2017 Outstanding Community Partner Nominees


Elease Womack, Leigh Riley Evans, and Kara Kish
  • Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation, nominated by IUPUI – In 2015, Mapleton Fall Creek Development Corporation Executive Director Leigh Riley Evans opened her door to an atypical request from a university campus. IUPUI Anthropology Professor Susan Hyatt wasn’t looking for a spot for her students to do volunteer work. She had in mind a co-educational structure in which she and Ms. Evans would work together to develop the students’ research project with student and resident driven ideas. After a report on life expectancy in different Indiana zip codes was released and listed the Mapleton Fall Creek neighborhood as next to lowest in central Indiana, the project was born.
  • The Unleavened Bread Café, nominated by Marian University –  From an initial Indiana Campus Compact grant, Marian University launched a 15-week writing workshop at the Unleavened Bread Café for women survivors of domestic violence, drug addiction, and incarceration. From that workshop, they published Voices Unlocked: Soulful Stories from 30th and Central and held a public reading at the Indianapolis Central Library. That project resulted in an ongoing partnership between Marian and the Café, a partnership that is bringing the publication of a second book, a history of the café written by Marian students, a tribute to Unleavened Bread Café founder and director Elease Womack written by one of the women from the workshop, and much more.
  • Vigo Parks and Recreation Department nominated by Indiana State University –Indiana State University and Kara Kish of the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department have a long-standing partnership and ISU students have logged thousands of service hours during one-day events and semester-long projects. Two recent collaborations, cleaning up the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area and mapping, building, and developing an economic impact study of Griffin Bike Park, have given ISU students the chance to experience learning outside the classroom and to embrace their community and their fellow residents.