Community Engagement Center Recognizes Outstanding Individuals

Cedar City, Utah — Southern Utah University’s Community Engagement Center recently held their annual Thank You & Recognition Event, a time to formally recognize the 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. It is a collaboration between SUU students, faculty and the larger community (local, regional/state, national, global) for 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.

Below is a list of award recipients:

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/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 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,” said SUU Provost Brad Cook. “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,” said President Scott L Wyatt. “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,” said Dean of Integrative and Engaged Learning Dr. Patrick Clarke. “In developing SAIL programs, Ashlyn has demonstrated honesty, passion, and humility in ways that inspire others and enhance community engagement.”

Community Engaged Alumnus: 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

“Paula Mitchell is honored this year as an SUU alum who has shown a deep commitment to all forms of community engagement, much of it focused on preserving local history and historical resources,” said Ron Cardon, director of Alumni and Community Relations. “She has created strong connections between the Sherratt Library and a number of local, state, and national organizations (such as the Mormon History Association). Paula has supervised volunteers with the Utah Shakespeare Festival for more than a decade, and she is the go-to person for anyone researching history in southern Utah.”

In addition to these awards, five Exemplar awards were given. An exemplar is defined as a person serving as a typical example or excellent model, in this case of community engagement and service. Those awarded were Tessa Douglas, Office of Learning Abroad, Dr. Kurt Harris, Office of Learning Abroad, Dr. Steve Barney, Professor of Psychology, Alexis Bucknam, Executive Director of the Utah Campus Compact, and Dr. Patrick Clarke, Dean of the School of Integrative and Engaged Learning.

For more information about the Community Engagement Center, click here.

About Southern Utah University
Southern Utah University (1897) evolved from a teacher training institution to Utah’s designated masters university, offering over 140 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. With world class project based learning, unique undergraduate research opportunities, and a personalized learning environment (18:1) students lead projects mentored by professors. True to the University’s core vision, SUU faculty, staff and administrators enable students to honor thought in all its finest forms, achieve excellence in their chosen field, and create positive change in the world.

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