Awards and achievements in CAHNR

The Office of the Provost announced recipients of the 2019 Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship. Laura Brown, Olasubomi (Mini) Ajayi and the Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) received awards for their work.

Laura Brown, Olasubomi (Mini) Ajayi, and Laura Cisneros
From left, Laura Brown, Olasubomi (Mini) Ajayi and Laura Cisneros posing with their awards at the Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship Reception and Ceremony on December 3, 2019.

The awards recognize community-engaged scholarship is integral to the academic endeavor and to the institution-wide mission of a land-grant university. Such scholarship arises from the involvement of members of the university community in the academically relevant work of discovery, creativity, integration, teaching, application, and engagement in a context of collaboration and reciprocity with the community (local, regional/state, national, or global) to create conditions for the public good, culminating in sustainable change and dissemination of these activities.

The recipients were recognized and received their awards at the Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship Reception and Ceremony on December 3, 2019.

Laura Brown named recipient of Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship for Non-Tenure Track Faculty

Laura Brown was named the 2019 recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship in the Non-Tenure Track Faculty category. She is a community and economic development educator in UConn Extension and a Certified Economic Developer. She works statewide on many programs, including the First Impressions Program for Community Assessment and Improvement and the Connecticut Trail Census.

Olasubomi (Mini) Ajayi named recipient of Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship for Undergraduate Students

Olasubomi (Mini) Ajayi, a junior majoring in allied health sciences, was named the 2019 recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship in the Undergraduate Student category.

Ajayi completed an internship through UConn Health in the Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities over the summer of 2018. As a sophomore in the Honors Program, she was a Peers Allies Through Honors (PATH) mentor.

Ajayi is currently involved in several community outreach initiatives through her role as secretary for the Minority Association for Pre-Medical Students. In the Collegiate Health Services Corps, she teaches health education lessons to medically underserved populations on a range of topics, including nutrition, exercise, and mental health. She volunteers at the No Freeze Shelter, a homeless shelter in Windham, CT, and has organized initiatives on campus to support awareness of homelessness and support for the shelter. She is also a volunteer in the UConn American English Language Institute.

NRCA named recipient of Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship in Career Recognition for Team

    NRCA Team
    Members of the NRCA team celebrate their Provost’s Award at the Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship Reception and Ceremony on December 3, 2019.

    The Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) was named the 2019 recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship in the Career Recognition for Team category. The NRCA is an innovative program in conservation and land use planning that engages Connecticut high school students, adult conservation volunteers and teachers with conservation efforts at the community level. The program is a partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, the Center for Land Use Education and Research, the Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering and the Neag School of Education.

    NRCA Teacher Professional Learning Program Coordinator Laura Cisneros accepted the award on behalf of the team. Cisneros is an assistant extension professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment.

    By Jason M. Sheldon