Student named annual Jefferson Award ‘Champion’

February 21, 2012 | News, UToday
By Kim Goodin

Shannon Longenecker was named the 2011 annual Jefferson Awards for Public Service “Champion” winner. She held her award and posed for a photo last week with UT President Lloyd Jacobs, left, and Lawrence J. Burns, UT vice president for external affairs and chair of the University’s Jefferson Awards “Champion” Program.

UT senior Shannon Longenecker was named the recipient of UT’s fourth annual Jefferson Award for Public Service during a recent event celebrating volunteerism.

Longenecker, who is slated to graduate in May with a bachelor of science degree in biology, was lauded for her local and global community service.

She has led a campaign to raise funds for victims of human trafficking and has been an active volunteer for Nature’s Nursery, UT’s Perceptual Motor Development Program, the Cherry Street Mission and various sports programs. In addition, she has participated in three service missions to Haiti since 2010.

The announcement of Longenecker as UT’s annual Jefferson Award honoree came as a surprise during a celebratory luncheon in Libbey Hall last week. Eleven of the 12 monthly Jefferson Awards “Champion” honorees were on hand for the event, which recognized their volunteer efforts on behalf of the University and the local, national and global communities that benefit.

“Shannon exemplifies the people we celebrate through our Jefferson Awards ‘Champion’ Program,” said Lawrence J. Burns, vice president for external affairs and chair of UT’s Jefferson Awards “Champion” Program. “We gathered 12 incredibly giving people in one room to say ‘thank you’ for their community service, and each one could have been our annual honoree. It’s a shame we can choose only one to represent us at the national conference.”

UT’s Jefferson Awards Selection Committee names a “Champion” honoree each month based on nominations submitted to the Jefferson Awards website and Facebook page. Of the 12 monthly honorees, Longenecker was selected to represent the University during the national Jefferson Awards program’s annual conference in Washington, D.C.

The University’s 2011 “Champions” were students Jacob Brokaw, Jordan Maddocks, Drew Mathews, Nancy Ngo, James Nolan, Sarah Ritenour, Stephen Urbanski and Cameron Streb; faculty members Dr. Tavis Glassman and Dr. Michele Knox; and alumna Amanda Geletka.

Watch a video of UT’s honorees and their community service achievements at and

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