Ceremony celebrated Lafayette’s commitment to community outreach in Easton and throughout the Lehigh Valley Twitter
By Bryan Hay
Students, faculty, and staff joined together on April 6 to celebrate Lafayette’s commitment to community outreach in Easton and throughout the Lehigh Valley.
Landis Center for Community Engagement hosted its annual awards celebration in the Marlo Room in Farinon College Center to recognize faculty, students, and community partners who selflessly work with nonprofit agencies, businesses, civic organizations, schools, and local governments to enhance learning, improve communities, and address social issues.
The Landis Center awards ceremony recognizes “the incredible work” of students, faculty, and community partners in advancing social advocacy, said Chelsea Morrese, director of the Landis Center. Landis, she said, is “grateful to have so many recipients to choose from.”
In addition to honoring the award recipients, the event provided an opportunity for the campus community to learn more about the people and partnerships that support the work and mission of the Landis Center.
2023 Recipient: Rachel Hurley ’23
This award is given annually to a senior who has made significant contributions to the community through course projects, an honors thesis, EXCEL Scholar work, and/or some other form of academic community engagement.
An integrative engineering major, Hurley helped to launch the first division-wide peer mentor program through collaboration with the Engineering Division, other students, and the Hanson Center. She also has conducted research on natural disasters and climate change.
2023 Recipients: Annie Krege ’23 and Avery Besch ’23
Awarded annually to the senior(s) selected by the Landis Center who has been most committed to service and the residents of the Easton area community.
Krege has been with Landis since she was a first-year student in Landis’ Pre-Orientation Service Program (POSP). She served on staff and the executive team for POSP over the years and was its co-director this year. She is currently the MOSAIC leadership coordinator, after serving on the leadership team in prior years, and is an America Reads tutor. She has dedicated countless hours to the Landis Center in many different leadership roles over the past four years.
Besch began her career with the Landis Center as part of POSP. She went on to tutor with America Reads all four years, and this year served as co-director of the program. Additionally, she works in the Landis Center several times a week to assist its staff.
2023 Recipient: Kaitlyn Hilley ’23
This prize is awarded annually to a senior who best exemplifies the ideals of academic achievement and intellectual curiosity, personal engagement in the community, and a commitment to making the world a better place.
Hilley served as a member of the Alternative School Break (ASB) club all four years and has been its president for the past two years. She worked diligently to keep the club running even during the COVID-19 pandemic when travel was halted. Additionally, Hilley participated in Connected Classrooms and was nominated this year as one of the Landis Active Citizens for her work with community engagement.
2023 Recipient: Tara G. Gilligan, visiting assistant professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies and professor of Women in the U.S. Criminal Justice System, a community-based learning course at Northampton County Prison
This award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to engaging in best practices in the field of academic community engagement. The recipient has worked with community organizations to form mutually beneficial partnerships, ones that have provided Lafayette students with exciting and challenging learning experiences and opportunities to hone their skills as engaged citizens.
Gilligan’s interdisciplinary classes make dynamic connections between theory and practice, emphasizing intersectional approaches to knowledge and to social change.
2023 Recipient: Andrew Clarke, assistant professor of government and law and affiliate of Center for Effective Lawmaking
This award recognizes a tenured faculty member who has provided Lafayette students with innovative and transformative learning experiences by engaging them in projects that address community-identified needs. The recipient has demonstrated a sustained commitment to community-based teaching and/or research, and a willingness to assume a leadership role in advancing academic community engagement at Lafayette.
Clarke has done extensive work with Lafayette Votes!, a diverse nonpartisan group of students, faculty, and staff that provides students with the resources to make decisions at the polls aligning with their values and interests, and the Gov Lab, which he created during the pandemic to provide remote, part-time, meaningful professional development opportunities to students unable to find summer internships.
2023 Recipient: Jeanine Stanilious, community school coordinator, Paxinosa Elementary School
The Landis Center staff members gather together each year to select a community partner whom they would like to recognize for outstanding collaboration with Lafayette College students/faculty. The recipient of this award demonstrates an institutional commitment of community-based learning by providing meaningful student experiences and facilitating mutually beneficial outcomes for students, faculty, and their own organizations. Criteria for this award consists of high-quality engagement with Lafayette’s Community-Based Learning and Research (CBLR) initiative, commitment to community, evidence of impact of engagement on students, and dedication to social responsibility and the common good.
Among many other programs, Stanilious has worked with Lafayette students over the last several years for POSP, developing/overseeing the KIC Program (Kids in the Community). She works with the MOSAIC group, Pax Partners on building the Pax Pantry and clothing boutique, and works with students in America Reads on Literacy Day.
2023 Recipient: Rachel Kimball ’26
This award recognizes a first-year student who demonstrates significant commitment to community engagement activities through participation in Landis Center programs.
A first-year student who began her Lafayette career with POSP, Kimball became a tutor for America Reads and a general body member, and trip member/volunteer for ASB. She is now serving as the director of first-years for the upcoming year of POSP. She is highly engaged in the work she is doing in the community.
2023 Recipient: Dylan Gooding ’23
This prize is awarded to a graduating senior who has been committed to service at Lafayette as well as the residents of the Easton area.
Gooding has been involved with the Landis Center and community since he arrived at Lafayette. He is a leader in Lafayette Votes!, Gov Lab, Lafayette Refugee Action, and brought back the Food Recovery Network to campus this year.
2023 Recipient: Declan Winters ’23
This award recognizes a senior who demonstrates sustained commitment to community engagement activities through participation and leadership in multiple Landis Center programs.
Winters has been involved with POSP since he arrived at Lafayette and served as its co-director since this past August. He’s a member of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, and he also served this year on the executive team as a co-director at Firth Youth Center and tutor for America Reads.