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Cornell University

David M. Einhorn Center for
Community Engagement

An integration of the Public Service Center and
the Office of Engagement Initiatives

Robinson-Appel Humanitarian Awards

Cornell alumni Gerald Robinson '54, Margot Robinson '55, Robert Appel '53, and Helen Appel '55 established the Robinson-Appel award 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 $2,500 to further a community service project initiated and proposed by Cornell students. The focus of the project's efforts may be the Cornell campus, the Ithaca community, or a location outside of Tompkins County (but within the United States and its territories). 

  • The candidate's proposal to use the award money for an innovative approach to a social, governmental, or legal problem within a community.

  • This proposal should demonstrate the student's initiative and ability to translate ideals into the practical result of meeting community needs. Proposals should include a timeline of completion, plans for evaluation, and a budget outline. All applications must be accompanied by supporting documentation and/or a letter of nomination from agency personnel or a member of Cornell's faculty or staff.
  • Previous community service. To better judge the capability of carrying out the project, the committee needs an understanding of previous experience in humanitarian service during the preceding twelve-month period.
  • Projects should not be part of academic coursework, dissertation research, or for academic credit, but may be an outgrowth of previous work or course experience
  • Funding for travel or salary is not eligible.
  • If you are selected as a semifinalist attendance at the semifinalist round and award dinner is mandatory. The semifinalist round is Friday, April 29th and the celebration dinner is that evening.

If you have any questions about the application process, please email