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.
2022 Award Recipients
Sharon S. Laing, PhD., Associate Professor, School of Nursing and Healthcare Leadership
For more than eight years, Dr. Laing 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.
Anaid Yerena, PhD., Associate Professor, School of Urban Studies
This award recognizes Dr. Yerena's 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.
Jimmy McCarty, Phd., Executive Director for Equity and Inclusion, Affiliate Instructor of Education
Dr. McCarty 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.
Roseann Martinez, Assistant Director for Student Advocacy and Support
With over 30 years of experience in the Social Work field and as the founding leader 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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