Karalewitz Honored With 2019 USM Board of Regents Staff Award

Jul 17, 2019 12:30 PM

Bridgette Karalewitz, administrative assistant for Student Support Services at Frostburg State University, has been selected as the 2019 recipient of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents Staff Award, the highest honor bestowed on staff members by USM.

Presented to staff employees who have demonstrated excellence beyond the scope of their full-time professional responsibilities, the Board of Regents Staff Award is based on the quality of the nominee’s work within his or her institution, community or surrounding environment.

“Ms. Karalewitz has been one of FSU’s most recognized ambassadors to the regional community and Frostburg State University,” said FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk.

Aware of the needs of students and often meeting those needs on her own, Karalewitz recognized the growing issue of food insecurity among college students long before it gained national attention. Partnering with the FSU Student Lions Club, Karalewitz formed a committee of students, faculty and administrators to help establish PAWS Pantry, a campus food pantry serving all students.

Involved in every aspect of PAWS Pantry, Karalewitz conducted research on the issue of food inadequacies on campus and developed the policies and procedures to put the pantry in place. Karalewitz led a workgroup to secure a location, secure funding for a part-time AmeriCorps member and collected food items and monetary donations to stock the pantry.

“Her efforts in connecting the students to the community have provided a win-win environment for our students,” Nowaczyk said. “They learn to value the importance of ‘community’ and what it means to support those in need either by receiving or giving of their resources and time.”

Operating since November 2018, PAWS Pantry receives up to 2,000 pounds of food every month from the Maryland Food Bank in addition to numerous food drives on and off campus.

“Ms. Karalewitz also serves the community with a relentless fervor. In her free time, she dedicates herself to fundraising, volunteering and preparing meals for families in need, military members and veterans,” said Nowaczyk. “I truly believe Ms. Karalewitz is deserving of this recognition given her commitment to the community both on campus and off campus.”