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Nominate a Concordian who makes a difference off-campus

The first annual Engaged Scholar Awards will celebrate the relationship between academic work and the community
February 4, 2015
By Sara DuBreuil

Concordia's new awards acknowledge scholarship that incorporates and impacts the surrounding community. Concordia's new awards acknowledge scholarship that incorporates and impacts the surrounding community.

Universities don't exist in a bubble. The Engaged Scholar Awards acknowledge that by celebrating students, faculty and external organizations that partner with their surrounding communities through teaching and research. 

“Engaging with the larger world is a crucial part of academia,” says Eryn Fitzgerald, Concordia’s community relations coordinator. “These are special awards that acknowledge outstanding community-university partnerships that are academic in nature.”

The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) and the Office of the Provost are currently seeking nominations for the new awards. Here’s what the selection committee is looking for.  

Nominate a student

“This award is for an undergraduate or graduate student who has forged a relationship with the community in a way that meets the needs identified by the community,” Fitzgerald says.

Ideal student nominees work in partnership with community organizations to complete their academic work.

Nominate a faculty member

Engaged faculty members bring new ideas and teaching methods to the table. They may organize community-based learning opportunities, such as internships; make use of community knowledge in the classroom; or partner with the community in developing shared research projects.

“This award highlights one of the very important aspects of teaching and learning,” says Rosemarie Schade, the provost’s fellow in community engagement. “What’s especially exciting to me is that this award will celebrate colleagues whose work goes beyond the classroom.”

Nominate a community organization

“This award acknowledges that engaged scholarship wouldn’t be possible without our partners in the community,” says Fitzgerald. “These are organizations that are often underfunded or have limited resources, and yet they take the time to work with us.” 

The OCE recognizes that while community organizations benefit from engaged scholars, they also invest considerable resources in orienting and mentoring them.

These relationships – many of which span several years – enable the creation and application of community-based knowledge to real-world problems in ways that are beneficial to all involved. The Engaged Scholar Award for a Community Partner also comes with a monetary prize of $1,000. 

“It is a small token of our appreciation,” says Fitzgerald. 

The deadline for this year’s nominations is February 13, 2015. The awards will be given out at Concordia’s CSL/Volunteer/Engaged Scholar Awards ceremony on Thursday, April 9, 2015. To nominate a candidate, consult the Engaged Scholar Awards guidelines.

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