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Student Volunteers Honored During Luncheon

April 26, 2018

Fisher students Alyssa Buck, Shania Oliver, and Allison Smith were recently honored as the 2018 recipients of the Ann B. & Martin F. Birmingham Student Volunteer Recognition Award.

From Left to Right: Jaime Saunders, Allison Smith, Shania Oliver, Martin Birmingham, and Jill Birmingham.

The Birminghams established the award in 1990 to recognize students who demonstrate excellence as a volunteer either on campus or in the community. Students selected for the award receive scholarship assistance, an honorarium, and framed certificate of achievement.

“Through their personal examples of volunteerism, the late Ann B. and Martin F. Birmingham embody one of the basic tenets of the College’s educational philosophy: service to others,” said Phil Castleberry, vice president of institutional advancement. “The Birmingham Award helps the College affirm publicly one of its noble traditions by recognizing outstanding students who exemplify the characteristics of community service as an expression of our shared humanity.”

Buck is a biology and Spanish major and a member of the track and field team. She has been engaged in volunteerism since she was young. Through her church, she worked with the Food Bank of Western New York, clothing drives, and refugee settlements, and in high school, she began volunteering at Vive La Casa, a Buffalo-based non-profit, preparing meals, teaching English, and providing care for children. She also works with the Peace House, the International Institute of Buffalo, Sisters Hospital, and additional organizations.

During a study abroad semester in Granada, Spain, Buck volunteered to help teach English in elementary schools.

She hopes to someday create a non-profit organization, combining her passion for service with her experience and education.

Oliver has dedicated herself to several local organizations close to her heart.  She has worked with Arc of Monroe participating in the Fairport Day Service Summerfest, where she assists Arc clients as they interact with the community through educational outings. She enjoys helping her Arc friends showcase their growth and progress to their families.

She also volunteers with Conkey Cruisers, an initiative that provides bicycles, helmets, supervision, and education to at-risk youth in Rochester. In addition, she has partnered with her former high school coach to develop a program with the mission to make prom financially accessible to high school juniors and seniors.

With her Fisher degree, Oliver hopes to continue serving others through a career in non-profit work.

Smith has worked with the Teddi Dance for Love since her freshman year, when she served as a member of the development committee. In her sophomore year, she lent her skills in accounting to the finance committee, and was named vice chair of the dance her junior year. In her senior year, Smith will serve as chair of Teddi 37.

In addition to her work with the Teddi Dance, Smith is a member of the Leadership Council, the President’s Student Advisory Board, and chief of staff of the Student Government Association. She has participated in Leadershape and the Deloitte FanTAXtic Challenge, and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society.

Since the award’s inception, 36 students have been recognized and rewarded for their charitable service to others.

Martin K. Birmingham, son of Ann and Martin F. and current chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, and his wife, Jill, hosted the award luncheon this year. Jaime Saunders, president and chief executive officer of United Way of Greater Rochester, delivered the event’s keynote address.