Office of Civic Engagement

Civic Engagement Faculty Awards

Early Career Community Engagement Faculty Awards 2023-2024

Dr. Stephanie Machado, Early Career Community Engagement Awardee
Department of Public Health and Health Services Administration
headshot of Dr. Stephanie MachadoDr. Machado joined PHHA in 2020, hitting the ground running with community-engaged pedagogy and research. Dr. Machado has been an essential contributor to the Basic Needs Project at Chico State, serving as a qualitative evaluator for this project since 2021 and training student research assistants in qualitative research analysis and evaluation skills to assist with the project. Dr. Machado also served as a consultant for the Mindfulness Education Program in Paradise Unified School District. She has also worked with several community partners, including First Five Tehama and Northern California Child Development, Inc (NCCDI), to evaluate community-level services and ways the programs could better serve families and home visitors working in the community. Dr. Machado incorporated some of these partnerships as opportunities to teach her PHHA 425W students about qualitative interviewing and engage them in the interview process in a real community setting. Her dedication to community-engaged research and teaching is extraordinary!

Dr. Lindsey Nenadal, Early Career Community Engagement Awardee
Department of Child Development
headshot of Dr. Lindsey NenadalDr. Nenadal is incredibly active in regional civic- and community engagement, service learning, Civic Engagement’s Faculty Support Advisory Board, North State Roots, and community-based research with students. Dr. Nenadal was the principal investigator on a research project in collaboration with the Boys and Girls Clubs of the North Valley, titled “Lessons Learned from the Camp Fire: What to Do During and After a Disaster”. Working closely with community leaders and Chico State students, Dr. Nenadal interviewed community leaders to better understand their experiences of supporting children, youth, and families during and after the Camp Fire. Her students were integral throughout the research process. For example, together, they created a free, 55-page document for communities called “Your Playbook on How to Support Children, Youth, & Families During & After a Wildfire.” She recently presented this work at the North State Roots meeting. Dr. Nenadal’s work has a far-reaching impact throughout the Chico State service region!

Dr. Sangmin Lee, Early Career Community Engagement Honorable Mention
Department of Art and Art History
headshot of Dr. Sangmin LeeDr. Lee has made significant strides in engaging with local community though art education and supporting the professional development of art educators. His dedication to promoting community engagement and inclusivity sets him apart as an early career leader in the field. Responding to the needs for authentic art experiences from the Chico community, the Kids@theTurner program provides opportunities for local young people to explore the artworks through museum tours and create their own artwork with a variety of art mediums and forms. He has supported student art projects in collaboration with the Paradise Art Center to support the Paradise community after the Camp Fire, facilitated an art show for LGBTQ+ artists, and led the Adaptive Art Teaching & Learning Workshop for Art Education majors to learn how to accommodate art instruction for students with disabilities. Dr. Lee has emerged as a powerful community-engaged advocate within the art education field.

Dr. Gloria Lopez, Early Career Community Engagement Honorable Mention
Department of History
headshot of Dr. Gloria LopezSince her arrival in Fall 2022 as an Assistant Professor of History, Dr. Lopez has been a transformative leader, and exemplifies the impact of community-engaged scholarship and teaching, centered by a deep commitment to social justice and student success. In her work as HSI Faculty Fellow for the Honors Program, Dr. Lopez worked to recruit (and design strategies to serve and retain) Latinx students. Additionally, in Fall 2024, Dr. Lopez designed a new section of HNRS 300, Ethnic Studies Methodologies, with a focus on community-based oral history. Further, Dr. Lopez is collaborating with MCGS faculty, Dr. Robert Jiles, to develop a new and permanent course on Oral History that will center the histories of communities in the Chico State service region. She was a crucial member of Faculty Development’s BIPOC Faculty Learning Community (2022-2023), tasked with drafting recommendations to campus leadership to positively impact student and faculty success and retention. Dr. Lopez is an outstanding advocate and practitioner of community-engaged scholarship and teaching!

Civically Engaged Scholar Faculty Awards 2023-2024

Dr. Kathryn Mercurio, Civically Engaged Scholar Awardee
Department of Marketing
headshot of Dr. Kathryn MercurioSince her start with Chico State in 2018, Dr. Mercurio has demonstrated her dedication to civic and community engagement through her exemplary initiatives, contributions, and partnerships. Her work impacts a diverse range of businesses in Butte County. For example, she has worked closely with the Rebuild Paradise Foundation, Chico Children’s Museum, Butte County Library Campaign, Rural SimCenter, and Chico Airport’s Rebranding. She incorporates community-engaged learning into her courses, involving her marketing students in numerous projects that have critical community impacts. A multitude of businesses and non-profits have utilized her research and strategic advice. Recently, one of Dr. Mercurio’s MBA students commented (after working on the San Francisco USD Court School for Incarcerated Youth project) that her class was “by far the most well-executed and interesting class in the program.” Dr. Mercurio’s efforts have had a profound impact on her students, the university, and our surrounding communities!

Dr. William Nitzky, Civically Engaged Scholar Awardee
Department of Anthropology
headshot of Dr. William NitzkyDr. Nitzky joined the Anthropology faculty in 2015 and now serves as the Director of the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology. He understands the Museum as a medium to engage youth and the public on timely issues facing our country and the world. He regularly supports student-curated pop-up exhibits. Dr. Nitzky's community- and civically engaged work focuses on the experiences of Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities on and off campus. For example, this year, he wrote a grant in partnership with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion that was funded in the amount of $400,000; this project will establish a professional resource group, staff and faculty research projects, student-faculty mentoring programs, and a recruitment and retention center for Asian American students. Our campus is also moving toward certification as an Asian-American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Serving Institution, and Dr. Nitzky plays a key leadership role in this collaborative effort!

Dr. Kristen Kaczynski, Civically Engaged Scholar Honorable Mention
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
headshot of Dr. Kristen KaczynskiDr. Kaczynski is incredibly dedicated to key issues impacting our region coupled with a commitment to student success. Dr. Kaczynski has several on-going community-based research projects largely centered at the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve (BCCER). She is pursuing important research understanding the impacts of fires on biodiversity, wildfires in the Chico State service region, restoration efforts, and the significance of wildfires on the natural beauty and wildlife in Northern California. She mentors numerous students who are pursuing valuable research for local communities. The recent scholarship of her many students speaks volumes about the opportunities she affords her students to pursue relevant, important, and meaningful research in the North State. As Ryan Turner, one of Dr. Kaczynski’s students, writes, “Her genuine care for all her students comes through in how committed she is to our success. She challenges me while simultaneously offering total support, guidance, and confidence.”