On April 21, 2016 over 200 college students, higher education staff and administrators, representatives of local K-12 schools and nonprofits came together to celebrate and recognize community service on college campuses across the state. The event was held at the SERESC conference center in Bedford, New Hampshire.
Community Garden Connections (CGC) received a Presidents’ Leadership Award. This award recognizes the CGC’s outstanding contributions to community service, service learning, and/or civic engagement efforts at AUNE. Dr. Rowland Russell received a Presidents’ Good Steward Award for his contribution of professional expertise in service to the wider community and his significant public service at AUNE. Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention (MCVP) received a Presidents’ Community Partner Award for the enhanced quality of life they provide to those in need in the community, and for the meaningful and measurable ways they are engaged in the development of sustained, reciprocal partnerships with AUNE.
Presidents’ Leadership Award: Community Garden Connections (CGC)
Community Garden Connections (CGC) serves to build our local capacity to grow food and address issues of food insecurity related to climate change, personal and communal health, and resiliency. This work addresses community-identified needs of food insecurity and vulnerability to climate change as well as a desire to improve access to healthy food and environments through increased gardening in our community, particularly among citizens with limited access to fresh, local, healthy food.
CGC supports the installation and cooperative maintenance of raised gardens in partnership with local service agencies, students, and community members. These funds also support educational outreach to meet the specific gardening interests of community partners.
Under faculty leadership and guidance from Dr. Elizabeth McCann and Dr. Jean Kayira, Antioch University New England graduate students plan, facilitate, and evaluate educational programming that varies from day-long garden education workshops, one-on-one garden consultations, community-wide forums, 20+ member advisory committee meetings, and an annual harvest festival. Since 2011, CGC has engaged more than 250 graduate students in classroom projects, volunteer events, and professional internship opportunities. CGC has also facilitated various student master’s projects as well. Examples include the creation of the CGC Educational Manual, an evaluation of the Keene Community Kitchen’s Gleaning Program, development of a CGC educational cooking manual, and a formative evaluation of social service agency interest in horticulture therapy to inform future CGC programming.
Presidents’ Good Steward Award: Rowland S. Russell, PhD
Dr. Rowland Russell’s commitment to empower “Antiochians” to share their gifts with Keene and the Monadnock Region has touched the lives of many Antioch University students.
For nearly 16 years, Rowland has worked at Antioch University New England, assuming many roles and always sharing his professional expertise in environmental studies, writing, community organizing, and the creative arts with AUNE students. His efforts and impact have a profound effect on the lives of students he works with and they have often said he is an “unsung hero” to them.
As an artist and art enthusiast he mentors students to follow their passion and creativity and encourages them to find ways to integrate these things into their education and learning.
His knowledge of local leaders and organizations, creativity around collaboration, and enthusiastic support of student-led work is inspiring. He has been involved in planning Earth Day events for the past 13 years with local Keene and Monadnock Region businesses serves as an incredible resource.
Presidents’ Community Partner: Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention
The Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention (MCVP) in Keene, NH, is the only nonprofit agency in the Monadnock Region solely committed to ending the cycle of domestic and sexual violence through prevention education programs and crisis intervention services. They serve all of Cheshire County and 14 towns in western Hillsborough County. Critical services include a 24-hour crisis hotline, court advocacy, emergency shelter for those escaping violence, and education and outreach to individuals, schools, and workplaces.
Antioch University New England (AUNE) raises money each year through bake sales and a soup fundraiser to contribute to the “Holiday Family Program” at MCVP, which is designed to help victims of domestic and sexual abuse give gifts to their children during the holiday season.
AUNE and MCVP partner throughout the year with events like MCVP’s New Hampshire Clothesline Project which displays t-shirts with messages from victims and survivors. Our students and faculty create their own shirt for this project. AUNE participates with MCVP in the annual one-day worldwide event “One Billion Rising.” This global event is “the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history.”
MCVP is an important and integral service in the community, assisting those in need at critical movements, and also strives to reduce the violence incidence rate and its impact by advocating for public policies and providing education to the community.
For more information, visit Campus Compact for New Hampshire.