WMU honors students shine in STAR Awards

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Madelyn Aittama.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Several Western Michigan University students recently won STAR Awards for their volunteer efforts.

The 32nd annual Sharing Time and Resources, or STAR, Awards were presented during an April ceremony at the Radisson Plaza Hotel and Suites. The awards celebrate volunteerism by recognizing and awarding individuals and groups who volunteer their time, energy and talents in service to others in the greater Kalamazoo community.

Nonprofit staff, volunteers and community members come together to recognize STAR Award nominees and winners, hear their stories and celebrate volunteering. The awards are a partnership by Volunteer Kalamazoo and MLive/Kalamazoo Gazette.

WMU award winners

WMU Lee Honors College students were named in both the individual and group college awards.

Madelyn Aittama, a senior honors student from Milford majoring in biomedical sciences and minoring in dance, psychology and chemistry, received the college volunteer award for her work with Ascension Borgess Health.

A group of 2013 Medallion Scholars, all members of the Lee Honors College, won the college volunteer group award for their three-year mentoring project with Milwood Middle School students, Future Leaders of Kalamazoo, through Communities in Schools. The scholars have focused on engendering a college-going attitude with the students in addition to tutoring the same student over a three-year period.

Photo of Zach Witherspoon, Marine Bolliet, Josh Ayerdi, Elizabeth Mena, Jake Tholen, Emily Smith and Travis Culhane.

A group of 2013 Medallion Scholars, from left: Zach Witherspoon, Marine Bolliet, Josh Ayerdi, Elizabeth Mena, Jake Tholen, Emily Smith and Travis Culhane.

2017 STAR Awards

This year's STAR Award nominees gave a combined total of nearly 20,000 hours of service in 2016, according to Gryphon Place, organizer and host of the event. Volunteer Kalamazoo is an affiliate of Gryphon Place, which connects people and organizations to resolve conflict and crisis, foster volunteerism and meet community needs.

Tim Terrentine, WMU vice president for development and alumni relations, and TV personality Lori Moore emceed the event. James Mosby, who along with Nancy Maleady, helped inspire and found the STAR Awards, received special recognition. Mosby, former editor of the Kalamazoo Gazette from 1983 to 2000, died in February.

For more WMU news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.