresented students. She also served as director of the Tutoring Center. During her tenure at Eastern, Hebert provided quality academic and personal development services for hundreds of students from diverse cultures and backgrounds, while also serving as a mentor to students. She also served on numerous University Senate committees.