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For the record 7/3/05

July 03, 2005

Frostburg State University students Patricia Gray and Erin Shank were recognized by the state of Maryland for their local efforts to community service.

Maryland first lady Kendel Ehrlich recently presented the 22nd annual Governor's Volunteer Service Awards to individuals and groups from across the state at the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis. These awards recognized 35 individuals and groups selected by a volunteer panel of judges, reflecting the diversity of the state and demonstrating the spirit of volunteer service.

Gray, a senior, became a campus and community leader with FSU's V-Day celebration, a series of events aimed at ending violence against women. For the past two years, Gray has played a strong role among her fellow volunteers to ensure the events were successful, organizing meetings of the leadership group, developing and maintaining relationships with local agencies and the community and was instrumental in securing campus support for V-Day programs.

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In 2005, Gray had organized one of the most successful V-Day events in FSU history, with nearly $5,000 raised, more than 900 members of our community educated about violence against women, and over 500 toiletries and other personal items collected on behalf of the local women's shelters. Gray will be completing her degree in international studies at FSU in December 2005 and will begin her service with the Peace Corps in Africa in 2006.

Shank has dedicated the last three years volunteering while demonstrating her strong commitment of time in tutoring children of Allegany County. The past two years were spent as a part-time volunteer with FSU's Read to Succeed/Mathletic program that helps students raise their reading and math levels by 15 percent, while instilling a love of learning and enhancing the students' self-esteem. In September 2004, Shank was asked to become a site leader for the FSU library and provide tutoring to Western Maryland students four days of the week. In December 2004, she also developed curriculum for a first-grade student diagnosed with opposition defiant deficiency.

Her caring and compassion allowed Shank to continue to tutor this child over their respective holiday breaks and after she entered into her student teaching position in the public school system in Mineral County, W.Va. She completed her degree at FSU in May, after which she will pursue a master's degree in special education. Erin is the daughter of Ralph and Terrie Shank of Hagerstown. She is a 2001 graduate of Clear Spring High School.

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