November 7, 2017

Nominations sought for Spirit of Community Awards

The Division of Government and Community Affairs is accepting nominations for the 2018 Spirit of Community Awards.

Wayne State students, faculty and staff are encouraged to nominate individuals who best exemplify the spirit of Wayne State University’s commitment to community engagement. One winner will be selected from each of the following categories: faculty, student, staff and project. All nominations must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. Nov. 17.  

“Nominating someone for one of these awards is important because it acknowledges the work they do in the community,” said Brianna Ellison, associate director of advocacy and community programs. “This is an event that celebrates the many people who spend countless hours finding ways to build mutually beneficial relationships between Wayne State and the community.”

Last year, nearly 100 people and projects were nominated for the inaugural Spirit of Community Awards, which are presented by the Division of Government and Community Affairs in collaboration with the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, Dean of Students Office and the Office of Development.

Even more nominations are expected this year, and a unique panel of judges comprised of a WSU student, faculty member, administrator, alumnus/alumna and a community member will select winners. There will be a different panel of judges for each category, totaling 20 judges participating in the event. This year’s winners and all nominees will be honored at an award ceremony and reception March 29, 2018.

The 2017 Spirit of Community Award winners included:

  • LaShawnda Rice, development operations coordinator, won the Staff Engagement Award for her commitment to Lupus Detroit, a local nonprofit organization whose mission is to raise awareness for the disease.
  • Hayley Thompson, Ph.D., associate professor in Wayne State’s Department of Oncology in the School of Medicine received the Faculty Engagement Award. Thompson was awarded for her work to reduce health disparities in local communities.
  • Tapinder Singh, graduate student in the School of Medicine, received the Student Engagement Award. Singh founded a Detroit chapter of Healthy Detroit in 2013 and currently serves as chapter president.
  • Street Run Outreach Program of Street Medicine Detroit, a program that provides medical care for Detroit’s homeless population, won the Project Engagement Award.
  • Peter and Karen Freide won the Inspire from Within Philanthropy Award for their generous donations to the Mortuary Science building renovations and scholarships.

Additional information about the Spirit of Community Awards, as well as the nomination forms, can be found online.

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