The Second Annual Pomona College Community Engagement Awards were held on Wednesday, January 18th at 4:30pm in the Frank Dining Hall Blue Room. The awards recognized Pomona College students and 5C organizations for their dedication and accomplishments from the fall of 2010 to fall 2011.
Aside from recognizing these students and organizations for their efforts, the event also was designed to honor Dr. King's legacy of service, and was held two days after the national holiday bearing his name. Dr. King's lifetime commitment to social justice is truly an inspiration to all of us at the Draper Center as we strive to carry his aims, passion, and wisdom into the future.
The first awards presented were the Pomona College Community Engagement Awards. Draper Center Student Coordinators selected up to two participants in their programs who ” have shown initiative and dedication to their programs, above and beyond what is required.” Each nominee received an award.
- Alice Chan for her work with English as a Second Language
- Lauren Kershberg and Samantha Hill for their work with Pomona Partners
- Eli Kaplan and Leena Zurayk for their work with Learning in Collaboration (LINC)
The recipients of the remaining awards were nominated through an open campus-wide nomination process and chosen by a selection committee of their peers.
1. The Spirit of Change awards are designed to recognize “two Pomona students who have demonstrated a genuine commitment to pursuing social change through leadership in community engagement efforts on and off campus, and by constantly going above and beyond their expected duties.”
- The selection committee chose Rosa Greenberg as a recipient for her involvement in an incredibly wide variety of aspects of the campus community. She has committed time to the rights of Pomona's workers, works to address issues in the queer community and in communities of color, and runs events at the Women's Union. On a personal level, she is both humble and empathetic, and is always willing to discuss thoughts and ideas with others. Such an active individual who utilizes her ability to relate with people to advocate social change is exactly who this award was created to celebrate.
- The selection committee was incredibly impressed by the amount of work Eric Martinez has accomplished in his two short years here at Pomona. His commitment to civil rights, specifically immigrant rights, is astounding. He is a co-leader of Improving Dreams Equality Access and Success (IDEAS), and a member of both Empowered Latinos in Action and Workers for Justice. On top of this already full load, he is a CLSA sponsor. The degree of dedication and diligence that he devotes to social activism is truly admirable.
2. The Spirit of Partnership award is given to a current Pomona student in recognition of his or her efforts to create genuine collaboration and partnership among different communities on and off campus in pursuit of the greater good.
- The selection committee was impressed by Joshua Rosenberg's dedicated work with GiveWell , a non-profit organization that ranks charities based on their actual demonstrated impact. His research on Somalia and East Africa famine relief has ignited an exciting discussion about the costs and benefits of disaster relief work. Josh used his experience with GiveWell to create Evaluaid, a Pomona student equivalent. Josh's work is an important reminder to all Pomona students that we must strive to make an impact on our global community.
3. The Community Cornerstone Award is given to a current Pomona student whose commitment to engaging with the community is demonstrated by a breadth of work, and whose humility leads their actions to speak.
- As a major contributor on and behind the scenes to several outreach programs such as Learning in Collaboration (LINC), Pomona Partners, Sagehens Engage, and Alternabreak, Joshua Nomkin has often been described as one of the hardest working students on campus whose continuous and in-depth involvements have truly played an invaluable role in their successes. His personal investment and actions exemplified tremendous dedication to community engagement and effecting positive change, which ought to be formally acknowledged.
The following Program Awards were presented by Dr. Maria Tucker.
1. The Program of the Year award recognizes an organization which has a far reaching impact, engaging a wide variety of students in the work that it does while addressing its purpose in surprising depth.
- The committee selected the Pomona Pitzer Christian Fellowship (PPCF) to receive this year's Program of the Year Award. In existence for over 20 years, the PPCF has had a long-term and far-reaching impact at the Claremont Colleges, helping a wide variety of students connect to the broader community. Some of the PPCF programs cited as exemplary are the Homeless Lunch Program, the Los Angeles Urban Project and the PPCF partnership with Pomona Hope. PPCF is active year round, and the committee feels that it has been a consistent positive influence on our campus, engaging students from all classes and across all colleges in significant projects that deepen mutual understanding and increase awareness of the benefits of engaging with the wider community. The influence of PPCF is also evident in the number of alums who choose to work full time in the inner city and in other aspects of community development.
2. The Innovation Award recognizes an organization which has shown surprising innovation over the past year in pursuit of a given goal.
- The committee commends Workers for Justice for its work this past semester. The group has displayed a tremendous capability to adapt to our community's changing atmosphere while maintaining its integrity. By engaging the entire campus through teaching opportunities and activism, Workers for Justice has greatly helped our community in its efforts to address a common cause.
Thank you again to those who submitted nominations, attended the event, and continue to support the Draper Center in numerous ways. We look forward to the Third Annual Pomona College Community Engagement Awards, and keep in mind possible nominees for the next cycle!