The Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL) recently recognized the service contributions of members of the local community, including a recent William Smith graduate, a member of the HWS faculty and a local partner.
Stephanie Wells ’10 received the Compass Award for Outstanding Engaged Student Scholarship. The award is given annually to a Hobart College or William Smith College student who has excelled in either a community-based research project or a service-learning course. The work must be academically rigorous and have a meaningful community impact. Wells has been involved in a number of different projects in her years at HWS that have all had a positive impact in the community. During the 2008-2009 academic year, as part of a credit-bearing independent study in psychology, Wells coordinated a project examining changes in reading abilities and self-esteem for elementary school students involved in the America Reads Program. In another independent study, conducted during the fall 2009, Wells took a lead role in helping to organize and collect data for the Kindergarten Literacy Initiative Project. The goal of this project is to obtain a better understanding of how incoming literacy levels of kindergarten students relate to the home reading environment.
“Stephanie Wells is a student who understands the needs of youth in the Geneva community and who has taken action to help these students and truly make a difference in their lives,” says Assistant Professor of Psychology Julie Newman Kingery.
Professor of Sociology Jack Harris received the HWS Civically Engaged Faculty Award. As defined by Campus Compact, Harris demonstrated “Exemplary engaged scholarship, including leadership in advancing students’ civic learning, conducting community-based research, fostering reciprocal community partnerships, building institutional commitments to service-learning and civic engagement, and other means of enhancing higher education’s contributions to the public good.”
“Professor Jack Harris is not only passionate about his students, teaching and family but also the HWS and Geneva communities. He motivates his students, and also continuously reminds them that he is inspired by them and their success and engagement as well,” says Francesca Antonucci ’10.
In his welcome addresses to first-year students at Orientation, Harris shared, “Robert Coles has indicated that acts of service, combined with a rich intellectual discourse, can lead to a life of growth and transformation, and of meaning and joy that money cannot buy.” Harris also served as the faculty adviser for the past three years to the Relay for Life Chair Position Internship through Career Services.
HWS conferred the Community Partner of the Year Award upon the Geneva School District. The award is presented annually to the person or agency who has consistently contributed to the civic development and leadership of Hobart and William Smith Colleges students. The award recognizes the inherent value of community collaborations and acknowledges with gratitude the time, energy and interest invested in the student service and learning experience. HWS students engage in rich and meaningful learning opportunities with the Geneva School District through service-learning placements, tutoring and mentoring partnerships with children, student teaching, and community-based research projects – all of which promote and advance the ideals of engaged scholarship.
“Our partnership with the Geneva City School District is central to the nature and function of our Teacher Education Program at the Colleges. Our students work and learn in 20-30 classrooms in Geneva each semester. These Geneva teachers provide essential mentorship for our students that contributes to their professional growth as future teachers, and will impact the lives and experiences of their own students for years to come. We are eternally grateful for the willingness of the district, schools and individual teachers to sustain this essential partnership,” says Associate Professor of Education James MaKinster.
The presentation of these awards highlights how students, faculty and local schools work together to create a true sense of community in Geneva.