Gustavus Adolphus College has announced the winners of the 2014 Minnesota Campus Compact (MCC) Presidents’ Awards for Civic Engagement. These three awards provide an opportunity for member presidents and chancellors to give statewide recognition to effective leaders in the development of campus-community partnerships.
The awards were established as an acknowledgement that outstanding collaborative work will not only inform and inspire tomorrow’s campus-community partnerships, but will also play a critical role in garnering support for higher education’s civic engagement initiatives.
Gustavus senior Anna McDevitt has been awarded this year’s Presidents’ Student Leadership Award, which recognizes an individual student or student organization that models a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership, evidenced by initiative, innovative and collaborative approaches to addressing public issues, effective community building, and integration of civic engagement into the college experience.
McDevitt has shown a commitment to civic engagement through her work addressing social, environmental, and climate justice issues, and by seeking out ways to improve the community around her. She has impacted the Gustavus and St. Peter communities through leadership roles in the Servant-Leadership Program, PowerShift, Gustavus Divestment Initiative, and the Gustavus Greens. McDevitt also recently traveled to Washington D.C., with a group of Gustavus students to show opposition to the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Gustavus Assistant Professor of Nursing is this year’s winner of the Presidents’ Civic Engagement Steward Award, which recognizes a member of the faculty, administration, or staff who has significantly advanced their campus’ distinctive civic mission by forming strong partnerships, supporting others’ civic engagement, and working to institutionalize a culture and practice of engagement.
Myers has diligently built partnerships to provide nursing students with hands-on experience in healthcare settings. As catalyst of the first Summer Institute of Nursing, Myers has built partnerships with the regional Area Health Education Center, River’s Edge Hospital, and Benedictine Community Living. Myers has also developed a partnership with the regional “High Step Program”, which involves high school students who are interested in exploring nursing as a career choice. This partnership offers an innovative opportunity for High Step to hold some classes in the Gustavus Nursing Lab, giving Gustavus nursing majors an opportunity to hone their own skills by teaching basic lab skills to the High Step students. Myers has also stewarded partnerships nation-wide including establishing a clinical rotation at the North Slope Borough in Barrow, Alaska, and helping to create an undergraduate internship opportunity at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia.
Peter Olson, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota, is the winner of this year’s Presidents’ Civic Engagement Community Partner Award. This award recognizes a community-based organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and has engaged in the development of sustained, reciprocal partnerships with the college or university, thus enriching educational as well as community outcomes.
Olson has nourished an outstanding partnership with Gustavus to offer students majoring in psychological science an opportunity to conduct research. Olson has allowed Gustavus students to conduct observational studies at the Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota as part of their developmental psychology course. The Museum is currently developing a “Living Lab”, which will offer Gustavus students opportunities to conduct further research and help to educate parents and the public about child development through the process of scientific discovery.
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