The Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement congratulates this year’s service-learning award recipients for their commitment to service and leadership, which fosters greater social responsibility. Winners were nominated by members of the St. Thomas community who recognized individuals who showed high-quality service-learning engagement and evidence of impact in the community.

The awards are given to those who have embraced the university’s mission by becoming morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely and work skillfully to advance the common good.

Undergraduate student award

Grace Nelson is a student leader for St. Thomas’ VISION program and Students for Justice and Peace. She created a leadership profile for a restaurant that helped former addicts lift themselves out of poverty through job training and placement. Her work intrigued her to investigate opening a coffee shop that provides job-training skills, while also serving coffee from Guatemala and educating about issues in Central America.

Graduate student award

Alex Migambi seeks to serve the community by improving the quality of life for those living at the margins of society. His two service-learning experiences include the Community Justice Project and an international leadership course that took him to Tanzania in 2014. Currently, he serves as an executive pathways intern at the Department of Human Services, where his role includes forming community partnerships.

Faculty award

Dr. Kevin Sauter has offered service-learning opportunities for more than 25 years. He worked to create one of St. Thomas’ longest running service-learning partnerships with the Kekaha Learning Center in Hawaii. Sauter also helped start a partnership with Cristo Rey High School, where more than 2,000 St. Thomas students have collaborated with more than 1,450 Cristo Rey students.

Community partner award

The Family Partnership and John Till have worked with the St. Thomas Sociology Department for 12 years, allowing more than 400 St. Thomas students to directly work with data and learn about social justice issues. He has ensured these real-life experiences provide opportunities for students to work with data that is applied to client research questions.

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