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SVSU recognized for conservation efforts

Ted Lind and the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy recently recognized the SVSU Center for Community Engagement with one of their 2020 Osprey Awards.

The award has been around for eight years and recognizes regional conservation efforts by environmental professionals, organizations or institutions and volunteers who go above and beyond.

Lind said he has enjoyed working with SVSU over the past year.

“This past season we saw a growing partnership with SVSU and welcomed more SVSU students to volunteer with us than ever before,” Lind said. “We were fortunate to partner with the Center for Community Engagement to host two of the Alternative Breaks groups for service opportunities in addition to a number of students who volunteered with us of their own accord.”

In 2016, the Center for Community Engagement was developed under Josh Ode.

At the time, Riley Hupfer, who is now serves as the director of the office, was a graduate assistant under Ode. Hupfer works to build connections between on-campus events and the offcampus community.

“What we do is foster partnerships between the campus and outside community,” Hupfer said. “We do what we can to connect SVSU to the opportunities around it.”

Hupfer said the center places a lot of emphasis on volunteer work.

“We do a lot of volunteer projects,” Hupfer said. “We collaborate on issues we see in the community or work to provide service with building and supporting our relationships.”

The Center for Community Engagement not only helps with events off-campus, but it also strives to bring opportunities to students on campus as well.

“We put on Cardinals Vote, which you have seen over the past few weeks,” Hupfer said. “We also do Cardinal Volunteers and the Henry Martin exhibit, along with some of our other events.”

Cardinal Volunteers has been a big factor in SVSU receiving the Osprey Award, as the group has worked with the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy and the community to tackle environmental issues. The office is currently run by Hupfer and Dawn Hinton, three staffed students and four Democracy Fellows students.

“In a basic sense, we exist to support,” Hupfer said. “We are excited to win an award, but as long as we are supporting the community and building relationships, I would call that a success.”

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