The winners of this year’s Awards for Excellence in Outreach and Public Engagement were announced by Provost Peter J. Nicholls during a reception on Dec. 2 at the Wilbur Cross South Reading Room. The ceremony was preceded by a poster display featuring the accomplishments of the finalists in each of the five categories.
The winners are:
Faculty Award: Stephen Schensul, Community Medicine and Health Care, School of Medicine.
Schensul, director of the Center for International Community Health Studies at the School of Medicine, has developed transdisciplinary programs related to the health needs of the public, developed well recognized models for community research and its translation into social change programs, and built an international reputation in applied research, ethnographic methodology, and HIV/STD prevention. His public engagement spans both local and international levels, from Hartford to Mumbai.
Staff Award: Richard Schwab, Neag School of Education.
During his 11 years as dean of the Neag School of Education, Schwab has built productive partnerships with a range of educators, donors, and policy makers. He has championed innovative efforts such as Teachers for a new Era and CommPACT schools initiative that will establish a solid foundation for closing the achievement gap in American society, and has demonstrated sustained leadership in working with national and state government agencies, professional organizations, local educational agencies, and the general public to advance the cause of equity and quality in public education.
Program Award: Healthy Environments for Children Initiative/Environmental Health Program, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Extension, West Hartford
The Healthy Environments for Children initiative, led by extension specialists Mary Margaret Gaudio and Joan Bothell, provides statewide, regional, and national leadership in the areas of lead poisoning, radon, and asthma education as related to children’s health. The team has focused on educating parents and guardians, childcare providers, partner organizations, and others on reducing the risks of lead, asthma, and radon through innovative children’s books, manuals, curricula, and videos.
Graduate Student Award: Andrew Bzowyckyj and Jennifer Scholle, School of Pharmacy.
Bzowyckyj and Scholle are students in the School of Pharmacy’s Pharm.D. program, and are currently on clinical rotation. In addition to their service to organizations within the School of Pharmacy, they developed a presentation on promoting health literacy, which they presented to practicing pharmacists at several retail chain pharmacies in Connecticut, and to pharmacy, nursing, and medical students during National Primary Care Week.
Undergraduate Student Award: Shahista Ramanand, Allied Health Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Ramanand is an undergraduate student who is majoring in allied health sciences in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. In 2006, she founded a campus fund-raising and awareness initiative regarding HIV/AIDS, then returned to her native South Africa as a shelter volunteer. She is a Women’s Center advisory board member and a UNESCO student ambassador for human rights, and has regularly presented at conferences on outreach and human rights issues.
Each award-winner receives a $1,000 allocation to financial aid or a department account. These funds may then be used to further develop and enhance outreach and public engagement efforts at the University.