Awards & Funding

Recognition for Service

Each day, hundreds of Cornell students and alumni give selflessly to promote change in our society. It is important that our community take the time to recognize their efforts, creativity, dedication, and commitment to change and finding solutions.

Recognition also encourages continued participation in community activism and public service. We therefore offer you these suggestions for ways to formally recognize these individuals and highlight some recent notable accomplishments.


The Public Service Center recognizes that funding for faculty and student-initiated service projects is important for the future viability of the project and for positive community change. The Center therefore offers several opportunities for funding through our office, as well as information on other funding sources at Cornell and nationally.


  • Community Partnership Funding Board Grants — The Community Partnership Funding Board (CPFB), a student organization, seeks to foster leadership and social responsibility by encouraging students to take action against social problems. The CPFB assists students in developing grassroots community action projects and administers grants from the Community Partnership Fund to make these projects possible. Funding for up to $2500 per project, per year is available. 
  • Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award — The Robinson-Appel award was established to recognize and honor students who have had significant involvement in community service by providing support for their projects, which address a community's social needs or problems. Three projects are selected, and each receives $1,500 to further a community service project initiated and proposed by Cornell students.


  • Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship — Two faculty members, who are having a significant impact on undergraduate, professional, or graduate education at Cornell by involving their students in challenging service-learning programs, will be given a $5,000 award to enable them to further develop an ongoing community-based learning/research project, to initiate a new effort, or to seek institutionalization of a service-learning course.


  • The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program  — The Civic Leaders Fellowship Program invites community leaders involved in economic and community development efforts to join the Cornell community as both learners and teachers for an academic year. The program will award $5,000 to each selected fellow.


Community Partnership Funding Board Grant:
The student-run Community Partnership Funding Board funds several projects that effectively take action and make an impact on social issues in the community. 

Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award:
Do you have an idea for an innovative social, governmental or legal community project and a record or previous community service? Consider the Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Award

John F. Kennedy Memorial Award: 
The Kennedy Award seeks to foster leadership among promising seniors by helping them to pursue graduate work or to immediately embark on a public service career at the national, state or local level.

Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Award: 
The Maribel Garcia Community Spirit Award is given each year to a Cornell student who has made a remarkably insightful, selfless, and/or creative contribution to their community and thus, to the community of human beings at-large.