Niagara Gazette

Opinion

September 24, 2012

HIGGS: Niagara University: An active ingredient

Niagara Gazette — Last week I introduced you to some of the members of “Higher Education and Their Community Involvement” who received recognition from the Niagara Beautification Commission at its annual Awards Luncheon. This week we meet the active members of the faculty and staff at Niagara University who were also recognized.

Fran Boltz is the director of the NU Learn and Serve program. The purpose of this program at Niagara is “to promote among all members of the university community, the knowledge, values and skills necessary for lifelong engagement in the pursuit of social justice.” Fran’s role is to put this purpose into action and I have known her for several years due to our mutual involvement in the NBC Beautify Niagara citywide cleanup campaign. She works her magic on the student body and many have volunteered a portion of their Saturday to come and help out over the years. Hats off to Fran for all the extra effort she puts into this annual event and others. (She also joins them in their physical labors).

Tom Lowe is the program coordinator of Niagara’s ReNU Niagara community outreach program to assist in neighborhood development, utilizing what is available to improve the quality of life for its residents. Tom coordinates the projects associated with this task and has shown his leadership abilities through their success. Tom also write grants to fund these programs and volunteers during his off hours with Main Street Business Association and the NBC as he serves on both boards: NBC recognized that Tom, although still a young man, is well trained and dedicated to “go places” in the future.

Valerie Haseley is the Niagara County coordinator of services provided by the Border Community SERVICE another outreach program sponsored by Niagara University. Its purpose is to “provide emergency preparedness training to citizens and to encourage their participation in opportunities that enhance regional emergency readiness.” Valerie’s goal is to train the County population in such skills as CERT, neighborhood mapping, creating family emergency plans and drills and basic first aid. She takes her work a step further and often assists outside agencies in these endeavors such as organizing and taking part with volunteers at community events such as the Niagara Air Show.

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