November 3, 2015 by Amanda Bradford, NMSU News Center
The New Mexico State University Foundation has established new faculty and staff awards to recognize the work these employees do in programs and partnerships that benefit communities throughout New Mexico. Likewise, a new scholarship will recognize outstanding student community engagement.
“NMSU is a caring community transforming lives through discovery, and we were very proud to be recognized recently with a Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching,” said NMSU President Garrey Carruthers. “We have many faculty and staff members – as well as students – who demonstrate a deep commitment to community engagement, and this award is our way of celebrating that commitment.”
As New Mexico’s land-grant institution, Carruthers said, part of NMSU’s mission is focused on identifying and addressing needs in the community, a tradition spanning colleges and units across the university system and beyond the classroom.
Andrea Tawney, interim NMSU Foundation president and vice president for University Advancement, said the Foundation’s board felt so strongly about the importance of recognizing community engagement, they voted unanimously to establish the endowment.
“The support from the board for this initiative continues to be enthusiastic,” Tawney said. “This is a great example of our board’s commitment to investing in programs and ideas that serve our community and our students.”
The first Distinguished Community Engagement Award will be presented to one faculty member and one staff member in the amount of $500 each at the spring convocation ceremony on Jan. 18, 2016.
In addition, a new scholarship will similarly recognize a student whose community engagement efforts go beyond expectations. The first scholarship, funded by a private donor, will be awarded to a student from the 2015-16 Scholar Dollars applicant pool for the Spring 2016 semester, and will also be announced at the convocation ceremony. Students can submit a Scholar Dollars application from Oct. 1 through March 1 at scholarships.nmsu.edu.
Dustin Chavez, president of the Associated Students of NMSU, said the scholarship is a great way to mirror the faculty and staff recognition and show students how much the university values those community relationships across the NMSU system.
“I think it’s wonderful that we are starting a scholarship for community engagement,” Chavez said. “Students are doing great things, whether it’s research or other areas, and we’d like to recognize them for their accomplishments at NMSU.”
NMSU Vice President for Economic Development Kevin Boberg said he’s been inspired by the momentum created by the Carnegie announcement throughout the university system. Boberg and Cooperative Extension Service Director Jon Boren co-chair the university’s Community Engagement Council.
“I hope this is just the beginning and this award can grow over the years,” Boberg said. “It’s a wonderful way to show the significance of the mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships that are conducted by three major populations at NMSU: faculty, staff and students.”
Faculty and staff who wish to apply for the first Distinguished Community Engagement Award can submit an application online at https://vped.nmsu.edu/nmsu-ce-award by Nov. 16, 2015. The application consists of a summary of an individual’s or group’s program, which should demonstrate outstanding achievement in and commitment to community outreach and engagement and have a record of sustained impact and achievement. The summary will include the significance of the partnership; the relationship between the university and the community; the impact on community and university partners; lessons learned and best practices; and the future plans of the project.
Applications are being accepted now, and more details about the summary guidelines can be found at https://vped.nmsu.edu/nmsu-ce-award.
The winner of the faculty Distinguished Community Engagement Award will be considered to represent NMSU for the C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award, a national award presented by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.
NMSU is one of 361 colleges and universities nationwide — and the only one in New Mexico — to carry the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, and one of 47 public institutions receiving it for the first time in 2015.