CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University’s Community Engagement Center recently held its annual “Thank You and Recognition Event” to formally recognize students, faculty, alumni and community partners for their work in community service.
Community engagement connects college experience with hands-on experiences, giving students the opportunity to share and improve skills, knowledge and abilities. The collaboration between SUU students, faculty and the larger community works toward the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
Community engagement enriches scholarship, research and creative activity; enhances curriculum, teaching and learning; prepares educated, engaged citizens; strengthens democratic values and civic responsibility; addresses critical societal issues; and contributes to the public good.
Committed Community Partner: Bryce Canyon National Park.
This award recognizes an individual or organization that:
- Strengthens community involvement at the institution.
- Provides meaningful service and learning opportunities for students.
- Enhances their agency’s mission, programs and goals by partnering with the institution.
“Bryce Canyon National Park enjoys a distinctive partnership with SUU that helps both parties to fulfill our missions. … National Parks are places of great beauty that refresh our senses and transform our lives,” said Pam Branin, associate director of the Community Engagement Center. “Collaborations with SUU suggest a bright future for the management of Bryce Canyon National Park while fostering a legacy of stewardship.”
Community Engaged Scholar: Liz Olson.
This award recognizes an individual with:
- Experience in using community engagement or service-learning as a successful pedagogy.
- Innovation in employing reflective strategies to connect students’ service with academics.
- Evidence of academic community engagement through teaching, community-based research or promotion of service-learning on campus or in one’s dispute.
“As an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Liz Olson uses community-engaged, and/or reflective, pedagogies in all of her classes where common themes include public and global health, environmental problem solving, and sustainable development,” SUU Provost Brad Cook said. “Professor Olson is energetic in connecting classroom with the community in a collaborative and self-reflecting learning process.”
Community Engaged Staff Member: Anne Smith.
This award recognizes a staff member that:
- Shows leadership in advancing community engagement as a critical component within their higher education partnerships.
- Forms innovative campus and community partnerships.
- Engages, models, or influences students to be involved in community service and/or service-learning.
“In a career spanning thirty years at SUU, Anne Smith has been a committed educator, staff member, and program builder,” SUU President Scott L Wyatt said. “Anne is recognized for her leadership in advancing outdoor recreation and community engagement, and for sustaining collaborations between SUU, local organizations, and public land agencies. Anne has engaged, modeled, and influenced students to be involved in their own communities and in places such as Swaziland where they have raised funds and collected books for libraries.”
Community Engaged Student: Ashlyn Judd.
This award recognizes a student or student group that:
- Demonstrates commitment to building or enhancing campus-based efforts to address community needs.
- Leads, inspires and engages other students, members of the institution or community.
- Demonstrates efforts to sustain their work through developing strategies for institutional and community commitment
“Ashlyn Judd is honored this year for her outstanding leadership in revitalizing the Student Alliance of Interfaith Leaders (also known as SAIL) and in promoting valuable campus conversations and activities,” dean of integrative and engaged learning Patrick Clarke said. “In developing SAIL programs, Ashlyn has demonstrated honesty, passion, and humility in ways that inspire others and enhance community engagement.”
Community Engaged Alumnus/Alumna: Paula Mitchell.
This award recognizes an SUU alum that:
- Demonstrates on-going and deep commitment to community engagement.
- Leads, inspires and engages other members of their community toward positive social change.
- Furthers the community engagement efforts of the institution.