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PSU recognizes exemplary community-based teaching, research, and partnerships
Author: Suzanne Pardington, University Communications
Posted: May 10, 2011

Portland State University (PSU) celebrated excellence in community-based scholarship on May 10 with its 11th annual Civic Engagement Awards. 

Award-winners have helped build PSU's growing national and international reputation for community engagement by working with community partners on a range of social, cultural, artistic, environmental and educational issues. Their projects include building a full-scale model home for Haiti relief, working with youth in the juvenile justice system, and exposing deep racial disparities in Multnomah County. 

 PSU President Wim Wiewel said engagement, community service and research that makes a difference are among the guiding principals of the University. "You learn best when you combine learning and doing," he said at the awards ceremony in Smith Memorial Student Union. 

Keynote speaker Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen; Living with Conviction in Challenging Times, told the overflow crowd that making the community and the world a better place takes more than inspiration; it can take years of struggle. 

"We need a leap of faith to create meaningful social change," Loeb said. "History is not made by isolated individuals, it's made by communities."

"Regularly exposing students to multiple sources of knowledge and wisdom — both inside the classroom and inside the community — deepens their learning," said Kevin Kecskes, Associate Vice President for Engagement and Director of Community-University Partnerships. "Working with community partners in our research broadens research questions, involves key stakeholders, and increases the likelihood that important research findings will be applied in the field. The 2011 Civic Engagement Award winners represent PSU's very best faculty, departments and community partners."

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Author Paul Loeb speaks at PSU's Civic Engagement Awards

2011 PSU CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AWARD WINNERS

Excellence in Community-based Teaching & Learning

Judy Bluehorse, University Studies and Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate School of Education

Margarette V. Leite, Department of Architecture, Fine & Performing Arts

Jamie P. Ross, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Deborah Smith Arthur, University Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Excellence in Departmental Civic Engagement

Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Excellence in Community-University Partnerships

Mariam Baradar and Lisa Aguilar, Forest Grove School District

Stephanie Wagner, Tryon Creek State Park

Excellence in Community-based Research

Ann Curry-Stevens, School of Social Work

Greater Portland Vancouver Indicators Project, Metro, and Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies, CUPA

James F. Pankow, Civil & Environmental Engineering and Chemistry, CLAS

Evan A. Thomas, Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science

Lisa Weasel, Department of Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The Trauma Informed Care Project, School of Social Work