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Awards & Honors

CSU Honors Two CSUF Shining ‘STARS’ for Community Service
by Debbie Wilhelmi


Updated: May 13, 2003 :: No. 232

Veiga and Sumulong
Corinne Veiga and Algele “Cid” Sumulong are STARS in the California State University system. They are among 43 students honored from CSU campuses as “Students That Are Recognized for Service,” an annual program that recognizes the important roles students play in strengthening the California community. Veiga was honored for establishing a counseling group for teens dealing with depression. Sumulong created
a campus-based program in which volunteers work with hospice clients.

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Cal State Fullerton seniors Corinne Veiga and Algele “Cid” Sumulong are “Stars” in the California State University system.

Forty-three students from CSU campuses were honored recently as “Students That Are Recognized for Service,” an annual program that showcases the important roles students play in strengthening California communities.

Veiga, a child and adolescent development major who plans to become a school psychologist, received the STARS award for creating a community counseling group for teens dealing with depression. She also marketed the services of the group, which operates out of the Child and Family Development Center in Azusa.

“I’m really glad I did it,” said the Whittier resident about her initiation of the teen counseling program. “I know that I want to help teens. I want to understand their background to enhance their future. It was a really good experience.”

Veiga’s volunteer work was part of a service-learning seminar led by Kari Knutson Miller, assistant professor in child and adolescent studies, who nominated Veiga for the award. Both Knutson Miller and Jaime Mendoza, director of the Child and Family Development Center, said Veiga’s efforts went well beyond the requirements for the course.

Through her experience, Veiga was able to apply her classroom knowledge to a professional project, which had a significant impact on her professional development and benefited the community organization she served.

“High quality service-learning experiences enhance campus-community relationships,” said Knutson Miller. “In this context, students gain deeper understandings of course content, while meeting needs articulated by community partners.”

Mendoza noted that although the course is over, Veiga remains involved in the project.

“She continues to help the center by working with low-income families, and adolescents in particular,” said Mendoza. “She is becoming aware of her interpersonal process and how that fits with her academic development.”

“It’s a gift of your time, the gift of yourself.”

Cid Sumulong received his award for initiating a campus-based community service organization known as Project Grace. This collaboration between Cal State Fullerton and Heartland Hospice connects volunteers with clients at Heartland centers in Orange County.

Sumulong, a Yorba Linda resident, created the program after witnessing a physician diagnose his aunt’s disease in what he felt was an apathetic manner.

“He did not show her dignity and respect. I wanted to start Project Grace, which is named for my aunt, to promote patient dignity,” said the biological sciences major, whose goal is to become a physician. He resolved to help other young premed students like himself learn to treat their future patients with respect.

Project Grace is composed of nine volunteers who have received 15 hours of training and spend two hours each week at a hospice with terminally ill clients.

“Right now, society thinks of death as a taboo subject,” said Sumulong. “I want people to walk away from this project with a renewed sense of the value of life. I find that only by being placed in a position where death is imminent, do we realize just how valuable life is. I want people to realize, especially premed students, that patients are more than patients: they are people.”
Sabrina Sanders, coordinator of the Volunteer & Service Center, describes Sumulong’s project as a great success.

“The impact of Cid’s leadership in developing and coordinating Project Grace has been immeasurable,” said Sanders, who nominated Sumulong. She described Project Grace as being extremely beneficial to both hospice clients and student participants.

“[The clients’] quality of life increases as a result of that one-on-one connection with a compassionate volunteer,” she said. “The experience for students not only gives them a whole new attitude about the significance of life, but provides them an exceptional learning experience that their classroom lectures could never provide.”

“There is something that goes beyond the value of a dollar,” explained Sumulong about the importance of Project Grace. “It’s the gift of your time; the gift of yourself.”

Media Contact: Pamela McLaren of Public Affairs at 657-278-4852 or pmclaren@fullerton.edu


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