Faculty members to be lauded for community efforts
Apr 23, 2008
When Toledo resident Edith Rathbun established a tribute fund in 2005 to recognize faculty for efforts beyond the classroom, she had people like Gabrielle Davis, Dr. Clinton Longenecker and Dr. Mojisola Tiamiyu in mind.
The three have been named recipients of Edith Rathbun Outreach and Engagement Excellence Awards for service to their communities. The awards recognize faculty members for excellence in community-engaged scholarship, based on the quality and community impact of their work in research, teaching or professional service.
Davis, professor of law, will be honored with a special award for her work on behalf of domestic abuse victims are so significant, however, that she has been recognized with a special recognition award.
Davis was instrumental in forming the Lucas County Domestic Violence Resource Center earlier this year. She also heads the Domestic Violence Clinic within UT’s College of Law to assist victims. The clinic brings law students and victims together, allowing students to lend their legal skills to real victims in actual courtroom proceedings.
“Her fierce determination, deeply ingrained integrity and generous contributions to individuals and organizations across a wide spectrum of domestic violence intervention have made her the ‘go-to’ person on this issue in our community,” reads one of Davis’ nominations.
Although Davis will receive no monetary award, numerous women and children in northwest Ohio face brighter futures because of her efforts.
Longenecker, Stranahan Professor of Leadership and Organizational Excellence, has made a career of academic nurturing and community involvement. Nominators laud his longtime willingness to develop workshops, award programs and alumni conferences that recognize community leaders and entrepreneurs. Multiple charitable organizations, such as the United Way, have benefited from his talents as a fundraiser. Longenecker also has made a practice of volunteering his consulting expertise to local agencies and routinely delivers motivational speeches to service organizations and schools.
“Dr. Longenecker is an inspiration, role model and mentor for students of this lifestyle of engagement and service,” reads a nomination. “His leadership development initiatives have had an empowering impact on the education, training and development of area talent and serve the cause of business excellence in our community.”
Tiamiyu, associate professor of psychology and special assistant to the dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, stretched the idea of peer support to include students of different ages, cultures and backgrounds when she initiated the STAR Mentee Program in 2002. Each semester, she enlists about 20 UT students from various majors to interact with local elementary students from minority and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Pinpointing the areas of math and language skills, UT’s “older siblings” act as tutors, mentors and friends for children whose mere life circumstances could dampen their chances for educational success.
“Dr. Tiamiyu meets not just one, but all four of the Rathbun criteria,” writes a nominator. “She has implemented community-based research, provided professional consultation to community groups, participated in community-engaged projects, and designed and implemented a service-learning course that impacts some of Toledo’s most needy residents.”
In recent years, the STAR Mentee Program has been recognized by northwest Ohio’s Partners in Education as a BEST Partner Award nominee.
The recipients will be honored with plaques during the academic awards banquet Friday, April 25. Longenecker and Tiamiyu each will receive $750 awards, as well.