Story posted May 06, 2013
In supporting the public engagement activities of students, faculty and staff, the McKeen Center for the Common Good recognized the service and engagement efforts of several members of the Bowdoin and local community in an awards ceremony with President Mills on May 2nd. The recipients represent the range of ways in which students, faculty and staff, as well as community partners, work to apply their talents, passions and academic interests "for the benefit of society" as a manifestation of President Joseph McKeen's call in his inaugural address at the opening of the College over two hundred years ago.
Micah Joseph Ludwig '13 and Michele Ober of Habitat for Humanity / 7 Rivers Maine received The Bowdoin Spirit of Service Award which is presented annually to a Bowdoin senior and a community member who embrace a genuine commitment to improving the lives of others through service, their actions speaking strongly while they remain humbly quiet.
During his time at Bowdoin, Micah has been deeply involved in service and leadership. Initially connected to the McKeen Center as an Alternative Spring Break trip participant, Micah has been an integral part of many of the McKeen Center’s best-known programs. In the past year alone, Micah received a Global Citizens Grant to Cameroon, coordinated transportation for Common Good Day, served as the McKeen Fellow for the Common Good Grant Program, and led an Alternative Spring Break trip to work with the Passamaquoddy in Pleasant Point, Maine. Micah leads by compassionate example and strives to create a cohesive group attuned to the issues facing communities, whether local, national, or international. Micah leads by compassionate example and strives to create a cohesive group attuned to the issues facing communities.
Michele, Volunteer and Family Selection Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity / 7 Rivers Maine, has devoted herself both professionally and personally to improving communities. In an organization that relies on volunteers, Michele is a linchpin to the success of Habitat’s mission of creating successful homeownership opportunities for families with limited income. She is dedicated to helping families navigate the application and selection process and has explored Habitat’s international work as a volunteer with a Global Village trip to Bali, Indonesia. She has committed herself to her own community by serving as the president of the Cosmopolitan Club of Bath and volunteering with organizations such as the Bath Soup Kitchen, SAGE Square and Round Dance Club, CHIP, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and Children International. Michele models a spirit of service rich with commitment, passion and contagious energy.
Erin Jessica St. Peter '13 received the General R. H. Dunlap Prize. This prize was established by Katherine Wood Dunlap in memory of her husband, Brigadier General Robert H. Dunlap, USMC and is awarded to the student who composes the best essay on the subject of service in addition to having demonstrated a personal contribution to service.
Erin has truly dedicated her Bowdoin education to the common good. She has pursued individual volunteer opportunities, led others in community engagement activities, and explored public service through course work. Erin led an Alternative Spring Break trip to Habitat for Humanity of Pontotoc, Mississippi as a sophomore and went on to serve as the McKeen Fellow for the ASB program her junior year. She has connected with the immigrant and refugee communities of Portland through her leadership of the Bowdoin Volunteer Corps Portland Housing Authority student volunteers and an Alternative Winter Break trip focused on immigrant and refugee education. For two years she introduced first year students to Maine by coordinating the Community Immersion Orientation Trips and as a senior has developed educational service opportunities with Native American communities in the state, including an Alternative Spring Break trip to the Passamaquoddy community of Pleasant Point. As Erin attests in her Dunlap essay, there are "Many Maines” Thanks to her enormous energy and generosity, scores of Bowdoin students and new Mainers have a deeper understanding of the many facets of this place they now call home.
Juan Salvador Del Toro '13 received the Henni Friedlander Student Prize. This prize was established in memory of Henni Friedlander who survived Nazi Germany to immigrate to the United States, where she was an inspiring example of how joy of life can lift the human spirit and enable us as a society to promote the common good and is awarded to a Bowdoin undergraduate who has similarly overcome adversity in his or her own life and gone on to contribute to the common good.
Juan has devoted himself to increasing others’ understanding and appreciation for individuals and groups that have faced discrimination. As a participant on the Alternative Spring Break trip to Safe Passage in Guatemala his first year, he engaged in educational outreach with mostly Mayan families displaced from the highlands to the garbage dump of Guatemala City. Through community-based courses in Psychology and Education, he deepened his knowledge of challenges facing Latinos and members of the LGBTIQ communities. Beyond the classroom, he is a passionate advocate helping to teach others, as an active OUTPeer panelist and OUTAlly, organizer of Anything But Straight in Athletics for 3 years, and, this year, as the lead organizer for Proud of My Whole Self: Exploring Intersections of Identity in the LGBTIQA Community. Juan's courage in fostering real dialogue and understanding about difference has inspired others and had a lasting positive impact on the Bowdoin community.
Matthew Saverio Frongillo '13 received The Lydia Bell Award for Initiative in Public Service which is presented annually to a Bowdoin senior who exhibits the energy, enthusiasm and commitment necessary to initiate and lead opportunities for others to effect change, influencing the Bowdoin culture in the process.
During his college career, Matt has been an exemplar of passionate engagement. Through the McKeen Center, Matt has mentored with the Bowdoin Volunteer Corps student group Bear and Cubs, led a Community Immersion Orientation trip to Presque Isle, and served as a participant, leader, and McKeen Fellow for the Alternative Spring Break program. He has explored the community through his Environmental Studies major, taking multiple community-based courses and spending a summer as a Community Matters in Maine fellow with Cultivating Community. Additionally, Matt has changed the campus culture around sexual assault and healthy relationships. In his leadership of Safe Space, he has more than doubled the number of men who are active participants. Matt is also a leader of the Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention and has championed healthy relationships as an organizer of both Date Month and Consent is Sexy Week. Thanks to his energy and enthusiasm, Matt has sparked real and lasting change — both on campus and beyond.
This award recognizes and honors the variety of ways in which faculty work to advance the common good through teaching, scholarship, and service that engages with communities and issues of public concern.
This award is given in memory of Leslie C. Shaw, late Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Liaison for Native American Affairs. As a scholar and teacher of archaeology, a field archaeologist in Maine, Belize, Easter Island, and Polynesia, Liaison for Native American Affairs at Bowdoin, and as a member of the Brunswick and wider Maine community, Leslie embodied excellence in public engagement. In addition to teaching her students to use the physical tools of archaeology, Leslie inspired them through her passion for understanding, intellectual rigor, a gift for listening, selfless generosity, and a lesson she lived by, that transformative learning occurs through collaborative field work in communities, where theory and practice merge. Her lifelong interest in understanding native communities led to her role as Liaison for Native American Affairs for the WCBB consortium, where she forged strong ties with leaders, educators and students in the Wabanaki confederation. A fervent advocate for increasing understanding and educational opportunities for Native American students, Leslie was the advisor for the Native American Student Association at Bowdoin and led an annual spring break trip for students and faculty to tribal and community schools in Maine focused on encouraging students there to consider going to college as an option and goal. Through her example, passion, and commitment, Leslie advanced our appreciation for native communities in Maine and beyond, and left an enduring legacy in the new generation of field archaeologists she inspired to advance knowledge for the common good.
Shana Stewart Deeds, Lab Instructor in Biology & Environmental Studies and Tim Diehl, Director, Career Planning Center, received the McKeen Center Staff Award for Commitment to Community, which recognizes the significant contributions of Bowdoin staff members who give their time, talent and expertise to benefit the community. These recipients were nominated by their peers.
In addition to her excellent work teaching students, Shana has been working to achieve Wild and Scenic River designation for the Upper Missisquoi and Trout Rivers in Vermont - thereby qualifying them for federal funds for conservation and management in order to protect the outstanding value of the rivers. Only eight rivers in New England possess this status. Shana coordinated the Wild and Scenic River Study for these rivers in an effort to determine if they represent nationally outstanding resources and to assess the local commitment to protecting them. In this role, she worked with a diverse group of stakeholders, including local communities, NGO's, and the federal government. Eight of the nine towns recently voted to support the proposal and, as a result, a bill will be introduced to Congress by the Vermont delegation to designate the rivers as Wild and Scenic. Given the high level of community support, passage of the bill is expected. Shana’s substantial contribution to the conservation of Vermont's unique natural heritage will directly benefit the conservation of natural resources and the heritage of Vermont's communities. Shana is an outstanding resource for her students and an inspiration to the Bowdoin community.
As Board President for EqualityMaine, Tim played an instrumental role in bringing marriage equality to Maine, the first state whose citizenry voted to do so. Tim’s commitment is deep and his service longstanding. He has been engaged with the issue of marriage equality since before he arrived in Maine in 2006, playing a leading role with Love Makes a Family in Connecticut. Tim’s leadership has been both impressive and inspirational. He worked tirelessly and was an eloquent spokesperson for equality. In addition to fundraising for the organization and the cause, he worked the polls; lobbied important decision-makers; rallied volunteers; canvassed door-to-door in northern and southern Maine; and educated numerous individuals about the issue. As we ask our students to follow their passions and engage their communities, Tim’s example is a model for all of us as we seek to serve the Common Good.
Alexandra Isadora Davis '13 recieved the MCC Student PILLARS Award. This award is given annually to one student from each Maine college campus who supports the civic efforts of others and takes leadership roles in addressing and finding solutions to issues that face their communities through Philanthropy, Innovation, Learning, Leadership, Action, Responsibility, and Service.
Sasha became involved in community engagement early on in her Bowdoin career, participating in an Alternative Spring Break trip to West Virginia and mentoring through the Bowdoin Volunteer Corps student group WYSE (Women and Youth Supporting Each other) to educate middle school girls on physical, emotional, and sexual health. In her junior year her involvement deepened as she took on leadership for both programs and served as a Community Matters in Maine fellow with ArtVan, which provides arts-based mentoring for low-income children. As a senior, she oversaw the transition of WYSE to FFLY (Fostering Female Leadership in Youth). In this role, she made impressive use of a transcript full of community-based Education courses to design a full curriculum for her mentors, while also supporting all Bowdoin mentors as a McKeen Fellow. Through her academic and volunteer work, Sasha has demonstrated true commitment to working with children, dedication to the success of schools, and drive to improve communities. Through her academic and volunteer work, Sasha has demonstrated true commitment to working with children, dedication to the success of schools, and drive to improve communities.