The 2016 Community Engaged Scholarship Forum recently gave members of the HWS community and campus partners the chance to showcase the many mutually beneficial student partnerships and projects that have taken place locally and regionally throughout the past academic year.
The forum also served as an opportunity to honor individual or group excellence in several areas. The honorees at this year’s forum were: Morgan Stevens ’18, Community Engaged Scholar of the Year; Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Robin Lewis, Civically Engaged Faculty Member of the Year; Saoirse Scott ’19, Campus Compact’s 2016 Newman Civic Fellow; and the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, the HWS 2016 Community Partner of the Year.
“The student collaborative work wouldn’t be possible without the community colleagues who guided the consequential topics or faculty advisers who helped inform research,” said Katie Flowers, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL). “Reciprocity is an ideal we strive for, and it only works when there is trust, clear communication, and a sense of shared ownership that is so evidently present today.”
The 2016 forum featured the work of more than 70 students involved in projects ranging from entrepreneurial development and early childhood education to dialogues about race and social innovation. The HWS website features a complete list of the 2015-2016 community-based research projects.
Through her internship with Legal Assistance of Western New York, Stevens worked to deepen her intellectual understanding of the circumstances of mass incarceration across the country and the range of approaches that are being attempted to address the issue. Her adviser, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology Jim Sutton, said Stevens “is the perfect example of applied and academic work coming together in the pursuit of social justice.”
In awarding Lewis the Engaged Faculty Award, Provost and Dean of Faculty Titilayo Ufomata said she meets Campus Compact’s criteria of demonstrating “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.”
Concluding the presentation of awards, President Mark D. Gearan recognized Scott for her selection as a Newman Civic Fellow. Gearan said Scott has been interested in and invested in service since she arrived on campus through coursework focused on social justice and youth advocacy, as well as for her involvement with Tools for Social Change and America Reads.
For consistently contributing to the civic development and leadership of HWS students, the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva was honored as the Community Partner of the Year. “The Boys and Girls Club of Geneva is a shining example of the very best of our uniquely urban, All America City, and it gives me great pleasure to ask Chris Lavin ’81 and his colleagues to accept this award,” Gearan said.
Lavin serves as executive director of the Geneva Community Center and Boys and Girls Club of Geneva. 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.