The Morgridge Center for Public Service Outstanding Community Partner Award is given annually to an outstanding community partner who has demonstrated excellence in partnering with a university entity to provide opportunities for students to engage in and learn from the community. This award was founded to recognize and honor the vital role and commitment of our community partners in this collaboration.
The Outstanding Community Partner Award recipient receives a $400 donation and will be honored during the spring semester.
2019 Recipient Driftless Writing Center
The Driftless Writing Center is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization based in Viroqua, WI, that provides literary and educational opportunities, readings and discussions, writing classes and workshops and an outlet for the presentation of original writing by area writers.
In late 2018, Tamara Dean, a member of the Board of Directors from the Driftless Writing Center, contacted UW–Madison faculty member, Caroline Gottschalk Druschke, inviting her to collaborate on the project. Stories from the Flood volunteers, including UW–Madison undergraduate and graduate students, have collected almost 100 oral history narratives to date, and the archive is still growing. The Driftless Writing Center has worked closely with Caroline to design the syllabi for community-based learning versions of ENGL245 in fall 2019, spring 2020, and fall 2020, as well as working with faculty member Liz Hennessy to co-design and co-teach the Center for Culture, History & Environment methods graduate course in spring 2020. Through this relationship, the Driftless Writing Center has supported students’ involvement in oral history story collection and through students’ analyses of these stories to offer policy recommendations to local policymakers about flood resilience.
Storytellers who contributed to Stories from the Flood have described the project as “insightful,” “provocative,” “helpful,” “important,” and “inspiring,” thanking the project “for taking the time to be able to hear out our story.” UW–Madison students involved in community-based learning courses connected with Stories from the Flood have described their experience as, “a life-changer” and “the most impactful course that I have taken at UW-Madison.” The Driftless Writing Center empowers the students, faculty, and staff of UW–Madison to create and collaborate on making real differences in the community.
2019: Lussier Community Education Center
2017: Bayview Foundation
2016: Wheels for Winners
2015: Mentoring Positives
2014: Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wis.
2013: The Catholic Charities Adult Day Center
2012: The Natural Step Monona
2011: Allied Drive Learning Center
2010: Linda Eisele at the City of Madison Office of Community Services
2009: Community GroundWorks
2008: Bayview International Center for Education and Arts
2007: Allied Wellness Center