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Melissa Lees

Director of Campus Ministry and Service

Notre Dame of Maryland University

Since Melissa Lees became director of campus ministry and service at Notre Dame of Maryland University in 2013, there has been a 64 percent increase in the number of students participating and hours served.

About 1,400 university students participated during the 2012-13 school year.

Lees, 32, received the Governor’s Service Award for service learning in 2014 and a victim advocate award that same year from TurnAround Inc.

For the past two years, Lees has led the university in sending more than 200 students, faculty and staff to the United Way’s Project Homeless Connect. They were matched with people experiencing homelessness and served as guides to connect to resources like housing and transportation.

“It’s one thing to know that homelessness exists in Baltimore, but it’s a completely different thing to learn about the root causes of poverty and then go out and serve people experiencing homelessness,” Lees said.