Dixie State University honors individuals, organizations with community engagement awards
April 7, 2016
In collaboration with Utah Campus Compact, Dixie State University granted six individuals and two organizations community engagement awards in a ceremony Wednesday morning to thank them for promoting a culture of giving through community service.
The community engagement awards honor Dixie State faculty, staff, alumni and students as well as community members for their commitment to service-learning, community engagement and campus-community partnerships. Dixie State and Utah Campus Compact, a statewide coalition of colleges and universities that encourages students to become engaged in their communities, present the awards as a way to promote civic responsibility, service, collaboration, inclusiveness and flexibility.
In conjunction with Utah Campus Compact's goal to foster responsible citizenship, the following individuals and organizations were bestowed the respective awards:
Kris Cunningham, Committed Community Partner
Washington County School District, Committed Community Organization
Luis Arevalo, Community Engaged Scholar
Michael Nelson, Community Engaged Staff Member
Nursing Student Association, Community Engaged Student Organization
Lahela Manning, Community Engaged Alum
Dillon McKinney, Dedicated Compact Award
Yamilex Ledesma-Santana, Dedicated Compact Award.
“I believe that being a part of a community means you share your enthusiasm for living,” Cunningham said. “It is rewarding and fun to get to know others through service and working together.”
Building relationships is also a key component of community involvement for Manning. When she moved from Hawaii to St. George to attend Dixie State, she felt apprehensive and homesick, but being involved with DSU and the St. George community helped her learn about others and herself.
"Being involved gives me a chance to show people how much I care about my education, my culture, my students, my co-workers, my family and friends, and my community,” Manning said. “I feel such gratitude to this school for the opportunity to finish my education, a feat I thought was near impossible, and helping me find my identity amongst Dixie’s Psychology Department and Multicultural/Diversity Center.”
For Nelson, growing up on the improvised Navajo Nation in Arizona with eight siblings and not always knowing from where his next meal would come inspired him to help others who are in similar situations.
“Moving to Utah, I was blessed by various groups and individuals in the community that helped provide some of the most basic needs,” Nelson said. “Seeing this in action in my life, and knowing I have been given so much, I also want to give back.”
Dixie State University and Utah Campus Compact thank the award recipients for their contributions to not only the university, but also the community at large, and congratulate them for their achievements. For more information about the awards and Utah Campus Compact in general, visit www.utahcampuscompact.org.###