More than 200 students, staff and representatives from local colleges and nonprofits gathered on April 9 to celebrate those who demonstrate exceptional community service in higher education. The Campus Compact for New Hampshire (CCNH) Presidents’ Awards recognize students, faculty, staff and local organizations that actively contribute to the betterment of their campus and community. UNH Manchester’s commitment to community service is well represented among this year’s recipients: Nicole Milone ‘19 (Leadership Award), Emily Kerr (Good Steward Award) and Families in Transition (Community Partner Award).
The Presidents’ Leadership Award is given to an individual or student group that has made community service fundamental to their college experience. This year’s recipient, psychology student Nicole Milone ’19, exemplifies that mission. A FAFSA advisor at Manchester High School West, Milone was there each week to help high school students with their questions about college affordability, financial aid and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Research shows that high schoolers who file the FAFSA early and have a better understanding of financial aid options are more likely to apply to college. Through her knowledge, professionalism and passion, Milone helped simplify and ease the pressure of the financial aid process for countless students.
The President’s Good Steward Award is given to a faculty, administration or staff member who has contributed his or her professional expertise in service to the wider community and who has significantly advanced public service on their campus. This has been true of Emily Kerr, coordinator of UNH STEM Discovery Lab, who has been instrumental in inspiring science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning to local students and educators. Under Kerr’s coordination, more than 80 youth from K-12 in Manchester School District have participated in workshops and programs that introduce and reinforce STEM skills. Kerr also oversees the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) summer program, which offers English language skills and college preparatory learning activities to recent high school graduates, transfer students, returning adult students and other residents in and around the community of Manchester. Kerr also shares her passion and enthusiasm for youth STEM education through collaborative efforts with community partners, including 4-H, Code.org, National Center for Women & Information Technology, AspireIT and UNH Cooperative Extension.
The Presidents’ Community Partner Award is given to a non-profit organization that has enhanced the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and engaged in the development of sustained, reciprocal partnerships with a college or university. UNH Manchester is pleased to present this award to Families in Transition, which provides meals, shelter, support and treatment to homeless individuals and families. With support from Campus Compact for New Hampshire and the Davis Educational Foundation, UNH has partnered with Families in Transition to develop interdisciplinary service-learning projects around the issues of environmental sustainability and food security. Students will engage in projects like organic gardening, economics of food, business aspects of community gardens and engaging with the state legislature on issues of homelessness—all centered around Families in Transition’s Hollows Community Garden and Learning Center.
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