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Three win President's Award for Community Service

Dr. Janet C. Moses, a pediatrician in the MIT Medical Department, and Rev. Howard A. McClendon, pastor of the Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Church, were presented last week with the 1996 MIT President's Award for Community Service for their volunteer efforts in Cambridge.

The two were cheered by colleagues and friends at a ceremony at the President's House on November 26. Also recognized was the late Marie C. Cedrone, who was given a special posthumous tribute. Ms. Cedrone, a contract administrator in the Office of Sponsored Programs who volunteered for Communtiy Service Fund projects, died in July. All three "have made an indelible mark on the lives of our community," President Vest said.

MIT established the annual Cambridge Community Service Day in 1994 to recognize "the significant efforts of citizens, elected officials, community organizations, businesses and academic institutions that have made community service a priority."

In a resolution Dr. Vest read at last week's ceremony, he noted that Dr. Moses has been instrumental in developing the Cambridge Algebra Project, which emphasizes equal-education access for Cambridge children by preparing minority students for advanced science and mathematics classes. The project has grown from one school to eight and now includes after-school programs and summer camps.

"For 15 years, Dr. Moses has provided leadership and guidance. [seeking] funding and cultivated community support for the continued growth of this valuable program," Dr. Vest said. "Cambridge is a better place for our children because of Janet Moses. She is an outstanding role model-listening to, encouraging and supporting the youth of our community. The classrooms of Cambridge hold greater potential because of Janet's untiring devotion to the children and parents who use them."

In accepting her award, Dr. Moses acknowledged the efforts of others, particularly her husband, Cambridge Algebra Project founder Robert Moses, who has been "a beacon for the past 30 years in the struggle for equality of access" to both voting rights and education.

Seven years ago, Rev. McClendon established Project Manna, which now serves approximately 11,000 meals a year to the homeless and hungry, delivers meals to homebound people with AIDS and provides food for more than 1,000 families through its food pantry. He also introduced 80 Cambridge teenagers to professional role models and life-skill training through the Saturday morning Cambridge Breakfast Club. In 1985 he developed the College Fellowship Ministries, which provides encouragement and support for more than 1,000 minority youths at colleges in greater Boston.

"Howard is a man of compassion, reaching out to others and providing them with needed assistance and resources," Dr. Vest said. "He has had an extraordinary impact on the citizens of Cambridge. Howard is a model for all generations to follow."

"It's a great honor to be remembered for the work I do," Rev. McClendon said. "I'm a real, real believer that you just can't beat giving, and the more you give, the more you receive."

"The encouragement they give to our students is phenomenal, and I very much appreciate it," Cambridge Mayor Sheila D. Russell said of Dr. Moses and Rev. McClendon.

Ms. Cedrone, a lifelong Cambridge resident, was recognized for her "complete dedication" to the MIT Community Service Fund, "lending a warm and strong hand of support and helping to maximize the effectiveness of these fundraising activities," Dr. Vest said. "Her friendship and devotion to volunteer causes at MIT reminds us all of the many rewards received from participating in community service. Both MIT and the people of Cambridge can be grateful to have had her among us."

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 4, 1996.

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