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Office of Community Engagement Presents Annual Awards

Posted by Jenna Ray on Tuesday, May. 6, 2014

On April 30 the University of Minnesota, Morris Office of Community Engagement (OCE) presented its 2014 Community Engagement Awards. The awards recognize Morris students, faculty, and staff, as well as community partners, whose involvement in OCE programs has been exemplary.

Community Partner Award recipient Jennifer Amy-Dressler with nominators and friends Luciana Ranelli ’14, Keni Zenner ’12, Nancy Barbour, Nancy Carpenter, Cheryl Rempl, Argie Manolis, Maia Dalager ’16, Maddie Schamp, Michelle Schamp, and Quinn Schamp.

The first of these awards, the Community Partner Award, was presented to Jennifer Amy-Dressler, interim pastor at Federated Church. According to her nominators—Professor of Chemistry Nancy Carpenter, Instructor of Spanish Windy Roberts, Associate Coordinator in Residential Life Michelle Schamp, Luciana Ranelli ’14, Duluth, and Michele Bankord, Federated Church member—Amy-Dressler has been a catalyst for creating partnerships among Federated Church, the Morris campus, and other community organizations. She has provided support for programs supporting new Latino immigrants and LGBT students and community members as well as broader efforts to foster service and respectful dialogue.

Faculty/Staff Community Engagement Award recipient Christina (Nina) Ortiz with nominator Jordan Wente ’15.

Nina Ortiz, assistant professor of anthropology, received the Faculty/Staff Community Engagement Award, which honors a faculty or staff member who has supported OCE’s work and has served as a role model for engagement outside of his/her job description. According to nominator Jordan Wente ’15, Dodge Center, Ortiz has dedicated her teaching, research, and service to identifying and alleviating barriers faced by members of the Latino community in Stevens County through service-learning courses, intensive research projects, and multicultural trainings and dialogues.

Student Community Engagement Award recipient Laura Hoppe ’15 with nominator Windy Roberts.

Laura Hoppe ’15, Wyoming, was the recipient of the Student Community Engagement Award. According to Roberts, Hoppe has forged meaningful connections among Latino immigrants and the broader community as a Jane Addams leader and as a volunteer English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. As the 2013–14 Community ESL program student leader, she offered new ideas and superb organizational and communication skills to improve the overall program.

First-Year Student Award recipient Hector Garcia ’17 with nominator Maia Dalager ’16.

Hector Garcia ’17, Morris, received the First-Year Student Award. Nominator Maia Dalager ’16, Duluth, noted that in his first year at Morris, Garcia has been an important member of the ESL Tutoring, Reading, and Empowering Children (TREC) team. He volunteers for additional tasks and provides input and ideas for the program and has earned the respect of peers, children, and parents.

Amy-Dressler, Ortiz, Hoppe, and Garcia received their awards at OCE’s end-of-year celebration. About 60 engaged students, faculty, staff, and community partners attended the event, which also honored 30 senior students whose community engagement has been exemplary.

Additional information about OCE and its annual awards is available at

Pictured above: Argie Manolis, coordinator of the Office of Community Engagement, at the April 30 awards ceremony.