President’s Volunteer Service Awards

Yesterday, I had the privilege to help honor two individuals, who have given much of their time, energy and passion to help their community, with the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Awards.

 The President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation was established in 2003 to honor volunteers and their contributions. It takes a tremendous amount of time to earn one of these awards. It’s no easy feat.


CSN student Dustin Rains completed 450 hours of community service this past year at organizations such as Catholic Charities, Opportunity Village, Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth and Three Square. He did this while working at the CSN Foundation, taking classes and serving student government. He’s the incoming student body vice president for this next school year. In addition to what are clearly excellent time management skills, Dustin is also motivated to improve. Next year, he hopes to do 1,000 hours of volunteer work. To put that in perspective, that’s nearly a third of an entire year in terms of the typical eight-hour workday.

I also had the privilege of honoring one of our own faculty members, Linda Gannon, from the Department of English. Linda performed 300 hours of community service. She volunteers with the Nevada SPCA and tours local schools to teach children about responsible pet ownership. She is chair of the CSN Henderson Campus’ Communities in Schools Partnership and coordinates activities to help students at Hinman Elementary. She goes further than volunteering her own time and schedules at least one group volunteer opportunity with her students each semester, requiring each of them to do what we call a service learning project. Her students go out and work with organizations such as Three Square, Habitat for Humanity, College Park Rehabilitation Center and others and see how their volunteer service makes a difference.


I am so proud of these two individuals and hope that they can inspire all of us to give more of ourselves. I think our community needs this now more than ever.

About Michael.Richards

The Board of Regents unanimously selected Dr. Michael D. Richards in May 2008 as the eighth permanent President of the College of Southern Nevada, where he supports the College’s mission to create an educated and diverse workforce for Southern Nevada. Dr. Richards came to CSN in 2005 as the vice president for academic affairs, leaving his position as associate provost at Southern Utah University after 23 years. While at SUU, he also had the positions of vice president for planning and technology, vice president for university affairs and associate professor of business. He began his career in higher education as an adjunct faculty member at a community college in Alabama, and in the mid-1970s was on the faculty at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. He brings a wealth of collegiate and business, four-year and two-year institutional experience to the College. He has taught English and management courses and has developed a record of scholarship through publications and presentations at state, regional, national and international conferences. Dr. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and philosophy (1970) from Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, a Master of Arts in English from Utah State University (1972) and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Denver (1979). The Board of Regents appointed Dr. Richards as interim president of CSN in August 2007 after the departure of President Richard Carpenter (2004-2007). The regents then selected Dr. Richards for the permanent position following a national search by the ad hoc CSN President Search Committee. As President of the College, Dr. Richards is responsible for 2,274 employees, approximately 43,000 students and a budget of more than $130 million.
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