Awards Laud Enlistees in Volunteer Service Initiative

May 1, 2009

During a reception on Thursday, Dr. Magaly Spector, vice president of the Office of Diversity and Community Engagement, recognized 12 UT Dallas students and staff members for contributing more than 8,100 total hours of community service in 2008 as part of a national volunteer initiative.

Created in 2003 by the Council on Service and Civic Participation, the President’s Volunteer Service Award was designed to promote a service ethic and recognize Americans who give back to their communities.

The UT Dallas volunteers tutored students of all ages, mentored children in need, assisted the homeless, worked with families facing financial crisis, coordinated international medical missions, and volunteered with their churches, campus clubs, student government and service groups.

At the ceremony, Charmaine Sarpong, an accountant in Human Resources Management, received a Lifetime Service Award — the highest honor possible in the presidential program — for her 4,680 hours of volunteer service.

Other volunteers included:

  • David Bindel, graduate student, applied cognition and neuroscience, 106.5 hours
  • Diana Kao, junior, literary studies, 117.5 hours
  • Noor Khoja, graduate student, information systems, 800 hours
  • Grace Lee, senior, accounting and information management, 312 hours
  • Felicity Lenes, senior, molecular biology, 556 hours
  • Benjamin Linke, sophomore, molecular biology, 559.62 hours
  • Megan Malone, Ph.D. student, humanities, 504 hours
  • Cornelia McCowan, staff, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, 140 hours
  • Pam McElrath, staff, Student Affairs, 160 hours
  • Nicolas Valcik, staff, Strategic Planning and Analysis, 105 hours
  • Molly Wurzer, senior, political science, 107.5 hours

The volunteers were required to track their time and experiences through the President’s Volunteer Service Award Web site. 

Any individual, family or group can receive presidential recognition for annual commitments to volunteer service.  Individuals who serve a minimum of 100 hours during a one-year period were eligible. 

The award included a certificate of achievement, a President’s Volunteer Service Award lapel pin, a note of congratulations from the President of the United States, and a letter from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.


Media Contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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Dr. Magaly Spector, vice president for diversity and community engagement, helped celebrate the spirit of service exemplified by UT Dallas participants in the service program created by the federal Council on Service and Civic Participation.

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