U of G Community Honoured at Guelph Awards of Excellence

June 26, 2009 - Campus Bulletin

The University of Guelph community's commitment to helping those in need was recognized with two awards at the 10th annual Guelph Awards of Excellence on Thursday night.

The awards celebrate the accomplishments of the many individuals and groups who have gone above and beyond the call in leading, inspiring and giving back to the local community, said David Gray, chair and CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce.

The College of Management and Economics (CME) received the chamber President’s Business Recognition Award in the public-sector category for a new course that opens the minds of students to the struggles of low-income families in the housing market. The “Service Learning in Housing” course, a required part of the B.Comm. major in real estate and housing, helps students understand how the private sector is not able to meet the housing needs of lower-income households.

Marketing and consumer studies professor Jane Londerville said the course includes volunteer service and a reflective learning component that allow students to take a step back and look at the issues from a different point of view.

“You can see how their thinking changes as a result of the course,” she said. “It also gives them a taste of volunteering and how it can be rewarding and fun, and hopefully that will carry over into their lives beyond university.”

U of G’s United Way campaign received the President’s Campaign Award from the United Way of Guelph and Wellington for its exemplary efforts over the past five years and the enthusiasm and commitment of organizers and volunteers. The U of G campaign is the largest in the region, raising $491,000 last year and involving more than 200 volunteers.

Campaign co-chair Jennifer Beehler said it’s the campus volunteers who continue to make the U of G effort so successful. “It is an honour to be associated with such an inspirational group of people and I look forward to working with them during the 2009 campaign,” she said.

In addition to being recognized for its community-building efforts, the CME also presented an award. Geosyntec Consultants International Inc., an environmental engineering and science consulting services firm, received the CME's Workplace Education Award. In order to continue attracting and retaining exceptional employees, Geosyntec places a strong emphasis on working with universities to provide internship opportunities and fellowship grants to support the next generation of engineering and science leaders.

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