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Office of Community Engagement Announces 2017 Community Engagement Awards

Three headshots
Author: 
University Relations
Publication date: 
March 21, 2017

The University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Community Engagement (OCE) has announced the 2017 winners of its Community Engagement Awards. The awards recognize Morris students, faculty, and staff as well as community partners who have shown exemplary work and commitment to OCE programs.

Kelly Fischer '17, Community Engagement Student Award Winner

As the program assistant with the Southwest Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership (SW RSDP) for the last three years, Kelly Fischer '17, Roseville, has contributed to four work groups and 40 community-based projects. Her efforts have, according to nominator David Fluegel, SW RSDP executive director, "serve[d] to strengthen the long-term social, economic, and environmental health of the region."

"Kelly's academic interests and accumulated knowledge, competency and work skills, and civil and amicable personality traits have been well received and appreciated," he writes. "Her contributions in providing support for project development and implementation to supporting the activities of the SWRSDP board of directors and work group members has significantly improved the program overall."

Lisa Harris ’09, Community Engagement Faculty/Staff Award Winner

Lisa Harris ’09, director of facilities management, is a champion for sustainability efforts on campus and service to the broader community. Harris consistently leverages University resources and her community network to support individuals and families throughout the region—always with a smile on her face.

"She takes chances, she makes mistakes, and she extends the influence of her goodness beyond her days at Morris," writes nominator Troy Goodnough, director of sustainability. "She sees the goodness in everyone, even when she is holding herself, you, and her community accountable—with a constant aspiration in her heart that we all just do our best, and be funny and kind while we are doing it.

Michele Hickman ’13, Zone After School Program Coordinator

As coordinator of the Zone After School program at Morris Area Elementary School, Michele Hickman ’13 mentors UMM TREC tutors serving children in grades K–6. Her leadership provides opportunities for University students to enhance their educations in addition to benefiting area children and families.

"The tutors learn how to better work with kids, and people in general, while the children get the benefit of having mentors who are there to support them in their educational and personal growth," writes ZONE tutor Abby Mooney '18, Richmond. "Michelle makes all of this possible by building strong relationships with the college students who work for her, parents, and most importantly, the children who attend Zone."

Community Engagement Award winners will be recognized at the Minnesota Campus Compact in the Twin Cities on Wednesday, April 5, and at an awards ceremony in Morris on Tuesday, May 2. Additional information about OCE and its annual awards is available at morris.umn.edu/communityengagement/.