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Community heroes

Nominations open for president's award for community service

Campus and Community

By David Sorensen

Lori Pike always had an interest in community service.

But as a busy mother with a high-stress job and a husband who travels for work, she didn’t think she had the time to volunteer.

From left, Lori Pike and President Gary Kachanoski during the 2017 President’s Awards ceremony.

That changed dramatically when her eldest son Adam was diagnosed with cancer days before his fifth birthday.

One of the groups that came to the family’s side in those difficult days was the Candlelighters.

Established in 1982, the Candlelighters provides support, education, encouragement, advocacy and hope to children and their families affected by childhood cancer.

Volunteerism continued

Now, with Adam 10 years cancer-free, Ms. Pike is still a busy mom with all the other pressures, but still finds time to be deeply involved in the Candlelighters organization.

“I tell people my evenings are spent working, with the Candlelighters or doing laundry,” she said with a smile.

Ms. Pike, the director of the Budgets Office, Administration and Finance, was recognized last year for her contribution with the President’s Award for Exceptional Community Service.

“It’s not about getting the award, it’s about bringing attention to childhood cancer and the Candlelighters.” — Lori Pike

This award recognizes a faculty or staff member who helps in the community by sharing scientific and scholarly expertise, working with and supporting grassroots organizations or volunteering her or his time to worthy causes, among other things.

She says the real value in getting the award is the attention it brings to the cause.

“It’s not about getting the award, it’s about bringing attention to childhood cancer and the Candlelighters.”

Connected to research

Having a cause as personal as Ms. Pike’s is not essential to be considered for this prestigious president’s award.

Faculty members whose volunteer work is connected to their professional activities are also prime candidates for the President’s Award for Exceptional Community Service.

Dr. April Manuel in the School of Nursing was honoured with the award in 2015 for her long and sustained pattern of voluntary contributions and has been consistently engaged in volunteer activities above and beyond the expectations of a faculty member.

Her community service activities focus on helping organizations that help her patients, primarily in the area of her nursing expertise, cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Manuel helped develop the Heart and Stroke Foundation subchapter in 2011, one of the first student-led subchapters of a community-based organization at the school and the first of its kind in Canada.

Over the past three years her students have planned and organized a cardiovascular health research conference in St. John’s.

With expertise in the areas of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, Dr. Manuel has also volunteered with the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Canadian Cancer Society.

Past recipients

Other past recipients of the award include David Mercer, Queen Elizabeth II Library;  Dr. Leonard Lye, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; Patricia Bryant, Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences Centre Library; Dr. Marguerite MacKenzie, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; Dr. Noreen Golfman, School of Graduate Studies; Dr. Mahmoud M.R. Haddara, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; Dr. Martha MacDonald, Labrador Institute; Dr. Jeremy Hall, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Science; Dr. Wade Locke, Department of Economics, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Joan Olford, Faculty of Education.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018; you can find information online.

The award consists of a personalized scroll and a monetary award of $1,000.

Nominations can come from any member of the university community or the general public.

Full details are online.

The deadline for nominations is June 22, 2018.


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