Active, spirited UB students were rewarded for their contribution to campus life and their extracurricular efforts by their peers Nov. 19 at the Center for Tomorrow. The University Student Alumni Board honored four students - Christine Dimpfi, Janelle Fleck, Al'ai Flores and Molly Moore - with the annual J. Scott Fleming Merit Award, a scholarship recognizing the dedication of student leaders.
Each year USAB seeks to acknowledge full-time undergraduate and graduate students whose leadership, spirit and volunteer work have helped promote student involvement at UB. The award honors the memory of Dr. J. Scott Fleming, former executive director of the Office of Alumni Relations.
"This award is all about leadership and school spirit. We really look for how an applicant gets other students to appreciate the University at Buffalo," said Lindsay Moultrup, one of two co-chairs of the USAB Merit Award committee.
According to Benjamin Marchione, assistant director of Alumni Relations, each year the student committee board reviews hundreds of applicants for the award, which they then pare down to eight finalists. From that group, the committee selects up to four recipient winners who each receive a $500 scholarship for their efforts.
The eight finalists and their families were welcomed and introduced by Moultrup and fellow co-chair Stephanie Charsky, both UB students. Associate Vice President for Alumni Relations Robert Davies delivered the keynote address, mentioning some of UB's better-known alumni, who range from professional broadcasters to astronauts.
"There is such an enormous amount of community spirit here in Buffalo, that it's almost overwhelming," said Davies. "Leadership can be many things, you have to find your own definition, but true leadership is when you entrust the power to those in which you serve."
Each of this year's winners boasts a wide range of involvement in on-campus activities.
Dimpfi is a business administration major specializing in sports management, and is both president and co-captain of the women's ice hockey team. " I knew I could go out for something like this and be recognized, it didn't matter if I won or not," she said.
Fleck is a junior psychology major minoring in sociology, and is a resident advisor in Ellicott, a teaching assistant for UB101 and a member of Peers Offering Wellness Education and Research (POWER).
Flores is working toward degrees in biophysics, biological sciences, chemistry and English, is president of Alpha Epsilon Delta, vice president of the Biology Student Association, student liaison of Golden Key National Honors Society and Alumni Chair of Mortar Board.
Moore is a biomedical sciences major with a minor in biochemical pharmacology, president of the Association of Pre-Medical students, an academic assistant for the University Residence Halls and a peer advocate for POWER. In addition, she has previously worked as a teaching assistant for UB101 and a summer orientation aide. Moore is currently a supervisor for UB athletics and involved in the School of Management work-study program.
Honorable mentions were awarded to the remaining contestants: Lisa Marie Burgio, a senior psychology major with a minor in sociology; Alexander Eisen, a computer science major with a minor in anthropology; Daniel T. Hall, a sophomore pursuing a major in psychology and a minor in philosophy; and Yan Tammy Lu, a junior business major with a minor in Japanese.
"[The J. Scott Fleming Merit Awards] is the only student-to-student run scholarship program given out at UB and that's something really special and unique," said Charsky.