The Lowell Bennion Center for Community Engagement at the University of Utah is thrilled to announce this year’s Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Faculty Award recipients. We offer congratulations and gratitude for their incredible service to University of Utah students and local Utah communities.
2023 Distinguished Faculty Service Award
The Bennion Center’s 2023 Distinguished Faculty Service Award honors two exceptional CEL faculty members who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to the campus-community connection through a life of active, unpaid community service and the integration of service with research and teaching.
Amos N. Guiora, S.J. Quinney College of Law
Epitomizing community-engaged scholarship, Amos Guiora’s pathbreaking research and writing on bystanders and enablers in sexual assaults has had both direct and indirect impacts on survivors worldwide. Beyond his many presentations and discussions with survivors, he advocates for systemic change. He worked with Utah legislators Rep. Brian King and Sen. Kurt Bramble to introduce a bill that criminalized bystanders of sexual assault; the bill was signed by Gov. Cox in March 2021. According to one letter of support from a survivor of sexual assault, “Professor Guiora's genuine care and concern aided in realizing my worth, therefore restoring my light. There are very few people in this world who will take the time to listen. Professor Guiora not only listened, but he also took initiative to create change.”
Shannon Jones, Department of Nutrition & Integrated Physiology, College of Health
Shannon Jones turns her passion for food access and justice into action. According to her nominator, “Shannon has taken our programs beyond nutrition education visits, to efforts to change the food environment at shelters, develop gardening programs, and alter state policies on health and nutrition for individuals experiencing homelessness.” All of Jones’ letters of support mentioned her deep commitment to community work. Examples include staying late to finish planting gardens and hand delivering fresh produce via bike on nights and weekends. Of particular note is how she makes space for everyone to engage in the work. According to her College of Health colleague, Jeffrey Rose, “Shannon leverages her unique relational abilities to inspire, educate and connect with people on an extremely authentic level. She deeply cares about the people in her life, and the compassion and connection are inextricable from her capacity to mentor community members, students and faculty about the myriad ways that community engagement and service affects our lives.”
2023-2024 Public Service Professor Award
The Bennion Center’s 2023-2024 Public Service Professor Award is designed to help a CEL faculty member strengthen community-engaged learning experiences and foster stronger partnerships with their local community.
Hallie Jay Pope, S.J. Quinney College of Law
Hallie Jay Pope came to the University of Utah to develop the Creative Advocacy Lab (CAL), an experiential course dedicated to promoting access to justice and democratizing legal information. According to Pope, “CAL explores modes of legal advocacy beyond traditional client representation, reenvisioning lawyers as community educators, problem solvers and storytellers. In collaboration with community partners, students use creative tools—like design thinking, narrative, plain language writing and visual communication—to make legal information accessible to those who need it.” She will utilize the $7,500 award in partnership with CAL students, People’s Legal Aid Utah and the tenants they work alongside to design informational resources about housing law and renters’ rights.