Every year, Weber State University and the Center for Community Engaged Learning award members of the community with presidential awards. Their first ceremony was held over a decade ago back in 2007.

The award titles include Community Engaged Faculty Member, Community Engaged Staff Member, Community Engaged Student or Student Group, Committed Community Partner and Community Engaged Alumnus. This year, the recipients are to be presented with their awards on April 15.

This year’s awardees include the Pliking Club of Ogden for Community Partner, Taylor Knuth for Community Engaged Alum, Joseph ‘Jo’ Blake for Community Engaged Faculty Member, Amanda Gentry for Community Engaged Staff Member, and Giovanni Frias for Community Engaged Student.

The Pliking Club of Ogden is an organization working to clean up Ogdens hiking trails, they have held 66 events since Sep, 2018. Their next event is on April 10, 2021 at the Trackline Trail in Ogden UT. (Marie H, meetup.com)
The Pliking Club of Ogden is an organization working to clean up Ogden’s hiking trails. They have held 66 events since Sept. 2018. Their next event is on April 10 at the Trackline Trail in Ogden, Utah. (Marie H, meetup.com)

Each award has its own set of criteria. According to the CCEL website, they recognize individuals who have “successfully incorporated community engaged teaching with demonstrable outcomes and/or conducted outstanding community engaged research.

Joseph 'Jo' Blake, is the Assistant Professor of Dance at Weber State and one of the recipients of the 2021 Presidential Awards for Community Engagement. (WSU.com)
Joseph ‘Jo’ Blake is an assistant professor of dance at Weber State and one of the recipients of the 2021 Presidential Awards for Community Engagement. Photo credit: Weber State University

Adrienne Gillespie Andrews received the award in 2009 for Community Engaged Staff Member. She is currently the AVP for diversity and chief diversity officer in WSU’s own diversity office. Other past recipients include GiGi’s Playhouse, a Down syndrome achievement center with locations across the U.S., Catholic Community Services of Northern Utah, which is based in Ogden, and Forrest Crawford, a WSU alumnus.

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