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Niagara Honor Roll / Achievers and achievements

Jeffrey Gansworth of Niagara Falls, a senior at Niagara Catholic High School, has been honored for his exemplary volunteer service with the 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Award.

The award, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals on behalf of President Obama, recognizes Americans of all ages who have volunteered significant amounts of their time to serve their communities and their country.

Gansworth participated in the Spirit of Community program in order to complete his required 30 hours of community service as a 12th Grade student at Niagara Catholic Junior/Senior High School.

"I enjoyed it so much that I just kept going with it," said Gansworth, referring to the more than 150 hours that he has served this school year mainly at Mount St. Mary Hospital's nursing care residence, Our Lady of Peace (OLP) Nursing Home in Lewiston.

Gansworth credits this experience at Our Lady of Peace with his decision to attend Niagara University in the fall to study biology and pursuing a career in gerontology.

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Air Force Reserve Col. Brett A. Newman has assumed command of the 445th Maintenance Group at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

The 445th Maintenance Group is part of the 445th Airlift Wing. The colonel has served in the military for 24 years.

Newman graduated in 1983 from Royalton-Hartland High School.

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A Medina man and member of the New York Air National Guard's 107th Airlift Wing has been recognized for outstanding service.

Master Sgt. Michael J. Owczarczak was named Senior Non-commissioned Officer of the Year.

Owczarczak is assigned to the 107th Security Forces Squadron where he serves as the assistant trainer in the 107th Security Forces Training Section. He is responsible for all training requirements for security forces members.

He began his military career as a combat medic with the Army National Guard and has been a member of the 107th since 2001. His operational deployments include Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom.

Guardsmen nominated for these awards perform at a higher standard or have demonstrated exceptional or extraordinary acts or actions.

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For the sixth consecutive year, Niagara University has been named to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for exemplary service to the community.

The honor roll, established in 2006 by the Corporation for National and Community Service annually highlights the role colleges and universities play in solving community problems and placing more students on a lifelong path of civic engagement by recognizing institutions that achieve meaningful, measureable outcomes in the communities they serve. It is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning and civic engagement.

Through Learn & Serve Niagara, one of Niagara University's core programs, students contribute more than 50,000 hours of service annually as tutors in local school districts and as interns and volunteers in more than 40 social service agencies and organizations in Western New York and southern Ontario. Last September, the university announced the opening of its new Institute for Civic Engagement, an initiative conceived to strengthen existing community partnerships and form new town-gown relationships.

In addition, a recent survey of Niagara faculty and staff found that university employees are engaged in volunteer activities at more than 300 nonprofit organizations throughout the region and more than 25 percent of NU instructors are conducting community-based research.