Community & Friends

UNCG Recognized for Community Engagement

Posted on Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 by CommunityEngagement. Tags: ,
Chancellor Linda P. Brady and faculty member Spoma Jovanovic pose with service-learning pioneer Robert L. Sigmon, the namesake of the award won by Jovanovic

The North Carolina Campus Compact, a network of 42 institutions of higher education, has honored faculty member Spoma Jovanovic and Chancellor Linda P. Brady for their leadership in community engagement and service. 

Jovanovic, an associate professor of communication studies, received the Robert L. Sigmon Service-Learning Award, and Brady received the inaugural Leo M. Lambert Engaged Leader Award at the network’s 10th annual Civic Engagement Institute.

“Spoma’s award is well-deserved recognition of her talent for creating partnerships between our campus and our community,” Brady said. “Her work in the service-learning field was instrumental in the university’s decision to reward engaged scholarship in the promotion and tenure process.

“The Lambert Engaged Leader Award is a tribute to the dedication of faculty, students and staff to engagement in Greensboro and around the world. ‘Service’ has been UNCG’s motto since the institution was founded in 1891, and it remains as true today as it was then.” 

Named for the service-learning pioneer and North Carolina native, the Sigmon Award recognizes a faculty member for service-learning experience and impact on the community, institution and students. Jovanovic has taught more than 20 service-learning designated courses and a dozen others that incorporate service-learning.

“Part of our job as faculty is to teach students how to participate in a democracy,” Jovanovic said, “and service-learning provides an ethical and just path to learning about and speaking on these social issues.”

Beginning in 2007, Jovanovic created a partnership with Dudley High School, the Greensboro News & Record and the Guilford Education Alliance to promote discussions about community and civic literacy between UNCG undergraduates and students at the high school. These discussions led to the students working together on a project to advocate for more bus benches and shelters.

“She helps students see their true potential, valuing their role as a citizen within their communities, and the importance of democratic expression,” a student wrote in Jovanovic’s nomination for the award. “She deserves this award because she has worked hard to awaken the leader in all of her students to make a difference.”

The Lambert Award, named in honor of Elon University President Leo M. Lambert, is to be presented annually to a North Carolina college president or chancellor committed to creating and sustaining engagement that deeply impacts community and campus. At UNCG, students perform more than 600,000 hours of service, and about 3,800 students engage in service through community-based learning courses each year.

The conference also included a presentation about the Welfare Reform Liaison Project by UNCG social work professor Bob Wineburg and the Rev. Odell Cleveland, president and CEO of the faith-based nonprofit. Cleveland founded the nonprofit dedicated to job training and placement in 1997, following discussions with Wineburg, the Jefferson Pilot Excellence Professor of Social Work. The organization has helped put about 1,000 people to work with participants’ cumulative earnings surpassing $9 million.

Kristin Buchner, who received an MPA from UNCG in December, was recognized by Kenneth Peacock, chancellor of Appalachian State University and chair of the N.C. Campus Compact Executive Board, for her undergraduate work at Appalachian supporting community engagement and partnerships. Buchner was named a Publicly Active Graduate Education Fellow by Imagining America, and she is the new communications and partnerships manager in UNCG’s Office of Research and Economic Development.

Reposted from UNCG News and Features