Moravian celebrates volunteers
Moravian’s Celebration of Service was held on April 23. The event, sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Service, brought together more than 60 student, faculty, and staff volunteers and recognized the dedication of Moravian volunteers’ tireless work in giving back to their communities.
Kate Cohen ’14, event organizer, said, “The celebration of service is important because it serves as a showcase for the community of all the impressive service efforts of Moravian College students, faculty and staff during the past year. It’s important to celebrate service as the Moravian tradition is founded in service work and giving back.”
Those who were recognized for their service include the teachers and classes that incorporated service as coursework and hands-on-learning, students who presented service-related projects at Scholars’ Day, students who participated in spring break service trips, and clubs, athletics teams, and Greek organizations that completed service projects.
Katie Dantsin, director of Leadership Development, says of the service done at Moravian, “The outstanding work of student volunteers through service-learning, alternative break trips, weekly volunteering, and more exemplifies our aims of engagement in the world through hands-on learning, as well as providing opportunities for students to find their passion.
“Student volunteers not only contribute to addressing pressing community issues, but develop abilities related to working in teams to accomplish tasks, problem-solving and appreciating the value of others. Service provides a venue for students to stretch their comfort zones and increase their understanding of the complexities in our community and society,” she adds.
Several students were recognized for their outstanding commitment to service. The College’s Community Fellows Carly Boos ’13, Cory Creen ’14, Jenn Leedom ’14, Victoria Mordan ‘14 Mary Petrik ’13, Karen Purkey ’13, and Bernadette Zuniga ’13 each completed more than 300 hours of service with various community organizations. Creen is currently a Newman Civic Fellow, and Leedom will be a Newman Civic Fellow next school year. Mordan is the winner of the United Way’s Women’s Youth Leadership Scholarship.
A few students made short speeches at the event. Kate Gill ’15 spoke about her work with the Emerging Leaders program; Margaret DeOliveria ’13 spoke about her involvement with New Bethany Ministries; and Petrik spoke about her work with Big Brother Big Sisters. Sasha Halasz ’13 discussed the Moravian Village Retirement Community; Michelle Rickert ’16 talked about volunteering with the College Hill Moravian Church emergency homeless shelter; Halasz and Tom Lazaro ’14 discussed their involvement in the 1742 Experience; and a representative spoke on behalf of Cohen’s work directing the third annual Community Feast.
One of the highlights of the event was a heartfelt and emotional speech given by Creen about his leadership in Moravian’s America Reads program. The program’s volunteers logged well over 2,000 combined hours of service this academic year. “America Reads is much more than academic support. It’s mentoring and supporting our future one child at a time,” said Creen.
Volunteers at Moravian College continue to have an incredible impact on the communities they serve. More information about the service opportunities at Moravian can be found on the Center for Leadership and Service’s website.