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 2023-24 are now open and are due April 4, 2024.

To nominate a community partner for a 2023-24 award, click here.

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

Community Partner Awards

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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 2023 Community Impact Award is presented to Tolley, Director of Community Engaged Programs at The Arc of Spokane. As a long-time PICCE member and community organizer, Luke was selected for this award because of his commitment to collaboration, education, and advocacy. Luke is a valued member of the PICCE leadership team and has stepped into roles not often occupied by Community Partners. He brings an incredible thoughtfulness about the impacts and outcomes of supporting Community Engagement from the Community Organization perspective, and his input over the past year has led to ever-improving practices amongst the Higher Education institutions comprising PICCE. Luke is a strong advocate for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our community and welcomes all into the efforts of The Arc to create a more inclusive and accessible community.

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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 2023 Community Partner of the Year award is presented to Our Place Community Outreach.Our Place 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.

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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 2023 Mentor of the Year Award goes to Peg Haun-McEwen. As the Director of Community at Gonzaga Family Haven, Peg has made a significant impact on the many people she interacts with on a daily basis: adult and youth residents, Catholic Charities employees, Gonzaga students, staff, and faculty, and the multitude of community partners involved with the Haven. She cares deeply for everyone that walks in the door- developing positive relationships, supporting people on their unique journeys, and serving as a mentor to many. Peg is gifted at finding people’s strengths and matching their strengths with opportunities for growth and belonging.

Peg has partnered with a specific service-learning course from GU (such as Foundations in Sports Outreach) to involve GU students at the Haven to provide PE-type programming for youth, meeting a critical need around health and after-school programming. Other partnerships with GU include Gonzaga School of Nursing and Human Physiology; the Law School; School of Leadership Studies; School of Education; Athletics; Center for Community Engagement; and the School of Business Administration. Peg’s creativity and openness to partnership initiates, her dedication to all stakeholders, and positive outlook give those around her hope and a great sense of community.

CEI 2023 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 recognizesEastern Washington University’ Dr. William Shaw and Dr. Brian Davenport and community partner, Spokane County Courts’ Ana Fortson were identified by their peers for excellence in community-based learning for their presentation entitled, Test Driving Career Through Community Engagement: A Guardianship Auditing Project. Through an innovative partnership between the EWU Accounting Department and Spokane County Courts, EWUs students are exploring career tracks while meeting community-defined needs and serving the greater good. Community engagement in accounting has a long history though it is typically found either through public accounting firm internships or, more recently through Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA) (Carr, 1998). Realizing that not all students choose these paths, EWU continued to explore additional options for students to grow their experience. The partnership with the Spokane County Guardianship Monitoring Program (GMP) serves a significant pedagogical need, and, as well as, addressing a significant community need. The review board specifically applauded this project’s attention to responding to community needs while developing pedagogically impactful learning experiences for students. This work modeled the kind of reciprocity that reviewers desired to see practiced between colleagues in higher education and the community.

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 Dr. Beth Halaas and Dr. Bipasha Biswas of Eastern Washington University and colleague and community partner Dr. Rumyana Kudeva for excellence in their community-engaged scholarship.  Their presentation Co-Constructing Strategies for addressing Structural Inequality in Refugee and Immigrant (SSIRI) Communities in Spokane, Washington describes a study developed in response to the sense of alienation among refugees/immigrants worldwide. Spokane, WA, a UN designated refugee-resettlement city is no exception to this alienation. While the initial resettlement efforts under US Refugee Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-212) include referral for services (health and mental health, legal, housing assistance, and education), availability of culturally responsive services are extremely limited.

Their findings will inform service providers of the barriers experienced by resettled refugees and seek to improve community-based organizations’ service delivery models for this population.