Annual Awards

PICCE recognizes outstanding faculty and community partners each year, highlighting impact and innovation in our community.  We showcase community partners for their excellence in partnering with institutions of higher education, the service as co-educators of college students, and their creativity in developing projects and research to involve students in solving real-world problems.  We also honor faculty from regional institutions of higher education for their commitment to community-based learning and their excellence in research that addresses the critical needs in our region.

Nominations for Awards

We invite faculty, staff, and students at area institutions of higher education to nominate individuals or organizations in any of the following categories:

Impact Award: our annual award recognizes a new partnership, program, or initiative bringing higher education and community partners together to make a significant impact on critical issues facing Spokane.  Nominations in this category may focus on innovative service-learning, community-based research, philanthropy, or project-based work that creates a significant and demonstrable community impact while advancing knowledge creation and the greater good.

Mentor of the Year Award: This annual award recognizes a specific community leader who, in partnership with higher education, has advanced the learning of students, the research of faculty, or the capacity of campuses to have an impact on the local community.  The recipient of the award is a co-educator and community scholar of practice in the fullest sense.

Community Partner of the Year: An award to recognize an agency or organization whose partnerships with Spokane campuses achieve a depth and breadth of collaboration and reciprocity.  Recipient organizations are typically a part of the learning, volunteerism, philanthropy, and scholarship of multiple campuses, and they invest their time in both their mission as well as knowledge creation for community impact.

Nominations for 2022-23 are now open and are due March 30, 2023.

To nominate a community partner for a 2022-23 award, click here.

Awards will be presented in the spring during the PICCE Student Symposium.

Community Partner Awards


Impact Award

The Impact Award recognizes an innovative program of community engagement, bringing universities, students, faculty, and staff to support our community in a novel and effective manner.

The 2022 Community Impact Award is presented to Spokane Quaranteam. Rick Clark and the Spokane Quaranteam has been tremendous partner in addressing critical community needs as well as economic sustainability for local businesses and organizations in the Spokane region since 2020. Rick Clark and the Spokane Quaranteam have partnered with Spokane Community College, as well as Gonzaga University, respectively, in fundraising efforts in 2021 and 2022, and has helped to raise over $30,000 for supporting basic needs, as well as local non-profit organizations. Spokane Quaranteam is a beacon of hope, support, and faith in the good of other humans and what can happen when a community comes together in honor of a shared vision of supporting one another and the community at large.


Mentor of the Year

The Mentor of the Year Award recognizes an individual community partner for his/her excellence in advancing students’ learning and facilitating meaningful outcomes for our community.

The 2022 Mentor of the Year Award goes to Šitétkʷ (Devon Peone). Šitétkʷ has worked with Whitworth University for the past three years with our honors students, helping them to understand their relationship to the land on which Whitworth resides, the people who were the original stewards of it, and the language they spoke which is slowly being lost to time. He guided those students as they developed a land acknowledgment statement that honors the Spokane tribes, helped them to develop proposals for designating a place on campus for “native ceremony,” and is currently working with students to develop the story of what it means to regain access to the Spokane dialect of the Salish language.

We are proud to recognize Šitétkʷ for his mentorship of students that grow their knowledge, emphasizes the value of relationships, and helps bring them into a greater understanding of place.


Community Partner of the Year

The Community Partner of the Year Award recognizes an agency in our community that has partnered with universities at multiple levels, including service-learning, Community-Based Research, place-based initiatives, and reciprocal service.

The 2022 Community Partner of the Year award is presented to Catholic Charities of Eastern Washington. Catholic Charities provides opportunities for students from all PICCE campuses to become involved in their mission to "affirm the dignity of every person, to serve and advocate for those who are vulnerable, and bring stability and hope to people throughout Eastern Washington." Catholic Charities is a wonderful partner with our students - they are very receptive to students who want to get involved off-campus and understand more about the needs in Spokane. Students have worked in a variety of roles in different social justice areas with Catholic Charities programs such as CAPA, the House of Charity, the O'Malley Apartments, and St. Margaret's Shelter. After years of planning and intentional partnership, Catholic Charities recently opened the Gonzaga Family Haven and has many plans for programming with GU students for wrap-around support to the residents, especially the youth. Catholic Charities embodies this award in the way that its partnerships with campuses achieve a depth and breadth of collaboration and reciprocity. The organization takes on the active role of a co-educator, ensuring students understand their mission, get to know their neighbors in Spokane, and truly can be a part of creating a more connected community. We applaud their commitment to developing our students and ensuring that their efforts are beneficial to the community.

CEI 2021 Faculty Awards

Faculty Awards


Excellence in Community-Based Teaching and Learning

The Award for Excellence in Community-Based Teaching and Learning is a recognition for excellence in a scholarship of community-based teaching and learning. Presenters in this area explored how their teaching and students’ work in the community helped to advance outcomes for our neighborhoods or around critical-issue areas.

The Peer-Review Board of the Community Engagement Institute recognizes Beth Halaas and Vernon Loke of the School of Social Work at Eastern Washington University with their award for excellence in community-engaged learning. Haalas and Loke devised a learning experience for graduate students of social work and for organizational partners to teach the skills of program evaluation. Side-by-side learning brought students and professionals together, filling a gap in professional development for social service organizations. Student teams subsequently completed a program evaluation for partner organizations, adding to their capacity to review and improve programs. Their approach emphasized a reciprocal benefit to students through the engaged learning and community partners who gained skills as well as a completed program evaluation in an area of need. Peer reviewers praised their work as an example of the meaningful investment of the curriculum to meet community needs, as it prepares students professionally through applied learning.

Excellence in Community-Based Research

The Award for Excellence in Community-Based Research recognizes a community-based research. Award recipients advanced a project applying disciplinary expertise to a problem in the community in order to address and solve a critical issue.

The review board has chosen Shanna Davis (middle) and Allison Wilson (right) of Eastern Washington University for excellence in their community-engaged scholarship. Shanna’s and Allison’s presentation is called “Hello ELLO: Using Community Spaces to Address the 30 Million Word Gap.” The project involves partnerships in the community to allow placement of Everyday Language and Literacy Opportunities (the ELLO part of Hello ELLO) in public spaces to encourage language interaction among caregivers and children from birth to age 5. The project’s goal is to redress the language-acquisition gap among children from lower and higher-income families. You can now find ELLO opportunities in the county libraries, some grocery stores banks and even on some buses in Spokane. Shanna and Allison have collected data on the effectiveness of ELLO opportunities in the grocery store environment and are working on data from the partnership with Spokane Transit.