2014 CCBP ENGAGEMENT AWARDS PRESENTED APRIL 18
- April 25th, 2014
- in Spotlight
Dr. Jeffrey Parker, associate professor of psychology, chaired the Excellence in Engagement Awards Committee.
Excellence in Engagement by Faculty or Staff
Dr. Jennifer Campbell-Meier, assistant professor in Library and Information Studies is the principal investigator of STAPLE (Sustaining Training for Alabama Public Library Employees). Her research will enable managers without library degrees to be more successful. A three-year grant will enable Campbell-Meier and her colleagues Dr. Jaimee Naidoo and Dr. Jeff Weddle and their team to meet the training needs of Alabama’s public library managers.
Dr. Marcy Koontz, associate professor in the Department of Clothing, Textile and Interior is this university’s biggest promoter of awareness and uses of bamboo. Her project, Black Belt Bamboost, is building a public bamboo park with its partner, the Friends of Historic Northport. The park is designed to become an important community destination by offering a place of serenity, beauty, and culture by drawing residents and visitors. Other plans include an organic garden and best-practices exhibits for bamboo farming on a one-acre planting of timber bamboo.
Dr. John Higginbotham, Dr. Kim Bissell, and Ms. Felecia Jones are co-investigators in a three-year $800,000 grant to improve health and quality of life in the Alabama Black Belt. Their research team will focus on reducing obesity and create a training program to provide education and training to build community-based participatory research capacity among Black Belt residents.
Excellence in Engagement by Students
Brian McWilliams, an undergraduate in Biology, leads a team collecting medical supplies to go to third-world countries. Brian’s team connects local hospitals and health care facilities with groups working in underserved areas. As co-president of Advocates for World Health, Brian will organize the shipment of these supplies to nations such as Haiti and the Dominican Republic. On of his goals is to give back to the University that has given him so many opportunities, experiences and friendships.
Oliver K. Stoutner is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Management and Marketing. His research interest is in employee risk taking, both in general and within the the workplace. His research seeks to understand and prevent accidents, injuries and other losses in the workplace. He is seeking to develop interventions that will modify risk-taking behaviors and risk propensity for the benefit of employees, organizations, and stakeholders. He plans to submit a manuscript about his research to the Journal of Applied Psychology.
Student Engineers in Action (SEA), under the leadership of engineering faculty members Drs. Pauline and Philip Johnson, partnered with 57 Miles, an initiative created by the Honors College, to work with partners in Perry County to obtain a public gathering and performance space and secure greatly needed textbooks. Through partnering with teachers, making announcements to classes, and through mass emails, SEA was able to collect a classroom set of engineering textbooks for Francis Marion High School. Not only has the partnership with 57 Miles been successful in addressing needs of the entire community, but it is also successful in that students are walking away with a deepened understanding of the real world and real-life problems that can’t be learned in a textbook. SEA is working on plans to ensure the success of both the textbook drive and the Amphitheater Project, and other potential land-use projects.
Excellence in Engagement by Community Partners
Dr. John Dorsey, executive director of Project Horseshoe Farm, and Michael Lynch, the managing director, head a non-profit community organization in Greensboro whose mission is to serve communities by developing leadership of programs for children, seniors and adults with mental illness. Partnerships with UA, AU and UAB are part of this work. These leaders are demonstrating that by working together and sharing responsibility to help the vulnerable makes communities stronger..
Dr. Robert Halli and Dr. Jacqueline Morgan are teaching the values of service, leadership and intellectual growth as part of the 57 Miles project in Perry County. The title comes from the distance from Tuscaloosa to the Black Belt town of Marion in Perry County. Since 2009, the program has touched many aspects of life in the rural community, including parks, tourism, and economic development. Project 57 accomplishes its goals by inviting students to join with community leaders to discover each other’s true potential. Partners include Judy Martin, John Martin, Cathy Trimble, Francis Ford, and Chris Joiner.
Distinguished Achievement in Engagement Scholarship–Faculty
When she came to the University of Alabama, Dr. Karina E. Vasquez, assistant professor of Spanish, Modern Languages and Classics, brought with her instincts for helping the homeless and working in soup kitchens. At UA, she has incorporated community-based service-learning in her classes with the goal of helping Hispanic children appreciate the heritage and beauty of their native language. Her students are engaging in educational activities at the University’s Museum of Natural History such as conducting guided tours in Spanish. The museum staff has been so pleased with these tours they are planning to provide an internship so the tours can be conducted in Spanish year round.
Distinguished Achievement in Engagement Scholarship–Community Partner
Cindy Dixon is not just the graduation coach at Holt High School; she is also the school’s Beta Club sponsor and is a leader in several Holt community projects, including the highly regarded Holt Community Festival. At NOSC 2012 on the campus, Cindy conducted a pre-conference workshop on community partnerships for young scholars. Her commitment to getting youth involved in the community means working late hours and on weekends. She represents the best in community-university partnerships. Cindy Dixon, please come forward to accept your award for Distinguished Achievement in Engagement Scholarship by a community partner.
Distinguished Achievement in Engagement Scholarship–Student
Anna-Margaret Yarbrough, this year’s winner of the Distinguished Achievement in Engagement Scholarship by a UA student, will be a tough act to follow for future hopefuls for this award. Just being the graduate assistant for Al’s Pals mentoring program would be enough for some students, but Anna-Margaret has also made presentations at the two most recent annual engagement scholarship conferences, first here and then in Lubbock, Texas. The recipient of two UA Seed Grants for research, she published an article in JCES on how students can become involved in engagement scholarship.