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 at the University of Washington Tacoma. Such work is based on an ethic of mutual benefit in which both the community partner and/or public and the university, its faculty, 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, 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.
Faculty and staff who are involved in community-engaged and/or community-based work are invited to share details of the activity into UW Tacoma's community engagement data portal, Collaboratory. The faculty and staff who have activities submitted into this database are eligible for the DCE recognition. The Office of Community Partnerships maintains Collaboratory and is available to assist and support all faculty and staff in needing to submit their data. For assistance, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A sub-committee is comprised of members from the OCP Faculty & Staff Advisory Council, previous faculty and staff recipients, and community members and/or emeritus faculty.
- Strong and productive working relationship(s) with community partner(s) or evidence of building the sustained relationship(s) over time.
- Great impact (i.e., change) on the organization or public.
- Strong, positive working relationship(s) with evidence of reciprocity (e.g. including community partners in the ongoing co-learning and co-production processes).
- Benefit to faculty member’s instruction or professional activity.
- Strength of support from community partner(s).
- Thoughtfulness about outcomes/impacts and implementation of methods for assessing [them].
- Are there clear goals and objective for assessment identified?
- How is the partner part of creating goals and involved in assessing the outcomes?
- Are the actual results of assessment stated?
- Improvements made over time [or planned].
- To what extent do the materials indicate how the study of past results led to modifications in the relationship or actions?
- Innovative approaches to community & public issues of concern to faculty and partners. Examples can connect to a process or intended impact -- e.g. new(ness) of topic in the area, newly formed partnership development, new design or methodology, new or different approaches to the project.
- Any indication of how innovative the activity is?
- How central is the activity to the mission of the organization, or to public concerns or public well-being; and evidence that partnership allowed for this innovation?
- Does the nominee explain why they believe their work is innovative?
- How central is the activity to the teaching, student-supervision, or research focus of the faculty member; and evidence that partnership allowed for this innovation?
- April/May 2023 - Nominees are invited to consider accepting the nomination and can submit a personal statement which highlights their approach to co-creating community engagement projects, assessment, and innovation. Additional materials accepted include an updated CV and letter of support.
- May 2023 - Selection of recipients is made by selection committee. Recipients of this award will be recognized at a campus event in late May.
Alison Cardinal, Ph.D.
Dr. Cardinal received this award for current projects focused on language justice through community-engaged partnerships. She is currently the Director of Designing Language Access, a cross-institutional and community-based research and consulting group. In collaboration with health professionals, civil servants, non-profit professionals, and scholars, they work towards systematically improving language access in the region.
Emma Rose, Ph.D.
This award recognizes Dr. Rose’s research in participatory and human-centered design and developing methods to engage communities and vulnerable populations in the design process. Her courses provide opportunities to bring students, community partners, and campus stakeholder to find ‘the conversations’ we can have to ‘work' towards positive change in our communities.
Sharon S. Laing, Ph.D.
For more than eight years, Dr. Laing, Associate Professor with the School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership, has worked in partnership with BIPOC undergraduate students and community health organizations, such as HealthPoint Community Health Center, to design, implement and assess initiatives that improve community health outcomes to markedly improve the well-being of the members being served. This award recognizes Dr. Laing's philosophy of community engagement as one centered in addressing communities' needs while finding ways to best support them within the broader parameters of the respective organizations.
With over 30 years of experience in the Social Work field, the founding leader and Assistant Director for Student Advocacy and Support of UW Tacoma’s Office of Student Advocacy and Support (OSAS), this award recognizes Martinez's diligent efforts to confront social problems while building effective community collaborations and partnerships to address students’ needs. Strong interpersonal partnerships and her work at OSAS in collaboration with the Associated Ministries of Tacoma Pierce County, Tacoma Housing Authority and KOZ Properties has resulted in over 100 low income and homeless UWT students receiving affordable housing, which in turn fosters positive experiences and academic outcomes for students.
Jimmy McCarty, Ph.D.
Dr. McCarty, (former) Executive Director for Equity and Inclusion, Affiliate Instructor of Education, received this award for his work on engaged scholarship with a particular focus on equity and inclusion. Through purposeful partnerships, he has built sustainable programs in partnership with Hilltop Action Coalition, among others, based on mutuality and inclusivity that facilitate community-engaged learning and enhance student retention.
Anaid Yerena, Ph.D.
This award recognizes Dr. Yerena, Associate Professor, School of Urban Studies, and her community engaged work that strives to advance scholarship in both classroom and community. As a community-engaged scholar and educator in the areas of affordable housing and social policy, she creates and shapes ongoing collaborative learning opportunities that transform students and community partners, including Downtown On The Go!, Mockingbird Society, and Citizens for a Healthy Bay.
Community Engagement Award for Equity in Education
Amanda Figueroa, M.S., Senior Director, Student Transitions Program, Division of Student Affairs
This award recognizes Amanda’s deep commitment to improving equity and educational access for youth and pre-college students, whether those who have traditionally been underrepresented in STEM or students who were not beneficiaries of a college going culture within their own communities. Her leadership and work with many community partners and multiple programs or initiatives exemplify how partnership with a keen focus on equity in education can improve student success in post-secondary education at UW Tacoma.
Community Engagement Legacy Award
Divya McMillin, Ph.D, Professor, Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Global Engagement, Institute for Innovation and Global Engagement
This award recognizes Dr. McMillin for her sustained efforts in building bridges between the university and the community. She has a long history as an innovator and builder at UWT. Dr. McMillin has worked enthusiastically and strategically with community partners, while remaining deeply involved in global engagement and scholarship.
Community Engaged Learning Award in Environmental Stewardship
Julie Masura, M.S., Associate Teaching Professor, Sciences and Math, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
This award recognizes the work of Julie Masura in environmental stewardship through sustained co-learning opportunities for students and community partners. She brings DEI perspectives to these educational opportunities to enrich the work of her students.
Community Engagement Award in Institutional and Systems Analytics
Haluk Demirkan, Ph.D., Milgard Professor & Assistant Dean for Analytics Innovations & Director, Center for Business Analytics; and Master of Science in Business Analytics, Milgard School of Business
Dr. Haluk Demirkan has helped create and shape an academic program dedicated to co-learning opportunities for students and community partners. His work embodies the spirit of higher education with a focus on making systems and institutional level changes.
Community Engagement Award in Institutional and Systems Analytics
Margo Waddell Bergman, Ph.D., Associate Teaching Professor & Assistant Director for MSBA and MCL Programs, Milgard School of Business.
Dr. Bergman has played a central role in facilitating co-learning opportunities for students and regional partners. Her work has proven to be influential, in demand, and capable of offering system-level changes.
Community-Centered Engagement Award
Robin Starr Zape-tah-hol-ah Minthorn, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Ed.D. Director and, School of Education
This award recognizes Dr. Minthorn’s lifelong commitment to community engagement. Her work can best be described as community-centered and in the community. Dr. Minthorn has brought her passion and commitment to working in indigenous communities from New Mexico to the Pacific Northwest. Her approach to community engagement is informed by inclusivity and co-creation, helping break barriers between university and community.
Sustained Community Engagement Award
Tom Diehm, Ph.D., Teaching Professor and Director of Field Education, School of Social Work & Criminal Justice
Dr. Diehm embodies sustained community engagement. This award recognizes his decades-long work with community partners and support of students through their co-learning opportunities. Generations of students and a multitude of organizations have benefited from his sustained commitment to creating community-based educational opportunities.
Community Engagement Award in Human Rights
Vanessa de Veritch Woodside, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Culture, Arts and Communication, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
This award recognizes Dr. de Veritch Woodside’s commitment to engaging with critical social issues of our time through work with community partners. Her engagement activities are centered on human rights through the lens of ethics. Dr. de Veritch Woodside’s work is a source of inspiration and support for our students and community partners.
Katie Baird, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
David Reyes, School of Nursing & Healthcare Leadership
Michelle Montgomgery, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Turan Kayaoglu, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences.
Lauren Wugalter, School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Christine Stevens, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership
Robin Evans-Agnew, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership
Charles Emlet, Social work & Criminal Justice;
Jim Gawel, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Marcy Stein, Education
Diane Kinder, Education
Kathy Zapp, Education
Michael Kula, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Jill Purdy, Milgard School of Business
Joe Lawless, Milgard School of Business
Michelle Garner, Social Work & Criminal Justice
Linda Ishem, Urban Studies
Janet Primomo, Nursing & Healthcare Leadership