Congratulations to our 2013-2014 award recipients!
Every year, the University of Ottawa’s CSL program highlights the outstanding contributions of a student, a professor and a community partner.
Community Partner Award: MATCH International Women’s Fund
MATCH International Women’s Fund provides grants to women’s rights organizations around the world to make lasting changes in the lives of women and girls. It supports projects that dismantle barriers, change systems, challenge perceptions and transform society. The MATCH Fund is committed to helping women hold the ground they’ve gained, while looking for ways to break new ground in securing the basic human rights they seek. This organization was nominated by Cherie Martin, a uOttawa student volunteering with MATCH as part of the Community Service Learning component of her graduate level course in international development (Social Movements, Equity and Human Rights). Cherie pointed out that her director, Jessica Tomlin, and all her co-workers at MATCH were extremely friendly, helpful and informative, creating a wonderful work environment that allowed her to develop many new skills. She was given lots of autonomy and was encouraged to provide input into many of the organization’s activities. Cherie really valued the passion exhibited by her co-workers and their significant contributions to women’s rights issues, both domestically and internationally. She also felt fortunate that the organization provided her with various opportunities to expand her professional network of contacts that she hopes will help as she heads into a career in international development.
Student Award: Ithar Abusheikha
Ithar Abusheikha is a third year student who participated in the Community Service Learning program in both her fall 2013 and winter 2014 social work courses. Ithar volunteered with the Alzheimer’s Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, an organization that she had been actively involved with since January 2012. Debbie Abbott, her volunteer supervisor, wanted to recognize Ithar for her genuine commitment to the community and her desire to educate people on the issues of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Ithar’s excellent work and compassion were demonstrated in many of her activities, particularly a new project she helped launch called “Keep Me in Mind — a Youth Initiative for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Awareness.” As part of this project, Ithar designed, coordinated and managed an interactive display during the inaugural Youth Hub at the 2014 Walk for Memories. Her ideas helped initiate dialogue within families to promote intergenerational understanding and reduction of stigma related to dementia. Ithar made several other great contributions to her organization, such as creating effective new tools, conducting research and managing volunteer teams. In addition to her work with the Alzheimer’s Society, Ithar is also actively involved in other volunteer initiatives, which only further demonstrate her passion and commitment to helping her community.
Professor Award: Marjorie Silverman
Professor Marjorie Silverman is a social gerontologist and psychotherapist with expertise in challenges related to family caregiving. Last session, while teaching her Diversity and Social Service class, she offered her students the possibility to take part in the Community Service Learning (CSL) program. One of her students wished to nominate her for this award because of her effectiveness in integrating CSL into her course. One of the ways she did this was by having her students engage in a class dialogue where all students reflected on their volunteer experience. This reflective activity exposed all students in the course to the needs of their local community and the individual experiences of each student who took part in CSL. The students highly valued her hands-on learning approach, which they felt allowed them to better link class theory to the real world. Throughout the session and the CSL process, Professor Silverman demonstrated a strong commitment to improving the classroom experience, offering her students support and assistance, as well as an overall desire to ensure she and her students could have a positive impact on the community.am.”