Community Engagement News

Amanda Gonzalez Garcia and Joseph Minani are the winners of this year’s Community Impact Award.

Community Engagement

Apr 18, 2022. 5 min read

Community Engagement Community Engagement News April 18, 2022

Students, Community Partners, and Faculty Members Receive Awards During Community Engagement Celebration

Facilities Management honored for community engagement support

Community Engagement Awards

Principal Chandrell Larkin shows off the plaque presented to Hubert O. Sibley K–8 Academy in recognition of “commendable collaboration with the university.” Dean Karen Callaghan (center) made the presentation. Joining Mrs. Larkin were, from left, Ms. Jacqueline Salgan, lead teacher; Ms. Ines Diaz, assistant principal; and Ms. Jasmine Chery, magnet lead teacher.

Two students, two community partners, and three faculty members are the winners of this year’s major awards for community engagement. And the Facilities Management department has been recognized for its support over the years.

The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) hosted Barry’s Ninth Annual Community Engagement Awards last Tuesday, April 12. All award winners received special plaques to emblematize the university’s recognition of their achievements. 

Amanda Gonzalez Garcia, a Barry Service Corps member, and Joseph Minani, a former Barry Service Corps Fellow, received the Community Impact Award for exemplary civic engagement that had “a considerable impact on the community.”

Dr. Scott F. Smith, vice president for mission and student engagement, presented the award plaque to Ms. Gonzalez Garcia. Ms. Nikki Watkins, program director at MCCJ and chair of Barry’s Community Advisory Committee, made the presentation to Mr. Minani.

Community Engagement Awards
Community Engagement Awards
Community Engagement Awards
Community Engagement Awards
Community Engagement Awards

The three categories in which the major awards were presented are Community Impact, Community Partnership, and Community-Engaged Scholarship. All award winners received special plaques to emblematize the university’s recognition of their achievements.

Hubert O. Sibley K–8 Academy and South Florida People of Color are the recipients of the Community Partnership Award for 2022. The award was presented in recognition of “commendable collaboration with the university that has contributed to measurable improvements in people’s lives while enhancing higher education.”

Accepting the Community Partnership Award from Dr. Karen Callaghan, professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, were Mrs. Chandrell Larkin, principal of Sibley, and Ms. Roni Bennett, executive director of South Florida People of Color.

The Community-Engaged Scholarship Award was won jointly by Dr. Sean Foreman, a professor of political science, and Dr. Jalane Meloun, a professor in the School of Education, as well as Dr. Heidi Whitford, an associate professor in the School of Education. Dr. Celeste Landeros, professor and chair of the Faculty Senate, presented the winners with the award plaques.

Mr. Raul Gonzalez, director of Facilities Management, accepted the Community Engagement Support Award from Ms. Courtney Berrien, associate director of the CCSI. Joining Mr. Gonzalez for the presentation were Mr. Elvin Aguilar, a supervisor, and Mr. Harry Diaz, a team member.

Ninth Annual Community Engagement Awards
Community Engagement Support Facilities Management
Community Impact Amanda Gonzalez Garcia
Joseph Minani
Community Partnership Hubert O. Sibley K–8 Academy
South Florida People of Color
Community-Engaged Scholarship Dr. Sean Foreman and Dr. Jalane Meloun
Dr. Heidi Whitford

The CCSI hosted the Community Engagement Awards at the pavilion of the Health and Sports Center and via Zoom. Dr. Glenn A. Bowen, executive director of the CCSI, noted that the primary purpose of the annual event is to publicly recognize students, faculty, staff/administrators, departments, and community partners for their participation, contributions, and achievements in various areas of community engagement.

Rev. Richard Clements, associate pastor of music and worship arts at Mount Tabor Baptist Church, delivered the invocation and said grace.

Dr. Heather Johnson Desiral, experiential learning facilitator in the CCSI, expressed gratitude to participants and guests at the luncheon. Guests included Ms. Sue Rosenthal, vice president for business and finance, and Mrs. Yvette Brown Koottungal, vice president for strategic initiatives and chief information officer.

Community Engagement Awards

Mr. Roger Horne, executive director of Urban GreenWorks, addresses attendees at last Tuesday afternoon’s event, emphasizing the need for concerted action to combat food insecurity.

Community Engagement Awards
Community Engagement Awards

Left: Dr. Heather Johnson Desiral expresses gratitude to participants and guests at the Community Engagement Awards Luncheon last Tuesday. Right: Rev. Richard Clements, associate pastor of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, converses with Dr. Pamela Hall, a member of the Community Engagement Awards Committee.

Community Engagement Poster Competition

Poster Competition
Poster Competition
Poster Competition

Top: Maria Stampolkou with Dr. Victor Romano after receiving the first prize for her poster about support for Broward County children in foster care. Bottom, L–R: Runners-up Skylar Smith and Amanda Gonzalez Garcia with their prizes.

During the Community Engagement Awards Ceremony, Dr. Victor Romano, associate provost for student success and undergraduate studies, presented prizes won in this year’s Community Engagement Poster Competition for undergraduates.

Maria Stampolkou received the first prize of an 11.6-inch Acer Chromebook for her entry titled “Supporting Broward County Children in Foster Care by Securing Resources to Improve Stability and Well-Being.”

Ms. Stampolkou is a criminology and sociology major and a fellow in the Barry Service Corps.

Taking home the second-prize of a digital air fryer winner was Skylar Smith, also a fellow in the Barry Service Corps. Ms. Smith’s poster showed how she addressed racial inequality on and off campus through the formation of a Black Student Union at Barry University.

The third prize, a Litra Glow Premium LED streaming light, was presented to Barry Service Corps member Amanda Gonzalez Garcia for her poster “Exploring Ways to Improve Family Connections to Reduce Instances of Juvenile Delinquency.”

Dr. Romano congratulated the three prize winners and thanked all students who participated in the competition.

The poster competition was a component of the university’s Eighth Annual Community Engagement Symposium, which was held last month as a virtual event. (See Pictorial Report below.)

Posters Illustrate Student Learning and Community Impact: A Pictorial Report

Symposium Posters Pictorial Report 01
Symposium Posters Pictorial Report 02
Symposium Posters Pictorial Report 03
Symposium Posters Pictorial Report 04
Symposium Posters Pictorial Report 05
Symposium Posters Pictorial Report 06

Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency is Barry’s Newest Community Partner

Life Alliance

A Miami-based nonprofit organ procurement and service organization known as LAORA is Barry’s newest community partner.

LAORA—Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency—LAORA aims to “provide life-saving organs while caring for the families of organ, eye, and tissue donors by turning tragedies into miracles,” according to its mission statement.

“We educate the community and our partners about the importance of organ, eye, and tissue donation,” said Mackenly Etienne, OPO (organ procurement organizations) community education specialist at LAORA.

Did you know?
  • Every 10 minutes a name is added to the national patient waiting list.
  • Every day 20 people die waiting for an organ transplant.
  • One organ donor can save 8 lives.
  • One tissue donor can enhance and improve the lives of 250 people.

LAORA is inviting community members to “Be Someone’s Miracle” by becoming organ donors.

For further information, contact Mackenly Etienne at or Jessica Fisher at

Students Contributing to Miami Diaper Bank Request Donations by This Tuesday

Diaper Drive
Diaper Drive
Diaper Drive

Honors students taking HUM 199H, a humanities course, are requesting donations toward their service-learning project. They are collecting diapers for the Miami Diaper Bank.

“We'd like to share kindness and give back to our community,” said Alyssa Diaz, one of the organizers. “We’ve organized a diaper drive as a service-learning class project in partnership with Miami Diaper Bank. This nonprofit helps babies and families in South Florida who are in need.”

The diaper drive organized by Alyssa and classmates Isabella Tusa, Rebecka Mellor, and Ann-Stacey Dumornay ends this Tuesday, April 19. Collection boxes are located in Powers Hall, Thompson Hall, the Landon Student Union, and the Science Center adjacent to O’Laughlin Hall. 

“Did you know our government does not recognize diapers as a necessity?” the organizers are asking. “One in every three American households must pick between diapers and other essentials such as food,” they report, adding: “There should never be a time when a parent has to choose between providing these essentials for their family.” 

In addition to diapers (sizes 4, 5, 6, and 7) and pull-ups (all sizes), the following items many be placed in the boxes: unopened formula, rash creams, baby wipes, and gift cards.

For additional information, email Alyssa Diaz at

Big Brothers Big Sisters Buccaneer Partnership


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

Ending the Silence
Community Engagement News

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARDS: Learn more about this year’s winners of community engagement awards—their community impact, partnership outcomes, engaged scholarship focus, and program support.

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

Sign in to use the pins