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Higher Education in Maryland

July 2009 Press Release



For immediate release: July 7, 2009                                                          Media Contact: Christopher Falkenhagen

                                                                                                                           Communications: (410) 260-4511



Exemplary Student Chosen to Receive Dr. Regina Lightfoot Award


Late MHEC Director was widely regarded by her peers and students


ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 7, 2009) - Secretary of Higher Education James E. Lyons, Sr., and Mr. Ross Conover, President of the Maryland Higher Education Commission Student Advisory Council (SAC), are pleased to announce that Mr. Justin T. White has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the Regina Lightfoot Student Service Award given by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC).

The award is named after MHEC’s former Director of Academic Affairs who passed away in 2007. Dr. Lightfoot was renowned for her work with young people including serving as MHEC’s advisor to the SAC. Her outstanding work at MHEC was admired throughout the higher education community in Maryland.

The SAC took it upon themselves last year to name the award after Dr. Lightfoot because of their deep admiration for her both personally and professionally. The SAC includes student volunteer representatives from all Maryland colleges and universities. It meets monthly to discuss current issues in higher education and provide a student voice to MHEC.

Justin was selected for this statewide honor by his peers who sit on the SAC. He received this recognition for his outstanding commitment and work with Loyola’s Center for Community Service and Justice. Justin graduated in May from Loyola College in Maryland with a major in sociology. He is from Philadelphia, PA.

In his first week of college, Justin became active with community outreach and engagement in Loyola’s S.O.S. (Student Orientation to Service) program. Later he single-handedly recruited 40 students to tutor four afternoons a week in a Baltimore high school. Beyond his successful recruiting he designed a tutor orientation, set up training sessions, arranged transportation and offered ongoing tutor support. Justin has also volunteered in food programs and transitional housing for homeless people in Baltimore.

Sr. Catherine Gugerty, SSND, who nominated Justin for the recognition, said Justin’s life is not about a single service project or even a few. His life is about investing time with and learning from others in all corners of society. “What he has taken from those experiences has made him a stand out, a model for all of us!” said Sr. Catherine.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 337,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.



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