Service at Heart of Distinguished Young Alumni Awards
Citineni, Deifell use entrepreneurial skills to tackle social problems, encourage others
Two entrepreneurs who tackle issues such tions. One, the Institute for Public Media
as hunger, poverty and diversity – and Arts in Durham, involved youths in public
engage others in service projects – were service through media arts – photography,
honored as the GAA’s 2008 Distinguished video, radio and the Internet. The nonprofit
Young Alumni. promoted user-generated content long
Sindhura Citineni ’04 of Morrisville and before new media such as You Tube.
KEITH KING ’ 82
Tony Deifell ’ 91 of San Francisco received Other Deifell initiatives included the
the awards at a banquet Oct. 3 for bringing –ISM (N.) Curricula and Faculty
credit to the University through their Development Project, which helps colleges
achievements. explore diversity through video and multi-
“The remarkable accomplishments of media. He was on the national advisory
many of Carolina’s younger alumni are board of Rock the Vote and was a fellow of
truly inspiring,” said GAA President the W.K. Kellogg Foundation National
Douglas Dibbert ’ 70. “The GAA delights in Leadership Group.
presenting each year the Distinguished As chief strategist for KaBOOM!, a
Young Alumni Awards to those who have leader in community-built playgrounds and
made our alumni and our University so skate parks, Deifell applied his Harvard
proud.” Sindhura Citineni ’04, left, started an anti-hunger campaign master’s degree in business administration
Citineni is now a Carolina dental stu- that has grown into an international organization; Tony Deifell skills to developing play areas in under-
’ 91 helped start the APPLES service-learning program at UNC
dent. As an undergraduate, she was moved and uses multimedia projects to address social issues. served neighborhoods. He designed a
by images of starving people in her native national city-based advocacy program called
India. She started thinking, “What if it was “America’s Most Playful Cities,” which
my dad? My brother? It’s someone’s dad, Harvard Business School featured as a best
someone’s brother.” That epiphany led her practice and a learning case study.
to found Hunger Lunch, a program that Last year, Deifell published Seeing Beyond
serves lunches of beans and rice weekly on Sight: Photographs by Blind Teenagers,
show-campus to drive home the food plight of casing work by students at the Governor
many of the world’s poor. Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh.
With support from UNC’s APPLES The students participated in a photography
(Assisting People in Planning Learning club he started there.
Experiences in Service) program, the A current project was inspired by a
Carolina Center for Public Service and the child’s question: “Why do you do what you
Campus Y, Hunger Lunch became the first do?” Deifell created www.wdydwyd.com,
undergraduate international hunger-relief an interactive Web site where users may
organization on campus. answer the question, submit photos and
In its first year, the project raised more more. The site has drawn more than half a
than $7,500. Citineni and another student million viewers to see the self-expressive
used that money to set up a Nutrition works posted by thousands of participants.
House in her native city, Hyderabad, India, Since 1989, the GAA’s Distinguished
where a high-protein, high-calcium drink Young Alumni Awards have recognized
was served to children. alumni aged 40 or younger whose accom-
Through the UNC business-plan com- plishments have brought credit to the
petition Carolina Challenge – a student-led University. ■
program that is part of the Carolina The APPLES service-learning program was
Entrepreneurial Initiative – Citineni and profiled in the September/October 2007 issue of
other students expanded Hunger Lunch the Review, and Nourish International was
into the nonprofit Nourish International. profiled in the September/October 2008 issue.
They took second place in the challenge’s Both are available to GAA members at
social-enterprise category and developed alumni.unc.edu/archive.
their ideas through the Kenan-Flagler
Business School’s “Launching the Venture” ONLINE: To see a list of past DYA winners,
course. The business school presented visit alumni.unc.edu/awards.
Citineni with its Outstanding Young
Alumni Award in 2007.
Nourish International has established
nine long-term, sustainable development
projects in impoverished communities,
including a micro-irrigation project in the
Bolivian Andes and community food plots
at elementary schools in Buenos Aires,
Headquartered in Chapel Hill, the
organization has 23 chapters at universities
across the U.S. and plans to expand. This
year, the N.C. Peace Corps honored
Nourish International with the N.C. Peace
Prize for excellence in cross-cultural solutions and sustainable development.
Deifell, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland,
helped found the APPLES service-learning
program at UNC when he was a student.
The program helps students and faculty
combine classroom work with community
Michael Ulku-Steiner ’ 92, another of the
APPLES organizers, recalled scrambling to
keep up with Deifell’s “frantic creativity,
hoping we could make happen even a few
of the many good ideas that came cascading
out of Tony’s brain.”
Twice named N.C. Student Photographer
of the Year, Deifell went on after graduation
to start arts-based public-service organiza-