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SGA receives Community Engagement Outreach Recognition Award

 

The SPHIS SGA has been selected as a recipient of the first annual Community Engagement Outreach Recognition Award in the student category. This honor is in response to an application submitted by students last spring. The SGA will receive a monetary award of $2500 and an additional $2500 to support a qualified community partner of its choosing.

We want to congratulate the SGA for this recognition. But this award comes as no surprise to the SPHIS community; their commitment to community engagement is evident throughout the year in the various activities they sponsor and support. This value was clear when the SGA collectively decided to expand its collaboration with community-based organizations in 2008-09. The group wasted no time in putting this idea into action.

They started the year by participating in the Annual Louisville AIDS Walk, hosting activities to raise funds and awareness. According to Brad Hampton, Director of the Louisville AIDS Walk, SPHIS students went above and beyond the usual collecting of pledges and donations by sponsoring mini-fundraisers including bake sales, chili cook-offs and selling team t-shirts. Their hard work paid off as they won the award for the Top School or University Fundraising Team again this year.

The SGA also created a new partnership with Scottie’s Place, a camp for children whose lives have been disrupted by homelessness, abandonment and isolation. As part of their collaboration, seven students spent their spring break at the camp in Peterstown, West Virginia. Students conducted a community needs assessment, facilitated programs on nutrition and dental hygiene and met with local public health officials to learn more about providing public health services in a rural area.

The director of Scottie’s Place, Jo-El Wadsworth, praised the students’ contribution. “I was impressed by these graduate students and their willingness to serve the needs of this organization and the children. It is truly encouraging to meet young adults who are passionate about their work, who care about children, communities and the world.”

Even with final exams looming, students continued their service activities in April with a series of events to celebrate National Public Health Week. This included an appreciation luncheon for Louisville Metro Department for Public Health and Wellness employees, a “Walk the Talk” contest to promote exercise among faculty staff and students, and a booth and cookout on campus to raise awareness of public health’s role in ensuring a healthy America.

Dr. Susan Muldoon, Associate Dean for Student Affairs, explained why SPHIS students are so deserving of the award.  “I am proud to be associated with the SGA and the students in our programs because of their selflessness, hard work, commitment and the incredibly positive way in which they reflect SPHIS in the Louisville community.”  With the leadership of the SPHIS SGA, our students, faculty and staff have been able to make a lasting impact in the community.

Award recipients, as well as all nominees, will be acknowledged at the Community Engagement Outreach Recognition Award Ceremony on Oct. 20 at 6 PM in the Elaine Chao Auditorium in Ekstrom Library. SPHIS students, faculty and staff are invited. If you are able to attend, please RSVP by calling 852-2148 or sending an email to julie.kroger@louisville.edu.

 

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