Notre Dame de Namur, Dixie State share 2010-11 PacWest Community Engagement Award
HONOLULU, HI – For outstanding service to their respective communities, Notre Dame de Namur University and Dixie State College of Utah have been selected as the co-recipients of the 2010-11 Pacific West Conference Community Engagement Award.
The announcement was made during the 2011 PacWest Conference meetings held June 6-8 in Honolulu, HI.
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 first time in the four-year history of the award that the honor has been shared. In addition, Dixie State becomes the first two-time winner.
Chaminade University of Honolulu captured the inaugural award in 2008, while Dixie State claimed the honor in 2009. Dominican University of California claimed the award last season.
“Every year it gets more and more difficult to select a winner because of the outstanding effort by the student-athletes in the PacWest,” Bob Hogue, commissioner of the PacWest, said. “This year the student-athletes at Notre Dame de Namur and Dixie State did an outstanding job and they, along with their institutions, deserve this honor.”
In addition to NDNU and Dixie State, the committee also noted the outstanding efforts by the student-athletes of Grand Canyon University, Dominican, and Chaminade.
The universities will each receive a plaque commemorating their selection.
Notre Dame de Namur University
NDNU integrates community engagement activities as an important part of its curriculum through its First Year Experience courses and a wide variety of community-based learning courses. Beginning with the incoming freshman class, all students will be required to take at least two community engagement courses.
Argonaut students and faculty regularly commit approximately 100,000 hours of service to the local community either as volunteers or as part of their course of study.
Because of this community engagement effort, NDNU earned a place on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction as selected by the National Corporation for National Community Service.
The athletic community engagement activities selected for this academic year were grounded within the mission of NDNU, the mission of NDNU’s Athletics Department, and the NCAA Division II’s framework of community engagement.
NDNU’s athletic department and Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) undertook 10 specific community engagement activities, including four new ones, and raised nearly $1500.
Page Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative
The BAWSI is a public benefit, nonprofit corporation with the mission of creating programs and partnerships through which women athletes bring health, hope, and wholeness to the community.
The NDNU women’s softball team has worked with the Bay Area Women’s Sports Initiative for the past three years. Each year during the fall semester, the Argos help teach underprivileged girls to become active in sports.
This year, all 15 members of the Argonaut softball team participated in a 12-week project working with young students in a lower-income elementary school in Redwood City.
Each week, a crew of eight to 10 players traveled to the school and spent 90 minutes coaching approximately 130 girls in soccer, kickball and a variety of other sports and games. Although their mission was to inspire and enable children to be more physically active, they also served as positive female role models.
Tenderloin Sports Clinic
Tenderloin University is collaboration between NDNU and several social service agencies in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco - an ethnically diverse community composed primarily of immigrants from Latin American and Southeast Asia. The majority of the population in this area lives in poverty.
Through Tenderloin University, NDNU students and faculty help organize notable events such as sports clinics for children living. Every year, the sports clinics prove to be among the most popular events held at the Tenderloin Children’s Playground.
In the past, several NDNU sports teams scheduled separate clinics involving most, if not all, of the players on the team. This year, they decided to try something different. Rather than spreading out the clinics over the entire year, all the teams came together on a single day for a festival of sports.
On Dec. 3, members of the NDNU men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, men’s soccer, and lacrosse teams put on a day of clinics for more than 130 children.
Coaching Young Athletes
The NDNU women’s soccer team was active in the Belmont youth soccer scene. Ten players coached American Youth Soccer Association (AYSO) teams and a local high school squad.
The 15-member softball team holds two clinics a year for local youth. This year the team hosted one clinic for about 100 children from the Belmont Youth Softball Association and another for 200 children from the San Mateo Youth Softball Association.
Several times during the basketball season, youth basketball players from Belmont were invited to participate in halftime games during NDNU basketball contests. The Ralston Middle School boys and girls each played their own games and were coached by NDNU men’s basketball players. In addition, three women’s basketball players coach at Ralston Middle School.
The men’s and women’s basketball teams and the women’s softball team focused their community engagement activity on fighting breast cancer by raising awareness and money for research and treatment of this disease.
The NDNU men’s and women’s basketball programs hosted a Think Pink Night on Feb. 17 during a doubleheader contest vs. BYU-Hawaii. The teams wore pink shooting shirts and socks and distributed pink ribbons and bracelets to fans. NDNU donated all proceeds from the event - including all admission and concession stand purchases - to The Susan G Komen for the Cure Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness.
For a week leading up to the doubleheader, teams sold Think Pink T-shirts around campus and solicited donations from students, faculty and staff. In total, the Argos raised $864 to contribute to the fight against breast cancer.
The softball program has held a Think Pink Day for the past four years. The first Think Pink activity was inspired by the loss of assistant softball coach Kelly Gallo to breast cancer. This year’s event saw the largest number of fans in attendance.
The NDNU softball program held its Think Pink Day in conjunction with a triple-header against the Dominican University of California on April 30. The Argonauts wore pink jerseys to help recognize and increase awareness of the cause, and the fans were given ribbons and wristbands.
Earlier this year, NDNU’s SAAC Committee began an association with Collective Roots, a nonprofit organization founded and based in East Palo Alto. The organization educates and engages youth and communities in food system change through sustainable programs that impact health, education and the environment.
Collective Roots achieves its mission through the innovative integration and implementation of two key program areas - garden-based learning and food system change.
SAAC students visited the homes of individuals who had requested assistance from Collective Roots and collaborated with the individuals and their neighbors to plant 13 fruit trees.
During the Month of April, the NDNU athletic program and the SAAC Committee helped organize a Penny Wars contest to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The campus was split into five teams, Women’s Sports, Men’s Sports, Faculty and Staff, ASNDNU, and Commuters. A jar for each team was placed in the cafeteria for the month of April and points were awarded based on the number of coins or bills placed into each team’s jar.
At the conclusion of the contest, Women’s Sports earned the most points and won the contest, while collectively the contest raised $452 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Additionally, the athletic department collected $177 during home basketball games.
Dixie State College of Utah
Since an athletic program was established at Dixie State College, athletics and student-athletes have played a major role in serving the citizens and community of Southern Utah.
In the 2010-11, Dixie State College student-athletes, coaches and administrators made a renewed effort to reach out to the St. George and surrounding communities through appearances, service projects, school visits, food drives and more.
Dixie State student-athletes spent more than 582 hours in the community during the 2010-11 school year, averaging over 72 hours per month.
Student-athletes performed tasks such as laying sod, speaking to groups about being drug free or how to deal with bullies, mowing lawns, and collecting food and other items.
Just as the St. George community and Dixie State have given so much to them throughout the year, Dixie State student-athletes have given back in many ways. These community service projects are an integral part of the complete mission of Dixie State Athletics - Building champions on the playing courts and fields, in the classroom, in the community and in life.
Drug Free Assembly
Members of the Dixie State softball and cheer teams participated in a drug free assembly at nearby East Elementary School in October. The students were taught the dangers of participating in drugs as well as how to say no. The students also participated in Minute to Win It-style games after they committed to being drug free.
Trunk or Treat
Working with the SAAC Committee, Dixie State student-athletes decorated their cars and placed them around the track at Hansen Stadium – home of the Red Storm football and soccer teams. They also dressed up in costumes to hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. This provided the surrounding community with a safe and friendly environment for families and kids of all ages. More than 500 people attended the event.
Food Drive Benefiting Dixie Care and Share
On Nov. 16, 2010, members from the 12 Dixie State College athletic teams were positioned around St. George to collect food to donate to Dixie Care and Share, a local charity that helps individuals and families who are in need of food. All 12 teams participated and many loads of food were donated.
Members of the Dixie State College Football team participated in tutoring sessions at Fossil Ridge Intermediate School on Dec. 9, 2010. The student-athletes tutored the students in math and English.
Over the course of two days in January, student-athletes from the Red Storm’s men’s basketball, men’s soccer and cheerleading teams participated in Thunderbolt Time at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School.
During Thunderbolt Time, the student-athletes helped the Sunrise Ridge students with their physical education classes, playing dodge ball, soccer and basketball with the students.
SAAC and Make-A-Wish Foundation
Members of SAAC collected money before the men’s and women’s basketball games against Chaminade on Jan. 29 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The effort produced $500 dollars in donations.
On Feb. 18, 11 student-athletes representing the women’s basketball, men’s basketball, women’s soccer and football teams volunteered at East Elementary School, helping second grade students with their reading skills.
Students were given an assignment to choose a book and read it to a Dixie State student-athlete who would, in turn, help them with their reading.
Think Pink Night
The Dixie State College women's basketball team held its annual Think Pink Night on Feb. 23 against Notre Dame de Namur University. During Think Pink Night, student-athletes collected money to donate to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Additionally, items were auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The women’s basketball team warmed up in pink T-shirts, while both the men’s and women’s teams wore pink shoelaces during their respective games.
Campus-2-Community Service Project
With the building of a new pavilion and gazebo on Dixie State’s campus, volunteers were needed to lay sod around the new area to make it a place where students and community members were welcome. Student-athletes and coaches from five teams accounted for 68 of the 110 volunteers who participated in the project.
Dixie State student-athletes spent the afternoon teaching the entire student body - more than 720 students - at Sunrise Ridge Intermediate School how to deal with bullies.
The program entitled Storm Out Bullying was created to help kids conquer their fears and lead a happy and healthy life. The assembly also taught the kids about the dangers of cyber-bullying.
St. George Spring Cleaning
Every team in the athletic department including members of the athletic administration at Dixie State College spent an afternoon over a period of nine days in mid-April cleaning up the yards of senior citizens and other community members in need of help.