Today@Sam Article

The Center for Community Engagement Receives National Recognition

June 24, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

 Steven Koether, Joyce McCauley, Sarah Burchett from SHSU with Cathy Copeland, American Democracy ProjectThe Center for Community Engagement (CCE) at Sam Houston State University has been recognized as a national leader in community engaged research, civic engagement and academic community engagement. The center was selected as the first-ever recipient of the national We the People Award presented by the American Democracy Project, an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The We the People Award is presented to recognize exemplary team commitment, impact and leadership in advancing civic learning and civic engagement. 

“It speaks volumes about Sam Houston State University’s Center for Community Engagement that they received the inaugural We the People Award and were recognized for their commitment to our communities,” Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Michael T. Stephenson said. “I am incredibly proud of the center for their work and the years they’ve dedicated to collaboration and engagement between the university and its community partners.”

The CCE, under the leadership of Joyce McCauley and Lee Miller, along with the entire team—Taylor Morrison, Sarah Burchett, Steven Koether, Bram Sebio-Brundage, Katherine Kirkpatrick and Rebeca Gonzalez—work with faculty and staff from across campus to offer academic community engagement courses in collaboration with community partners.

By employing a teaching method that combines community engagement with academic instruction, the courses encourage students to use skills and knowledge learned in the classroom to collaborate with community partners to make a difference in society. The initiative ensures that SHSU students graduate with a sense of civic responsibility.

“The learning process happens both on campus and off, in the classroom and in communities, among students, faculty, and community members. Not only does this interaction build mutually beneficial relationships, but it is a powerful example of Sam Houston State University’s mission as a public institution working for the public good,” said McCauley, executive director of the center. “We are thrilled to be nationally recognized as a team engaged in meaningful and deep civic engagement.”

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