University YMCA
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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Scholarships & Awards

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2013-2014 Award Recipients

The John W. Price Award for Volunteer Service to International Understanding is presented each year at the annual International Dinner and Performance Night. The remaining awards were presented at the Annual Luncheon on April 6, 2013, pictured in the photo above, which links to a photoset of Award Winners and attendees on Flickr. The winners are as follows:

John W. Price Award for International Understanding
Awarded to Reshmina William
Presented at the 31st Annual International Dinner on March 9, 2014.

Reshmina William is a senior devoted to bringing together students of all
disciplines to address the challenges of international development. In Spring
2012, she initiated UIUC’s first Global Awareness and Development speaker
series, bringing together RSOs, professors and NGOs from across the
country to address the needs of multi-disciplinary education. A believer in
the application of technical knowledge learnt in the classroom to real-world
challenges, Reshmina is involved in the RSO Engineers Without Borders at
both an executive and project level. This year, she’s assisted in creating and
planning the inaugural Leaders for Global Change Conference, a conference
that hopes to bring together students interested in international development
to learn the skills-sets necessary to bring about changes to the world.

Harold W. Colvin Award for Undergraduate Leadership
Awarded to Tyler Rotche

Tyler is currently co-president of Students for Environmental Concerns, the
media coordinator of the Beyond Coal campaign, and has continued to support
other environmentally minded efforts on campus as a representative
of both SECS and UIUC Beyond Coal. In his sophomore year, Tyler served as
president of the UIUC Beyond Coal campaign and shortly after, took on the
role of Campus Civic Engagement Fellow through the Sierra Student Coalition.
In these two roles, he led canvassing efforts through the two campaigns
resulted in over 1,000 eligible voter contacts and nearly 2,000 willing
to sign on to the coal divestment effort. Tyler also served as the Dump
and Run and Bike Share intern for the Y during the summer of 2013. Tyler
developed the entire administrative process for the bike share program at
the same time as he was planning and organizing dump and run.

Watching Tyler lead a group of relatively young and inexperienced leaders
is frankly humbling. Each week he asks each project to establish a plan for
the meeting and a deliverable, and the project leaders continue to deliver.
He provides support and guidance to new members while being a reliable
point person for those who have been on the campaign for some time. His
sense of humor and positive attitude are always infectious and motivating,
which is especially crucial as a leader of a group of activists that often run
up against frustrating roadblocks. He is an excellent team player and knows
how to delegate responsibility and make sure that the work gets done.

In his time off campus, he works part-time (20 hours/week) at Prairie Rivers
Network, the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation working
for clean water and healthy rivers in Illinois. His work is in the area of
overall energy policy, working with groups across the state and looking at
the potential for programs in the areas of high-volume hydraulic fracturing,
coal-bed methane, as well as tar sands and petroleum coke. Additionally, he
has become involved in the effort to develop a regional water conservation
plan. Tyler will graduate early after just 3 years on campus with a 4.0 GPA
this May.

J. Frederick Miller Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service
Awarded to Ross Wantland

It is hard to even wrap the varied and innumerable ways that Ross Wantland
has impacted the campus and greater Champaign-Urbana community.
Ross is someone who for years it seemed like you’ve heard of but just
keep missing. As a student at U of I, he founded and was president of Men
Against Sexual Violence. In 2001, he joined the University of Illinois staff
as the Coordinator of Sexual Assault Education where he ran the First Year
Campus Acquaintance Rape Education program and teaches two University
courses that train students to be peer-facilitators. He also started the
Fraternity Peer Rape Education and Prevention Program, and also co-writes
the “Doin’ It Well” column for The Buzz, a weekly distribution on campus.

In his current position as the Assistant Director, Office of Inclusion and
Intercultural Relations, he coordinates diversity and social justice education
for the campus. In that role, Ross oversees the development of dialogue
courses, a program for first year students on diversity and inclusion, and
the interfaith service conference. Ross is also a member and leader in the
Religious Worker’s Association (RWA), co-chair of the Inclusive Illinois committee,
and he has facilitated workshops and trainings for students at the Y
on topics like interfaith cooperation. He currently serves as a board member
for the Y, where he acts as chair of the Building Committee.

On a more personal note, Ross is a go to person for all questions about
social justice and inclusion. His die-hard dedication to ally building and
advocacy is a passion of his shown through his actions and words. He’s
undoubtedly a campus asset and resource.

Edward Nestingen Alumni Award
John and Diane Marlin

John C. and Diane Marlin both were students at the University of Illinois in
the late 60s and early 70s and help lead the Y into environmental action
and have been active since. Both are active in Prairie Rivers Network, a
group they helped found in the 1970s.

John C. Marlin transferred into the University of Illinois as a junior in 1969.
He became interested in conservation and joined the effort to protect Allerton
Park from the Army Corps of Engineer’s Oakley Dam. He worked with
Students for Environmental Concerns and was its president for a term. Saving
Allerton Park was a major SECS project for years. He was founding executive
director of the Coalition on American Rivers (now known as the Prairie
Rivers Network), which organized nationally to protect rivers from excessive
development. The organization was based in the Y for several years.
He received a PhD in Entomology in 1980 having studied native ants and
bees as well as pesticide contamination. He was a member of the Illinois
Pollution Control board from 1983 to 1993. The Board promulgates Illinois’
environmental regulations.

Since 1993 he has been a researcher at the Illinois Sustainable Technology
Center at the University of Illinois. He is currently retired but works part
time on river restoration and sediment reuse. He spends much of his free
time working with student groups, such as Red Bison, to maintain plantings
of native prairie and woodland species and encourage preservation of
habitat for pollinators.

Diane grew up on a farm near Streator, Illinois and has lived in Urbana since
1971. She holds a BS in Human Development and an MS in Foods and Nutrition
from the University of Illinois. Diane was an adjunct faculty member
at Parkland College and a founding member of the Parkland College Part-
Time Faculty Organiza tion. She retired from the U of I in 2010 as Coordinator
of Research Programs in the Family Resiliency Center and has served
on the Urbana City Council since 2009. Her community involvement includes
Co-Founder of the Southeast Urbana Neighborhood Association (SUNA),
Mayor’s Neighborhood Safety Task Force, and Board of Directors positions
for the Urbana Rotary, Urbana Free Library, Urbana Pops Orchestra, and
Champaign Co. Economic Development Corporation to name a few.

Distinguished Service Award (Student)
Awarded to Sally Feng

As treasurer of Alternative Spring Break, Sally Feng was responsible for
management of a budget of over $85,000. In this role, she worked directly
with 19 board members and over 40 volunteer leaders to develop organizational
and trip specific budgets and managed all expenses and reimbursements
for the organization. She was reliable, detail oriented and organized.
In fact, she frequently caught billing errors saving the organization hundreds
of dollars.

Currently as a Trip Facilitator Trainer, Sally is responsible
for training the site liaisons and trip leaders. She develops leadership
training curriculum on reflection, diversity, collaboration, and intergroup
dialogue, and she facilitates the planning and implementation of over 50
pre-trip service and education events. In addition, Sally was selected to
serve on the University YMCA Board of Governors this year and was elected
the student chair for 2013-14 by her peers.

As student board president, Sally is the rock that provides a strong foundation
for the group. She is always prepared for meetings and events,
presenting a thoughtful agenda and making sure no task falls through the
cracks. She works extremely well in a group setting, showing the ability to
listen to others, while still asserting her own views. She works well with
people of all backgrounds and beliefs. She is not only well liked, but very
respected by those around her. She has the ability to excel in any environment
and to remain level headed, and quite often, humorous.
In each of these roles, she has shown a level of perseverance and dedication
seen in few others. She has proven to be a capable and an adaptable leader,
never complaining, and always serving the organization.

Distinguished Service Award for Volunteer Service to the University YMCA
Awarded to Lorenzo Macedo

Lorenzo works hard in his service to our community. One example is found
in his work on Temporary Visitor’s Drivers Licenses (TVDL) and Differed
Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Lorenzo has lead several community
education projects that have improved the lives of many people in Champaign-
Urbana and surrounding areas. Together with other volunteers, he
created a training curriculum for local volunteers, including school officials;
to assist young students successfully apply for the DACA program. Lorenzo
also organized several free community education workshops teaching local
community members about the new TVDL program in Illinois.

Lorenzo is consistent when he demonstrates growth and leadership in his
volunteerism. Lorenzo and others have taken it upon themselves to educate
themselves about these issues and are now training others in addressing
these needs for themselves and for others. Due to his undertaking, he has
been able to develop and train volunteers to assist individuals using the
legal procedures and processes, to execute all this free work. His work has
assisted service providers and schools that struggle to meet the needs of
the community due to the diversity and who often misdiagnose issues that
negatively impact its community members. Partnering with local schools,
volunteers and him conducted informational workshops where they educated
hundreds of people about the new Drivers Licenses process and have
held service events helping over 60 individuals on a case-by-case basis.
Likewise they have helped over 150 local youth apply for the DACA program.

Lorenzo works with a team of like-minded community volunteers. In doing
so, he consistently works with different service groups to make sure volunteers
are trained and that all are kept informed of any changes to the policies
that they need to be aware of. He is committed to acquiring knowledge
and sharing it through practice so that the work can continue to meet the
needs of the people. It is because of this attention to sustainability and the
longevity of service efforts that he is able to serve the people, who come to
our service events, including those who come from neighboring counties.

Outstanding Student Program Award
Green Observer (G!O)

The Outstanding Student Program Award was established in 2009 by the
Student Board of the University YMCA to recognize one YMCA student
program each year that has made exceptional progress towards in mission
during that school year. This year’s finalists presented in a Pecha Kucha
style at last night’s Annual Dinner & Auction, and the winner was selected
by those in attendance.

 

 

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