Mike Moon and Leah Murray to receive Lindquist award

Lindquist Award nominees Mike Moon and Leah Murray. (Photo Credit: Jin Elle, CCEL Photographer Michael Brown and Leah Murray.
Lindquist Award nominees Mike Moon and Leah Murray. (Photo Credit: Jin Elle, Michael Brown (CCEL Photographer) and Leah Murray)

Mike Moon and Leah Murray are expected to receive the John A. Lindquist Award at a luncheon on April 1 at 12:30 p.m. at Weber State University’s Shepherd Union building in Ballroom B. They both will be honored for their commitment to community engagement, both locally and globally.

Moon and Murray both work at WSU’s Center for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL). Moon is the assistant director of the CCEL while Murray is an associate professor of political science, who also holds the position of faculty in residence at the CCEL.

A colleague of Moon and Murray, CCEL director Brenda Kowalewsk, said, “I’m proud to have two people from the department being awarded the Lindquist Award as it further showcases the quality of the community engagement experiences that faculty and staff offer to students.”

The Lindquist Award is an annual WSU initiative which began in 2007. According to the CCEL’s website, the Lindquist Award is open yearly to faculty or staff members.

Usually there is one person chosen to receive this award. This year, however, the committee decided to select two recipients, a staff and faculty member.

Individuals considered for this award are nominated by the campus community from Jan 1 to Jan 31. Nominees are then contacted and given a two week window to submit materials exhibiting their continuous commitment to providing students with mentorship through their civic engagement, while also seeking to enhance the relationships between campus organizations and partnerships within the community.

Then, the nominees application materials were reviewed by the Lindquist Award Committee of the Vice President (VP) of Student Affairs office.

Moon is also the advisor of WSU’s “Community Engaged Leaders” program service team, which consists of 28 students. During the course of this year, they have coordinated more than 100 volunteer events with 18 non-profit organizations locally, including Youth Impact, Special Olympics and Habit for Humanity.

Moon’s and Murray’s work ethic was described as full of passion and energy.

“They are the dynamic duo of the CCEL,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Jan Winniford. “They both bring fresh perspectives to community issues, concerns and learning experience.”

According to an official statement, Murray has been involved in many on and off-campus projects throughout her tenure at WSU since 2002. One such project is the WSU’s Civitas program, which is designed for students who are civically engaged within the community and are not doing it for self gain but to benefit the community.

The Civitas program was a collaborative effort of Murray and Kowalewski.

“Murray is deeply committed to teaching the importance of democratic engagement and responsible citizenship,” said Winniford.

Murray was notified of her Lindquist Award achievement through Winniford earlier this month.

“I was excited to learn I was receiving the Lindquist.” said Murray. “The fact that the university recognizes (that these projects) were good choices makes me feel good about what I do.”

Both Lindquist Award recipients are expected to receive a $7000 cash award along with an engraved glass trophy.

Murray intends to use both her $7000 cash award and engraved glass as a medium of discussing civic engagement work to help people realize the significance of being civically engaged.

The other Lindquist Award recipient Moon was also notified of his achievement by Winniford.

“I was thrilled to learn that I was selected as one of the John A. Lindquist Award recipients,” said Moon.

Moon intends to display his Lindquist engraved glass award in his office as a way to encourage and alert students of the engagement work the CCEL performs.

“The engraved glass award can serve as a conversation starter to spark an interest for students to become involved in community engagement work,” he said.