During a virtual meeting on May 18, two Hastings College juniors received the Judy Sandeen Award for their outstanding service to the college campus and local community. Courtney Hanson and Abby Kryzsko received the award for their volunteer work with Crimson Cupboard, the campus food pantry.
The virtual meeting was attended by Hanson, Kryzsko, the College’s Service Learning Committee, several Hastings College faculty and staff and the award’s namesake, Judy Sandeen.
The award is given in honor of Sandeen, who retired as director of the Campus Health Center in 2007 after 29 years at Hastings College. The recipients win a $400 prize, which is to be donated to any non-profit organization of the recipients choice. This year, the money will go to Crimson Cupboard.
The criteria for the award include exemplary work in fundraising for a major cause, bringing awareness to the campus regarding a major justice issue, advocating for social change, and/or ongoing service to others in the campus or community.
Hanson and Kryzsko were recognized for the work they have done on campus maintaining and expanding the Crimson Cupboard. The two streamlined the electronic request form, designed posters for the campus, lobbied to add a link to food requests to all faculty syllabi and worked to make sure there were adequate funds for the program.
The Crimson Cupboard also relocated from French Memorial Chapel to the Hurley MacDonald building in the spring of 2019. During the move, Hanson and Kryzsko organized all of the food donations to make certain the pantry was stocked properly. They filled more than 300 food orders in the 2019-20 academic year, bringing them to the drop-off locations on campus.
Both students completed the important work while pursuing their academic studies, part-time jobs and other volunteer work.
Hanson is a skilled member of the Hastings College Forensics team, frequently placing and making nationals. She works as an intern for the Hastings College Office of Marketing and Communication, and she will be a student representative on the Hastings College Lecture Series Student Committee for 2020-21. She is majoring in communication studies and philosophy and religion.
Kryzsko is an education major who addresses food insecurity not only with the Crimson Cupboard, but also with the student-run Hastings College Food4Thought Program which provides backpacks of food to elementary school children and their families over the weekends. She volunteers for the Hastings Literacy Program and has been involved with organizations that advocate for women’s wellness. During the 2019-20 school year, she has worked on her practicum and student teaching.
Hastings College is Nebraska’s premier private college. A four-year residential college that focuses on student academic and extracurricular achievement, Hastings’ student-centered initiatives include providing books, an iPad and a two-week study away experience at no additional cost. A block-style semester schedule allows professors and students to focus on fewer classes at a time and promotes hands-on experiences. Discover more at hastings.edu.