LOGAN, Utah — On April 20, Utah State University’s Center for Community Engagement observed its annual Community Engagement Awards. Each year, USU recognizes individuals who are committed to outstanding service. Three categories were awarded during the ceremony: the Presidential Awards, the Ivory Prize and the Crista Sorenson Award for Outstanding Civic and Community Engagement.
The Presidential Awards recognize the work of outstanding faculty, staff, students, alumni and community partners that exemplifies collaboration between USU and the greater community. The award is broken into five separate categories.
Roslynn McCann and Edwin Stafford received the Community-Engaged Faculty award for their work to improve Utah’s air quality through the annual Utah High School Clean Air Poster Contest.
James Coburn received the Community-Engaged Staff award for bringing the community closer to the planets, stars and galaxies through Public Nights at the Observatory.
Annika Thorup received the Community Engaged Student award. While completing her music degree at USU, Thorup has engaged with the community in a variety of ways, including teaching in the Youth Conservatory, serving in Utah Music Teachers Association leadership positions, and working with various local music programs and teachers as a pianist and teacher.
Casey Snider received the Community-Engaged Alumnus award. Since graduating from USU, Snider has worked in Washington D.C. for Sen. Bob Bennett and Rep. Rob Bishop and served in numerous community leadership positions with Trout Unlimited, Bear River Land Conservancy, Blue Ribbon Advisory Council, Paradise City, and Utah Cattlemen’s Association. Snider is currently the youngest person to be elected to the Utah Legislature.
The Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation received the Committed Community Partner award. The Northwestern Shoshone have worked with faculty, staff and students from across every college, including the NSF-funded Daigwade project, the Bear River Massacre site restoration project, a Community-Engaged Learning class on language revitalization, and a Community-Engaged Learning design class that partnered with the cultural center.
The Ivory Prize was awarded to Nicole Burnard for the development of the Cache Valley Warming Center project. The Ivory Prize recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in community engagement. Established by the Clark and Christine Ivory Foundation, the prize includes a $2,000 scholarship for the recipient and an additional $10,000 to be invested in the community program developed by the student. Upon receiving the award, Nicole said: “A warming center will provide safety and warmth for individuals and families experiencing homelessness during the coldest nights of the year. This project prioritizes the dignity and worth of the people who need it and will make our community stronger and safer for all.”
Megan Wilson received the first annual Crista Sorenson Award for Outstanding Civic and Community Engagement. Wilson received the award for her dedication to social and environmental justice through the arts. While completing her degree, Megan contributed over 1,700 AmeriCorps service hours through the Student Sustainability Office. Through their efforts with the Utah Conservation Corps, the Student Sustainability Council, True Blue Reuse and USU Farmers Market, they have advanced local causes of sustainability and social equity.
Crista Sorenson embodied civic and community engagement and dedicated her life to making our community and the world more just, equitable, and sustainable for all. When Crista passed away in the spring of 2020, her family and friends created this award in her honor.
For more information on the USU Community Engagement Awards, visit usu.edu/community-engagement/awards.
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