2011 Yankey Award honors two Mandel Center students

The Mandel Center for Nonprofit Organizations presented the 2011 John A. Yankey Student Community Service Award to two students, Francisca Chaidez-Gutierrez and Angela Lowery, at the Mandel Center graduation celebration.

The award is presented annually to a Mandel Center student(s) who has been actively engaged as a volunteer in one or more successful community services activities or projects while a student at the center. The spirit of the award is to recognize a student who exemplifies Emeritus Professor John A. Yankey’s dedication to community service and his desire to strengthen the nonprofit sector. The award also includes a $1,000 prize.

Chaidez-Gutierrez has interned since 2006 for the organization Peace in the Hood, which teaches youth and families to negotiate hard life scenarios through the use of nonviolent mediation tactics and culture-specific ways of expression. In 2009, she wrote a proposal for funding through the Starting Point grant program; it was accepted and renewed three times. The money helps run after-school programs and the organization’s large-scale summer camp. Chaidez-Gutierrez graduated with her Master of Nonprofit Organizations degree this May.

Lowery has served as the co-president of the organization Northern Ohio Returned Volunteer Association, an all-volunteer group of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers living in the region. In her role, she has led the group in a number of community activities, including a volunteer meal served monthly at a local church, arranging and hosting board meetings and business meetings, working with the board to plan and execute its biennial fundraiser, determining what local projects and what Peace Corps Volunteer projects around the world the group will support, and hosting informational events for prospective Peace Corps Volunteers. Lowery is currently enrolled in the MNO program.

“The measure of life is not its duration but its donation,” Yankey said. “The engagement in community service by so many Mandel Center students continues to amaze me. Honoring students through this award provides all of us with a deepened appreciation of their passion and commitment to serving others.

Yankey has been a leader in building the scope and reputation of the Mandel Center since its inception. From 1996 to 2001, he served as the Mandel Center Director of Community Service. In 2000-01, he was the interim executive director of the Mandel Center and held the position again during fall 2009. Beginning in 1992, Yankey was the Leonard W. Mayo Professor of Family and Child Welfare at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences before retiring in 2005. The recipient of numerous outstanding teaching awards, he continues teaching strategic planning courses at the Mandel Center and a course on strategic alliances at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.