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CEDAR FALLS — The University of Northern Iowa’s Office of Community Engagement, partnership with Volunteer Center of Cedar Valley, hosted the Inaugural Community Engagement Celebration Day on Thursday.

Seventy community engagement projects were showcased by UNI faculty, staff, students, centers and institutes, and community partners. These included class projects, student organization projects, community-based research and individual community engagement work.

A program and awards ceremony, featuring the Spectrum Project, was held to conclude the event. The Spectrum Project combines music, movement, drama and art for children with differing abilities. The productions are created by children with direction from UNI students.

The following were recognized:

  • Student recipients of the Robert and Yvonne Koob Fund for Community Engagement: Emma Redington, Karlene Izer, Leanna Mysack and Sidney Adam.
  • Veridian Community Engagement Faculty Fellows: Suzanne Freedman “Infusing Forgiveness Education into Hope Tree Acres Summer Camp” and UNI Business and Community Services-EDA & ReNew Waterloo Community Development Corp. “ReNew Waterloo Small Business Retention and Expansion.”
  • Service-Learning/Live Client Project Award: Wendy Miller and students “Educating Through Art, Ecology and Ethical Care: Creating Responsible Citizenship in the Community.”
  • Student Organization/Student Group Project Award: Geoffrey Bruder and Morgan Johnston “Service and Leadership Council”
  • Research-Based Project Award: Marie Adebiyi and Younis Q. Al-Hassan “Institute for Youth Leaders.”
  • Social Justice Award: Elise DuBord, Caroline Ledeboer, Jennifer Cooley, Muhammad Intizom, Libby Gleason and Alejandra Huesca “Language Partners at the YWCA: UNI Spanish, English and TESOL Students Collaborating with English Students in Community ESOL Classes.”
  • Sustainability and Environmental Awareness Award: Jeremy Schraffenberger “Beauty Outside Our Doors: Conversations Stories of Black Hawk County.”
  • Individual Student Project Award: Joyce Levingston “Cedar Valley’s Little Free Pantries.”
  • Commitment to Service Award: Chris Neuhaus “Research Days at Rod Library: UNI Outreach to Iowa Public and Private Schools.”
  • People’s Choice Award: Annette Lynch and students for “Strong Ties-Strong Community.”

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