The IMPACT National Conference would like to recognize the following individuals and programs for their outstanding contributions in our field. These awards winners were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee of IMPACT Board of Directors. The 2017 award winners are:
Action Program of the Year: Madison College Service Learning Academy
The Service Learning Academy encourages students at Madison College to join the organization as a way to meet and network with other students, as well as community leaders. As each semester progresses, Madison College recognizes the Service Learning Academy as a program which models student-led direct community service that is contributing to making the campus and community a better place for everyone.
During the fall of 2016 the Service Learning Academy expanded to 6 community agencies and 41 students which was a 60 percent increase. One of the agencies the Community Action Coalition partnered with Madison College to help support Koats for Kids program and were on television promoting the Service Learning Academy. The impact that the Service Learning Academy has had on students and the community has been tremendous.
To learn more about the Madison College Service Learning Academy, click here: http://www.theonlineclarion.com/news/2016/09/06/opportunity-for-volunteers/
Service Program of the Year: Arizona State University Woodside Community
The Woodside Community Action Grant is a seed-funding competition for ASU students that are passionate about service. Students are eligible to receive up to $1500 in funding to carry out service-focused projects in the local community. Projects should be engaging, community-driven, solutions-focused and sustainable, in that the impact is long-term. Over the last three years, this group has provided over $36,000 to support 42 projects and/or programs in the local community.
To learn more about the Woodside Community, click here: https://changemaker.asu.edu/programs/woodside-grant
Advocacy Program of the Year: Swearer Center at Brown University
At the Swearer Center, students are provided with opportunities to explore their passions in the classroom and community, and build the skills, knowledge, and relationships necessary to lead lives of effective action. Through valued partnerships with faculty, community practitioners, and others across the university and beyond, they deepen Brown’s mission to “serve the community, nation, and world” through innovative, thoughtful approaches to social change.
One such program supported by the Swearer Center and nominated for this Advocacy Program of the year, is Housing Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE). HOPE is a model for student-led advocacy at Brown and community partnership in Providence, and their efforts this fall were instrumental in securing the passage of an affordable housing bond in Rhode Island. “Yes On 7” was a ballot initiative campaign run by the United Way of RI and several other organizations in support of a $50 million dollar affordable housing bond for veterans and low-income families across the state. The funding, which had to be approved by the voter referendum due to rules unique to the Ocean State, passed with 57% of the vote in November 2016. HOPE became involved with the campaign through the RI Coalition for the Homeless (RICH), its longtime community partner, because affordable housing aligns directly with HOPE’s mission of ending homelessness in the state.
To learn more about the Swearer Center, click here: https://www.brown.edu/academics/college/special-programs/public-service/
Student of the Year award: Elizabeth (Elle) Tibbitts- Southern New Hampshire University
Elle started her work with the Center for Community Engaged Learning as a service-learning site coordinator. She was responsible for serving as a liaison between the Center, the community partner, and the faculty members of the service-learning courses. She quickly showed the staff that she was dedicated and passionate about a wide variety of topics. However, the topic she has been the most passionate about is ending modern day slavery and sex trafficking in the United States. Over the last few years, Elle has planned several week long events to raise awareness on her campus about this topic. Events included: tabling in the Dining Center, a speaker’s panel, a film screening, and a service project to make cards for survivors of human trafficking.
Elle shared with her nominator that she wants to end human trafficking through a reverse business model. Elle said, “Human trafficking is the buying and selling of human beings. It’s an economics question. If I can learn how to build a successful business, certainly I can learn how to dismantle one.”
In addition to her work to end human trafficking, Elle also serves as a leader in the Center for Community Engaged Learning and helps plan alternative break trips, food drives and coordination for the entire service-learning program.
To learn more about Elle, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01I99NTyDWw
John Sarvey Administrator of the Year Award: Natalie Magnus, University of Idaho
Natalie Magnus is the Coordinator of the Center for Volunteerism and Social Action at the University of Idaho. In her role, Natalie oversees the University of Idaho’s Alternative Service Break program, days of service, campus food pantry and various other activities that both serve the community and engage student in service and advocacy that enhance their educational careers and lives well beyond campus. With her student staff, she manages and organizes one of our most impressive programs, SYNC. This program, Serving Your New Community, engages every incoming first-year student in a service project with a community partner on the Saturday before fall classes begin.
Natalie and the students in the volunteer center have hosted packed-house events on Planned Parenthood funding, the Dakota Access Pipeline, modern protest movements (i.e. Black Lives Matter) and potential immigration changes under President Trump. Perhaps strong attendance at these events is typical on some campuses, but at the University of Idaho it had been years since students were activity involved in advocacy work. Through Natalie’s work the passion for advocacy is spreading to create a more passionate and engaged student body.
To learn more about Natalie’s work at the Center for Volunteerism and Social Action, please click here: http://www.uidaho.edu/current-students/student-involvement/volunteer