Crawford receives community engagement lifetime achievement award
Faculty in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields expect each spring to receive a request from chemistry professor emeritus Tom Crawford to help out at the Louisville Regional Science Fair.
Crawford’s work with the fair is one aspect of his community service for which he received the first Lifetime Achievement Award from the Office of Community Engagement.
Besides directing the Louisville Regional Science Fair for years, he also helped develop a plan to control air pollution in Jefferson County and has educated and entertained some 50,000 people with a traveling chemistry show that he continues to put on for the Jefferson County Public Schools—even in his retirement. In addition, Crawford has launched and continues to train teachers how to present a personal development program that introduces high-risk JCPS students to Steven Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”
A staunch supporter of science education, Crawford helped develop the STEM guidelines in Kentucky’s education reform efforts of the 1990s.
Crawford also has served on and chaired the board of directors for Christian Church Homes of Kentucky.
A UofL alumnus, Crawford began teaching in 1961, later holding jobs as associate academic affairs vice president, associate provost and acting provost.
His impact on campus and in the community is “immeasurable,” his award said.
Crawford’s award was one of five that community engagement gave at its annual awards ceremony Oct. 3. Here are the other winners and a brief summary of their service:
Students in the Computer Engineering and Computer Science 311 class at J.B. Speed School of Engineering counseled, trained and served as mentors at St. William’s Learning Center, Park Duvalle Community Center, Simmons College, Baptist Towers and Americana Community Center.
Their efforts included teaching St. William’s residents about Internet safety and doing a technology assessment for Simmons that led to a low-cost improvement in the school’s Internet service.
“The dedication, passion and expertise these students devoted to individuals and organizations throughout the community truly made a significant impact in the lives of many,” their award said.
Associate professor Lora Haynes directs internships and service-learning in the psychology and brain sciences department. Since mid-2011, she has placed 55 students with 25 Louisville community-based organizations.
Each semester, she assigns three student interns, 13 service-learning students and eight student or community volunteers to the Resilient Families Project at Wayside Christian Mission’s Hotel Louisville, which works to strengthen homeless parents and children.
“The project has empowered dozens upon dozens of homeless families with important life skills since its inception,” her award said.
Melissa Horrar is in charge of circulation and interlibrary loans at Ekstrom Library. Since 2008, her department has been a job site for Jefferson County Public Schools’ Alfred Binet School for students with learning and behavioral challenges.
Binet students at Ekstrom search for missing books, pull books for special projects and scan documents. Their work has built their self-esteem and helped prepare them for life after graduation.
“Horrar and her staff have embraced the students by creating a working environment where they are welcomed and accepted,” her award said.
Each year, Kentucky Refugee Ministries resettles more than 1,000 people fleeing war-torn regions or mass persecution. UofL’s partnership with the agency helps give the refugees a new start and allows faculty and students to do first-hand research they couldn’t do otherwise.
While the refugees benefit from English classes, legal aid, cultural orientation sessions and other UofL services, faculty and students in social work, law, political science, anthropology and other academic areas learn by studying the refugees’ experiences.
What’s more, some 150 UofL employees and students, including Ali Scholars, McConnell Scholars, REACH Ambassadors and other student groups, volunteer every year at the agency.
“The University of Louisville is very proud of its partnership with this wonderful organization,” the agency’s award said.
Each honoree received $2,500 and a crystal plaque. This is the fifth year the Office of Community Engagement has presented awards.