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Ohio University student receives statewide award for community engagement

Sarah Lifer, an Ohio University senior from Jeromesville, Ohio, has been selected by Ohio Campus Compact as a recipient of the Charles J. Ping Student Service Legacy Award.

Lifer is one of 12 civic leaders and problem solvers, representing 12 colleges and universities across Ohio, to be selected for this honor.

The Charles J. Ping Student Service Legacy Award, an annual award that recognizes and honors undergraduate students for their outstanding leadership and contributions to service or service-learning on campus and across the community, is named in honor of Dr. Charles J. Ping, who served as president of Ohio University from 1975-1994.

Dr. Ping was an early supporter and board member of Ohio Campus Compact, and he remains a tireless advocate for campus-community partnerships and increased opportunities for students to become active and engaged citizens.

Sarah has proven her commitment to community, and we are proud to celebrate her as a recipient of the Charles J. Ping Student Service Legacy Award," Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “As a Child and Family Studies Major, Sarah has continually, and intentionally, sought out opportunities to serve local communities while meeting her program requirements and has consistently gone above and beyond to maintain her engagement with these organizations.”

Lifer has volunteered extensively in support of children and families in Athens County. During her career at OHIO, she has served in several roles in the Kids on Campus afterschool program at Trimble Elementary School where she worked with students as an activity leader and intervention assistant. She has also worked with students with developmental disabilities as a volunteer intern at the the Athens County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Beacon School.

She currently serves as the Student Resource Center AmeriCorps member at Ohio University’s Center for Campus and Community Engagement, where she is working to build systems and processes that will improve access to basic needs and academic support for students across the institution. This summer, she will be working as an intern with Athens Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian Ad Litem (CASA/GAL).

"It is profoundly gratifying when students like Sarah develop authentic personal relationships and a sense of belonging in southeastern Ohio through community engagement,” Center for Campus and Community Engagement Director Mary Nally said. “Through the experiences and the relationships she developed with community members, Sarah has gained an appreciation for the strengths of our region and insight to both the systemic policy structures that impact poverty and the lived experience they create for children and families in our region.”

“Many students will participate in volunteerism or community service during college, and some will rise above and stand out in their leadership ability and compassion for others. Ohio Campus Compact is pleased to recognize 12 compassionate leaders with the Charles J. Ping Student Service Award for 2021,” Ohio Campus Compact Executive Director Richard Kinsley said.

Ohio Campus Compact is a statewide non-profit coalition of 35 college and university presidents and their campuses working to promote and develop the civic purposes of higher education.

April 27, 2021
Staff reports