The Honey W. Nashman Center Faculty Awards for Community Engaged Scholarship

These annual Faculty Awards recognize excellence in community engaged scholarship and teaching. Award recipients demonstrate GW’s values for this work. Their community engagement strengthens their scholarship (teaching, research, or creative activities), and their scholarship enhances the quality of the community partnership and the community outcomes.

The Honey W. Nashman Community Engaged Teaching Award: Recognizes teaching practice that meaningfully engages students in community partnerships for both community benefit and transformational student learning outcomes.

The Honey W. Nashman Community Engaged Scholar Award: Recognizes research, scholarship, and creative activities that occur in the context of reciprocal community partnerships, for enhanced scholarly and community outcomes.

Applications are due annually on December 1st with selections announced in January.


Award Criteria

Academic outcomes: The community engagement clearly contributes to the quality of the scholarly work/learning outcomes.

Community outcomes: Partnerships leverage the community’s assets to have positive outcomes for community equity and wellbeing, addressing a need identified by the community. For example, the development of expanded economic opportunity, greater equity of opportunity for quality education or health, improved social capital and civic engagement, etc.

Reciprocal partnership: Initiatives involve mutually beneficial collaboration between GW faculty and/or students and a community partner, such as a nonprofit organization, government agency, K12 school/district, or business partner. Community partners are empowered by the relationship, equitably involved in decision-making, and valued for their knowledge, perspective, and contribution.Sustained commitment. Demonstration of on-going commitment to the campus-community partnership.

Inclusive eligibility: GW faculty from all academic disciplines and fields and all contract types (pre-tenure, tenure, contract, adjunct, etc.) are eligible to apply.



Apply online by the first Friday in January. The online application steps include:

  • Enter basic information (name, title, department, etc.)
  • Upload as a PDF document, a description of your community engaged scholarship in teaching, research or creative activity. (Word limit: 1000 words). This description should address the selection criteria above, providing evidence where possible.
  • Upload as a PDF document, a letter of support from a community partner, addressing the selection criteria as they can.
  • Indicate whether you have reported your community engaged scholarship activities on Givepulse. If you have, please be sure to share your impact with the Givepulse Community Engaged Scholarship Subgroup.


Previous Recipients


Dr. Michelle Kelso

Dr. Michelle Kelso, Human Services and Social Justice, Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

2021Community Engaged Teaching Award

Dr. Kelso has taught service-learning and community-engaged scholarship courses for 15 years. All of her courses in the Human Services and Social Justice program include a significant community engagement component. Some of her courses engage student in direct service with community members, working with organizations that serve newly arrived refugees, people experiencing homelessness, and mentoring/tutoring youth. In other courses, her students do projects that build capacity for thosesameorganizations, such as program evaluation (HSSJ 3100W), grant-writing (HSSJ 3110W), and organizing (HSSJ 1177). Dr. Kelso recognizes that her courses challenge students, and in order to be sure community organizations receive quality work in return for their time with students, she builds in plenty of time for multiple drafts and abundant feedback. One of her students remarked, “Over the past four years, I learned about DC specifically, how nonprofits function, the importance of listening to the community, effective ways to tackle systemic inequalities, and so much more.”

Erin Wentzell

Dr. Erin Wentzell, Physical Therapy, School of Medicine and Health Sciences

2021Community Engaged Scholar Award

Dr. Wentzell has provided significant leadership in connecting GW’s Physical Therapy program to the community in a meaningful and reciprocal way. By listening to community partners’ priorities and existing efforts, she has been able to build on their work and connect her students to it as well. For example, she worked with the National Park ServiceCapital Regionand Park Rxto involve her students inresearch on DC’s green spaces, resulting in mapping that, with training support from Wentzell and students,is now used by DC health providers to prescribe time in nature to their patients. Her latest endeavor involvesdeepening therelationshipbetween the entire Physical Therapy programwith DC’ssystem of Senior Villages. This partnership will connect to research as well as coursework,identifying theinterests and needs of DC’s older residentsand engaging students in projects like clinics on balance and fall prevention. Dr. Wentzell emphasizes the importance of “true partnerships” in her work, “Shared decision-making and mutual collaboration.... they are the content-matter experts.”


Dr. Sean Cleary, Epidemiology, School of Public Health

Dr. Sean Cleary, Epidemiology, School of Public Health

2020 Community Engaged Teaching Award

Dr. Cleary has over ten years of experience in community engaged scholarship, including both his teaching and research. In PUBH 6299: The Autism Experience a Public Health Perspective, students serve with local community organizations and build relationships with local autistics who join them during class. Informed by these experiences and relationships, students then complete research and advocacy projects in collaboration with community members. Cleary sought input and feedback from local non-speaking, autistic young adults in the design of the course itself.

Listen to a podcast about this course.

View the Nashman course report.

Dr. Erin Athey, School of Nursing

Dr. Erin Athey, School of Nursing

2020 Community Engaged Scholar Award

Dr. Erin Athey’s clinical, research, and teaching work is grounded in community partnerships here in DC. Her Barbershop Embedded Education initiative (funded in part from the Nashman Center Faculty Development Grant) addresses mental and behavioral health through a partnership with the Ward 8 Health Council, local health professionals and barbers. The program provides public health education through everyday interpersonal encounters within organizations like barbershops. Athey and her students introduced Mobile Health Clinics to affordable housing properties in Wards 7 and 8, including COVID testing. Athey’s next project will create on-site clinics and health education programs in public housing buildings, connecting students in GW Nursing courses to local DC residents.