Pella Chronicle

Central College

June 17, 2014

Central College faculty and partner receive awards

Central College faculty member Linda Laine, associate professor of communication studies, was recognized by Iowa Campus Compact at the Engaged Campus Awards. Laine won the organization’s Mission Award and was formally recognized at an awards ceremony held June 6 at the Sullivan Center at Mercy College of Health Sciences in Des Moines.

Also during the awards ceremony, Jim Zaffiro, professor of political science at Central, and community partner Henry Ohr, of EMBARC, received honorable mentions.

The Mission Award is given to a recipient who has “played a key role in strengthening an institution’s mission of engagement and strategically furthering this mission.” Laine has served on the Civic Engagement Advisory Council since its inception in 2007. In that role she participated in think tanks, focus groups, community partner events and other activities that guide Central’s Center for Community Based Learning.

Laine also served as a faculty representative to the board of trustees, where she helped increase awareness of service learning and other forms of community engagement with board members. Through her work, Laine promotes bringing engaged students to campus and providing them continued support once they enroll.

Zaffiro received an honorable mention for his work as an advocate and promoter of civic engagement. Zaffiro also served on the Civic Engagement Advisory Council and developed several courses around community-identified needs, mentored other faculty about community engagement and made presentations to outside groups about the importance of an engaged community.

Zaffiro was the primary creator of the global sustainability minor, and has spearheaded Central’s nationally recognized initiatives in sustainability. Both aim to offer students of all backgrounds the means to become successful leaders in their communities.

Community partner Ohr founded EMBARC (Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center) in 2011 to provide assistance to more than 6,000 refugees from Burma. EMBARC provides a variety of basic needs for refugees including education, food security and cultural competence.

EMBARC works with Central College in a holistic partnership that simultaneously marshals college resources for the good of the EMBARC community and provides expertise and unique learning experiences for the college community.

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