MILWAUKEE — Marquette University’s Office of Community Engagement recognized faculty members and community partners with awards during its Community Engagement Conversation held virtually on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
Dr. Aleksandra Snowden, associate professor in social and cultural sciences in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, was recognized with the Community Engaged Teaching Award. She was recognized for modeling community engagement for the leaders of tomorrow, showing how to use one’s skills and talents to be the difference for others.
“In true scholar-teacher fashion, Dr. Snowden incorporates her community-engaged research in her classrooms,” one nominator wrote. “For example, as part of her Neighborhoods and Crime class, Dr. Snowden’s students pair with local partners to identify crime-related problems and develop solutions as final course projects. Students learn how to not only do the research that produces important policy recommendations; they also learn how to make research accessible and relatable to members of the public.”
Dr. Walter Bialkowski, visiting assistant professor in computer science in the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, received the Community Engaged Research Partnership Award along with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. Together they have demonstrated the direct impact that collaborative, mutually beneficial research can have within the classroom and throughout our community.
“By leveraging experiences that the project team faces, the partnership has provided contemporary, real-world examples of skills application, and illustrated aspects of community partnerships that embolden students to fulfill Marquette University’s guiding value of service to the community,” a nominator wrote. “The partnership is an exemplary model of a community-based project, inspiring students to tackle food insecurity in our community by thinking innovatively and providing novel data analytic solutions with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.”
Bialkowski and his interdisciplinary research team were recipients of a President’s Challenge for COVID-19 Response research grant. The team worked with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin to find solutions to optimize public food service distribution to meet the growing need brought upon by sudden unemployment cause by the COVID-19 pandemic.
St. Joan Antida High School was awarded the Community Engaged Partner Award for exemplifying tangible, creative, and mutually beneficial community engagement in practice and partnership.
“Each week, the K-12 students, Marquette students, faculty, and community members watched a webinar produced by the Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach (CURTO) and participated in interactive small group discussions virtually,” one nominator shared about their experience through a program involving the Burke Scholars and CURTO. “This partnership was mutually beneficial, as it reflected diverse age, thought and experience in exploring Milwaukee’s history and current events from multiple perspectives. It also showed how committed St. Joan Antida was to their own students during the pandemic.”
Another nominator added, “We know that the hearts and minds of this St. Joan Antida High School are aligned to make a difference in every student’s life, and to let all know that all lives have dignity and worth. I could not be prouder to partner with this school and look forward enthusiastically to all that they bring to the relationship.”
Community Engagement Conversations
In place of the annual Community Engagement Symposium, the Office of Economic Engagement hosted its 3rd Community Engagement Conversations focused on joy in the struggle. In recognition of this moment in both our institutional and community history, members of the Marquette and Milwaukee communities were invited to consider those moments of joy, hope, and gratitude expressed as resilience and forged in the struggles. Attendees were invited to pause and take time from their busy schedules to reflect on those people and aspects of their lives that continue to uplift them despite their burdens.