Student organization creates award recognizing leadership

University Park, Pa. -- After years of effort, a College of Education student organization has created an endowment to acknowledge exceptional leadership. Penn State's chapter of the Student Pennsylvania State Education Association (SPSEA) has been setting aside a portion of its fundraising efforts for more than 20 years, and now, the chapter of pre-professional educators has launched the SPSEA Leadership Award.

“I’m very proud of the way our students have persevered toward the goal of finally establishing this important leadership award to recognize and reward some of our student leaders," said SPSEA adviser Dan Grow, coordinator of recruiting programs, certification and academic services in the college.

Each year, two students who have demonstrated exceptional involvement in leadership and service activities with SPSEA will receive the $500 SPSEA Leadership Award.

"We are truly fortunate to have remarkable students participating in SPSEA," said Michelle Houser, director of development and alumni relations for the College of Education. "It takes great philanthropic vision and dedication for a student group to recognize the financial need of students and successfully grow that vision to be in a position to provide assistance to student leaders in need."

With more than 1,000 dues-paying members at Penn State, SPSEA students are very involved with volunteer services, professional development activities and social get-togethers. Every year SPSEA donates to the College's Summer College Opportunity Program (S.C.O.P.E.) and helps with the college's annual fundraiser, Cycle-Thon.

Throughout the academic year, SPSEA students also volunteer with several tutoring programs, including The Second Mile, Schlow Memorial Library Storytime, and Penn State Pals for at-risk elementary schools in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. SPSEA has four dancers who participate in the Penn State Dance Marathon every year; last year the chapter conducted a fundraising effort that garnered nearly $20,000.

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Last Updated December 14, 2010