Distinguished Community Engagement Award

Main page content

The Distinguished Community Engagement Award was created in 2013. Given annually, the award recognizes the important and innovative community-engaged and community-based work by faculty and staff at the University of Washington Tacoma.  Beginning in 2021, a staff award category is being added to recognize staff who demonstrate outstanding community-engagement work. Such work is based on an ethic of mutual benefit in which both the community partner and/or public and the university, its faculty or staff, and/or its students benefit in ways not possible without the partnership. This work may be short or long term and may be with a single or multiple partners, both formal and informal (e.g. not already a part of an existing relationship with the university), and should have been active within the past three years. It may be focused on teaching and learning, research, policy, citizenship building, creative work, or community building.

Staff Award - Nominate UW Tacoma staff or submit an application before 11:59pm on Friday, March 12, 2021. 
Faculty Award - Nominate UW Tacoma faculty or submit an application by 11:59pm on Friday, February 12, 2021. 

How to Nominate or Apply
Criteria and Selection Process

2020 Recipients

The 2020 Distinguished Community Engagement, Distinguished Research, and Distinguished Teaching awardees were honored during a virtual campus event on January 22, 2021, supported by UW Tacoma Faculty Assembly and the Office of Community Engagement.  Click here to watch the YouTube recording of the event.

  • Dr. Katie Baird, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences.  Dr. Baird’s work builds upon community-based partnerships to enhance information about election-related issues for voters and bring awareness of public affairs to the community at large. Her commitment to extending a community-based focus for teaching and mentoring, inside and outside of the classroom, carries large community impact and responsibility, and fosters transformative and engaging experiences for students and lifelong citizen learners.
  • Dr. David Reyes, School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership.  Dr. Reyes’ work champions community-based participatory research in a way that shapes community priorities into livable and actionable changes, particularly in East Tacoma.  Focusing on pursuit of neighborhood livability and discerning community priorities, Dr. Reyes uses his public health background to shape and guide his work.  The impact of the participatory research approach, in combination with teaching and service are truly impressive and evident by local, regional, and national recognitions he has received.

Past Recipients

  • 2019 - Dr. Michelle Montgomgery, Assistant Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Science.  Dr. Montgomery, an assistant professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences (SIAS), Social & Historical Studies Division, has built strong partnerships across multiple sectors and varied geographies. She connects research, teaching and service with a commitment to increasing collective knowledge of the histories, cultures and political struggles of indigenous populations. She creates space for dialogue and the co-production of knowledge among organizations at the local, regional and national level.
  • 2019 -Dr. Turan Kayaoglu, Professor, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences.  Dr. Kayaoglu, a professor in the Politics, Phiiosophy & Public Affairs Division of SIAS and the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research, is dedicated to promoting tolerance, and building inter-cultural and inter-faith dialogue and support in and for Muslim communities. He has developed strong and positive working relationships with community groups at the local and regional levels to promote peace and tolerance in our region and beyond.
  • 2018 – Lauren Wugalter, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
  • 2017 – Dr. Christine Stevens, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership
  • 2016 - Dr. Robin Evans-Agnew, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership; Dr. Charles Emlet, Social work & Criminal Justice; Dr. Jim Gawel, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
  • 2015 - Dr. Marcy Stein, Professor, Education; Dr. Diane Kinder, Professor, Education; Kathy Zapp, Field Supervisor, Education; Michael Kula, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
  • 2014 - Dr. Jill Purdy, Associate Professor, Milgard School of Business; Joe Lawless, Executive Director, Center for Leadership & Social Responsibility, Milgard School of Business
  • 2013 - Dr. Michelle Garner, Assistant Professor, Social Work & Criminal Justice; Dr. Linda Ishem, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies; Dr. Janet Primomo, Associate Professor, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership