Cindy Gil, IUPUI
2021 Community Engagement Professional Award Winner
The Community Engagement Professional Award was created in 2006 to honor professional staff at Indiana Campus Compact partner institutions who demonstrate an ability to effectively cultivate, facilitate, and maintain high-quality partnerships with community organizations and representatives. This award recognizes Community Engagement Professionals’ knowledge and ability to conceptually, ethically, and effectively represent the foundations of the field and the breadth of community-engaged work.
In her nomination letter, Amy Conrad Warner, Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement at IUPUI said, “Cindy possesses and demonstrates leadership, cultural and institutional awareness, and a culture of care for aiding and improving the lives of members of the Latino Community in Indianapolis. Cindy maintains relationships with community, faith, and civic leaders as well as educational, government, and nonprofit organizations to remain engaged and current with the resources available to and capacity within the Latino community. She is tireless; she is a mentor, role model, servant leader, and an influencer of institutional and statewide policies to embrace and advocate the unique needs of the ever-growing Hispanic population in our region and the state of Indiana. Cindy’s asset-based approach to engagement demonstrates her commitment to true partnerships for fundamental change by developing the community’s knowledge and skills, while encouraging community members to pursue their vision of a better Indianapolis.”
Cindy’s colleagues at IUPUI aren’t the only ones who recognize her commitment to community.
George Washington Community High School’s Ann Kreicker said, “I had the pleasure of working with [Cindy] at La Plaza and continued that relationship with her as she worked in the Office of Community Engagement at IUPUI. She was extremely flexible, dedicated, dependable, hard-working, and a good listener. She understood that she needed to make sure what we did with our families and students was what they wanted and took time to value their opinion. At La Plaza, we worked together to help students and families experience what it was like to be on a college campus. For many of our families, this would be the first time they ever set foot on a campus. Cindy included both students and parents and made sure they felt welcomed and comfortable. A field trip such as this might never have happened without her willingness to go door-to-door to pick up families and encourage the students.”
In another support letter, Terencia Turner the Community School Coordinator for Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center said, “I have been working with Cindy as her co-facilitator for the Daniel Fugate Scholarship Program for the past four years. Cindy is a true professional that is committed to providing a safe and educational environment for all. She is skilled at community engagement, and during her tenure with the Fugate Scholars helped us develop a critical partnership with key community institutions.”
Watch Gil’s acceptance speech: