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Morrisville State College Students Recognized for Volunteerism

MORRISVILLE, N.Y.— Two Morrisville State College students were recently recognized for their volunteer efforts.

Receiving the Rays of Light Servant Leadership Award was Marguerite Whaley, of Smyrna, N.Y., a human services major at Morrisville State College’s Norwich campus.

Thomas Longland, of Dunnville, Ontario, a sports, nutrition and fitness management major at Morrisville State College, received the college’s Rays of Light Award.

The awards recognize students who show initiative, leadership and selflessness through community service.

Longland and Whaley will both graduate with associate degrees from Morrisville State College on May 14. Longland is transferring into the college’s human performance and health promotion bachelor degree program.

Given at more than 40 campuses nationwide, the Rays of Light Servant Leadership Award is partially sponsored by a grant through the Barney II Foundation. Winners receive a $700 award with $200 going as a donation to their choice of charity. Whaley chose Roots and Wings of Norwich, N.Y., to receive the donation.

As president of the Human Services Organization (HSO) of the Norwich Campus, Whaley led many fundraising events and community events, including fundraisers to support local programs and food banks.

She also led groups of students twice, along with faculty members, to volunteer at New Visions Homeless Day Shelter, in Camden, N.J.

“In Norwich and the surrounding communities, there is a definite need for volunteers,” Whaley said. “I have learned that one person can make a difference and can get others to follow if that person puts his or her heart into what they want to accomplish.”

Whaley and her husband, Jody, live in Smyrna, N.Y. and have four children.

Longland has served as the community service coordinator at Morrisville State College for two years. In that role, he organized a campus-wide volunteer brigade, “Into the Streets,” which involved nearly 300 students and employees getting involved in numerous activities in the community.

He spearheaded numerous other fundraising efforts including a “We Heart Haiti” project to raise funds for earthquake-ravaged Haiti, and a lacrosse game that benefited Wounded Warriors, an organization which helps injured veterans, in addition to directing and supervising countless activities with college organizations.

“My goal as the campus coordinator has been to unite the school with the community so that both embrace and support each other,” Longland said.

A two-sport athlete competing in hockey and lacrosse, Longland started a program, Triple M (Morrisville Mustang Mentors), with a local elementary school which combined his interest in athletics and community service. Through this program, student varsity athletes visit local elementary schools where they read, teach math skills and mentor children who lack adult support at home.

Longland was among ice hockey student-athletes named to the State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) All-Academic Team and earned top honors on the Commissioner’s List. To be named to the Commissioner's List, members must maintain at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average for at least three semesters while competing. He was also named a 2009-10 Scholar-Athlete recipient by The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC).

Longland excelled academically too, receiving the Madge Snyder Biology Award and was named International Student of the Year in 2010, Peer Tutor of the Year in 2010, and was also named to the Dean’s list.

A 2006 graduate of Lakeshore Catholic High School, Longland is the son of Carol and John Longland, of Dunnville, Ontario.

Morrisville State College sets the world in motion for students. Curriculums are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Visit to experience, Morrisville in motion.