Waynesburg University announced the recipients of the Harry E. Gardner Service awards during the University’s “Celebration of Service” chapel service Tuesday, April 16. Each year, the University selects a student and an organization that exemplify the spirit of service. The 2013 recipients for the award are Julia Paganelli and Shawn Wharrey.
Named in honor of the late Rev. Dr. Harry E. Gardner, the award recognizes the historic role of service initiated by Gardner through the Parish Project. Gardner was a professor of religion from 1936 until his passing in 1972. The award continues to serve as a reminder of Waynesburg University’s commitment to faith, serving and learning.
Paganelli, a junior English (creative writing) major with sociology and Spanish minors, from Pottstown, Pa., was selected for her work with poverty and hunger issues facing Greene County. She has been a part of the Waynesburg University Bonner Scholar Program since her freshman year. She has regularly served with the Corner Cupboard Food Bank, the Greene County Food Security Partnership, the Jefferson Baptist Church, St. Ann’s Good Neighbor Dinner and Bridge St. Commons. She also participated in The Pittsburgh Project and Malawi Africa mission trips during her freshman year.
Last summer, Paganelli pursued her passion of getting to know the disadvantaged and conducted qualitative research on how poverty affects teenagers in Greene County. She is currently using her skill set to publish a book on the research she performed.
Wharrey, a senior biology (pre-dental, medical, veterinary) major from Mars, Pa., was selected for his longstanding commitment to the Waynesburg University Chapter for Colleges Against Cancer and Relay for Life. Wharrey has been the University’s Mini-Relay for Life co-chair for the past three years and, in that time, has assisted Relay to raise more than $60,000. He participated in three mission service trips at Waynesburg University and frequently volunteered at the Good Shepherd Veterinary Hospital.
Other individual nominees for the award included Jonathan Blatt, a junior early childhood education (special education) major from Hurricane, W.Va.; Nicholas Farrell, a junior communication (sports broadcasting/sports information) major from Lower Burrell, Pa.; Evan Kephart, a senior biblical ministry studies (religion and philosophy) major from Washington, Pa.; Brendan Omicioli, a junior biblical ministry studies (religion and philosophy) major from Gowanda N.Y.; and Greg Reinhart, a senior communication (electronic media) major from North Royalton, Ohio.
Faculty and staff may nominate junior and senior students and/or student groups who exemplify the spirit and commitment of the award. Nominations of junior or senior students may be submitted. Recipients of the award are selected by a committee comprised of Waynesburg University faculty and staff.
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