Nominations sought for president’s public engagement awards

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University of Michigan leaders are encouraging community members across all three campuses to nominate individual faculty members who have demonstrated a commitment to public service for the president’s awards for public engagement.

Launched in 2017, the President’s Award for National and State Leadership and the President’s Award for Public Impact aim to celebrate faculty public engagement at U-M.

The award for national and state leadership honors an individual who has held leadership and service roles in major national, state, local or community capacities. The recipient will have contributed to the health, resilience and prosperity of the nation, state and society at large, or support a safe global environment.

Marisa Eisenberg, associate professor of epidemiology, received last year’s award for coordinating a response to the COVID-19 pandemic by way of her modeled trajectories of the pandemic, which generated predictive scenarios that directly helped policymakers determine their response strategy and build forecasts for county and state leadership.

The award for public impact honors an individual who has offered their academic research and expertise in tangible service of a major public sector challenge. The recipient will have actively addressed significant challenges in society and used their academic capacity and expertise to combat such threats, in cooperation with governmental and non-governmental stakeholders.

Luke Shaefer, professor of public policy, received the award last year for his work eradicating poverty that led to the Child Tax Credit expansion that was passed by Congress and which gives impoverished families the support they need to make ends meet.

The awards are part of the university’s greater institutional effort to promote and support faculty public engagement, an initiative President Mary Sue Coleman said aims to help scholars share their expertise with the public and showcase the societal value of university research.

“Michigan faculty change lives with their research and service. Whether advancing environmental sustainability, confronting racial injustice, pushing the boundaries of medicine, or promoting arts and creativity, their dedication exemplifies our longstanding commitment to serving the public,” Coleman said.

Nominations for both awards must be submitted by Dec. 9. An event celebrating the awardees will take place in the spring of 2023.

Awardees will be recommended to the president by a committee, appointed by Coleman, that includes members of the faculty, the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Office of Government Relations.

The award is open to tenured, tenure-track or research faculty from all U-M campuses, schools, colleges and units. Individual members of other categories of instructional faculty may also be nominated.

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