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Faculty member, student honored with village Spirit Award
3/07/13

Becky Prophet, professor of theater at Alfred University (AU), and Zachary Mazejka, an AU student, are recipients of the 2013 Alfred Community Coalition’s Spirit of Service Award for their outstanding contributions to the greater Alfred community.

The annual Spirit of Service Award is given to members of the Alfred community who best exemplify a strong commitment to serving their neighbors. Inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., the award was initiated to honor people whose actions best portray ideals of equality, social justice, community, and service.

Prophet is a dedicated resident of the village of Alfred. Having grown up in town and earning an undergraduate degree from AU, she has dedicated the past 20 years to bettering the Alfred community. She is active on campus, directing plays for the performing arts division in addition to teaching drama classes and serving on a number of faculty and staff committees, including Faculty Senate, promotion and tenure, strategic planning, and a provost search committee. She is a trained EMT in support of the A.E. Crandall Hook & Ladder Fire Co. and volunteers with Step by Step, an organization focused on helping women in prison through strength-based workshops. Prophet has also worked on several local and national political campaigns. 

Prophet is currently on sabbatical for spring 2013, taking the semester to volunteer at a school in India for socially and economically disadvantaged children through the organization Artists Striving to End Poverty.

 Mazejka is a full-time student at AU who, between his studies and working weekends at the Hornell Wegmans, finds time to volunteer for a number of campus and community service programs. He is actively involved in the campus Children’s Youth Learning Initiative (CYLI), a program that offers educational events and activities to local children and teens. He has also been a volunteer ambulance driver for the Alfred’s volunteer fire department, the A.E. Crandall Hook & Ladder Co., for the past two years.

As a vocal advocate for people with disabilities, Mazejka is currently exploring ways of making summer camps more inclusive for children with autism, particularly at the residential camp where he works during the summer. Mazejka was cited in his nomination as consistently honoring and assisting his Alfred community by means most undergraduate students would not consider. 

Sharing the Spirit of Service honors with Prophet and Mazejka is Jeanne Hyland, who owns Hair Care on North Main Street. Hyland uses her spare time away from the business to promote community-strengthening events, such as ice cream socials for international students and facilitating an ongoing collection of clothing and school supplies to be sent north for Rochester’s inner city students. Hyland also generates fundraising support for the Hart Comfort House in Wellsville.   

The Spirit of Service Awards were presented during the Celebration of Service at the Alfred courthouse in January, during Alfred’s Dream Week in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.