Excerpted from April 11 University of Mississippi News story by Edwin B. Smith
University of Mississippi faculty and staff members, a student, and several external community organizations were honored Wednesday, April 10 in celebration of their community-engaged research, learning, and service work within the LOU community and beyond.
The annual Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards and the inaugural Excellence in Community Engagement Awards were presented by the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement to students, faculty, staff, and community members who demonstrate selfless service to others. The Sullivan Awards are the university’s highest honor recognizing service.
“These award recipients and finalists have distinguished themselves through their outstanding commitment to serving others,” Interim Chancellor Larry Sparks said. “Their efforts go far beyond affecting individual lives – their contributions and spirit ripple through our community.
“They have enriched the lives of people around them in innumerable ways, and their humility, character and sense of responsibility to others set a standard to which we all should aspire.”
Krista Oliver was presented the Student Award. Karen T. Peairs received the Staff Member Award, and Faculty Member Awards went to Anne Cafer and David Calder. The Community Member Award was presented to Libby Lytle of Oxford.
An assistant professor of sociology, Cafer also serves as coordinator for the Applied Policy and Community Research Institute housed in the UM Center for Population Studies. She works primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mississippi Delta, where she examines community resilience and social change around food procurement, agricultural systems, environmental sustainability, and health/nutrition.
Cafer’s advanced courses are community-based, participatory research courses where students are actively involved with community stakeholders to explore collaborative solutions to nonresilient systems.
“Dr. Cafer is one of the most caring, helpful and giving people I have ever met in my time at the University of Mississippi,” her nominator writes. “She conducts her academic work and service outreach with rigor and genuine passion to help.”