Dixie State, Academy of Art University claim 2012 PacWest Community Engagement Award
NEWPORT BEACH, CA – For outstanding service to their respective communities, Academy of Art University and Dixie State College of Utah have been selected as the co-recipients of the 2011-12 Pacific West Conference Community Engagement Award.
The announcement was made during the 2012 PacWest Conference meetings held May 30-June 1 in Newport Beach, CA.
The PacWest Community Engagement Award is sponsored in part by the Drobka Insurance Brokerage of Newport Beach, CA, which congratulates all the hardworking student-athletes for their outstanding community service.
The annual award recognizes outstanding community service and projects performed by a PacWest member’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). A panel reviews the nominations and chooses a winner.
This marks the second consecutive year and just the second time in the five-year history of the award that the honor has been shared. In addition, Dixie State becomes the first three-time winner.
In 2011, Dixie State and Notre Dame de Namur University shared the honor, while in 2009 Dixie State claimed the honor outright. Chaminade University of Honolulu captured the inaugural award in 2008 and Dominican University of California claimed the award in 2010.
“The selection committee noted the incredible strength of all the nominations this year,” Bob Hogue, commissioner of the PacWest, said. “The commitment by the student-athletes and the athletic departments at our member institutions to weave community engagment and service into the fabric of their athletic programs impressed the committee. This year the student-athletes at Art U and Dixie State did an especially stellar job and they, along with their institutions, deserve this honor.”
In addition to Art U and Dixie State, the committee also noted the outstanding efforts of all the student-athletes in the PacWest.
Each institution will receive a plaque commemorating its selection. Hogue will make the presentation during a home event hosted by the institution during the 2012-13 academic year.
“I’m proud that our student-athletes embraced the challenge and opportunity of providing community service this past academic year,” Jamie Williams, the director of athletics at Academy of Art, stated. “Led by Meghan Bushnell, Art U’s SAAC advisor and assistant athletic, we established a presence within greater San Francisco as do-gooders providing support to a diversity of non-profit organizations is an area Art U seeks to win beyond athletics and academics. Achieving the PacWest Community Engagement Award is a testament of that goal but ultimately icing on the cake of what is our standard. We thank the PacWest officials for recognizing the efforts of our artist-athletes!”
Art U participated in a myriad of events throughout 2011-12, including the Bay Area Women's Sports Initiative (BAWSI) where, for the third consecutive year, the Urban Knight women's soccer team traveled to Mariana Castro Elementary School in Mountain View and partnered with BAWSI for a day of building up the next generation of female athletes in the Bay Area.
BAWSI is a public benefit, nonprofit corporation with a mission to create programs and partnerships through which women athletes bring health, hope and wholeness to the community.
In a memorable event that united the young and dedicated minds of more than 200 students from the surrounding Bay Area elementary schools, Art U hosted the Playworks San Francisco Junior Coach Leadership Conference during the 2012 spring semester.
The conference featured inspiring discussions on anti-bullying techniques, how to be a leader, public speaking, and teamwork with members of the Urban Knights' own Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
Playworks, a national nonprofit organization that provides safe, healthy, inclusive play and physical activity to schools at recess and throughout the entire school day, welcomed fourth- and fifth-grade students from 26 elementary schools throughout San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo County to develop their skills in leadership, conflict resolution and team work – with a specific focus on anti-bullying.
Project Open Hand witnessed participation by Art U student-athletes volunteering to provide meals to people living with serious illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and to seniors in the San Francisco and Alameda County areas.
Jason Boothe, the director of athletics at Dixie State, echoed Williams’ statements for the Red Storm.
“We are humbled to receive the Pac West Community Engagement Award again this year. The development of our student-athletes into champions in the community and in life is just as important as winning championships. We hold this award in very high regard. All credit goes to our tremendous student-athletes, coaches, staff and community. The St. George and surrounding Southern Utah area is filled with wonderful people and they have supported us very well throughout our history. We make a very concerted effort to give back to our community in every way possible.”
Dixie State President Dr. Stephen D. Nadauld thanked the PacWest for the outstanding efforts of the Red Storm student-athletes.
“We sincerely thank the Pacific West Conference for recognizing the incredible work our entire athletic department provides in giving back to our community through service,” Nadauld said. “Our student-athletes, coaches and administrators truly exemplify the can-do Dixie Spirit, and their collective examples of hard work and dedication, not only in the classroom and on the field of play, but also to our community is second-to-none. Our student-athletes and coaches are true role models for the youth in our community and we are proud of the way they represent Dixie State College of Utah.”
On Oct. 7-8, 2011, Dixie State student-athletes awarded medals to the athletes competing in the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, UT. Red Storm softball and men’s basketball student-athletes contributed 75 total hours participating in the event that featured distribution of medals to winners during each ceremony and spending time with the senior athletes participating in the event.
On Oct. 31, 2011, student-athletes and their coaches from Dixie State hosted the Trunk or Treat event for the St. George community. More than 700 families and members of the community attended the event that has become a yearly tradition.
Led by the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the teams decorated cars and placed them around the track at Hansen Stadium, dressed up in costumes, and handed out candy to kids of all ages. The NCAA recognized this particular event as the winner of the 2011 Community Engagement Award for the PacWest.
On Nov. 17, 2011, more than 30 Dixie State student-athletes helped prepare the Erin Kimball Memorial Home in Washington, UT, for renovation. The facility is a place where victims of domestic violence can find a safe haven for help. The student-athletes performed a variety of tasks ranging from tearing down walls to cleaning the yard.