Western Maryland College freshman Elizabeth Valuet has won the college's 1995 Griswold-Zepp Award in Volunteerism.
The award provides a $1,250 stipend to support a peer education program promoting AIDS awareness that Ms. Valuet founded last fall. The annual prize, named for WMC professors Ira Zepp, who graduated from WMC in 1952, and the late L. Earl Griswold, enables students to work on local volunteer projects.
Ms. Valuet, a freshman majoring in political science and biology, said she founded AIDS: Support, Awareness & Prevention (ASAP) "in response to [student] concern about the AIDS epidemic and its disastrous effects on our generation."
The organization's goals include AIDS prevention awareness and fund raising for research and support of AIDS patients. Ms. Valuet said the group will use the $1,250 to pay for a benefit concert, an information center, an AIDS conference with speakers and consciousness-raising materials and to train students to become peer educators.
ASAP established free and anonymous AIDS testing at the college's health center and sold student-designed holiday cards and donated the profits to AIDS research. Through its Peer Education Program, ASAP performs skits and sponsors student discussions on the risks of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
The Griswold-Zepp Award for Volunteerism, conceived by alumni of the liberal arts college, honors a student or team of students who propose a volunteer service project. Recipients of the award may work on projects during the January Term or during the summer and may receive academic credit for their work.
Winners of the award are chosen by a faculty committee.
Dr. Griswold was a professor emeritus of sociology who died in 1992. Dr. Zepp is a professor emeritus of religious studies. They sponsored the Student Opportunities Service, a student volunteer program in the 1960s patterned after the Peace Corps that helped establish libraries in the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Appalachia and Oklahoma, and Operation Hinge, which provided tutors and mentors for minority children.
Ms. Valuet is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Valuet of White Lake, Mich.