Thursday, July 7, 2011

Two organizations honored by Minnesota Campus Compact

Two Saint Mary’s University groups and organizations received Presidents’ Awards from the Minnesota Campus Compact in the areas of Student Leadership, Civic Engagement and Company Partnership in June at the Minnesota Campus Compact’s Annual Summit and Awards Luncheon.

The Presidents’ Awards provide an opportunity for university presidents and chancellors to give statewide recognition to effective leaders in the development of campus-community partnerships.

Receiving awards from Saint Mary’s are:

Presidents’ Student Leadership Award — SMU Student-Athletes. This award is for an individual student or a student organization that models a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership.

Community Service has become a hallmark of SMU athletics, garnering national recognition in recent years. Amy Kujak, a member of the women’s volleyball team and the Cardinal Athletic Council, represented the athletes for this award. In 2007, the CAC organized efforts to assist area flood ravaged communities. These efforts led to the nation’s top community service award for NCAA Division III athletic departments, the Josten’s Community Service Award. In 2008-09, student-athletes culminated a year of volunteering with a spring CAC Play for Shay Day, inviting children from local communities to the SMU campus for an afternoon of sporting activities and a silent auction. Proceeds were donated to a family with a child battling cancer. The student-athletes again received the Josten’s Community Service Award-Honorable Mention, for a variety of activities during 2009-10, including raising money for cancer research, volunteering with elementary children and collecting and donating food and Christmas gifts. Approximately 300 student-athletes volunteered more than 2,000 hours, raising $5,000 for charitable and community service causes. In 2010-11, efforts have included cancer awareness, painting classrooms at area schools and food drives.

Presidents’ Civic Engagement Steward Award — the Winona Campus Volunteer Committee. This award is for a member of the faculty, administration or staff, or for a group (advisory committee, task force, project team) that has significantly advanced their campus’ distinctive civic mission by forming strong partnerships, supporting others’ civic engagement, and worked to institutionalize a culture and practice of engagement.

The volunteer committee, formed in 2001, is dedicated to bringing faculty and staff together in service to the community. Laurie Haase, a member of the committee, represented the committee members for this award. The group has been involved with a number of activities including Gifts for Winona, United Way’s Day of Caring, Habitat for Humanity, Spruce Up Winona, Adopt-A-River, Hurricane Katrina and Haiti earthquake relief, flood relief, and raising money for CTIE.

For nine years, the WCVC has managed Gifts for Winona’s program database, provided facilities and volunteers to manage gift collection, wrapping and pickup and raised funds. The program has provided Christmas gifts annually to 1,200-1,846 individuals, mostly children. Over the nine years of existence, the program has provided gifts to more than 13,244 individuals.