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Community engagement awards recognize UofL service efforts near, afar

by UofL Today last modified Oct 15, 2012 10:23 AM

The University of Louisville honored faculty, staff, students and a community partner Oct. 11 for playing significant roles in bringing university resources to the community during the fourth annual Community Engagement Awards.

“The work of our honorees demonstrates that strong university/community partnerships can truly make a difference in our community,” said President James Ramsey at the event in Ekstrom Library’s Chao Auditorium.

The Office of Community Engagement sponsored the awards. Provost Shirley Willihnganz recognized each recipient at the ceremony. Each honoree received $2,500 and a crystal plaque.

Here are this year’s honorees and descriptions of their community work.

Student: Morgan Forrester, Kent School of Social Work, 2012 Cum Laude graduate

Forrester performed her practicum at Big Brothers Big Sisters Kentuckiana, an agency that strives, through adult mentorship, to help children reach their ultimate potential in life. Volunteer mentors are screened, trained and matched with children. Working with the chief program officer, Forrester created and delivered a staff training module to enhance the agency’s ability to make the best possible match between mentors and children. Her work focused on exploring the association of trauma with child abuse and proved to be so beneficial to agency personnel, volunteer mentors, parents and children that national Big Brothers Big Sisters office is reviewing it for potential replication.

Faculty: International Service Learning Program faculty team

Faculty and staff members Joy Hart, Kandi Walker, Michael Anthony, Paul Boyd, Barbara Burns, Thomas Clark, Michael Cuyjet, Elizabeth Grossi, Price Foster, Alex Lyras, Dennis Menezes, Whitney Nash, William Sanders, Melvin Washington, Ellen Brehob, Scott LaJoie, Russell Vandenbroucke, Pam Curtis, Thomas Jackson Jr., Michael Mardis, Shirley Hardy, Laura Mercer and Beverly Wolford worked alongside students to deliver services and programs to under-resourced communities in five difference countries.

Through the International Service Learning Program, team members taught a discipline-based course, co-led interdisciplinary orientations and worked with student teams onsite to address needs that community residents identified. Program examples include school-based programs on anti-bullying and building healthy relationships, recycling, mindfulness and well-being, health, leadership, personal success and free dental clinics. The ISLP faculty team helped UofL students to gain global experience and deepen international insights, apply discipline-specific knowledge and help communities become more self-sufficient.

Wayside Christian Mission

Wayside Christian Mission has served Louisville since 1957 and at any given time, is home to more than 650 men, women and children. It provides about 2,500 daily meals to people in need. Through its partnership with UofL, Wayside clients are learning and being empowered to lead better lives through better thinking. UofL-Wayside programs are designed to help residents become productive, self-supporting citizens living drug- and alcohol-free lives.

Wayside’s partnership with UofL is interdisciplinary. Twenty UofL faculty and staff and more than 200 students participated in the collaboration last year from the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, Kent School of Social Work, School of Law, School of Nursing, University Libraries, Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs and Office of the Vice President of Information Technology.

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