Kevin Fitzsimmons, Cooperative Extension specialist from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, received the President's Volunteer Service Award Apr. 21, 2014. This national honor was given in recognition of Fitzsimmons' extensive volunteer efforts with Winrock International, a non-profit volunteering organization.
The award was established in 2003 and is given annually to around 100 individuals, groups and families who have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering like Fitzsimmons.
Contributing over 500 hours of volunteer service in total (120 hours from this year alone) on international assignments in Myanmar, Bangladesh, India, Uganda, and Guyana, Fitzsimmons' work with aquaculture farmers has improved their productivity, family income and nutrition, while showing them how to protect the environment and make better use of limited water supplies at the same time.
Fitzsimmons has meshed this volunteer work with University research and brought back experiences and connections to share with fish farmers here in Arizona, which coincides with his position of director of CALS International Programs.
The award is issued by the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group created by President Bush to recognize the valuable contributions volunteers are making to our Nation. The Council comprises leaders in government, media, entertainment, business, education, nonprofits and volunteer service organizations, and community volunteering.