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College Staff Honored for Community Contributions

September 18, 2014 - Three members of Eastern Florida State College’s staff have been honored for their work in the Space Coast community, along with a college program dedicated to teaching students civic and social responsibility.

Those recognized include Dr. Erin Baird, a member of the Service-Learning Program, who has received the “Community Engagement Educator Award” from the Florida Campus Compact, an organization that advances civic engagement among Florida’s colleges and universities.

Baird works with more than 2,000 a students a year on the Titusville and Cocoa campuses, ensuring that their involvement in a wide range of volunteer community-action work becomes an important part of their education. Students who successfully complete the program earn the prestigious Citizen Scholar designation.

The Service-Learning Program itself is also among five finalists for the Compact’s Engaged Campus of the Year award along with the University of Miami, Florida Atlantic University, Florida International University and Tallahassee Community College. [Oct. 15 Update: EFSC's Service-Learning Program was named the Engaged Campus of the Year for the Florida College System.]

The EFSC program has long been recognized as among the best in the nation, and has been repeatedly cited on the White House’s President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

“The program’s continued state and national recognition is due to our dedicated faculty, staff, students and community partners who know that working in our community enriches everyone’s lives,” said program director Evelyn Young. “In giving of ourselves, we give to others.”

Also honored for their work at the college are Eileen Trobaugh and Willie Sharp, administrative assistants on the Melbourne campus, who have received the “Career and Professional Employees Commission Innovators Exemplary Practice Award” for their “Helping Us Help Others” campaign that raises money annually for needy families during the holidays.

Their work has allowed organizations including the Second Harvest Food Bank, Daily Bread and The Women’s Center provide food, shelter and social services to individuals and families.

“Eileen and Willie strive daily to help both students and others in our community improve their lives,” said Sandy Handfield, Melbourne Campus Provost. “Their humility and selfless efforts make them role models for others to follow.”

The two will share their ideas and experiences next month during the annual Associate of Florida College’s Convention in Destin. Their award was presented on behalf of the EFSC Chapter of the Association of Florida Colleges.