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2019 Community Engagement Awards

April 22, 2019 Tags: Community Engagement and Outreach


The Saint Francis University Center for Service and Learning hosted the second annual “Become that Someone” Community Engagement Awards Breakfast on April 15, 2019. The event celebrated and recognized the University’s distinguished community partners, faculty, staff, and students who have gone the extra length to be engaged with the community. The criteria for the awards are directed by the Carnegie Foundation’s definition of community engagement: the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in the context of partnership and reciprocity.


Community_Engagement_Awards_2019_BreakfastThe following awards were presented:

  • Engaged Community Partner: The Central PA Humane Society
  • Engaged Faculty Member: Dr. Kris Wisniewski, PT Department
  • Engaged Staff Member: Michael Sell, Institute for Energy (accepted by Dr. John Harris)
  • Engaged Student: George Ryan, B.S., Mathematics; B.A., Engineering; Minor, Physical Science

University President, the Very Rev. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D. presented The Central PA Humane Society with the Engaged Community Partner award and shared some words from nominator Dr. Sholmit Flaisher-Grinberg who said, “This partnership allows our students to learn skills and develop potential. It allows the dogs to get a second chance in life and find loving “forever” homes. Every time I step into the classroom, I feel fortunate.”

The Engaged Faculty Member award recognizes a faculty member for exemplary community engaged scholarship and fostering mutually beneficial partnerships. This year’s award winner was Dr. Kris Wisniewski, associate professor of exercise physiology in the Department of Physical Therapy. He is also the assistant director of the Human Performance Lab, and the Director of the Evergreen Exercise Clinic. Dr. Wisniewski has been said to have unmatched compassion and care, vast knowledge, and a way of teaching difficult concepts to students in a format that they can understand. Dr. Wisniewski was recognized namely for his work with the Evergreen Exercise Clinic and the Center for Rural Cancer Survivorship, as well as his work at St. Michael School.

Michael Sell was awarded the Engaged Staff Member Award for his work with local schools, teachers, and parents through a variety of programs offered through the Institute for Energy and the Science Outreach Center. Fittingly enough, he could not be present to accept the award because he was running science labs at Divine Mercy Catholic Academy in Johnstown, one of SFU’s community partners.

The Engaged Student Award was presented to George Ryan for his tireless dedication to projects of the Center for Watershed Research & Service. Ryan will graduate this May with a B.S. in Mathematics, a B.A. in Engineering, and a minor in Physical Science. He is from Elma, New York, a suburb of outside of Buffalo.

100+ Service Hours Completed

Community_Engagement_Awards_2019_StudentsWhile there was only one Engaged Student Award presented, the SFU student body is made up numerous community-engaged people. Students who have completed over 100 hours of community service during their time at SFU were awarded the first-ever Center for Service and Learning graduation adornment and were recognized for their achievement. Additional students will continue to volunteer their time towards completing over 100 hours before graduation and will be recognized.

Director of the Center for Service and Learning, Lisa Georgina, noted that the University’s strategic plan, “calls for six transformational experiences for our students: Campus Ministry, Internships, Leadership, Student Research, Study Abroad, and Community Engagement & Service.” Community engagement is just one of many elements to the University’s approach to fostering students to become that someone.

The names of students who have completed over 100 hours of service are listed below.

Poster Presentations

Community_Engagement_Awards_2019_Poster 7Spring 2019 Community-Engaged Courses held student poster presentations in conjunction with the “Become that Someone” Community Engagement Awards. These poster presentations gives students, faculty, staff, and guests the opportunity to explore the impactful work that is happening across campus and in the community. Information was presented by the following courses:

Professor McFadden

MTKG 321: Marketing Research Study for Ruga Rue Beef Jerky
MTKG 321: Marketing Research Study for the Central Cambria Education Foundation
MTKG 321: Marketing Research Study for DST Drones
MTKG 321: Marketing Research Study for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona and Johnstown
MTKG 321: Marketing Research Study for Custom Bono’s Leather Shoe Repair

Professor Balog

CORE 407: Vision 2025: Digital Map of Central Park Square
CORE 407: Vision 2025 Partnership: YEA! (Young Entrepreneurs Academy)
CORE 407: Vision 2025 Partnership with Gallery on Gazebo

Professor Zovinka

CHEM 401: Light Up the Room at Quaint Corner
CHEM 401: Clean Water for a Clean World: Educational Co-curricular Signs Capturing the Science Behind the Wastewater Treatment Plant

Professor Moist

PSYCH 205: Creating an Active, Engaging and Applicable Learning Experience: The “Canine Learning and Behavior” Course

Ms. Soyoung Burke (not a course, but a program)

Global Buddies

Students who have completed 100+ hours of service:

Megan Alborg
Amanda Balas
Melissa Bauer
Maddie Bender
Emily Benfer
Madison Blunkosky
Valerie Boles
Kendra Bomgardner
Lindsay Brocius
Peyton Carlson
Johnny Chiem
Katelyn Clark
Nicholas Cumer
David Danielson
Sarah Davis
Jarrett Dorazio
Brenna Erzen
Caitlin Feltenberger
Katelyn Flynn
Nicholas Foggia
Joshua Graham
William Guzic
Jessica Henderson
Kayla Heydt
Maria Hoppel
Marycatherine Horne
Jamie Houston
Abigail Humphrey
Megan Irwin
Rachael Johnson
Ashley Karlheim
Paul Kasunic
Abby Kelly
Rachel Kelly
Kelly Kramer
Julia Kuehn
Kenna Kuehn
Kathleen Leary
Donella Loughran
Shannon McGinnis
Amarisa Miles
Bethany Miller
Natalie Mijac
Brent Morgan
Emily Noel
Kathryn Nazaruk
Jill Overman
Rebecca Phillips
Alexander Rivers
Mary Ruggieri
George Ryan
Bethany Sager
Lauren Scala
Grace Schartner
Loren Schweiger
Brianna Scott
Tara Doliveira-Shaffer
Julie Stillman
Regan Stubbs
Allyson Taureck
Stephanie Teahan
Arianna Tutino
Vanessa Valovage
Sarah Westin
Morgan Williamson
Travis Yahner
Larissa Yohn
Kaitlyn Yearick