BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Student groups, athletic teams and individuals were honored along
with faculty, staff and community partners at the recent Civic Engagement Banquet.
Sponsored by Illinois Wesleyan University’s Student Senate in collaboration with the Action Research Center, the annual event celebrates those who have made significant contributions to community
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 2014 was calculated at $24.74. In total, the time that the Illinois Wesleyan
community contributed to volunteer and civic service totals $824,040. Action Research
Center (ARC) officials said IWU set a goal of 45,000 volunteer hours for this year.
Faculty, staff and students can still report hours at www.iwu.edu/action.giveaday.html.
At the banquet, eight awards were presented to outstanding leaders in community service:
The Acacia fraternity won Most Engaged Greek Organization. Philanthropy Chair Brian
Yager ’17 worked through the Action Research Center to reach five nonprofits in the
community, where fraternity members participated in seven consecutive days of community
service and philanthropy. Members performed tasks ranging from cutting wood to construct
a book bin to cleaning out pet rooms at the Humane Society of Central Illinois. Yager
hopes to make the Seven Days of Service a chapter tradition.
The Illinois Wesleyan women’s volleyball team won the Athletic Team Award. ARC Director
Deborah Halperin said coaches and players challenged themselves that each member of
the team would perform 24 hours of service. “These women are not just great examples
of the student-athlete, but also of the student-athlete-volunteer,” said Halperin.
State Farm was recognized with the Community Partner Award, a recognition to honor
all the work the company does to support nonprofits in the area, said Halperin.
Other award winners include:
Professor of Political Science Jim Simeone, for his work as co-founder of ARC and
his leadership in the Weir Fellowship program, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Teach-In,
the IWU Peace Garden, supervising IWU’s City of Bloomington internship program allowing
students to get involved in local government, and his active role in the development
of the Legacy of the Land Community Supported Agriculture program.
Julia Savich ’16 of Palatine, Ill. was honored with the Alternative Break Leadership
Award. A physics major, Savich has attended Alternative Spring Break every year she
has been an IWU student.
IWU Dance Marathon received the Most Engaged Registered Student Organization. This
year IWU Dance Marathon raised more than $7,700 for the Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
Ngan Pham ’19, a biology and chemistry double major from Chicago, received the Most
Engaged First-Year student award.
Julie Lewis ’16, a sociology and Hispanic Studies double major from Glenview, Ill.
received the Most Engaged Senior Award. Lewis has received the Weir Fellowship and
an ARC Alumni Fellowship. She is also director of the Mini Masters program where Illinois
Wesleyan students provide free music lessons to local youth. She recently won the
Zoellick Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship to implement her idea for a project
to build 25 benches at bus stops on Bloomington’s west side.