Students Honor Civic Engagement

Check signing
Christine Peterson '16 signs a check symbolizing the monetary value of Illinois Wesleyan's volunteer service.  

April 16, 2015 

Illinois Wesleyan University students, faculty, staff and community partners gathered to celebrate and honor those who made substantial contributions to community service at the recent Civic Engagement Banquet.

According to the Independent Sector, a national leadership network for nonprofits, foundations, and corporations, the value for an hour of volunteer service in Illinois during 2013 was $24.08. With this number in mind, the Illinois Wesleyan Action Research Center encouraged the Illinois Wesleyan community to report their volunteer service hours to see the impact made in the community. In total, the time that Illinois Wesleyan community contributed to volunteer and civic service during the 2014-2015 year made an $843,500 impact. Faculty, staff and students can still visit the Action Research Center to report hours for the 2014-2015 year.

At the banquet, ten awards were presented to outstanding leaders in community service.       

Lily Chang ’18 won the award for first-year students. An international student from Taiwan and economics and international business double major, Chang was honored for her involvement in organizations, such as Student Senate, Circle K and Kappa Delta sorority. Senior Award winners included Nathan Douglas ’15, a Hispanic Studies and secondary education double major from Monticello, Ill., Lexia Swope ’15, a psychology and sociology double major from Normal, Ill., and Amanda King ’15, an environmental studies major from Peoria, Ill. An accounting major from Oak Park, Ill., Sarah Sadowski ’17 won the Alternative Spring Break Award and was recognized for her participation and leadership at weekly Habitat for Humanity builds and the Appalachian Service Project.

Internship Coordinator and Assistant Director of the Hart Career Center Laurie Diekhoff reported that approximately 500 students interned this year, with about half of interns working at a nonprofit. Diekhoff presented the Intern Award to Jordan Collins ’15 and Emily Bugg ’15. A psychology major from Springfield, Collins was honored for his direct service to community members at PATH Crisis Center in Bloomington. An English writing major from Bloomington-Normal, Bugg was recognized for her outstanding service to an organization with her work at the Community Cancer Center in Normal.

Student Senate Civic Engagement Commissioner Crystal Ocampo-Fernandez '18 

President Richard F. Wilson presented the inaugural Civic Engagement Champion Award to Blair Wright ’15, a psychology major from Sandwich, Ill. Wright, who helped launch the Civic Engagement Banquet and Give a Day Campaign for community service, was honored for her outstanding efforts for civic engagement.

Other award winners include:

  • Men’s and Women’s Cross Country teams won the Athletic Team Award, and were honored for their work with the Westside 5K and as lunch buddy mentors to children.
  • Service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega received the Registered Student Organization Award.
  • Alpha Gamma Delta sorority was honored with the Greek House Award.
  • Associate Athletic Director Mike Wagner won the Faculty/Staff Award. Wagner, who also is an associate professor of physical education and director of the Shirk Center, was recognized for his role as a connection between student athletes and the community.
  • The Illinois Special Olympics received the Community Partner Award.

The banquet and awards are sponsored by Student Senate, in collaboration with the Action Research Center.

By Tia Patsavas ’16