Members of the Alfred State College, Alfred University, and Alfred village community came together recently at Union University Church for the 10th annual Celebration of Service Ceremony to honor recipients of the Spirit of Service Award.
Each year, Alfred community members, as well as students, faculty, and staff of both colleges are nominated by their colleagues, students, and community members for the award, which recognizes their service to others. Recipients receive the award for exemplifying principles that Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. advocated for, including commitment to equality, service, social justice, and community.
Lynda Pruski received the 2020 Alfred Community Spirit of Service Award. Pruski, president of the SPCA Serving Allegany County, has spent the last several years of her life working to develop and build the new animal shelter for the SPCA. She also works hard to combat animal cruelty and neglect in Allegany County and works in tandem with Alfred State’s veterinary technology program to provide shelter vet medicine opportunities for students and staff. Also nominated were Amie Acton, owner of the Yarn Over knitting shop; Kristin Beck, a strong and tireless advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and veterans; and Paul Weaver, chief of the A.E. Crandall Hook & Ladder Co.
The 2020 Alfred State Faculty/Staff Spirit of Service Award recipient was Robert Privitera, a residence director who also works within Alfred State’s Center for Civic Engagement. Throughout his student and professional careers at Alfred State, Privitera has been a strong supporter of community and health and wellness. He has supported a local animal sanctuary through Project Porcupine, led and participated in many service days around the community, and led teams to the community kitchen in Wellsville to make meals for the homeless.
Receiving the 2020 Alfred State Student Spirit of Service Award was Jasmine LaRocca, an interdisciplinary studies major from Shirley. LaRocca has been highly involved in social justice work on campus and engages with the community by utilizing her Student Senate position in the best way possible. She also works as a sustainability advocate and advocates on behalf of the Mary Cariola Children’s Center through her involvement with Performing Arts and the Drama Club. Also nominated were Samuel Lieber, an information technology: web development major from Getzville, who has served as a head resident assistant in the gender-inclusive Proud LLC Community for Main Gate A and also as a sustainability ambassador; Elisabeth Rebmann, a human services management major from Attica, who serves on Student Senate and has played a leadership role in voter registration and in promoting civic engagement in student clubs; and Cassandra Robbers, a business administration major from Almond who has promoted Alfred-wide events and projects and uses her art to build community and foster change.
The 2020 Alfred University Faculty/Staff Spirit of Service Award was presented to Jessica Hurlbut, head athletic trainer. In addition to tending to the needs of over 450 student athletes and overseeing a staff of 30-plus assistant trainers and students, Hurlbut also serves as one of AU’s Title IX deputies, volunteers on the AU SAVE Committee, and is the coordinator of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Also nominated were Caitlin Brown, instructor/chief curator of the Cohen Gallery; and Dr. Brian Saltsman, director of Student Diversity and Inclusion.
Anastasia Campbell received the 2020 Alfred University Student Spirit of Service Award. Campbell gives back to the AU community through her leadership as a resident assistant, student public safety officer, as well as her engagement with the Institute of Cultural Unity (ICU). She also holds or has held leadership roles in the Caribbean Student Association and Sister Circle. Also nominated were Jenevieve Huta, a strong advocate for and steward of AU’s Pine Hill Trails and a terrific ambassador for WILD (Wilderness Immersion, Learning and Discovery); and Dillon Smith, who has focused on helping veteran students and being a voice to advocate for them on campus.