AUNE’s Campus Compact for New Hampshire Winners Announced

The recipients of the 2013 Presidents’ Campus Compact awards have been announced by David Caruso, AUNE president. They are:

Presidents’ Leadership Award: Jahdiel Torres-Caba, first-year master’s student in the Conservation Biology concentration in AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies.
Presidents’ Good Steward Award: Abigail Abrash Walton, director of AUNE’s Center for Academic Innovation and assistant to the president for sustainability and social justice.
Presidents’ Community Partner Award: Harris Center for Conservation Education, a nonprofit organization based in Hancock, New Hampshire.

The Presidents’ Leadership Award is given to a student or student organization that has made outstanding contributions to community service, service learning and/or civic engagement efforts on campus.

Jahdiel Torres-Caba is a climate change organizer who works with the Sierra Student Coalition (SSC) and was an SSC delegate to the United National Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, in 2012. He helped organize a delegation of AUNE students and faculty to the Forward on Climate Change demonstration in Washington, D.C., in February.

Jahdiel is co-chair of AUNE’s Student Alliance. He is especially interested in diversity issues and is working to bring a diversity and inclusion workshop to the AUNE campus this year.

The Presidents’ Good Steward Award honors an AUNE faculty, administration or staff member who has contributed professional expertise to serve the wider community and who has significantly advanced public service on the campus.

Abigail Abrash Walton has chaired the multi-stakeholder processes that led to the development and implementation of AUNE’s Diversity and Inclusion Task Force Report, 2010-20 Climate Action Plan, and 2006 Social Justice Audit. These efforts have had a major impact on the AUNE campus. She has organized and supported students in such projects as building a campus bike shelter and a composting infrastructure, and Earth Week celebrations.

Abigail serves on the program committee for the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s 2012 Conference and the New Hampshire Statewide Inclusive Excellence Advisory Board. She is involved in the Keene community, serving as chair of the Keene Planning Board and on the planning committee for the Keene International Film Festival.

The Presidents’ Community Partner Award is given to a nonprofit organization that has improved the quality of life in the community in meaningful and measurable ways and is engaged in sustained, reciprocal partnerships with a college or university.

The Harris Center for Conservation Education and AUNE’s Department of Environmental Studies have long been partners in promoting understanding and respect for the region’s natural environment through educational programs and land stewardship. The center has made its facilities available to AUNE classes and has provided internships for hundreds of AUNE students who, in turn, contributed to the center’s programs. AUNE student projects include designing and delivering educational programs and field research on Harris Center properties.

The Harris Center is also a land trust that has demonstrated how communities can work together to create a super-sanctuary, which now comprises 33,000 acres of abutting properties in the Monadnock region.

The Campus Compact awards will be presented at the Campus Compact for New Hampshire’s (CCNH) annual Presidents’ Awards luncheon on April 10. CCNH is a statewide consortium of college and university presidents and private sector partners who are united in their commitment to the civic purposes of higher education.