2010 Ambassadors

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On May 4, 2010, SIUC Student Development hosted the 2010 SIUC Environmental Ambassador Awards ceremony in the Vermillion Room at the SIUC Student Center. Dr. Larry Dietz, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Paul Restivo, Director of the Center for Environmental Health & Safety and Chair of the SIUC Sustainability Council presented the awards to eighteen students who performed a tremendous amount of volunteer service for positive environmental projects during the 2000-2010 academic year. Including the 2010 award winners, there have been a total of 112 SIUC Environmental Ambassador Awards presented since the program began during the 2001-2002 academic year.

Mythili Rundblad, Student Development Coordinator and manager of the Saluki Volunteer Corps served as Emcee of the event. In welcoming the attendees, Ms. Rundblad stated: "The students who contribute many hours of their time and skills to environmental causes represent the best of what we call 'citizen-scholars'. I especially enjoy working with the Environmental Ambassadors because their commitment and hard work is so refreshing. The students receiving these awards contributed almost 1,400 hours of volunteer service during this academic year!"

Paul Restivo provided a brief overview the Environmental Ambassador program and offered his thanks to the students. Mr. Restivo stated: “The students gathered here today to receive 2010 Environmental Ambassador Awards have provided positive environmental volunteerism to support many programs and organizations in our region. Examples include the Shawnee National Forest, Giant City State Park, Keep Carbondale Beautiful, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge, and this list could go on. Your volunteer service has made a significant difference in our region and your volunteerism is greatly appreciated!"

Dr. Larry Dietz, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs addressed the the group: "I am always quite impressed to know that there are a significant number of students who give of their time to devote to environmental issues that, in turn, will make this campus, the community, and the region a more livable and sustainable place. We are proud of them and of their efforts. Congratulations and thank you."

Dr. Julie Weinert, Instructor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources commented: "The Environmental Ambassadors are not afraid to get their hands dirty. None of the projects could have been accomplished without some physical effort and truly caring about the natural world. These students have earned the award through active involvement in projects that enhance the environmental quality of Southern Illinois. I encourage every student to be involved in projects like those accomplished by this year's Environmental Ambassadors. Volunteers can readily see how they make a positive difference in the world, volunteers learn more about threats to the health of the natural world, the projects bring volunteers to places they otherwise may not have visited, volunteers enhance positive ties between SIUC and the local area, and establish and strengthen friendships between volunteers with a mutual interest in nature."

Kelly Pearson, Recreation Technician with the Shawnee National Forest attended the ceremony as a representative of one of the many groups and organizations that the Environmental Ambassadors assist. Kelly stated: "Thanks to all of the students who provided their service to the land! We applaud their willingness to join the next generation of land stewards."

If you would like to find excellent environmental volunteerism and environmental education opportunities in our region, be sure to visit the Beautify Southern Illinois Calendar.

Group Photo

Mr. Restivo & Dr. Dietz then presented the Environmental ambassador awards. Meet the 2010 SIUC Environmental Ambassadors:

2009-2010 Envrionmental Ambassador Awards

Melissa Brandt, from Mundelein, Illinois, graduated from SIUC with a major in Geography and Environmental Resources.

Kyle Carevic, from Orland Park, Illinois, is a Senior at SIUC in Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Russell Cerocke, from Chicago, Illinois, is a junior at SIUC in Forestry.

Andrew Dennhardt, from East Moline, Illinois, is a senior at SIUC in Zoology an dEnvironmental Studies.

Alex Dover, from Grand Chain, Illinois, is a senior at SIUC in Political Science.

Jon Dyer, from Edwardsville, Illinois, is a senior at SIUC in Geography and Environmental Resources.

Ryan Grumish, from Champaign, Illinois, is a senior at SIUC in Biological Sciences.

John Larson, from Loves Park, Illinois, is a senior at SIUC in Geology.

Pawel Sawicki, from Carbondale, Illinois, is a junior at SIUC in Geography and Environmental Resources.

Nathan Speagle, from Owaneto, Illinois, is a senior at SIUC in Forestry and Resource Management.

William Sutphin, from Hanover Park, Illinois, is a junior at SIUC in Geography and Environmental Resources.

Brian Thietje, from Thomson, Illinois, is a junior at SIUC in Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Lisa Thomas, from Columbus, Ohio, is a Graduate student at SIUC in Education.

Sarah Waggoner, from Mt. Vernon, Arkansas, is a Graduate student at SIUC in Geography.

Sherri Wurtzel, from Pecatonica, Illinois, is a senior at SIUC in Forestry and Business.

Ari Weiss, from Northbrook, Illinois, is a sophomore at SIUC in Political Science.

Tariq Whitaker, from Stuttgart, Germany, is a senior at SIUC in Geography and Environmental Resources.

Eric Wilke, from Iowa City, Iowa, is a Graduate student at SIUC in Geography and Environmental Resources.