Kussmaul Award Granted To Student EMT-firefighter
Posted: May 15, 2000
Clay Sellers couldn't stick around to collect his Kussmaul Award. He had an emergency run to answer with the Granville Volunteer Fire Department.
His absence, along with that of four fellow award nominees was perhaps the ultimate accent to the students' interest in serving thecommunity.
Sellers was winner of the award, given annually by theBusiness and Professional Association (GBPA) to the Denison University student who contributes the most time, effort and skills to community causes. "All of them are winners for the time and skill they devote to us," said Melissa Hartfield, GBPA president.
Sellers has volunteered for four years at the firehouse both as a firefighter and an emergency medical technician-intermediate. He responded to 109 EMS and 33 fire calls in 1999. "In a typical week I try to go to three or four," he said, listing his fire department service as his favorite. He sometimes leaves classes for runs, one of them a rigorous organic chemistry lab on one occasion. "I usually try to respect the professors and stay in class most of the time."
He is also filling the big shoes of fire prevention committee chair vacated by retired fire safety officer Jan Packard.
Sellers, a senior majoring in biology and pre-med, had intended to become a veterinarian. But his fire department experiences had an impact on that plan. "That kind of led me to think about other things," he said. "It made me start to think more about the medical profession."
Sellers just completed his third year as vice chairman of the Denison Community Association (DCA) cabinet, which got him involved in Hospice of Central Ohio, volunteering at the Pinekirk Nursing Home at Kirkersville, and Habitat for Humanity.
He's also involved in numerous DU activities including leading campus tours for prospective students, senior gift committee and helping plan students' roles in the annual Licking River Roundup.
Sellers made his mark in the community service realm just as he entered DU as a freshman. He was in the midst of a research project aimed at saving the oyster population in the Chesapeake Bay off the shore of his home state, Virginia. "We knew that, coming in, Clay was doing some outstanding things," said David T. Ball, Denison Community Association (DCA) adviser.
Other nominees were Danielle Spinato, involved in numerous off-campus projects including Licking County Aids Task Force and the county Humane Society; Robert Ross, who volunteers at the First Presbyterian Church and leads its youth bell choir; Heidi Duff (last year's winner), Thomas Joseph, Brian Wilson, Matthew Winkler and George Picha ? all fire department volunteers.
Sellers, Winkler, Joseph, Picha and Duff all responded to Thursday's emergency run, which involved an injury accident at the intersection of River Road and State Route 16.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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