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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Marquette wins national civic engagement award

Photo by Michael Carpenter
University President Michael Lovell said he felt honored to be included in the event. Marquette Wire Stock Photo

Marquette was one of five universities nationally to receive the 2016 Higher Education Civic Engagement Award. It received the award for its Near West Side Partners initiative and several other partnerships that address issues of public concern.

Dan Bergen, Ph.D., the planning director for the office of community engagement, applied for the award in late May. The office was created this year and Bergen hopes the award will make people aware of the work Marquette is doing for the community.

“Our goal is to give a higher profile to the work Marquette is doing around community engagement locally, nationally and globally,” Bergen said.

During the application process they did a broad overview of all the community engagement efforts of Marquette and highlighted the Near West Side Partners initiative.

The Near West Side Partners is a nonprofit founded in 2014 by Marquette and four Milwaukee businesses — Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors and Potawatomi Business Development Corp. The nonprofit is dedicated to revitalizing residential areas and businesses on the west side.

They decided to focus on the Near West Side Partners because students, staff and faculty are involved with the initiative.

“It is a pretty substantial engagement effort to the community,” Bergen said. “One of the reasons it was so appealing is because of breadth and depth institutionally.”

Bergen added that he hopes the Near West Side Partners can serve as a model for institutions across the country.

Some of the other efforts that contributed to the award were service learning, urban connection and grants Marquette received for community-engaged research.

“This award really aligns with our mission and our goals to respond to issues of public concerns within our community,” Bergen said.

The award is being presented by The Washington Center, an independent, nonprofit organization where students work and learn in Washington, D.C., for academic credit. President Michael Lovell will accept the award at a luncheon and gala in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 26.

As one of the winners, Marquette will be awarded a student internship in Washington, D.C. The student will be able to go to Washington, D.C., for the January inauguration.

Bergen said the details of the internship application process are still to be determined.

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