Office of Community Engagement Awards

The UNLV Office of Community Engagement seeks to support, facilitate, and promote collaboration, partnership, and engagement between the university and its many communities.

In support of its mission, the Office of Community Engagement administers annual awards that recognize campus individuals for their exceptional community engagement in the areas of 1) service-learning, 2) community-based research, 3) faculty/staff community outreach activity, and 4) student service.

These awards recognize individuals whose community engagement activity aligns with one or more of the university’s community engagement goals which are informed by the Carnegie Foundation’s definition of community engagement:

  1. Advance student community engagement opportunities;
  2. Engage with the community to support economic development;
  3. Invite the community to advance development and fundraising;
  4. Engage with partners to help build intellectual and cultural vitality in the community;
  5. Build relationships through and invite support of athletics;
  6. Encourage and facilitate greater community engagement; and/or
  7. Help solve community problems.

Applications must be accompanied by two letters of recommendation -- one from a member of the campus community and one from the primary, off-campus community partner. (Please refer to the “Letter of Recommendation Guidance” document below.)

Self-nominations are welcome. Applications must be submitted for an individual; group applications will not be considered. Applicants can apply for only one award in only one category per year. There is no requirement for the award to be given in every category every year. Award recipients will be recognized at the annual campus recognition ceremony. 

To learn more or to apply, please review the award categories and criteria below. 

Office of Community Engagement Service-Learning Faculty Award

The Service-Learning Faculty Award is given annually to one faculty member or instructor who has taught a recognized service-learning course*. The selected recipient will receive a monetary award of $2,000.

Office of Community Engagement Community-Based Research Faculty Award

The Community-Based Research Faculty Award is is given annually to one faculty member who has conducted community-based research. The selected recipient will receive a monetary award of $2,000.

Office of Community Engagement Faculty/Staff Community Outreach Award

The Faculty/Staff Community Outreach Award is is given annually to one academic/administrative faculty or classified staff member who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to UNLV-related community outreach activities. The selected recipient will receive a monetary award of $1,500.

Office of Community Engagement Student Service Award

The Student Service Award is is given annually to one student who has had a positive impact in the Southern Nevada community by volunteering their time and talent to address a community need. The selected recipient will receive a monetary award of $1,000.

2021 Office of Community Engagement Award Recipients

  • Service-Learning Faculty Award - Jennifer Nash, School of Integrated Health Sciences  
    • Honorable Mention - John Starkey, Lee Business School
  • Community-Based Research Faculty Award - Patrice Leverett, College of Education
    • Honorable Mention - Anne Weisman, School of Medicine
  • Faculty/Staff Community Outreach Award - John Starkey, Lee Business School
    • Honorable Mentions - Laura Kruskall, School of Integrated Health Sciences and Tracy Spies, College of Education
  • Student Service Award - Ayla Gelsinger, College of Liberal Arts
    • Honorable Mentions- Nabeh Nader, Colleges of Sciences and Liberal Arts, David Rice, College of Sciences, and Candace Wells, College of Liberal Arts

2020 Office of Community Engagement Award Recipients

  • Service-Learning Award - Elena Gandia Garcia, Ph.D., Department of World Languages and Culture, College of Liberal Arts
    • Honorable Mentions - Valerie Taylor, Ed.D., Interdisciplinary, Gender, and Ethnic Studies, College of Liberal Arts; Nathan Slife, Ph.D., Department of Educational Psychology and Higher Education, College of Education; and Diane Villa, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts
  • Community-Based Research Award - Szu-Ping Lee, Ph.D., Department of Physical Therapy, School of Integrated Health Sciences
    • Honorable Mention - Richard Baynosa, M.D., FACS, Division of Plastic Surgery, School of Medicine
  • Faculty/Staff Community Outreach Award - Deborah Arteaga, Ph.D., Department of World Languages and Culture, College of Liberal Arts
    • Honorable Mentions - Alisha Kerlin, MFA, Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, College of Fine Arts; and Rebecca Nathanson, Ph.D., Educational Psychology and Higher Education, College of Education and William S. Boyd School of Law
  • Student Service Award - Francisco Valenzuela, Undergraduate Student, School of Life Sciences, College of Sciences
    • Honorable Mentions - Elizabeth Groesbeck, Graduate Student, Department of Neurology, School of Medicine; and Daynee Rosales, Graduate Student, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts

2019 Office of Community Engagement Award Recipients

  • Service-Learning Award - Noelle Lefforge, Department of Psychology
    • Honorable Mentions - Laura Culley, School of Medicine; and Elena Gandia Garcia, Department of World Languages and Cultures
  • Community-Based Research Award - Jay Shen, School of Community Health Sciences
    • Honorable Mention - Patrice Leverett, College of Education
  • Faculty/Staff Community Outreach Award - Shekinah Hoffman, International Gaming Institute
    • Honorable Mentions - Paul Chestovich, School of Medicine; and Jose Melendrez, School of Community Health Sciences
  • Student Service Award - Ginger Christian, School of Medicine
    • Honorable Mentions - Donnis Davis, Carmen Hollifield, Kelsey Kincaid, Isami Lines, Mason Montano, and Cole Crosby, School of Medicine; Erdogan Kaya, Department of Teaching and Learning; and Joseph Thomson, Department of History

2018 Office of Community Engagement Award Recipients

  • Community-Based Research Award Recipient - Margaret Alexis Kennedy, Ph.D., Department of Criminal Justice
    • Honorable Mentions - Brad Donohue, Ph.D., Department of Psychology, and Andrew Freeman, Ph.D., Department of Psychology
  • Service-Learning Award Recipient - Minnie Wood, MS, APRN, ANP-BC, School of Nursing
    • Honorable Mentions - Alison Sloat, Ph.D., College of Sciences, and Laura Culley, M.D., M.P.H., School of Medicine
  • Faculty/Staff Community Outreach Award Recipient - Fatma Nasoz, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science
    • Honorable Mentions - Laura Barrera, Esq., William S. Boyd School of Law, and Dr. Christina Demopoulos, School of Dental Medicine
  • Student Service Award Recipient - Brenna Spector, Department of Film
    • Honorable Mentions - Erdogan Kaya, Department of Teaching and Learning, Marwa Maki, School of Medicine, and Kristina Cordes, School of Medicine

2017 Office of Community Engagement Award Recipients

  • Anna C. Smedley-López, Ph.D., Service-Learning Faculty Award
  • Christie Batson, Ph.D., Community-Based Research Faculty Award
  • Keith Rogers, Staff Service Award
  • Autumn Spicer, Student Service Award