Recipients of UNLV’s 2019 Community Engagement Awards have facilitated low- or no-cost access to mental health services, improved the knowledge and awareness of palliative care among Asian communities, created a strong pipeline of homegrown talent to become the next generation of Nevada hospitality industry trail blazers, and addressed an immediate health need stemming from a catastrophic event.
The awards are designed to honor those on campus who demonstrate a commitment to community partnerships, which is one of the university’s Top Tier goals. They specifically recognize service-learning, community-based research, faculty/staff community outreach, and student service.
“This is our third year of honoring UNLV faculty, staff, and students engaged with the community,” said Tamara Marino, education and information officer for the office of community engagement. “It was particularly exciting to see the level of reciprocity that exists between this year’s applicants and their community partners. Likewise, UNLV’s community engagement activity is having a notable impact, not just on our local community, but on our state, national, and international communities, too.”
Two selection committees reviewed a combined total of 29 applications received for awards in the four categories. Recipients of the service-learning and community-based research awards each received $2,000. The recipient of the faculty/staff community outreach award received $1,500, and the student service award recipient received $1,000.
The 2019 award recipients are:
- Service-Learning Award: Noelle Lefforge, Department of Psychology, for The PRACTICE: A UNLV Community Mental Health Clinic
- Community-Based Research Award: Jay Shen, School of Community Health Sciences for Engaging Asian Communities in Palliative Care in Nevada
- Faculty/Staff Community Outreach Award: Shekinah Hoffman, International Gaming Institute, for Young Executive Scholars Hospitality & Tourism Program
- Student Service Award: Ginger Christian, School of Medicine, for Stop the Bleed
The following individuals received honorable mentions in each category:
- Service-Learning: Laura Culley, School of Medicine; and Elena Gandia Garcia, World Languages and Cultures
- Community-Based Research: Patrice Leverett, College of Education
- Faculty/Staff Community Outreach: Paul Chestovich, School of Medicine; and Jose Melendrez, School of Community Health Sciences
- Student Service: Donnis Davis, Carmen Hollifield, Kelsey Kincaid, Isami Lines, Mason Montano, and Cole Crosby, School of Medicine; Erdogan Kaya, Teaching and Learning; and Joseph Thomson, History
“There were many amazing examples of community engagement within these applications which made it difficult for the selection committees to choose the award recipients. I think this is a wonderful ‘problem’ to have,” Marino said. “Please join us in congratulating these outstanding award recipients for their stellar efforts to connect our campus with our greater community.”