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American Humanics students, leaders honored at recognition dinner

April 23, 2008

More than 100 people gathered Tuesday evening at the Arizona Club in the Chase Tower to honor ASU American Humanics (AH) students at the 28th annual American Humanics recognition dinner. The event also highlighted the contributions of Jack Armstrong, former president of American Humanics and founder of AH at ASU; and Dr. Robert F. Ashcraft, director of AH at ASU for 25 years.

“This annual dinner was especially significant because we were able to celebrate Jack Armstrong’s 90th birthday as well as thank him for his contribution to American Humanics,” said Stacey Freeman, AH senior program coordinator. “We were also so pleased to be able to honor Dr. Robert Ashcraft. His leadership has made our American Humanics program one of the best in the country and his unwavering commitment to the program is evident in his 25 years of constant support and dedication.”

The night featured invited presenter Kathryn A. Forbes, National Chair of Volunteers for the American Red Cross, who urged the students to pursue work in an organization whose mission they truly believed in. Additionally, special guest Phyllis Wallace, with American Humanics, Inc., made a surprise visit to the event to present Armstrong and Ashcraft with awards on behalf of her organization.

Friends, family, ASU faculty and staff, and community members were all present to see five students received scholarship awards for their accomplishments and involvement in the American Humanics program:

• Camelback Kiwanis Award, honoring a returning American Humanics student who has provided outstanding leadership and potential in the nonprofit field. Awarded to Jenna Schaefer.

• Inaugural American Humanics Alumni Scholarship, the first scholarship funded and awarded by AH alumni. The recipient is chosen based on his or her contribution to American Humanics, and the recipient’s ability to demonstrate utilization of his or her unique talents to benefit and strengthen the nonprofit sector. Awarded to Megan Trombetta.

• Graduating Senior Director’s Award, honoring a graduating American Humanics student who has provided exemplary leadership and maintained academic excellence. Awarded to Megan Pfleiger.

• American Humanics Management Institute Director’s Award, honoring a returning student for his or her emerging leadership to support the Annual American Humanics Management Institute (AHMI) campaign. This award provides support for the annual Management Institute in the name of a deserving undergraduate student through a financial contribution made in his or her name to the AHMI campaign. Awarded to Ali Rosenbloom.

• George F. Miller Outstanding Student Award, named in memory of the ASU American Humanics program founder, honoring an American Humanics student who displays exemplary qualities of leadership, academic achievement, and commitment to the youth and human service organization field. Awarded to Caitlin Gizler.

“This year’s student award recipients are all very special,” said Freeman. “Each one has played a significant role in the leadership and growth of the American Humanics student association over the last year. I know each one of them is going to be a very successful nonprofit leader in the future.”

The event also honored the 2008 American Humanics graduating class: Korbi Adams, Jessica Brzuskiewicz, Jessica Gardner, Caitlin Gizler, Mallory Holguin, Melissa Lopez, Chris Maddox, Julie Mate, Sean McKenzie, Jeremy Meiske, Michelle Meyers, Megan Pfleiger, Armando Salazar, Sarah Short, Megan Trombetta, Ashlie West.

“What a privilege it has been to lead the AH at ASU efforts during a period of remarkable growth and impact,” said Dr. Robert F. Ashcraft, director of ASU's Lodestar Center and professor of nonprofit studies in the School of Community Resources and Development. “Jack Armstrong, along with the community and university leaders he assembled to start the program, provided the sturdy framework needed for long term vibrancy of the program. I am forever grateful to Jack and those early leaders for the confidence they showed in me to guide the program into the future. Most importantly, though, I’m appreciative of our students and alumni who continue to amaze me with their passion and commitment to improve the quality of life in communities for the better as competent nonprofit professionals.”

Founded in 1980, ASU American Humanics is a program of the ASU College of Public Programs, in association with the ASU Lodestar Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Innovation. ASU is one of the leading programs in the nation, preparing future nonprofit professionals to work with America’s youth and families. Students pursuing American Humanics certification must complete various co-curricular requirements including active participation in the student association, 18 credit hours of in-class coursework, and a 12 credit hour internship. For more information, visit: