2023 IAMNCC Award Winners

Beatriz Mate-Kodjo, Central College

Beatriz Mate-Kodjo pursues her passion for justice and minority representation as the first Black female civil rights attorney in Pella, Iowa. With a law degree and MBA, her work focuses on representing marginalized individuals while building better systems and a stronger community. Civil rights work can be pro bono but that doesn’t stop her. Mate-Kodjo volunteers with Central’s National Advisory Council, where she brings valuable knowledge and experience as a civil-rights attorney. She supports current students who are leading social justice initiatives. She served as a Women’s Leadership Conference panelist in the fall. Students appreciate her energy and enthusiasm as a bilingual mentor who wants to improve equity and diversity in Iowa.

Honorable Mention

DaQuan Campbell, University of Northern Iowa

DaQuan Campbell has become a leader in the urban agriculture movement. He is the founder and CEO of We Arose Co-op, a network of local farmers who supply affordable, healthy food options to local residents. Campbell began growing produce on a quarter-acre plot on Peek Street in Waterloo. “The co-op is a new business model I started in 2021,” he said. “Our vision is to inspire the younger generation to nourish themselves, their families and their communities.” A graduate from Waterloo East High School and having earned a degree in business management and organizational leadership from the University of Northern Iowa, Campbell has become a leader in the urban agriculture movement.

Dr. Elizabeth Talbert

Nominated by Drake University

Dr. Elizabeth Talbert, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Drake, has spent the last two years building relationships with affordable housing agencies, the staff that runs them, and the people who are served (or not) by them. What began with a sociology methods service-learning project morphed into a commissioned study involving Talbert, Dr. Matthew Record, and 8 student researchers to examine why individuals face barriers to shelter and permanent housing in our community. A first of its kind community engaged research project provided a platform for 157 people experiencing homelessness to tell their stories and the findings are being used to inform local public policy.

Honorable Mention

maurices Community Clinic

Nominated by College of St. Scholastica

The maurices Community Clinic (mCC) at The College of St. Scholastica is a teaching and learning pro-bono clinic committed to educating competent, ethical and collaborative providers. Physical and occupational therapy services are provided to the community by students who are supervised by licensed community providers. mCC also collaborates with local health and social service agencies to meet the needs of people living in the area. Through collaboration with community agencies and interaction with community members, students learn to be responsive practitioners who address the physical, well-being and social determinants of the health needs of the people they serve.

Honorable Mention

Dakota County Unity Trail Partnership

Nominated by Inver Hills Community College

The Unity Trail is a 5-mile loop that will connect the Mississippi River Greenway, libraries, schools, and Inver Hills Community College in Dakota County, increasing accessibility for our communities. The project focus is to highlight the voices of local Indigenous, Black, and communities of color through seven interpretive points throughout the trail. Three bike-lending stations will also be installed, enhancing access to bike travel for local communities, as well. Partners are working together to engage the community in the creation of the Unity Trail, especially students of color at Simley High School and IHCC. Partners are developing events and curriculum to connect the community to the land and stories.

The University of Minnesota Twin Cities Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Major Steering Committee

The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major supports students to become food system changemakers through a scaffolded curriculum integrating community engagement and diverse stakeholder perspectives. Our introductory course introduces systems thinking via an urban food systems framework and visits to community-based projects. Subsequent courses identify leverage points for change through Power Mapping exercises, and engage students in debates on controversial food system topics. Finally, students practice these skills in their capstone course, engaging with organizations supporting immigrant farmer advocacy programs, local schools, and food justice non-profits.

Honorable Mention

Sprout Learning Garden & Food Forest, Drake University

Food forests are a relatively new concept in Iowa. Designed to mimic the ecosystem found in nature, food forests have the ability to thrive without the use of chemical fertilizers, which in turn reduces the number of pollutants finding their way to our waterways. Sprout serves as an outdoor learning lab to educate and empower the next generation of environmental stewards, strategically partnering with the Gregory & Suzie Burt Boys & Girls Club for programming. Sprout is home to more than 60 food-producing trees and shrubs, hundreds of edible perennial and ground cover plants, three contour bioswales creating runoff rain gardens, a woodland prairie area with pollinator-attracting flowers and natives, gathering spaces, and a walking trail.

Barbara Sabino Pina, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Barbara Sabino Pina is a Biochemistry major with a minor in Leadership Studies. Barbara is a community builder on and off campus. As a Bonner Community Leader and in other roles at Augsburg, Barbara has demonstrated great skill in facilitation, conflict resolution, and leadership.

Steve Peacock, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Augsburg’s commitment to the place where we’re located makes us responsible to function in ways that help our neighbors and our neighborhood thrive. Steve’s work puts this commitment into practice. Steve is a convener and a trusted partner among the community of business owners and leaders in our area.

West Bank Business Association, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

The West Bank Business Association is a dynamic resource in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. In the past year, they have invested in storefront revitalization, a beautiful new mural created with input from several community members graces Edna’s Park, and they were instrumental in leading efforts to provide resources to unhoused people.

Aleia Durston, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Aleia is currently working towards the completion of 180 hours of community-based services at the Dispute Resolution Center. She has helped to shape resource networks and develop youth programming initiatives designed to support individuals and provide interventions before drastic measures are needed. She increasingly understands that effectiveness of service is determined by the commitment and connection that one can develop within the context of community. She has learned the critical importance of listening to community voices. Strength of character, clarity of purpose, an ability to connect and respect the voice of the “community as the expert voice” will continue to guide Aleia as she works to serve historically underserved spaces.

Elisabeth Lefebvre, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Every semester, Dr. Elisabeth (Beth) Lefebvre, teaches 2-3 sections of a class called Educational Equity. Over 447 Bethel students have taken this class from Dr. Lefebvre, contributing more than 11,000 hours of service to Twin Cities communities. Students learn to address critical equity and justice issues with reflexivity, compassion, and humility; understand and challenge oppression from a socially and historically-grounded perspective; and actively seek reconciliation and anti-discrimination. For a minimum of 25 hours, students volunteer as reading tutors and after-school volunteers in historically under-served communities. Most importantly, they build relationships with kids that allow them to see and engage with the world in a new way.

Roslyn Harmon, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

In developing the practical skills of conflict resolution and peacemaking, Bethel’s students have the unique opportunity to learn and receive training from Dispute Resolution Center. DRC is the front-runner in community-based, justice-centered restoration in Minnesota. Through Bethel’s Reconciliation Studies’ partnership with DRC, students receive practical training as a Circle Keeper in the Circle Process – an ancient and proven form of conflict mediation. Beyond practical training and certification, students participate in the work of restorative justice through an observation case with the city of St. Paul. Students experience firsthand how restorative justice transforms communities, stops cycles of violence, and addresses harm.

Francine Legba, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Now a senior, she has been a critical student leader during the rebuilding period in the wake of peak COVID. Francine has been a CCCE fellow for several years where she has stewarded programs like Swipe Out Hunger and Clothing Recovery. Most recently, she has played a critical role in Carleton’s relationship with the community action center satellite food shelf, as college students have assumed full responsibility for its operations. Through a period of extreme unpredictability, Francine has been someone we could count on, always cool under pressure, adaptable, and willing to make it work. The world needs more Francines, and we’ve been lucky to know her for these last years.

Carleton College Grants Office, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

This office has consistently gone above and beyond to support Carleton’s equity-oriented academic collaborations. Most recently, they’ve helped us translate our goals for our growing engagement with Native knowledge holders into fundable requests which have, among other things, resulted in our new Indigenous Communities Liaison position. They also volunteer to serve in advisory roles, contribute to hiring processes, and take care to tend to the ethical ramifications of community/institution collaboration in its many expressions at Carleton. Behind the scenes, this office is critical to our campus’s community engagement ecosystem.

Northfield Public Library Bilingual Services, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

This partner is extremely responsive to the priorities of our Spanish-speaking neighbors. We celebrate the staff whose creative, joyful labor makes that possible, and we thank them for letting Carleton be part of the process. Just this year, examples include a new Spanish-language homework help program and an adult digital literacy class staffed by Carleton students, a collaboration with Carleton photography professor Xavier Tavera honoring local Latino families, and an ever-expanding Hispanic Heritage Celebration that animated our Central Park this fall. This team is a wonderful community asset.

Max Gorden Mercer, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Max Gorden Mercer has continuously demonstrated a commitment to service during his time at Coe. As Student Body Vice President, Max established a clothes library for students to access professional attire and enlisted the support of alumni to drive donations. Max is also the President of CoeVotes and in that role, he hosted voter registration drives, volunteered when Coe served as a voting satellite site, and led walking buses to the polling station on election day. Max has also served with Coe’s Board of Trustees, participated in United Way’s Board Orientation Leadership Development program, is the Coe Student Activities Committee Treasurer, and was recently named a finalist for the Truman Scholarship.

Prison Learning Initiative, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Coe’s Prison Learning Initiative (PLI) provides hands-on, high-impact experiences for students and community members to learn about and get involved with the criminal legal system in Iowa and the Midwest. Supported by an Associated Colleges of the Midwest grant to develop sustainable community-based learning opportunities, PLI builds on strong interest in the carceral system among Coe students, capitalizes on the college’s strategic geographic location in Cedar Rapids (administrative home of the Sixth Judicial District of Iowa), and extends the capacity of its popular and growing Social and Criminal Justice program by partnering with a range of local, regional, and national organizations.

United Way of East Central Iowa, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

The United Way of East Central Iowa provides students with the opportunity to develop their leadership/civic engagement skills through the BOLD program (Board Orientation Leadership Development). Since 2021, 13 Coe students have participated in a range of activities designed to equip them with the knowledge required to serve on a board of directors. Students hear from community leaders, receive a BOLD program mentor, audit board meetings, and participate in an experiential learning component. Current and past graduates of the BOLD program have continued their engagement both on campus and in the community through internships, research, community based service projects, and as AmeriCorps members.

Anna Watt, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award at College of St. Benedict

Anna Watt is an education major from the College of St. Benedict who is currently student teaching at Oak Hill Elementary School. She is a member of the Bonner Leader program and is completing a year-long internship with Bonner where she facilitates the Bonner Student Leadership Team. She has played a key role in building connections between CSB/SJU and the COP House (Community Outpost) in St. Cloud and has a special interest in DEIJ work within the education system. Additionally, Anna is an Education Department mentor where she supports other education students in their journey to become teachers. Her goal is to become a teacher who creates engaging and inclusive environments for all students.

Samuel Rengo, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award at St. John’s University

Samuel (Sam) Rengo is a Political Science Major at Saint John’s University (SJU). Sam is currently the Student Director of the Johnnie Development Institute where he works to promote holistic and constructive masculine identities for the students at SJU. Last summer, he was selected as a Summer Leadership Fellow and worked as a Government Relations Intern at the Men’s Health Network in Washington DC. Sam also studied abroad in Italy and is a member of the Cross Country and Track teams. After graduation, he will complete a year of service through the Benedictine Volunteer Corps in Tanzania.

Lindsey Gunnerson Gutsch, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Lindsey created CSB|SJU’s Emerging Scholars Program, which provides underrepresented, first-year students a full-time research position, where they explore topics that strengthen our scholarly, campus, and local community. Lindsey has strengthened partnerships with Centracare through our Student Health Assistants Program – a community-based research program for students interested in health-related professions. Lindsey created and now leads Pathways to Distinction which provides guided pathways for students to engage in experiences in and outside of the classroom that complement their goals and then receive recognition for that work upon graduation. One pathway, Serve Graciously, supports and uplifts student civic and community engagement.

Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Central MN Habitat for Humanity (CMHFH) and CSB/SJU have worked together to provide affordable homes and healthy communities for many years. In the fall of 2022, these two institutions partnered with the pairing of CMHFH’s first BONNER student. This incredible partnership has not only given CMHFH the opportunity to continue to scale, but it has given a bright student form CSB/SJU the opportunity to gain insight into the issue of affordable housing and Habitat for Humanity. Outside of the BONNER program, students from CSB/SJU have volunteered on different work sites within Central MN, including in St. Joseph, MN.

Katelyn Adamich, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Katelyn Adamich has been a Student Coordinator of the Community Service Orientation program which is our service-based pre-orientation August Adventure program which partners with a variety of local community partners in need of volunteers. Katelyn also has served in leadership positions with our Circle K student club during which she frequently coordinated a wide variety of opportunities for student groups to volunteer in our local Duluth area to meet community needs.

Dr. Elyse Carter Vosen, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Building on the work of the Oreck-Alpern Interreligious Forum established in 2006 to promote understanding, respect, and peace among the diverse religious communities of our region, founding director Dr. Elyse Carter Vosen continues to advance The College of St. Scholastica’s civic mission by sustaining interfaith study groups ranging in longevity from 6-17 years, collaborating with the Silver Memorial Interfaith Lecture at Temple Israel and the Islamic Center of the Twin Ports, facilitating community interfaith discussions on Indigenous and environmental justice, health equity, and immigration, and working toward food justice in the African heritage community through the St. Mark Giving Garden.

Thanksgiving Day Buffet Committee, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

In 2022, The College of St. Scholastica hosted the 33rd Annual Twin Ports Thanksgiving Day Buffet. The Buffet, organized by the College under the leadership of a community committee, served approximately 5,500 meals, mostly in-person but also as deliveries to area homebound. Additionally, Second Harvest Food Bank distributed meals to other Duluth organizations such as CHUM, Damiano Center, and Union Gospel Mission. The Buffet is a true community event-it is free, open to the public, prepared and served by nearly 600 volunteers, and supported through corporate sponsorships and individual donations which cover 100% of the annual expense.

Layla Ali, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Layla has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to building community and tackling equity issues. She leads the student group Club Access, which provides a safe space for underrepresented students to feel accepted within a community that values them as an entire person. In 2022, Layla started a students of color mentoring program that connects Concordia students with students at Moorhead High School. Her diligence, creativity, and compassionate leadership have made this initiative a tremendous success.

Dr. Lisa Twomey, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Professor Twomey is dedicated to connecting students with community members outside Concordia, bridging the gap between classroom learning and the issues and people in the community. Students in her first-year seminar engage in story and culture exchange with immigrants in Moorhead, building relationships and creating with them a book of poetry. Dr. Twomey’s enthusiasm for cultivating meaningful community connections is infectious, energizing others on campus. Most recently, she has played a central role in the development of a new first-year seminar program focused on the theme of engaged citizenship.

Hope Inc., Presidents’ Community Partner Award

For over 15 years, Hope Inc. has provided family-friendly sporting and recreational opportunities critical to the health and development of children and adults living with mobility challenges. Hope Inc. has a multifaceted relationship with Concordia, involving students from various parts of campus, including an adaptive physical education class, theatre, and several athletic teams. Students learn from an often-overlooked underrepresented community and discover new ways to do good in the world. Concordia is honored and blessed to have such an invaluable partnership with such an admirable organization.

The Sword Newspaper Staff, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Concordia University recognizes the work of Rebecca “Becks” Beasley and the entire staff of The Sword student newspaper. Becks and her staff have consistently challenged and cheered for the Concordia campus and its community. The student journalists have discovered what has mattered to us, what has been painful, and what should be celebrated. They have shown how a free press can enhance and benefit our fair city.

Aqueelah Roberson, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Aqueelah Roberson, Director of the Diversity Center, has advanced our civic mission through the creation of our Community Connects series. Community Connects is a program that hosts different community leaders to speak and network with the CSP community and share about important work being accomplished in our neighborhood. Aqueelah’s efforts have invited alumni, staff, faculty and students to engage and be informed about community projects and have extended the classroom walls of CSP into our community.

African Economic Development Solutions, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

African Economic Development Solutions, an organization supporting Little Africa, has been a great service learning resource for our students who have engaged with business owners as part of their capstone course in Business. Students offer consulting advice to business owners and in exchange gain experience with how small businesses are run. Concordia also benefits from the Little Africa Fest and the Annual Conference for African Immigrant leaders that bring national and international areas to discuss leadership and wealth building issues.

Matthew Williams, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Matthew Williams, a senior at Drake University, has been an advocate for people with disabilities during his time at Drake. He has worked with the Residence Hall Association and faculty and staff to provide educational tips and resources on how to create inclusive spaces. He has been involved with Easter Seals his entire life. He volunteers with Little League Challenger, creating an opportunity for players with disabilities to play baseball. And he serves on his church’s board of directors and provides IT support. Matthew has been part of the Dean’s Honor Roll for Social Impact and looks forward to using his business degree as a force for good.

Alejandro Hernandez, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Alejandro Hernandez is Dean of Zimpleman College of Business and a believer in business as a force for good. Dean Hernandez is deeply committed to creating innovative and collaborative approaches to integrating civic engagement into the business college student experience. In the last year, Dean Hernandez has led a rebrand of the college, launched the Deans Honor Roll for Social Impact, and created a new Social Impact Research and Outreach Award to recognize college of business faculty and staff who tackle pressing issues facing society through their scholarship and work in the community and around the globe. Dean Hernandez is instrumental in equipping Drake students to transform lives and strengthen communities.

Homeward, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Homeward serves Polk County Iowa as the homelessness planning organization that forges strategic partnerships between homelessness organizations, community partners, government officials, and people experiencing homelessness. Following up on a one-time community-engaged learning course partnership, Homeward worked with two professors and several students to commission the Des Moines Unsheltered Study; illuminating the lived experience of Polk County residents experiencing homelessness. The findings of this study will inform local policy and help to highlight the significant need for additional permanent supportive housing in the Polk County community. Drake University is grateful for our partnership with Homeward.

First Generation Vikings, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

The purpose of the First-Generation Vikings organization is to give first-generation college students a sense of belonging, self-efficacy, capacity for social change and civic engagement, an opportunity for peer mentoring, support in their degree, and vocational skills, all for the goal of retention and graduation. The organization offers tools to first-generation college students to learn how to navigate college and beyond. This past fall 42% of GV’s incoming class was first-generation. This spring the organization partnered with Des Moines Public Schools and presented at East High, Moore and Findley Elementary schools. They focused on considering higher education after k-12 and discussed a variety of transition issues.

First Generation Vikings, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

The purpose of the First-Generation Vikings organization is to give first-generation college students a sense of belonging, self-efficacy, capacity for social change and civic engagement, an opportunity for peer mentoring, support in their degree, and vocational skills, all for the goal of retention and graduation. The organization offers tools to first-generation college students to learn how to navigate college and beyond. This past fall 42% of GV’s incoming class was first-generation. This spring the organization partnered with Des Moines Public Schools and presented at East High, Moore and Findley Elementary schools. They focused on considering higher education after k-12 and discussed a variety of transition issues.

Ashley Sosa, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Ashley has been a Language Buddies coordinator for three years. She has a heart for community engagement and addressing the needs of the underserved youth in our area. Ashley goes above to find ways to meet the needs of Gustavus students and of the students in the school systems. She always has these needs foremost in her mind as she continues to make the Language Buddies program successful and meaningful. Ashley has done a great job expanding this program when needed to individual families, the St. Peter Food Shelf and Cambria. Her deep passion for this work has been remarkable.

Kathy Lund Dean, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Dr. Kathy Lund Dean has been a practitioner and scholar of community-engaged learning for more than a decade, with a clear record of forming strong partnerships, supporting others’ civic engagement, and working to institutionalize a culture and practice of engagement. Dr. Lund Dean has engaged students in the CEL opportunities integrated into her classroom as well as the internships and independent studies she has facilitated. She has helped her students apply their newfound knowledge and skills beyond the campus and provides an important interface for students to mesh their experiences with the many different perspectives they encounter beyond the classroom.

Joey Schugel, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Joey Schugel, Director of the St. Peter Recreation and Leisure Department, models mentorship for our students and is an amazing ally and resource for community-engaged learning work. Joey has racked up multiple partnerships over the past several years, collaborating with students and faculty to develop programming, craft grant proposals, and generate publicity materials. Faculty who have worked with Joey appreciate his flexibility and his “learning-forward” approach – he recognizes the important balance in CEL collaborations between productive outcomes for the community partner and for the students participating. He is a real asset for the connections between the city and the college.

Travis Matthews, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

As someone who grew up in foster care, Travis has spent much time in front of public officials to share his own experience. He has worked with a team of politicians to draft multiple proposals that would increase care to foster youth. Over the last 3 semesters, Travis has spent weekends engaging in door-to-door campaigning for elected officials who have committed to increasing state care for youth, attending events to network and promote his proposed changes, and building genuine relationships with others invested in this cause. Additionally, Travis often volunteers his time to teach staff and other students about resources available to foster youth. Travis is an exemplary example of a Hamline student who is committed to a civic mission.

Nur Mood, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Nur Mood’s work on Hamline Votes over the years has worked to activate many of our students to become registered and get out the vote. Under his leadership Hamline has won a number of Campus Compact Seals and recognition. Moreover he leads our very popular Catalyst, Hamline’s alternative Spring Break, program that is essential to building the civic engagement skills of so many of our students. Moreover, this past year, there have been incidents that have negatively impacted Hamline’s Muslim community. He has had to process these events himself as a practicing Muslim and be a support to the students affected. Nur continues to work to educate and work towards building a community that reflects Hamline’s core values of equity and inclusion. 

Darlene Fry, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Dr. D., as she likes to be called, is the founder and executive director of the Irreducible Grace Foundation (IGF). IGF was born in 2012 out of the need to support youth in out-of-home placements to finish high school and go to post-secondary opportunities. It is a non-profit focused on creating safe spaces with youth of color. Dr. D and IGF have partnered in various ways with the Hamline University. They have led workshops about how to deal with and heal from generational trauma and provided guidance for 20 students to engage in a civic engagement experience in their new Black Youth Healing Arts Center in the Frogtown Neighborhood of Saint Paul.

Jason Cooke, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Jason is the Student Senate Advocacy Director and was a leader of the Student Voting Ambassador program in fall 2022. Jason is a dedicated and passionate student leader, and is key to our voter engagement programming and outreach. You can find Jason all over campus talking to students – inviting them to get involved in Student Life or asking if they’re registered to vote.

Dr. Sadie Pendaz-Foster, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Sadie is a Sociology instructor at Inver Hills and a faculty champion for civic engagement. She is an active member of the campus voting coalition who helped create our civic action plan, attended a weekend Voter Summit with students, and regularly staffed voter registration and engagement events. Sadie also represents Inver Hills in the Unity Trail partnership which is connecting and strengthening relationships between the college and local organizations.

Anna Ferris, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Anna is the Outreach Coordinator for Dakota County Parks. She is such a valued partner who engages the college and other community organizations in partnership and opportunities to develop relationships and improve our community. She is always open to exploring new ideas, and brings expertise and energy to everything she works on.

Frankie Chaidez, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Frankie Chaidez is a second-year student at Loras College majoring in Criminal Justice. She is an accomplished student leader and self- advocate. Frankie brings determination and a drive to play a role in catalyzing future change and reform in systems by empowering her fellow students to lead in equity and justice. Beyond her work and service as a Civic Leader at Loras College, Frankie has invested her time in serving in the student chapter of the League of United American Citizens (LULAC) and is a member of the women’s cross country and track teams at Loras College.

Loras College Civic Action Faculty Fellows, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Faculty leadership positions in the Center for Experiential Learning (CEL) were inspired by and designed to support the Loras College Civic Action Plan, fellows past and present have worked as a team with the CEL to significantly advance Loras College’s distinct civic mission by contributing to efforts to institutionalize a culture of practice, engagement and innovation. Current fellows, Drs. Andrew Massena, David Pitt, Kenny Loui, and Ryan Decker are focused on identifying, supporting, promoting and expanding the use of Civic Engagement and high-impact practices within academic majors at the College and are supported in their work by past Civic Action Faculty Fellows, Drs. Jake Kurczek, Lisa Garoutte and Sarah Cassella.

Dr. Rebecca A. Smith, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Staff from St. Columbkille Elementary School of the Holy Family Schools in Dubuque partner with Dr. Becky Smith, Assistant Professor of Education at Loras College in sustained and reciprocal ways. They engage in an ongoing partnership to create a professional development school for elementary students and future teachers that strives to impact both groups of students in ways that educate, challenge, and stretch them to think about leadership within the framework of the Catholic tradition recognizing that a healthy community can be achieved only the human dignity of each individual is respected.

Ida Streeto, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

As COVID changed community engagement throughout her time at Macalester, Ida maintained a deep commitment to local youth. Throughout her college career, Ida supported many peers to be involved as tutors & mentors in local schools. When a site stopped operating in her sophomore year, she pivoted to an alternate remote learning site and soon became an expert in digital tutoring while mentoring peers to take on similar roles. As a senior, she has been instrumental in encouraging Macalester students to get involved at adjacent Hidden River Middle School, paving the way for a deep partnership for years to come.

Community Engaged Scholarship Taskforce, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

First convened in Fall 2019, the Community Engaged Scholarship Task Force included staff representatives from the Community Engagement Center as well as faculty members from each academic division. The task force undertook several different initiatives, including reviewing relevant scholarly literature and policies at other academic institutions, examining definitions and examples of community engaged scholarship, recording interviews with faculty members about their work in this area, and identifying perceived institutional roadblocks to community engaged scholarship which resulted in recommended changes to the faculty handbook. These changes successfully passed by a vote of 81 to 1 in December 2022 after multiple years of ongoing work.

Rainbow Health, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Rainbow Health is dedicated to working for equitable health care access and outcomes for people and communities that live at risk of or living with HIV. Rainbow brings an equity lens and focuses on the intersection of health status and identity. Since the organization was known as the Minnesota AIDS Project, supervisor Ken Oltman has mentored a steady stream of Macalester students focused on health equity issues. Ken and the whole organization have gone above and beyond the role of supervisor, mentoring Macalester students in deep, nurturing, holistic ways and supporting meaningful experiences in the field.

Andre Anderson, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Andre organized fellow students who are incarcerated at the Lino Lakes Correctional Facility to re-open the greenhouse. He and 20+ others have formed a Metro State Student Club around horticulture. The group Andre started is called TREC Farms and is inspired by the book Braiding Sweetgrass and restorative ecology. Andre shows leadership skill and organization by creating such a group in the circumstances of incarceration. He has managed to rally not only his fellow incarcerated students and his faculty to his efforts, he’s inspired other students to create student groups at Lino Lakes and other carceral facilities. He takes ideas he learns about in his courses, like Indigenous relationality and plant biology, and applies them in practice.

Dr. Debra Eardley, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Dr. Eardley developed the Partners in Prevention (PIP) Clinic after collaborating since 2014 with the Center for Changing Lives in the Phillips West community of Minneapolis. The PIP Clinic involves community partners: HueMan Partnership, MN Oral Health Coalition, Black Nurses Rock, Lutheran Social Services, Red Door Clinic, and Community Bridge working in partnership with Metro State’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Dr. Eardley uses a community engagement model to develop this long-term community partnership to improve the health of the community, and to enhance the public health education of Metro State nursing students in an equitable manner that benefits all.

Minnesota Department of Corrections, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

The Department of Corrections (DOC) has partnered with Metro State University to bring transformative education to incarcerated Minnesotans. Over the past 2 years, the DOC has worked to enact changes in policies and practices to support rigorous higher ed programing inside prisons. DOC and its partners in this effort have demonstrated a commitment to addressing the racialized disparities that persist in both Minnesota prisons and universities, which Metro State is actively working to eliminate. The partnership with the DOC is evidence of the public systems change that can take place when large state institutions come together to center people, and when successes are measured by their safety and wellbeing and that of their communities.

Sigma Nu Fraterity, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Sigma Nu Fraternity at MSU, Mankato developed the “Stomper’s Bookcase” project to encourage children’s literacy in accessible locations and to create an on-going project for future fraternity members. Working with the support of the Greater Mankato United Way, Lloyd Lumber, Capstone Publishing, area laundromat owners, and the MSU Community Engagement Office, the students installed bookcases in three area laundromats. They will maintain and rotate books monthly, and are open to expand the program to other laundromats.

Dr. Elizabeth Sandell, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Dr. Elizabeth Sandell has promoted student service and engagement through her service learning class, Human Relations in a Multicultural Society. Her focus on community engagement and cultural competency meets current on-going needs in the community and contributes to the development of knowledgeable professional in the workforce. Students in her classes offer direct support to The Annual Traditional Mahkato Wacipi, Mankato Youth Place Mankato, Mankato Area Public Schools tutoring, and several other ongoing partnerships over the years.

The Campus Cupboard, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Since 2013, the Campus Cupboard has been hosting a food pantry for any college student in Blue Earth County. Support for the Campus Cupboard is offered by area Lutheran churches, MSU, Mankato alumni, Campus Kitchen at MSU, Mankato and other community partners and grants. TThe hard work and dedication of this completely volunteer run program was critical during the pandemic, especially for our international students. The Cupboard has made a commitment to providing culturally appropriate foods for our diverse student population. In addition, they have long offered “Lunch for a Dollar” to the Campus Community weekly. Campus Cupboard has been the ongoing partner for the semiannual Free Farmers Market.

Nate Klein, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

During his time at Mount Mercy University, Nate Klein, Vice President for Student Success, has been a role model for civic and community engagement, not just for the students at MMU but to staff and faculty as well. Through his own service to the local community by volunteering his time, serving on non-profit boards, and fundraising for causes that are important to him, Nate has developed strong connections within the community, and he uses those connections to pave the way for others to engage in meaningful civic opportunities. Nate epitomizes MMU’s value of “service” and the mission of providing “compassionate service to those in need.”

HACAP: Hawkeye Area Community Action Program, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Five years ago, Mount Mercy University partnered with HACAP to create the Mustang Market, a food pantry free for students and employees. Through this partnership MMU receives free food pantry items. Just this academic year 4,050 pounds of food have been distributed to those with food insecurities. In order to create a sustainable partnership and repay HACAP for their free services, Hilltop Threads was formed. Hilltop Threads is another free resource, but instead it provides professional clothing. MMU receives clothing donations, donates the nonprofessional clothing to Stuffs Etc., and then, when the items are bought, Stuffs Etc. gifts the money to HACAP.

Jazmin Devora, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Jazmin is a member of Normandale’s Leadership Through Service Program. As part of this program she regularly volunteers at a local hospital emergency room. She is a strong advocate of how to make Normandale’s food shelf more culturally responsive for students.

Normandale’s Advancement Division, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Normandale’s Advancement Division has been a critical partner and supporter of the Campus Cupboard food shelf. Our Foundation raises funds a engages partners, our grant writers obtain grants, and Marketing highlights us on social media.

Tiffin Man Global Kitchen, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Tiffin Man, as part of Second Harvest Heartland’s Kitchen Coalition program, creates nutritious and culturally-relevant meals for our students. Students report that these meals save them time, reduce stress, and help them eat more nutritiously.

Phi Theta Kappa, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

We are nominating our PTK (Phi Theta Kappa) organization that empowers students to develop leadership, critical thinking, and organizational skills. Our PTK chapter has chosen a college project each year, and one project that we want to recognize them for is the foresight to work with the college, the City of Brooklyn Park, Hennepin County and Met Council to re-evaluate our city bus stop area and they advocated for and achieved getting a new sidewalk built that allows students to no longer have to walk in the streets to get to public transportation safely from campus. Their group continues to make a difference for our campus and the community every year.

Crystal VFW Post 494, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

The Crystal VFW Post 494 has been a phenomenal partner for North Hennepin Community College. They have contributed to helping support all of our students by providing funds for our campus food cupboard to ensure our shelves are stocked for our most at risk students. They have also worked to support our veteran student population by participating and supporting programs for our veteran students, created a veterans scholarship and have enhanced our Veterans Resource Center. They have also been a wonderful part of our campus Commencement Ceremony as our color guard. Their support of our campus and students is unmatched!

Valerie Messner, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

As the President of Enactus, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, student-led association, Valerie Messner has a grassroots, civic engagement approach to solving problems. Specifically, she works to identify problems or opportunities in the community using evidence-based approaches and community engagement. She works with community stakeholders, business leaders, non-profit leaders, and Enactus students to develop interventions leveraging social entrepreneurship. She is directly responsible for developing operational plans that address the daily operations of a significant project, Mindful Meals, that address disparities among social-economic classes of students, addressing malnutrition and mitigating academic achievement gaps.

SMSU Exercise Science Advisory Council, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

The SMSU Exercise Science advisory council brings together the SMSU Exercise Science program and students with professionals in the community to greatly enhance civic engagement and experiential learning opportunities for students. The council provides insight into how civic engagement opportunities can mesh with curriculum to provide excellent experiences for students.

Schwan’s Company, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

The Schwan’s Company has partnered with the SMSU Exercise Science program for 12 years in providing an experiential learning opportunity for the Exercise Science students. Students work with employees to complete fitness assessments, write individualized exercise prescriptions, and train these employees in exercise, healthy eating, goal setting, and stress management.

The Reflective Woman Course: CEL Pilot Student Leaders, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

This student leadership group supported Community Work and Learning’s community-engaged learning (CEL) pilot in The Reflective Woman course across all College for Women sections, 20 in total. They coordinated logistics, led class presentations, facilitated CEL implementation, and supported reflection. Students include: Rin Kilde, CWL student coordinator; Anchee Durben, Mikaela Campbell, Maya Villafuerte, Sophie Gibson, Ava LaPlante, Welcoming the Dear Neighbor? researchers; Julia Walquist, St. Kate’s Empty Bowls coordinator; Mollie Pierson and Kaitlin Corey, Food Access Hub interns. By helping with this pilot and engaging first-year students, they modeled student leadership roles and community impact that newer students can aspire to.

Dr. Ambria Crusan, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Ambria Crusan, PhD, MS, RD/LD, Assistant Professor, Exercise Science and Nutrition, Nutrition Science, Dietetics, has been at St. Kate’s since 2017. She has taught numerous undergraduate community-engaged learning courses, pursuing professional development opportunities and forming ongoing relationships with community partners. She has mentored students through courses, clinic work, and research – including in the Assistantship Mentoring Program and Community Leaders program. Ambria’s community-engaged research is extensive. From a focus on local community clinic and food shelf work to interprofessional education collaboration in Tanzania, Ambria is committed to working towards a more just world.

Mano a Mano, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Mano a Mano has been a steadfast community partner of St. Catherine University for over two decades, with a mission “to create partnerships with impoverished Bolivian communities that improve health and increase economic well-being.” Countless St. Kate’s classes have assisted their efforts, starting with the sorting of medical supplies and other needed items in the garage of founders Segundo and Joan Velasquez, and now at the St. Paul warehouse. Staff member Carmen Paredes Dockry has mentored many Community Leaders interns, who have have grown in their leadership and professional skill while deepening Mano a Mano’s ongoing efforts. We are so honored to support Mano a Mano’s ongoing work and impact.

Sepehr Yadollahi, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Sepehr Yadollahi, a graduate student in Urban & Regional Planning, exemplifies the curiosity, commitment, and talent of an effective leader and public servant. Sepehr is a productive contributor on numerous projects, including bicycle-safety research, a neighborhood plan in Iowa City, and a development project in Clinton, IA. His work on transportation and land use modeling provides innovate methods of engaging Clinton residents around an important local issue. Sepehr is active in his department and brings out the best in his peers. Even with the stress caused by unrest in his home country of Iran, Sepehr has been a positive role model for civic engagement during his time in Iowa.

Teresa Mangum, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Teresa Mangum, the Director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies and Professor in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, is a longtime champion for public engagement at Iowa. Teresa has spearheaded numerous community engagement efforts, including most recently a Mellon-funded Humanities for the Public Good initiative, which is working to develop an interdisciplinary, publicly engaged graduate program focused on preparing humanities students for careers in the public sector. Teresa has served on campus committees that have advanced engagement as a university priority, while also developing the Obermann Center into a leading partner for nonprofit organizations across Iowa City and beyond.

Northeast Iowa RC & D, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Northeast Iowa RC&D is a nonprofit organization advancing natural resource based economic development and environmental protection in northeast Iowa, while also being one of the University of Iowa’s leading community partners. RC&D has collaborated with the university on community-engaged projects large and small, from multi-million-dollar watershed management initiatives to individual course-based projects focused on community infrastructure improvements. RC&D is a true community-based organization, laser focused on developing mutually beneficial projects with the people of Iowa. This positively impacts not just the communities of Iowa, but also those at the university who are fortunate to call Northeast Iowa RC&D a partner.

Samantha Clear, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Samantha Clear worked with Pomme de Terre Foods through a community-engaged learning course her first year at UMN Morris. The following semester, she took on a Center for Small Towns internship to continue her engagement. The board members who nominated her write, “By summer she was the general manager, coordinating most of the store’s functions and imposing some order and structure on an organization that is not famous for either. Within a few weeks, Sami was the expert on everything from our electronic payment system to our various vendors of local produce and eggs. She made a special effort to bring in new products. It is no exaggeration to say the store is still open due to Sami’s work ethic, communication skills, and professionalism.”

Ed Brands, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

A regular volunteer at the Stevens County Food Shelf, Professor of Environmental Studies Ed Brands saw a need for a systematic way to address food insecurity in the county. He worked with a VISTA and students on a year-long county food systems needs and assets assessment, and continues to engage students and partners in working toward the goals outlined in the assessment. He is also working with the Stevens County Commissioners and staff to research the effectiveness and plan for next steps for an organics recycling pilot program. In all his interactions, whether with an elected official, student, community partner, or person living with food insecurity, he is thoughtful, respectful and uses his sense of humor to connect and create change.

Teresa Kittridge, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Teresa Kittridge, founder and director of 100 Rural Women, has partnered with the Center for Small Towns to provide engagement opportunities for rural students interested in rural leadership. One student writes, “Teresa has helped me challenged misconceptions about rural communities and provided me with the confidence and skills to engage in undergraduate research and work to make rural communities better places to live.” Another student, who served as an undergraduate and continues to serve as a graduate student, wrote “Teresa helped me get to the point I am today by providing me with an internship that gave me valuable research and communication skills and showing me how special rural communities are and how I can make a difference.”

Madeline Nyblade, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Maddy’s work focused on stopping and reversing harms inflicted by settler academic institutions on Indigenous people. She studies the impacts of climate and land-use change on the hydrology of Manoomin (wild rice) ecosystems. Through her work, she has been able to support both healing and institutional change in support of Indigenous Nations and environmental justice. Her partnerships work has led to cultural and policy changes in her department and discipline, such as supporting the creation of a working group in the University’s School of Earth and Environmental Sciences to respect tribal sovereignty and support Indigenous Nations.

The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Major Steering Committee, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

The Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major supports students to become food system changemakers through a scaffolded curriculum integrating community engagement and diverse stakeholder perspectives. Our introductory course introduces systems thinking via an urban food systems framework and visits to community-based projects. Subsequent courses identify leverage points for change through Power Mapping exercises, and engage students in debates on controversial food system topics. Finally, students practice these skills in their capstone course, engaging with organizations supporting immigrant farmer advocacy programs, local schools, and food justice non-profits. We were honored to be selected as a Diversity Enriched Curriculum by our

826 MSP, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

The Center for Community-Engaged Learning, in collaboration with community-engaged learning classes in English and Curriculum and Instruction regularly partner with 826MSP to have University of MN undergraduates support BIPOC K-12 students as they develop their voices and share their stories through creative writing and spoken word. The 826MSP team are excellent and responsive colleagues and we greatly appreciate our long standing partnership.

Jace Bell, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Jace is a leader in several areas on campus, and passionate about all things he does. This passion and leadership has acted as a motivation for the way he approaches problems and interacts with his fellow students. Jace challenges those around him to be better in the way they treat one another and the way we treat the world. Jace’s passion for the environment is a focus on a social issue. At all of the events on campus, Jace brings a perspective of sustainability and is always asking, how we can be better.

Lindi Roelofse, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Lindi’s students often engage in real-world, client-centered consulting projects for businesses, organizations and governments. Her students have completed work on dozens of initiatives in the Cedar Valley. Beyond the Cedar Valley of Iowa, research and consulting student projects have involved clients in Silicon Valley, Utah, Greece, Wales, Sweden, Ireland, Nepal, England, China, Taiwan, South Africa, and beyond. Additionally, Lindi serves as a key piece of the BBEA partnership with 24/7 BLAC.

SHIPHT, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

SHIPHT (Tech, Youth, Entrepreneurship, Leader) youth is celebrating their 9th year of cultivating diverse talent and innovation in the Cedar Valley. Each year they take pride in creating programming focused on education, access and career readiness. They started with hosting the STEM in the Arts Urban Outreach Initiative, a collaboration with The Textile and Apparel Program at the University of Northern Iowa, Leader Valley, Infiniti Enterprises and KBOL that introduced 6th to 8th grade girls to career opportunities in STEAM. Last year, they partnered with the University of Northern Iowa Center for Urban Education and Institute for Youth Leadership and additional youth centered organizations to host a Youth Cafe.

Tova Strange, Presidents’ Student Leadership Award

Tova Strange, WSU’s Campus Compact Newman Fellow in 2021, has been selected for her passion “to be an avenue to help others find, use, and share their voices”. Through numerous efforts she has developed meaningful partnerships in the Winona area to create sustainable change, particularly for brown and black children. For example, she led a campaign to keep the East End Recreation Center open so children in the neighborhood had a safe place to play and find community. She is involved with Residents Organizing Against Racism (ROAR) and Community Not Cages (to invest in community resources and keep communities safe). She is a leader on campus (KEAP Council President) as well as off campus. Tova embodies community engagement and activism.

Dr. Nora Kraemer, Presidents’ Civic Engagement Leadership Award

Nora embodies Winona States mission “a community of learners improving our world.” She has been instrumental in Bridges Health (free clinic) since its origins in 2017. She serves in a leadership capacity at Bridges, participates in strategic planning, and the development/retention of community partnerships. Her involvement in partnerships with the Winona Friendship Center, Winona Volunteer Services, Winona Warming Center, and Arcadia Public Schools have been invaluable. Nora volunteers one entire workday each week to supervise Athletic Training students and provides inter-professional education for all students at Bridges Health. She is not compensated in her teaching load for this important work. Nora is committed to community engagement.

Trempealeau County, Presidents’ Community Partner Award

Trempealeau County has been a longstanding partner of the Social Work program at Winona State University since at least 2015. Since Spring 2015, Trempealeau County has hosted 13 social work student 480-hour practicums, for a total of 6240 practicum hours! In addition to its partnership with the Social Work program, Trempealeau County has also been an excellent partner to the Bridges Health faculty. Since early 2022, Trempealeau County has been an active participant in developing a community-based Bridges clinic site at the Community Center in Blair, WI. Trempealeau County staff from the Aging and Disability Resources office have partnered with Bridges Health to coordinate outreach, transportation, and scheduling for its county residents.