Sampsell named recipient of Barash Award for Human Service

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Steve Sampsell, director of college relations and senior lecturer in journalism in the College of Communications, is the 2014 recipient of the Barash Award for Human Service.

Created in 1975 by the family of the late Sy Barash, the award honors a full-time member of the faculty or staff or student body on the University Park campus who, apart from his or her regular duties, has contributed the most to human causes, public service activities and organizations, or the welfare of fellow humans.

Sampsell was cited for his service to the University, community organizations and his church. He has chaired the College of Communications’ United Way committee for a decade, during which time the college consistently has posted the highest percentage of faculty and staff who contribute and the highest per-capita faculty-staff contribution among academic colleges. He initiated and continues to coordinate the Charity Stripe Challenge as a campus-wide United Way fundraiser, is an advisor to the Student United Way and coordinates College of Communications teams for the United Way Day of Caring.

In the community, Sampsell has been a coach and board member for the Centre Soccer Association and a coach and booster club officer for girls basketball and track at State College Area High School, including creating State High’s first Pink Zone basketball game. Although his daughters have graduated from high school, he continues to volunteer at the After Prom All Night Senior Party.

At St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Sampsell previously has served as a Sunday school teacher, cooked lunches for Penn State students at the church’s Wesley Center and volunteered with youth activities including the after-school program, summer bible school and mission trips to the District of Columbia. He volunteers as a small-group leader for senior high boys and as Sunday service lighting crew member at Fairfax Community Church in Fairfax, Va.

“Steve Sampsell is a true humanitarian,” one nominator said. “I have never worked with anyone who gives so freely, generously, efficiently and effectively of his time for good causes across the spectrum.” Another nominator wrote: “He doesn’t just show up at activities and work 10 minutes; he gives his heart and soul to everything he does.”

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Last Updated March 20, 2014