The Center for Community Engagement honored several individuals and groups for their outstanding work in the community, helping to bring about positive social change, integrating service-learning into academic curriculum and encouraging others be engaged. The awards were presented during a luncheon on April 17.
President Michael Ortiz and his wife Betty received the Legacy of Service Award for their 11 years of service to the university. They have helped raise money for scholarships, provided leadership in the community and encouraged the expansion of service-learning throughout the campus.
“The Legacy of Service Award honors their tremendous contributions to the community and for their undying inspiration of others to be civically engaged. They have motivated an entire university community to give back, get involved and make an everlasting impact,” says Christina Gonzalez-Salgado, service-learning coordinator.
Additional 2014 award winners include:
Professor S. Terri Gomez, Faculty Award for Civic Engagement
Professor Terri Gomez teaches Ethnic and Women’s Studies 202 in which students participate in service-learning projects with the Pomona Boys and Girls Club and the Pomona Economic Opportunity Center. At Cal Poly Pomona, Gomez received a grant to start a transfer program (PolyTransfer) to serve as resource for community college transfer students transitioning to a four year institution. Apart from the campus, Gomez teaches women’s studies to inmates of the Chino Institute for Women Prison, providing a voice to all involved the program.
Juan Araya, Staff Award for Civic Engagement
As a site technician and agroecologist at the Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies since 1997, Juan has led numerous community engagement activities around food security and food system education. He was the leader in the development of a community garden at Lopez Elementary School, working closely with administrators, teachers, parents and students to secure property, conduct soil testing, secure donations and recruit students to make the garden a reality. He also hosts tours for school and community groups, engaging them about agricultural and food issues.
Kingsley Elementary School, Community Partner Award for Civic Engagement
Under the leadership of Principal Laura Solis, Kingsley Elementary School has created interdisciplinary partnerships with the departments of education, music, psychology and sociology, and accounting. From music education projects to common core policy campaigns, Kingsley Elementary has always provided a place for Cal Poly Pomona students to put their skills into action and to be educated from the administrators, parents, teachers and students of Kingsley. With structured supervision and unending charisma, faculty and students continue to share how their service experience at Kingsley Elementary was life-changing.
Alpha Kappa Delta, Student Organization Award for Civic Engagement
Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD) is the international sociology honor society dedicated to academic excellence and achievement in sociology. AKD hosts a series of educational events to provide critical knowledge to unrepresented communities. At David and Margaret Youth and Family Services, they tutor elementary and middle school students. They organize school supply drives for local schools and canned food drives for the Interfaith Shelter for Thanksgiving. AKD members are committed to service, social activism and social change.
Orlando Smith, Student Award for Civic Engagement
Orlando Smith is a motivational speaker, inspiring students to overcome unsurmountable obstacles and achieve success. He presents annually at Kearny High School as a key motivational speaker to freshmen in the Advancing Via Individual Determination (AVID) program, inspiring them to fulfill their goals. He was a participant in the Global Leadership Connection program at the University of San Diego. He volunteers in beach clean-ups and electronics recycling drives. He serves as a resident advisor at the University Village apartments on campus. He is majoring in sociology with a minor in political science.