urbanCORE Civic Engagement Coordinator Honored for Community Engagement

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written by Janice Mukhia urbanCORE Civic Engagement Coordinator and UNC Charlotte student, David Rodriguez, has been selected for outstanding leadership and service by North Carolina Campus Engagement, a statewide network of colleges and universities committed to preparing students for civic and social responsibility. Rodriguez is a recipient of the network’s Community Impact Student Award (CISA), which honors one student leader at each member school. CISA recognizes students with a deep commitment to community involvement and ability to inspire peers.

Rodriguez, a senior majoring in Public Health, has served as the Civic Engagement Coordinator with the 49er Democracy Experience, where he partners with student organizations and student leaders to build momentum for voter education and voter engagement at UNC Charlotte. He worked with the Latino Civic Engagement Committee, a local organization, to host Voto Latino, an event on campus to discuss the growing significance of Latino voter engagement in Mecklenburg County. He wrote and received a grant to host the annual Donut Forget to Vote event. He helped plan and moderate “State of Democracy: Misinformation in the Age of Democracy”, a panel of students discussing strategies for critically evaluating information this election season.

Rodriguez was an inaugural participant in the Student Solutions Innovation Lab (SSIL), a partnership between UNC Charlotte, Johnson C. Smith University, and Novant Health. The purpose of the program is to encourage students to use their own life experiences and resilience strategies to inform a design thinking approach to student success challenges. Rodriguez helped lead a group of students to organize interviews with university students and faculty and with health professionals and then to share their findings. He has also served as a research assistant at Camino Community Center where he worked with them to develop a survey to better understand approaches to civic participation among members of the Latino community. He introduced this survey to UNC Charlotte students.

Dr. Tamara Johnson, Director of Engaged Scholarship, stated “David is creative and dedicated to his work and his studies. He has been able to bridge roles both on and off campus to build a stronger voter engagement coalition.”

North Carolina Campus Engagement is a collaborative network of colleges and universities committed to educating students for civic and social responsibility, partner with communities for positive change, and strengthen democracy. Learn more at www.ncccampusengagement.org.

urbanCORE, UNC Charlotte’s hub for engaged scholarship. CORE is an acronym for Community-Oriented Research and Engagement. urbanCORE mobilizes, assesses and advances efforts that connect the University’s interdisciplinary, urban research resources to community assets in order to co-produce transformative solutions to societal issues and challenges.