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Morrisville State students reach out to local community during April Month of Service

MORRISVILLE, NY—Clad in matching shirts emblazoned with the Morrisville State College logo, a team of Morrisville State students trudged through a mud-filled obstacle course 20 miles away from campus to pay tribute to a little boy they never met.

In a campus automotive lab, four Ford ASSET students volunteered to perform oil changes for the elderly, while dozens of other students donated blood, helped clean up the Morrisville neighborhood and swapped T-shirts to help local families in need. Massage therapy students pitched in too, providing massages at the Hope Network in Liverpool and members of the college’s Conservation Tri-Society assisted with cleaning up the trout pond at Roger’s Environmental Education Center.

It was all part of the April Month of Service on the Morrisville State campus, an annual event organized by Armanda King, advisor of the college’s Mustang Outreach and Volunteer Efforts (MOVE), an organization that reaches out to help those less fortunate in the community.

A group of RAs (resident assistants) and RDs (resident directors), students and others volunteered throughout the course representing Morrisville and participating in the Second Annual Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest at MJK Farms in Deansboro on April 5.

Daniel Barden, 7, was one of the first graders killed in the Sandy Hook, Conn. tragedy in December 2012. The team faced challenges that included scaling a series of walls, climbing monkey bars over a mud hole, crawling under barbed wire and trekking up and down steep hills with assistance of ropes. Some participants wore kilts during the event which had a Highland theme.

“Many of the runners, spectators, and volunteers were happy to see a group of volunteers and runners representing Morrisville,” said Emily Burt, an RD who helped coordinate the college’s efforts. “This really helps to show the community that our campus cares and is willing to help out.”

Although students are only on the college campus for a few short years, they understand what it means to be part of a community and take pride in giving back.

“It feels great to be helping out,” said Chad Smith, of Clay, one of four Ford ASSET students who provided oil changes to selected elderly residents in the community. “I was happy to give something back to the community.”

“The people we worked with said they couldn’t tell us enough how they appreciate what we did,” said Mark Ashton, instructional support associate in the automotive department.

“I think that it is important for students and staff to be involved in community service initiatives to give back to the surrounding communities, and reaffirm the importance of helping others,” Burt said. “It is amazing the impact we can have on other people just by giving up a few hours of our time.”

Morrisville State sets the world in motion for students. Curricula 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 Education Service Honor Roll. The college was recognized, by U.S. News and World Report, in its top tier Best Regional Colleges list and ranked second among regional colleges nationwide for outperforming its anticipated graduation rate. Visit www.morrisville.edu to experience, Morrisville in motion.