The recipients of the President’s Community Service Award for 2019-2020 were announced in a virtual program during Employee Appreciation Week. The award provides the campus community an opportunity to celebrate and honor individuals, or groups of faculty, staff or students, who are serving our community in extraordinary ways.
This year’s award went to two members of the faculty who stepped up to help the community navigate the impacts of the global pandemic.
Amy Vecchione, associate professor and head of emerging technology and experiential learning for the Albertsons Library, was honored for the role she and the library’s MakerLab played in supplying healthcare workers with protective equipment.
“Calling upon a network of contacts throughout the world, she organized a team of collaborators including engineers, students, and others on campus and in the community,” said Lynn Lubamersky, an associate professor in the history department and one of several colleagues who nominated Vecchione. “She found open-source mask plans and coordinated volunteers within the community and the team made hundreds of face shields. Did she do it all herself? No. But without her vision and leadership it never would have happened.”
“Amy played a key role recruiting makers from across Idaho to help, connecting donors of filament and supplies to makers who were making, and connecting makers to groups in need in their areas,” added Library Dean Tracy Bicknell-Holmes. “Due to this project and Amy’s work, many of these makers developed collaborative partnerships in communities of their own that are still at work, such as the Boise Public Library and the STEM Action Center, and makers in Twin Falls and Nampa.”
Brett Shelton, a professor in the educational technology (Ed-Tech) department, was recognized for his efforts to
educate PreK-12 teachers on effective ways to teach online as school districts moved to remote instruction in the fall of 2020.
“Brett realized that he had expertise in an area where teachers and school communities everywhere had a need,” said Jennifer Snow, interim dean and professor in the College of Education. “PreK-12 teachers everywhere did the best they could meeting student needs with a very quick pivot to remote instruction at the end of the spring semester. Yet they still had uncertainties with how to be more purposeful about online and remote instruction.”
What was originally intended to support and handful of local teachers quickly grew into a full-fledged professional development course with nearly 400 teachers enrolled.
“There are a number of teachers in Idaho and across the U.S. that are very grateful for the help,” said Mary Ann Parlin, who nominated Shelton and assisted him with the online course. “We will never know the real number of people that we impacted, but I can tell you that Brett certainly deserves this award!”
Nominations for the President’s Community Service Award are accepted year round, and nominations can be submitted via the form on the We Serve web page. The finalists were selected by a committee with representatives from Human Resource Services, the Professional Staff Association, the Association of Classified Employees, and the Faculty Senate. The finalists were submitted to the president for review and final determination of the winners.
A list of all employees and groups nominated is below.