Community Collaboration Awards Recognize Students, Faculty, Partners

Several Pacific University students, professors and other local leaders who contributed to community betterment accepted awards at the university's annual Community Collaboration celebration on April 30.

Brandon Eddy, Samantha Flores, Nicole Randt and Max Seiler each received a Student Impact Award, which honors a strong commitment to civic engagement, diversity and the common good.

Eddy, a senior majoring in exercise science, led the way in getting Pacific's student clubs to engage in community service.

He has completed nearly 1,000 hours of volunteer service, including coaching Little League baseball, serving as a "lunch buddy" at a local elementary school, serving meals at a local senior citizen center and assisting with athletics fields maintenance.

Flores, a graduate student within the university's School of Pharmacy, has actively represented the College of Health Professions in multiple ways.

For the past two years, she has been part of the college's contingent of students and faculty who travel to Nicaragua over winter break and provide essential healthcare and supplies to some of the Western Hemisphere's most impoverished people.

Flores' other accomplishments include the development and implementation of a health fair for the university's undergraduate students, serving as class president for the School of Pharmacy and providing care to patients in the university's Interprofessional Diabetes Clinic.

Randt, a graduate student within the university's School of Occupational Therapy, has served as the school's OT Association president. In this role, she arranged events for the student body to learn about community opportunities within the occupational therapy profession, and brought awareness to students about the importance of civic engagement, continuing education and disability rights.

Randt's passion for occupational justice took her to Bangladesh and Nicaragua, two nations that do not practice occupational therapy services. She spread enthusiasm for the profession and educated service providers in both countries.

Seiler, a senior majoring in sociology, has championed the cause for both environmental mindfulness and hunger relief.

He served on the university's Sustainability Committee for more than two years and recently spearheaded the administration of Pacific's 2013 Earth Week activities, which consisted of 16 events throughout campus.

Seiler also organized a fundraising event that benefited the Oregon Food Bank. Under his leadership, nearly 100 Pacific student-athletes donated funds and food to fight hunger.

Occupational therapy associate professor Tiffany Boggis and French language assistant professor Jann Purdy are the 2012-13 recipients of the university's Engaged Faculty Award.

The honor celebrates faculty members who facilitate meaningful civic engagement opportunities for students, and demonstrate a strong commitment to community partnerships, collaboration and civic education.

Boggis has overseen the College of Health Professions' Friends of Nicaragua program for the past several years. In 2012, the City of Granada, Nicaragua honored the college for its contributions to underserved residents.

Additionally, Boggis leads courses that to partner with other university programs, legislators and lobbyists to give students a holistic, hands-on experience at the state capitol. Course work is directed at engaging in community activism at all levels of government.

Purdy has engaged in numerous community service endeavors, including the coordination of global sustainability seminars, and initiating an after-school language and cultural course for local elementary schools facing severe budgetary cutbacks. Over the past two years, Purdy has provided programs to 13 different schools in Forest Grove and Hillsboro, reaching over 250 children.

Through the classes, Purdy has provided 32 university students with opportunities to enhance their own teaching skills while expanding their view of civic duty.

Pacific also bestowed its Community Partner awards to three individuals and an organization.

This honor recognizes the important role that schools, non-profit entities and government agencies play in providing Pacific students with hands-on opportunities for experiential learning and civic engagement.

Adelante Mujeres executive director Bridget Cooke and Forest Grove Community School principal Vanessa Gray and teacher Becky Tengs each received the Organizational Commitment Award.

Pacific students have consistently gained valuable experiences in Adelante Mujeres' preschool, adult education, business and agricultural programs, as well as the Forest Grove Farmers Market.

Gray and Tengs gave Pacific students an opportunity to design a course curriculum for the community school that emphasized both science and the arts.

Chris Stanton, a math teacher at Forest Grove Community School, received the Outstanding Supervisor Award. He provided an opportunity for a Pacific student-teacher to teach a class over a two-week period, which included individual tutoring sessions.

Cornell Estates Retirement & Assisted Living Community received the award for Organizational Commitment.

Located in Hillsboro, Cornell Estates residents served as mentors for more than 100 Pacific students studying audiology, dental health science, healthcare administration, occupational therapy, pharmacy and speech-language pathology.

The partnership provides Pacific students clinical opportunities and allows them to develop their care practices for the young-at-heart.

Thursday, May 2, 2013