In April 2007, fourteen Tufts students were named recipients of the Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service.

The undergraduate and graduate students “represent the best among us,” said President Lawrence S. Bacow, in a ceremony marking the ninth annual presentation of the awards. All Tufts students are eligible for nomination.

In her welcoming remarks, Dean Eileen Kennedy, of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, noted that while many people have their own definition of active citizenship, for her it’s about leadership and service.

The seven undergraduate award recipients, all of whom are graduating this month, are:

Sebastian Chaskel, an anthropology major who lead a student group to “La Nicaragua Posible” a conference organized by the Office of the President of Nicaragua and the Project on Justice in Times of Transition, and created the Community Language Bank in Somerville.

Maisie Ganz, a child development major, coordinator of the Somerville Maple Syrup Project in partnership with Somerville Growing Center, which engages dozens of Tufts students and hundreds of local children in an environmental educational program.

Sonja Good Stefani
, child development major, co-Founder of Yonso Project, connecting local school children with students in Ghana, and founder of “No Shoes Just Stuff to Use” in response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Sarah Kohnstamm, child development major who forged a new relationship with the Medford Family Network to connect Tufts students with children in Medford.

Mary Kayt Norris, political science major, co-founder of the Boston Urban Debate League while volunteering at Josiah Quincy Upper School. The Debate League has grown and now is sustained by three new Tufts students and teachers from JQUS.

Angie Lee, in the five-year bachelors/masters public health program, conducted community-based public health research on asthma in the Boston Chinatown community and worked with South Cove Community Health. She also developed and implemented an after-school athletic enrichment program with Somerville Community School.

Mitchell Robinson, political science major, college coordinator for the Deval Patrick Campaign, who interned with the Boston Student Advisory Committee teaching public speaking to Boston High School students and addressing issues of college access, as well as with the Community Action Agency of Somerville working on the creation of a living wage. He also was president of the Tufts Community Union Senate.

Following are the seven graduate and professional school students receiving awards:

Tomas Ballesteros IV, Dental School, president of the Hispanic Dental Association student chapter, and mentor to middle and high school children from Boston promoting dentistry as a career for minorities.

Itamara Vanessa Lochard, Fletcher School, who worked to enhance political, cultural, national and ethnic understanding within Fletcher, and collaborated with other universities to organize, represent and launch the New England chapter of Women in International Security.

Rebecca Seguin
, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, brought the locally based StrongWomen Program to a national scale, and, as a result, now operates in 34 states and Canada.

Margaret Beneke
, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, contributed outside of her program requirements to organize and create arts and other resources for student teachers, and spearheaded renewal of the recycle center and promoted the use of recycled good for teaching and learning.

Nicole Guanzon, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, treasurer of Student Planning and Policy Association, organized 10 Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning students to volunteer in the Gulf Cost of Mississippi over winter break on clean up and rebuilding activities.

Lloyd B. Williams, School of Medicine, working with HelpMercy International, created a program where students who have traveled internationally can remain involved in the hospital in which they volunteered once they have returned to the U.S.

Jared Milrad, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, president of the Cummings student group Student Association for Veterinary Ethics, volunteers with CAPS, a program that brings human education programs into underserved communities in the Boston area.

Originally published May 2007