Community Engagement Committee awards students, faculty for community involvement
The College of Health Professions' Community Engagement Committee recognized various faculty, students and community partners for their efforts in advancing community relations during an awards ceremony in the Health Professions Building on Feb. 18.
The ceremony featured awards for five categories including faculty and staff, graduate student, undergraduate student, community partnership development and outstanding community partner.
Winners were chosen based on a pool of applicants who submitted a proposal demonstrating their work within the community.
“Everybody submits a poster to highlight their work, which the committee evaluates,” Dr. Susan Naeve-Velguth, chair of the Community Engagement Committee, said. “What is the goal of the project? How is it beneficial to our college? How is it beneficial to our community partners? That's what we are looking at, and it ends up being a competitive process.”
Recipients of each award receive a commemorative plaque and money to further support their efforts in partnering with the community.
Many recipients, like Brighton junior Melanie Schell said they were happy to see their efforts being noticed. Schell won the Undergraduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Partnership.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized by the college,” she said. “The Health Professions Residential College is our college, and so it's great that they are willing to put in the effort to show that they see what we’re doing and know that sometimes it's just one person that can make a big difference and impact on the community.”
This is the third year the College of Health Professions has hosted an awards ceremony celebrating community partnership. The ceremony was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and funds were given to students who needed money to overcome barriers presented by the pandemic instead.
Members of the Community Engagement Committee said they were delighted to bring the awards ceremony back in person this year.
“It's great to celebrate in person rather than in a Zoom where you are just looking at someone's face," Tom Masterson, dean of the College of Health Professions, said. “It’s the human touch and that’s what community engagement is about, so being able to have that in-person moment is wonderful.”
The following students, staff and faculty received awards at the event:
● Jamie Haines received the Faculty and Staff Award for Excellence in Community Partnership. Haines partnered with the Michigan Parkinson’s Foundation to lead the Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy where students offer online exercise classes for community members with Parkinson’s Disease.
● Jodi Brookins-Fisher and Debra Kimball-Christie received the Faculty and Staff Award for Excellence in Community Partnership. Brookins-Fisher and Kimball-Christie partnered with the Mid-Michigan District Health Department to lead volunteer public health physician assistants and nursing students in distributing COVID-19 vaccines to residents in the community via a mobile health vehicle.
● Move! DPT Student Team received the Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Partnership. Members of the Move! DPT Student Team partnered with the MP Fit Club to provide low or no cost in-person exercise classes to community members who suffer from Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis.
● Melanie Schell received the Undergraduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Partnership. Schell, in conjunction with the Health Professions Residential College and Mount Pleasant Care Store, fundraised and created bags of feminine hygiene products to give to women in the community facing poverty.
● Susan Naeve-Velguth received the Community Partnership Development Award. Naeve-Velguth, in partnership with local teachers, is working on expanding an audiology service-learning program to create material kits that educate school children on the importance of hearing loss prevention.
● Nicole Ferguson, AuD, received the Community Partnership Development Award. Ferguson is working with the Michigan Ear Institute to expand a program to educate audiology students on how otologists and audiologists coordinate patient care.
● Amy Malheim, MS, received the Community Partnership Development Award. Malheim is working with the Grand Valley State University Simulation Center to develop an escape room activity for students and faculty from different health professions to learn how to work in interdisciplinary teams.
● Spectrum Health received the Outstanding Community Partner Award. Spectrum Health, a not-for-profit health care organization, has partnered with Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions for over 20 years, and has offered over 200 CMU students internships and clinical placements.
● Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital received the Outstanding Community Partner Award. The Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital for patients requiring physical rehabilitation, has partnered with the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions for over a decade to provide internships, clinical placements and volunteering for CMU students in a variety of different health related fields.
For more information about the award winner’s projects or how to apply for a 2022-23 award, visit the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions website.