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Volume 10, Issue 4
April 2018

MSU Outreach and Engagement Awards Ceremony Honors Outstanding University-Community Collaborations

The Michigan State University Outreach and Engagement Annual Awards Ceremony was held on Wednesday, February 21, at the Kellogg Center with an audience that included award recipients and their families, community partners, deans, colleagues, and students.

The awards program was established by University Outreach and Engagement (UOE) in 2005 with the Community Engagement Scholarship Award (CESA). The CESA is a university-wide recognition of exemplary engaged scholarship with a community partner.

The Distinguished Partnership Awards, established in 2017, are bestowed annually on highly regarded projects that emerge from CESA nominations in the areas of community-engaged research, creative activity, teaching, and service. These collaborations reflect scholarly community-based work that positively impacts both community and university partners.

A lifetime achievement award was also implemented in 2017 to recognize individuals who have excelled in the practice of community-engaged scholarship across their career.

Recipients of the 2018 awards include:

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Research

Recognition of a university-community partnership for significant, contextually-responsive, scholarly, and impactful collaboration in inquiry and the discovery of new knowledge and/or the development of new insights.

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Research Award Winners

Helping National Guard Families After Deployment: A University-Military Collaboration
Adrian J. Blow, Professor, College of Social Science
Michigan Army National Guard

Since 2006, Adrian Blow has worked with a range of community partners, including clinicians, military personnel, the Michigan National Guard, the University of Michigan Medical School, the Veteran's Affairs of Ann Arbor Healthcare System, and the Michigan Public Health Institute, to address the challenges of reintegration faced by returning National Guard soldiers and their families.

The work of Blow and his team has had an immeasurable impact on military personnel and their families post-deployment through research-informed programming and policy change. Their outcomes have led to the creation of an effective peer-to-peer support program as well as the Star Behavioral Health Provider Program, which trains mental health care providers in military cultural competency, and treatments for PTSD, insomnia, depression, and family resilience.

This partnership is also the recipient of MSU's 2018 Community Engagement Scholarship Award (CESA).

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Creative Activity

Recognition of a university-community partnership for significant, contextually-responsive, scholarly, and impactful collaboration in the creation of new artistic or literary performances and expressions.

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Creative Activity Award Winners

Indigistory
Gordon D. Henry, Professor, College of Arts and Letters
John W. Norder, Director and Professor, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and College of Social Science
Christie M. Poitra, Academic Specialist, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Saginaw Chippewa Tribal College, Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, and Michigan History Center

Developed in 2012 by leaders of MSU's Native Amercian Institute, the Indigistory program provides a digital platform, support, and resources for Native youth to share their digital stories about their families, tribal histories, cultures, languages, and lifestyles with Native and non-Native audiences.

The Indigistory project offers an annual film camp held at Michigan State University for Native American middle and high school students (Native American Youth Film Institute, NAYFI), where students have created more than 40 films featured in eight festivals around Michigan.

The program is interdisciplinary, with a range of collaborative community partners who share in the decision-making and leadership of the project. Funding received from the Michigan Humanities Council has allowed for the workshops and NAYFI to be offered at no cost, giving youth the opportunity to collaborate with their peers, experience filmmaking, and be exposed to a higher education setting for an extended period of time. Films made by the students are shown in film festivals that are free and open to the public, exposing non-Native audiences to new perspectives.

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Teaching

Recognition of a university-community partnership for significant, contextually-responsive, scholarly, and impactful collaboration in sharing knowledge with learners through either formal or informal arrangements, whether credit-bearing, noncredit, guided by a teacher, or self-directed.

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Teaching Award Winners

Crain Michigan State University Detroit High School Journalism Program
Jeremy W. Steele, Academic Specialist, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
Joy Visconti, Academic Specialist, College of Communication Arts and Sciences
Crain Communications, Inc.

The program mentors 200 to 300 students in some 14 Detroit high schools each year, using journalism as a tool to develop critical skills that prepare them for college. Students learn how to gather information, think critically, write, and create information visually. They are connected with professionals—MSU faculty members and journalism students, as well as professional journalist mentors—to produce newspapers and website content about the issues affecting the students' schools, neighborhoods, and peers.

Students in the program work one-on-one with a mentor or MSU Journalism faculty member to develop and produce their story ideas. Four times a year, the program distributes more than 10,000 student-produced newspapers to students in Detroit schools.

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Service

Recognition of a university-community partnership for significant, contextually-responsive, scholarly, and impactful collaboration in the utilization of scholarly expertise to directly address specific issues identified by individuals, organizations, industries, or communities.

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Service Award Winners

Improving Workforce Productivity at Peckham
Sriram Narayanan, Associate Professor, Eli Broad College of Business
Peckham, Inc.

When searching for a job, people with disabilities can face significant barriers to getting hired, sometimes due to myths regarding their ability to work efficiently. A number of programs exist to help increase employment outcomes for people with disabilities, but these programs have not examined barriers within manufacturing processes that may impede persons with disabilities from full productivity.

Peckham, Inc. is a Lansing-based company that employs a significant number of people who have disabilities. Dr. Narayanan teamed up with Peckham leaders to utilize supply chain management methods to research and design an effective workplace environment that is inclusive of people with disabilities while maximizing productivity.

Much of the research focused on team dynamics in the workplace. Working with MBA, supply chain doctoral, and computer engineering students, as well as Peckham staff, the research team identified areas of Peckham's operations where diversity could be increased to improve productivity. The findings of the team were applied to Peckham's operations and have also been presented broadly within the field to increase workplace opportunities and the quality of such opportunities for employees with disabilities.

Michigan State University Community Engagement Scholarship Lifetime Achievement Award

Recognition of outstanding and sustained accomplishment in community-engaged scholarship through research, creative activity, teaching, and/or service. Given the special nature of this distinction, it is not an annual award, but is conferred on those occasions in which the individuals' extraordinary accomplishments are sustained over the span of a career.

Michigan State University Community Engagement Scholarship Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

William S. Davidson, University Distinguished Professor, College of Social Science

Shortly after arriving at MSU in 1975, Davidson established the Adolescent Diversion Project (ADP), which is designed to decrease delinquency while helping juveniles to recognize their competencies. The ADP created a collaboration through which innovative educational experiences were offered, best practice interventions were developed and employed, and sound scientific methodology was used to address juvenile delinquency in mid-Michigan.

Since 1976, ADP has diverted 6,117 first-time offenders from the local juvenile court, with dramatic reductions in repeat offenses. In addition, an equal number—6,117 undergraduates—have participated in the diversion work. The project has saved the mid-Michigan community more than $20 million, and Davidson has built a solid foundation of support from officials at the Ingham County Circuit Court, along with parents, community leaders, and school officials. One book and more than 50 articles and presentations have resulted from this community-engaged partnership.

Dr. Davidson is an internationally-acclaimed scholar on behavioral psychology, and an exemplary community-engaged researcher. He has been recognized for achievements in his field by the United Nations, the American Psychological Association, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the State of Michigan.

Frequently Asked Questions About MSU University Outreach and Engagement Awards

What is the process?

The university-wide Community Engagement Scholarship Award (CESA) is conferred annually in recognition of highly engaged community-based scholarship collaborations that positively impact both the community and scholarship. Each year, the CESA is conferred upon an MSU faculty or academic staff member and her/his designated community partner(s). Projects by collaborative teams, with a designated principal investigator or project lead, are also eligible. The honor is bestowed by the president, provost, and representatives of the MSU Board of Trustees during the annual all-university MSU Awards Convocation, next held on Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

Nominations are solicited in four categories: community-engaged research, creative activity, teaching, and service. The 2018 deadline for submission is Thursday, October 4.

Finalists for the CESA are recognized with an MSU Distinguished Partnership Award

Where can I find more information?

CESA instructions are posted by the Office of the Provost each year in April, with submission deadlines due each October.

Information about UOE awards can be found at https://engage.msu.edu/awards.

  • Written by Carla Hills, University Outreach and Engagement
  • Photographs courtesy of Paul Phipps, University Outreach and Engagement