2019 Winners

The 2019 CCMA Awards ceremony happened at the SLCE conference on November 16, 2019

The Alan G. Penczek Service-Learning Faculty Award

Recognizes and honors a faculty member in each of the three higher education sectors (public universities, community colleges, independent colleges and universities) for excellence in the integration of service-learning into the curriculum and impact to students and the community.

Award Recipients

Professor Nikki Bishop, Associate Professor of English at Prince George’s Community College (PGCC)

Professor Bishop is the winner of the Alan G. Penczek Service-Learning Faculty Award in the community college category. She teaches composition, rhetoric, and technical writing. She performed research on the role of composition and discourse in students’ civic engagement in graduate school but did not actively pursue service learning in her own courses until she attended the MD-DC Campus Compact Service Learning & Civic Engagement conference in 2015. Since then, she has employed service learning in her technical writing course, where she and her students help organizations tackle community issues ranging from financial literacy to recycling and construction waste. She also co-chairs PGCC’s Service-Learning Advisory Team, which currently aims to strengthen the college’s service-learning program through faculty support, resources, and training. On her own time, Nikki is an animal welfare advocate, fighting specifically to end dog breed-specific legislation in Prince George’s County. She currently lives in Waldorf, Maryland with her partner, Shawn, and their pitbull, Luke.

Dr. Darnell Morris-Compton, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Studies and Community Development at Towson University

Dr. Morris-Compton is the winner of the Alan G. Penczek Service-Learning Faculty Award in the public institution category. In addition to teaching research methods in human service, and practice in human service, he teaches Family Studies 387: Community Services for Families, the department’s service-learning course. Since teaching at Towson University in the Spring of 2014, he has taught more than 300 students taking this course. His students have completed more than 13,700 service-related hours to the Towson and Greater Baltimore area. Students have served in a variety of settings, including schools, government agencies, community centers, food pantries, and several nonprofits. Students have worked on a variety of issues, including homelessness, poverty, death, dying, bereavement, veterans issues, immigration, sex trafficking, incarceration, food insecurity, and the environment. In addition to the practice of service learning, he is also researching the benefits of service learning on student development. In 2018, he won the Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Member during the Student Leadership Awards Ceremony. He is also a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from the countries of Turkmenistan and Kenya.

The Early Career Engaged Scholar Award

Recognizes and honors a scholar for his/her outstanding research in curricular and/or co-curricular civic engagement which advances the field.

Award Recipient

Dr. Leah Katherine Saal, Assistant Professor in the School of Education, Loyola University Maryland

Dr. Saal teaches graduate courses in literacy education and educational research. She values service-learning as an authentic pathway to prepare students to become inquiring and reflective pedagogues in urban environs. Saal’s engaged scholarly agenda focuses on the intersectionality of literacy and social justice. Her research includes two dovetailing strands: 1) the literacies of adults and older students in and out of educational programs and 2) the preparation and support of literacy leaders to work for social justice. In addition to her own scholarship, Leah Katherine serves on the Loyola Engaged Scholarship Committee and Clinical Centers Research Committee, as well as several international and national editorial review boards for adult and adolescent literacy/learning journals. Dr. Saal is also the co-creator of the Learning to LEAD Program, a program that trains people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to serve as Self-Advocate Educators (SAEs) in first-responder (police, fire, and EMS) training This year, she and her colleague, Dr. Lisa Schoenbrodt, will be expanding their program to work with Baltimore City Police Department and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services.

The Excellence in Service Student Group Award

Acknowledges student groups for their commitment and involvement in service projects that extend beyond any co-curricular requirements or service-learning courses, leading to long-term, sustainable, community impact.

Award Recipient

The Eagle Endowment for Public & Community Service, American University

The Eagle Endowment is a student-led initiative at American University operating under the Center for Community Engagement & Service (CCES). In 2000, AU students had funds left over from a playground they had built in Southeast DC and had created a fund to give out grants for DC-based service projects. That fund became an official “Endowment” in 2002. It is the first student-initiated endowment effort in the U.S. The Eagle Endowment is led by a Student Coordinator with a Student Advisory Council consisting of 6-10 students, graduate and undergraduates, who promote the grants, interview applicants, visit sites, and mentor awardees. Saagar Gupta, who left AU in the summer of 2019 with a Master’s in Public Administration, was the longest serving Coordinator. He joined the Council as an undergraduate and held the Coordinator position for 2.5 years. Under his innovative leadership, Saagar applied for and obtained the 2017 $10,000 Sillerman Prize (“a GenerousU”), focused on student philanthropy.

While many student groups want to carry out community service, few have the funds to put them into action. The Eagle Endowment addresses this challenge by not only by providing seed grants of $100- $1,000 to individuals and student groups, but requires buy-in and support from a community partner. The grants are offered in the fall, in January (an MLK grant), and in the spring semester. Typically, 12 grants are funded per year. This initiative addresses social, political and economic issues faced throughout DC and helps applicants deepen their understanding of the city’s issues. In its 17-year history, over $62,000 has been awarded to about 130 unique projects

The Campus-Community Partnership Award

Recognizes one outstanding campus-community partnership that produces measurable impact in both student participants and the community. Consideration is given for demonstrated sustainability, reciprocity, and mutual collaboration.

Award Recipient

Early College Initiatives, University of Baltimore

UB’s Early College Initiatives program provides credit-bearing programming for high school students, creating a pipeline of students who continue on to university. Specific goals of this partnership are to increase STEM skills in Baltimore city youth, and to provide learning opportunities for underserved students. 20 Baltimore public schools are represented in this program, which enjoyed 20% growth in its first two years, serving over 3,500 students since 2016. The Early College Initiatives program collaborates with city-based nonprofit, school district, and government partners. Mr. John Brenner is the Director of Early College Initiatives at UB. As Director and lead for the University System of Maryland’s B-Power initiative, John Brenner’s main activities include devising and aligning strategies for college readiness and dual enrollment programs, managing budgets, building relationships in Baltimore City for with schools and non-profits, hiring and managing a team of staff and instructors, increasing reach and scope to accomplish institutional and system-level goals, and raising funding. His team operates with an entrepreneurial mindset, approaching their work within the organization with the goals of marketing, growing, strengthening, and improving their education-centered business.

The Civic Engagement Award

Recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of civic learning and engagement in sustaining our participatory democracy.

Award Recipient

The Shriver Center, UMBC

Founded in 1993, the Shriver Center at UMBC collaborates with partners in addressing critical social challenges by bridging campus and community through engaged scholarship and applied learning. The Center’s Applied Learning & Community Engagement programs’ staff members closely collaborate with a variety of campus partners through shared programs and projects, working groups, community-based student placements, and integration of community engagement in research and curricula. The Center’s Service-Learning & Community Engagement’s staff of four, working with a group of 30+ student leaders, supports 900+ placements annually, across 60+ on- and off-campus partnerships with nonprofit, community-based organizations and schools. Additionally, they support community-focused scholarships, a service-learning focused living learning community, and faculty offering service-learning courses. The Center’s Public Service Scholars Fellowship Programs includes a set of four initiatives (i.e., Governor’s Summer Internship Program, Sondheim Nonprofit Leadership Program, MDOT Fellows Program, Sondheim Public Service Law Program) to support up to 55 undergraduate and graduate students annually from across Maryland and provide them with the opportunity to develop as future leaders in Maryland’s public and social sectors, through experience, exposure, exploration, and practice. CCMA’s signature event, the Service-Learning & Civic Engagement Conference, has roots in the 1990s Learn & Serve America grant administered by The Shriver Center.

The Institutional Leadership Award

Recognizes and honors one individual for outstanding contributions to the institutionalization of community engagement, by inspiring a culture of service/civic and community engagement on the campus and involving community voice in the development of partnerships and the campus.

Award Recipient

Dr. Thomas L. Bowling, former Vice President for Student Affairs, Frostburg State University

Dr. Bowling joined the Frostburg State University community in 1976, and served as Vice President for Student Affairs from 2006 to 2019; he was interim president during the 2015-16 academic year. During that time, he served as a member of the board of the Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic. Nationally, he has been active in several professional associations, including the Fulbright Association following his own experience as a Fulbright Scholar in Germany, and NASPA. He also has served as a member of the ACT Board of Trustees, on the advisory boards for Outside the Classroom and Global Experiences, and as a team member on several accreditation site visits for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.  He has nurtured partnerships throughout the University to support the University’s commitment to civic engagement. Dr. Bowling played a key role in launching Frostburg’s AmeriCorps program in 1994, and for the past 25 years has significantly contributed to its growth, identifying resources to enable it to thrive. He is now focusing his attention on developing global citizenship.  Frostburg was recently selected (one of only ten institutions in the country) by AASCU to participate in its Global Civic Literacy initiative.

The Civic Leadership Award

Recognizes an individual who has contributed substantially to the development of civic and community engagement in the Maryland, DC, and Delaware region.

Award Recipient

Ms. Wanda Draper, Executive Director (retired), Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture

During her tenure as Executive Director of the Lewis Museum, Ms. Draper assembled a management team focused on a culture of excellence. The museum increased annual revenue four-fold, increased membership and visitation, and presented a number of successful exhibitions including: Maryland Collects: Jacob Lawrence, Reflections of Baltimore, Baltimore’s Arabbers: Calls from a City Street, Remnants of Hatred: Slavery Artifacts Today, Hateful Things, and Romare Bearden: Visionary Artist.

As Executive Director, Ms. Draper transformed the Lewis Museum into a gathering space for important conversations, lectures, and presentations on topics of importance and relevance to the citizens of Baltimore and the larger statewide community. A native of Baltimore, Draper co-chaired the museum grand opening in 2005. As one of the founding board members, she served for 10 years as co-chair of the Marketing and Public Relations Committee.

Draper has previously held positions as director of community affairs and visitor services at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, reporter and columnist for the Baltimore Sun Newspapers, and television panelist on the PBS program “Maryland NewsRap.” She was director of programming and public affairs for WBAL-TV 11 when Ms. Draper took the position of Executive Director for the Lewis Museum.

After graduating from the journalism program at Maryland, she attended the Johns Hopkins University School of Contemporary Studies and the University of Maryland School of Law.

The Willam E. “Brit” Kirwan Engaged Leader Award

Recognizes and honors an individual for his or her lifetime contributions as a systemic-change agent. This individual has helped to shape policy to advance communities, ultimately elevating the quality of collective life throughout the Maryland, DC, and Delaware region and beyond.

Award Recipient

Senator Chris Coons, United States Senator, Delaware

Chris has spent his career in the Senate focused on working across the aisle to get things done for the people of Delaware. In March 2017, the Bipartisan Policy Center recognized Chris for his commitment to bipartisanship and awarded him its Legislative Action Award. In November 2016, the independent congressional tracking website GovTrack ranked Chris in the top three most productive Senators of both parties.

Chris serves on the Senate Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Judiciary, Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Ethics committees. He is the vice chair of the Ethics Committee and the senior Democrat on two subcommittees: The Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government. He co-founded and leads the Senate Human Rights Caucus, the Senate Competitiveness Caucus, the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, and the Senate Chicken Caucus.

Before his election to the US Senate in 2010, Chris served as New Castle County Council President for four years and New Castle County Executive for six years. Prior to serving as County Executive, Chris worked as an attorney for Delaware-based W.L. Gore & Associates, one of the 200 largest privately held manufacturing companies in the United States. As a law student, Chris founded the Delaware chapter of the national “I Have a Dream” Foundation, which helps low-income students make the academic journey from elementary school through college. Shortly after receiving his law degree and clerking on the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Chris began working at the organization’s national office. While there, he launched and ran the organization’s AmeriCorps program, which helped recruit and train volunteers to mentor students in fifteen cities.

Chris graduated from Amherst College with a BA in Chemistry and Political Science in 1985. While in college, Chris spent a semester studying at the University of Nairobi in Kenya. He returned to the continent in 1987 to work with the South African Council of Churches in the anti-apartheid movement. Chris earned his law degree from Yale Law School and has a master’s degree in Ethics from Yale Divinity School.