Parker and McHugh named to America East Helping Hands team
VESTAL, NY – Second-year goaltender PJ Parker of the Binghamton men’s soccer team and senior graduate Abigail McHugh of the Bearcat Women’s Swim and Dive Team are two of 20 student-athletes from America East institutions who have been named to the 2021 Helping Hands team at the conference that was announced Tuesday afternoon.
The America East Helping Hands team, now in its eighth year, was created to recognize a male and female student-athlete from each of the America East institutions for their exemplary efforts in community service, while retaining a good academic level.
Parker took the lead in making the PwC Scholars mosaic for the American Civic Association and Gigi’s Playhouse. He spent at least three hours a week during the spring semester, helping to organize the volunteer teams and plan the project as well as making the mosaics.
For the American Civic Association, he helped complete the one-year mosaic and installed it at the site in downtown Binghamton.
Currently, Parker is actively working on installing the mosaic in Gigi’s playhouse. While creating the mosaic, Parker worked with other scholars alongside members of Gigi’s playhouse to create a unique and special mosaic for their Vestal establishment.
âIt is an honor to be selected to the American East Helping Hands team,â said Parker. âI really enjoyed working throughout the semester with my friends and members of GiGi’s playhouse and the American Civic Association to create unique and welcoming works of art for members and their families. am really proud of the work that has been done and most importantly I want to thank all the Binghamton PwC Fellows and their hard work throughout these last two semesters. I also want to thank Mark Stein and Emily Jablon for creating the vision and taking so much of their time to create something that has such a profound impact on the community. “
McHugh coded vaxxtracknj.com, a website that tracks internet vaccine appointments in Monmouth, Ocean and Middlesex counties, New Jersey, for vaccine availability via an automated alert system. She first created the website as a way to find a vaccine for immunocompromised mothers.
The website included a quiz to find out where you could get vaccinated in the local Jersey Shore area and a hosted spreadsheet for site URLs, address information and when their site was last updated. Web. Attracted thousands of users per day to the website, with 3,000 at most.
Additionally, McHugh was president of Girls Who Code at Binghamton University, a nonprofit that teaches free programming classes to local middle school and high school students. Volunteer over 150 hours per year to manage a staff of 12 to coordinate program structuring, marketing and community outreach, and partnership with community business leaders.
âI am honored to receive the America East Helping Hands Award,â McHugh said. âCommunity service, along with swimming, has been a focal point of my varsity career and I am grateful to receive the award in my senior year. I am incredibly grateful to my coaches Jerry, Mike and Heather for always being flexible with my busy schedule and encourages me to pursue all of my interests, in and out of the pool. “
Each America East institution, at its discretion, selects a male and female representative who will be recognized annually by the conference as part of the Helping Hands team. Since 2014, 11 Binghamton student-athletes in nine sports have been selected.
BINGHAMTON’S AMERICA EAST HAND HELP SELECTIONS (16)
2014 (2): Tyler Deuel (wrestling), Kaitlyn Martin (women’s football)
2015 (2): Tyler Deluca (men’s lacrosse), Kim Albrecht (women’s basketball)
2016 (2): Eric Farm (Men’s Swimming & Diving), Griffin McIver (Softball)
2017 (2): John Rinaldi (Men’s Basketball), Carrie Maniccia (Softball)
2018 (2): Zach Kaplan (Men’s Swimming) Kaylee Wasco (Women’s Basketball)
2019 (2): Noah Luescher (Men’s Football), Kaylee Wasco (Women’s Basketball)
2020 (2): Alissa Franze (women’s lacrosse), Dane Heberlin (wrestling)
2021 (2): PJ Parker (Men’s football), Abigail McHugh (Swimming and diving for women)