FAYETTE, IOWA (September 28, 2007)– Upper Iowa University’s (UIU) community service program called Peacock’s for Progress has been selected to receive a Governor’s Volunteer Award for outstanding volunteerism efforts and contributions to the community. Daryl Grove, UIU director of student leadership and activities and program organizer, will accept the award at a ceremony on Oct. 22 at 10:30 a.m. in the Linn-Mar High School auditorium.
Peacocks for Progress originated in 2003. “We started the program because studies show students who participate in community service and service learning programs gain a strong sense of self-worth and pride, as well as become aware of the needs of others,” said Grove.
Peacocks for Progress is actively involved in a variety of community service projects, from things as trivial as window washing and yard raking to tasks as large as prairie and river cleanups. During the 2005 and 2006 school years combined, the students completed over 125 projects and over the past four years have retrieved over 250 tires from the Volga River.
Another component of the program is the annual alternative spring break in which UIU students join other college students across the nation to build homes for Habitat for Humanity. UIU students have built homes in Tucson, Ariz., Charleston, S.C., Hawaii and New Orleans. This past spring, Peacocks for Progress held a community cleanup effort during Fayette Appreciation Day as part of Upper Iowa’s 150th anniversary celebration.
The state of Iowa ranks among the top 10 states in the nation for the percentage of volunteering adults. A total of 641 Governor’s Volunteer Awards will be presented year.
UIU senior Hollis Weber from Anamosa, Iowa will receive a Golden Dome Award from Governor Culver as a member of a beach monitoring team with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Water Monitoring department. The ceremony will take place Tues., Oct. 9 at 10:00 a.m. in the State Capitol Rotunda.
Weber, an environmental science major, was part of a six-member team working out of the University of Iowa campus in Coralville. Over the summer, his group routinely visited over 40 different lakes across the state collecting water samples and testing for bacteria levels upon returning to the lab. The internship lasted the duration of the summer recreational period, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
“Some lakes required even more testing because they have ongoing problems due to high-risk watersheds and retention ponds,” said Weber. “It was a fantastic summer job, because I was able to travel the state and work with other college students while gaining experience for the future.”
The team worked under Eric O’Brien, beach monitoring coordinator for the Iowa DNR Water Monitoring department, and included Tyler Griffin from the University of Northern Iowa and Heather Buresh, Jason Decker, Susan Kilgore and Nick Wade from the University of Iowa.
Only eight Golden Dome awards will be given by the Governor’s office this year, with three of them going to the DNR.
For more information about Upper Iowa University and its degree programs, go to www.uiu.edu.