Purdue, Ivy Tech students honored for community activity

Three students and two student organizations have been selected for the 2013 Community Activity Recognition (CAR) awards by Greater Lafayette Commerce.

The awards recognize Purdue University and Ivy Tech Community College students for their volunteer efforts which contribute to enhancing the quality of life in Greater Lafayette. Presenting the awards were two members of the University Relations Committee of Greater Lafayette Commerce: Susan Hychka, Associate Director of Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities and Todd Roswarski, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at Ivy Tech. 

The winners are:

Jennifer Barth, a Purdue Pharmacy student, co-chaired the 2012 Annual Arthritis Walk which raised over $10,000 for the Arthritis Foundation. She also organized Battle of the Barrels, a competition between Purdue and Indiana Univeristy that collects food for the hungry in our communities and helped organize Greeks go Green to engage Purdue’s Greek community in recycling.  Working with her pharmacy research partner, Anthony Colavecchia, she organized eight medication collection events in Greater Lafayette. This service provides a safe and environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted and expired medications. Congratulations, Jennifer, and thank you.

Anthony “Carmine” Colavecchia, also a Pharmacy student, is recognized for organizing medication collection events and for his leadership in other volunteer efforts.  As president of Purdue’s gymnastics team, he led efforts to organize “Tumbling for Ta-Tas.” This event has raised almost $2,000 for the Susan G. Komen Foundation search for the cure for breast cancer. He also organized over 20 team members to teach gymnastics to Cumberland elementary school children. Through the Student National Pharmaceutical Association he was active in Learning for Life, an afterschool mentoring program for area elementary school students. Congratulations, Carmine.

Sonya Claiborne, a Business Administration student at Ivy Tech and President of the Student Government Association, organized Family “Trick or Treat” on Campus, which 780 people attended, and she helped initiate the Ivy Tech Jazz Festival. Her favorite activity is serving as a Student Ambassador and interacting with people in the community who are considering attending Ivy Tech. “It puts a smile on my face every day,” she says, “knowing that these people become students and will go back out into our community and help make it a better place.” Congratulations, Sonya.

WIST, supporters of Women in Science and Technology, is an Ivy Tech Lafayette student club whose mission is to support women in non-traditional career paths. Members of sWIST volunteer in the community and organize fundraising events to support community service organizations including St. Anne’s Soup Kitchen and the Humane Society. They also organize activities designed to promote and increase the interest of women in science and technology including Science Olympiad, Girl Scout Day at Ivy Tech, and the Imagination Station’s “Hands on Trucks.” Members act as role models and demonstrate that women CAN and DO things like weld and work in the heating and ventilation field. Accepting the award tonight are Joel Frese (pronounced FREY-ZAH), current President of sWIST, Rozlyn Hernandez, the club’s advisor and several other club members.

Purdue Dance Marathon is the largest philanthropy on Purdue’s campus. Dance Marathon holds fundraisers year-round for Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis that culminate in an 18-hour dance marathon celebration of the organization’s efforts. Over 1300 students, faculty, Riley Hospital staff and Riley Hospital families all attend. Local businesses and members of the Greater Lafayette community add their support as well. The November 2012 event raised $528,654.67 for the hospital. Since the Dance Marathon began in 2005, the organization has raised over $1.4 million dollars for the hospital. Accepting the award tonight are this year’s Dance Marathon President, Karlee Hepp, and founding member and 2005 president, Travis Stoutenborough.