More than 100 people attended the event in Chao Auditorium. Sponsored by UofL’s Office of Community Engagement, the awards recognize outstanding efforts in community service among UofL faculty, staff, students and community partners.

“Our history of service to this community goes back a long way,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “Our job is to continue to build on that history, on that tradition. I, for one, hope that what we’ve done (in establishing the Community Engagement Awards) is start a new tradition at the University of Louisville.”

Winners were selected from 28 nominees, all of whom were recognized at the event.  Each winner received an engraved crystal award plus a monetary award.

The university also recognized Adewale Troutman, M.D., director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and associate professor at the UofL School of Public Health and Information Sciences, for his service to the community. Troutman is leaving Louisville to take a post at the University of South Florida in Tampa.

Here are this year’s Community Engagement Award winners:

Student Engagement

Eleven students from the School of Nursing Community Leadership Practicum course received the award for their spring 2010 efforts to provide health education and services to about 300 backside workers at Churchill Downs.

In partnership with the Kentucky Racing Health Services Center and under the direction of faculty member Marianne Hutti, the students developed and implemented a program that included researching the health issues that most often affect racetrack workers; developing a communication strategy that gave information – in English and in Spanish – on preventing and treating those issues; obtaining donations of much-needed over-the-counter pain medications to be dispensed to the workers.

The students also organized the collection and dissemination of more than 100 backpacks to the “Blessings in a Backpack” program at Semple Elementary School, where many children of backside workers attend. The program provides healthy food over the weekend for children who come from economically challenged households.

In addition, the students collected and donated more than 200 items of basic clothing to backside workers’ children.

The students received a $2,500 award, which will support future community engagement activities of students in the course. They also received a matching grant of $2,500, which has been designated to the Kentucky Racing Health Services Center.

Community Partner

The university selected a longtime child advocacy organization as its outstanding community partner for 2010. 

UofL recognized the Exploited Children’s Help Organization (ECHO), a nonprofit, volunteer-based organization that has worked to reduce child abuse and to address the needs of missing and abused children and their families through prevention, education and coping services.

In 2009, ECHO served 37,000 children and families in the Louisville area, with volunteers contributing more than 2,000 hours of service.

ECHO is a practicum site for Kent School of Social Work students, allowing them to gain specialized knowledge and experience in providing services to child victims as well as developing skills in evaluating service effectiveness.

From 2007 to 2009, ECHO, UofL and the Family and Children’s Place worked together to prevent child maltreatment and victimization through community education and intervention. As a result, 2,756 children and 988 adults in Louisville have received child abuse prevention training and education. This partnership led to a $1 million grant by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

ECHO received a $5,000 award from UofL.

Special Recognition

In fall 2009, UofL, Louisville Metro and communities around the world were bracing for a possible H1N1 influenza pandemic. In partnership with the Louisville Metro Health and Wellness Department, UofL took a leadership role in planning and conducting a massive immunization initiative for the community. More than 400 UofL students, faculty and staff from 11 schools and departments planned and executed the largest mass immunization ever held in the United States.

More than 19,000 immunizations were administered over a two-day period, including more than 13,000 at a drive-through operation set up at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. For the elderly and others who could not get to the stadium, UofL nursing and medical students fanned out across the community to administer shots at such locations as the Portland Plaza, Presbyterian Community Center and Wayside Christian Mission.
The effort was recognized with a $10,000 award, which is being split three ways. One-third will go toward a relief fund for students who suffer personal emergencies. Another third will go to the SHARE program, which offers assistance to staff members in financial need. The final third will go to a fund to support faculty who need to pay permission and copyright fees for research and publications.

The committee received three separate nominations of individuals and groups that played significant roles in the project. About 30 individuals represented the entire team at the event. Those individuals were: Donald Biddle, Phillip Bressoud, Ruth Carrico, Richard Clover, Patricia Cooper, Bob Forbes, Sunderesh Heragu, Cindy Hess, Cheri Hildreth, Ermalynn Kiehl, David Martin, Alyssa Middleton, John Myers, Kim Noltemeyer, Larry Owsley, Pretesh Parmar, Matt Rhodes, John Schafer, Kenneth Scull, Caitlin Shelton, Melissa Shuter, Dennis Sullivan, Donnie Thomas, Adewale Troutman, Thomas Van de Kracht, Kelly Willis, Doreen Wood, Erika Wooldridge, Matt Zahn and Amber Zimmer.