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Awards honor UNI’s civic engagement

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CEDAR FALLS — Two University of Northern Iowa community engagement projects will be awarded with Engaged Campus Awards this month in recognition of their civic contributions to students and communities.

The awards will be presented at the Iowa Campus Compact’s annual Awards and Summit today at the Des Moines Botanical Gardens.

The organization selected UNI’s partnership with EMBARC as the Community Partnership Award winner and #PanthersVote as the Emerging Innovation Award winner.

In addition, Associate Professor Julianne Gassman was a finalist for the Civic Mission Leadership award.

EMBARC (Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center) aims to help refugees expand their world of possibilities through advocacy, education and community development.

The campus-community partnership developed through two required professional development courses in the department of philosophy and world religions taught by Cara Burnidge, assistant professor of religion and Yasemin Sari, assistant professor of philosophy.

#Panthersvote is an initiative to promote student voting that, preliminary turnout figures suggest, helped UNI more than double its turnout for the 2018 midterm elections when compared to the midterm elections of 2014.

Gassman is the director of community engagement at UNI, an associate professor in the department of health, recreation and community services, and the campus executive director of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. She teaches in the area of nonprofit management and is the author/co-author of numerous books and publications. Her research interests include service-learning, community engagement, nonprofit management and student debt.

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