Community Engagement News

Nov 28, 2022. 5 min read

Community Engagement News November 28, 2022


Community Partner Hosts Thanksgiving Celebration on Campus with Volunteer Assistance

Barry Students volunteer

Barry students play games with children attending the event where more than 40 refugees were treated to lunch, entertainment, and goody bags. (Photo by Heather Johnson Desiral)

Church World Service (CWS) Miami hosted a Thanksgiving celebration for recently resettled refugees—with a little help from Barry students, faculty, and staff.

The event took place on Barry’s main campus, where more than 40 refugees—from such countries as Afghanistan, Colombia, Honduras, and Ukraine—were treated to lunch, entertainment, and goody bags.

Some of the kids played board/table games; others played soccer. Face painting and balloon twisting were highlights of the event.

Many of the girls and boys had their faces and arms painted by Dr. Liliam Dominguez, a lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts. Parents and their children alike were fascinated by the balloon artistry of Dr. Sean Buckreis, an associate professor of education.

Everyone attended a dance rehearsal in the Broad Auditorium. They saw Yvonne Goodridge, an assistant professor of dance, put students through their paces to prepare for their first performance of the academic year.

Reuben E. Rojas, CWS Miami’s senior outreach specialist for refugee resettlement, coordinated the event with support from the Center for Community Service Initiatives and the School of Education, Leadership, and Human Development.

Oscar Rivera, the CWS regional director for the southeastern United States, attended the Thanksgiving celebration.

Barry Students Volunteer
Barry Students Volunteer
Barry Students Volunteer
Barry Students Volunteer
Barry Students Volunteer
Barry Students Volunteer
Barry Students Volunteer
Barry Students Volunteer

Face painting and balloon twisting were highlights of the event hosted by Church World Service Miami on Barry’s Miami Shores campus. (Photos by Heather Johnson Desiral)

CWS South Florida

The Doral-based CWS Miami is one of four South Florida offices of the global, faith-based organization dedicated to “transforming communities around the globe through just and sustainable responses to hunger, poverty, displacement and disaster.”

CWS South Florida welcomes, feeds, and clothes newcomers; reunites and strengthens families; and enables resettled immigrants to become self-sufficient and integrated members of U.S. society.

For several years, Barry students, faculty, and staff have supported the resettlement of refugees in South Florida. The CCSI has hosted “Refugee Welcome Days” on campus and contributed to Thanksgiving events hosted by CWS Miami previously at a church in Miami Lakes.

Drs. Liliam Dominguez, Ruth Ban, and Sean Buckreis
Juan Pablo Martin and Jason Albury

Drs. Liliam Dominguez, Ruth Ban, and Sean Buckreis (in photo at left) contributed to the success of the event, as did JuanPablo Martin and Jason Albury (in photo at right).

Rojas, the CWS Miami resettlement specialist, thanked the university for hosting “such a beautiful thanksgiving festival for our families.” In an email, he said: “The children had such a great time, the volunteers were very organized and … the spaces and assistance were just fantastic.”

In a separate email, Rojas thanked Dr. Dominguez for her “talent and heart” demonstrated at the event. “The children loved their face paintings,” he told her. “[The face-painting activity] was an absolute hit!”

Proposals for Presentations at Barry’s 9th Annual Community Engagement Symposium Now Being Accepted

Community Engagement Symposium, Call for Proposals

The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI) has issued a call for proposals for concurrent session presentations at Barry’s Ninth Annual Community Engagement Symposium. The submission deadline is Friday, January 27.

Proposals for 50-minute, peer-reviewed presentations will be accepted from students, faculty, staff, and community partners.

Scheduled for March 29, 2023, the symposium is being organized around the theme “Cultivating Campus–Community Collaboration for Collective Impact.” A nationally known community engagement scholar will be invited to conduct a workshop session and deliver the keynote presentation during the in-person event on the Miami Shores campus.

Campus–community collaboration may take various forms, including volunteer service, service-learning, community-based research, fieldwork/student teaching/clinical placements, and community-focused internships.

Collective impact generally indicates “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.” In this context, it refers to a significant or major effect of campus–community collaboration on the community, especially through the creation of (potentially) lasting solutions to critical social issues.

The session proposal form is available at the CCSI website and from Dr. Glenn Bowen at

‘Community Partnership’ is One of Seven Categories of Awards for Community Engagement

Community Engagement Awards Nominations

“Community Partnership” is one of seven categories of community engagement awards in which nominations are being accepted.

The Community Partnership Award celebrates exemplary partnerships between university and community constituencies that produce measurable improvements in people’s lives while enhancing higher education.

Students, faculty and staff members, and community partners are invited to submit nominations by the last Friday of January.

Last academic year, the winners of the Community Partnership Award were Hubert O. Sibley K–8 Academy and South Florida People of Color. The award was presented in recognition of their “commendable collaboration with the university.”

Community engagement award nominations are being accepted also in six other categories: Community Impact, Community-Based Research, Community-Engaged Scholarship, Community Engagement Educator, Service-Learning Faculty, and Engaged Department.

2022 Community Partnership Award Winners
2022 Community Partnership Award Winners

2022 Community Partnership Award Winners: Pictured accepting the Community Partnership Award from Dr. Karen Callaghan, professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, are (in photo at left) Mrs. Chandrell Larkin, principal of Sibley, and (in photo at right) Ms. Roni Bennett, executive director of South Florida People of Color.

The primary purpose of the awards is to publicly recognize students, faculty, staff/administrators, departments, and community partners for their participation, contributions, and achievements in various areas of community engagement. Each award is also designed to encourage excellence in university–community collaboration and to inspire similar achievements by others.

The 10th Annual Community Engagement Awards Ceremony is scheduled for the last Wednesday of March. Additional information and the nomination forms are available at the CCSI website.

Federal Work-Study Community Service

For information on Federal Work-Study Community Service, contact Emmanuel Ikpuri, program facilitator, via email at

Community Engagement News

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AWARDS: “Community-Based Research” and “Community-Engaged Scholarship” are two of seven categories of awards in which nominations are being accepted.

STUDENT POSTER COMPETITION: A Student Poster Competition will be a feature of Barry’s 9th Annual Community Engagement Symposium on March 29, 2023.

Most Engaged Campus

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

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