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Class acts

Seniors honored by Dean of the College Office for service to the Dartmouth community

Students, faculty and staff filled Collis Common Ground on May 25 to capacity in honor of students and student groups who have made service to the Dartmouth community a priority in their college experience. Eight students were honored by the Dean of the College Office during the second annual Service Awards ceremony.


The eight recipients of the 2005 Dean of the College Office Service Awards, l-r: Rebecca Heller '05, Susan Dubois '05, Andrew Verstein '05, Shivani Parmar '05, Jason Medeiros '05, Jhilam Biswas '05, John Ostapyk '05, Mathew Lemberger '06. Each received a clock manufactured by Vermont craftspeople from hardwood harvested from the College's sustainable forest. (photo by Joseph Mehling '69)

As the award presenters described the achievements and commitments of the honorees, it was clear that none of the winners had been called to service by the promise of rewards, rather, their gift - a clock made from hardwood harvested from the College's sustainable forest and manufactured by craftspeople in Vermont - served as a token of appreciation for the real differences their work has made both inside and outside the College.

Dean of the College James Larimore noted that holding this year's ceremony in conjunction with the Council on Student Organizations (COSO) Leadership Awards ceremony served to raise awareness of the winners' accomplishments. "By presenting these awards in 'mixed company' the school at large is made more aware of the impact on the overall quality of life by these students and their work," said Larimore.

The honorees were selected based on nominations by Dartmouth students, staff and faculty. Their contributions varied widely, but they shared an extraordinary dedication to service.

Jhilam Biswas '05 and Shivani Parmar '05, are close friends who were selected for their work establishing the Dartmouth Coalition for Global Health, which raised $6,300 and mobilized 500 people in support of tsunami relief.

Sue Dubois '05 was honored for her environmental leadership in organizing the "Greening of the Ivies" conference in 2002 and her work as President of the Ivy League Environmental Council. She was commended for her efforts to persuade individual campus offices to switch to tree-free paper.

Rebecca Heller '05 was honored for a variety of achievements, including founding a mentoring program for high school students in Sharon, Vt., organizing a hip-hop conference at Dartmouth and working in Zimbabwe to distribute food and medicine to impoverished AIDS victims.

Mathew Lemberger '06 was recognized for his many commitments to service, including leadership with Habitat for Humanity and Bike and Build, but his most high-profile achievement was founding the Festival of Humanity, a community-building event and fundraiser held during Green Key Weekend for the second year in a row.

Jason Medeiros '05 served as a leader in the Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth program (SEAD). He has mentored students from low-income backgrounds and helped the SEAD program grow and prosper.

John Ostapyk '05, a varsity hockey player, turned his love of the sport into a vehicle for volunteering his time and talent to youth hockey leagues and the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth. He also helped establish the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life at the College.

Andrew Verstein '05 was honored for his commitment to intellectual life on campus, by organizing and leading the weekly "Tabula Rasa" lunch discussions in the Philosophy Department, founding the Dartmouth Ethics Society and editing the undergraduate philosophy journal, Aporia.

The honorees stood to accept their kudos and clocks and joined the rest of the crowd in honoring several student groups selected by COSO for outstanding work over the past year. Among the groups honored were the Collegiate Journal of Art, the slam poetry group Soul Scribes, The Dartmouth Independent, the Mock Trial Society, the Gay Straight Alliance, the Displaced Theatre Company, Women in Business and the Dartmouth Figure Skating Club. Lynn Lee '05 was honored with the Alexander Nagle Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.

By GENEVIEVE HAAS

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Last Updated: 12/17/08