2020 Award Winners

The Alan G. Penczek Service-Learning Faculty Award

Recognizes and honors a faculty member in each of the three higher education sectors (public universities, community colleges, independent colleges and universities) for excellence in the integration of service-learning into the curriculum and impact to students and the community.

Dr. Samia Rab Kirchner, Associate Professor of Architecture + Planning and Chair of Internationalization of Education Task Force at Morgan State University in Baltimore

Dr. Samia Rab Kirchner is the 2020 winner of the Alan G. Penczek Service-Learning Faculty Award.  Dr. Kichner has served on Morgan State University’s Civic and Community Engagement Taskforce (CCET) since its inception in 2017. Her focus on the Park Heights neighborhood in Northwest Baltimore started in collaboration with her Task Force faculty colleagues in Spring 2018 through partnership with Park Heights Renaissance. Since then, she has sustained the School of Architecture and Planning service-learning activities every semester. Most recently, through the Center for the Study of Religion and the City grant, she worked with students and Plantation Park Heights Urban Farmers to co-design an outdoor demonstration kitchen to address food insecurity during the pandemic.

Prior to Morgan, she taught at the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Hawaii and the American University of Sharjah. As an architect, she makes, studies, and analyzes buildings that contribute to urban civic identity. Her research focus is on urban history of global port cities and her urban design practice links watersheds and the ocean making water accessible for public use.

The Early Career Engaged Scholar Award

Recognizes and honors a scholar for his/her outstanding research in curricular and/or co-curricular civic engagement which advances the field.

Dr. Julius Davis, Wilson H. Elkins Associate Professor of Mathematics Education, Department of Teaching, Learning & Professional Development, Bowie State University

Dr. Julius Davis is the 2020 CCMA Early Career Engaged Scholarship Award winner.  In addition to his professorial role, Dr. Davis is the Director of the Center for Research and Mentoring of Black Male Students and Teachers at Bowie State University. He is also the Coordinator of the Master of Arts in Teaching Program in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development in the College of Education. Dr. Davis has two main strands of research focused on Black students and teachers in urban and suburban schools. His research of Black students critically examines their mathematical achievement and experiences and how policies shape their mathematics education. Dr. Davis’ research of Black mathematics teachers focuses on content and pedagogical knowledge, academic and professional experiences, and policies that shape their praxis. His research of students and teachers primarily focuses on Black males. Dr. Davis’ research focused on Black teachers and students has appeared in scholarly publications and has been presented at international, national, and regional conferences. He works closely with teachers, instructional and school leaders in developing their dissertation research in urban and educational leadership doctoral programs.

The Excellence in Service Student Group Award

Acknowledges student groups for their commitment and involvement in service projects that extend beyond any co-curricular requirements or service-learning courses, leading to long-term, sustainable, community impact.

Frostburg State University’s Student Government Association, led by President Mr. Noah DeMichele

While acting as the student voice within the University is at the core of the organization, the FSU SGA prides itself on its efforts to go beyond its normal mission to ensure students are engaged with, and feel welcome in, the greater Frostburg community. SGA works to bring the community and student body together to create meaningful exchanges and develop a sense of pride and belonging in the western Maryland area. SGA has partnered with the Office of Civic Engagement and the J. Glenn Beall Institute for Public Service to host campus town halls for students, community members, faculty, and staff. These events are open discussions that allow students to come together with stake holders to discuss issues on campus, in the community, and across the world that are important to them. Additionally, the SGA has partnering with FrostburgFirst, a non-profit organization that focuses on student patrons in the downtown area. Through a series of polls and research, the SGA has been able to implement the student body’s needs into the surrounding area. This is an ongoing initiative, as the SGA hopes to continue to foster Town-Gown relations and provide a welcoming atmosphere for FSU students in their host city.

The P20 Partnership Award

Recognizes a leading partnership between PreK-12, higher education, and the community. This partnership addresses issues related to college, career, and civic readiness through student engagement and service-learning.

Dr. Elizabeth Soslau, Associate Professor, School of Education, University of Delaware

Dr. Elizabeth Soslau is awarded the CCMA 2020 P20 Partnership Award for leading the Need in Deed Critical Service Learning Collaborative, a partnership among the University of Delaware, Warner Elementary School (Red Clay Consolidated School District), and Need in Deed. Dr. Soslau’s teaching and scholarship are focused on critical reflection, social justice pedagogy, field instruction of teacher candidates, and qualitative methods. Her research has appeared in outlets such as the Journal of Teacher Education, Teaching and Teacher Education, and Action in Teacher Education. She is the lead author of the forthcoming book, The Comprehensive Guide to Working with Student Teachers: Tools and Templates to Support Reflective Professional Growth to be published by Teachers College Press in February 2021.

The Civic Engagement Award

Recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of civic learning and engagement in sustaining our participatory democracy.

Ms. Amanda Choutka, Senior Professorial Lecturer, Literature, American University

Amanda Choutka is the 2020 Civic Engagement Award winner. She has a MFA in Creative Writing from American University and a BA in English and Creative Writing from Dickinson College. She is working on a collection of nonfiction essays about family and autism. Amanda Choutka’s teaching and research interests include the rhetoric of community engagement and activism, research literacy, first generation college students, service-learning, community-based learning and research, social justice, social media activism, and teaching students with disabilities/disabled students. She has formal training in working with students with disabilities and has worked extensively with the Academic Support and Access Center and the Learning Services program. Before graduate school, she worked for Horton’s Kids, a comprehensive afterschool program that serves children in Wellington Park in Ward 8. She teaches in the Writing Studies Program and has been teaching a community-based and service-learning WRTG 101 for 10 years. She has partnered with local community partners such as Horton’s Kids, THRIVE DC, DC Reads, JumpStart, KidPower, DC Central Kitchen, and Iona Senior Services. She is also an active member of the Community-Based Learning Faculty Advisory Committee and Community-Based Research Scholars Advisory Committee.

The Institutional Leadership Award

Recognizes and honors one individual for outstanding contributions to the institutionalization of community engagement, by inspiring a culture of service/civic and community engagement on the campus and involving community voice in the development of partnerships and the campus.

Ms. Amy Cohen, Executive Director of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, The George Washington University

Ms. Amy Cohen is the 2020 winner of the Institutional Leadership Award. Amy brings a wealth of experience in service-learning and civic engagement to her role at GW. She served for nearly a decade as the director of the federal service-learning program, Learn and Serve America at the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is also the parent agency for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. Prior to coming to GW she served as Associate Vice President for US Programs at Save the Children. Her career in academic service and civic engagement began at the University of Pennsylvania, where she worked at the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, an international leader in university- community partnerships. Amy holds a BA in Sociology from Brandeis University and an MA in History from the University of Pennsylvania.

The Civic Leadership Award

Recognizes an individual who has contributed substantially to the development of civic and community engagement in the Maryland, DC, and Delaware region.

Ms. Susan E. Stroud is the founder and Executive Director of Innovations in Civic Participation, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC that supports the development of innovative, high-quality youth civic engagement policies and programs in the US and in other countries. ICP also serves as the Secretariat for the International Association for National Youth Service (IANYS), a global network of policymakers and practitioners with an interest in youth civic engagement. Ms. Stroud was the co-founder of the Talloires Network, a growing global coalition of 260 universities who share a commitment to education for civic engagement and social responsibility.

Prior to founding ICP, Ms. Stroud served as the senior advisor to the Director of the White House Office of National Service. The White House team led the creation of AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service. At the Corporation, Ms. Stroud served as senior advisor to the CEO, director of the Office of Federal Partnerships, and the first director of Learn and Serve America, a $43 million annual grants program that supports young people’s civic engagement.

From 1998-2001, Ms. Stroud worked at the Ford Foundation on a special initiative to support the development of youth civic engagement policies and programs in South Africa, Mexico, Russia, China and other countries.

Prior to moving to Washington, DC in 1993, Ms. Stroud served as Assistant to the President at Brown University and the founding director of the Swearer Center for Public Service and Campus Compact.

The Engaged Campus Award

Recognizes institutions of higher education for exemplary commitment to being a community-engaged campus that is actively seeking to fulfill the public purposes of higher education.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is the winner of the 2020 CCMA Engaged Campus Award for its exemplary demonstration of being an engaged campus and its commitment to the public purposes of higher education. UMBC has served in numerous leadership roles to advance civic and community engagement over the past decade and most recently was recognized as a recipient of the 2020 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. UMBC consistently demonstrates community-engaged leadership as an anchor institution in the greater metropolitan area by involving community partners voice in partnership development and assessment, supporting access oriented K12 partnerships, assessing student and community learning outcomes related to civic and community engagement, and promoting a campus-wide culture that “recognizes, supports, catalyzes, and celebrates community connections and partnerships” as part of its strategic plan.

The William E. "Brit" Kirwan Engaged Leader Award

Recognizes and honors an individual for his or her lifetime contributions as a systemic-change agent. This individual has helped to shape policy to advance communities, ultimately elevating the quality of collective life throughout the Maryland, DC, and Delaware region and beyond.

Dr. Maurice C. Taylor, Vice President for Academic Outreach and Engagement at Morgan State University

Dr. Taylor has served as Morgan liaison to the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), to Baltimore’s Promise, and to the Goldseker Foundation. Dr. Taylor has also served as a member of several MHEC task forces including the 2009 and 2013 Maryland State Plan for Post-Secondary Education and as a member of a MHEC’s Subcommittee charged with the final review of the 2005 Partnership Agreement between Maryland and the United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. He is a member of MHEC’s COVID-19 Advisory Committee.

Dr. Taylor is the former Chair and a current member of the Executive Committee of the State of Maryland’s African American Museum Corporation Board of Directors. He is a member of the Campus Compact Mid Atlantic’s Senior Advisory Group for Engagement (SAGE) working with CCMA’s Executive Director and Governing Board on strategic planning, policy development and program initiatives. Dr. Taylor chairs the Prince George’s County Financial Advisory Committee responsible for oversight of the County’s Economic Development Incentive Fund and is the former Chair of the Baltimore County Human Relations Commission.

Dr. Taylor received a bachelor’s (BA) degree in Sociology from Juniata College and the master’s (MA) and doctorate (PhD) degrees in Sociology from Bowling Green State University and a law degree (JD) from Duke University. He practiced labor law in the Baltimore firm of Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander.

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