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2019 Excellence in Community Engagement Award Winner Bios

2019 Award Winners

Clockwise from top left - Adell Crowe, Roark Sizemore, Vaike Haas, Madelyn Harvey, Alyssa Wright, Shan Cawley, Student Occupational Therapy Association. Center - Old Hemlock Foundation

Cole Unger Excellence in Social Action Award

Roark Sizemore is a junior at WVU who helped to found Pantry Plus More, an organization that helps to establish and stock in-school pantries in Monongalia County. He continues to serve as the organization's board president. In his nomination, County Commissioner Tom Bloom stated "Loyal, dedicated, humorous and humble, these are a few adjectives that describe Roark Sizemore. He is sincere, efficient, and a dedicated individual whose ideals and values are beyond reproach. His commitment to our community to fight "Food Insecurity" is relentless. Besides being the co-founder of The Pantry Plus More Program that has placed food pantries in eleven schools, he has developed other programs to help this community. He designed a Fresh Start Program that connects Mon Health Wedgewood patients with free food from the Mountaineer Food Bank. This program allows the doctor to write a script to come get fresh produce once a month. He also has started a monthly Food Giveaway that brings in 15,000 pounds of fresh produce and meat to citizens all over the County. Not only this Food Giveaway but he also brings in 7,500 pounds of fresh produce that is given to the area school children on a monthly basis....All of these activities are done without any cost for administration. He helps organize the volunteers each month. He continues to be a leader for those who are less fortunate, solving problems and continuing to be a spokesperson for people who cannot speak for themselves."

Undergraduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Shan Cawley engages in her community as an activist, looking to create positive change for those around her. She has sought out leadership positions to help advocate for others. Since her freshmen year, she has served as a residential life Community Council president, a Student Government Intern, a Peer Advocate and an SGA Senator among other roles. Her platform of sexual assault education has led her to be involved in the Women's March, to speak on the steps of the Supreme Court during the Kavanaugh hearings and give a TED Talk at WVU. Shan takes her desire to shape the community and puts it into action.

Graduate Student Award for Excellence in Community Engagement

Madelyn Harvey is a third year pharmacy student and was nominated by her professor, Dr. Gina Baugh. Dr. Baugh stated that "Over the past 2.5 years, Maddie has demonstrated a sustained commitment to providing service. She has gone above and beyond expectations for her graduation requirements and requirements of the committees that she serves on through the pharmacy school.  Maddie has logged over 250 hours over the past 2.5 years in pharmacy school. She is the chair of the diabetes education committee for our Academy of Students of Pharmacy, volunteers each summer at Camp Kno-Koma, and provides service through her professional sorority.  Maddie organized HSC- wide events this past fall in honor of World Diabetes Day. She offered screenings and education at the HSC, and lead a social media campaign to bring awareness to this disease.  She has organized several additional health fairs at the HSC to offer education and screenings to faculty, staff, and students. She has volunteered to cover the interprofessional education health fair via the HSC social media avenues, and she actively sought this on her own.  She is quick to volunteer for all community outreach opportunities.  Maddie is caring, compassionate, and truly cares about the health of West Virginians."  

Student Group Award for Excellence in Community Engagement 

Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) was nominated by Amy Burt, Assistant Professor Occupational Therapy. “This student organizations thrives on community engagement. They are leaders at WVU and within the community in promoting good, cohesion, and caring. SOTA organizes the WVU Relay for Life (and frequently raises the highest amount of donations each year) and is involved in numerous other community activities as an organization. Some notable activities include Wrapped in Love Project (gathering supplies and funds to support the project), Rosenbaum Family House (i.e., preparing dinners, gathering supply donations), organizing and running weekly group activities at Sundale Rehabilitation and Long Term Care and Mapleshire skilled nursing center; Backpack Awareness Day events every fall for school-aged students around Morgantown; CarFit events to assess vehicles for the geriatric population to make sure that they are safely fitted for the road; donating, cooking, and serving meals at the Ronald McDonald House; Boxes with a Purpose for WV foster children for Christmas; The Winter Weather Posse to assist the elderly in cleaning up and winterizing their yards; Trunk-or-Treat at WVU; and WVU Kids Health Fair at the Morgantown Mall.”

Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Engagement 

Vaike Haas

The most impactful faculty practitioners of community engagement intentionally integrate community engagement into their teaching, their research or creative work and their service in a way that reinforces the benefits to all. Vaike Haas, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, is a stellar example of this practice. In the words of her student Landis Wenger, “Professor Hass is the faculty member who has helped me develop my understanding of professional community engagement the most in my years as a student at WVU.  In her classes, we worked with community organizations and she often invited professionals and stakeholders into the classroom to work with us.  The most notable of these projects were our design submissions for the Star City Riverfront park and the WVU Core Arboretum".  Vaike Haas inspires her students, is committed to community stakeholders and contributes to positive change. Her service as the design lead on the Falling Run Greenspace is appreciated community wide. Her involvement with the Pedestrian Safety Steering Committee is instrumental in making crucial decisions to improve the safety of all residents of our community.

Staff Award for Excellence in Engagement 

Adell Crowe, is the director of Student Media, she was nominated by Joanne Hunt, Assistant Director Student Media. “Adell is committed to serving our students at the at U92 and DA. Her efforts have resulted more than a dozen internships within the state for students at WVU. These opportunities not only enrich the students and better position them for the job market after graduation, but also give U92 and the DA readers and listeners better content from more experienced student workers. Adell’s service doesn’t end at work. For more than two years she has committed to a Meals on Wheels route each Friday morning. She has contributed more than 130 hours making sure her clients, and often their pets, get the food they need and deserve. And Adell doesn’t just drop off the food, she enjoys a chat at each stop. These experiences, she says, have taught her to listen, respect and appreciate all kinds of people.

Award for Excellence in Service-Learning Instruction

Alyssa Wright, Associate University Librarian, developed a research for non-profits course that gives her students in-depth research and grant seeking education while allowing them to see relevance and practice applicable skills and simultaneously provides a valuable resource to the community. This course truly demonstrates the reciprocal nature of service-learning at its best. The course experience has led students to clarify career goals, pursue graduate programs and ongoing volunteer opportunities. One of Alyssa’s students said “It was a wonderful experience because it was a different type of research from what you usually do in school. It was very informative and hands-on. Anyone who wants to go to graduate school or work in public sector should take this class.”  Alyssa is a champion for service-learning pedagogy at WVU. She is a member of the service-learning faculty advisory committee who oversees the approval of new service-learning courses and also worked to promote development of a syllabus guide for service-learning courses at WVU. 

Outstanding Community Partner Award 

Old Hemlock Foundation

The Outstanding Community Partner award recognizes a community partner that has established a strong reciprocal and sustainable relationship promoting civic engagement. This partner serves as a co-educator of students providing community-based learning opportunities that embody the University Values of Service, Curiosity, Respect, Accountability, and Appreciation. The nominator for this award, Dr. Elizabeth Oppe states, “from the moment students and volunteers enter Old Hemlock to their final interaction, they know they are respected, appreciated, and valued.  They are welcomed to the foundation warmly, interacted with as people, not disposable tools making each of its students and volunteers feel respected and valued.”  

Contributions to community over the years include:

Scholarships provided to Literary and Medical Students and to Bruceton School Alumni, funding for art and literature education, and animal welfare.  Old Hemlock’s Outreach programs help the youngest students cultivate a deep appreciation of our history and natural world.


Connect with the Center for Community Engagement