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Community Engagement Announces Award Winners

Trina Vue ’20
Publication date: 
May 8, 2019
  • The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) announces the 2019 winners of its Community Engagement Awards: Sydney Bauer '19, Assistant Professor of Spanish Tom Genova, and Morris City Manager Blaine Hill '87.
  • Winners make a big difference on campus and in the Morris community.

Sydney Bauer '19: Student Award

Sydney Bauer

As an Office of Sustainability energy intern, Morris Transit bus driver, and active participant in City Council meetings, Bauer acts as a bridge between the Morris campus and community.

In addition to her genuine commitment to community engagement, she has involved students from around the world and brought together community members in unique, creative ways.

"Sydney is a model of civic responsibility and leadership," says Sustainability Director Troy Goodnough. "She is always looking for ways to improve community life. What is so critical though is that [she] goes beyond the 'work' aspect of what she is doing and transforms it into something deeper—she finds a way to cement new relationships."

Assistant Professor of Spanish Tom Genova: Faculty/Staff Award

Thomas Genova

As an administrator for the Tercero program, Genova has "sustained connections to the Latino community, to key members of school administration and teachers, and to UMN Morris students pursuing advanced study in Spanish," say Interim Director of Equity, Diversity, & Intercultural Programs Tammy Berberi and Tercero program assistant Cecilia Espinosa.

In addition to serving as a Community Engagement Faculty Fellow, Genova, through his teaching and research on marginalized identities and colonization, asks students to reflect on their identity development and to get involved in their community.

"Thanks in large measure to Tom's commitment to local matters of inclusivity and equitable access to essential services, Morris Area Schools is an inclusive and culturally responsive place [where students] learn from others in relations of mutual respect and exchange," say Berberi and Espinosa.

Morris City Manager Blaine Hill '87: Community Partner Award

Blaine Hill

As Morris City Manager Hill has worked with UMN Morris to launch the Morris Model, a partnership centered on ideas of community resilience, energy conservation, and clean energy options in Morris and surrounding areas.

Hill has also helped develop a sister-city relationship with Saerbeck, Germany, one of the greenest cities in Europe. This partnership is part of the Climate Smart Municipalities program.

As a member of the Center for Small Towns advisory council, Hill also has identified the needs of local government in the region and supported numerous interns from UMN Morris over the years. His contributions promote sustainable, reciprocal relationships between the city and UMN Morris.

"Under Blaine's direction, Morris is a leader in pursuing clean energy initiatives, in moving city communication techniques in to the 21st century, and in providing cleaner water," Goodnough says.

About the Awards

Honoring UMN Morris's mission to promote global citizenship, the awards recognize students, faculty, staff, and community members who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to community engagement. Honorees also earn Minnesota Campus Compact Presidents' Awards.

Winners were honored at the Minnesota Campus Compact awards luncheon on April 10 and at the Office of Community Engagement awards ceremony on May 6.