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Clark undergrad, faculty recognized for community engagement

Brittany Murphy ’13 and Clark professors Jennie Stephens and Eric DeMeulenaere were presented with Community Engagement Student and Faculty Awards by the Colleges of the Worcester Consortium (COWC) at a ceremony on March 26 at Worcester State University.

The Consortium presents annual awards to students who have performed outstanding service to the community, and recognizes faculty members who have gone above and beyond to encourage student involvement in the community.

Murphy was recognized with the Community Engagement Student Award for successfully completing her academic internship at the Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital where she assisted with group therapy sessions and informally counseled patients through individualized contact. The hands-on experience she gained gave her valuable insight into clinical psychology; she plans to pursue a career in this field upon graduation.

Professors DeMeulenaere and Stephens were each presented with Community Engagement Faculty Awards; both were nominated for the award by their peers at Clark.

DeMeulenaere, assistant professor in the Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education, was nominated for the award because he “has shown a long-standing commitment to integrate his ongoing scholarship and research with community service and community engagement.” An advocate of community action research, professor DeMeulenaere has been heavily engaged at Claremont Academy and has co-taught a yearlong course for students. Among his many community projects, he coordinates an afterschool Critical Media Literacy Program for urban youth, produces the Community Cinema Worcester film and community dialogue series, and hosts and produces a local television show.

Fellow faculty members nominated Stephens, associate professor in the International Development Community Environment (IDCE) department, because she “exemplifies the criteria for this award through her research and community engagement connected with sustainability initiatives in Greater Worcester.” Team projects produced in Stephens’ course have resulted in numerous changes across campus, including the Bike Share Program and Clark’s first Rain Garden. In addition, she has collaborated with the Institute for Energy and Sustainability and is currently conducting focus groups on Smart Grid development in Massachusetts.