2023 TMA Award Recipients

MD, DC, & DE Faculty, Administrators, Student Leaders, & Community Partners to be Honored at 2023 TMA Awards Ceremony hosted by UMBC

(Frederick, MD) - On November 30, 2023, the Board and staff of Transform Mid-Atlantic and representatives from its membership and across the region will gather for the 14th Annual TMA Awards Ceremony - generously hosted by The Shriver Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) - to celebrate the inspiring contributions that this year's award recipients are making to the advancement of the public purposes of higher education.

This year's honorees include faculty, students, administrators, and community partners from Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Delaware who are engaging in transformative community-engaged teaching, research, learning, activism, leadership, and partnership. They join 100+ past TMA Award recipients from throughout the region who have been recognized for their important work and leadership in advancing TMA's and their institutions' missions.

2023 Award recipients include:

Dr. Alan G. Penczek Service-Learning Faculty Awards
Dr. Erica Walls, The George Washington University
Professor Schnell Reed Garrett, Montgomery College
Dr. Kimberly Warren, Morgan State University

Engaged Scholarship Award
Dr. Sabine O'Hara, University of the District of Columbia

Exceptional AmeriCorps VISTA Mentorship Award
Dr. DaVida Anderson, Carroll Community College

Exceptional AmeriCorps VISTA Service Award
Ms. Sulakshmi Vaid, Goldey-Beacom College

Global Citizenship Award
Dr. Rebekah de Wit, Community College of Baltimore County

Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion - Civic & Community Engagement
Professor Susan Jones, J.D., The George Washington University

Transformational Leadership Award
Ms. Elizabeth Kirker, Goldey-Beacom College

Transformational Student Leadership Awards
Ms. Rachael Michalski, Frostburg State University
Ms. Elisabeth "Betsy" Schuler, Loyola University Maryland

Transformational Partnership Award
American University & the Latin American Youth Center Career Academy Charter School

Scroll down to learn more about their work. A description of each Award and criteria for nomination is available on the TMA Awards webpage. Interested in learning more about the 2023 Awards and award recipients? Email Director of Programs and Communications Nicki Fiocco.

MLK Jr Day of Service Grant - Call for Grant Interest Banner
Walls Award

About Dr. Walls: Dr. Erica Walls is Interim Director of the Human Services & Social Justice program at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Her practical approach to education helps students positively impact communities affected by poverty. Erica’s students have completed 50+ service-learning projects, including program evaluations, advocacy, and direct service. Additionally, she mentors students to earn advanced degrees, develop professional skills, garner internships, secure jobs in their fields of interest, and to make wise long-term decisions.

From their nomination: Dr. Erica Walls' practical approach to teaching helps students to bridge classroom learning with meaningful opportunities to positively impact society. Since 2018, she has taught over 500 students in the fields of Human Services, Social Justice, and Public Policy. Her courses strengthen students’ knowledge of social issues and empower them to critically analyze U.S. social policies, evaluate social programs, serve diverse communities, and pursue their passions.

Dr. Walls’ courses challenge students, and they love realizing what they are capable of. In her Program Evaluation course, students work in pairs with a local nonprofit organization to plan a research question, review the literature, gather data, analyze the results, report findings and offer recommendations. Dr. Walls prepares students for each step, from planning the agenda for their first community partner site visit, practicing interviewing and focus group skills in class, and conducting in-class peer review of multiple drafts of the final reports and presentations to their community partners. She also provides instruction on managing multi-step projects in a collaborative group. In Spring 2023, For Love of Children requested an evaluation of their volunteer program. Students conducted systematic interviews of volunteer tutors and shared a final report with recommendations for handling complicated monthly volunteer schedules.

In her Social Justice and Public Policy course each semester, students are prepared to co-create a project with their community partner, including a highly structured project proposal assignment to facilitate clarity about expectations: the deliverables involved, the timeline for all related tasks and a communication plan. For example, in Spring 2023 students worked with Jews United for Justice to support twelve legislative campaigns for more equity in the state of Maryland. Students helped volunteers collect testimony, produced campaign update compilations, and tracked legislative progress through the Maryland legislature.

Dr. Walls has also been generous as a mentor to other faculty at GW. She is quick to agree to my requests to share advice on designing project-based service-learning courses and building on-going relationships with community partners. She readily shares her syllabi, sample assignments, and other tools and training she has developed over time that help students be learn project management techniques while working in collaborative teams.

Reed Garrett Award

About Professor Reed Garrett: Ms. Schnell Reed Garrett serves as the part-time faculty, service-learning coordinator at Montgomery College, Takoma Park Silver Spring campus. She’s a graduate of Kentucky State University and Bowling Green State University(OH). Schnell is pursuing a doctorate of education at Morgan State University. Her research is focused on food insecurity and community college students in TRIO programs.

From their nomination: Professor Schnell Reed Garrett's exemplary efforts in several key initiatives exemplify her commitment to service, innovation, and community engagement. Professor Garrett always avails herself as a team player and has done an outstanding job of always providing service to our community and the students involved and collaborating with various partners, both on and off-campus.

Professor Garrett played a pivotal role in launching the Sidewalk Talk Program in collaboration with one of our faculty members. This program, initiated in the spring of 2022, has since expanded to one of [Montgomery College's] other campuses, bridging gaps in communication and fostering a sense of belonging among our students. Her ability to build partnerships and implement innovative solutions has truly made a difference in the lives of our students.

Additionally, Professor Garrett has consistently demonstrated her passion for making a meaningful impact on our community through her exceptional work. One of her most significant accomplishments is working with our two other service learning coordinators, creating a groundbreaking fundraising campaign for our Alternative Spring Break Programs. Her tireless efforts and creative approach resulted in meeting and exceeding our fundraising goals and ensuring more students could participate in these life-changing experiences.

Furthermore, Professor Garrett recognized the importance of integrating service into Raptor Week, an annual event at our organization. Her initiative to add a service component to Raptor Week not only enriched the experience for participants but also reinforced our commitment to community engagement and civic responsibility. In addition to her involvement with Raptor Week, Professor Garrett has been instrumental in organizing service outreach during the Mobile Markets. Her dedication to addressing food insecurity in our community has positively impacted countless individuals and families. She has effectively coordinated efforts to ensure those in need have access to fresh, healthy food, further reinforcing our organization's commitment to social responsibility.

Warren Award

About Dr. Warren: Dr. Kimberly Warren received her Ph.D. in Behavioral Medicine/Human Services Psychology from UMBC in 2006. She conducts research in the areas of obesity, health promotion, health disparities, and international education and developed a Global Health faculty-led study abroad program in Guatemala in 2017 which has led to the development of STEAM Abroad, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting faculty-led study abroad, student exchange, and experiential learning experiences mainly in Baltimore and Latin America.

From their nomination: Dr. Warren's journey as a pioneer in International Education began in 2017 when she recognized the need for and value of internationalizing the curriculum. Through the integration of short-term, faculty-led study abroad into her Health Psychology course, she initiated a paradigm shift that significantly impacted both campus and community culture. Dr. Warren developed a groundbreaking eight-day study abroad trip to Guatemala, providing students with immersive experiences that encompassed living with host families, engaging in cultural activities, and contributing to community health services. This program not only expanded horizons and opportunities for students but also yielded measurable impact through tangible outcomes in students and communities. The resulting recognition and subsequent grant funding led to Dr. Warren’s establishment of STEAM Abroad, Inc., a non-profit organization committed to supporting faculty in designing study abroad programs and offering diverse global community service-learning prospects for students.

Dr. Warren's impact extends beyond academia including organizing free health screenings for vulnerable communities in Latin America. These endeavors embody the spirit of mutual collaboration, bridging cultures, and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Dr. Warren's commitment to holistic learning experiences is further exemplified by her "study away" program with The Food Project in Baltimore, which combines volunteerism, community service, and cultural reflection to deepen students' understanding of global disparities and allows exchange students to volunteer in a U.S. community.

Dr. Warren has successfully orchestrated a multitude of study abroad and student exchange trips, including collaborations with institutions in El Salvador, Guatemala and Paraguay. This cross-cultural engagement has resulted in over 200 students providing valuable community service to Latin American and Baltimore communities, thereby enhancing mutual understanding and global citizenship. Dr. Warren has also utilized virtual exchange and collaborative online international learning (COIL), facilitating global connections through technology, fostering inclusive educational opportunities that transcend geographical boundaries. Her participation in various international committees and her co-founding of the Center for Research and Experiential Study Abroad (CRESA) at Morgan further underscore her dedication to expanding global education. Moreover, Dr. Warren's extensive collaboration with international institutions exemplifies her commitment to collaborative research aimed at improving health outcomes and empowering communities. Her efforts have contributed to a stronger connection between Morgan State University and institutions abroad, resulting in sustainable global partnerships that benefit both students and communities.

O'Hara Award

About Dr. O'Hara: Dr. Sabine O’Hara is well known for her work in sustainable community development and urban food systems. She was the founding Dean of UDC CAUSES and led the University’s efforts to build a cutting-edge model for urban agriculture and urban sustainability that improves the economic opportunities and Quality of Life of local communities. She currently leads UDC’s PhD program in Urban Leadership & Entrepreneurship. Sabine holds degrees in Agricultural and Environmental Economics from Göttingen University, Germany.

From their nomination: Dr. O’Hara’s work has focused consistently on the quality of life and economic opportunity of local communities through multi-dimensional intellectual, social, and physical capacity development. A foundation of her work is her belief that education should not only answer our questions, but also question our answers. This search for new answers guides her work with students and residents, who she considers local experts. She works diligently with her students to engage them as lead authors in peer reviewed publications. Her strong and internationally respected publication record speaks for itself.

Dr. O’Hara was the 10th President of Roanoke College in Virginia; provost of Green Mountain College in Vermont; faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York; and executive director of CIES, which administers the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program. She was the 10th President of Roanoke College in Virginia; provost of Green Mountain College in Vermont; faculty member at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in Troy, New York; and executive director of the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES), which administers the prestigious Fulbright Scholar Program.

Dr. O’Hara holds Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Economics from the University of Göttingen, Germany. She is a member of the Working Group on Institutional Analysis of Socio-Ecological Systems at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, past President of the International Society for Ecological Economics (ISEE) and serves on the advisory board of King Abdul-Aziz University of Jeddah, the National Latino Farmers Association in Washington DC, and several editorial boards of academic journals.

Read articles, reports, and book chapters written by Dr. O'Hara by visiting her Google Scholars webpage.

de Wit Award

About Dr. de Wit: Dr. Rebekah de Wit is the director of global education at the Community College of Baltimore County. She has worked in international education for more than 20 years as director at both two- and four-year institutions, overseeing global curricula, education abroad, international student services, and English language programs. She has also been a professor of languages and TESOL. She is a leader in two Maryland consortia for international education and regularly organizes statewide professional development programs.

From their nomination: CCBC recognizes the need for all students to become knowledgeable and engaged global citizens. To that end, Rebekah led the Global Education team in creating the Global Studies Certificate, which provides a broad understanding of interdisciplinary contemporary global issues and intercultural communication skills exposure and practice necessary to work in the ever-changing global economy. The Global Studies certificate is a stackable credential compatible with CCBC associate degree programs. Students enrolled in this certificate take courses with globalized themes and content and complete an internship or cooperative education of one to three credits with a global employer or non-profit agency, giving them valuable real-world experience. The Certificate of Global Studies currently has 30+ students pursuing it.

Another example of the positive impact on changing the culture at CCBC attributable to Dr. de Wit and her team is the creativity with which she approached the challenges of having students study abroad during the COVID pandemic. With travel restrictions in place, Dr. de Wit led CCBC’s team to pivot from the successful study abroad model to a study-away model that focused more on virtual and local experiences for students. Examples include virtual study-abroad activities each summer with Swansea University, Environmental & Cultural Impacts study away in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee (2023), and study away Environmental & Cultural Impacts of Southern Appalachia Settlements (2022) and Gullah Culture & Coastal Ecology in South Carolina (2023). These programs are powerful examples of the transformative power of experiential education for both students and faculty members who led the programs.

The third example of the change of culture brought about by Global Education under Dr. de Wit’s leadership is the success of recruiting and engaging an active college committee that provides support, creativity and direction for CCBC’s Global Education programming. Originally known as the Global Education Advisory Board, Dr. de Wit envisioned a more involved committee and renamed it The Global Education Action Board (GEAB) to emphasize the action rather than advisory nature of this body. GEAB is a vibrant and engaged college-wide committee charged with collaboration, communication, and coordination to support internal and external global education initiatives.

Anderson Award

About Dr. Anderson: Dr. DaVida Anderson, adjunct professor and Director of Student Care & Integrity at Carroll Community College, spearheads critical initiatives, managing the Behavioral Intervention Team, Wellbeing Committee, and Integrity Council. With 19 years of experience, she is the Founder of Strong Sister, Silly Sister, Inc., a nonprofit empowering college women. Dr. Anderson, recognized as one of Maryland's Leading Women under 40. She's committed to justice and inclusion and actively serves on boards, emphasizing community investment and mentorship.

From their nomination: Coming soon!

Vaid Award

About Ms. Vaid: Sulakshmi Vaid is an AmeriCorps VISTA Member at Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Delaware. Her role is to garner volunteers for community service and build partnerships for the college to create avenues of volunteerism and opportunity. Ms. Vaid recently received her MBA in HR Management from Goldey-Beacom College. Before serving at Goldey-Beacom, she received her BA in Political Science and History from Cedar Crest College. Ms. Vaid was and is passionately involved with social justice, DEI, and service work.

From their nomination: Coming soon!

Jones Award

About Professor Jones: Professor Susan R. Jones, J.D. is the director/supervising attorney of the Small Business & Community Economic Development Clinic at the George Washington University School of Law which represents underrepresented small businesses, nonprofits, social enterprises, and worker cooperatives. She is the co-editor of two books, Building Healthy Communities: A Legal Guide to Community Economic Development for Advocates, Lawyers and Policymakers and Investing for Social Impact, Economic Justice and Racial Equity, both Published by the American Bar Association.

From their nomination: Since 1988, Professor Jones has been Director and Supervising Attorney of the Small Business & Community Economic Development Clinic (SBCED Clinic). Over her entire career she has facilitated opportunities for her students to learn how to support local business owners, primarily women and people of color, in achieving their dreams for economic self-sufficiency. The most recent examples of her students’ work are only a small window on her many years of impact.

In Spring of 2023, the SBCED Clinic represented a Beloved Community Incubator, Inc. (BCI), a worker-directed nonprofit that has advocated at the forefront of many community initiatives in the DC Metro area since 2018. Recently BCI has fought for change in DC’s street vending laws, with the support of Dr. Jones and the team of student- attorneys. On April 4, 2023, the DC Council unanimously passed the Street Vendor Advancement Amendment Act of 2023. The bill will bridge equity gaps by decriminalizing unlicensed street vending, creating sidewalk vending zones in DC, and establishing a new license category (a microenterprise home kitchen business permit) for the sale of food prepared in home kitchens. The bill still must be approved by Mayor Bowser and reviewed by Congress before it becomes law, but this is a great achievement for all involved, including the DC Street vending community. More information about this bill and how to follow its progress, is available on DCist's website.

In Fall 2022, a team of student-attorneys in the SBCED Clinic represented Global Consciousness Institute (GCI), a nonprofit organization whose mission is to transform education and economic practices and policies, providing a strategic and energetic focus to nurture change agents and leaders. The student team helped GCI incorporate as a DC nonprofit corporation, provided advice and counsel as it applied for, and was ultimately granted, tax exempt status from the IRS under Section 501(c)(3), on an expedited timeline. The team also assisted GCI with drafting contracts associated with growth, such as employment and sponsorship agreements, and a donation acknowledgment letter.

Kirker Award

About Ms. Kirker: Elizabeth "Beth" Kirker has served as the Director of Career Services at Goldey-Beacom College in Wilmington, Delaware since 2012. With extensive experience in the corporate world - including in business, operations management, and compliance capacities at firms such as BNY Melon and Greenville Capital Management - Ms. Kirker works with GBC students and alumni to support their career and professional readiness. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a 2023 Visionary Award from the Delaware American Council on Education Women's Network (DAWN). She received a B.A. degree from the University of Delaware.

From their nomination: Ms. Kirker, the Director of Career Services at Goldey-Beacom College, is the “spark” behind a growing, meaningful, and mutually-beneficial partnership with the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program at Skyline Middle School, part of the Red Clay Consolidated School District in Wilmington, Delaware (Skyline AVID (google.com)). The AVID program is a college preparatory class that helps students learn the skills necessary to take honors and AP classes in high school with the eventual outcome of attending a four-year college. Organization and study skills are also addressed as part of the program.

Working with the leadership at Skyline, Beth has created opportunities for GBC faculty, staff and students to spend two mornings each week at Skyline, working with AVID students in formal and informal ways. In addition to GBC being present in the school, students from Skyline come visit GBC at regular intervals as well. Skyline is a minority-majority school, with 73.2% of its students either African-American or Hispanic. 38.9% of its students are free or discounted lunch recipients and students are bussed from the inner city of Wilmington out to the school in Pike Creek, very close to the campus of Goldey-Beacom.

The partnership has become so meaningful to the AVID program that it has now “spilled over” into other opportunities at Skyline and the Red Clay district overall. Skyline students are banner and flag bearers at the GBC commencement, and their choir sings at GBC events. The Red Clay district has built upon the success of the AVID partnership that Beth nurtures and now uses space at GBC for it’s annual moving up ceremonies for middle school, it’s middle school basketball tournament and or in-service days for teachers and pupil personnel staff. A special dual-enrollment program is now launching as yet another outgrowth of the partnership and the best outcome of all: Skyline students can wear either Skyline-branded clothing or Goldey-Beacom branded clothing to school! Skyline students and their families are now aware of opportunities for their future that prior to the partnership, they were unlikely to truly appreciate. More on the AVID program can be found here.

Michalski Award

About Ms. Michalski: Rachael Michalski is a Junior in the Honors Program at Frostburg State University. She is extensively involved in various civic and community engagement activities on her campus and in the community. Rachael serves as the President of the Student Government Association, the Secretary of Alpha Phi Omega, Co-Chair of the University System of Maryland Student Civic Leadership Committee, member of two National Honor Societies, and the representative for the Maryland Higher Education Commission and USM Student Council.

From their nomination: Throughout her academic journey at Frostburg State University, Rachael has demonstrated outstanding leadership and a deep commitment to service and civic engagement. Rachael's academic achievements have been nothing short of exceptional. As a double major in Law & Society and Political Science, with a minor in Spanish and Leadership Studies, her pursuit of knowledge and dedication to her studies serve as a testament to her strong work ethic and academic excellence.

Beyond her studies, Rachael has been an invaluable asset to the campus community through her commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, her involvement in various organizations, and her willingness to take on leadership roles. During her first two years at FSU, she served as an AmeriCorps member mentoring children at afterschool programs and serving with numerous projects, including delivering Thanksgiving Baskets to those in need and assisting Special Olympics during their Winter Games. Additionally, Rachael traveled to Louisiana for a week during her winter break to help rebuild after Hurricane Ida's devastation. Her contributions have amounted to over 600 volunteer service hours during her first two years at FSU.

While Rachael's service efforts are impressive, her most significant impact is rooted in her leadership and efforts to create positive change on campus, in the community, and in the lives of her fellow students. Rachael has been an advocate for fostering civic engagement on our campus. Her dedication to promoting active participation in the democratic process is genuinely commendable. As a student voter engagement ambassador and Langenburg Legacy Fellow, she played a pivotal role in educating her fellow students about the importance of voting and answering questions regarding the voting and electoral process. Moreover, Rachael has helped plan and facilitate dialogue events and candidate forums leading up to the most recent election, providing a platform for meaningful discussions and exchanging ideas. Her dedication and poise as a student moderator during these forums have earned her respect and admiration from her peers and faculty members. It is no surprise that at the end of her sophomore year, Rachael was elected to serve as the President of the Student Government Association, a testament to her exceptional leadership skills and ability to bring about positive change. Additionally, her presence on the Maryland Higher Education Commission further exemplifies her dedication to advocating for positive changes and advancements in the higher education system. Rachael's tireless efforts and exceptional contributions have had a profound impact on campus life, making her a true inspiration to all those around her.

Schuler Award

About Ms. Schuler: Elisabeth "Betsy" Schuler is a senior at Loyola University Maryland studying Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, with minors in Spanish and Latin American/Latino Studies. She is a long-standing intern with Loyola’s Center for Community, Service, and Justice supporting youth development and literacy with community schools in Loyola’s neighboring York Road Corridor. She also participates in Loyola’s Health Outreach Baltimore program, where she connects patients from Mercy Medical Center’s Mother-Baby Department with community resources to support them and their families.

From their nomination: Over the two years I’ve known Betsy, she has grown into a remarkable leader for community engagement at Loyola University Maryland and is the first student to come mind when reflecting on the word "transformational". Betsy has worked as an intern for our department, the Center for Community, Service and Justice, and has worked most directly with our local schools in our neighboring York Road corridor. However, what sets Betsy apart to me is how she has gone so far above and beyond the stated expectations of her role with our office. She actively participants in the local community umbrella organization called the York Road Partnership, which has a membership of over 25 community associations. She plays a vital role in supporting one of the coalition’s four major goals of enhancing youth capacity by coordinating the Community-Engaged Literacy Program (CELP) – a new literacy-based program designed in collaboration with Loyola’s School of Education, our department and Govans Elementary School. The program works diligently to close the reading gaps for students who experienced high levels of reading loss during the pandemic.

As part of her work, Betsy recruits and oversees Loyola tutors who must participate in 5-10 hours of training which includes modules on reflection, relationship building, and grade-appropriate literacy activities prior to tutoring. She is very intentional about explaining the context of the communities in which they’ll be engaging and the impact of their time and efforts on the lives of these young scholars and their families. Over this past year, community members have mentioned how they have been particularly impressed at Betsy’s growing understanding of the "Big Picture" in regard to community and economic development specific to the communities with which she is serving. This can be particularly observed through her participation at many local community meetings – observing issues ranging from housing, transportation, education, public safety, environment, business and learning more about how community leaders plan to address inequities from advocacy to political pressure.

Throughout the academic year, Betsy participates with our university’s Health Outreach Baltimore program, where she connects patients from Mercy Medical Center’s Mother-Baby Department with community resources to support them and their families. This past summer, Betsy participated in our Campus Ministry’s immersion experience with the Kino Border Initiative – where she spent time with migrants, learn from their stories, and grew in her understanding of the broader context of the border and immigration. She also participated in the Maryland Public Service Scholars program which provided her with a fellowship opportunity to develop as a future leader in Maryland’s public and social sectors. Lastly – Betsy has done significant work with people with disabilities through her work as a ski instructor and her experience with Special Olympics in Vermont.

Partnership Award

About the Partnership: American University (AU) and LAYC Career Academy (LAYCCA) have been working together as part of AU's strategic plan in an effort to establish more community partnerships. LAYC Career Academy serves a student population that is 100% at-risk and 62% homeless. The AU-led programs have been a huge support for LAYCCA students in reaching their personal and academic goals. This partnership has been very successful in supporting students who face the most extraordinary challenges.

From the nomination: Educational inequities are an unfortunate fact in most urban areas of the United States and Washington, D.C. is no exception. While AU’s Center for Community Engagement & Service has been addressing this issue for many years vis-a-vis its D.C. Reads K-8 tutoring and programming, we sought ways to collaborate with other sectors and populations in the city that are working on this important issue.

The Latin American Youth Center Career Academy (LAYC CA) Public Charter School was created in 2012 as an extension of the Latin American Youth Center, a longstanding nonprofit in the city. Many immigrant youth communities arrive in the U.S. with limited formal education as well as minimal if any English language skills. They have been through difficult, even traumatic, experiences in their travels here, so mental health issues are an added dimension. The LAYC-CA serves D.C. and multinational students, 16- to 24-years old. Traditional public schools present obstacles for their multilingual and first-generation students due to the systemic and institutional barriers. Thus, a number of charter schools have been created to address those gaps. The LAYC CA’s Their mission statement emphasizes workforce development in high growth occupations; they offer certificate programs in Technology and Health, in addition to GED and classes for English Language Learners.

Given our knowledge of the school’s aim, when an opportunity arose to support this school as part of AU’s Strategic Plan and its imperative focused on Working with Washington, we thought this was an excellent match. Strategic Imperative #7 aims to deepen AU’s multidimensional relationship with the city. The initiative supports “signature partnerships” with D.C. nonprofits. Facilitated by the Center for Community Engagement & Service, two signature partnerships were designed/created with LAYC Career Academy (LAYC-CA) and Martha’s Table in 2021 and continue into the 2023-24 school year.

A “signature partnership” entails the involvement of multiple academic departments, offices, and programs at AU. Dr. Jacqueline Fernandez, Principal of LAYC-CA, shared community-defined needs: immigration-related support and a path to citizenship, college and career readiness, and academic coaching and college affordability. In the first two years, these areas were advanced with the involvement of the Washington College of Law (WCL), the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Leadership program, Community-Based Research Scholars Program, the Kogod Business School’s PROCOMM program, the School of Communications Film Program, the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS), and the Financial Aid office.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *