• The sixth annual MIT President's Community Service Awards Ceremony was held last week, and the celebrants included (left to right) Paul Parravano, co-director of the Office of Government and Community Relations; Cambridge City Councillor Marjorie C. Decker; award recipient Win Poor, director of CASPAR Emergency Service Center; award recipient Sgt. Cheryl Vossmer of the Campus Police; Mrs. Rebecca Vest and President Charles Vest.

    Photo / Donna Coveney

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Police sergeant, CASPAR director receive MIT Community Service Awards

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- MIT Campus Police Sgt. Cheryl Vossmer and Win Poor, director of the CASPAR Emergency Service Center, have received the sixth annual MIT President's Community Service Awards. For the first time, the awards included a $1,000 donation to a Cambridge-based charity of the recipient's choice.

"Win Poor and Cheryl Vossmer are among the very best role models this city and this campus have to offer," President Charles M. Vest said in announcing the winners at the President's House on Tuesday, November 28.

Mr. Poor donated his $1,000 award to CASPAR's Lena M. Dicicco Scholarship Fund. Sgt. Vossmer divided hers evenly between the Salvation Army and the MIT Community Service Fund.

The awards were created to provide recognition to members of the Cambridge and MIT communities who have devoted themselves to the highest ideals of community service. They are presented by President Vest and his wife, Rebecca M. Vest, in conjunction with the MIT Office of Government and Community Relations.

"As all of us know from our own experience, some of the most important lessons of a residential education program occur in less formal settings -- settings in which students and faculty at all levels come together in a spirit of collegiality and teamwork," President Vest said. "The President's Community Service Award is an extension of this spirit to the larger community of which MIT is a part. We believe that working shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors is the best way to solve problems that affect us in common."

Mr. Poor has been director of the CASPAR Center since 1988. More than 1,000 guests seek and receive life saving services each year at the center, located on MIT property at 240 Albany Street.

The citation on his award said: "MIT is fortunate to have Win Poor as a neighbor and partner. He offers unending kindness and patience to all those who come to the Emergency Service Center, and as a result makes our community's future considerably brighter, hopeful, and more secure."

Sgt. Vossmer, an MIT police officer for 16 years, leads an annual holiday effort to collect toys, food and clothing for the local Salvation Army and its daycare center for homeless children, the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House, and Shelter Inc. She initiated an effort at MIT to raise money for those living with AIDS through the annual Thanksgiving "Pie in the Sky" fundraiser. In 1998, she received the Gordon Y. Billard Award for distinguished service to the MIT community.

The citation on her award says: "Combining devotion to a highly demanding job with an exuberant personality, Cheryl adds immeasurably to the quality of life in our community. We at MIT, together with our Cambridge neighbors, are fortunate to have in our midst such a dedicated and remarkable individual... Her exemplary behavior inspires us to follow her lead in demonstrating care and concern for one another."

Topics: Awards, honors and fellowships, Cambridge, Boston and region


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