Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the 12th annual Community Engaged Scholarship Forum, it didn’t stop the HWS community from celebrating the contributions of individuals and organizations that have made a positive difference in the Geneva region. Selected by members of the Service-Learning Advisory Council, the recipients include Geneva Reads and its Executive Director Anne Schuhle, Alex Greenberg ’20, Emma Honey ’20 and Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Ricky Price.
The Community Partner of the Year award was given to Geneva Reads. The organization was nominated by Assistant Professor of History Sarah Whitten, who says “Geneva Reads is deeply committed to providing Geneva’s kids with books that foster learning, creativity and comfort. The program works so hard to bring the joy of books to local kids through its Community Bookshelves, its annual Book Fest, tables at the farmers’ market and other community events, as well as through local schools.”
Geneva Reads’ other programs include its annual Community Read, Healthy Readers, Geneva Reads at WIC, Random Acts for Reading and Project Sweet Sleep. The organization also provides one-on-one reading encouragement through I PAWS to Read.
Whitten notes that when faced with a pandemic, Geneva Reads Executive Director Anne Schuhle worked with teachers and organized volunteers to make socially distanced book drops to ensure that families sheltering at home have enough books for their children to read. “She understands how books are incredibly important for all kids in our community and works tirelessly and creatively to get them in their hands.”
The Compass Award for Outstanding Engaged Student Scholarship, presented to a Hobart and William Smith student who has excelled in either a community-based research project or a service-learning course, was given to Alex Greenberg ’20. Greenberg was nominated by CCESL Director Katie Flowers, who notes Greenberg’s interest in advocating for individuals to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census. “Alex appreciated that the Census is important to all communities and realized that there was an opportunity to help ensure HWS student representation as Geneva community members,” she says.
A philosophy major with a women’s studies minor, Greenberg was a member of the HWS Tutors Corps at the Boys and Girls Club and house manager for Heron’s Nest, which expands opportunities for women. Before the pandemic, she had been chosen to attend the alternative spring break trip to Guatemala to serve in an under-resourced school.
Nominated by Associate Professor of Psychological Science Brien Ashdown, Emma Honey ’20 was given the award for Outstanding Engaged Student Scholarship. Honey worked as a tutor for the Boys and Girls Club and participated in multiple volunteer activities away from campus, including a summer spent volunteering at School of Hope for Education for the Children in Jcotenango, Guatemala, constructing homes in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and working as a school aide at a North Carolina Boys and Girls Club.
“[Honey] has made many wonderful contributions as an engaged student, both on campus, in the Geneva community and internationally,” says Ashdown. “She truly embodies the spirit of community engagement and is deserving of this recognition.”
Finally, the Civically Engaged Faculty Award was presented to Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science Ricky Price, who was nominated by Carling Landesche ’21. Landesche says Price has become “a fundamental part of the campus’ political events and activism in the community of Geneva. It is very inspiring to learn from him, both in the classroom and in the community, as he has shown the dynamic nature of being a lifelong learner and activist.”
Price has developed programming for and worked on HWS Get out the Vote events and facilitated a spring 2020 Super Tuesday panel, says Flowers. “He shared his insightful perspectives, utilized capable student engagement strategies and inspired all 100+ attendees to think deeply about the implications of youth involvement in the 2020 presidential election.”
HWS recently enrolled in the 2020 ALL IN Campus Democracy Challenge to improve nonpartisan civic engagement and voter participation on campus.
The image on top features a poster of HWS President Joyce P. Jacobsen assisting in promoting Geneva Reads 2020.