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Posted 5.31.11

The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations presented the 2011 John A. Yankey Student Community Service Award to two students, Francisca Chaidez-Gutierrez and Angela Lowery, at the Mandel Center Graduation Celebration held Sunday, May 15. 

The award is presented annually to a Mandel Center student(s) who has been actively engaged as a volunteer in one or more successful community services activities or projects while a student at the Center. The spirit of the award is to recognize a student who exemplifies Emeritus Professor John A. Yankey's dedication to community service and his desire to strengthen the nonprofit sector.

Francisca has been interning since 2006 for the organization Peace in the Hood, which teaches youth and families to negotiate hard life scenarios through the use of nonviolent mediation tactics and cultural-specific ways of expression.  In 2009, Francisca wrote a proposal for funding through the Starting Point grant program.  The grant was accepted and renewed three times.  The money helps run after-school programs and the organization’s large-scale summer camp.  Francisca graduated with her Master of Nonprofit Organization’s (MNO) degree this May.

Angela has served as the co-president of the organization Northern Ohio Returned Volunteer Association (NORVA), an all-volunteer group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) living in the region.  In her role, Angela has led the group in a number of community activities, including a volunteer meal served monthly at a local church, arranging and hosting board meetings and business meetings, working with the board to plan and execute its biennial fundraiser, determining in collaboration with NORVA members which local projects and which Peace Corps Volunteer projects around the world the group will support, and hosting informational events for prospective Peace Corps Volunteers.  Angela is currently enrolled in the MNO program. 

“The measure of life is not its duration but its donation,” says John Yankey.  “The engagement in community service by so many Mandel Center students continues to amaze me.  Honoring students through this award provides all of us with a deepened appreciation of their passion and commitment to serving others.” 

“It is awe inspiring to learn the extent to which students donate their time and talent and this award allows the Center to briefly shine a spotlight on the community service aspect of its vision for strengthening the nonprofit sector,” he adds.

Dr. Yankey has been a leader in building the scope and reputation of the Mandel Center since its inception. From 1996 - 2001, Dr. Yankey served as the Mandel Center Director of Community Service. In 2000 - 2001, he was the interim Executive Director of the Mandel Center and was recently the interim during Fall 2009. Beginning 1992, Dr. Yankey was the Leonard W. Mayo Professor of Family and Child Welfare at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences before retiring in 2005. The recipient of numerous outstanding teaching awards, he continues teaching strategic planning courses at the Mandel Center and a course on strategic alliances at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

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