SLCE 2019 Award Winners

The Service-Learning & Civic Engagement Conference conference is an opportunity to recognize and honor faculty members, staff, students and community partners for their contributions to service-learning and civic engagement in Maryland, Delaware, and Washington, DC. The SLCE Conference annually rewards 5 categories of awards: faculty, staff, undergraduate student, graduate student, and community partner.

Community Partner Award for Civic Engagement

The Community Partner Recognition Award recognize an individual and/or organization that partners with faculty, staff, and/or students to encourage and assist in the integration of service-learning practices through curricula and culture. They promote the importance of service-learning within their organizations and mentor service-learning students. They also assist and support reflection of community-identified needs in relation to student experiences.

Dr. Ashley Waters, Frederick Community College and Frederick’s Oktoberfest

Ashley is very active with many organizations in the Frederick community, including holding directorships with The Rotary Club of Carroll Creek and Woman to Woman Mentoring and recently chairing Frederick’s Oktoberfest, an annual fundraiser that raised over $142,000 this year for the Frederick community which will be invested through community grants and other projects. Rotary’s motto is “Service Above Self” and through events like Frederick’s Oktoberfest the 200+ Rotarians of the Rotary Club of Carroll Creek are dedicated to that service every day.

Faculty Award for Outstanding Service-Learning

The Faculty Award for Outstanding Service-Learning recognizes individuals that develop and teach service-learning courses or a course with a service-learning component with evidence of innovative ways of employing a reflective teaching methodology to connect community service-learning with academic study. These individuals reach out to other faculty to encourage and help them integrate service-learning into their courses. Nominees demonstrate leadership that promotes community service-learning within one’s discipline, college or institution. They also participate in engaged scholarship, such as research, published materials, presentations on service-learning or community-based research.

Dr. Andrea Brace, Towson University

Dr. Brace teaches Environmental Health, Program Evaluation, Research Methods, Urban Food Systems, and Health Communication at Towson University. She has integrated service-learning into many of these courses, including campus partners at  Towson University and off-campus in Baltimore. From developing personal relationships with local food system partners to writing grants to improve her service-learning course development, Dr. Brace is bridging the gap between the classroom and the local Baltimore community. She is empowering the campus community to meaningfully engage in unique and innovative, service-learning experiences that call us to interrogate our positionality toward food, health equity and access.

Staff Award for Outstanding Civic Engagement

The Staff Award for Outstanding Civic Engagement recognizes staff members that collaborate with community for service-learning or civic engagement initiatives. These individuals connect with other staff, faculty and/or students to encourage and help them integrate civic engagement or service-learning in their respective role. They demonstrates leadership that promotes civic engagement or service-learning within one’s campus and seeks to meet community needs.

Emmjolee Mendoza-Waters, Catholic University of America

Ms. Mendoza-Waters has been at the helm of Community Service at Catholic University for over a decade, during which time she has built deep and abiding relationships with community partners all around DC and has cultivated a large and lively community of students willing to respond to the call of service. Through the years Emmjolee has formed a culture in which community service is not a “requirement”, but where it is rather an integral component of life lived in community, the final goal of which is to incorporate “the other” into that community, dissolving the “otherness”. This culture has been taking college students and forming them into loving servants of humankind for over ten years.

Graduate Student Award for Civic Engagement

Graduate Student Award for Civic Engagement recognizes an individual or group of students that are enrolled (at least part time) as graduate students in Fall 2016. They go above and beyond their service to community in collaboration with a service-learning or civic engagement initiative. The students lead and engage peers in meaningful service to meet community needs.

Madison (Shea) Lamanna, American University

Shea is a graduate student at American University where she works at the Center for Community Engagement and Service. Through this work, Shea has worked closely with over 200 undergraduate students by challenging their biases, having them recognize their privilege, and stressed the importance of reflection. As an intern at the Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic this past summer, Shea contributed to a cross-campus survey project to measure faculty community engagement. She has volunteered with CASA de Maryland as a citizenship application preparer and founded a campus-wide graduate student academic group, the Migration & Citizenship Studies Working Group.

Shea has created systems for multiple institutions to create better outreach and understanding of the scope that their services touch, pushed Graduate students to think critically about one of the most pressing issues in our country, made one community service center all the bit more functional, and created sparks of joy in her encounters with anyone who was lucky enough to cross paths.

Undergraduate Student Award for Civic Engagement

The Undergraduate Student Award for Civic Engagement recognizes an individual or group of students that are enrolled (at least part time) as undergraduate students in Spring 2019. They go above and beyond their service to community in collaboration with a service-learning or civic engagement initiative. These students lead and engage peers in meaningful service to meet community needs.

Mekhi Jones, Frostburg University

Mekhi has been involved in service and civic engagement through multiple programs and organizations since his first day at Frostburg State University. Now a senior, Mekhi has dedicated his time to college giving back to the local community in multiple ways. To name a few service involvements, he joined the ECHOSTARS living-learning-Serving community, and Alpha Phi Omega, a service (compared to social) focused co-ed fraternity,  He is always the first to jump at a new service opportunity and shows others how easily they can infuse service into their everyday life. He is the definition of leading by example and is a dedicated servant to his community away from home.

Maggie Fritz and Scholars in Action, University of Maryland, College Park

Scholars in Action was founded in August 2018 aiming to offer greater opportunity for student engagement in community service in the College Park Scholars living-learning community here at University of Maryland. Since its founding a little more than a year ago, Scholars in Action has organized a number of volunteer events. They serve the community while experientially educating Scholars. Their integrated service opportunities bring the Scholars community together over common causes, which fosters connections across the 12 sub-programs, and strengthens the bond between Scholars and the greater College Park area. Scholars in Action believes that by bettering the world around you, you better your education and yourself.