Every day, the staff at Michigan Campus Compact learns about and works with incredible service-learning initiatives and campus-community partnerships. But, it’s not often we get to award one of those amazing campus-community partnerships with a $10,000 grant.
The Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Partnership Award for Campus-Community Collaboration is given bi-annually by Michigan Campus Compact to one partnership involving a Michigan college or university and a community group with the $10,000 prize divided equally between the campus and the community partners for working together in exceptional ways to improve people’s lives and enhance learning in the process. This year, Grand Valley State University’s School of Engineering and Westown Jubilee Housing, a partnership that helps create energy efficient housing for low-income families, has received the 2009 Carter Partnership Award.
This partnership, in existence since 2001, is a covenantal collaboration in which Westown Jubilee provides a supply of housing projects with energy management needs and challenges and the School of Engineering provides innovative solutions for those challenges. Within this partnership, engineering students and faculty provide leadership and labor to enhance the energy performance of these homes. Their collaboration benefits community members directly and provides an opportunity for students to become engaged citizens by using service as en educational tool.
One of the collaboration’s greatest achievements was the construction of the LEED certified Green House on Watson. In that project, more than 70 School of Engineering students helped build an exceptionally energy efficient six-bedroom home for a low-income family. This year, a group of senior engineering students is doing their capstone project on a house on Indiana Street. The students are helping turn the one-and-a-half story house into a two story house. The $10,000 award will help install solar hot water and insulation wrap on the house.
Congratulations to GVSU and Westown Jubilee Housing for the exceptional work you are doing in your community!
To learn more about the Carter Partnership Award and the 2009 winner, click here.Note: This post is authored by guest blogger Amy Smitter Amy Smitter has served as the Executive Director at Michigan Campus Compact (MCC) since September 2000, working with MCC partner organizations and coordinating state-wide partnerships and fundraising activities. Most recently, she has accepted the position of Director of Institutional Development with national Campus Compact where she will lead the development capacity of the national and state offices. Amy also worked in the volunteer center network, for both the Albion Volunteer Service Center in Albion, Michigan and Volunteer and Information Services in Battle Creek, Michigan.