Worcester State University students Mary Goodale and Amy Keenan and Professor of History and Political Science Aldo Garcia Guevara were among the 2013 Colleges of Worcester Consortium’s Student and Faculty Community Engagement award recipients at a ceremony hosted on campus on Thursday, March 26.
In order for faculty, students or a team of students to be eligible for the community engagement award, they must have made a substantial contribution to or have a major impact on the community organization where the work was conducted.
Goodale and Amy Keenan, registered nurses and graduate nursing students, were recognized for their work with the community-based Care Transitions Program, a program funded through a grant from the Affordable Care Act to test models for reducing the re-admission of high-risk Medicare beneficiaries, at Elder Services of Worcester Area. In designing and implementing the transitions program in Worcester, Goodale and Keenan exhibited academic ability and foresight, and coached care team members or worked with senior members (65 and over) recently discharged from the hospital.
This is an example of how the resources of a university can contribute to implementing changes in law while contributing to the well-being of elders in the greater community. In keeping with the goal of service learning and civic engagement to prepare individuals for effective democratic participation, Goodale’s and Keenan’s work contributed to the growth and sustainability of healthy communities and the strength of human interactions.
Guevara was recognized for his community-service based Alternative Spring Break trip to Nicaragua each year. In its eighth year, Guevara’s trip, which is done in partnership with Manna Project International, has been a central offering for students and an excellent example of how education, community service and study-away opportunities combine to create a high-impact educational practice.
Guevara’s trip is aimed at alleviating a severe educational deficit, which contributes to the cyclical nature of poverty, with only 29 percent of children completing primary school in Nicaragua. Guevara’s commitment to helping the poor of Nicaragua, to making community service central to the educational mission of WSU, and his continued support for the WSU community is exemplary.
He has created reciprocal partnerships with public, private and nonprofit organizations to address the critical social issue of poverty and to align curriculum, scholarship, research and creative activity with the public good.
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