Community Partner Awards

At the end of the academic year, we host a luncheon recognizing extraordinary accomplishments that community partners, students, faculty and staff have done throughout the year.

Our award categories change every year depending on the accomplishments of our community. Some previous award categories have been Community Partner of the Year, Extraordinary Act of Service Award (Program/Student), Volunteer of the Year (Student), Excellence in Community-Engaged Learning (Faculty) and Giving Tree Award (Staff).

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2023-2024 Award Recipients

Dr. Bradley & the Chisholm Center- Community Partner of the Year

Good afternoon, friends, I am beyond excited and honored to be presenting the Community Partner of the Year award today to an incredible role model - Dr. Bradley with the Chisholm Center. My name is Madelyn Emmons or according to about 35 to 40 K-5th graders, Miss Maddie, and I have been volunteering here at the Center with the after-school program for 2 years. I was lucky enough to be a part of welcoming Dr. Bradley to her new second home here as the Director of the Center this past year. Being in today's world, projects are moving at a slow pace, taking years to even begin implementation. At the Chisholm Center, however, that is the complete opposite because of the leadership & dedication of Dr. Monae Bradley. To the City of Deland, she is an advocate for community engagement, a resource, a role model, and a motivator. The official name for the location we are standing in is Chisholm Community Center, and in my opinion, Dr. Bradley has truly taken each section to heart and drive in her aspirations for the place every day. Chisholm's history, support, and love has been enhanced due to Dr. Bradley’s efforts to create a place for people to be and celebrate life together. There is a huge whiteboard inside the office that was once bare, has now been filled every day throughout the month because of Dr. Bradley. Community is literally at the center of every event, decision, and moment at the center. Dr. Bradley has created community events such as a charcuterie night, health fair, and fitness events alone at the center. She has even impacted the community center and puts a great effort of support to the City of Deland events such as the Mud Dogs Music Festival. When it comes to being a center, Dr. Bradley always has a sense to give everyone who comes through the doors care, support, and kindness. Once you leave the Chisholm Center you instantly feel you are a part of a family.

Dr. Bradley, aka Dr. B to all the kids, has inspired me each day even when she might not be aware. I am currently very proud and eager to be studying education at Stetson, and I cannot count anymore how many times I am asked, “Why would you do that,” or “That's a poor career choice.” The first day I met Dr. B I’ll never forget how excited and happy she was, she told me, “I see your passion and see you making a big difference to any student you work with. Any ideas you have, just come talk to me and we can add it or try it here.” Together we have installed a free little library right outside and that is only the start. That is the perfect example of how supportive and kind Dr. B truly is. Just being there is so important in today's time of constantly moving and working towards the next thing. I spend most of my time here with the after-school care program, and I have a front-row seat to how Dr. B is there. Being there is a simple yet crucial key in a child’s life. Dr. B is there with a Band-Aid instantly when a kid somehow slipped on the swings, there when tears fall ready to find a solution to help whether it's a simple bad day or something much stronger in a child's life, there when the curriculum in math changed again and homework becomes a team effort, she's there to set up and create field trips so the students are exposed to more culture and experiences. Most importantly she's there to ask, “How was your day” and give a great big hug. The biggest piece of advice I have learned from student-teaching recently is “always keep in mind that a young mind grows by watching and observing.” Dr. Bradley and the Chisholm Community Center are highly deserving of this award especially because through my eyes, every young student that comes here every day after school, in just a year has learned how to be a positive and productive leader, shown what an incredible role model is, and has been taught how to be a friend to the community due to Dr. Bradley. It would not shock me if years from now we were hearing Grammy, Oscar, Pulitzer, Nobel, and Sports award speeches mentioning Dr. B in them and how much she inspired them and the community she has created and supported. Congratulations, and thank you for putting the Community in the Chisholm Community Center.

Volusia Recovery Alliance and Lauren Hancock “Meeting the Mission” Award 

Hi everyone, my name is Chris Poteau! I am a Bonner and FRONK scholar at Stetson. Today I am presenting the Meeting the Mission Award. This award recognizes someone who takes values-aligned action to meet the mission of their organization. This year, we wish to recognize Lauren Hancock and the Volusia Recovery Alliance for their incredible work on campus and in the community.

Lauren has worked with the Volusia Recovery Alliance to get more than 500 individual boxes of Narcan readily available to Stetson students and staff in this academic year alone. VRA partnered with the FRONK scholars during their Rx and Ends Take Back event, and they distributed more than 30 boxes of Narcan to students and staff along with resources and information about the opioid epidemic. 

Lauren supports the FRONK scholars doing Narcan training and this year they have prepared and given presentations for the Honors Supersession, Panhellenic Council, and House 3. The presentation covers the basics of Narcan, how to recognize an opioid overdose, how to administer Narcan, typically including a fun relay-race-like game for participants to practice administering Narcan with fake plungers, and where to access free Narcan in the Hollis Center as well as other resources. They use the S.A.V.E.M.E. acronym when training groups on how to use Narcan.

  • Stimulate- shake and shout or grind knuckles to the person's chest
  • Airway- are nose and mouth clear of breathing/choking hazards?
  • Ventilate- 1 breath every 5 seconds, NO compressions 
  • Evaluate- still unresponsive?
  • Make Administration- insert into the nostril and firmly press the plunger down
  • Evaluate- watch closely for 2 minutes to determine if 2nd dose is necessary and move the person into recovery pose on their side 

Our community is lucky to have Lauren and Volusia Recovery Alliance doing valuable work in meeting their missions!

Robert Maglievaz “Faculty Partner of the Year” Award 

The founding purpose of higher education is not to help students make more money than if they had only gone to high school. The founding purpose of higher education is to create citizens who are equipped to address the most pressing challenges facing our communities, and our faculty – as those who are chiefly responsible for ensuring that our students are learning – are the heartbeat of this entire enterprise.

Of course, we know also that it isn’t just learning that is important – we also need impact. Admittedly, our favorite faculty are those who recognize that the best student learning often comes from getting our students off-campus and into our community where they can work with our partners to have community impact. We love that concept so much that we made it our department’s mission: student learning through community impact.

It is in that spirit that we recognize this year’s Community-Engaged Faculty Member of the Year. Despite only being in his first year as a full-time professor at Stetson, Robert Maglievaz has already had an extraordinary impact on Stetson’s public health and food systems programs. Leveraging his prior experience with the Department of Health where he studied food insecurity in our community, Robert knew the role that the University could have in building a stronger coalition with many partner organizations to make sure that no person goes hungry in our community.

To that end, before he even began his position as a full-time professor, Robert spent months working with stakeholders to organize a Volusia County Food Insecurity Summit. This Summit was the most comprehensive collection of food insecurity stakeholders assembled in many years and focused on sharing research, best practices, and ideas for eliminating gaps in food access for those who are most vulnerable in our community. Already, it has led to more clarity about the specific problems we need to address, and more conversation about which policies and programs we need to champion moving forward. It has also prompted the development of a Volusia Food Security Coalition to sustain this momentum into the future.

The Summit was just the start of Robert’s tremendous work this year, though, as he also recognized the need to institutionalize this work through courses here at Stetson. Robert has begun creating a sequence of public health courses focusing on the role of food pantries in addressing food insecurity. As he describes it, students would begin by taking a food pantry “boot-camp” course where they would work directly with a local pantry and apply their academic knowledge to that real-world setting. After that experience, the students would take a second course – like an internship or practicum – where they would specialize in one focused issue at another pantry, such as nutrition, food safety, distribution, or medical services. To make this happen, Robert has worked closely with partners such as The Neighborhood Center of West Volusia for months to ensure that these arrangements will be mutually beneficial – that we’ll have both student learning AND community impact.

If you think that focusing on just one issue isn’t enough to warrant this kind of recognition, then you’ll be pleased to know that Robert hasn’t confined himself to only addressing food insecurity through his courses this year. Those of you who read your Beacon newspaper – particularly an issue around December 13, 2023 – likely read about a group of Stetson students who spoke to the DeLand City Commission on December 4th about how to use heat-mitigation strategies to help lower the sometimes blazing temperatures in downtown DeLand, identifying, for example, that simple tree canopies over parts of downtown can lower temperatures by as much as 20 degrees. The students’ findings were positively received by the City Commission, prompting the City Manager to note that the recommendations should be considered as part of the city’s “Race to Zero” carbon-reduction strategy. So, how did the students end up doing this work and speaking to the City Commission? They were all students in Professor Maglievaz’s climate and health course.

Faculty like Professor Maglievaz epitomize higher education’s academic and civic missions, and all of us – students and community members alike – are enriched by his experience, his propensity for action, and his focus on building partnerships to address the most pressing challenges facing our communities. I just wonder what he has up his sleeve for his second year.

Congratulations, Professor Maglievaz, on being this year’s Community-Engaged Faculty Partner of the Year.

Alpha Tau Omega “Student Organization of the Year” Award 

Good afternoon, everyone — my name is August Maulfair, and I am a staff member in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Community Engagement. Following an extremely meaningful trip to Tallahassee at the beginning of the Fall semester, in which I had the opportunity to learn from employees at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Tallahassee and staff at Florida State University’s Food Pantry, I returned to Stetson with a drive to bolster the ongoing Hatter Pantry operations.

Through this work, I have learned that the reality of food insecurity is more nuanced than simply never having access to any food. It can be anything from occasionally missing a meal, to not having access to food that fits with one’s diet or cultural customs, to not having agency in one’s own decisions regarding the food that they eat. Across multiple surveys and research publications, we find that approximately 30-to-45% of college students experience food insecurity. And it’s important to note that these are disproportionately students who are already multiply marginalized and oppressed. If you’ve ever tried to study, or work, or focus on something important while hungry, then you have an idea of the effects that food insecurity can have on your personal and academic success.

This work of alleviating food insecurity is so important to so many of our students. But the work is difficult: when we’re not building partnerships with food banks or writing grants, we are lifting hundreds of pounds of boxes of food in 0-degree deep freezers at 8 o’clock in the morning. For months this has been the limiting factor on our operation — a low availability of people willing and able to do this physically demanding labor. But, this semester, one student organization has stepped up and approached it with an inspiring drive and enthusiasm, sacrificing their Friday mornings to drive 20 miles, 40 minutes to pick up food from Second Harvest Food Bank and deliver it to the food pantries in Griffith Hall and the Cross-Cultural Center. Always good-natured, always with a smile on their face, even when they can’t feel their fingers and toes due to the cold. The introduction and involvement of this organization to the Hatter Pantry process has propelled us through our previous performance ceiling, turning us into a well-oiled machine, and keeping Stetson’s food pantries continuously stocked. Alexis and I did some quick math earlier, and we estimate that this organization has brought in approximately 4,200 pounds of food over the course of this semester.

And so, for their ongoing efforts to combat food insecurity, it is my sincere honor to present the Center for Community Engagement “Student Organization of the Year” Award to Alpha Tau Omega.