Published: Thu May 5, 2011
A Tennessee Tech University student and an instructor have found different ways to leave a positive impact on their campus and their community, but both are being honored for exemplary service to others.
TTU student Sean Ochsenbein and instructor Cynthia S. (Shelley) Brown have been chosen to receive a 2011 Rep. Harold Love Outstanding Community Service Award presented by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
The award was established in 1997 and is named for the late Rep. Harold Love.
Each year the THEC coordinates the selection process for five students and five faculty/staff recipients of the award from public and private two- and four-year institutions.
Criteria for nominations include public service to the community beyond the scope of nominee's duties, the impact of nominee's effectiveness on individuals, groups or organizations served, and evidence of nominee's successful service in improving communities, volunteer work programs, charitable organizations and community leadership roles.
Ochsenbein volunteers with the Putnam County Rescue Squad, is an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America Program and has served the Tennessee Board of Regents as a student representative.
At TTU, he was elected president of the Student Government Association, serves on several campus committees and is actively involved with Phi Delta Theta fraternity and TTU Rotaract.
His most high profile service work involves the Putnam County Rescue Squad. He volunteers to be available 24/7 to respond to emergencies and was recognized by the rescue squad for responding to the most emergency calls from 2008-2010. His rescues have been featured in local news articles.
Ochsenbein can be in class one minute and within 20 minutes be hanging off a 50-foot waterfall performing a rope rescue. His certified specialized training includes vehicle extrication with the Jaws of Life, scuba rescue and tactical rope rescue. He is also an EMT.
Cynthia S. (Shelley) Brown
Brown, an instructor in TTU's sociology and political science department, has incorporated service to the elderly into her courses and infuses students with the desire to serve the elderly.
Her specialty course,"Aging in American Society," encourages students to compete for mini service grants by perfecting grant writing and administration skills. Through this effort, students learn the importance of meeting the needs of the elderly though community program funding.
On campus, Brown coordinates diversity luncheons and a civic engagement fair that highlights student service. In the community, she serves the Alzheimer Association and volunteers for the Home Instead senior care program.
"Shelley is creating a new generation of caring and connected individuals," said James C. Raymondo, TTU professor and department chairperson. "Our community will continue to benefit not only from her actions, but also from the actions of the scores of individuals who will follow the pattern of service to others that she has established."