By Briahnna Brown
Through all the work that Amy Cohen has done over the past 30 years of her career, she said she always wanted to ensure that colleges and universities make service and civic engagement a regular part of what they do.
As the director of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service at George Washington University, Ms. Cohen has worked to incorporate community service into university events and celebrations throughout the academic year. Prior to coming to GW, she worked to build community service into schools and colleges nationally as the leader of Learn and Serve America, a program of the federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service, now known simply as AmeriCorps.
To honor this work, Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic (CCMA), a nonprofit membership association that promotes public service among area universities, selected Ms. Cohen as the winner of their institutional leadership award.
In the award letter, Madeline Yates, executive director of CCMA, said that this award celebrates Ms. Cohen’s “outstanding contributions to the institutionalization of community engagement, by being a champion of civic and community engagement, advancing economic and racial justice through our field and contributing to the overall success of campus-community collaboration at The George Washington University."
Ms. Cohen said of her many contributions to GW’s service initiatives, such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, the Welcome Days of Service, a service partnership with D.C. Public Schools and the work the Nashman Center does around voter engagement, she is most proud of GW receiving the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s 2020 Community Engagement Classification, an elective designation that indicates institutional commitment to community engagement.
The Carnegie Classification is a recognition of work that the faculty, staff and students do all across the university campus, she said, and even though the CCMA award honors her individually, it is a reflection of the work she has done in collaboration with others in the GW community.
“I'm excited that we're going to continue doing the work to support civic engagement and racial equity at GW,” Ms. Cohen said.