On March 25th, Sam Lalonde, Student Senate Civic Engagement Commissioner, in partnership with the Action Research Center hosted the 2nd annual Civic Engagement Banquet. Nominees and winners in a variety of categories were recognized for their continued commitment to civic engagement. The following are the winners of the 2013-2014 Civic Engagement Awards:
Excellence in Civic Engagement by a Faculty or Staff Member
Karen Schmidt, University Librarian: Karen is the Alderman for City Council, Cultural Commissioner, board member at WBRP, and Book Bike Wrangler.
Greek Organization Committed to Civic Engagement
Acacia adopted a street, works with Home Sweet Home ministries and Mulberry School. They also plan food drives and philanthropy events to aid both of these organizations. This volunteering includes preparing and serving food to the less fortunate, or working for community events like the Run, Walk, and Scream 5k at Mulberry. Acacia is also the fraternity that generally has the highest attendance on GreekServe days. The Acacia Midwest Basketball Tournament was an event in the past that was started up again this year, which brought together many Midwest chapters of Acacia and raised over $1,500 for the V Foundation for Cancer Research. Lastly, several members of the Acacia fraternity are heavily involved with excellent progressive student organizations like Safe Zone or Interfaith, which help build a more tolerant and understanding community around us.
Community Partner Award
West Bloomington Revitalization Project: WBRP has been a great partnership for IWU. Students, faculty, and staff have been able to engage with their mission on many levels. Groups have also found meaningful partnerships – the Westside 5K with the cross country team, action research projects with ARC, and the IWU Bike Share. The Tool Library found a home there and that has been an inspiration to home owners and entrepreneurs on campus and in the community. Karen Schmidt, Deborah Halperin, Greg Shaw, Cameron Blossom, and Matt LaLonde are all on the board. The WBRP is revitalizing the Westside with the energy of IWU and that is what smart partnerships should look like.
Exemplary Alternative Break Member Award
Athletic Team Committed to Civic Engagement
Men’s Basketball Team: Through volunteering to working one-on-one with students at Bent Elementary school, volunteering for the Special Olympics State Basketball Tournament, and other activities, the Men’s basketball team has lived up to their duty of being role models in the community. They have shown that success and community engagement go hand-in-hand, and deserve to be recognized for this dedication
Student Organization Committed to Civic Engagement
Habitat for Humanity: Habitat for Humanity is very welcoming to everyone and they are helping create a better community in Bloomington. As mentioned before, The University has a long-standing commitment to collegiate Habitat for Humanity. Not only does the Volunteer Center sponsor an annual Alternative Spring Break with the Habitat Collegiate challenge, but our collegiate chapter collaborating with Illinois State has built an average of one house/year for almost 20 years. Thank you for your commitment to civic engagement.
Lauren Streblo, Crisis Nursery Intern, Children’s Home & Aid
First Year Student Award