Civic Engagement Awards Announced at Community Mixer

Civic Engagement Awards Announced at Community Mixer
Members of the LBSA receive the student organization award.
Gabriela Flores and Ronnette Ramos of the Pomona Self-Help Legal Access Center receive the community award.
Professor Ed Walton, and representatives of Harrison Elementary School receive the partnership award.

The Center for Community Service-Learning hosted its annual Community Mixer on April 3 at Kellogg House Pomona.

The event included a presentation of the 2007 Civic Engagement Awards, which recognize faculty, students and community partners who have contributed to the community through active participation that provides meaningful service as well as fulfills the university's academic goals.

The Civic Engagement Awards are presented to one faculty member, one student, one student organization, one faculty-community partnership and one community partner. This year's award winners were:

Faculty Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement: Gilbert Cadena

As a faculty member in the Ethnic & Women's Studies department, Gilbert Cadena has been involved in service-learning for the past 11 years. Cadena has previously served as the service-learning college coordinator for the College of Education & Integrative Studies. He was instrumental in committing the EWS faculty to become an “engaged department.” Cadena describes community service-learning as a transformative experience for students.   

Community Award for Excellence:

Pomona Self-Help Legal Access Center

The Pomona Self-Help Legal Access Center in the Pomona Courthouse provides free assistance with family law issues including divorce, paternity, child custody and visitation, evictions and other civil matters. Cal Poly Pomona students assist the staff in walking litigants through the court system, from filling out appropriate forms to arguing their case effectively before a judge and understanding judgments. The program provides students with a hands-on learning experience that prepares them for careers in law and for the promotion of social justice within the courts.

Student Organization Award for Civic Engagement:

Latino Business Students Association

LBSA participates actively with the College Preparation Seminar, which is an annual awareness program aimed at encouraging students to attend college after high school graduation. LBSA leads panels, workshops and discussion groups in both Spanish and English about gaining access to college and applying for financial aid. LBSA highly values serving the community and highlights the importance of being a socially responsible citizen.

Student Award for Civic Leadership: Jeremiah Petsas

Jeremiah Petsas is an Urban & Regional Planning student who has participated in several service-learning courses. He assisted the city of Pomona's Planning Division in creating documents explaining governmental regulations for the local Spanish-speaking community. Petsas also is an active member of the Rose Float Club.

Partnership Award for Excellence:

Edward Walton & Harrison Elementary School

From an after-school science club to an annual science fair, this university-community partnership has affected the lives of many diverse students in the city of Pomona. Harrison Elementary School Principal Diane Betance and Edward Walton from the College of Science collaborate extensively on improving teacher education and addressing many of the growing needs of students in the areas of math and science.