Inver Hills recipients honored at state summit awards ceremony
Inver Hills Community College was well represented at the Minnesota Campus Compact 2017 State Summit and Awards Luncheon, Expanding the Circle: Dialogue, Opportunity, and Minnesota’s Future, which took place Wednesday, April 5, at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul.
VALOR, a student veterans club on campus, was recognized with the Presidents’ Student Leadership Award. The Student Resource and Resiliency Committee, a task force organized to alleviate poverty on campus, was recognized with the Presidents’ Civic Engagement Steward Award. Annie Platek, a volunteer coordinator with Inver Grove Heights Community Schools, was recognized with the Presidents’ Community Partner Award.
Albert Martinez-Castro, an Inver Hills student, received a prestigious Newman Civic Fellowship, a national honor recognizing exceptional community involvement.
Minnesota Campus Compact Presidents’ Awards *
The Minnesota Campus Compact Presidents’ Awards provide an opportunity for member presidents and chancellors to give statewide recognition to effective leaders in the development of campus-community partnerships. Acknowledgment of outstanding collaborative work will not only inform and inspire tomorrow’s campus-community partnerships, but will also play a critical role in garnering support for higher education’s civic engagement initiatives.
Each president from a Minnesota Campus Compact member institution may recognize one honoree in each of the following three award categories:
Presidents’ Student Leadership Award
This award is for an individual student or a student organization that models a deep commitment to civic responsibility and leadership, evidenced by initiative, innovative and collaborative approaches to addressing public issues, effective community building, and integration of civic engagement into the college experience.
VALOR Student Veterans Club
VALOR is a national chapter of Student Veterans of America (SVA). The chapter’s mission is to provide military veterans with the resources, support and advocacy needed to succeed
in higher education and following graduation. VALOR members mentor others in the veteran community, offers support for veterans, and family members and coordinates many community and campus events for veterans such as Welcome Home celebrations, Veterans Day celebrations, and volunteering at organizations that provide healing and support for veterans.
Presidents’ Civic Engagement Steward Award
This award is for a member of the faculty, administration, or staff or for a group (e.g., advisory committee, task force, project team) that has significantly advanced their campus’ distinctive civic mission by forming strong partnerships, supporting others’ civic engagement, and working to institutionalize a culture and practice of engagement.
Student Resource and Resiliency Committee
Formed to address student poverty on the Inver Hills campus, the committee—through the help of Americorps Vista—conducted a campus-wide survey to identify the top needs of students in poverty, provided faculty and staff training on students in poverty, developed a resource portal, and developed relationships with community organizations to address food insecurity, medical needs and basic resources.
Presidents’ Community Partner Award
This award is for a community-based organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and has engaged in the development of sustained, reciprocal partnerships with the college or university, thus enriching educational as well as community outcomes.
Annie serves as the volunteer coordinator for the Inver Grove Heights Community Schools. Annie works tirelessly placing Inver Hills students in schools and is always willing
to take on Inver Hills course projects that meet K–12 student needs. Through Annie’s support, Inver Grove Schools recently became the college’s America Reads partner of choice.
Newman Civic Fellowship
The Newman Civic Fellowship recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. The fellowship, named for Campus Compact founder Frank Newman, provides training and resources that nurture students’ assets and passions to help them develop strategies to achieve social change. Through the fellowship, Campus Compact provides learning opportunities focused on the skills fellows need in order to serve as effective agents of change in addressing public problems and building equitable communities.
After Inver Hills, Albert has plans to transfer to a four-year school to study real estate and property management. His career goals are centered on becoming a property manager in the residential sector.
Foreign land. Foreign norms. Foreign language. I was born to a family of Mexican-immigrants who chose to restart their life in the most northern state, Minnesota, where the color of snow reflected much of its population. As a Mexican-American growing up, micro-aggressions were the norm; Spanish was the foreign language in school, and my experiences were dissimilar with classmates and teachers. I became aware of the social issues that encompassed my life. Moreover, I wasn’t the only one experiencing similar issues. Conversing with my friends of color had informed me the issues they faced were as real as mine. Furthermore, I began confronting social issues by having inclusive productive dialogue among communities that normally do not communicate.
Entering community college, my goal has been to create a more inclusive space for underrepresented students. On campus, I am heavily involved with the Black Student Union on campus as we organize events and dialogues to find common ground among the community. I also am an inpatient volunteer at Children’s Hospital as they have been a huge part of my brothers my life. I give them thanks by being their volunteer. — Albert Martinez-Castro
To learn more about the Minnesota Campus Compact Presidents’ Award winners at Inver Hills, contact:
Center for Experiential Learning Director
Inver Hills Community College
* Courtesy of Minnesota Campus Compact