West Virginia Campus Compact, a coalition of 28 college and universities that encourages and supports community engagement in higher education, honored Fairmont State University with multiple awards at its annual statewide conference.
Fairmont State professor Matt Schmuck’s Friends of Fifth Street Park Project was recognized as the winner of the Campus-Community LINK Partnership Award. The award honors outstanding community service learning partnerships that are grantees of West Virginia Campus Compact’s LINK program.
The Friends of Fifth Street Park project is a model of community engagement, student learning and sustainable, deep change. With the objective of changing a depressed area in the city of Fairmont, led by Schmuck, Fairmont State students have learned management, budgeting, construction and community engagement skills while redeveloping a troubled community park. The community is heavily involved in the effort as well. Schmuck has partnered with the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Fairmont, Kathy Wyrosdick, and many other stakeholders in developing the project.
In addition, Fairmont State professor Rebecca Giorcelli’s project was honored as a LINK Promising Newcomer. Giorcelli has connected students at Fairmont State with the National Appalachian Coal Mining Heritage Association to create exhibits for a coal mining heritage museum. Giorcelli’s community partner for the project is Mike Rohaly of NACMHA.
About the photo: Pictured are Kathy Wyrosdick and Matt Schmuck.