Nhu Vo, of Manchester, a 2017 graduate of Saint Joseph’s College, was one of six Maine college students to receive the Maine Campus Compact’s statewide Heart and Soul Student Award on April 26 in the McKernan Hospitality Center at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.

Nhu served as the president of Saint Joseph College’s Gay Straight Transgender Alliance+. She also was the chairwoman of the EcoReps group on campus. Nhu’s passion for sustainability caused her to bring TerraCycle to campus, helping Saint Joseph’s College decrease their waste stream by collecting plastics that are not recyclable through traditional recycling programs.

Nhu has a dedication to service: volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, the Saint Joseph’s food pantry “Catherine’s Cupboard,” Preble Street in Portland, and the Root Cellar in Lewiston. Nhu graduated May 13 with a degree in environmental science and marine science and with a double minor in sustainability studies and biology.

Each year, Maine Campus Compact recognizes up to six college students who are actively involved in transforming their campuses and communities into environments of civic engagement. These students have developed positive community and campus changes and have worked to institutionalize their community projects. They have implemented innovative approaches to social, educational, environmental, health, economic, and legal issues facing their communities, and they have demonstrated leadership through successfully involving others on campus and in the community in their initiatives.

Established in 1994 and hosted at Bates College, MCC is a statewide coalition of 18 college and university presidents working to build strong communities and a more just democratic society by developing students’ citizenship and problem solving skills through community-based learning. MCC is an affiliate state office of Campus Compact, which encompasses more than 1,200 college and university presidents – representing some 6 million students-dedicated to promoting community service, civic engagement, and service-learning in higher education.