UMA Faculty and Students Recognized for Outstanding Work in Public Service & Civic Engagement

UMA Faculty and Students Recognized for Outstanding Work in Public Service & Civic Engagement

Each year, Maine Campus Compact hosts its Annual Awards Ceremony recognizing the outstanding work in public service and civic engagement by Maine faculty members, students, campus organizations, community and corporate partners. This year’s ceremony will be held on April 25, 2018 from 2–4pm at the Edmund S. Muskie Archives, Bates College.

The University of Maine at Augusta is pleased to announce the following award recipients from the UMA community:

Sharon McMahon Sawyer, UMA Assistant Professor of Justice Studies will receive the Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence. This award recognizes outstanding Maine faculty who integrate community or public service into the curriculum and who work to institutionalize service-learning. Recipients are nominated and those selected demonstrate a clear evidence of reflection, community benefit, reciprocity with community partners, and a commitment to advocating for service-learning and/or community action on campus and beyond.

Some examples of Professor Sawyer’s service-learning opportunities for students include an association with the Volunteer Lawyers Courthouse Assistance Project where students work in Maine District courts with volunteer lawyers. She also created a UMA Legal Research Team that allows students to participate in international human rights issues in conjunction with the ABA’s International Human Rights Committee of Civil Rights and Social Justice Section.

UMA Student Aaminah Aleem will receive the Heart and Soul Student Award. This recognizes Maine undergraduate students who are actively involved in transforming their campuses and communities into environments of civic engagement. Through a nomination process, six students are selected for this honor. The award goes to students who have developed positive community and campus change; worked to institutionalize their community projects; demonstrated leadership; and implemented innovative approaches to social issues.

Among Aaminah’s many activities as a UMA student, she wrote a grant and received funding which allowed her to work with local organizations to bring diverse groups in the UMA community together. For the first time at UMA, an interfaith gathering was organized to gain understanding about different faiths and to promote diversity and build new community friendships.

First Nations Student Circle, a UMA student organization will receive the President’s Campus Leadership Award. This award recognizes a student organization or campus department at each MCC member institution for contributions to community service, service-learning, and/or civic engagement efforts on their campus.

The mission of the First Nations Student Circle is to support each other, to create a welcoming space for Native students in UMA’s campus community, to provide mentoring for prospective and new students, and to educate each other and the larger campus community about Native traditions. The First Nations Student Circle has been active in community building and engagement since its inception, organizing campus-wide events for Welcome Back Week, Stress Down Week before finals, Fall Fest, and Spring Fest.

Maine Campus Compact is a coalition of 18 member campuses whose purpose is to catalyze and lead a movement to reinvigorate the public purposes and civic mission of higher education. They seek to transform campuses in ways that develop better informed, active citizen problem-solvers, stronger communities, and a more just democratic society.