Southern Utah University

Mekinzey Parks


She is an exceptional student with a strong desire to improve her community with her unique gifts. She built a dance program for local school, Gateway Preparatory Academy. Mekinzey created a valuable complement by focusing on dance and dance-integrated instruction that encouraged the success of all students, by engaging  students of all abilities, including special needs creating an inclusive classroom. Kinzey excelled at offering different approaches to enhance students’ understanding (e.g., kinesthetic, visual, aural, linguistic, mathematical).  Based on her success, Kinzey was placed in a challenging non-arts classrooms to offer additional assistance to the classroom teacher, and she has been asked to return to the school next year.


Jodi Corser


“I began with community engagement as an option for my classes, but later made it a requirement after seeing many incredible benefits to everyone involved.  Students benefit; the children they serve benefit; and the community organizations benefit. Community engagement changes lives. I am grateful that I work at a university that understands and values community engagement.”

Jodi, is an accomplished teacher,for the past four years, she has assigned a community-engagement learning  component for her English 2010 class, “Writing about Children”. This writing-intensive class combines other high-impact practices to deliver an outstanding service and learning opportunity for students contributing to their view of community engagement as a meaningful experience, whose impact and memories will outlast the semester-long course. By pursuing this pedagogical path, Jodi Corser helps to reinforce efforts by all engaged educators at SUU who promote transformative learning beyond the classroom.  In addition, for several years Jodi has been an English instructor for SUU’s Venture Program, a free interdisciplinary course offered in conjunction with the Utah Humanities Council.  Jodi’s teaching efforts have helped disadvantaged community members to enjoy a college experience, and some Venture graduates have gone on to earn undergraduate and post-graduate degrees.

 Gabrielle Strand


“I enjoy my job!  I’m very impressed with the students we have at SUU, and I’m grateful for the small part I play in helping students succeed in earning an AmeriCorps Educational Award.”

Gabrielle is a model of an engaged staff person and caring community member, she has demonstrated great patience in communicating with multiple partner sites and in working with scores of students in overseeing AmeriCorps at SUU.  She  works with a positive can-do spirit full of enthusiasm and optimism.  Her passion in working with AmeriCorps reflects her volunteer efforts in the community.  In addition, Gabrielle is a trained CASA volunteer, has spearheaded annual campus as well as community commemorations, for the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Along side her students, she serves  in programs sponsored by the Community Engagement Center

Jason Christian


Jason, graduated from the Physician Assistant Program at Duke University in 2009 and for the past seven years,he has taught an advanced workshop for Rural Health Scholars who want to become Physician Assistants. He has been an active alumnus and community member in many ways, most notably by volunteering as a mentor to students who want to pursue careers in medicine and health care.

Jason’s patients routinely praise his work ethic, compassion, and skill.  As He is eager to help SUU students navigate their way during a challenging time in their lives by recognizing their potential career options while urging them to find a healthy balance in their lives.  Moreover, Jason’s eagerness to return to Cedar City indicates his sense of purpose and identity in helping others in rural southern Utah.

  Executive Director,Peggy Green


Since its founding in 1984 as a local, interdenominational non-profit organization, Iron County Care and Share has expanded in significant ways to address the challenges of hunger and homelessness in Iron County and beyond.  We wish to honor Iron County Care and Share for their many excellent programs that include a food bank and pantry, emergency shelter, transitional housing, and assistance with essential services.  The ICCS has also been a key partner with SUU’s Community Engagement Center in overseeing the annual Iron County Holiday Assistance Program that typically helps about 400 families (and over 800 children) by distributing food, clothing, toys, and gifts to disadvantaged residents of southern Utah.  In a county where about 20% of all households live at or below the poverty line, ICCS plays a vital role in assisting families to meet a host of basic needs.  The ICCS web site offers more information at

The employees and volunteers of Iron County Care and Share understand and respect the needs of our community.  Be it altruism rooted in generosity and compassion, or the belief that life isn’t always equitable,the staff of ICCS serve with dignity, equality, and kindness.
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