Thursday, August 06, 2009
Mario G. Ricoma, information resource consultant for the College of Business and Applied Professional Sciences and faculty advisor of SC State’s Kappa Upsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi, will receive the national Alpha Kappa Psi volunteer of the year award on Saturday, August 8, 2009, during the “2009 Getting Business Done in the Sun” convention in Orlando, Fla.
Recognized as the premier developer of principled business leaders, Alpha Kappa Psi, Inc. is the oldest and largest professional business fraternity and currently has over 250 national and international chapters.
Ricoma was nominated for the volunteer of the year award by more than 40 student members of SC State’s Kappa Upsilon chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi. Members of the national chapter then named Ricoma volunteer of the year after reviewing nominations from over 250 chapters.
The volunteer of the year award is given to the individual that exemplifies Alpha Kappa Psi, through their dedication and commitment to the fraternity. Additionally, they frequently give of their time, talent and treasure, go beyond the call of duty to perform what is in the best interest of the fraternity and help their local region to excel through volunteer efforts.
“I was not aware that the students nominated me for the volunteer of the year award so when I found out, I was very surprised and moved to tears because this showed me that the students really respected and cared enough to nominate me,” said Ricoma. “It’s not only an honor for me to receive this award but it also brings credibility to the students, given that their University is recognized on a national level.”
In 2005, Ricoma became the faculty advisor for Kappa Upsilon and since that time he has exhibited his loyalty and care for the members of the organization. He also often finds himself having to sacrifice some things of his own in efforts to help the members.
He recalled how just a few months earlier, the members decided to use one of his offices as a place to organize their meetings and plan upcoming initiatives.
“Before I realized it, the students came in and took over the office where I do most of my printing but I’m glad to be able to give them a place where they are eager to meet, plan and develop projects that will benefit others and help them to personally succeed. It’s good to know that we are preparing them for the business world, therefore I’m willing to help them in any way I possibility can,” exclaimed Ricoma.
The president of Kappa Upsilon at SC State concurs, noting that Ricoma is both loyal and dedicated. “Mr. Ricoma is there no matter what,” said Russell Simon, junior accounting major from Santee, S.C.
He recalled a time when he felt that he needed Ricoma the most and was not let down.
“Last year I was tasked with putting together the Kappa Upsilon Alumni Banquet, which was held on a Saturday evening. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong certainly did. It only took one phone call and Mr. Ricoma was there, assisting in any way he possibly could. That is just one of the many ways that he is dedicated to his role as faculty advisor.”
Kappa Upsilon is comprised of sophomores, junior and seniors at SC State. Each member strives to expand towards new horizons through University and community involvement. The members are preparing to launch significant involvements, with the assistance and support of their advisors.
Dr. Marion Robinson, assistant professor of Business Education at SC State also serves as advisor for Kappa Upsilon.
We are very proud of Mr. Ricoma in his receiving this award and we are very blessed to have him and Mr. Robinson as advisors to support all of our endeavors,” said Simon. “Kappa Upsilon is a very prestigious chapter because of them,” he continued.
In fall 2009, Kappa Upsilon will be hosting several professional events on the campus of SC State and in the community. Additionally they will offer scholarships to incoming freshman through the fall freshman book scholarship initiative.
The chapter will also continue community service efforts to include the Adopt a Highway program, in which they volunteer to keep highways and roads free from litter. They have held that responsibility with the Kennerly Road in Orangeburg for more than 10 years.
To become a member of Kappa Upsilon students must:
• Have at least 30 academic credits
• Maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher
• Be a sophomore, junior or senior at SC State University