Southern Utah University Blog

SUU's Community Engagement Center Honors Volunteers and Leaders

Posted: April 12, 2019 | Author: Kenzie Lundberg | Read Time: 4 minutes

2019-04-community-engagement-awards.jpgEach year the Community Engagement Center (CEC) at Southern Utah University recognizes those individuals and organizations dedicated to service and community engagement at SUU and in the Cedar City community. At an awards ceremony held at SUU on Wednesday, April 10, the CEC shared their gratitude to all volunteers and honored the following award recipients.

Committed Community Partner

The Committed Community Partner is awarded to an individual or organization that strengthens community involvement, provides meaningful service and learning opportunities for students, and enhances their agency’s mission/programs/goals by partnering with SUU. This year’s Committed Community Partner Award was given to John and Patty Walser of JustServe.org.

JustServe.org is a resource and website where volunteer needs of organizations are posted and volunteers can search for places to serve in the community. Thanks to the energetic and well-organized efforts of John and Patty Walser here in southern Utah, JustServe has become a valuable partner with the Community Engagement Center along with many local organizations. Together, they have made JustServe a popular and effective organization that enhances community service.

Community Engaged Faculty Member

The Community Engaged Faculty Member award recognizes an individual at SUU with experience in using community engaged or service-learning as a successful pedagogy, innovation in employing reflective strategies to connect students’ service with academics and evidence of academic community engagement through teaching, community-based research, or promotion of service-learning on campus or in one’s discipline. This year’s Community Engaged Faculty Member award was given to Professor Robin Boneck.

Robin Boneck is chair of SUU's nationally-recognized Accounting Program and was honored for his long-time oversight of SUU's Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. In Spring 2018, over 2,132 hours of student time was donated to help 516 lower-income families in our local community file both federal and state tax returns. This service was provided at no cost to the community members, saving them a total of approximately $90,000 in fees or $175 per family.

Community Engaged Scholar

The Community Engaged Scholar award recognizes an individual who shows leadership in advancing community engagement, forms innovative campus and community partnerships, and engages, models, or influences students to be involved in community service and/or service-learning. This year’s Community Engaged Scholar award was given to Silvia Kozlovska, ESL lecturer in the American Language and Culture Center.

Over the past three and a half years, Silvia has dedicated herself to SUU's mission of providing the best experience to international students as they embark on their individual life paths. In her work at SUU, Silvia has created and implemented a curriculum that places community engagement at the heart of her educational approach.

Community Engaged Organization

The Community Engaged Organization award recognizes a student group that demonstrates a commitment to building or enhancing campus-based efforts to address community needs, leads, inspires, and engages other students, members of the institution, or community, and demonstrates efforts to sustain their work through developing strategies for institutional and community commitment. This year’s Community Engaged Organization award was given to SUU’s Amry ROTC.

Under the leadership of advisor and faculty member, Major Emilio Suazo, SUU's Army Reserve Officer Training Corps or ROTC effectively serves SUU, our community, and our country. Army ROTC offers excellent preparation in leadership development that is integrated with a student's curricular program. Through ROTC classes, leadership labs, physical training, and field training exercises, students learn how to lead others, motivate groups and conduct missions as an Officer in the Army.

Community Engaged Alumnus

The Community Engaged Alumnus award recognizes an SUU alum who demonstrates on-going and deep commitment to community engagement, leads, inspires, and engages other members of their community toward positive social change, and furthers the community engagement efforts of SUU. This year’s Community Engaged Alumnus award was given to Dr. Cody Wilson.

Dr. Cody Wilson has two degrees from SUU, and his local orthodontics practice is known and valued for its sustained sponsorships of high school activities, little league sports, and other fundraising entities. For the past eight years, Cody has taught in the Rural Health Scholars program with workshops and courses such as "Preparing for Graduate School" and "Managing Your Future Clinic."

Community Engagement Exemplar Awards

Jennifer Leard, Jessica Farling, Eric Chamberlain, and Mike and McCall Nelson were given exemplar awards.

As one of SUU's outstanding and hardworking Student Success Advisors, Jennifer Leard has made quite an impact on students and the community in her time here. Jennifer is always pointing out options to students who were unaware of academic and service possibilities on campus and in the community.

In her relatively short time here as the SUMA Director, Jessica Farling has done a fantastic job reaching into the community to find ways to bring different constituencies into our Southern Utah Museum of Art. Jessica has successfully upheld and expanded SUMA's mission and role within our campus and our region.

The last three recipients are related to Lee Chamberlain, the CEC Administrative Assistant. Eric, Lee's husband, and her daughter and son-in-law, Mike and McCall Nelson, have selflessly provided substantial support for the CEC's oversight of the annual Iron County Holiday Assistance Program. While it is hard to measure the value of the Chamberlain family donations of time, treasure, truck, and trailer, their efforts have been greatly appreciated by the CEC and deserve our thanks and recognition.

Learn more about the Community Engagement Center at Southern Utah University.

Tags: Community

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