BINGHAMTON, NY -- The Kopernik Observatory and Science Center (KOSC) will be awarded $2,000 thanks to a partnership with Binghamton University’s Organizational and Strategic Leadership and Consulting class, Manley’s Mighty Marts and Big Al’s Pizza. Presentation of the award will take place at 1 p.m. Monday, May 21, at KOSC located at 698 Underwood Road, Vestal.

The Manley’s Service Learning Project partners teams of Binghamton University students with not-for-profit organizations in a range of activities. The project wrapped up during the first week of May when this year’s batch of 5 teams presented their recommendations and reports to their respective executive directors and boards of directors. The projects were then evaluated by two judges who selected the winner.

Top honors went to the Zenith Consulting team, which was selected for the appropriateness and implementable nature of their recommendations. The team, consisting of Kaitlyn M. Orr, Daniel A.  Saber, Loren Rispoli, Matthew Austin and Rachel L Tu, spent 12 weeks and over 1,000 hours working with KOSC, a non-profit hands-on science, technology, engineering and math center for students of all ages.

“We are very lucky to have worked with such a hard-working and insightful team of Binghamton University students,” said Andrew J. Deskur, executive director of KOSC. “The work they did on this project will be the invaluable to the board of directors as we set out to chart a new course for Kopernik.  We are also extremely grateful to Manley’s for sponsoring this project. All the non-profit organizations working with the Binghamton University students have benefited greatly from this project.”

The team conducted research of both KOSC and similar organizations, including surveying clients, staff, and community. The latter half of the project was dedicated to analysis, developing recommendations, and creating a report for KOSC.

“It has been an honor to work with Andrew Deskur and everyone involved with KOSC,” said Loren Rispoli, leader of the Zenith Consulting team. “Kopernik is an incredible organization and we hope our recommendations and the reward will assist in their expansion. This has been an amazing experience that we will carry with us throughout our lives.”

This was the eleventh year that the course has been offered in the capstone class for leadership and consulting majors, which is led by Kimberly Jaussi, associate professor of organizational behavior. This is also the sixth year Manley’s has sponsored the class, donating over $150,000 to date to the University in order to make possible projects that benefit the community.

In previous years, Binghamton University teams have worked on 95 projects for local non-profits, including the Binghamton JCC, the Urban League, the Binghamton Youth Bureau, VINES, the Humane Society, Roberson, A Room to Heal, the Broome County Council of Churches and Mom’s House.