Announcing this year’s Campus Compact Impact Award Recipients

January 12, 2022

Institutions, faculty, and community engagement professionals recognized for outstanding work pursuing the public purposes of higher education.

Campus Compact, a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education, announces this year’s recipients of the Campus Compact Impact Awards: the Nadinne Cruz Community Engagement Professional Award, the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award, the Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement, the Richard Guarasci Award for Institutional Transformation, and the Eduardo J. Padrón Award for Institutional Transformation. These awards recognize the outstanding work of individuals and institutions in pursuit of the public purposes of higher education.

“Through these awards, we celebrate action-oriented individuals and institutions that are building bridges and creating partnerships that deepen student civic learning and strengthen local communities, said Maggie Grove, interim president of Campus Compact. “Through their work as teachers, scholars, and institutional leaders, they show us the power of higher education leadership for public purposes.”

The recipients of these awards will be recognized in March at Campus Compact’s upcoming Compact22 virtual conference.

NADINNE CRUZ COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARD
The Nadinne Cruz Community Engagement Professional Award celebrates the ethical leadership and advocacy demonstrated by Community Engagement Professionals. Recipients have demonstrated collaboration with communities focused on transformative change; a commitment to justice-oriented work; and an impact on the larger movement to build ethical and effective community engagement locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.

This year’s recipients of the Nadinne Cruz Community Engagement Award are Urkovia Andrews and Kent Koth.

Urkovia Andrews, assistant director of service-learning at Georgia Southern University, is recognized for her impact on the Georgia Southern University campus, the Statesboro community, and Bulloch County through her work in service-learning and community engagement. Andrews’ dedication to service-learning is modeled in the students she prepares through Service-Learning Facilitators, a program in which students are trained to assist faculty by coordinating meaningful service-learning opportunities. In addition to her work with students, she founded the Institute for Community Partnerships, a program bringing nonprofit leaders together to learn, collaborate, and dialogue about community needs. By taking a multi-faceted approach and building powerful connections among the Georgia Southern community and local leaders, she has created a strategic, effective, and long-lasting coalition that works together to create positive change.

Kent Koth, founding executive director of the Sundborg Center for Community Engagement at Seattle University, is recognized for over 25 years of commitment to implementing justice-oriented work and collaborating with communities to create transformative change. As a leader for the Seattle University Youth Initiative, the Center for Community Engagement, and the national Place-Based Justice Network, Koth has impacted universities and communities across the country and around the world by facilitating strategic, high-quality partnerships that lead to maximum transformative change. Through his work, Koth has made significant contributions to the larger movement to build ethical and effective community engagement locally, nationally, and globally.

ERNEST A. LYNTON AWARD FOR THE SCHOLARSHIP OF ENGAGEMENT AND THOMAS EHRLICH CIVICALLY ENGAGED FACULTY AWARD
The Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement and the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award recognize early career and senior faculty, respectively, who practice exemplary engaged scholarship through teaching and research. The awards are presented in partnership with Brown University’s Swearer Center. Recipients are selected on the basis of their collaboration with communities, institutional impact, and high-quality academic work.

This year’s recipient of the Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement is Jessica Taylor.

Jessica Taylor, assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech, is recognized for her leadership as a public scholar and her creative and comprehensive approach to community engagement. As a historian, Taylor has worked collaboratively with tribal Nations, archives, public schools, cultural organizations, and community leaders to collect, preserve, and better understand the histories of indigenous people, Black Americans, and other marginalized groups in Appalachia and beyond. Through partnerships with community groups, she has completed oral history projects that uncover diverse histories, collecting hundreds of interviews and bringing voice to those who have often been overlooked. In doing this, her scholarship seeks to understand how social and environmental inequities create landscape change across the southeast, making history more inclusive and relevant to today. In her work with students, Taylor prioritizes including community partners as co-teachers and offering students tailored engaged-learning opportunities that meet their needs and interests.

In addition, the following faculty have been recognized as Lynton Award finalists: Elizabeth Nelson, assistant professor of history at IUPUI, and Jodi Benenson, assistant professor of public policy/administration at the University of Nebraska Omaha.

This year’s recipients of the Thomas Ehrlich Civically Engaged Faculty Award are Kimberly Buch and Vanessa Martinez.

Kimberly Buch, professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is recognized for significant scholarship and teaching that has deeply involved students and communities and resulted in mutually beneficial partnerships that lead to transformational change. In over two decades of teaching, she has engaged over 500 students in service-learning and supervised over 80 students’ engaged scholarship projects, many of which have led to publications and presentations with student co-authors. In 2003, Buch created the Psychology Learning Community (PLC) for first-year majors. The program, which centers community service, has since been integrated into the curriculum. In response to the growing problem of hunger and food insecurity on college campuses, Buch gathered support for and founded the Niner Student Pantry, an on-campus food pantry in 2014. Since the creation of the pantry, PLC service-learning activities have been focused there, creating a service-learning “lab” on campus that gives students from across the campus an opportunity to learn and engage while supporting students who face food insecurity.

Vanessa Martinez, professor of anthropology at Holyoke Community College, is recognized for teaching and scholarship that inspires students to take on leadership roles in their communities. Through academic work that focuses on storytelling, Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, and cultural humility, Martinez invites diverse groups of students to learn about community-based organizations, advocate and fundraise for community needs based on their own engaged research, and think critically about the role they play in their communities. This is evidenced by a partnership with the Women of Color Health Equity Collective, an organization that Martinez helped to found that serves as an engaged-learning opportunity for Holyoke Community College students. Students learn about the social determinants of health and the role of social inequality in health outcomes while researching community and collective member needs and developing advocacy plans to help create change. Martinez also leads a new Community Leadership Certificate program at the college to give students formal training to continue work at community organizations take on leadership roles in their community.

In addition, the following faculty have been named Ehrlich Award finalists: Bryan Sokol, director of the Center for Service and Community Engagement and associate professor of psychology at Saint Louis University, and Laura Rosanne Adderley, associate professor of history at Tulane University.

RICHARD GUARASCI AND EDUARDO J. PADRÓN AWARDS FOR INSTITUTIONAL TRANSFORMATION
The Richard Guarasci Award for Institutional Transformation and the Eduardo J. Padrón Award for Institutional Transformation recognize four-year or graduate institutions and community colleges, respectively, that have successfully implemented institution-wide efforts to address issues of public concern by aligning teaching, research, practice, and values in service of the common good. The recipients, listed below, have undertaken comprehensive efforts to advance the values articulated in Campus Compact’s 30th Anniversary Action Statement of Presidents and Chancellors.

This year’s recipients of the Richard Guarasci Award for Institutional Transformation are Dominican University of California and James Madison University.

Dominican University of California has, over the past decade, taken comprehensive and sustainable action to ensure community engagement is deeply embedded in its curriculum and programs. This is evidenced by a 2017 revision to the curriculum, which centers community engagement. The curriculum revision drew on the Dominican Experience, a signature educational model that includes community engagement as one of its four essential elements, and new institutional learning outcomes that include the Practice of Civic Skills and Social Responsibility. In 2016, the university founded its Center for Community Engagement. The Center’s advisory board then crafted and published a Civic Action Plan that further centered civic and community engagement as an institutional priority that is essential to the Dominican Experience.

James Madison University has defined civic engagement as advancing the legacy of James Madison by preparing individuals to be active and responsible participants in our democracy. To achieve this, James Madison University has committed to use the full capacity of the institution to challenge social and economic inequalities that threaten our democratic future. Since the publication of the JMU Civic Action Plan in 2017 under the leadership of President Jonathan Alger, the university has continued to build cross-campus strategies and processes that center this commitment. Through initiatives, task forces, community partnerships, and collaboration, the entire JMU community works to ensure that the institution continues to prepare students for lives of engaged citizenship and embraces its place-based responsibility to contribute to the health and strength of communities.

This year’s recipients of the Eduardo J. Padrón Award for Institutional Transformation are Madison Area Technical College and Tarrant County College-Southeast Campus.

Madison Area Technical College, a public technical and community college based in Madison, Wisconsin, has committed the institution to creating transformational change within its diverse communities. The focus of Madison Area Technical College is to educate students that are committed to equity, excellence, respect, and social responsibility. This is evidenced by the institution’s recent, deep investments to provide access to historically underserved populations, strengthening community relationships and confronting racial inequities that have negatively impacted communities.

Tarrant County College-Southeast Campus, a public community college located in Arlington, Texas, is deeply committed to democratic engagement, with a particular emphasis on creating a culture that serves the community. Following the establishment of a 2019 district-wide committee for civic engagement, Southeast Campus formed a team to implement engagement initiatives with a unique vision—to help humankind through working to identify and meet the needs of the community, engaging students socially and politically, and embracing and celebrating a culture of diversity. This has been implemented on campus through a two-pronged approach, with one set of initiatives focused on meeting student and the community needs, such as providing parenting resources and food pantry services, and a second set of initiatives focused on educating and activating students for political participation.

For eligibility criteria, past recipients, and other details about the Campus Compact Impact Awards, see www.compact.org/impact-awards.


For more information contact:
Molly Leiper, Communications Manager, Campus Compact, mleiper@compact.org

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