Last month, Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow recognized the outstanding civic work of select graduating Tufts students with the Presidential Award for Citizenship and Public Service. Now in its 12th year, the award representing outstanding civic achievement was given to several undergraduate and graduate students.

“The winners of the Presidential Awards all share a tremendous dedication to service, which they put into action in innovative and inspiring ways,” said Tufts President Lawrence S. Bacow. “I always leave the awards breakfast feeling more optimistic about our shared future.”

The Presidential Award was established in 1999 by then President John DiBiaggio. All Tufts students are eligible for nomination. This year’s recipients, pictured below with their nominators, were:

Undergraduate Students
Read about the work of these students in their own words.

Katherine DeGuglielmo, International Relations, 2010
 In her three years as a Jumpstart volunteer DeGuglielmo has completed an amazing 1100 hours of service. A local leader in this national youth literacy organization, DeGuglielmo now serves as a Jumpstart team leader, managing 13 other Tufts students and developing systemic innovations which are now being standardized across the Jumpstart network because they have been so successful.

DeGuglielmo has truly gone above and beyond in supporting Jumpstart – as an intern Jumpstart’s development department, DeGuglielmo took a lead role on numerous projects including helping to secure an outstanding $100,000 in grants for Jumpstart.

Pictured left to right: Beth Bauer, Jumpstart Site Manager; Mark Green, Jumpstart Development Director, Northeast Region; Katherine DeGuglielmo; President Bacow; Dawn Terkla, Associate Provost

Kymberly Horth, Child Development, 2010
 In her first year as a Jumpstart volunteer, Horth was partnered with a 3-year-old Haitian girl who’d been identified as struggling with language and literacy skills and who was unwilling to participate in book readings.  After months of her partner’s non-compliance, angry words, and often physical resistance, Horth was frustrated but did not give up.  Not satisfied with the explanation that her partner was simply “difficult,” Horth spent countless extra hours creating materials, researching culturally sensitive interactions, and seeking support and knowledge from classroom teachers.

Then one day when Horth came into the classroom, her partner child ran to her, sat on her lap, and asked her to read. That fall, when children were evaluated for Jumpstart, Horth’s partner child scored too high to be accepted into the program. In addition to this intensive one-on-one interaction, Horth has created training materials for Jumpstart Corps members and national curriculum, including trainings on Immigrant Children and Supporting English Language learners.

Pictured left to right: Martha Pott, Lecturer, Child Development, School of Arts and Sciences; Marion Reynolds, Lecturer, Child Development, School of Arts and Sciences; Robyn Gittleman, Director, Experimental College; Beth Bauer, Jumpstart Site Manager; Kymberly Horth; President Bacow

Shana Hurley, Political Science, 2010
 Throughout her undergraduate years, Hurley participated in numerous activities aimed at increasing political understand and participation across campus. She served as President of Tufts Democrats and as Co-Director of Tufts Votes, and organized several political and civic discussions on campus.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Hurley helped organize nearly 140 Tufts students – many of whom had never participated in politics – to travel to New Hampshire to campaign. Thanks to her work registering new voters on campus, the Massachusetts Democratic Committee recognized Tufts for having the the highest per-capita registration numbers – coming behind only two other schools for total registrants. Her energy and leadership also helped bring these new voters to the polls on election day, giving Tufts an outstanding turnout of over 70%, significantly higher than the national average for college students of just under 60%.

Additionally, Hurley helped found the Institute of Political Citizenship (IOPC), and has interned for Congresswoman DeLauro (CT), Congresswoman Farell (CT), and with the Center for American Progress, and the think-tank NDN.

Pictured left to right: Kent Portney, Professor, Political Science, School of Arts and Sciences; Shana Hurley; President Bacow

Dean Ladin, Political Science, 2010
 In his junior year, Ladin, a Tisch College Citizenship and Public Service (CPS) Scholar, reached out to the Middlesex District Attorney’s office to create a Juvenile Diversion Program.  Through regular meetings with law officials, Ladin helped implement the program which provides community service alternatives for youth who’ve broken the law.

With each case referred to the program, Ladin centralized the process; reading the police reports, talking with police officers, families, and the juvenile’s school, and then meeting with the teens themselves. Additionally, Ladin reached out to local non-profit organizations, building partnerships and finding opportunities for juveniles to complete community service.

Since the program’s inception, Ladin has supported its growth to be county-wide and has helped other counties look into creating similar programs.  Additionally, Ladin has served as a Residential Assistant (RA) for three years and has worked as a recruiter for Teach for America, where he will work after graduation.

Pictured left to right: Melissa DeFreece, Scholars Program Coordinator, Tisch College; Dean Ladin; President Bacow

Duncan Pickard, History, American Studies and Middle Eastern Studies, 2010
 Pickard has been an outstanding scholar and leader during his time at Tufts.  President of the TCU Senate, Tufts’ undergraduate student government, Pickard has developed his leadership through participating in Tisch College’s multi-year Citizenship and Public Service Scholars program and as a Synaptic Scholar with the Institute for Global Leadership.

Pickard has worked across the university to foster constructive dialogue around critical issues. In addition to organizing a series of events to build awareness of class issues on campus, Pickard served as founding editor for Discourse, a student interdisciplinary journal dedicated to the exchange of ideas and was the Inaugural chair person and Public Editor of the Media and Advocacy Board.  He has also interned with the U.S. Department of State.

Pictured left to right: Sherman Teichman, director, Institute for Global Leadership; Jeanne Penvenne, Associate Professor of History, School of Arts and Sciences; Liz Hollander; Senior Fellow, Tisch College; Amahl Bishara, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, School of Arts and Sciences; Duncan Pickard; President Bacow; Nancy Wilson, Director and Associate Dean, Tisch College

Alice Tin, History and Community Health, 2010
 A dedicated immigrant health advocate, Tin has worked closely with local community groups and within Tufts to strengthen the services provided to this particularly vulnerable population. As a leader in Tisch College’s Citizenship and Public Service Scholars program, Tin has organized numerous immigrant health fairs in Somerville, and has far exceeded the programs requirements with the time and energy she has put into her projects.

Tin’s commitment to the community is so outstanding, that community members themselves nominated her to be the student representative to the Tufts Community Research Center, which increases collaboration between Tufts research and community organizations. Additionally, Alice serves as a trainer, coach, and consultant for the Liason Interpreters Project of Somerville (LIPS) at The Welcome Project, which trains bilingual youth to be interpreters.

Pictured left to right: Alex Pirie, Coordinator of Somerville’s Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health; Linda Sprague Martinez, Lecturer, Community Health, School of Arts and Sciences; Alice Tin; President Bacow

Graduate Students
Adam Carberry, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Education, 2010
 Carberry has served for four years as the program manager of the Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP). STOMP is a program that creates partnerships among science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experts and K-12 teachers in developing and implementing interactive STEM lessons. Carberry also examines and characterizes student perceptions, beliefs, traits, and self-concepts of learning through service, for example, through STOMP.

Funded by the National Science Foundation, his work is part of a larger study with Professor Chris Swan in Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chris Rogers, Director of the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), and other collaborators to measure the effectiveness of engineering service experiences as methods for teaching engineering. This research also examines how these experiences attract a more diverse set of engineering students than is currently represented in the population of engineering students.

In addition to Carberry’s outstanding research, he has managed the Tufts Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP) for the past four years and has volunteered his time to serve as an assistant track coach at Tufts.

Pictured left to right: Chris Rogers, Professor, Mechanical Engineering, School of Engineering; Adam Carberry; President Bacow

Sampathkumar (Sam) Veeraraghavan,
Graduate School of Engineering, 2010
 Veeraraghavan created the Information System on Human and Health Services, the first online database in India to collect and analyze information on the physically and mentally disabled.

Advised by Professor Karen Panetta in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Simulations Laboratory, Veeraraghavan implemented his system across all 31 districts of Tamil, India collecting information about nine different areas, including family history, background and education.

The system has now benefited 4.5 Million disabled people across India, and the data collected is being used by medical researchers as well as government and non-government organizations developing welfare and educational programs.

For this work, Veeraraghavan has received numerous awards from IEEE, the world’s largest professional association advancing innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity. Veeraraghavan received an IEEE Achievement Award for “outstanding leadership and contributions toward the development and implementation of IEEE humanitarian projects, which engage IEEE members and geographic units in India.” He also received two other IEEE awards – “Outstanding Student Humanitarian Prize” and a “People’s Choice Prize” – as part of the association’s inaugural IEEE Presidents’ Change the World Competition, which recognizes students who use engineering, science, computing, and leadership skills to develop solutions to real world problems.

Pictured left to right: Jamie Heller; Karen Panetta, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, School of Engineering; Geetha Veeraraghavan, Sam Veeraraghavan’s mother who flew in from India; Sam Veerarghavan; President Bacow

Annie Shea, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, 2011
 Shea has served as the president of her class for all 3 years of Veterinary school. She serves her school and peers by being an honest broker on difficult issues and has earned a reputation for integrity and effectiveness. She has organized numerous events including a campus-wide seminar on bio-diversity and health, an annual community dog wash, an obesity fair, and a “women in science” symposium for middle school girls.

Shea was also a key participant in launching rabies clinics at Worcester Housing Authority complexes, which assessed over 150 animals in its first year, and is now planned to be an annual event.

Pictured left to right: Angie Warner, Associate Professor, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine; Annie Shea; President Bacow

Todd Walker, School of Dental Medicine, 2010
 After he started treating patients as a dental student, it didn’t take Walker long to realize he had a skill that allowed him to care for many of the patients that came to the dental clinic better than his fellow students could.  Having previously participated in a two-year dental mission to Brazil, Walker was fluent in Portuguese – a skill that made him particularly capable when it came to serving greater Boston’s large Brazilian population.

Seeing this need, Walker started offering “Portuguese 101 for Dental Providers.” This informal class taught dental students and faculty basic Portuguese and key dental terminology. Additionally, Walker led a dental mission to Haiti in 2009, and has sought to advance dental research that improves that quality of health care as President of the Student Research Group and as President of the Bates-Andrews Research Society at Tufts.

Pictured left to right: Wanda Wright, Assistant Professor, School of Dental Medicine, accepted the award on behalf of Walker, who is currently on a dental mission in Haiti and President Bacow

Crisis Mappers at Fletcher, students from The Fletcher School and AS&E Undergraduates
 When a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti earlier this year, the need for help was immediate and overwhelming. Fletcher doctoral candidate Patrick Meier had access to a powerful crisis mapping tool, developed by Ushahidi, which had previously been used to map post-election violence in Kenya.

Meier served as director of crisis mapping and community partnerships for the organization, but needed people to help him process information for the site. A core group of Fletcher and School of Arts and Sciences students quickly came together to lead the project and manage the over 300 students and alumni from across Tufts schools who offered their support.

The team processed on-the-ground information from text-messages, blogs, and other social networking sites and relayed it back to humanitarian workers.  Through this work, the Ushahidi crisis mappers were able to provide humanitarian groups and search and rescue teams with nearly real-time information what assistance was needed and where. The group has also worked closely with the Boston area Haitian diaspora and plans to transfer the project to the Haitian community in the coming months.

Recognizing the efforts of students across the University, the Presidential Award was accepted by the following members of the core leadership team: Carol Waters; Sabina Carlson; Hilde Berg-Hansen; Beka Feathers;  Nona Lambert; Thomas McKenzie; Anna Schulz. The Award was presented by Gerard Sheehan, Executive Associate Dean, The Fletcher School; Sarah Strong, Assistant to Executive Associate Dean, The Fletcher School; President Bacow

Dawn Undurraga, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, 2010

 As a Tufts-Schweitzer fellow, Undurraga has worked to bring nutritional education to underserved populations in Boston. In partnership with DotWell, a community-based health and outreach organization in Dorchester, Undurraga spearheaded the creation of “Jumbo’s Kitchen,” an afterschool cooking program for elementary aged children in Dorchester.

Through this program, Undurraga weekly led groups of Tufts students to Dorchester schools to work communicate basic nutritional concepts, enhance kitchen skills, and empower and inspire young students to engage in healthy cooking and eating. Additionally, Undurraga has recruited students from Tufts health sciences school to participate in a community health fair in Chinatown and has volunteered with the Martha Eliot Health Center, where she will be working after graduation.

Pictured left to right: Dan Hatfield, N11; Kelly Dumke, N11; Catherine Wright, N11; Dawn Undurraga; President Bacow

Emily Rosene, School of Medicine, 2010
 Rosene received the Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award as an undergraduate at Cornell, and has continued her work as an active citizen at Tufts. Rosene served as a mentor and co-leader of KICS (Kids in Chemotherapy and their Students), which pairs Tufts students with children who are undergoing chemotherapy.

Inspired by the child she mentored, Isabel, Rosene wrote Isabel’s Magic, a children’s book that captures the tenacious spirit of a young child with leukemia.  Rosene is in the process of having the book published so that it can help other children and their families.

Additionally, Rosene founded ATP (All Together Powering Kids), a program in which Tufts students enter long-term mentoring partnerships with children who have chronic metabolic disorders.

Pictured left to right: Amy Kuhlik, Dean of Student Affairs, School of Medicine; Emily Rosene; President Bacow

Originally published May 2010