The nominees for both the Agent of Change Award and the Civic Leadership Award are – Brad Frate, Alex Lykins, Stephanie Chytalo, Tucker Sholtes, and Francisco Perez.
First, the Agent of Change Award:
This award recognizes a student who has identified a need on campus or in the community and worked to address the need or solve the problem. The problem-solving project should be identified and initiated by the student who recognizes events, services, or programs that would not otherwise exist on campus or in the community if the student had not initiated action.
Eligibility & Selection Criteria included:
1) Demonstrated leadership, committed to ethical action and social responsibility
2) Has identified a campus or community need or problem and worked to provide a solution.
3) Has initiated action on the problem.
This year there are two recipients:
The first, Director of Greek Affairs for Student Association, has been involved in a number of projects on SUNY Oswego’s campus and the Oswego community including the Quality of Life Campaign. The Quality of Life Campaign was created in order to improve the community’s quality of life as well as college students who reside there during the academic year. Through this objective, Brad and former S.A President Rebecca Witkin, had a goal; to create a relationship with the mayor and chief of police, to effectively communicate to students what the Quality of Life Campaign was and act as the liaisons for the college community. This group met a total of three times this past semester, and the progress made is being continued on through the new SA president (Anthony Smith), and whoever is selected to be the director of Greek Affairs for the next academic year.
The Second, Tucker Sholtes, has been actively involved in helping both communities he considers home; Binghamton and Oswego. During the end of August and beginning of September 2011, the Southern Tier of New York was hit with major flooding caused by the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Because of the large amount of SUNY Oswego students whose families and friends were affected by the flooding, a Binghamton Area Flood Relief Project was started by Tucker Sholtes with the goal of helping families begin to rebuild both their homes and their lives. Through a collaboration of student organizations, staff and students, five weekend flood relief trips were conducted during the 2011-2012 academic year. Students and staff helped to gut and rebuild homes, rebuild little league baseball fields, construct swing sets at homes that lost them, and replace a community garden. Tucker applied for and received $2600 in grants to support the recovery efforts along with volunteers from SUNY Oswego, high school students and volunteers from the affected region, and from Queens Habitat for Humanity contributed to making this project successful.
Tucker continued his involvement and commitment to the community in 2012-2013. As a leader in Enactus, he has partnered with a number of other student organizations and community members to help develop the Oswego community garden after its inaugural year in 2012. He recruited students to volunteer at the garden in the fall of 2012 and applied for and received a grant through the campus’s ACTS program to help further develop the program.
Next, the Civic Leadership Award:
This award recognizes a student who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to civic engagement on the campus or in the community. The application should (a) provide evidence of civic leadership during the preceding 12 months and (b) demonstrate the student’s capacity to identify and begin to address root causes of campus or community issues through creating public policy change or other efforts focused on creating positive change.
Eligibility & Selection Criteria:
1) Currently a junior or senior in good standing at SUNY Oswego.
2) Demonstrated civic leadership on campus or in the community.
3) Demonstrated capacity to identify and address root causes of campus or community issues.
This year’s recipient, President of the Political Science Club at SUNY Oswego and long time Student Association Senator Francisco Perez, was a huge help during Civic Engagement’s Rock the Vote Campaign. He volunteered countless hours of his time and even went as far as to offer to run two nights of events during Constitution Week; both nights of the Film Series. He was an intricate part of educating students about the important issues and the candidates’ stances during the 2012 election season at events as well as tabling. Finally, his ability to collaborate with Civic Engagement allowed members of his organization to become more involved on campus, in the community, and in their nations political process.