Campus: CSU Sacramento -- June 28, 2001


CSUS Student Receives National Honor for Volunteerism

California State University, Sacramento business student Zeyad Elsayed has spent the past four years hanging out at the mall - and he is about to receive national recognition for it.

Elsayed is the director of the CSUS Learning Resource Center at the Florin Mall Shopping Center. The center, better known as Mall Hall, is a free computer and Internet training facility for the public and is administered and staffed by CSUS students.

This Friday, June 29, Elsayed will be one of six recipients of the Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award at the Points of Lights Foundation's conference on Community Volunteering and National Service for his work at Mall Hall.

The awards are presented annually by Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 750 college and university presidents committed to making community service an integral part of undergraduate education. Students are nominated for the award by their college presidents and each award includes a $1,500 contribution to support the student's community service project.

"The college serves as a major bridge builder between the community and the campus," says CSUS president Donald R. Gerth. "Zeyad Elsayed has been instrumental in structuring and maintaining one very important such bridge. Mall Hall has an important impact on the community both in terms of good social health and in terms of outreach from CSUS to students and young people, really people of all ages, in this region."

Mall Hall, founded in 1996, is open seven days a week, primarily during afternoon and evening hours. The program's focus is providing a safe learning environment where community members can learn how to use a computer. The program originally focused on providing services to middle and high school students but recently many adults and seniors have started to utilize the center.

"In the past year I was able to add 12 new computers to our existing 12 work stations through fundraising," says Elsayed. "I also succeeded in establishing morning sessions at our facility where members of the community could learn how to use computers to help them in today's job market. While children are in school, our center serves other members of the community including women in welfare to work job training programs and senior citizens."

As director of Mall Hall Elsayed spends his time arranging staffing schedules, troubleshooting, working with corporate officers to raise funding, integrating the academic culture with the retail culture, handling security, negotiating contracts with Internet providers and maintaining much of the equipment.

"Mall Hall has affected me in so many ways," says Elsayed. "I have learned that the most rewarding moments in life are those that take place when people tell you that they got the job of their dreams just because of the computer skills they learned in our programs."

For more information about the award, or for media assistance, contact CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


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