Alumni passion for social justice supports students in service-learning

October 27, 2009

McDaniel students John Modica ’10 and Micah Brown ’12 were named grant and scholarship awardees thanks to gifts generated by alumni who volunteered in service projects as undergraduates. More than 100 alumni who participated in the College’s Student Opportunities Service and Operation Hinge programs and guests held a reunion Oct. 24 during Homecoming weekend and bolstered student volunteerism with award announcements.

Political Science and Philosophy double major John Modica received the Griswold-Zepp Award named for L. Earl Griswold, professor emeritus of Sociology who died in 1992, and Ira G. Zepp, professor emeritus of Religious Studies who died in August. Both educators were influential public-service-minded faculty who inspired scores of alumni to participate in the SOS/Hinge programs. This award was conceived by alumni in 1991 and provides a stipend to a student or team of students who undertake a volunteer-service project.

John Modica with Provost Tom Falkner

Modica will receive a stipend for his project entitled, “Fight for freedom from foreign oil: The Westminster Efficiency Community Outreach and Research Program.” He is developing a plan to provide free energy audits to 100 area homeowners and businesses with the outcome of helping local residents become informed about everyday measures to conserve energy and benefit through adoption of an eco-friendly green lifestyle. He hopes to complete his plan during the College’s Jan Term and launch the services in early February.

Sophomore Micah Brown who is enrolled as a business administration major was named the first recipient of the McTeer-Zepp Scholarship created by Victor McTeer ’69 in his and Zepp’s name to provide financial assistance to an upper-class student at McDaniel who demonstrates a commitment to improving the lives of poor people in rural or inner-city America. Brown graduated from New Era Academy in Baltimore and is a defensive back on the College’s football team. He is active in his home church and its outreach activities.

Micah Brown, Mary Zepp and Victor McTeer

Both Modica and Brown have studied and excelled in Arabic, and Modica spent a semester in Morocco last year.

Victor McTeer ’69 volunteered on SOS teams including one that landed him in the Mississippi Delta, the bedrock of the civil rights movement. After earning a law degree at Rutgers, McTeer returned to Mississippi where his civil rights practice earned him recognition and respect among the state’s governmental and industrial leaders.

SOS Alumni Walt Michael, David Carrasco and Victor McTeer