Bates College senior honored for service

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LEWISTON – Katie Seamon, a Bates College senior from Leverett, Mass., is one of five Maine undergraduate students to receive the Maine Campus Compact’s Heart and Soul Award.

The award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions in community service, service-learning and/or activism. Recipients have achieved significant results through involvement and have demonstrated leadership and innovation on campus and in the community.

The 2006 honorees received their awards at a celebration in the Cultural Building at the Maine State House Complex, Augusta, on March 9.

Seamon is a Student Volunteer Fellow at Bates, working with three other fellows in the Harward Center for Community Partnerships to coordinate student volunteerism in the community. Seamon coordinates one-day events, such as an upcoming MS Walk and the Community Partnerships Day, and also places Bates volunteers at the Trinity Soup Kitchen and in a reading program at Montello School.

“Everybody has their own reasons for volunteering, but for me it’s about feeling like I’m a member of this town, that I’m living in Lewiston,” Seamon said. “Everybody has a duty to be involved in their community.”

Seamon is a political science major with a minor in Spanish. For her Bates senior thesis, she investigated the indigenous rights movement in Ecuador and the movement’s legal action against Texaco on the basis of environmental and human rights abuses.

She started volunteering in the Lewiston-Auburn community as a first-year student. “I wanted to get to know the community more, and thought it would be a great opportunity to do that,” she said.

Seamon first served as a Student Volunteer Fellow as a sophomore. “I’m a natural organizer,” she said. “I like getting people involved. And my experience had been so positive with the community – I knew that a lot of students don’t really have experience with the town, and I was interested in creating those opportunities for people.”

The other four recipients are Andrew Bossie of Caribou, a senior at the University of Southern Maine; Amy Clearwater of Readfield, a senior at the University of Maine at Farmington; Kaitlyn Miller, of Brunswick, a senior at the Maine College of Art; and Steffan Morin of Springvale, a senior at the University of Southern Maine.

Maine Campus Compact is a coalition of college and university presidents statewide, established to encourage and enhance campus engagement in the community.

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