Nelson Institute partner UniverCity Year wins a Community-University Partnership Award

July 8, 2019

On June 26, 2019, UW–Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank presented the UniverCity Year (UCY) program and its partners, including Green County, with a  Community-University Partnership Award for their collaborative efforts to address community challenges while exemplifying the Wisconsin Idea of expanding education and outreach beyond the classroom.  

 An interdisciplinary effort, UCY engages with local government leaders to identify challenges and then leverages the talents and expertise of UW-Madison’s faculty, staff, and students to address these hurdles through, analysis, research, concept plans, designs, and policy recommendations. Now in its fourth year, the UniverCity Year program has engaged with hundreds of students and faculty members on dozens of projects in communities such as the City of Monona, Dane County, Green County, and Pepin County.

UniverCity Year accepts award

From left to right: Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Andrea Hicks, Professor and Director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Jonathan Patz, UniverCity Year Managing Director Gavin Luter, Green County Economical Development Executive Director Cara Carper, and Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies Director Paul Robbins attended the award celebration.

 “To be recognized by the university is humbling, especially in the company of so many other incredible community partnerships. We were so fortunate to have such great partners over the years in Monona, Dane County, and now Green County,” said UniverCity Year Managing Director, Gavin Luter. “We strive to make these partnerships catalytic and inspire action at the local level through the joint work of our outstanding faculty and students alongside the localities. This partnership would be impossible without support from so many different people including the university, the local partners, our funders American Family Insurance and John Holton, the UniverCity Alliance board, and our many statewide partners.”

Luter added that these efforts have proven to be a win-win for local governments and UW-Madison, a sentiment shared by Green County Development Corporation executive director, Cara Carper, who accepted the award alongside Luter.

 “It is such an honor,” Carper said of this award. “Because of UniverCity Year, communities in Green County that never would have contacted UW–Madison for answers, now have relationships with UW staff and a much better understanding of the vast resources UW can bring to our issues. Student recommendations came in many forms, from hundred page reports to a photo book love letter to Monticello. We are so appreciative of this opportunity and relationship that will only continue to grow. The project certainly exemplifies people working collaboratively to transform both the campus and our communities for the public good!” Read more.

Photo on the left: At center, Gavin Luter and Cara  Carper, representatives for the project "UniverCity Year," receive a  2019 Community-University Partnership Award during an event at Olin  House, the Chancellor's residence  at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on June 26, 2019. Presenting  the award at far left is Earlise Ward, director of the UW-Madison  Morgridge Center for Public Service, and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca  Blank, at far right. (Photo by Jeff Miller / UW-Madison)