LEWISTON – Michelle Vazquez-Jacobus, MSW, JD, a faculty member at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, was honored recently as one of the 2006 recipients of the Donald Harward Faculty Award for Service-Learning Excellence.

The award is presented through the Maine Campus Compact to three faculty members “who have demonstrated a significant commitment to practicing and promoting service-learning or making public service an integral part of their teaching.”

Vazquez-Jacobus was cited for her work with the Lewiston Youth Empowerment Program, a collaborative effort of USM/L-A and Empower Lewiston. It is the program portion of a service-learning class, “Youth, Community and Higher Education,” taught by Vazquez-Jacobus.

The program helps to empower youth by providing resiliency-building activities that support self-esteem, alternatives to negative peer influences and foster the youths’ higher education aspirations.

This is the third consecutive year that a faculty member from USM/L-A has won the award.

The Maine Campus Compact is a statewide coalition of college and university presidents established to encourage and enhance campus engagement in the community.

The Harward Faculty Awards are presented annually in honor of former Bates College President Donald Harward.

Other 2006 recipients are Bowdoin College associate professor of sociology Joe Bandy and assistant professor of anthropology and sociology Mike Kimball from the University of Maine at Machias.

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