MSU Awards Honor Engaged Scholarship

University Outreach and Engagement Awards Program

University Outreach and Engagement established its awards program to recognize highly engaged and scholarly community-based collaborations that positively impact both the community and scholarship.

2017 Recipients: UOE Awards

MSU Community Engagement Scholarship Award (CESA)

Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research ProjectThe CESA recognizes exemplary engaged scholarship with a community partner. One scholar and her/his partner(s) share a stipend of $5,000. The winning partnership also represents MSU in the competition for the regional W. K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Awards and the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award cosponsored by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium. These are among the most prestigious recognitions of exemplary engaged scholarship in the United States.

Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project
Rebecca Campbell, College of Social Science
Wayne County Prosecutor's Office
Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board
Michigan State Police
Wayne County SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners)

After the 2009 discovery of some 11,000 unprocessed and untested sexual assault kits in a police property storage facility in Detroit, Campbell, along with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy and partners, worked together for five years to understand why so many kits were not tested. They developed comprehensive testing plans to ensure all rape kits were tested for DNA and created trauma-informed support programs for survivors as their cases were reopened. Strategies and solutions developed in this project have been disseminated nationally to help other communities.

Distinguished Partnership Awards

The Distinguished Partnership Awards comprise a series of four University-wide recognitions for highly engaged and scholarly community-based work that positively impacts both the community and scholarship. The awards are given in the categories of Research, Creative Activities, Teaching, and Service. Each award is jointly conferred on a faculty recipient and her/his community partner(s), and comes with a shared stipend of $1,500. The four award recipients are also finalists for the CESA award.

Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Research

Detroit Sexual Assault Kit (SAK) Action Research Project
Rebecca Campbell, College of Social Science
Wayne County Prosecutor's Office
Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board
Michigan State Police
Wayne County SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners)

This partnership won MSU's 2017 Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

Young Playwrights Festival

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Creative Activity

Young Playwrights Festival
Robert J. Roznowski, College of Arts and Letters
Williamston High School

The playwrights festival is a juried competition that offers mid-Michigan high school students the opportunity to submit an original short play for production. The plays are then performed before a live audience at Wharton Center's Pasant Theatre, followed by a public reflection and assessment process. The program has developed deeply collaborative roots among the academic, professional, and community partners who participate in jurying, mentoring, producing, directing, and advising the young people. Since the program's inception, 67 mid-Michigan high schools have participated, with students submitting 1,703 plays; more than 650 Department of Theatre students and staff have contributed their time and expertise.

MIPlace Partnership Initiative

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Teaching

MIPlace™ Partnership Initiative
Mark A. Wyckoff, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Michigan State Housing Development Authority
Michigan Municipal League

MIPlace™ was created in response to the need to revitalize Michigan's downtowns. Through extensive place-making training based on a new curriculum and guidebook, as well as technical assistance provided to stakeholder groups and communities across the state, the initiative has educated nearly 15,000 about the importance of place-making and been instrumental in the planning and implementation of dozens of place-making projects throughout Michigan.

Building a Statewide Research Network Based on Community Engagement

Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Service

Building a Statewide Research Network Based on Community Engagement
Jeffrey W. Dwyer, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and College of Human Medicine
Mid-Michigan Health
UP Health System–Marquette
Munson Medical Center

Jeff Dwyer has spent nearly a decade working with community partners to build a statewide research network affiliated with the campuses of MSU's College of Human Medicine. His goal is to align the expertise of health-focused professionals from the University with communities in need. This network supports community-engaged research and the development of collaborations. The project is funded by the National Institutes of Health and other sources.

MSU Community Engagement Scholarship Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes individuals of outstanding sustained accomplishment in community-engaged scholarship through research, creative activity, teaching, and/or service and practice over the span of a career.

Mildred A. Horodynski

Mildred A. Horodynski
College of Nursing

For more than 25 years, Horodynski has directed her research towards reducing the risk of childhood obesity. She and colleagues have developed and implemented innovative, evidence-based, multi-faceted curricula that empower parents to utilize appropriate nutritional guidelines and feeding practices.

Synergy Award for Exemplary Community Leadership in University-Community Partnerships

The Synergy Award recognizes individuals from public, nonprofit, or private sector organizations or the community at large for exemplary leadership in partnering with MSU faculty, staff, or students in community engagement activities.

Renee Leone

Renee Leone
MSU Science Festival

The first MSU Science Festival, held in April 2013, attracted more than 11,000 attendees across 10 days, offered more than 150 unique presentations, and spanned the science spectrum from astronomy to zoology. With Leone's leadership, the festival continued to develop each year, growing in attendance and activities held around the state. It is supported by many businesses, nonprofits, MSU units, and student volunteers.

Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Awards

The MSU Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Awards recognize individuals who have demonstrated innovative and/or sustained effort in the area of academic, curricular, or cocurricular service-learning/civic engagement that is specifically linked with the mission and efforts of their college. Recipients are selected from faculty and staff by the deans of each college.

2017 Recipients: CSLCE Awards

College of Arts and Letters
Alison Clare Dobbins

Alison DobbinsAlison Dobbins is the director and creator of Theatre Engine, an interdisciplinary project focused on exploring audience engagement in dance through the use of mobile applications. Collaborators are from three MSU colleges, Brigham Young University, University of Wisconsin– Green Bay, Colby College, University of Oregon, and St. Olaf College. Dobbins is also a coprincipal investigator on Dancing Computer, an interdisciplinary project focused on developing methods to teach dance and computer literacy to elementary school students, and creator of the Media Theatre Performance Laboratory, a partnership between MSU and Riverwalk Theatre to establish new methods of understanding, teaching, and developing media/theatre productions.

College of Communication Arts and Sciences
David Keith Poulson

David PoulsonDavid Poulson is the senior associate director of MSU's Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, where he teaches environmental news reporting and organizes local to international workshops for students, journalists, and others. He also teaches scientists how to translate their research and make it relevant to the average person. Poulson created and built three Knight Center online environmental news services, including Great Lakes Echo, which regularly attracts hundreds of thousands of page views from across the world through its app, social media, and website. Under Poulson's supervision, students and professionals write podcasts, videos, and text stories that are reposted globally.

College of Human Medicine
Rae Lee Schnuth

Rae SchnuthRae Schnuth has served as director of the Leadership in Medicine for the Underserved certificate program in the College of Human Medicine for over 10 years, mentoring hundreds of students engaging in structured, longitudinal, service-learning activities in the communities of Saginaw, Flint, and internationally across three continents. Her certificate students have served on one- and two-month-long rotations in Peru, Costa Rica, and Uganda. Service-learning partners include migrant clinics, public schools, health departments, and community organizations.

College of Law
Joshua Matthew Wease

Joshua WeaseJoshua Wease is the director of the Tax Clinic, which at any given time serves roughly 100-120 low-income clients in the Lansing area who are involved in a controversy with the IRS. The Clinic is staffed by second and third year law students. Under Wease's leadership, the clinic now provides services to more rural and small communities across Michigan and has redesigned its website, which has been translated into Spanish.

College of Music
Rodney T. Whitaker

Rodney WhitakerRodney Whitaker holds dear the unwritten directive of a true jazz musician as being a mentor to his students. In his first years at MSU, he began passing on the mentorship tradition with an outreach program to inner-city schools in Detroit and Lansing. These efforts have since grown into a Jazz Artist in Residence program supported by the MSU Federal Credit Union, where well-known jazz artists visit campus for a weeklong residency. Residency guests engage the campus community with public concerts and visits to local school systems, as well as tours across the state with Jazz Orchestra I.

College of Natural Science
Pavel Sikorskii

Pavel SikorskiiPavel Sikorskii leads the effort to transform mathematics gateway courses at MSU with an overarching goal of improving student success and reducing time to degree. He is the principal investigator on a BOSCH Community Foundation grant that supports the BOSCH/MSU High School STEM Success program in Detroit area public schools, which combines online curriculum with in-person interactions to improve the college mathematics readiness of high school graduates.

College of Social Science
Joshua Sapotichne

Josh SapotichneJosh Sapotichne established and directs the InnovateGov service-learning program for the College of Social Science. The program provides assistance to the City of Detroit through student placements in key institutions. Students in the program also take a senior seminar course on urban public policy. In the first year, 10 students worked in the Detroit Mayor's Finance Office. In the second year, InnovateGov joined the Det × MSU initiative of the University. This summer the program is providing a service-learning opportunity for 50 students from all across the University, and its partnerships have expanded to include Wayne County and local nonprofits.

College of Veterinary Medicine
Daniel K. Langlois and John P. Buchweitz

Daniel LangloisJohn P. BuchweitzDaniel Langlois treated animals suffering from lead toxicity in Flint and helped launch an investigation into screening for lead exposure. He held free public clinics at various locations to evaluate blood lead levels in dogs and developed information materials about lowering lead exposure, providing safe drinking water to pets, and signs of lead toxicity. He and his team spent numerous Saturdays holding lead screening clinics in the Flint area, evaluating dogs, interacting with residents, and answering their questions. The clinics were held in partnership with community organizations, churches, and the Humane Society of Genesee County. John Buchweitz is a toxicologist who worked closely with Langlois on the project.

James Madison College
Louise Ann Jezierski

Louise JezierskiLouise Jezierski teaches almost yearly courses on Detroit that bring students to the city and engage them in socially-significant civic activities. In the past few years, she has also developed courses on Lansing and Flint. Students spend time in both cities, visit with local municipal authorities, nonprofit organizations, and entrepreneurs, and then write research papers that, hopefully, will be of use to community stakeholders. Jezierski has also trained undergraduate students in how to gather and assess data in the community in order to examine the factors that contribute to the social capital that a neighborhood possesses.

Lyman Briggs College
Sara C. Fingal and Rebecca H. Lahr

Sara FingalRebecca LahrSara Fingal and Rebecca Lahr have incorporated water testing and research into graduate education and public outreach programs. Their project on understanding controversies related to children, environment, and scientific research probes how K-12 students learn about water and environmental sciences. By using commercial water testing kits, along with Lahr's newly developed drop evaporation analysis technique, area K-12 students have evaluated various chemical and particulate impurities in their community's water supply. Lahr's environmental engineering graduate students have been designing additional water tests, keeping in mind cost affordability for effective citizen science in underprivileged communities, while Fingal has been training them in strategies for public science communication.

Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Kevin Lamont Brooks

Kevin BrooksKevin Brooks has taken a leadership role in creating the new RCAH College Colloquium on difficult issues and served on the RCAH Civic Engagement Task Force. He has created new partnerships with the Lansing Art Gallery; the Grit, Glam, and Guts Summer Conferences in Lansing, Flint, and Detroit; Peace and Prosperity Youth Action in Lansing; the My Brother's Keeper program in Lansing and its statewide alliance; the Literacy Come to Life Program in Detroit; and the Ingham Community Health Improvement Plan Workgroup. He also has taught important civic engagement classes in RCAH, many of which involve these community partnerships.

Like this Magazine? Join our mailing list