“I think (CCPS) serves as connection building within the community," said Williford. "So basically, all the programs focus around taking some population on campus, be it students, be it faculty and administration, and connecting them to the community at large."
Luisa Brooks, an administrative services specialist for CCPS, said instead of just recognizing overall service, these awards commend individuals or organizations for a specific effort. At the annual celebration this spring, winners will receive a framed certificate and award money.
In 2018, the Ned Brooks Award was given to anthropology professor Dorothy Holland, whose work focuses on collaborations between the University and the community to create new opportunities. Holland co-founded the Center for Integrating Research and Action, which connects University researchers with community leaders to advance social justice, and the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research, an interdisciplinary certificate which trains students to carry out research with communities instead of on communities.
“It's quite an honor that helps people say, ‘Oh, that's what she's been doing for the last eight years or whatever,’ because you get a chance to explain what participatory research is,” said Holland.
A wide variety of projects have received commendation, including work at the local, city, state and international level.
“Since 2007, I have taught a service learning course during spring break that students take, focused on migrant Latinx health," said Jean Davison, professor in the UNC School of Nursing and a winner of the 2018 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award. "I started myself as a student back in 2000, going down to Honduras, as a medical outreach, and when I started teaching at UNC in 2006, students knew that I did a medical outreach to Honduras, so they really wanted to be a part of it."
Public service connects the University with volunteer work, teaching, learning and research missions, said Blanchard.
Anyone can nominate people who they think should be rewarded for their community work, whether it be a student, faculty member, staff member or organization. Nominations for the awards can be submitted in the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
“I think we're lucky that we have not just the awards, but real service learning that our University takes on," said Davidson. "I'm proud to be a part of that."