Francoise Favi, laboratory and research specialist in entomology with Virginia State University’s Agricultural Research Station, has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award, a national honor offered in recognition of volunteer service. Favi received the award on April 21 during National Volunteer Week.
“I am overwhelmed with joy,” Favi said. “This work involved a lot of time outside my regular employment. I am very grateful to VSU and everyone who helped… We have made a great contribution toward U.S. assistance for international development.”
Favi received the award for her volunteer work in Bangladesh on a project to grow cassava for industrial use. Cassava, a tropical plant native to South America, is used as an industrial crop in Asia, but is not currently grown in Bangladesh. The cassava’s tuber is used to make gluten-free starch that is turned into either the sweetener glucose or flour. Cassava starch is also vital for the clothing industry.
The President’s Volunteer Service Award was established in 2003 by President George W. Bush. It is awarded annually to individuals, groups and families who have met or exceeded requirements for volunteer service and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship through volunteering.