O’Mard, Robertson recognized with Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Jeremy O’Mard, a senior management and information systems major at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, and Scott Robertson, a doctoral candidate in information sciences and technology in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, are co-recipients of the 2013 Jackson Lethbridge Tolerance Award.

The award recognizes a junior, senior or graduate student for outstanding efforts to enhance the understanding of diverse cultures and create a community where all individuals are accepted and valued equally. The award is name for its benefactor, a Penn State alumnus.

O’Mard serves as treasurer of the Multicultural Council and is a member and past vice president of the National Society of Black Engineers. He is a peer mentor in Penn State’s FastStart Program, which helps students from African American, Latino/Hispanic, Asian and Asian/Pacific American backgrounds get their college careers off to a fast start. He also helped develop a database so the Office of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs could more easily match FastStart student mentors and mentees.

“Jeremy has not only achieved an outstanding academic record at our institution but has also demonstrated exceptional leadership skills through his involvement in various student organizations,” a nominator said. “Jeremy is a remarkable student and role model.”

Among his many activities in support of autism advocacy, Robertson serves on the U.S. Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee, which advises the U.S. secretary of health and human services on autism policy issues and helps implement federal autism legislation. He has served on the advisory board of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Autism Services within the Department of Public Welfare and was a committee member and then council member on the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council. At Penn State, he collaborated with a Counseling and Psychological Services counselor to start a support group for autistic students.

“He has worked tirelessly as an advocate for autistic adults and youth and people with disabilities broadly,” one nominator said. “This long-term pursuit reflects Scott’s commitment to pay it forward for assistance he received to manage challenges experienced as an autistic person.”

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Last Updated April 02, 2013