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Two students to receive Spirer/Dueker Student Humanitarian Achievement Award (Released: 4/30/97)

by Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Two University of Connecticut undergraduate students will receive the Spirer/Dueker Student Humanitarian Achievement Award, presented May 5 at the Student Organizations Awards Ceremony.

Barbara Schaffer of NEW HARTFORD, a Bachelor of General Studies major at the UConn-Torrington campus, and Alyssa Benedict of CRANSTON, R.I., a junior psychology major at the on the Storrs campus, will each receive a $1,000 award.

Schaffer is involved with the American Red Cross. She is being recognized for her coordination of the annual Halloween Haunted Hayride fund-raiser for the Greater Hartford Chapter. More than 400 volunteers worked to raise about $20,000 while educating both children and adults. The project stresses youth involvement; young people with leadership potential are recruited to serve on boards, train as disaster specialists, and as instructors and project assistants.

Benedict is involved with UconnPIRG (Publilc Interest Research Group) on local, state and national levels. Her interests over the past three years include homelessness, endangered species, higher education, toxins, consumer rights, voter registration, Students Against Political Corruption, recycling and Free The Planet. She will be recognized for her role in organizing the UVote UConn coalition, a project last fall that involved more than 15 student organizations and ultimately registered over 1,200 students to vote.

The Spirer/Dueker award is established by Louise and Herbert Spirer and Marilyn Dueker, retired faculty members of the UConn-Stamford campus.

Criteria for the undergraduate award includes:

  • Demonstrating a commitment to a particular service project;
  • Performing an outstanding service during the preceding 12-month period;
  • Accomplishing a valuable public service objective or developing and implementing a useful or original approach to solving a social, governmental or legal problems;
  • Being respected by peers, faculty members and administrators; and
  • Demonstrating a concern for others that benefits society and impacts positively on his/her personal and professional life.

This is the 11th year the award has been given.