FLINT — Mott Community College’s (MCC) Debra Gibes, faculty director of Experiential Learning, is one of three recipients of the 2020 Nadinne Cruz Community Engagement Professional Award given by Campus Compact, recognizing the outstanding work of individuals and institutions in pursuit of the public purposes of higher education.
The Nadinne Cruz Community Engagement Professional Award celebrates the ethical leadership and advocacy demonstrated by Community Engagement Professionals who have demonstrated collaboration with communities focused on transformative change, a commitment to justice oriented work, and an impact on the larger movement to build ethical and effective community engagement locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally.
The recipients of these awards, along with the 2019 recipients of Campus Compact’s two faculty awards, will be recognized at an Awards Celebration during Campus Compact’s Compact20 national conference, which will be held in Seattle, WA from March 29 to April 1, 2020.
Gibes was chosen for her outstanding vision and passion as a community college engagement leader. “Debra has focused on making equity-focused service-learning a key part of the educational experience for students and faculty at the College” said MCC President, Dr. Beverly Walker-Griffea. “Her work has been instrumental in facilitating interdisciplinary collaboration that crosses social and cultural differences, leading to greater diversity in participation among faculty, staff, and students, creating broader impact for students and the wider community,” she added.
Additionally, Gibes has fostered reciprocal partnerships with local organizations that led to projects engaging marginalized students, such as developmentally challenged students, economically challenged students, minority students, and immigrant or international students. She also founded the Cultural and Language Exchange Program and the Facing College project at MCC.
“The individuals and institutions we celebrate through these awards demonstrate the extraordinary impact colleges and universities can make when they commit themselves to strengthening our communities and our democracy,” said Campus Compact President Andrew Seligsohn. “In partnership with residents, local schools, and other community-based organizations, they are moving their communities in the direction of greater justice, greater equity, and greater participation.”
Campus Compact is a national coalition of colleges and universities committed to the public purposes of higher education. — G.G.