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Announcements Boaz Commons Community Partners Event Kathy Crow Commons Loyd Commons News Reflections Ware Commons

#TBT… One Night for Dallas

On April 13, Engage Dallas, along with the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (SCIE) co-hosted the inaugural One Night for Dallas community partner reception. This reception honored the collective work of SMU service organizations, faculty and staff members, and community partners who work together throughout the year to make a positive impact and create sustainable change in the Dallas community. In attendance were students affiliated with Engage Dallas, The Big Event, and Mustang Heroes, SMU faculty and staff members, and community organizations.  

Danielle Palomo welcoming guests to One Night for Dallas.

Attendees enjoyed dinner and dialogue and heard remarks from our very own Jennifer “JJ” Jones, Executive Director for Student Development and Director of SCIE, as well as Dr. K.C. Mmeje, Vice President for Student Affairs.  

We also honored students, staff, faculty, and community partners who have done outstanding work this year. Award categories and winners below:

 

Do Good for Dallas award winner, Jonathan Liu.

Do Good for Dallas – Vikas Bobba, Lilly Chapman, and Jonathan Liu

This award is presented to three first- or second-year students who engaged in service for the 2021-2022 school year. These students are rising stars within their residential community or service organization and demonstrated leadership qualities that has benefited both SMU and Dallas.

 

Outstanding Student Director award winner, Kirk Thomas.

Outstanding Student Director – Kirk Thomas 

This award is provided to an Engage Dallas Student Director who has gone above and beyond through planning service projects and educating their commons on the importance of their social problem and the impact of serving. 

 

Outstanding Student Leader award winner, Connor Healy.

Outstanding Student Leader – Connor Healy 
This award recognizes one student leader from Mustang Heroes, The Big Event, or Alternative Breaks who has dedicated their time to serving their community and serves as a leader to their peers and organization members.

 

Outstanding Faculty/Staff award winner and Kathy Crow Commons Faculty-in-Residence, Daniele Forlino.

Outstanding Faculty/Staff – Daniele Forlino

This award highlights one faculty or staff member who supports students in planning or leading service projects throughout the year. Additionally, this recipient serves as an advocate and connector between SMU service organizations and the greater SMU student population. 

 

Outstanding Community Partner – Legacy Senior Communities and Rebuilding Together North Texas 
This award honors two community partners who have actively participated in SMU’s service programs during the 2021-2022 school year and work closely to create engaging service opportunities for students. 

Congratulations to all of our winners! To our students, staff, faculty, and community partners…thank you for all that you do! 

One Night for Dallas attendees congratulating all of the winners.
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Announcements News

Engage Dallas announces 16 new community partners

Engage Dallas is excited to announce our newest community partners as we continue our work to address community needs in South and West Dallas via SMU’s Residential Commons.

In Fall 2021, the Engage Dallas Offsite and Risk Management Committee noticed that as Engage Dallas grew, the needs of our students and community partners started to vary. Engage Dallas strives to facilitate a mutually beneficial relationship between the campus and SMU community. To ensure that community partners have volunteer support at various times and that students had opportunities to serve outside of their class schedules, the need to expand our network of community partners surfaced.

Audryanna Reed, Offsite and Risk Management Committee co-chair, shared “interviewing and onboarding new community partners has been an exciting process. Our new partners are energetic and are anticipating serving our students. I think expanding our number of community partners was a great idea so that our students can have consistent opportunities to serve throughout the community.”

Our community partners offer a combination of monthly, group volunteer opportunities and individual opportunities such as solo service, individual pathways, and internships for SMU students. Service opportunities for the spring semester will kick off in February 2022 with monthly, group service through the RC and solo service to support community partners with limited volunteer capacity.

Jin Ae, Volunteer and Operations Association for Readers 2 Leaders, noted that “Readers 2 Leaders is so grateful to partner with Engage Dallas and have SMU students serve with us to support student learning, especially during this challenging time. As an SMU Embrey Human Rights Program alumna, I am so inspired to see the university taking an active approach in connecting with and serving the Dallas community.”

SMU is excited to announce the following organizations as the Spring 2022 community partner cohort for Engage Dallas. Each Residential Commons is listed with its chosen community need and new partner(s).

Armstrong Commons | Homelessness

  • The Stewpot

Boaz Commons | Food Insecurity

  • CitySquare
  • Mission Oak Cliff

Cockrell-McIntosh Commons| College Access & Preparation

  • LNESC
  • Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas

Crum Commons |Arts as Social Impact

  • Remembering Black Dallas
  • Bishop Arts Theater Center

Kathy Crow Commons | Environmental Injustice

  • Trinity River Audubon Center

Loyd Commons | STEM Education

  • Crowned Scholars
  • Jubilee Park

McElvaney Commons | Community Wellbeing

  • Brother Bill’s Helping Hands

Morrison-McGinnis Commons | Childhood Poverty

  • Vogel Alcove
  • Behind Every Door

Virginia-Snider Commons | Childhood Literacy

  • Readers 2 Leaders

Ware Commons | Community Rebuilding

  • Empowering the Masses
  • Frazier Revitalization

For more information on Engage Dallas partnerships, visit the Engage Dallas website. Inquiries by community organizations or suggestions for partnership can be submitted via the Engage Dallas Community Partner Information Form.

 

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Announcements Armstrong Commons Boaz Commons Cockrell-McIntosh Commons Community Partners Crum Commons Event Kathy Crow Commons Loyd Commons McElvaney Commons MHPS Commons Morrison-McGinnis Commons News Reflections Virginia-Snider Commons Ware Commons

#1Day4Dallas a success in inaugural year

Engage Dallas hosted its inaugural Residential Commons Fall Day of Service, #1Day4Dallas, on Saturday, October 16th.  

Each of the 11 Residential Commons were represented with over 100 participants serving at 8 different locations around South and West Dallas: Rebuilding Together North TexasNorth Texas Food BankHeart HouseRestorative FarmsSMU College Access Programs, The Senior Source, and Voice of Hope. Collectively, participants contributed over 500 hours of service and engagement during #1Day4Dallas. 

Kirk Thomas, who serves as the Student Director of Ware Commons, was a leader in the planning for #1Day4Dallas. He described the experience of seeing the event come together as a thrill. 

“Seeing 1Day4Dallas come together for the first time in Engage Dallas’s history after weeks of planning was electric, like the feeling of weightlessness on a rollercoaster,” said Thomas. “Not only was it fulfilling being a part of meaningful community service work to help our neighbors in Dallas, but having that feeling amplified knowing that all across Dallas, SMU students were doing projects anywhere from home repairs to planting fresh vegetables in a community garden. Personally, I care because in doing these projects, we are able to create a sustainable cycle of people helping people. The more communities and neighbors we support and build up, the better off they will be not just today, but for tomorrow also.” 

Kirk and his fellow Ware students served with Rebuilding Together North Texas for #1Day4Dallas, where they helped to remove carpet and place wood flooring in the home of a West Dallas resident.

A student participant shared, “It was a wonderful experience to finally volunteer and directly serve another community.” The impact service had on students was tangible throughout the day. Engage Dallas is excited to continue to serve our Dallas neighbors. Students who remained on campus served our community through The Not So Big Event, hosted by SMU Big Event in partnership with Tango Tab.

Thank you to all students, faculty, staff members, and Community Partners for engaging with us through #1Day4Dallas. Please visit our website, www.smu.edu/studentaffairs/engagedallas, to learn more. Contact us at engagedallas@smu.edu. Follow us on Instagram at @smu.engage.dallas. 

 

Engage Dallas is a place-based community engagement initiative via SMU’s Residential Commons to address community needs focusing on South and West Dallas. The initiative is a long-term, university-wide commitment led by students to partner with local residents, organizations, and other leaders to positively impact the community. There is equal emphasis on campus and community impact stemming from the initiative. 

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Announcements Armstrong Commons Boaz Commons Cockrell-McIntosh Commons Crum Commons Kathy Crow Commons Loyd Commons McElvaney Commons MHPS Commons Morrison-McGinnis Commons News Virginia-Snider Commons Ware Commons

Community partners announced to address community needs in South and West Dallas

Pre COVID-19 service photo of SMU students staffing community event
Pre-COVID-19 service photo of SMU students staffing community event

Engage Dallas is excited to announce our community partners as we work to address community needs via the SMU Residential Commons (RC) and their 2,600+ residents. After an extensive research process by faculty, staff, and students to identify expressed community needs in South and West Dallas, each Residential Commons student leadership team adopted a long-term cause they were committed to addressing via Engage Dallas. 

In Fall 2020, the Engage Dallas Offsite and Risk Management Committee began to identify community organizations already well-positioned, who are addressing the RC-chosen community needs. Throughout this intentional pairing process involving conversations with non-profit leaders, the committee focused on identifying community organizations whose missions aligns with the RC-chosen community need with which SMU could assist, and who — in the era of COVID-19 — offered virtual opportunities for our students. 

Matt Nadler, Residential Community Director and Offsite and Risk Management co-chair, shared, “Getting to know the various Engage Dallas community organizations has been a highlight of my semester. I’m excited for our students to begin volunteering and getting involved with their various community needs.” 

This semester, SMU students will put the online education and training they received into practice to begin volunteering remotely and may have direct-service opportunities as early as March. The Engage Dallas Student Director for each Residential Commons met with their partner organization liaison to organize virtual service opportunities for the spring semester. 

Melanie Wright, Engage Dallas Student Director for Boaz Commons, exclaimed, “There is nothing I’m more passionate about than engaging with my community and helping those around me. My excitement about Engage Dallas has been growing ever since getting to know Boaz’s community organization, North Texas Food Bank, and so I’m excited to encourage everyone to participate in Engage Dallas this semester.” 

Amber Martin, External Relations Manager for Reading Partners of North Texas, remarked, “I appreciate Engage Dallas and Eduardo [Engage Dallas student director for Virginia-Snider Commons] for the willingness to help within the community. The services Engage Dallas is providing North Texas will make a tremendous impact. Thank you for choosing Reading Partners to be one of Engage Dallas’ community partners.” 

SMU is excited to announce the following organizations as the initial community partner cohort for Engage Dallas. Each Residential Commons is listed with its chosen community need and initial partner(s). 

Armstrong Commons | Homelessness 

  • Partnering organizations 

Boaz Commons | Food Insecurity 

  • Partnering organizations 

Cockrell-McIntosh Commons| College Access & Preparation 

  • Partnering organizations 

Crum Commons |Arts as Social Impact 

  • Partnering organizations 

Kathy Crow Commons | Environmental Injustice 

  • Partnering organizations 

Loyd Commons | STEM Education 

  • Partnering organizations 

Mary Hay, Peyton, Shuttles (MHPS) Commons | Immigration & Refugee Support 

  • Partnering organizations 

McElvaney Commons | Community Wellbeing 

  • Partnering organizations 

Morrison-McGinnis Commons | Childhood Poverty 

  • Partnering organizations 

Virginia-Snider Commons | Childhood Literacy 

  • Partnering organizations 

Ware Commons | Community Rebuilding 

  • Partnering organizations 

“We look forward to what we will be able to accomplish together,” concluded Nadler. For more information or to suggest an organization, visit the Engage Dallas websiteInquires by community organizations can be directed to Staphany C. López-Coronado, Assistant Director for the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement (sclopez@smu.edu; 214-768-4582).