May 18, 2021
Student Paul Dungey Receives SUNY Empire State College Bluebird Award for Volunteerism, Community Building, and Leadership
Dungey is Inaugural Recipient of this Award for Students by Students
(SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY) SUNY Empire State College announced the inaugural recipient of its Bluebird Award for Volunteerism, Community Building, and Leadership is student Paul Dungey of Auburn, NY. Dungey will graduate from the college in June with a bachelor's degree in business.
Dungey has been an active volunteer and community leader for decades. His church, Westminster Presbyterian of Auburn, is committed to social justice for all, regardless of race, socio-economic status, (dis)ability, age, sexuality, or gender identity, and Dungey's volunteerism, community building, and leadership follow the same values of social justice and inclusion.
Dungey has been an active volunteer for Meals on Wheels, a Boy Scout leader, an elder in his church, and for the last 20 years has gone into Auburn Correctional Facility to lead weekly religion and support groups for inmates. He traveled to New Orleans and Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina to lead and participate with a group of volunteers who worked in the recovery and rebuilding efforts there, and he has returned many times to continue the work over the years. He also travelled to New York City, and towns throughout New York state after Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy to volunteer in the recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Most recently, Dungey was instrumental in establishing a youth LGTBQ support program for the City of Auburn and advocacy that led to creation of a group that provides housing for those at risk of homelessness.
Dungey was nominated for the Bluebird Award by his SUNY Empire State College mentor, Heidi Nightingale, and his pastor, Patrick Heery. Members of the college's Student Government Association and Student Affairs Committee reviewed all nominations and chose Dungey.
“He embodies the spirit of SUNY Empire State College in every way,” Nightingale said.