Community Engagement News

Apr 11, 2022. 5 min read

Community Engagement News April 11, 2022

All Set for Barry’s Ninth Annual Community Engagement Awards Ceremony—a Hybrid Event

Students, faculty members, and community partners will be honored

Community Engagement Awards

All arrangements are in place for Barry’s Ninth Annual Community Engagement Awards, a hybrid event this Tuesday, when students, faculty members, and community partners will be honored for their achievements.

Presenters of awards will include senior university administrators and the chair of the Community Advisory Committee.

During the ceremony, prizes won in this year’s Student Poster Competition will be presented. The competition was a component of Barry’s Eighth Annual Community Engagement Symposium last month.

The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) will host the awards luncheon at the pavilion of the Health and Sports Center and via Zoom, beginning at noon.

Concurrent Session Presenters at Community Engagement Symposium Indicate Impact of Collaboration

Community Engagement Symposium

Community partners, students, and faculty members indicated the impact of their collaborative work as they made presentations during concurrent sessions of last month’s Community Engagement Symposium.

Collaborative projects addressed such topics as food security, population health, financial literacy, refugee resettlement, and human rights.

Among a dozen 50-minute presentations in sessions 2 and 3 was one focused on service-learning and social work practice, which covered such issues as food security and refugee resettlement. The presenters were Liz Valdez James, an adjunct faculty member, and students: Lexus Barkdoll, Erika Saverino, Danielle Vera, Patricia Denson, Victoria Howe, Jessica Morency, A. Ella Merritt, Amanda Dixson, and Therlande Theophile.

“Engaging with Our Community: Stories of English Language Teaching with Afghan Refugees” was presented by Dr. Heather Johnson Desiral and students taking an English for Speakers of Other Languages course. The participating students were Meagan Carballo, Jainette Figuerola, Ta’Niya Foster, Alessa Hernandez, Alyssa Hernandez, Ruby Lopez, R. Michelle Mackey, Jackeline Miranda, Jillian Rodriguez, Jasmine Shackleford, Ashley Taylor, and Najaz’ Williams.

Meanwhile, Dr. Laura Dean Albuja, Lisa Ferrand, and Dr. Corvette Yacoob, assistant professors of nursing, made a presentation that showed how they went about “pivoting to a virtual health fair to teach graduate nursing students health promotion and disease prevention.”

Student-Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) members Marvin Best and Gabriella Reyes made a financial literacy presentation on “FINFit Thursdays with SMIF.”

A presentation on participatory budgeting as part of community-based work was made by Dr. John Murphy, Roger Horne, and Sister Evelyn Brown. Murphy is a professor at the University of Miami; Horne is the executive director of Urban GreenWorks; Brown is the program manager for outreach at St. Matthew’s Missionary Baptist Church, located in west Liberty City.

“Inspiring Civic Engagement in Undergraduate Students Through Community-Focused Internships” was presented by Isnavys Perez, a graduate of New York University and Florida International University currently conducting research at Affirming YOUth; Michael Spooner, a doctoral student studying industrial-organizational psychology at Florida International University; and Jonathan Spikes, a doctoral candidate in social work at the University of Southern California. 

Barry doctoral students Danny Fernandez and Caroline Gillingham-Varela presented “Liberty City Walls: Coming Together,” drawing attention to the effects of racial segregation in the 1940s.

Another concurrent session presentation was “Can This Actually Work? Examining Students’ Reflections on Amnesty International’s Write for Rights as Service-Learning” by sociology professors Drs. Laura Finley and Dr. Lisa Konczal and student Luis Estrada.

Reem Juraid and Michael Portnoy, Ph.D. students in the Curriculum and Instruction program, presented “An Intercultural Exchange Program for Women’s Empowerment: A Community-Based Service Project.”

In addition, three faculty members—Drs. Carole Huberman, Stephen Sussman, and Dale Hartz—and two MBA students—Yileen Ng and Anja Marinkovic—were the presenters of a session titled “The Miami Shores Village Strategic Plan Initiative: Students Reflecting on Applied Learning.”

Workshop and Special Presentation

Dr. John Saltmarsh, professor of higher education at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and Dr. Melissa Quan, director of the Center for Social Impact at Fairfield University, led a workshop that preceded the concurrent sessions. The title of the workshop was “Epistemic Justice in Practice: Implications for Community Partnerships and Student Learning.”

The fourth and final session of the symposium featured a presentation by Saltmarsh; Dr. April Khadijah Inniss, director of community-engaged research at King Boston; and Dr. Timothy Eatman, dean of the Honors Living-Learning Community at Rutgers University–Newark. Their special presentation was titled “Orienting Campus–Community Engagement Towards Reparations.”

Barry’s provost, Dr. John Murray, welcomed symposium participants as he delivered remarks during the opening session of the symposium. Dr. Phyllis Scott, director of Barry’s Antiracism and Equity Coalition, spoke at the start of the final session; and Dr. Karen Callaghan, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, gave the closing remarks.

Symposium Theme and Committee

Held on March 30, the Eighth Annual Community Engagement Symposium was organized around the theme “Effectively Balancing Community Impact with Student Learning Outcomes.”

Members of the Community Engagement Symposium Committee were Dr. Glenn A. Bowen, symposium chair; Dr. Raul Machuca, proposal review chair; Courtney Berrien, coordinator, general arrangements; Dr. Heather Johnson Desiral, coordinator, poster competition and exhibition; Dr. Sean Erwin; Marie Jasmin; Dr. Ricardo Jimenez; Dr. Celeste Landeros; Dr. Sheila McMahon; and Stephanie Santiago.

Barry Students and Staff Participate in ‘March to End Modern-Day Slavery’

'March to End Modern-Day Slavery’
'March to End Modern-Day Slavery’

Hundreds of representatives of worker and faith organizations, higher education institutions, and community groups take to the streets for a five-mile march, calling for The Wendy’s Company to support the Fair Food Program and thus help to end modern-day slavery in the fields.

A representative group of students and staff members from Barry participated in a “March to End Modern-Day Slavery in the Fields” on April 2 in Palm Beach. The demonstration was organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW).

The Barry group was among an estimated 800 people representing worker and faith organizations, higher education institutions, and community groups gathered in Bradley Park for a protest targeting The Wendy’s Company, whose chairman, Nelson Peltz, lives in Palm Beach. They demanded that Peltz help to end “modern-day slavery” by having his company join the CIW’s Fair Food Program.

Joseph Minani, a Barry student, expressed his excitement at seeing so many people in one place for one cause. He was motivated to make his presence felt and his voice heard: “What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!”

Demonstrators marched for five miles down a ritzy section of the city, past the offices of Peltz’s investment fund, Trian Partners, which is a part owner of the fast-food restaurant chain.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Barry University’s Center for Community Service Initiatives is listed among supporters of the march in Palm Beach, organized by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). The CIW and supporters mobilized hundreds to march alongside farmworkers from Immokalee agitating for “fair food.”

It was the first big action in the CIW’s Campaign for Fair Food since the onset of the coronavirus  pandemic (COVID-19) over two years ago. The CIW reported that the “massive march” reverberated “across the state, from the bougainvillea-lined lanes of the posh billionaire enclave … to the dusty streets of farmworker communities on both coasts.”

In Bradley Park, the crowd heard about farmworkers’ appalling experiences—being injured on the job, lacking access to clean drinking water, and being sexually harassed and sometimes assaulted while working on farms. Poetry, music, call-and-response chants, and a theatre-like performance motivated protesters to demand change from U.S.-based chain restaurants like Wendy’s.

McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway, Yum! Brands, and Chipotle, as well as major grocers and food service companies such as Whole Foods, Walmart, Aramark, and Compass, have joined the Fair Food Program, the CIW said.

AmeriCorps VISTA members

BARRY PROUD: AmeriCorps VISTA members (from left) Joseph Minani, Gabriel Bouani, and Kaitlyn Gallagher take pride in their work—and in Barry University. They serve as program facilitators in the CCSI. Founded in 1965, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) is a national service program focused primarily on the alleviation of poverty. Through capacity-building activities such as fundraising, grant writing, research, and volunteer recruitment, AmeriCorps members in the VISTA program serve in an organizational setting where they gain job experience and leadership skills. The program prepares members for a life of service in the public, private, or nonprofit sector.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Buccaneer Partnership


GivePulse is the community engagement platform that supports service-learning courses at Barry.

Career in Community Organizing, Students? Information Session Set for Wednesday

DART (Direct Action and Research Training Center) will hold an online information session this Wednesday, April 13, beginning at 6 p.m., to discuss careers in community organizing.

DART has openings for associate community organizers, with start dates of August 8, 2022 and January 16, 2023 in nine Florida cities, including Miami and Fort Lauderdale, as well as in three other states. Lead community organizer positions, starting in spring/summer 2022, will be available in three states, including Florida.

“All Barry students and alumni are welcome, particularly those graduating by December 2022,” says DART’s Hannah Wittmer. She is urging those interested to sign up at <>.

DART trains community organizations in how to work for social, economic, and racial justice. The center’s work includes holding police departments accountable, shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline, reining in predatory lenders, expanding access to primary health and dental care, prioritizing funding for affordable housing and job training, and fighting for immigrants' rights.

Wittmer notes that DART organizations are diverse coalitions including many low- and moderate-income, minority, and immigrant communities. “We strongly encourage people from these backgrounds, as well as fluent Spanish speakers and DACA recipients, to apply,” she adds.

For additional information, contact or 202-841-0353.

Ending the Silence
Community Engagement News

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARDS: The categorized list of winners of community engagement awards includes a department honored for community engagement support.

NEW COMMUNITY PARTNER: The Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency (LAORA) is Barry’s newest community partner.

Community Engagement News is a publication of the Center for Community Service Initiatives.

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