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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 Thomas Longland, of Dunnville, Ontario, a human performance and health promotion bachelor degree program major. Longland also has an associate degree in sports, nutrition and fitness management from Morrisville State College.

Alana Brandon, of Greenville, N.Y., , an agricultural business major, received the college’s Rays of Light Award.

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

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. Longland chose the Wounded Warriors Foundation to receive the donation.

Longland has accomplished much in his time at Morrisville State College. He served as president of the college’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for three years and also served as the community service coordinator for two years. During that time, he organized a campus-wide volunteer brigade, “Into the Streets,” that involved nearly 300 students and employees volunteering in the community.

He spearheaded and was involved in numerous fundraising efforts at Morrisville State College, including the “We Heart Haiti” project to raise funds for earthquake-ravaged Haiti, two lacrosse games that benefited injured veterans of the Wounded Warriors Foundation, and the men’s ice-hockey “Saves-For-A-Cure” program, which raised more than $6,000 to aid children suffering from cancer. He also organized and ran the Fighting MS charity hockey game this year, which raised more than $3,000, in addition to directing and supervising countless activities with college organizations.

A two-sport athlete competing in hockey and lacrosse, and caption of both teams, 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 has also received numerous athletic accolades including the 2010-2011 NEAC Male Individual Sportsmanship Award, was named a SUNYAC All-Academic Team member, a NEAC Scholar Athlete, and was a Commissioner’s List recipient.

He also excelled in the classroom. A peer tutor, he maintained Dean’s List honors throughout his academic career and was named to Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. He was the recipient of the 2010 Rays of Light Service Award, is a past recipient of the Madge Snyder Biology Award, and was named International Student of the Year in 2010 and Peer Tutor of the Year in 2010.

This year, he was also awarded the 2012 SUNY-wide Chancellor’s Awards for Student Excellence, a prestigious award given to students who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement and exemplify leadership on and off campus.

Longland is planning to pursue a master’s degree in kinesiology from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, where he received a full academic scholarship.

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

Brandon has been active both on and off of the Morrisville State College campus.

Actively involved with the Morrisville Fresh LLC, a business operated by agricultural business students, she is the recipient of a Calvin Dunkle Award and was named to the Dean’s List.

Serving as the current Greene County Dairy Princess, she is also an FFA (Future Farmers of America) Alumni member and recently received an American FFA degree from the National FFA Organization. She also shows dairy cattle at home.

Throughout high school, Brandon was a member of the Challenge Program which assists local food pantries. Through that program, she also volunteered at the VA Hospital in Albany, at nursing homes and helped local farmers. Additionally, she is a “puppy raiser” for the Guiding Eyes for the Blind in Albany County.

A 2010 graduate of Greenville Central School, she is the daughter of Richard Brandon, of Greenville, N.Y.

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. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Community Service Honor Roll. Visit to experience, Morrisville in motion.