Reilly Reynolds Honored for Commitment to Environmental Issues, Community Service
DELAWARE, Ohio – Reilly Reynolds’ unwavering commitment to improving the environment and serving others has earned the Ohio Wesleyan University senior a 2015-2016 Charles J. Ping Student Service Award and a related Legacy Award mini-grant to benefit the charity of her choice.
Presented by the Ohio Campus Compact, the Ping Award is presented annually “to recognize and honor undergraduate students for their outstanding leadership and contributions to community service or service-learning on their campus and within their community.” According to the organization, “These students represent the next generation of civic leaders and problem-solvers.”
Reynolds, a management economics major and Spanish minor from North Olmsted, Ohio, is being honored for a longstanding commitment to service that includes local and international efforts.
“For the past four years, Reilly Reynolds has been the name and face of innovative ‘green’ initiatives and sustainability efforts at Ohio Wesleyan,” President Rock Jones, Ph.D., said in supporting her award nomination.
Locally, Reynolds’ efforts have included serving as an Ohio Wesleyan composting intern as a sophomore and later undertaking green initiatives as a resident and, now, as moderator of OWU’s Tree House. The Tree House is a Small Living Unit, or SLU, a residential facility that allows students interested in common issues to create a dynamic living and learning environment centered on those passions. She also has served as a leader of OWU’s Environment and Wildlife Club and as a team leader on two Wilderness Treks, including a hike of the Appalachian Trail.
On an international level, Reynolds previously earned a university-funded Theory-to-Practice Grant to study economic development in Arequipa, Peru. Her work included spearheading a “Leavening the Future” fundraiser to support a bakery at San Miguel de Porres, a school for disabled children. Reynolds’ group sought to purchase a commercial oven for the school to enable it to sell bread and become more self-sustaining. The fundraiser was so successful, however, that the group also was able to purchase a commercial dough mixer, stainless steel table, and dough cutter for the fledgling bakery.
In addition, Reynolds was named one 14 finalists in the international Project Green Challenge, a 30-day eco lifestyle competition held in the fall to inspire high school and college students to transition from conventional to conscious living. A total of 3,864 students took part in the challenge, representing all 50 U.S. states, 29 countries, and 422 college campuses worldwide. As a finalist, Reynolds traveled to San Francisco to compete for the title of Project Green Challenge 2015 Champion.
Reynolds is one of two 2015-2016 Ping Award winners statewide also to be selected for a related Legacy Award mini-grant. She will donate her $250 grant to HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties Inc. The grant is funded by Rotary District 6690.
After graduation, Reynolds said she “will be working with a nonprofit to support and educate about local food systems and diminish food insecurity.” She also is quick to thank everyone who worked with and supported her on the many projects noted in her Ping Award nomination.
"I am absolutely honored to be nominated and chosen for the award,” Reynolds said. “I am humbled by the service experiences I've had at OWU and the people I have had the opportunity to work with. It is absolutely essential for me to say that there were countless people working alongside me on every project I did.”
Learn more about Ohio Wesleyan’s historic commitment to community service at www.owu.edu/service.
About the Ohio Campus Compact
Based in Granville, Ohio, the compact is a nonprofit coalition of Ohio-based colleges and universities working to provide statewide leadership in mobilizing resources, services, and partnerships that strengthen the overall capacity to educate students for civic and social responsibility and to improve community life. Learn more at http://www.ohiocampuscompact.org.
About Ohio Wesleyan University
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 87 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,675 students represent 43 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the latest President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.