Civic engagement awards reception kicks-off annual O’Bannon Institute

Ivy Tech Community College’s Bloomington campus is hosting its 13th annual O’Bannon Institute for Community Service (www.ivytech.edu/obannon) on April 20-22. On Wednesday, April 20, the awards reception kicked-off the three-day event by honoring faculty, staff, students and community partners for volunteerism. The reception was held on Ivy Tech’s main campus in Shreve Hall at 4 p.m.

“Civic engagement is a part of the educational environment at Ivy Tech, from service-learning projects placed into our curriculum to individual volunteerism,” said Chancellor Jennie Vaughan. “This year alone, our surveys indicated that Ivy Tech Bloomington contributed a total of 103,389 volunteer hours. That’s a contribution of nearly $2.5M in the communities we serve, according to independentsector.org.”

This year’s Excellence in Service Learning award recipient is Emily Bobo, Ph.D., for Art into Poetry. Dr. Bobo’s ENGL 214 Intro to Poetry students led 75 Rogers Elementary students in writing poems about art. The poems will be self-published and made available for purchase in a new series called Bobo’s Books. Proceeds from book sales will go to Monroe County Community School Corporation’s free and reduced lunch program. One book will feed one child for one week.

Faculty/Staff Excellence in Volunteerism award recipients are staff member Amber Celestin, assistant professor, English and communication and anthropology adjunct faculty, Joe Stahlman, Ph.D. Celestin was nominated for her service to others mentality. She launched and runs the Ivy Tech student gaming club, the most in-demand club on campus to-date. She responds regularly to volunteer callouts for campus events and participates in the Ivy Tech band when called to perform.

Dr. Stahlman was chosen for teaching free yoga classes to residents in the community who otherwise could not afford stress reduction classes at for-profit studios or gyms. He also teaches yoga classes in Spanish so that he can serve and include more of the community. Dr. Stahlman regularly volunteers his time for his home community, the Tuscarora Indian Nation, by brining awareness to indigenous issues and causes. His most recent work focused on contemporary Tuscarora life is on exhibit at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at Indiana University.

Student Excellence in Volunteerism award recipient is general studies student Taversia Borrelli, for her work with Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard. Volunteer coordinator, Hannah Lencheck, at Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard says that Borrelli takes initiative, and is a dedicated and reliable volunteer who manages to give four hours of her time per week.

The Jeanine C. Rae Humanitarian is nursing student, Marianne Cox, for her kindhearted nature and willingness to always help. She has volunteered her time for Ivy Tech related events, Shalom House, mentored middle school girls, Red Eye Relay, Habitat for Humanity, Rapha House and has gone to Haiti on a medical mission trip.

The Ivy Tech John Waldron Arts Center Community Partner Award goes to MCCSC for their numerous partnerships with the Ivy Tech Waldron including the Fairview Arts Infusion pre-school program, theatre collaborations with the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship, Youth Art Month exhibits every March and dual credit offerings.

The Gayle & Bill Center for Entrepreneurship Community Partner Award recipient is Duke Energy for their steadfast support of the college through investment in programs that support entrepreneurship, education and community development. They’ve supported Here We Grow Again!, Duke It Out business pitch competition, Bloomington Switchboard and other projects.

The John R. Whikehart Civic Engagement award recipient is the Ivy Tech Bloomington English department, led by Annie Gray, for providing an array of innovative programming and educational opportunities through assisting non-profit organizations, personal volunteerism, service learning courses and numerous student organization projects such as Me Tis literary magazine. The Whikehart award celebrates a person with longstanding commitment to service, and is someone who feels called to serve the college and the local community in many capacities, using every talent they have available to them. Chancellor Emeritus Whikehart, who is running for office as Monroe County Commissioner, presented the award.

Tomorrow, on Thursday, April 21, more than 350 attendees will gather in Ivy Tech’s Shreve Hall for a sold out fundraising dinner at 6:30 p.m. with Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, Lee H. Hamilton and presentations by Ivy Tech’s Youth Leadership Academy.

On Friday, April 22, volunteers, community partners and others will attend a continental breakfast and day of service kick-off at 8:30 a.m. featuring speaker, Judy O’Bannon. Following the breakfast event, participants will head out into the community to give their time and help Ivy Tech reach its goal of 1000 hours of community service in one day, #IvyTech1000Hours.

“Currently, we estimate that more than 1200 hours of volunteer service will be performed at area non-profits on Friday,” said Chancellor Vaughan. “Thanks to our community partners and individual volunteers, this is the largest estimate of people and hours for the Day of Service so far in O’Bannon Institute history.”

Volunteer listings and partners for the Day of Service at www.ivytech.edu/obannon.

The O’Bannon Institute for Community Service (www.ivytech.edu/obannon/) at Ivy Tech Bloomington was established in 2004 as an annual opportunity for the community to come together to discuss issues of importance. Previous speakers at the Institute include U.S. senators, Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, governors, political advisers and columnists, presidential candidate George McGovern, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, former first lady of the United States Laura W. Bush, Ret. General Colin Powell and last year, humanitarian Bob Geldof.

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