Each academic year, the uOttawa Community Service Learning (CSL) program highlights the exceptional contributions of one student, one professor and one community partner to the CSL program. This year’s recipients were chosen by a selection committee on April 8. They will receive their awards on April 24.
Community Partner Award: Minwaashin Lodge
Established in Ottawa in the early 1990s, Minwaashin Lodge offers prevention and intervention services and programs for women, children and youth who are survivors of family violence and the residential school system, including those affected by intergenerational effects. Since 2007, Minwaashin Lodge has welcomed numerous uOttawa students volunteering as cultural programming or community development assistants. This year nearly 10 positions were filled by uOttawa students volunteering from different programs of study, including Aboriginal Studies, Women’s Studies and Social Work. Faculty of Social Sciences student Kassandra Woods nominated Minwaashin Lodge. She highlighted the great work that Minwaashin Lodge does to improve the living conditions of Aboriginal women and to increase understanding of Aboriginal cultures. The organization provided her and other students with a great learning environment to reflect on issues such as culture, power, tradition, the meaning of life and the importance of arts and culture in the healing and rediscovery process.
Student Award: Kassandra Woods
For her course Introduction aux sociétés et cultures autochtones, Kassandra Woods chose to carry out a volunteer placement at Minwaashin Lodge. “This young woman carries with her intelligence, patience, passion and leadership,” says Vera Wabegijig, Kassandra’s CSL supervisor. Kassandra recorded 104 volunteer hours, well above the 30 hours required by the CSL program. Beyond her hours, what made Kassandra stand out was her passion and willingness to accept new challenges. She worked very well with other volunteers, was an avid learner and participant in the Culture Program and helped creating a welcoming environment for all who participated in the Culture Day that was held. Kassandra was nominated by Minwaashin Lodge, as well as by Professor George Sioui, who said that in the nine years he has taught the course, he has never seen a student do that many hours in one placement. He added that her work was always of great quality and that she demonstrated a good understanding of the concepts learned. For him, Kassandra is “someone who is very sensitive to people and also has a strong desire to act to improve intercultural relations in our society.” Congratulations, Kassandra!
Student Award (Honorable Mention): Jeremy Moreau, Adam Anwar and Quinn Prudy-Philippe
The selection committee recognized a group of students who completed an environmental noise map for the uOttawa Office of Campus Sustainability as part of their placement for the Global Environmental Issues course. The students showed incredible dedication towards their project. They came up with this project themselves, rather than pick from a list, and purchased all the equipment they needed. Together, they recorded a whopping 200 volunteer hours. The students’ supervisor said that the map has many potential applications, including determining where to locate new student lounges and where to find the quietest spaces on campus. Congratulations, Jeremy, Adam and Quinn!
Professor Award: Unfortunately, no nominations for this award were received this year. For CGCE director Stéphane Cardinal, “it is sad that there were no nominations. We have great professors working with the centre on the CSL program. We want to thank them for their work and efforts this year in enriching the student experience and learning through the CSL program. Looking at the feedback from fall 2012 students participating in the CSL program, we are doing something right! Again thanks to all our professors!”
We want to thank everyone who took the time to nominate a student or community partner. We also thank the selection committee members: Nérée St-Amand (Faculty of Social Sciences), Tracy Crowe (Faculty of Education), Paula Speevak-Sladowski (Volunteer Canada interim CEO and chief operating officer), Rasha Al-Katta (social sciences student) and Stéphane Cardinal (CGCE director), for their time.