In July, Gov. Joe Manchin honored WVU management senior and Student Government Association President Chris Lewallen with the Governor’s Service Award for volunteer work in Sunnyside, a section of Morgantown near the downtown campus.
Sunnyside Up Executive Director Jim Hunt nominated Lewallen, who is from Alderson, W.Va, and the award was presented during the Faces of Leadership conference in Charleston. Lewallen’s award is for the young adult category.
“I am very honored, not just for myself, but for the Sunnyside community,” said Lewallen. ”It is important to give the students ownership of the community. They need to recognize that it is not just a place to go to college, but it is their community and their neighborhood,” he said.
Lewallen organized several clean-up activities, started the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association and has helped get students together to paint dumpsters in the area.
Lewallen said he has noticed some considerable change in the Sunnyside area, and he plans to continue to encourage student participation to help make improvements. After graduation, Lewallen plans to attend law school and use his degree to continue to serve his community.
The Governor’s Service Awards are presented in a variety of age groups including youth, young adult, adult, senior, national service, lifetime achievement, family and organization.